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UIS won't require masks this fall; SHIELD testing to return


The University of Illinois Springfield has announced masks will be optional, but encouraged, in classrooms and most other campus locations for the upcoming semester that begins this month. Masks will be required in health care settings.

The University of Illinois systempreviously announced it is again requiring vaccines for those on campus, unless there is an approved exemption. Those exemptions from previous semesters will carry over. Those who are on campus, but unvaccinated, must test weekly and follow other protocols.

While Gov. J.B. Pritzker lifted the vaccine mandate for higher education, the U of I chose to maintain the policy.

UIS will also bring back SHIELD testing for faculty, staff and students. The saliva-based test has been offered during much of the pandemic.

The testing has been credited with allowing the university to offer in-person classes during the period. But a decision was made to end that service in recent weeks.

In a campus email, Chancellor Janet Gooch said a site will be located at UIS prior to the fall semester. More details are expected soon.

The university will not perform contact tracing. The announcement stated those who test positive should follow CDC guidancefor isolation.

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