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  • Writer's pictureMona Alrazzaq

University encourages use of facial coverings in classrooms

Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wear masks in classrooms.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign sent out a mass mail strongly recommending that everyone wears a face covering during in-person class time through the next several weeks. There are currently 849 active COVID-19 cases in Champaign County, according to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department. 13 people are currently hospitalized and the case rate is 54 percent.

An increase in COVID-19 cases following the beginning of the Fall semester has earned Champaign County a COVID-19 community level of “High” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This indicates that Champaign County is being strongly impacted by COVID-19.

Although face coverings are not required they are strongly recommended due to CDC guidance and an increase in cases on campus. In addition, course modality will remain in-person for in-person classes.

Anyone with COVID-19 system (such as fatigue, headache, new loss of taste or smell, or runny nose) is encouraged to stay home. Faculty and staff were also advised to “show compassion” to students and faculty that are feeling unwell.

Due to a 92 percent vaccination rate on campus, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 this semester have had mild or no symptoms, according to the massmail. The University also mentioned that COVID-19 booster shots will be available for “faculty, staff and students to provide increased protection” in September.

The University also reminded students that some people are medically unable to wear a facial covering and directed them to be “kind and empathetic.”

The Chancellor ended the email by thanking the students for wearing a face covering for the next several weeks and noted that he is “continually amazed by our community’s commitment to maximizing our COVID-19 safety and our commitment to caring for one another.”

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