SIU adjusts plans for return to campus in response to COVID

In response to the latest surge in COVID-19 cases, Southern Illinois University Carbondale has adjusted its plans for the spring semester.

SIUC chancellor Austin A. Lane sent the following email to the campus community:

With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, we have adjusted our plans for spring semester. 

Upon return to campus, all on-campus employees and students, including those who are fully vaccinated, must be tested for COVID-19 to ensure we maintain the public health of our campus community as we launch the spring semester. 

Classes will proceed on Jan. 10, with precautions such as our continued requirement to wear masks in shared indoor spaces. 

For fully vaccinated employees and students, this will be a one-time test to return to campus. 

Employees and students who are not fully vaccinated will continue the weekly testing requirement, per the governor’s executive order.  

Through an agreement with Reditus Laboratories, we will provide COVID testing at Grinnell Hall at no charge to you. You will receive a $5 Starbucks gift card after your on-campus test. 

Getting a COVID test will be simple and convenient; the results will be uploaded automatically. 

Learn more about testing on campus, including how to preregister and required documents.

Faculty/instructors and staff: You must complete an on-campus COVID test within 48 hours of your return to campus from winter break. 

For example, if you return to campus on Monday, Jan. 3, you must complete the COVID test by Jan. 5. 

On-campus residential students: You must have a negative COVID test within 72 hours before returning to campus or be tested on campus by Jan. 11.  

Students not residing on campus: You must have an on-campus COVID test by Jan. 11. 

We are fortunate to have high vaccination rates, 77 percent for students and 84 percent for employees. 

Shortly after classes start, we will host a vaccine booster clinic Jan. 19-20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Renaissance Room of the Student Center. Boosters for Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will be available. 

Details, including a link to sign up, will be posted at siu.edu/coronavirus. 

Vaccinations, with boosters, are the best strategy to avoid serious illness and death. If you want to receive a vaccine or booster now, visit vaccines.gov to find a site near you.  

At this time, we plan to keep spring break in our calendar. However, COVID is unpredictable, and we will continue to monitor the situation and adapt our plans as needed to keep our campus community safe. 

Given the significant uptick in COVID cases nationwide following the holidays, we are seeking full participation in this testing protocol. If you have questions, email pandemicinfo@siu.edu.

The Gazette-Democrat

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