The following message provides information about on-campus vaccination and booster clinics, KN95 masks, insights from biology faculty on the Omicron variant, COVID-19 entry testing, on-campus testing clinics, and steps for those who test positive.   

Health and safety standards are subject to change and are adopted as a part of the University’s COVID-19 prevention and mitigation strategies as recommended by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   

For the most up-to-date information about the University’s approach to COVID-19, visit the Coronavirus website or email   

On-campus vaccine booster clinics, January 20-22  

On-campus vaccine booster clinics operated by the State of Illinois will be held 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. January 20, 21, and 22 in the Prairie Rooms of the Bone Student Center. Sign-ups are live and details are available on the University’s Coronavirus vaccine webpage.    

The State requires a minimum of 30 people to pre-register for each day, five days in advance for the clinics to proceed. Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson will be provided. While the clinic is focused on boosters, they will also provide first, second, and third doses. These clinics are limited to those who are at least 12 years of age. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.   

KN95 masks for students, faculty and staff  

The University is procuring a stock of KN95 masks to make available to every student, faculty, and staff member in the University community. KN95 masks are shown to provide wearers with a heightened degree of protection. Data have emerged in recent weeks that cloth face coverings offer less protection against the Omicron variant than against previous COVID-19 strains. More details regarding the on-campus availability of KN95 masks will be announced soon. Before using the KN95 mask, please review the KN95 Fact Sheet, which can be located on the Environmental Health and Safety website.    

Insights on Omicron  

Biologists from Illinois State University’s School of Biological Sciences offer insights on the Omicron variant. Read Redbirds in the Know: COVID-19 and the Omicron Variant   

COVID-19 entry testing  

As a reminder, all students, faculty, and staff, except those who have tested positive in the past 90 days (see below) and regardless of vaccination status, are required to test to start the new year. Find frequently asked questions on the Coronavirus FAQ page.    

On-Campus Testing Sites  

Changes are being made to the on-campus testing sites to better address need and usage patterns:  

  • All testing sites will be closed on Monday, January 17, 2022, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.    
  • The Trailer site, located between Stevenson Hall and Watterson Towers, will close after Friday, January 14.  
  • The Redbird Room in Redbird Arena will close after Friday, January 28.  The site will maintain its current schedule until that time.    
  • The remaining sites, Student Services Building (SSB) 130 and the Former Fire Station, will continue to operate on their current schedule.  
  • See the SHIELD testing page on the Coronavirus website for operating times.  Anyone with an appointment at the Trailer or Redbird Room after closing dates may test at the other sites without having to amend their appointment.  
  • Dependents, retirees, and volunteers may only test at the SSB 130 site, with registration on-site.  

Testing positive (isolation), or named close contact (quarantine)  

  • Review the Isolation and Quarantine section on the Coronavirus website FAQs .   
  • No member of the University community should return to campus if they have tested positive for COVID-19 until the appropriate isolation period has concluded.  
  •   Employees:   If you test positive or are deemed a close contact:  
    • Contact Human Resources at (309) 438-8311 and request to speak with a member of the Benefits team to discuss leave of absence options.  Human Resources will contact your supervisor as appropriate once all information is received.   
    • If you believe you were exposed to COVID-19, but have not been deemed a close contact:  
    • Seek medical advice from a health care provider on the next steps to take. Notify Human Resources if you are directed by a healthcare provider to isolate or quarantine.   
    • Find out more at Guidance for Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace.  
  • Students:   
    • Positive test results from an off-campus testing site must be uploaded to the Patient Health Portal. As a reminder, results must be from a licensed testing facility (e.g., pharmacy, state-run testing site, healthcare facility, laboratory). At-home COVID-19 tests will not be accepted.   
    • Students who live in on-campus housing who test positive or who are deemed a close contact are expected to return home during their isolation/quarantine period so that there is adequate space for students who have extenuating circumstances that prevent them from returning home or to their permanent residence. There are a limited number of spaces for on-campus students who must isolate or quarantine.  
      • Students: who need to request an excused absence due to isolation and quarantine can email the Dean of Students Office with the isolation/quarantine dates. Those who test on campus will receive a letter from Student Health Services in the Patient Health Portal. Those who tested off campus must upload test results to the portal, then email the letter Student Health Services will place in your portal with isolation/quarantine dates.  
      • Employees: Contact Human Resources at (309) 438-8311 and ask to speak with a member of the Benefits team to discuss leave of absence options.  Human Resources will contact your supervisor as appropriate once all information is received.  Find out more at Guidance for Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace.  
  • Entry-testing with prior positive:  
    • Due to the potential for false positive results, students, faculty and staff who tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90-days are not required to participate in entry testing. To be exempted from entry testing, the positive test result must have either been obtained from an on-campus testing center or from a licensed testing facility (e.g., pharmacy, state-run testing site, healthcare facility, laboratory) and uploaded to the Patient Health Portal.  
    • Individuals who have tested positive and have not provided SHS with evidence of vaccination should resume on-campus weekly (every 7 days) testing once the 90-day window has closed.  

    Student Health Services is processing the uploaded test results as quickly as possible. Please refrain from contacting Student Health Services to verify if they have received your uploaded record. Due to the volume of tests being uploaded, you will only be contacted if a problem with submitted results is identified.