The following message provides information about the return to in-person learning, KN95 mask availability, on-campus vaccination and booster clinics, entry testing, steps for those who test positive, and on-campus COVID-19 testing sites.  

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

Return to in-person teaching and learning

In-person teaching and learning will resume on Monday, January 24. Classes will resume in the modality listed on Coursefinder, with limited exceptions.

KN95 masks for campus community  

The University has obtained a stock of KN95 masks and is making two masks available to every student, faculty, and staff member in the University community.  Masks have been distributed to faculty and staff via campus mail. Students living on campus are receiving them through University Housing Services. 

Students who live off-campus can pick up two masks from one of these on-campus sites:

  • Bone Student Center (Welcome Desk, Printing Services Office, Student Involvement Center)
  • Milner Library Circulation Desk 
  • The Multicultural Center

Before using the KN95 mask, please review the KN95 Fact Sheet, available on the Environmental Health and Safety website.

Face coverings are required inside any facility by order of the Governor’s Office. It is up to the discretion of the wearer which approved face coverings to choose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer insights on masks and respirators.

On-campus vaccine booster clinics, continue January 21-22  

It is not too late to sign up for an appointment at one of the remaining on-campus vaccine booster clinics operated by the State of Illinois. Clinics will be held 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. January 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.     

Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson will be provided. While the clinics are 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.    

COVID-19 entry testing 

As a reminder, all students, faculty, and staff are required to participate in COVID-19 entry testing.

Students:  All students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to upload a negative COVID-19 test performed at any licensed testing facility (e.g., pharmacy, state-run testing site, healthcare facility, laboratory). An over-the-counter, at-home test does not meet requirements. Entry testing must be conducted no more than 3 days prior to returning to campus facilities. Submit results to the secure Patient Health Portal.  

  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days must upload proof of a positive COVID-19 test to the Patient Health Portal. They do not need to participate in entry testing.
  • If a student is unable to obtain a test just prior to returning to campus, there are a limited number of appointments Monday-Friday at on-campus SHIELD testing sites.  Tests conducted at an on-campus testing site are automatically uploaded to the Patient Health Portal. For students that test upon returning to campus facilities, that test must be scheduled for the first day of return.

Employees: All faculty and staff, regardless of vaccination status, are required to schedule and take an on-campus SHIELD COVID-19 test as soon as possible upon returning to campus, but no more than one week (seven calendar days) after returning.  

  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days must upload proof of a positive COVID-19 test to the Patient Health Portal and do not need to participate in entry testing.

NOTE: 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.  

Positive result on entry testing

If the entry test is positive:

  • Upload the results to the Patient Health Portal (this step is not necessary if the test was completed on campus).  
  • Follow isolation guidelines. Find isolation and quarantine guidelines on the Coronavirus website FAQs. 
  • Those who finish isolation, and are not experiencing symptoms, may return to campus. 
  • 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.  

NOTE: 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.   

On-campus testing sites  

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

  • The Redbird Room in Redbird Arena will close after Friday, January 28.  The site will maintain its current schedule until that time. Anyone with an appointment at the Redbird Room after the closing date may test at the other sites without having to amend their appointment.  
  • 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.
  • Dependents, retirees, and volunteers may only test at the SSB 130 site and must register on-site.