The following message provides information about KN95 masks, excused absences for students, information about quarantine/isolation dates, receiving and uploading booster information, updates about contact tracing, vaccination and testing requirements, and testing availability.  

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

KN95 mask supplies

The University has received an additional supply of KN95 masks from the State of Illinois.  At this time, university departments in need of additional KN95 masks can order a supply by using the COVID-19 Supplies Request Form on the Coronavirus Website.  

Students living in on-campus housing can pick up two additional masks at their front desk. Off-campus students and employees can pick up two additional 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

Requesting an excused absence  

Students who need to request an excused absence due to isolation/quarantine should email the Dean of Students Office with documentation of their isolation/quarantine dates.  

  • Students who test on-campus will receive those dates in a letter from Student Health Services through the Patient Health Portal. Email a copy of the letter provided by Student Health Services, that includes isolation/quarantine dates, to  
  • Students who test off-campus must upload test results to the Patient Health Portal. Once test results are recorded by Student Health Services, information about quarantine and isolation dates is provided in the student’s Patient Health Portal.  Email a copy of the letter provided by Student Health Services, that includes isolation/quarantine dates, to  

Learn more about excused student absences.

Release dates for quarantine/isolation 

Students: Information about release dates from isolation/quarantine is in the original letter provided by Student Health Services after testing positive.  The letter can be found in the Patient Health Portal in the section called Letters.   

Faculty/staff:  Please work with Human Resources on any documentation needed for a COVID-related leave or return.    

Upload proof of booster vaccine 

Individuals are strongly encouraged to obtain and upload proof of a booster vaccine, when they become eligible. Submit booster records as soon as possible to the secure Patient Health Portal

As a reminder, the IDPH and CDC recommend a booster shot 5 months after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, and 2 months after receiving the single Johnson & Johnson dose.   

Contact Tracing 

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has revised the contact tracing process. Those who test positive within Illinois for COVID-19, will receive a text from the IDPH that reads: 

“IDPH COVID: There is important info for you. Call 312-777-1999 or click:” 

As a reminder, a close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of the COVID-positive person for at least 15 cumulative minutes over a 24-hour period. 

IDPH has indicated that it is the responsibility of the person who tests positive to identify and notify close contacts. Students who test positive for COVID-19 may contact Student Health Services, if needed, for guidance in this process and employees may likewise contact Human Resources for guidance.  

For more information about contact tracing visit the FAQs on the Coronavirus website.

Vaccination and testing requirements 

Vaccination continues to be the best and most effective way to protect yourself and others from Coronavirus.  If you have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination or 3rd dose/booster, locations can be found near campus or your hometown.  

Students and employees are required to participate in the on-campus saliva-based COVID-19 testing program until they are fully vaccinated, and vaccination records are on file with Student Health Services.   

This requirement is separate from the COVID-19 entry testing that was required prior the beginning of the spring 2022 term, where all members of the campus community were required to test regardless of vaccination status. 

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.