July 24, 2024

University of Illinois removes COVID-19 vaccine, testing requirements

After providing the sample and having it scanned, a vial is placed in a holder during COVID-19 Shield Illinois testing at Sterling High School.

URBANA – The University of Illinois has removed its COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for all students and employees, system President Tim Killeen announced.

“We do, however, strongly recommend that you stay up to date with the most recent vaccine or booster available as a barrier to serious illness,” Killeen said, The News-Gazette reported Friday.

Unvaccinated students and employees on the university’s campuses had been required to keep up a regular testing schedule.

In the 2021 fall semester, after the vaccines debuted, all students and staff had to receive their primary vaccination series or face stricter testing guidelines. The Urbana-Champaign campus has maintained a 95% vaccination rate since then.

“Testing also continues to be a valuable tool for COVID-19 containment and, while the University of Illinois System will no longer require regular testing of those who are unvaccinated, if you do have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, we encourage you to take advantage of the free testing that will continue to be available,” Killeen said.

Killeen encouraged everyone to continue masking indoors, though the requirements vary from campus to campus. Face coverings aren’t required at the Urbana-Champaign campus.