Kishwaukee College to require face masks for all on campus, effective immediately

MALTA – An area community college is joining the list of schools going back to requiring masks for all students, staff and visitors, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

According to a Monday social media post from Kishwaukee College, the “landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic is ever changing.” Therefore, the college “will return to requiring all individuals on campus to wear masks, whether vaccinated or not, while indoors” as of Monday.

“Students on campus for any reason – attending class, utilizing campus resources, or studying [or] using internet services – must wear a mask at all times and practice social distancing,” college officials wrote in the post.

College officials wrote the decision is in alignment with Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The announcement comes after Northern Illinois University officials announced a week ago the university now requires students, staff and visitors to face masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. According to a July 28 email sent to NIU students and employees, all NIU employees, students and guests – whether they are vaccinated or not – are required to wear masks indoors “effective immediately,” with the only exception to the rule being for individuals alone in their private work or living spaces.

A month ago, NIU officials announced in June students living on campus and taking in-person classes will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine with a $100 credit as an incentive. More recently, NIU students got the go-ahead to upload their proof of the COVID-19 vaccination to the newly opened portal and request the $100 incentive or an exemption online, according to university officials.

The DeKalb County Health Department recently issued a statement saying, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health, local health officials “strongly recommend everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask while indoors” in areas with substantial or high COVID-19 community transmission.

Kishwaukee College officials were not immediately available for additional comment on Monday afternoon.

• This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.