U-Illinois to briefly go online in January as virus heats up

State News

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The University of Illinois will temporarily switch to remote learning in January before welcoming students back to classrooms.

The Chicago campus will go online for two weeks, starting Jan. 10, with some exceptions, while the Champaign-Urbana campus will be online from Jan. 18-23. 

Robert Jones, the chancellor at the Urbana-Champaign campus, announced the move in a pair of mass e-mails to campus on Monday. He said the change allows undergraduate students to properly test before returning to the classroom on Jan. 24.

Students and staff in Chicago and Champaign-Urbana will also need to show negative COVID-19 tests.

Undergraduates, regardless of whether they are vaccinated, must report an off-campus COVID-19 test within three days of returning to campus. When they arrive at campus, they must test again.

Graduate students, faculty, and staff, regardless of vaccination station, must also have two on-campus COVID-19 tests ahead of the semester. These new rules do not apply to students who are fully remote in their coursework.

University officials are hoping to avoid a surge in COVID-19 cases as students travel home for winter break and mingle with others.

The COVID-19 vaccination rate at all campuses, including Springfield, is more than 95%. Meanwhile, Illinois reported about 12,330 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily total in more than a year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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