Important Spring 2021 Update: Requirements & Expectations
January 11, 2021 10:05 AM

Dear undergraduate and graduate students,

I hope you had a restful Winter Break after a challenging fall semester. I am so grateful to you for taking actions to protect our entire university community in the fall. Even with the promise of vaccinations, this is a critically important time to be vigilant about our COVID-19 guidelines. Below is a summary of information you will need to know in the coming weeks to maximize safety for everyone in the Spring 2021 semester.

COVID-19 Return Testing

All undergraduate and graduate students who are required to participate in the on-campus COVID-19 testing program will be required to receive two negative on-campus test results between Jan. 15-24, no sooner than three days apart. Students should begin testing as soon as they return to campus or in the community and participate only in essential activities, such as working and buying groceries, until they receive two negative on-campus test results.

Students are to follow these testing schedules upon returning to campus if they are able to do so:

  • Graduate students should test Jan. 15 & 19.
  • Seniors should test Jan. 15 & 19. (Seniors who live in University Housing should test Jan. 17 & 21.)
  • Juniors should test Jan. 16 & 20. (Juniors who live in University Housing should test Jan. 17 & 21.)
  • Sophomores should test Jan. 17 & 21.
  • Freshmen and new students should test Jan. 17 or 18 (their first day on campus or in the community) & 22.

Your building access status in the Safer Illinois app and the Boarding Pass will be set to “access denied” until you receive two negative on-campus test results, no closer than three days apart. To ensure building access by the first day of instruction, your second test should be on or before Jan. 22. Students who require access to buildings before they are able to receive two negative tests should coordinate a plan with their supervisors.

After receiving two negative tests, students should continue their twice-per-week on-campus COVID-19 testing schedules. See the current list of on-campus COVID-19 testing site locations here.

Please note students enrolled in fully online degree programs (see here for a listing of these programs) are not expected to participate in the on campus COVID-19 testing program.

COVID-19 Vaccinations
The Illinois Department of Public Health is coordinating with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) to distribute COVID-19 vaccines for our community. More information about COVID-19 vaccinations can be found here.

Building Access
As in the fall semester, Wellness Support Associates (WSA) may be stationed inside entrances to facilities where in-person classes are being held. At each WSA-staffed entrance, any individual (faculty, staff or student) who wishes to enter must show the WSA their building access status with the Safer Illinois app or the Boarding Pass. More information about building access can be found here.

Positive Off-Campus COVID-19 Results
Undergraduate and graduate students who test positive for COVID-19 at an off-campus location should submit their positive off-campus COVID-19 test result through the MyMcKinley Portal. Students who tested positive during the break should upload their results before Monday, Jan. 25, the first day of instruction.

Quarantine & Isolation
Students are required to comply with quarantine and isolation guidelines from the university and Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. More information about quarantine and isolation can be found here.

Online COVID-19 Training
All students who did not finish the COVID-19 online training previously for the Fall 2020 semester are required to complete it before the start of the Spring 2021 semester on Monday, Jan. 25. I encourage everyone else to consider taking it again as a reminder.

Face Coverings & Social Distancing
We will continue to require everyone to practice social distancing on campus and to wear face coverings in university facilities unless they are alone in a private space. Face coverings are also required for outdoor campus spaces where sufficient social distancing is not possible.

Spring 2021 Residence
All students are required to provide the address for where they are living during the Spring 2021 semester. You will receive an email from the Office of the Registrar this week with instructions for submitting your address.

Students who do not follow all COVID-related expectations face university disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. 

I sincerely appreciate your understanding as we continue to make decisions and take actions to maximize the safety of our students, faculty, staff and greater community. I know how hard this has been for every single one of you reading this, and I am so proud to be part of a university where so many people make the well-being of others their top priority.


Robert J. Jones

This mailing approved by:
Office of the Chancellor

sent to:
Graduate Students & Undergraduate Students
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