Southern Illinois University will require COVID tests after break

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FILE — People wait to get tested for COVID-19 at a pop-up testing site in Los Angeles, Monday, Dec. 20, 2021. Omicron has raced ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for 73% of new infections last week, federal health officials said Monday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

CARBONDALE (AP) — Unlike the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University officials will rely on testing rather than a period of remote classes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus following the holiday break.

Classes are set to begin January 10, and SIU Carbondale officials have told students, faculty, and staff that they must complete a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of returning to the campus.

Those fully vaccinated against the coronavirus also must be tested, The Southern Illinoisan reported. People who have not been vaccinated will have to be tested weekly.

Other universities in Illinois have opted to begin the spring semester remotely amid concerns that the holidays and omicron’s arrival in the state will cause widespread cases.

Illinois State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago previously announced that classes will be remote for the first two weeks of the spring semester. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign plans one week of online instruction.

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