URBANA, Ill. (WCIA)- Students are heading back for the fall semester, which starts on August 24th. But, there are new requirements in place because of the pandemic. University of Illinois parent Japhia Ramkumar says she isn’t nervous for her son to return because of the protocols in place. “Knowing that they’re going to be tested twice a week and all kids are going to be tested knowing all the steps that the university has taken to ensure safety as best as they can with the information that we have I feel that is the best that we can do, and I’m pretty confident, things could change, but that’s the nature of the beast,” said Ramkumar.
Students and staff at The U of I will have to be tested for Covid-19 twice a week. The associate chancellor for public affairs Robin Kaler said there are plans in place if someone in a dorm tests positive. “When someone tests positive, if it’s a student and they live in the residence halls we do have a 400 residence hall room set aside for quarantine and isolation. There will also be a new app in place to help track a student or faculty member’s test results. It’s called “Safer in Illinois.” The app will tell the person if they are clear to enter buildings on campus.
If a student or faculty needs a phone, the university will provide them with a smartphone.
Even though plans and protocols are in place, Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin feels they won’t know the impact until students return to campus.”This community has not experienced the full effect of having U of I students here and any activities in the schools. This will really tell if it’s a kind of make or break for this community,” said Marlin.