How UIS is Testing its Community and Vaccine Roll-Out


Photographs courtesy of UIS Twitter

All information accurate as of April 1.

In March of 2020, the University of Illinois Springfield halted all in-person courses and sent many on-campus students home for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester due to COVID-19. More than a year later, the pandemic is still going on. In spite of this, things are looking up, as vaccines are rolling out across the United States and the world. To combat the spread of the virus across campuses, universities have implemented testing strategies, and UIS is one of those. Every student, faculty, and staff on campus must be tested twice a week using a saliva test administered by various personnel. According to UIS’s testing website, over 48,000 tests have been administered since August 17, 2020, with a 70-day positivity rate of 0.79% ending on March 31.

Though testing has been instrumental in slowing the spread of COVID-19, vaccines are the most effective way to mitigate the virus. There are three main vaccine types available in the United States: Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. Moderna and Pfizer are two-dose vaccines administered three to four weeks apart. In January 2020, UIS received 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine to administer to employees and students who meet the criteria in phases 1A and 1B, set by the state of Illinois and Illinois Department of Public Health. UIS has not received any more doses of the vaccine, but the university says it will administer it to students, faculty, and staff as soon as it is readily available. The university suggests that people with underlying medical conditions use outside entities in order to protect themselves from the virus.

It is advised that anyone who is able to receive the vaccine do so, as it is another step closer to normalcy and the protection of at-risk individuals.