Spring 2022 Guidelines & Returning to Campus

Increasing positive COVID-19 cases, holiday travel and the emergence of the Omicron variant present real risks, and we want to maximize the safety of our community when you return to campus.

  • Below are the guidelines for undergraduate students and guidelines for faculty, staff and graduate students for returning to campus for the Spring semester.
  • University community members may begin their Spring 2022 return testing the first day they come to campus beginning Jan. 3.
  • We will hold a virtual COVID-19 Briefing Series event with more details before the Spring semester begins. We will announce that date as soon as it is finalized.

Guidelines for Undergraduate Students

These guidelines apply to undergraduate students participating in any on-campus activities. They do not apply to fully remote students.

Receive an on-campus negative test result to gain building access

  • Upon returning to campus, undergraduate (even if they are fully vaccinated) will be required to receive a negative on-campus COVID-19 test result before Jan. 24, the first day of face-to-face instruction. When you receive a negative test result, your building access status will switch to “granted.”
    • It can take up to 48 hours to receive test results. Please test on or before Jan. 21 to ensure you will have building access for the first day of in-person instruction on Jan. 24.
    • Students are no longer required to receive an off-campus COVID-19 test before they return to campus. If you have access to test, it is still recommended, but it is no longer a requirement. Students are still required to receive one negative on-campus test.

Get your booster

  • The University of Illinois System is now requiring that all faculty, staff and students get a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as they are eligible.
  • If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine booster and are eligible, we strongly encourage you to receive a booster before you return to campus if you are able. You can find appointments at pharmacies in your area on this website. (Note: If you are a student and are not able to receive a booster before you return to campus, you can make an appointment in the MyMcKinley Portal to receive a booster when you return to campus.)
  • We plan to provide time for everyone to receive their booster (when they are eligible) to meet this new requirement, and we will provide more information to you after the Spring 2022 semester begins.

Upload off-campus positive test results

  • If you tested positive at an off-campus location during Winter Break, you should upload your positive test result to your MyMcKinley Portal. This is extremely important, so you are not re-isolated if you test positive upon return.

Begin the first week of the semester online

  • In order for you to meet these requirements, the first week of the Spring 2022 semester (Jan. 18-21) will be held online. In-person instruction will resume on Monday, Jan. 24.
  • The purpose of this temporary shift in modality is to allow everyone to return safely and have time to receive an on-campus test for in-person instruction. Currently, we do not expect or plan to extend this delayed start beyond that first week. We plan to resume face-to-face instruction.
  • Despite starting the semester online, you are strongly encouraged to return to campus as planned to enable the required on-campus test and to gain building access. 

Download the Illinois app

  • The Safer Illinois app has been retired and is no longer usable for building access or COVID-19 testing information. You will need to use the Illinois App (download it from the App Store for iPhone users or Google Play for Android users) or the Boarding Pass to show your building access status. 

Guidelines for Faculty, Staff and Graduate Students

Receive an on-campus negative test result by Jan. 15 to gain building access

  • Faculty, staff and graduate students are required to receive one negative on-campus test to meet the requirement. When you receive a negative test result, your building access status will switch to “granted.”
  • The re-entry testing timeline started on Monday Jan. 3. The deadline for completion of a negative test is Jan. 15 if you are working on campus.

Get your booster

  • The University of Illinois System is now requiring that all faculty, staff and students get a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as they are eligible.
  • If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine booster and are eligible, we strongly encourage you to receive a booster before you return to campus if you are able. You can find appointments at pharmacies in your area on this website. (Note: If you are a student and are not able to receive a booster before you return to campus, you can make an appointment in the MyMcKinley Portal to receive a booster when you return to campus.)
  • We plan to provide time for everyone to receive their booster (when they are eligible) to meet this new requirement, and we will provide more information to you after the Spring 2022 semester begins.

Download the Illinois app

  • The Safer Illinois app has been retired and is no longer usable for building access or COVID-19 testing information. You will need to use the Illinois App (download it from the App Store for iPhone users or Google Play for Android users) or the Boarding Pass to show your building access status. 

Upload off-campus positive test results

  • If you tested positive at an off-campus location during Winter Break, you should upload your positive test result to your MyMcKinley Portal. This is extremely important, so you are not re-isolated if you test positive upon return.

FAQ

Return testing period

When does return testing begin?

University community members may begin their Spring 2022 return testing the first day they come to campus Jan. 3.

Vaccinated or not, do all students, faculty and staff come back with building access denied?

Yes, all faculty, staff and students will be Access Denied until they receive their negative on-campus test result.

Undergraduate students

If my off-campus test comes back positive, do I need to stay where I am or can I return to campus to isolate?

If you receive a positive off-campus COVID-19 test result while you are away from campus, you should not return until you have finished your isolation. You should follow public health directives from your county.

If in-person classes don’t begin until Jan. 24, are undergraduates required to be back on campus early?

The first week of the Spring 2022 semester (Jan. 18-21) will be held online in order for you to meet the testing requirements. You should return to campus as planned to enable the required on-campus test and to gain building access.

Graduate students

Is the week of online classes applicable to graduate students, too?

Yes. All undergraduate and graduate classes will be online for the first week of instruction. Graduate and professional students may receive additional information from their deans, and they should follow that guidance.

Employees

Do faculty, staff and grad students have to test on their days off?

Faculty, staff and graduate students are not required to come to campus to test on their days off, however, they may certainly choose to do so. Those who choose not to test on their days off should test as soon as possible on their first day back. They may continue to work in-person while they wait for their test results. We will be communicating this with WSAs & supervisors.

Do I work remotely after the break?

Working remotely during the testing period is not required. Units can authorize remote work at any time if the work can be done remotely and the remote work does not have a negative impact on the unit’s operations. As always, if you have a question about remote work, please ask your HR supervisor.