SIU revises COVID-19 guidelines; no testing required to return to campus
August 15, 2022
SIU Emergency Operations Center said Monday the university will not be requiring COVID-19 testing for students returning to campus. However, free testing will be available for asymptomatic students and employees at Grinnell Hall each Tuesday, noon to 4 p.m.
Updated policies are based on new CDC guidance, with the federal health agency saying the virus presents a lower risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death than it did at the start of 2020, a statement from the Emergency Operations Center said.
Six-foot social distancing is being dropped and individuals exposed to COVID-19 will no longer need to quarantine at home (regardless of vaccination status). People who are exposed are urged to wear a mask for 10 days and be tested on the fifth day after exposure.
Someone who does test positive for the virus should isolate for five days instead of the previous ten. They can end isolation on day six if they do not have symptoms and if they have not had a fever for 24 hours. Still, they are urged to wear a mask for five days after ending isolation.
The CDC says vaccination is the best strategy to avoid hospitalization. The Jackson County Health Department will hold a vaccination and booster clinic on Aug. 24 in the Student Center from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Employees with symptoms should reach out to their health care providers or Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH). Students with symptoms should call 618-453-3311 to schedule an appointment with the Student Health Center. Like other health care settings, masks are still required at the Student Health Center.
(Annie Hammock can be reached at @anniehammock on Twitter or [email protected].)