Changes to Eastern’s masking policy coming soon

Isai+Morales%2C+a+freshman+biology+major%2C+tests+at+Eastern%E2%80%99s+Student+Recreation+Center+Court+5+for+COVID-19+on+Monday%2C+Jan.+10%2C+2022.+Eastern+University+President+David+Glassman+sent+out+an+email+stating+that+%E2%80%9Call+EIU+students+and+employees+are+expected+to+complete+on-campus+SHIELD+testing+upon+their+return+to+campus%E2%80%9D+for+the+spring+semester.+

Rob Le Cates

Isai Morales, a freshman biology major, tests at Eastern’s Student Recreation Center Court 5 for COVID-19 on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. Eastern University President David Glassman sent out an email stating that “all EIU students and employees are expected to complete on-campus SHIELD testing upon their return to campus” for the spring semester.

Corryn Brock, Editor-in-Chief

Starting Feb. 28, Eastern will be shifting its Mask Requirements Policy to lift most mask requirements outside of the classroom setting.

Under the new policy, all individuals will be required to wear masks in in-person instructional places like classrooms, labs, studios, and other learning places on campus, inside the Medical and Counseling Clinics, in the SHEILD testing location in the Student Recreation Center and in the Panther Shuttle and all other university-sponsored commercial transportation.

Additionally, employees and students should expect to use a mask when meeting in individual office spaces and living spaces when asked.

The university is asking that the campus community “(avoids) making assumptions about members of our campus community based on their personal choice to continue masking.”

Masks will also be required for unvaccinated individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19, all individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and all individuals who test positive for COVID-19.

Those who would normally be required to test and will be on campus for Spring Break should expect to get tested on March 15 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. or on March 16 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Eastern continues to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.

Those who have not uploaded verification of full COVID-19 vaccination will still be required to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing or face disciplinary action.

The university said the masking policies remain a “dynamic situation” and guidelines will be changed as needed as information from public health officials and the state of Illinois evolves.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]