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Welcome to the Fall 2021 semester

The university has implemented multiple layers of COVID-19 protocols to promote the safety and well-being of our entire community. Our hope is this message provides transparency about our approach for the fall semester. We continue to work closely with local and national COVID-19 experts and authorities. We will continue to monitor any COVID-19 developments in real time, and we will be ready to modify our approach if necessary. We will communicate any changes in guidance through university email and the university’s COVID-19 website.

Thank you for being a part of the Illinois family. Together, we can do so much to maximize the safety and wellness of everyone who is a part of this community. Below is important information on university protocols and recommendations with detail, explanation and links to additional information.


Robert J. Jones

COVID-19 mitigation strategies

Delta variant & breakthrough cases

On-campus COVID-19 testing recommendations for the fully vaccinated

  • If you are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 (by CUPHD, the university or by the individual themselves) and you are fully vaccinated, you should test 3-5 days after exposure if you do not experience symptoms.

  • If you do experience symptoms, you should quarantine and test immediately. Recent data shows the Delta variant viral load may continue to be high for several days after onset of symptoms. By quarantining and testing immediately, you help protect those around you and prevent many more potential infections from occurring.

  • You should also take an on-campus COVID-19 test if you:
    • Experience COVID-19-like symptoms such as: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, muscle or body aches or diarrhea
    • Return from travel
  • If you are contacted by the university because you are in an area with significant increases in positive cases (one case in the last three days OR three or more cases in the last seven days), everyone in that location (vaccinated and unvaccinated) will be required to test every other day for a period of time until cases improve.
  • All faculty, staff and students will continue to have access to the on-campus COVID-19 testing program. The university encourages you to use access to this testing as an extra layer of protection.

Self-contact tracing

COVID-19 reminders for Fall 2021

Tech Support to help with uploading Vaccination Record Cards

If you have been vaccinated for COVID-19, but you have not already uploaded your record to the MyMcKinley Portal, you should do so as soon as possible. If you would like in-person assistance, we encourage you to visit one of the locations below from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from now until Sept. 3:

  • Grainger Library (main floor, corridor near café)
  • Illini Union (North Lounge)
  • Undergraduate Library (main floor, Circulation Desk area)

Some units may also be having additional on-site support to help with uploading cards. Please reach out to your IT director to learn about any opportunities.

Updating your building access status in the Safer Illinois app

    1. Update to the latest version of the Safer Illinois app.
    2. Allow Safer Illinois access to your Health Provider Vaccine Information: Enable Health Provider Vaccine Information in the Settings screen. To enable vaccine data to Safer Illinois, go to the Settings screen, and if Health Provider Test Results and Vaccine Information is off, turn it on.
    3. Please verify that your COVID-19 keys are valid and paired in the Settings screen of Safer Illinois. 
    4. Request your vaccine data again from McKinley. Once you've verified the above prerequisites are complete, you can request your vaccine data be sent again. To request your data again, from the Home Screen, tap on View Health History, then scroll to the bottom and tap on "request my latest test again." Your data will be delivered within an hour.
  • If your status still does not change in your Safer Illinois app, you can reset your Safer Illinois account. Your vaccine record can take 12-24 hours to appear in Safer Illinois once it is in your Immunization Record in the MyMcKinley Portal.

On-campus instructors

On-campus vaccine appointments

  • There are COVID-19 vaccine appointments available for students at Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE). Students should make an appointment in their MyMcKinley portal
  • Individuals can also look for vaccine appointments in the local community by visiting vaccines.gov. 

Third vaccine dose info (only certain health conditions eligible)

  • CUPHD is encouraging individuals with the criteria below to consult with their healthcare provider about receiving a third vaccine dose.
    This is NOT a booster shot and is NOT intended for anyone without these conditions:
    • Receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
    • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
    • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
    • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
  • If you are a student and are eligible, you may schedule a third dose at CRCE by clicking on the "appointment" icon in MyMcKinley and following the directions. Only Moderna or Pfizer will be offered each week, so be sure to self-schedule for the same vaccine as received previously. You will be required to review and sign a self-attestation statement that you have consulted with your healthcare provider and fully qualify for one or more of the listed eligibility criteria. If you are a faculty or staff member, please contact your healthcare provider. For more information, see this press release from CUPHD.

Off-campus positive COVID-19 test results

  • If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19 at an off-campus location, please submit your off-campus positive test result to the MyMcKinley Portal:
    • Click the COVID-19 icon.
    • Enter the date of your COVID-19 test (external COVID-19 lab result).
    • Select the test result from the dropdown.
    • Upload your test result file (must be: pdf, txt, png, gif, tiff, tif or jpg).
  • The university needs this information so you can be released from isolation if you test positive again within 90 days.

Testing locations

Form to report unsafe COVID-19 behavior

  • Individuals who witness unsafe COVID-19 behavior by a student or employee may submit their experiences here: http://go.illinois.edu/COVID19-report. These reports are reviewed by Student Affairs and Illinois Human Resources.

Updated COVID-19 website info & FAQs

Q. How is the university verifying COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards?

A. The university has a digital connection with the IDPH state database of vaccine records to automatically pull and validate all the COVID-19 vaccine records for any student who received their COVID-19 vaccine in the state of Illinois.

All of the out-of-state/international COVID-19 vaccine records are manually reviewed by our team of medical records experts at McKinley Health Center. These individuals are trained specifically for reviewing records like COVID-19 vaccines, and they review all of the typical immunization records each year. They have significant experience in doing this work. When these experts are reviewing COVID-19 vaccine records they are looking for specific indicators of authenticity in the information provided as well as in the appearance of the document.

The university is also able to work with the CUPHD to check a record against the relevant state database. All COVID-19 vaccines providers in the U.S. are required to report those vaccines to their respective state health district.

*You can use the search bar of the university COVID-19 website (located at the bottom of the website) to search by topic or keyword.