CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a new part of the college curriculum.
COVID-19 testing at the University of Illinois.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports it’s not just before the fall semester begins.
It’s supposed to be an exciting time for Sydney White. The 18-year-old is leaving home.. set to begin her freshman year at the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana. But hanging over this new chapter of her life is COVID-19. Jill is her mom.
“She has a roommate. She’s excited to move in and meet friends. But, you know, she said, I’m gonna have to wear a mask all the time. She realizes social functions will be limited,” Jill White said. “Yeah, living in a dorm, obviously, she’s going to be sharing a bathroom, she’ll have a roommate. It’s close quarters. So I’m worried about that too.”
U of I is trying to address those worries with its COVID-19 protocols, announced Monday:
*Students, faculty and staff tested twice a week at the campus testing center.
*Visitors have to be tested as well.
*Face coverings and social distancing required on campus.
*Quarantine for anyone at the school testing positive.
*Online COVID-19 training for students, faculty and staff to be completed by August 24.
*Contact tracing for all COVID-19 cases in Champaign County related to the university.
*U of I also vows to increase cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
All steps, endorsed by Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Doctor Manu Jain. But he warns there’s a big unknown: Will students, 18 to 22 years old, follow the protocols?
“It’s also wearing masks and practicing social distancing. And I think that’s the harder part of predicting how well this program is going to work,” Jain said.
Jill White is confident her daughter Sydney will be careful. And believes the school is taking the necessary steps. Still….
“There’s no 100% guarantee, though. So yes, the guidelines do make me feel maybe a little better, but not great,” White said.