SIUE held a virtual town hall meeting to discuss mandatory re-entry testing and campus procedures for the Spring 2021 semester. A new dashboard will replace the old COVID Dashboard on the website, providing access to real time data.

The improved dashboard will provide real time data to the SIUE community. The site will be updated daily or weekly depending on the type of data being uploaded. Student and faculty/staff positive cases will be updated along with the rolling 7-day average. The data will help to determine what stage of mitigation the campus will be in. Definitions of the data and mitigation parameters will be accessible as well. You can access the COVID Dashboard through their website.

As of Jan. 8 the positivity rate is .11 percent of 1,668 returned results, 1,652 of which were negative. The school is currently working on updating the dashboard, found on the SIUE website, to track rates for the current semester.  On average, results are coming back within 65 hours. 

Mandatory testing is being held Jan. 4-21. During this time all students, teachers and staff are required to test within 48 hours of arriving on campus. Tests are free of cost if not covered under insurance. Initial testing must be done at the school as results obtained outside of SIUE’s testing will not be accepted. Anyone who has tested positive in the last 90 days is required self-report to the school.  

Surveillance testing will continue throughout the semester and be completely voluntary. Invites will be sent out to approximately 600 students and staff each week offering incentives to take the test to help monitor the spread of COVID-19. Anyone who feels ill or concerned they may have been exposed will be able to test at any time.

As they become available for use, vaccines will not be made mandatory to attend school on-campus. The campus is adhering to the Illinois Dept. of Health vaccine implementation guidelines. The school expects to begin administering vaccines to students of the Dental School as early as next week. The expected number of vaccines available is between 250-280.

Professional development services are being provided for faculty to aid with synchronous and asynchronous classrooms.Textbook Services and the Cougar Store will be open for business with limited hours. The Cougar Store will increase evening hours once the semester is under way. Dining options will be open and students are encouraged to visit the website for hours of operation.

Chancellor Randy Pembrook indicated that commencement, textbook return and any activities requiring large amounts of people gathering will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Masks and social distancing are still required while attending campus for any reason.

Specific questions about vaccines and timetable for who can receive the vaccine and when can be emailed to Riane Greenwalt, Director of Health Services at rgreenw@siue.edu. For more information regarding testing and results contact the COVID Response Coordinator Michael Schultz, at covidtesting@siue.edu.

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