CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will begin 2021 spring semester classes a week later, forego spring break and add three additional noninstruction break days, the university announced today. The measures are intended to facilitate the continued blend of in-person and remote instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The university’s Academic Senate approved the changes Monday. Spring semester classes will begin Monday, Jan. 25, and the three additional break days will occur Feb. 17, March 24 and April 13.
“We would prefer to follow our regular academic calendar, including having spring break,” Chancellor Robert J. Jones said. “But health and safety remain our top priority. We believe these precautions are necessary to maximize the safety of our entire community.”
Though classes will start later, the university is still requiring that students planning to attend classes in person return early for COVID-19 on-campus testing.
- Seniors and graduate students will test Jan. 15 and 19. (Seniors who live in University Housing will test Jan. 17 and 21.)
- Juniors will test Jan. 16 and 20. Juniors who live in University Housing will test Jan. 17 and 21.
- Sophomores will test Jan. 17 and 21.
- Freshmen and new students will test Jan. 18 and 22.
Students will be required to receive two negative on-campus COVID-19 tests, at least three days apart, before they are allowed into campus facilities for the spring semester. Until they receive the two negative tests, students are also being instructed to participate only in essential activities like buying groceries. These measures are an attempt to curb any potential virus spread.
“I am so proud of the leadership being shown by our faculty, staff and students,” Jones said. “We have succeeded in curbing the spread of the disease at our university, and we are asking that our entire community follow the protocols we have outlined for our spring semester to help us continue providing an on-campus experience for our students.”
Since the beginning of the fall semester, the campus has provided more than 530,000 on-campus COVID-19 saliva tests to students, faculty members and staff. Case positivity rate has remained low on campus, peaking at 2.86% during move-in and currently measuring around 0.2%.