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University of Illinois union frets about COVID spread from 88% vaccinated students, .07% test positivity rate

Also worried enough people aren’t checking the vaccine passports

The Graduate Employees’ Organization at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign wants more COVID rules put into place.

This comes despite a vaccination rate of 88 percent for students. The governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker has also mandated that all university students and employees get vaccinated against COVID. The vaccination percentage is up-to-date as of August 26, so the rate has likely increased since then.

“Grad workers and undergrad students are being exposed to COVID-19 in classes, and the University has no notification system for that,” Lesley Owens, the president of GEO said, according to the campus paper. Her group held a protest on Thursday to share its concerns.

Owens wants everyone in a class alerted if one person tests positive.

“So if a student tests positive, all of their classes and all of their classmates in person are told so the instructors don’t have to do it and the student doesn’t have to do it,” Owens told The Daily Illini.

The GEO is also concerned that university officials are requiring classes to remain in-person. “In fact, if we hear that a student in our class tested positive, the University tells us not to tell any of those students and to keep going to class as usual,” Owens said.

Two people tested positive for COVID among 2,950 tests administered in the latest round of testing, according to the public university’s dashboard. This equates to a .07 percent positivity rate. The 30-day positivity rate stands at .55 percent.

Only unvaccinated students are required to get tested regularly.

The Daily Illini reported on September 14 that the university employs 330 Wellness Support Associates that check for proof of vaccination.

“It would take a staff of about 3,000 WSAs to have someone at every entrance during all the hours buildings are open, and we have chosen to invest in a variety of layers of protection, instead of just this one component,” administration official Robin Kaler told the university newspaper.

MORE: Brown suspends gatherings despite 98% vaccination rate

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