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Heartland Community College Adds Mask Mandate After New CDC Guidance

Heartland Community College overhead
Heartland Community College/flickr
Heartland Community College plans to mandate indoor mask use starting Aug. 2.

Heartland Community College has announced it will now require everyone to wear face masks indoors this fall, including people who are fully vaccinated.

The college in Normal changed its guidelines after the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health issued new guidance to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus, in particular the highly-contagious Delta variant.

Heartland’s public information director, Steve Fast, said the school’s next mandate will take effect next Monday.

“This guideline is in addition to many robust health safety and mitigation procedures employed by the college including, but not limited to, planned vaccination clinics, a revision of ventilation in facilities, social distancing and barriers in high traffic areas, contact tracing, and our on-site SHIELD testing availability,” Fast said.

That is a rapid, saliva-based PCR test developed by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Testing is overseen by SHIELD Illinois, a nonprofit of the U of I System.

Illinois Wesleyan University already has mandated mask use indoors in public spaces. IWU issued its latest mask guidance June 25.

“In indoor settings with larger, unaffiliated groups and areas that interact with the public regularly, masks are still required,” the university said in a message posted to its website.

John Twork, IWU's assistant director of communications, said university administration plans to communicate its updated fall protocols to campus early next week.

Illinois State University announced on Wednesday it will mandate everyone wear masks indoors starting Thursday.

None of the three schools are mandating the COVID vaccine. ISU will require all students, faculty and staff to submit to weekly COVID testing if they are not vaccinated. Heartland has asked the campus community to get a weekly COVID test at its on-campus testing site.

HCC also is allowing the public to be tested using the SHIELD test: hours are noon to 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday in room 1801 of the Instructional Commons Building (ICB). The test is free.

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