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CARBONDALE, IL — Southern Illinois University Carbondale is requiring masks in shared spaces indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

The university announced the policy change Tuesday, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its recommendations regarding masks. The CDC now recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" COVID-19 transmission wear masks indoors, even if they're vaccinated. The agency says 46% of US counties have high transmission rates and 17% have substantial transmission rates.  The recommendation aims to maximize protection from the delta variant, which is more transmissible. 

SIUC Chancellor Austin A. Lane sent an open letter to the campus community Tuesday to make people aware of the change. The letter reads: 

Dear fellow Salukis, 

Consistent with the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health, Southern Illinois University Carbondale is requiring face masks be worn in shared spaces indoors such as lobbies, hallways and classrooms, regardless of vaccination status, effective immediately. According to the CDC, we are in an area with high transmission of the virus; therefore, we believe this step is necessary to keep everyone safe and have the in-person fall semester we all want. 

Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe.

Sincerely,

Austin A. Lane

Chancellor, SIU Carbondale 

The university recently launched a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program called "Protect the Pack." Students who get vaccinated before the fall semester and provide the school with proof of vaccination will get a $5 Starbucks gift card and a chance to win one of several prizes. 

SIUC protect the pack logo.jpg

Students who provide proof of vaccination before Aug. 27 will be entered to win a $250 book voucher for the University bookstore (awarded to up to 100 students), $50 in Debit Dawg dollars added to their SIU ID card (awarded to up to 50 students) and a $1,000 voucher added to their Bursar bill (awarded to up to 50 students).

Those who provide proof of vaccination before the eighth week of class — Oct. 3 — will be entered to win  $50 Debit Dawg dollars added to their SIU ID card (again awarded to up to 50 students) and a $1,000 voucher added to their Bursar bill (again awarded to up to 50 students).

Students who provide proof of vaccination before the 15th week of class — Nov. 28 — will be entered to win $50 Debit Dawg dollars added to their SIU ID card (again awarded to up to 50 students) and a $1,000 voucher added to their Bursar bill (again awarded to up to 50 students).

Click here for more information on the Protect the Pack program and how students can enter to win

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