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“I’m vaccinated and I don’t like masks” SIU Chancellor Lane on SIU mask requirement

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CARBONDALE, Ill (WSIL) -- If you are on SIU's campus you will now have to wear a mask. This comes after new guidance from the CDC calling for everyone to wear masks, regardless of vaccine status, to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Officials say, effective immediately, you must wear a mask in shared spaces indoors such as lobbies, hallways and classrooms, regardless of vaccination status.

RELATED: SIU now requiring masks on campus

News 3 talked with SIU Chancellor Austin Lane about the decision to require masks on campus.

"We thought to protect and to be safe it would be good to back to the masks. We had a lot of success with our masks back in the fall and spring, actually the entire year of this past year with COVID, so that proved to be effective." said Lane.

The decision comes after the CDC data shows all but one southern Illinois county, Hardin County, is considered at high transmission rate.

"We do know we had the lowest positivity rate of any university in our state this past spring, and we wore masks in the spring. Again, I'm vaccinated and I don't like masks. But it's something that's not about me, it's about the entire university and being as safe as we can be."

Lane hopes the case numbers in Region 5 get better and SIU will be able to lift the mask requirement before the start of the fall semester.

"Our hope is that this is clear before we start the semester. And so we have a few weeks before we start off, we begin August 19th. And my hope is that our region gets a little better in terms of our numbers and that we're able to lift it."

Coronavirus Resources

  • Are you fully vaccinated? Click here for guidance from the CDC.
  • Click here for the latest information from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Looking for local information on the COVID-19 vaccine? Click here.
  • Click here for News 3 WSIL's latest coronavirus coverage.
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Jacob Gordon

Jacob is the 6pm Producer at News 3 WSIL. He joined the team in December of 2020. Jacob graduated from SIU Carbondale in 2020 with a Bachelor’s in Radio, Television, and Digital Media and a minor in Journalism.

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