This week is the start of a new academic year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
After a year and a half disrupted by a pandemic, most classes will be in classrooms again, with students and professors breathing the same air. And most people will be vaccinated.
The campus last week “was just really just really thriving with excitement,” said Robert J. Jones, the university’s chancellor. “Particularly among the students that did the whole year remote last year.”
During that year, the university implemented an ambitious experiment in virus surveillance. It included testing, two to three times a week, of tens of thousands of students, faculty members and staff members — everyone who came to campus — in the hopes of keeping the coronavirus in check. It served as a model for other educational institutions, and some carried out similar programs.
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