Administration having ‘on-going discussions’ on booster shot requirement

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Eric Henry

Students walk on the Quad, located on the Lincoln Park campus.

DePaul is having internal discussions on requiring the booster shot, a university spokesperson confirmed to The DePaulia on Wednesday. 

DePaul is currently holding classes virtually for the first two weeks of winter quarter, which began on Monday. The university is not requiring proof of a negative test for faculty, staff and students when in-person classes are expected to resume on Jan. 18. 

“There have been on-going discussions about boosters,” university spokesperson Mary Hansen said. “As with the vaccine requirement, it is important that such a decision include input from students, faculty, and staff.  Further, we need to ensure that we have the mechanisms and processes in place to implement such a requirement.”

It’s still unclear when the university will require the booster shot, but discussions are currently on-going regarding making that decision. As of today, DePaul is only encouraging people to get the booster. 

Both Northwestern and Loyola Chicago are requiring students, faculty and staff to receive the booster shot. Northwestern, who is also holding remote classes until Jan. 18, is requiring community members to submit proof by the end of the month. Loyola, on the other hand, does not have a date set for when members have to show proof of them getting the booster.

DePaul announced last April that it was going to require everyone at the university to get vaccinated from Covid-19 in time for the start of the 2021-22 school year. DePaul has over 99 percent of its school population vaccinated, according to health and sciences professor Craig Klugman. 

Chicago is now requiring everyone to show proof of the Covid-19 vaccination when entering restaurants, gyms, bars and entertainment venues. The city has seen a massive increase in cases recently, with Chicago currently averaging over 4,700 new cases every day. 

DePaul reported 13 new Covid-19 cases among faculty, staff and students in the past two weeks. Three weeks ago, however, the university reported 27 cases, the most since September. 

Students were able to return to their dorms on Jan. 2 following winter break. Multiple students have told The DePaulia that they were not asked to show proof of a negative test. 

Klugman told The DePaulia that he doesn’t believe it’s probable that DePaul will extend its two-week virtual learning period. Hansen also told The DePaulia that the university is “committed to in-person learning and we are hopeful that a cautious start to Winter Quarter will allow us to sustain a robust college experience the remainder of the year.”