CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WTVO) — It is only one week into the school year, and Illinois’ largest university has said that it might have to bring back masking.

The positivity rate in nearing 15% at the University of Illinois. The chancellor is now strongly recommending everyone to wear a mask in class. The health center director believes that the increase in cases is similar to what has been seen as classes started in the past couple of years, but admitted this year’s data is a bit skewed due to testing not being as widely available as it was back then.

He said that comes with the move into the endemic phase of COVID-19 response, where people are learning to live with a virus, rather than it disrupting society.

“If in the next few weeks, it seems, looks like we are on a downward trajectory, we are moving away from the most critical risk, then the recommendation may come back is that you can relax at this time,” said U of I health center director Awais Vaid. “But for the next four weeks, it’s very important that everybody has their guards up.”

Northern Illinois University does not require masks, but the school said that faculty members can require them to be worn in their teaching spaces. Rockford University said that anyone is free to wear a mask at any time, and Rock Valley College did not mention masks at its last COVID update.