By HOI ABC
NORMAL – All students, faculty, and staff at Illinois State University are receiving KN95 masks at no cost to them, but it’s costing the school $23,000, a university spokesperson said Thursday.
ISU is paying that amount for industrial supply company Grainger to quickly deliver 25,000 KN95s, said university spokesperson Eric Jome.
He said ISU is receiving 25,000 more of the KN95s from the state government at no cost to the university.
Jome said ISU started distributing higher-quality masks on Tuesday to almost 20,000 students and about 3,500 employees.
The masks are being handed out across campus in packs of two before students return to in-person learning for the first time since the the holiday break. Classes were held virtually the first two weeks to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.
Administrators said recent data show KN95 masks provide a “heightened degree of protection.