On Monday, May 17, Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order that provides clarification on updated public health guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday, May 13, and the Bridge Phase, which began in Illinois on Friday, May 14. It is anticipated that additional guidance will be received as the state approaches Phase 5, which may begin as soon as June 11.
The University is following the Executive Order as well as guidance provided by the state regarding the Bridge Phase; therefore, the following changes in the University’s coronavirus approach are effective immediately:
- Fully Vaccinated Individuals: Face coverings and physical distancing are not required indoors or outdoors for fully vaccinated individuals. Exceptions to this guidance include healthcare settings and public transportation.
An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and 14 days after the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
- NOT Fully Vaccinated Individuals: Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a face covering when unable to maintain the six-foot physical distancing requirement both indoors and outdoors. Consistent with the State’s approach, enforcement of vaccine compliance is a personal responsibility.
It is imperative that all members of the Illinois State community remain committed to the health and safety of our Redbird community by continuing to follow all public health guidance and be supportive of individual choices pertaining to one’s health. It is each individual’s responsibility to follow all public health guidance. Supervisors and employees should not ask their employees and coworkers whether they have been vaccinated.
Although the update to public health guidance is very encouraging, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over. The University strongly encourages all eligible members of the campus community to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which is safe, effective, and now widely available to anyone 12 and older.
In regard to updated public health guidance, the CDC stated the following, “Currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Additionally, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others.” In addition, “Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection is minimal for fully vaccinated people. The risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from fully vaccinated people to unvaccinated people is also reduced.”
Students who were vaccinated at an off-campus location should update their health history with Student Health Services (SHS) to indicate receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine. Students who received the vaccine at an on-campus clinic do not need to update their vaccine history with SHS. It is anticipated that vaccinated students will be exempt from COVID-19 testing requirements for the fall term.
As the University, state, and nation transition to more relaxed public health protocols, Illinois State University supports individuals who choose to continue wearing a face covering and practice physical distancing as much as reasonably possible, regardless of their vaccination status. It is important to note that some individuals cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to health reasons or other factors.
The University will continue to follow all public health guidance and make adjustments accordingly as Illinois transitions to Phase 5 and as the University moves closer to the 2021-22 academic year.