This message provides an update on the Fall 2021 Illinois State University health and safety standards applicable to the University community for students, faculty, and staff.  

These health and safety standards are subject to change and are adopted as a part of the University’s COVID-19 prevention and mitigation strategies as recommended by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   

For the most up-to-date information about the University’s approach to COVID-19, email or visit the Coronavirus website.   

COVID-19 Testing Reminder  

Students, faculty, and staff who are on campus and who have not provided Student Health Services (SHS) with evidence of vaccination are required to participate in weekly on-campus, saliva-based, COVID-19 testing provided by SHIELD Illinois. Students and employees will be contacted by the University if not in compliance. 

Individuals must do one of the following to be in compliance with the vaccination requirement and be exempt from weekly testing:  

  • Upload your COVID-19 vaccination record to the Patient Health Portal as soon as possible.  
  • Upload proof of a positive COVID-19 test taken between 90 and 10 days of submitting your results to the Patient Health Portal. (Following the CDC advice for those who test positive to refrain from retesting for 90 days to avoid false-positive tests). 

Individuals who are not in compliance with the testing requirement implemented as part of the University’s health and safety standards are subject to the appropriate discipline process which could include sanctions up to and including suspension and/or dismissal/discharge/termination.  

Learn more about SHIELD COVID-19 testing and testing locations.   

Students in need of an accommodation may contact Student Access and Accommodation Services. Employees in need of an accommodation may contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.     

Redbirds in the Know:  COVID-19 and the Delta variant 

Four biologists from Illinois State University’s School of Biological Sciences offered insights to a few frequently asked questions on the Delta variant, breakthrough infections, virus transmission, and vaccine timing. 

“Thousands of scientists and healthcare professionals around the world are studying both SARS-CoV-2 [the coronavirus] and the vaccines,” said Professor of Immunology Laura A. Vogel. “With the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, we see the global focus is back on prevention.” Vogel’s research centers on the immune system and how white blood cells protect against infection. 

Joining Vogel in answering questions are three fellow biological sciences professors who study and lead labs in infectious disease and microbiology. Associate Professor Ben M. Sadd oversees the Infectious Disease Ecology Lab at Illinois State. Associate Professor of Microbiology Wade Nichols studies the genetics of microbial pathogenesis. Assistant Professor of Microbiology Jan-Ulrik Dahl’s research explores how bacteria respond to changes in their environment on organismal and molecular levels.    

Read the article. 

Questions? Learn more by reading these articles:

Vaccination Requirement  

Students, faculty, and staff who are taking courses and/or working on campus and/or property owned or controlled by the University, are required to provide evidence of receiving an approved COVID-19 vaccination to Student Health Services (SHS).  See the information above regarding how to be in compliance with the vaccination requirement and be exempt from weekly testing. 

The University is accepting vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by either the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO).  

Students with questions about vaccine safety and effectiveness are encouraged to ask questions of Student Health Services. Employees should reach out to their healthcare provider or local pharmacists who are providing the vaccine.   

Find vaccination sites.   

Submitting Vaccination Records   

  • Students and employees should submit their vaccination records as soon as possible to the secure Patient Health Portal by uploading an image of your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or a COVID-19 immunization record provided by a healthcare provider. The same process can be followed for submitting positive COVID-19 test results.  Student Health Services is required to follow all confidentiality rules and regulations regarding medical information.    
  • Students who were vaccinated at an on-campus clinic already have a COVID-19 vaccination record on file with SHS and do not need to upload a COVID-19 vaccine record. However, employees who were vaccinated at an on-campus vaccination clinic are encouraged to login to the secure Patient Health Portal to ensure that their record is on file.  If the record is not on file, employees should upload a copy of their record.  If the employee is unable to upload the document, the employee can bring the record to Human Resources for assistance in uploading.     
  • Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.     
  • Student Health Services verifies immunization records as they are received using information provided in governmental immunization databases.