Among Pritzker's revised COVID-19 rules, vaccinations no longer required at colleges

  • The state is revising some COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandates.

    The state is revising some COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandates. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Updated 7/13/2022 6:07 PM

Gov. J.B. Pritkzer announced updates to COVID-19 requirements Wednesday that include lifting a mandate on vaccinations at colleges and universities.

The new executive order signed Tuesday primarily focuses on testing and vaccination policies in educational and health care settings.

 

One significant change is that COVID-19 vaccine mandates put in place in 2021 will be dropped for employees and students at colleges or universities. The mandate is also lifted for emergency medical service providers.

But COVID-19 vaccines still are required for workers at K-12 schools, day cares, state congregate care facilities such as group homes, and other health care facilities not covered by federal regulations such as dental offices.

"As we continue to move toward living with this virus, my administration will relax some requirements while continuing to protect the most vulnerable and ensuring we can get every federal dollar our residents are eligible to receive," Pritzker said in a statement.

Other revisions focused on COVID-19 testing requirements.

Previously, unvaccinated health care workers had to undergo COVID-19 tests at least once a week. That now increases to twice-weekly tests for staff members who are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines at long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, in areas with substantial or high virus transmission.

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Weekly tests remain the rule in areas with moderate transmission.

And at hospitals and other health care facilities certified by the state, unvaccinated staff members are required to test only weekly in regions with high transmission rates.

"I continue to urge all Illinoisans to make sure they're up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the most at-risk populations and those unable to be vaccinated are protected from the serious side effects of this disease," Pritzker said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control defines "up to date" as having all the recommended vaccines, including a booster shot five months after the original dose or doses for adults up to age 49. A second booster shot is recommended for people 50 and older four months after the initial one.

Transmission levels are based on CDC guidelines.

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