Announcements

Dr. Green’s Announcement Regarding Governor Pritzker's Executive Order: Mandatory COVID Vaccination

Read Dr. Green's Announcement

August 26, 2021

Dear Campus Community:

As we turn to the start of a new academic year, I am excited to announce the release of the University’s Academic Year 2021-22 Operating Plan. You will find a copy of the Operating Plan, as well as other critical information, on the University’s COVID-19 webpage. I encourage you to visit this webpage often for updates.

Today, Governor Pritzker announced a new Executive Order, which mandates vaccines for all students and employees of higher education institutions in Illinois. I am pleased that you will find strong alignment between the Governor’s new Executive Order and our Operating Plan. Both the Executive Order and the University’s Operating Plan emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. All students and employees are requested to upload proof of COVID-19 to a secure platform called Med-Proctor.

For those who are unable or unwilling to get vaccinated, both the Executive Order and the University’s Operating Plan require frequent testing. Testing will be provided on campus at no cost. Look for more details to come soon regarding the testing program.

For those who are not yet vaccinated, the University is partnering with Walgreens to offer another free, on-campus vaccination clinic on September 2, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Please visit our COVID-19 webpage for more details. No registration is required.

The University is committed to the health and safety of our campus community. Vaccination and testing are only two elements of the University’s multilayered plan to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, which I encourage you to read about in the Operating Plan.

Cheryl Green, Ph.D.
President


Governor Pritzker Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Higher Education Personnel and Students to Slow Spread of Delta Variant.

For more information regarding Governor Pritzker's announcement, please read the official press release.

Read Press Release

GSU's Response to Gov. Pritzker’s Executive Order

Read GSU's Response

Dear GSU Colleagues,

Please read this communication carefully. It contains important information about Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order requiring higher education personnel to vaccinate against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing until they comply with the vaccination requirement.

Background

On August 26, 2021, Governor Pritzker issued an executive order that applies to Illinois universities, their students, and their employees. It contained requirements regarding masking, as well as requirements regarding vaccination against COVID-19 and testing for COVID-19, which the university is required to follow and to enforce. On September 3, 2021, Governor Pritzker issued a second executive order, similar to the August 26 order, which had the effect of extending deadlines for compliance with the vaccination and testing requirements of the order. You can find copies of both orders on the Governor’s website.

Vaccination Requirements and Exemptions

The Executive Order requires, with limited exceptions, that all personnel get vaccinated against COVID-19. It requires personnel to get the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine by September 19, 2021. For those who choose a two-dose vaccine, they must obtain the second dose within 30 days after the administration of their first dose. In other words, if an employee received their first dose on September 19, 2021, they would be required to receive their second dose by October 19, 2021.

Exemptions to the vaccination requirement exist for those who have a disability or other medical condition that would be adversely affected by vaccination. Exemptions to the vaccination requirement also exist for those who hold a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that would be violated by vaccination. Personnel who wish to seek an exemption should contact Sandra Marak or Jose De La Paz in the Human Resources Department for a confidential consultation.

The Executive Order does not apply to personnel who work fully remote. However, such personnel will not be permitted to come to campus to attend meetings or events or to use amenities such as their work space or library if they do not comply with the Executive Order. Employees who seek to work fully remote should consult with their managers regarding the university’s remote work policy.

Employees are asked to submit proof of vaccination as soon as possible. They can do this in one of two ways:

  • • They can create a free account at MedProctor.com and upload a picture of their vaccination card.

  • • They can come to GSU’s HR Department at any time, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., to have their card scanned and securely stored. Employees who take this step will not have to test weekly.

Testing Requirements for Those Who Do Not Submit Proof of Vaccination

Employees who do not submit proof of vaccination for any reason, including but not limited to having an exemption to vaccination for medical or religious reasons, will be required to test weekly and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. (Fully remote employees are not subject to the Executive Order’s testing requirement.)

Beginning the week of September 19, 2021, personnel who do not submit proof of full vaccination will be required to take a weekly COVID-19 test and submit proof of a negative test result to demonstrate compliance with the Executive Order.

Employees who consent to having their test results shared directly with GSU to demonstrate compliance may opt to test on campus using the U of I Shield test. Employees who do not wish to have their test results shared directly with GSU may test off campus and submit their test results to GSU themselves in order to demonstrate compliance.

Free, on-campus testing is available weekly in the Hall of Honors at the following dates and times:

  • • Tuesdays from 1 – 2:30 p.m.

  • • Thursdays from 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Registration is not required but is strongly encouraged. Information on how to register for a test is available on the university’s COVID-19 webpage. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.

We expect to be able to offer expanded testing capability on campus including the following dates and times next week; an announcement will be made when these dates/times are available for registration.

  • • Thursday, Sept. 23 at 3 – 5 p.m.

  • • Friday, Sept. 24 at 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

  • • Saturday, Sept. 25 at 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

If You Already Have Submitted Proof Of Vaccination

Employees who are fully vaccinated and already have uploaded their vaccine card to MedProctor.com or provided a copy directly to HR do not have to take any further action at this time. Thank you for your cooperation!

How The University Will Enforce The Order

The university’s goal is to ensure compliance with the Executive Order in order to enhance its mitigation efforts against COVID-19. The university will release an interim policy shortly explaining compliance procedures, which will focus on taking an educational approach versus a punitive approach to bring employees into compliance. Human Resources will work with all employees making a good faith effort to comply with the order to ensure that they may continue to work uninterrupted while they take the steps necessary to get into compliance.

Welcome to Fall Semester!

GSU's pandemic operating framework has always been built on science-based guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), and other agencies, and our primary concern continues to be the safety of our community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has assured the public that the vaccines are safe and effective and a critical tool to ending the pandemic.

President Green shared that she and her entire Cabinet have been fully vaccinated, and GSU encourages all members of Jaguar Nation who can safely do so, to get vaccinated. In addition, GSU has contracted with the University of Illinois to offer the U of I saliva-based Shield Test on campus twice per week at no cost to students and employees. The University encourages all members of Jaguar Nation to take advantage of this free testing opportunity, which is less intrusive than the nasal-based swab test and provides results within a day. Efforts to contribute to the health and safety of the entire campus are hallmarks of the GSU community.

Part of the University’s contingency planning includes the release of the Academic Year 2021-2022 Operating Plan

We look forward to more in-person classes, support services, and operations, and members of the University community will continue to work together toward these common goals.


Free COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Will County Community Health Center is offering free COVID-19 vaccinations at several locations.

As a public health strategy, Will County officials recommend households plan to be vaccinated at the same time. Appointments are not required but highly recommended. For additional information on all Will County Health Departments vaccination locations and scheduling, please visit Will County Health.


On Campus SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 Testing

Governors State offers weekly SHIELD Illinois COIVD-19 testing at no cost to employees and students. Test administrators will be available during the following days and times:

  • Monday 3 – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday 1 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Thursday 10 – 11:30 a.m. and 3 – 5 p.m.
  • Friday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To register

  1. Visit the SHIELD Illinois portal website and:

    • • Click on “Sign up for an Account”.
    • • Enter the Agency Code: 9i508lu5
    • • Follow the prompts to create your portal account.

  2. Complete and submit a one-time GSU COVID Testing Consent Form:

    • • Login to your MyGSU portal.
    • • Select “GSU COVID Testing Consent Form” near the top left part of your screen.
    • • Fill in your information and follow the instructions to submit your consent form.
    • • Keep a copy of the consent form that is emailed to you. You may present this at subsequent test appointments to avoid completing the consent again.

  3. On the day of testing

    • • Bring a photo ID and the QR code provided when you scheduled your appointment.
    • • Do not eat, drink (including water), chew gum, smoke, or use tobacco products within 60 minutes of providing a saliva sample. Any food or drink consumed could produce an inconclusive result and require additional testing.

  4. Test results will be posted in the patient portal within 24 hours. You will receive an email notifying you that test results are available for viewing. Login to the patient portal to view your results.

Reminders:

  • Masking indoors is still required, even for those fully vaccinated, including in classrooms, except when alone in a private office or personal residence hall room, or when an individual has a medical condition, disability or other reason that prevents them from safely wearing a face mask.
  • Individuals who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks outdoors on university property.
  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are allowed to unmask outdoors on university property if traveling alone more than 6 feet from others.
  • Scarves, bandanas and gaiters are not an acceptable substitute for a face mask.
  • Regular building hours are as follows:

    • Monday - Friday: 6 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
    • Saturday: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    • Sunday: 12 p.m. - 9 p.m.

    Click here to learn about exceptions for holidays and emergency closures. Faculty, staff, students, and visitors are advised to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for social distancing while on campus.
  • The Cube is open to serve faculty, staff, and students. Please click here for hours of service.
  • The Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park is open to the public from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year.
  • The A building entrance provides access to the closest restrooms during regular campus hours (below). Masks are required to enter the building. Please visit the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park website for more details.
  • Prairie Place Residence Hall is open for the 2021 – 2022 academic year.
  • For more information regarding our response to COVID-19 in specific areas, please visit our following pages:

COVID-19 community updates and resources are available below.


Resources

Local and GSU

State and National

Federal Emergency Grants for Postsecondary Education

COVID-19 Safety Signage

Employee Forms