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.
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.