GSU is operating at Public Health Precaution Level – YELLOW until further notice. Please read the AY23 Operating Plan for details.

Announcements

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*UPDATE* Mask Mandate Policies at GSU (2/28/22)

Dear GSU Community,

The University Operating Plan for campus operations during the Covid-19 pandemic has developed guidelines for returning to campus consistent with CDC guidelines for campuses in which the vaccination rate is not 100%.

On February 25, 2022, the CDC announced changes to masking guidelines that encourage communities to take into account the Covid-19 infection rate for their communities when making decisions on removing masking mandates. Due to the recent changes in CDC masking guidance, and upon consultation with the Campus Covid Colleagues Team, the Emergency Response Team, and input from the UPI leadership, GSU announces the following changes to the spring operating plan regarding masking:

  • • Masks, which cover the nose and mouth, will still be required in instructional spaces during in-person classes and passing periods.

  • • Masks, which cover the nose and mouth, will still be required in Health and Wellness Center and COVID-19 testing sites.

  • • Masks, which cover the nose and mouth, will still be required in spaces governed by the federal mandate. For example, the campus shuttle and Metra Trains, buses, etc…

  • • Campus labs will still require face coverings consistent with all safety protocols that govern the operation of laboratories.

  • • Masks will still be required for employees and/or students meeting in office spaces, except by specific agreement between those in attendance.

  • • Students in clinical and field sites will be required to follow the masking guidelines of the assigned clinical/field site.

  • • Employees working in shared workspaces, where social distancing is not possible, are expected to wear a mask.

  • • Some university events may still require face coverings as dictated in performer contracts. Requirements are posted in the CPA webpage.

  • • Masks will no longer be required in open areas and in the cafeteria.

  • • Masking in the residence halls is no longer required in open areas. Individuals should respect the rights of any student to wear a mask and request that you mask up if entering their room.

  • • Posted signage at entrances to campus buildings illustrates proper usage of PPE.

  • • Masks will be provided through campus offices and upon request to ERT@govst.edu.

  • • Classrooms sanitization processes will continue as identified in the current Operating Plan.

  • Proof of a negative Covid-19 test or COVID-19 vaccination will remain in place.

As we have done throughout the pandemic, the number of positive cases reported to GSU will be posted in the campus dashboard. Should positive cases increase to levels that cause imminent threat to the health and safety of our campus, these changes to the PPE guidelines, are subject to change. Should the number of reported cases continue to decline, especially after spring break, a decision will be made regarding the need to continue with masking inside classrooms and enclosed shared workspaces.

GSU understands that reactions to changes in Covid-19 masking mandates will be welcome by some and disconcerting to others. We support those of you that decide to continue to wear a mask and ask that all put first the health and safety of every member of the GSU community.

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Return to Campus COVID-19 Protocols – Students (1/10/22)

As the Governors State community prepares for the spring 2022 semester, which begins on January 18, the university reminds all Jaguars new and returning to campus and to Prairie Place to review COVID-19 safety measures the university has enacted to keep employees and students safe and healthy. All students have received direct and personalized communications via Governors State email with all return-to-campus protocols, as well as consequences for noncompliance. Please direct any specific questions to the registrar@govst.edu.

As general reminders:

  • 1. All GSU students are required by the state of Illinois to be vaccinated or show proof of negative COVID-19 status, weekly. Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to take a test within 72 hours of returning to campus and upload the test results to Medproctor.com. Learn more about how to stay in compliance by visiting our website or reviewing your student email.

  • 2. Booster shots are encouraged and available in the immediate areas surrounding campus.

  • 3. Students are encouraged to screen for COVID-19 by taking a free SHIELD test, conveniently offered to all GSU students, faculty, and staff on campus at the COVID-19 testing trailer along University Parkway. Visit the COVID-19 site to learn more about how to register for the test.

  • 4. Prairie Place residents must meet a specific protocol for COVID-19 safety. Residents, please check your GSU email for more information. Questions regarding compliance for housing can be directed to housing@govst.edu.

  • 5. All students should update their emergency contact information in the MyGSU portal to remain informed of late starts and emergency closures. Also, students are encouraged to frequently check the COVID-19 page at govst.edu/covid-19 website and our social media platforms for updates, as well.

  • 6. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, is required to wear a mask indoors and social distance on campus.
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COVID-19 Vaccination Status Update for Students (1/10/22)

As you prepare to begin your classes in January for the Spring 2022 semester, it is important for you to be in compliance with a State of Illinois mandate concerning mandatory vaccination for COVID-19, and the University’s mandatory Interim Policy for Students and Employees on COVID-19. We invite you to learn more about both, as well as view FAQs about them, on theses page.

All students regardless of vaccination status are strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours before returning to campus and upload their results to MedProctor.com.

The vaccination mandate does not apply to students who attend class exclusively remotely; however, those students may not attend campus events or use campus amenities without complying with the vaccine mandate. If you wish to change your enrollment to exclusively remote classes, please consult your academic advisor as soon as possible.

Also, exemptions to the vaccine mandate are available to those who cannot be vaccinated due to medical or religious reasons; students seeking such an exemption should contact the Office of the Registrar. However, students who obtain such an exemption still must comply with the mandatory weekly testing requirements set forth below. Detailed instructions are provided below, but a summary of the mandate is provided here:

  • • Students shall submit proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 via MedProctor as soon as possible, and are expected to be fully vaccinated no later than March 17. “Fully vaccinated” means that two weeks have passed since the final COVID-19 vaccine dose required was administered.

  • • To demonstrate proof of full vaccination, each student is required to upload an image of their COVID-19 vaccination card to MedProctor. A student will not be considered “fully vaccinated” until two weeks have passed since their last required shot (i.e., two weeks after the single dose of a one-dose vaccine or two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine).

  • • Until a student submits proof of full vaccination, the student must take a mandatory COVID-19 test weekly and submit proof of a negative test result weekly.

  • • Free testing is available on campus; on-campus test results will be delivered directly to the University.

  • • If a student chooses to test off campus, the student must upload the negative test result weekly via MedProctor. The University is not responsible for the cost of off-campus testing.

If you have lost your COVID-19 card, The Illinois Department of Public Health immunization portal will allow residents to access their COVID-19 vaccination record online.

Failure to follow the required safety procedures, including the posted procedures for COVID 19, or failure to comply with University guidance regarding COVID-19 safety procedures, are violations of the Student Code of Conduct (Policy 4 Student Conduct Policy) and may subject students to disciplinary action which may include removal from a class and removal from campus. Students are required to self-report a diagnosis of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing) by using the COVID-19 Reporting Form found on the COVID-19 webpage. Students are also responsible for notifying their instructors of their absence, by completing the Student Absence Notification to Faculty form so that appropriate course completion arrangements can be made.

1. COVID-19 Vaccination

Submit your vaccination record online:

Take a clear picture or scan of your official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card and upload it to your MedProctor account. Those who are only partially vaccinated will need to upload another image of their vaccination card after receiving the second dose, if required. NOTE: Use your GSU email when registering.

Students must have received their first dose of their chosen vaccination by February 1, 2022. For those receiving a two-dose vaccine, they must have completed the full dosing requirements within thirty days of the date of the first dose. For example, a student who received the first dose on February 1 must receive a second dose by March 3. Such a student will be considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after the second dose, or by March 17. Those who are not fully vaccinated must participate in mandatory weekly testing until fully vaccinated. Details on testing are found in item #2 below.

Need Help Finding a Vaccination Site?

COVID-19 Vaccinations are available state-wide, by appointment and walk-in. Find a vaccination site near you.

2. Mandatory Weekly COVID-19 Testing

Anyone who has not submitted proof of full vaccination via step one above, including those granted an exemption due to health or religious reasons, is required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test on a weekly basis. Students may test for free on campus and their test results will be delivered directly to the University. Those wishing to test off campus must submit their test results via MedProctor. Testing compliance is measured on a weekly basis, measured from Sunday to Saturday. Thus, students who are not fully vaccinated must submit proof of their first negative COVID-19 test by Saturday, January 22, reflecting the results of a test taken within the past seven (7) days.

A student who does not submit a negative test result for any given week will receive a written notification of that missed test by the following Friday. Such a student will have until the following Tuesday to submit proof that a test was taken during the week in question.

3. Non-Compliance Student for COVID-19 Protocols

If the student does not submit proof vaccine or test weekly, the University will take the following steps to ensure compliance. Each “offense” means the failure to demonstrate proof that a test was taken on a weekly basis. If a student fails to test two weeks in a row, for example, such student will receive both a warning letter for the first offense, and a $25 fine and be placed on compliance probation for the second offense.

Interventions

First Offense: Warning Letter

Second Offense: $25 fine and compliance probation

Third Offense: $25 fine and account holds (registration and grades)

Appeals

Appeals of any intervention must be submitted by email to provost@govst.edu within two (2) business days of the intervention issue date.

SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 Testing

Governors State offers weekly SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 testing at NO COST TO EMPLOYEES AND STUDENTS. Test administrators will be available during the following days and times below. Please note, administrators will only be available in the Hall of Honors on Mondays.

  • • On campus test dates and times can be found below

To get registered for the test, individuals should create an account on the MySHIELD portal and schedule their test appointment. Please visit the SHIELD Illinois portal website and:

  • • Click on “Sign up for an Account”
  • • Enter the Agency Code: 6b6d61wa
  • • Follow the prompts to create your portal account

On the day of testing, please bring a photo ID and the QR code provided when you scheduled your appointment. To ensure the highest quality samples, individuals should not eat, drink (including water), chew gum, smoke, or use tobacco products for 60 minutes before providing a saliva sample.

SHIELD COVID-19 Test Results

For students who test on-campus with SHIELD, results will be automatically reported to the University. In order to use on-campus testing, students must agree to submit their test results to the University electronically by submitting the GSU COVID-19 Testing Consent Form. We recommend filling out this form before your first test appointment online in your myGSU student portal. Forms will be available to complete in person at the testing site. Once the consent form is submitted, there are no additional actions you need to take to submit your weekly test results. You need only submit the consent form one time and it will apply to all future tests taken on campus.

Off-Campus COVID-19 Test Results

If you are testing off-campus and have received your test results, upload them to your MedProctor account. NOTE: Use your GSU email when registering with MedProctor.

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Dr. Green’s Announcement Regarding COVID-19 Compliance Policy (10/14/21)

October 14, 2021

Dear GSU Community,

I am writing with an important update regarding the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please take a moment to read this message carefully.

As I announced in August, Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order requiring all University students and employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, with certain exceptions. Those who do not provide proof of full vaccination to the University are required to submit proof of a weekly COVID-19 negative test result, unless they learn or work fully remotely. A copy of the Governor’s most recent Executive Order on this topic can be found here.

In order to ensure compliance with the Executive Order and provide further guidance to the campus community, I have signed the attached Interim Policy, which applies to students and employees alike and is effective immediately. To illustrate the Interim Policy, the University also has developed the attached decision tree to help guide students and employees on how to comply. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) are also available on the University’s COVID-19 webpage and can be found here.

I am extraordinarily proud of the efforts the University has undertaken in response to the pandemic. As new challenges arise, we continue to rise to meet them. Thus far, the University has provided 1,900 COVID-19 shots at our on-campus vaccination clinics. And, thanks to the leadership of Dean Catherine Balthazar, we have significantly expanded the availability of on-campus COVID-19 testing from two days per week to six days per week. The University is engaged in countless other measures to enhance the community’s safety, which I encourage you to read about in the updated Academic Year 2021-22 Operating Plan, which you can find here.

The University has been hard at work providing a comprehensive response to the pandemic. But each individual on this campus has a role to play as well. We must continue to mask. We must continue to socially distance where appropriate. And we must get vaccinated if we are able to do so. There simply is no more effective protection against COVID-19 than getting vaccinated. Please, do your part. Get vaccinated.

If you have any questions regarding the Interim Policy, please direct them to:

Corey Williams, Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs at deanofstudents@govst.edu, if you are a student

or

Jose De La Paz, Director of Human Resources, at jdelapaz@govst.edu, if you are an employee.

Respectfully,

Cheryl Green, Ph.D.
President

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Dr. Green’s Announcement Regarding Governor Pritzker's Executive Order: Mandatory COVID Vaccination (8/26/21)

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 Updated 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

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GSU’s Response to Gov. Pritzker’s Executive Order (8/26/21)

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 Summer 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.

Moving forward, GSU is utilizing Public Health Precaution Levels as the framework for campus operations. This provides a multi-layered approach to minimize the spread of Covid-19 and is guided by the IDPH and CDC tracking of Covid-19 Community Levels. Please refer to the GSU AY23 Operating Plan for details on the current Public Health Precaution Level.

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.


Reminders:

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