These FAQs are intended to answer common questions that have arisen regarding Governor Pritzker’s testing and vaccination mandates for Illinois institutions of higher education. Oftentimes, the FAQs simplify complex concepts contained in the executive order for ease of use by the majority of individuals. Individuals with particular concerns, including those who have a disability or a sincerely held religious belief or are learning/working exclusively remotely, are encouraged to read the executive order themselves or request specific guidance from the Office of the Dean of Students or Human Resources Department, depending on whether they are a student or employee, as needed.

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Vaccination Questions

Am I required to get vaccinated for COVID-19?

Yes, with limited exceptions. The Executive Order requires, with limited exceptions, that all students and employees get vaccinated against COVID-19. It requires students and 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.

If you are not vaccinated by September 19, 2021, you will be required to get tested for COVID-19 once per week until you are vaccinated.

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. Students who wish to seek an exemption should contact The Office of the Registrar. Employees 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 students and employees who learn or work fully remote. However, such persons 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.

Why am I required to get vaccinated or participate in testing?

On August 26, 2021, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an Executive Order requiring University students and employees participate in weekly testing until they submitted proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. 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.

The Governor’s Executive Order advises that “increasing vaccination rates in schools is the strongest protective measure against COVID-19 available and, together with masking and regular testing, is vital to providing in-person instruction in as safe a manner as possible . . . .”

I have a medical or religious exemption from vaccination; what do I need to do?

Students who qualify for a medical or religious exemption, upload an exemption letter to MedProctor.com For a medical exemption, the letter must be signed by your medical provider. For a religious exemption, the letter must be at least a paragraph in length, typed in letter format, and hand-signed by the student. Students who qualify for a medical or religious exemption from vaccination must participate in weekly testing.

Employees should submit a medical or religious exemption form to hr@govst.edu. These forms are available on the employee portal.

Am I required to get vaccinated or participate in weekly testing if I am a fully remote employee or online student?

Students and employees who are enrolled in coursework exclusively remotely (online) or who work exclusively remotely and do not come to campus for any reason are not required to provide proof of vaccination or participate in weekly testing.

Employees who work exclusively remotely and do not come to campus for any reason are not required to provide proof of vaccination or participate in weekly testing.

How or where can I get vaccinated?

Free vaccination sites are listed at vaccines.gov.

Which vaccines does GSU accept?

GSU is following the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance and will accept all vaccines currently authorized for emergency use, licensed, or authorized approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including:

  • a. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • b. Moderna
  • c. Pfizer/BioNTech  (received full FDA approval on 8-23-21)

How do I submit proof of vaccination?

Students must submit proof of vaccination via MedProctor using the following instructions:

  • a. Visit www.medproctor.com.
  • b. Click "register" and create an account using your GSU email address.
  • c. Upload an image of the vaccination record. Select “Submit your health forms for free without the upgrade.”
  • d. Save a copy of the confirmation e-mail for your records.

A video tutorial can be found at: www.govst.edu/immunizations. If you have questions, MedProctor is available 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. CT via live chat at support.medproctor.com. You may also email help@medproctor.com.

Employees may upload their documents in MedProctor or bring them to Human Resources and from 8:30 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. Employees may submit proof of vaccination via MedProctor using the following instructions:

  • a. Visit www.medproctor.com.
  • b. Click "register" and create a free account using your GSU work email address.
  • c. Upload an image of the vaccination record. Select “Submit your health forms for free without the upgrade.”
  • d. Save a copy of the confirmation e-mail for your records.

Individuals who are both students and employees are asked to create two, free MedProctor accounts and to upload their vaccination record using both their student email address as a log in for one account and their employee email address for a log in for the second account.

I am uncomfortable sharing information regarding vaccination to MedProctor, is there another option?

If you are a student, MedProctor is the only acceptable method. GSU uses MedProctor to collect all Illinois-required student immunization records. If you are a current student, you have already used this platform.

If you are an employee, MedProctor is an acceptable method. Employees are also welcome to bring your documentation to Human Resources.

When is the deadline to submit proof of vaccination?

Sunday, September 19, 2021 for the first dose and Tuesday, October 19. 2021 for the second dose. Individuals who have not submitted proof of vaccination by this day will be required to participate in weekly testing beginning the week of September 19, 2019

What should I do if I cannot find my vaccination card?

If you have lost your vaccination card or do not have a copy, contact your vaccination provider directly to access your vaccination record. If you cannot contact your vaccination provider, contact your state health department’s immunization information system (IIS). You can find state IIS information on the CDC website. Vaccination providers are required to report COVID-19 vaccinations to their IIS and related systems.

Testing Questions

Who is not required to get tested?

If you’re fully vaccinated, you’re not required to get tested.

Students who are enrolled in coursework exclusively remotely and do not come to campus for any reason are not required to provide proof of vaccination or participate in weekly testing.

Employees who work exclusively remotely and do not come to campus for any reason are not required to provide proof of vaccination or participate in weekly testing.

Who is required to get tested?

Students who are enrolled in face to face classes and/or come to campus for any reason and are not fully vaccinated by Sunday, September 19, 2021. This includes students who qualify for a medical or religious exemption from vaccination.

Employees are required to either provide proof of vaccination or complete weekly testing. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated by October 4, 2021, must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test result on a weekly basis to the university until they become fully vaccinated. There are no exemptions to the testing requirement.

What does it mean to be “fully vaccinated?”

According to the CDC, individuals are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson.

When does the weekly testing requirement begin?

The first COVID-19 test result must be uploaded by September 26, 2021. The test result must relate to a test taken on or after September 19, 2021. Every seven-day period after that, you must submit proof of a test result taken within that seven-day time frame until you demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated.

Can I get tested on campus?

GSU offers weekly SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 testing at no cost students in the Hall of Honors to schedule an appointment, visit the SHIELD Illinois portal website and click “Sign up for an Account” using the Agency Code: 9i508lu5.

What if I miss my scheduled appointment? What should I do?

Please reschedule your appointment during that week’s testing period.

Why am I being asked to sign a consent form allowing GSU to access my test results for on-campus testing?

The executive order requires that those who are not fully vaccinated provide proof of a weekly negative testing result. A secure method for GSU to obtain proof of a negative test result is directly from U of I Shield for those who take the U of I Shield test on campus. Therefore, on-campus testers will be required to sign a consent form allowing U of I Shield to share test results directly with GSU so that GSU can monitor compliance with the executive order.

Unfortunately, there is no way for U of I Shield to separate test results for us based on whether the tester provided consent or not. Therefore, everyone who tests on campus will be required to provide a consent. If you do not wish to provide a consent, you may test off campus and decide whether to share those results with the university. Those who do not provide proof of a weekly, negative test result will be out of compliance with the executive order.

To provide consent, students and employees must log into their myGSU accounts and fill out the "GSU COVID-19 Testing Consent Form" listed under "COVID-19 Updates and Resources" on the portal dashboard.

What is the SHIELD test?

The FDA Emergency Use Authorization approved the SHIELD COVID test that was developed by researchers at the University of Illinois. It is a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test detecting RNA from the SAR-CoV-2 virus in saliva and is also considered a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). The test is self-administered and non-invasive. After checking in with a collection site staff member, a patient receives a small vial and to deposit a small amount of saliva into using a funnel. The patient then caps the vial, places it in a collection rack, and exits the collection site.

How quickly will I receive my results?

SHIELD test results are typically available within 24 hours.

What should I do if I test positive?

If you test positive and are instructed to isolate by a medical provider or county health department, complete the online reporting form. Students who reside in Prairie Place must isolate in their residence hall room. University Housing will provide additional instructions/support for these students and their roommates. Roommates will be required to quarantine.

Employees who test positive should not come to campus. They should advise their supervisor that they will be absent from work due to illness. You may be eligible for COVID-related payroll benefits and should consult with HR. You are asked to complete the online reporting form as well. Employees should not return to work until they obtain medical clearance from their health care provider.

Can I get tested off campus?

Yes, you may choose to get tested off campus at a pharmacy, healthcare provider’s office, or a community-based testing site. Rapid (antigen) and self-administered over the counter tests are not acceptable.

Test results from off-campus test sites may be submitted to the University via MedProctor.com for both students and employees using the same user accounts created for submission of vaccination records. Also, employees may bring their test results to the Human Resources Department to be scanned and stored securely.

How do I upload a copy of my off campus test result?

Students may submit proof of an off campus test via MedProctor using the following instructions:

  • a. Visit www.medproctor.com.
  • b. Click "register" and create an account using your GSU email address.
  • c. Upload an image of the vaccination record. Select “Submit your health forms for free without the upgrade.”
  • d. Save a copy of the confirmation e-mail for your records.

A video tutorial can be found at: www.govst.edu/immunizations. If you have questions, MedProctor is available 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. CT via live chat at support.medproctor.com. You may also email help@medproctor.com.

Employees may upload their documents in MedProctor or bring them to Human Resources. Employees may submit proof of vaccination via MedProctor using the following instructions:

  • a. Visit www.medproctor.com.
  • b. Click "register" and create an account using your GSU email address.
  • c. Upload an image of the vaccination record. Select “Submit your health forms for free without the upgrade.”
  • d. Save a copy of the confirmation e-mail for your records.