December 23, 2021
Dear GSU Colleagues:
Greetings! Please read this email carefully, as it contains
important new safety information regarding return to work plans following
First, we would like to congratulate and extend our gratitude to
those employees (84%) who have done their part to keep our community safe to
date by getting vaccinated. As we plan for break, we
expect many employees will enjoy the University holidays and administrative
closure from December 24 to January 3, 2022 by gathering with friends and
family, and perhaps even traveling among crowds to see loved ones.
Because we wish for all employees to be able to engage in
cherished traditions while maintaining the health and safety of the campus
community, we have adopted new protocols for employees to minimize the spread
of COVID-19 upon our return. Students will receive separate messaging specific
to their enrollment status, which likewise will convey the importance of
voluntary surveillance testing and other mitigation strategies.
To minimize the risk of a surge in cases after Winter Break, the
University is urging all employees and students to take additional precautions
not currently required by the University’s Interim
Policy for Students and Employees on COVID. These voluntary measures will
help protect the individual as well as the greater campus community and, thus,
all are expected to fulfill their personal responsibility to keeping keep the
community safe by complying to the best of their ability. The University
continues to monitor all public health guidance and may make such precautions
mandatory if recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health and/or
conditions warrant them on a continued basis after Winter Break.
Employees are urged to take the following precautions in addition
to those set forth in the Interim
Policy and Operation Plan.
TAKE A TEST! All employees—including vaccinated employees—are strongly
encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before returning to
campus after Winter Break and upload their results to MedProctor.com (whether positive or
if you are scheduled to return on January 4, 2022, you should test
on or after January 1, 2022;
if you are scheduled to return on January 10, 2022, you should
test on or after January 7, 2022; and
if you are scheduled to return to work on January 18, 2022, you
should test on or after January 15, 2022.
COME BACK IN PHASES! The
University is permitting employees who voluntarily take a COVID-19 test within
72 hours before returning to campus and upload their results to MedProctor.com to return
to campus in phases.
Those employees should return as follows:
On January 4, only employees whose presence on campus is deemed
essential by their supervisors should return to campus. All other employees
should work remotely with their supervisor’s consent during the week of January
On January 10, all administrative and staff employees should
return to work on campus if they have not returned already (or as soon as they
are otherwise scheduled to work on campus ordinarily); and
On January 18, all faculty should return to work on campus.
GET BOOSTED! Vaccination remains
the best way to limit the spread of COVID-19. If you are fully vaccinated and
eligible for a booster, please get a booster shot as soon as possible.
If you choose not to voluntarily
submit proof of a COVID-19 PCR test taken 72 hours before returning to campus
per the above schedule, you should return as regularly scheduled on January 4.
A few important reminders
applicable to all employees from the existing Interim Policy and 2021-2022 Operation
Tests are available for free at a variety of locations in your
community. In addition, the University will continue to offer Shield Testing on
campus to those who are not symptomatic; hours are posted, and appointments are
available at https://www.govst.edu/COVID-19/.
If you test positive or are symptomatic, do not return to work without
written clearance from your physician per the 2021-2022 Operation
Any employee who is not fully vaccinated must continue to adhere
to the mandatory weekly testing requirements set forth in the University’s Interim
Policy regarding COVID-19.
Whenever you plan to return, we also encourage you to use the
University’s online screening tool to assess
your fitness to come to campus each day.
We wish you a peaceful and healthy holiday season and look forward
to welcoming you back in 2022!