Illinois college boards suggest schools require vaccination – NBC Chicago


On Monday, two state agencies that oversee higher education in Illinois urged colleges and universities to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students heading to campuses this fall.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board made the recommendation, which they say follows guidelines recently released by the Centers for Disease Control. State agencies say the guidance will help ease the safe transition to campus, as more students return to in-person learning.

The watchdog agency’s recommendation came the same day a federal judge ruled that Indiana University can require its students and employees to get vaccinated before returning to campus for fall school. Students who do not comply will have their registration canceled and workers who do not will lose their jobs.

U.S. District Judge Damon Leichty in South Bend rejected a request by eight IU students who sought to block the requirement while pursuing a lawsuit claiming university policy violated their constitutional rights by forcing them to receive unwanted medical treatment.

“We know a lot has been difficult during the pandemic,” said IBHE Executive Director Ginger Ostro. “Students need to be confident that campuses will be safe when they return and know that there are resources available to help them.”

Some Illinois schools have already decreed that their students must be vaccinated to return to campus. Among them, the three campuses of the University of Illinois and Northwestern, DePaul and Loyola universities.

Other schools, including Illinois State University, Eastern Illinois University, and Southern Illinois University, strongly encouraged but did not require students to be vaccinated.

Lynn Whalen, communications manager at Lincoln Land Community College, told the Springfield State Journal-Register that LLCC school “strongly encourages” vaccination among its students, faculty and staff, including offering vaccination clinics on campus and educational resources regarding the vaccine.

“In addition, we will continue to offer rapid tests,” said Whalen. “All faculty, staff and students go through a selection process before coming to campus. Those who have not completed the vaccination process are required to wear masks at all LLCC facilities. “

ICCB Executive Director Brian Durham said the guidelines released on Monday allow community colleges to be flexible in considering the local context. He added that this allows colleges to fully reopen while making the safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff a priority.

The IBHE and ICCB have encouraged schools to continue testing COVID-19 on unvaccinated people and they should continue to promote and facilitate healthy behaviors such as hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. .

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