Saying Illinois is “moving toward living with” coronavirus, Gov. JB Pritzker announced a series of changes to state protocols for colleges, medical facilities and more.
That list of changes includes elimination of vaccine mandates, changes to COVID testing policies for unvaccinated employees, and several other tweaks to rules enacted during the pandemic.
Pritzker says that the changes have already begun to be phased in, but his administration announced a series of additional steps on Wednesday.
“As we continue to move toward living with this virus, my administration will relax some requirements while continuing to protect the most vulnerable and ensuring we can get every federal dollar our residents are eligible to receive,” the governor said in a statement.
Here are the main highlights from that list:
Eliminating COVID Vaccine Requirements for College Students, Faculty
College students and faculty will no longer be required by state mandate to receive COVID vaccinations, Pritzker said.
Several Illinois universities, including DePaul and the University of Chicago, say they are still evaluating their policies, and will announce changes prior to the resumption of classes.
Changed Testing Requirements for Unvaccinated Workers at Long-Term Care Facilities
Current policy requires weekly testing of unvaccinated health care staff at long-term care facilities.
Under the new requirements, long-term care facilities “with the most vulnerable residents” will test staff weekly only if they are located in areas that are seeing “moderate community level transmission” of the virus.
If a facility in an area that is seeing “high community level transmission” of COVID, then unvaccinated staff will be required to test twice a week.
The governor says that unvaccinated staff at hospitals and other health care facilities that are certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be required to test only if they’re located in “high community level transmission” areas.
-Transfers of inmates from jails to prisons, altered during the pandemic, have been fully restored.
– Oversight of hospitals to return to non-emergency status
Select mitigations that will remain in place
-Vaccination mandates remain for faculty in K-12 schools, daycares, and state-run congregate care facilities
– Mandates also remain in effect for facilities not currently covered under the federal CMS vaccine mandate