Illinois lifts vaccine mandate for college students, employees | National News | #College. | #Students

With the start of a new school year just weeks away, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has eased COVID-19 mandates for college students and employees.

On Wednesday, Pritzker announced new guidelines for testing and vaccine mandates for several professions, including education and health care.

“Vaccine mandates for higher education employees and students and emergency medical service providers will not be renewed,” Pritzker’s office said in a statement. “Vaccination mandates will remain in place in K-12 schools, daycares, state-run 24/7 congregate care facilities, and any health care facilities not covered under the federal CMS vaccine mandate (including independent doctors’ offices, dental offices, urgent care facilities, and outpatient facilities).”

Though the state mandate has been lifted, colleges and universities around Illinois are taking different approaches moving forward.

South Suburban College in South Holland said in a news release that it’s dropping its vaccination mandate. No updates on vaccine requirements appear on the websites for Prairie State College in Chicago Heights or Governors State University in University Park.

The Chicago Tribune reported Northwestern University will continue its vaccination mandate, while Northern Illinois University has dropped its mandate. 

WGLT radio in Bloomington-Normal reported Illinois State University has eliminated its vaccination mandate, while Illinois Wesleyan University will retain a mandate for students but not for faculty and staff.

“We continue to remind everyone in Illinois that the most important step they can take to protect themselves, their loved ones and friends and colleagues is to remain up-to-date on vaccinations and booster shots,” Acting Illinois Department of Public Health Director Amaal Tokars said in a news release. “This is especially important for those who are vulnerable to serious outcomes. We urge everyone to take advantage of the current availability of vaccines for the sake of their children, as well as getting up-to-date as a parent, guardian or grandparent.”

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