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EIU COVID-19

Vaccines and Masking

Updated July 1, 2021

Expectations for Fall 2021

Vaccine Champion UniversityEIU expects every student who plans on taking any in-person classes on campus to have received a full COVID-19 vaccination. This expectation also extends to all EIU employees.

Students

Vaccinated

  • Not required to wear masks in most indoor and all outdoor locations. (Masks will still be required for all in a few specific locations, including all classrooms, the Student Health Center, the Shield Covid-testing site on Court 5 of the Student Recreation Center, and on the Panther Shuttle. Based on state guidance physical distancing may be observed in these venues, too.)
  • Not required to observe social distancing protocols. (Physical distancing in classrooms will be determined by CDC and IBHE guidelines and remains subject to change.)
  • Can meet in person with other vaccinated individuals without masking or physical distancing.
  • Will not need to be quarantined if contact-traced to someone who has tested positive (unless symptoms present).
  • Will not need to participate in EIU’s COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program. 

Unvaccinated

  • Can register and attend face-to-face, in-person classes.
  • Are required to wear a mask in all indoor areas except in their on-campus Residence Hall/Greek Court room or University Apartment.
  • Social distancing of six feet continues to be required everywhere indoors and outdoors except inside their on-campus room or apartment.
  • Are not required to wear masks outdoors when physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.
  • Will need to be quarantined if contact-traced to someone who has tested positive.
  • Will need to participate in EIU’s COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program. Like last spring, EIU will use the noninvasive SHIELD saliva testing method.

Employees

Vaccinated

  • Not required to wear masks in most indoor and all outdoor locations. (Masks will still be required for all in a few specific locations, including all classrooms, the Student Health Center, the Shield Covid-testing site on Court 5 of the Student Recreation Center, and on the Panther Shuttle. Based on state guidance physical distancing may be observed in these venues, too.)
  • Not required to observe social distancing protocols.
  • Can meet in person with vaccinated peers in gatherings of any size for campus activities.
  • Will not need to be quarantined if contact-traced to someone who has tested positive (unless symptoms present).

Unvaccinated

  • Required to wear masks indoors at all times except in their individual, private offices, or outdoors when they are unable to maintain a six-foot distance from others.
  • Will need to participate in EIU’s COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program. Like last spring, EIU will use the noninvasive SHIELD saliva testing method.

How will EIU keep track of who is vaccinated?

EIU will be verifying the vaccination status of all its students and employees. Later this month (July 2021), all new and returning students will receive a message that will allow them to verify their vaccination or report that they are not vaccinated due to various factors such as medical, religious, or other.

What happens if I wait to get vaccinated until after classes start, or if I am not yet fully vaccinated?

It’s not a problem. EIU will have free vaccination clinics on campus beginning the week before classes.  Of course if you wait to be vaccinated, you will need to follow university guidelines for unvaccinated students until two weeks after your first vaccination (if Johnson & Johnson vaccine) or second vaccination (if Moderna or Pfizer vaccine). 


Updated June 15, 2021 | Printable Masking Flyer/Poster

State of Illinois Phase 5 guidelines were officially enacted across the State beginning Friday, June 11, 2021 — a move supported by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). 

As a response to entering Phase 5, and guided by the most current IDPH and CDC recommendations, EIU is implementing changes to its campus face masking and social distancing policies for fully vaccinated* students, faculty and staff beginning Wednesday, June 16.

*Fully vaccinated individuals are two (2) weeks past their second injection (Pfizer or Moderna) or single injection (Johnson & Johnson) vaccinations.

The administration continues to strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated. Eastern was recently named a Vaccine Champion University as part of the White House COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge and a vaccinated campus ensures we can confidently return to the traditional college experience our students, faculty and staff deserve and expect. Vaccines are free and widely available for people age 12 and older. Updated information for on-campus vaccine clinics and local vaccine availability is accessible at go.eiu.edu/vaccine.

Face Masks and Social Distancing for Fully Vaccinated Individuals on Campus

Face masks and six-foot social distancing will no longer be required anywhere outdoors or indoors except for a few specific locations where masking will remain in force, which includes all classrooms, the Student Health Center, the Shield Covid-testing site on Court 5 of the Student Recreation Center, and on the Panther Shuttle. Based on state guidance physical distancing may be observed in these venues, too

Face Masks and Social Distancing for Individuals NOT Fully Vaccinated on Campus

Face masks are not required when outside if six-foot social distancing can be maintained. Indoors, facial masking and six-foot social distancing are required at all times in all areas inside university buildings and structures. The only exceptions to this policy where masks can be removed are in personal offices when no one else is present or when eating/drinking.

Non-vaccinated students and employees should always have face masks readily available in case someone enters their personal office space or six-foot social distancing cannot be maintained with others.

Other General Guidance

It is each individual’s responsibility to completely follow the facial masking and social distancing policies for fully vaccinated individuals and those who are not. The honor system will be used at this time and we trust that all of our employees, students, and community guests will be truthful in compliance for the safety and health of us all. Supervisors may inquire as to the vaccination status of their staff, but no other personal health questions may be asked. 

While widespread easing of facemask requirements is a further indication that the pandemic is nearing its end, we insist our university community remain empathetic toward anyone wishing to continue wearing a mask:

    • Those who are fully vaccinated who wish to continue wearing their masks through the last phase of the pandemic.
    • Some individuals cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to health reasons or other factors.
    • Widespread mask wearing over the past year led to a remarkable drop in cases of the seasonal flu (influenza) as evidenced by data collected by our science and medical communities.

We appreciate all you’ve done so far to get EIU, Coles County, and Illinois towards the pandemic finish line. If you have questions about any of these new changes, you can always email covid19info@eiu.edu


Previous Masking Guidelines: Updated May 21, 2021

On May 17, the Governor’s Office issued an Executive Order detailing updated public health guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Governor’s announcement includes a Bridge Phase which began in Illinois May 14.

As a response to updated guidelines offered by Illinois’ Bridge Phase and enhanced CDC recommendations, EIU is implementing the following changes to our campus face masking policy. These modifications took effect Monday, May 24.

Face Masks (On Campus, Outdoors)

Face Masks will not be required outdoors for anyone who is fully vaccinated or for anyone who is not fully vaccinated but who can maintain appropriate (minimum 6-feet) physical distancing.

Face Masks (On Campus, Indoors)

General Guidance – With no way to easily or unobtrusively determine who has been fully vaccinated*, the default will remain that all individuals -- regardless of vaccination status – must wear face masks while indoors in shared settings including summer classrooms, Student Medical Clinic, Shield Testing (Court 5, Student Rec Center) indoor public spaces and riding the Panther Shuttle. However, the following exceptions exist:**

  • Private Offices and Multi-Person Offices
    • Employees are not required to wear face masks when alone in their private office. Employees in multi-person offices are not required to wear face masks if all people in the workspace are fully vaccinated*.
  • Meetings in Offices and/or Conference Rooms (This does not include ballrooms, auditoriums, classrooms or other large meeting spaces.)
    • In cases where all people attending a meeting or gathering in an office or conference room have been fully vaccinated*, face masks will not be required.
  • Research Labs and Shared Academic Spaces (Non-Classroom)
    • In cases where all people working in research labs or non-classroom academic spaces have been fully vaccinated*, face masks will not be required.

* Fully vaccinated individuals are two (2) weeks past their second injection (Pfizer or Moderna) or single injection (Johnson & Johnson) vaccinations.

**Declaration of an employee or student being fully vaccinated in these contexts will be based on the honor system. No one should request to see anyone’s vaccination card or other documentation.

Additional guidance is anticipated as the State approaches Phase 5, which may begin as early as mid-June. When the Phase 5 guidelines are announced, we anticipate further easing of facemask requirements for fully vaccinated employees and students.

The best way to truly end the pandemic and return to normal operations is for all students and employees to receive vaccinations if they can do so. As such, students and employees are strongly encouraged by the University to get vaccinated. Vaccines are currently and widely available for people age 12 and older.

As always, the university continues to monitor the situation and will continue to update our guidelines as more information is made available from the CDC, Governor’s Office, IDPH and the IBHE. We are working quickly to update our existing resources with guidance and information. We will continue to provide more information about any further adjustments or changes to our operations and policies.

If you have questions about any of these new changes, you can always email covid19info@eiu.edu.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Health & Counseling Services

Medical Clinic
Eastern Illinois University Human Services Building
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-3013
health@eiu.edu


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