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Greetings to all EIU Panthers!
I hope your summers were relaxing and fulfilling. It’s awesome to once again see our campus come alive with the energy and excitement of a new academic year. The Fall 2021 semester promises to be productive and exciting as we work to create the most meaningful opportunities possible for your success and growth. I know Eastern’s faculty and staff join me in extending their best wishes as we support each of you on your individual academic journeys. We look forward to your positive contributions to our classrooms, our campus, and our surrounding communities.
At Eastern Illinois University, we are all in for you.
We are uniquely committed to creating lifelong personal connections that will support and guide you toward success at every point along the way—both as EIU students and as responsible global citizens. Please explore the many programs and resources EIU offers, and know you can always feel comfortable asking me or anyone else on campus your questions, share your concerns, or advance your ideas for making the Eastern Illinois University community an even better place to live and to learn.
EIU’s reputation for academic excellence is purposefully matched by its role as a thoughtful, responsible organization committed to public health and safety. As such, please find the following guidelines for on-campus health and wellness as we enter the Fall 2021 semester. All students, faculty, staff, and guests are responsible for complying with the health and safety measures outlined in this Campus Guidebook. Our science-based approach to ongoing COVID-19 mitigation is intended to provide our students with the most comprehensive EIU experience possible while working to safeguard the health and safety of our campus community. Along those lines, EIU will continue to follow the best-practice guidelines for health and safety issued to us by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Illinois Public Health Department (IDPH), the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), and the Coles County Health Department (CCHD).
I am very excited to see you all on campus next week, and I know each of you will do your part to support the well-being and safety of our entire EIU Family. I look forward to all we can accomplish together this semester!
President, Eastern Illinois University
EIU expects every student enrolled in in-person classes to have received a full COVID-19 vaccination. This expectation also extends to all EIU employees. All students and employees should self-report their vaccine status (regardless of status). This will allow EIU to create an accurate surveillance testing pool of those individuals who are unvaccinated or who have chosen not to disclose their vaccination status (see section on SHIELD Testing).
Students can self-report in two ways:
Students who have misplaced their vaccination cards are encouraged to contact the provider who administered the vaccine to receive updated documentation. Students who received their vaccine in Illinois may call 217-785-1455 or visit I-CARE IDPH (Illinois.gov). For additional resources, see the “Contacts for Immunization Records” located on the CDC website.
Student vaccination records at EIU will remain private information. Vaccine status updates will be managed exclusively through the Medical Clinic and Human Resources Department to honor personal privacy. EIU’s privacy statement on vaccine verification is available at go.eiu.edu/covidprivacy.
The deadline for verifying full vaccination status is Wednesday, August 18, 2021. All EIU students and employees who do not verify full vaccination status by August 18 will be entered into the testing pool for EIU’s mandatory, randomized SHIELD surveillance testing (see section on SHIELD Illinois Testing).
Multiple pharmacies and health care providers now offer COVID-19 vaccines. Every Illinois resident age 12+ is eligible to receive a vaccine at no cost. Students have three options to discover which COVID-19 vaccines are in stock at locations nearest them:
During Move-In, a vaccine clinic will be offered in EIU’s South Quad (between Andrews, Lawson, Thomas, and Taylor Halls) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday (August 19-20).
EIU students and employees who have not self-reported their vaccination status (either vaccinated or unvaccinated) by August 18 will be entered into the testing pool for EIU’s mandatory, randomized SHIELD surveillance testing. Individuals who become fully vaccinated after August 18 may update their status at any time through the MyHealth tab in PAWS or in person as described earlier.
EIU is pleased to partner with SHIELD Illinois to provide weekly COVID surveillance testing for a random number of our campus community. The tests are saliva-based, non-invasive, and take only a few minutes to complete. While fully vaccinated individuals are not required to participate in COVID surveillance testing, they are welcome to participate.
During Move-In, SHIELD Illinois testing will be conducted concurrently with EIU’s vaccine clinic in the South Quad (between Andrews, Lawson, Thomas, and Taylor Halls) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (August 18-20).
Beginning Monday, August 23, 2021, SHIELD Illinois testing will be available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Court 5 of the Student Recreation Center. Participants will enter through the exterior doors on the northwest corner of the building (not the main Student Recreation Center doors), descend one flight of stairs, and follow signage to Court 5. Anyone in need of accessibility accommodations can arrange to take the SHIELD Illinois test in a nearby location or remain in their vehicle in a nearby parking lot by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals must bring a photo ID to the testing site(s). They should not eat, drink (including water), chew gum, smoke, or use tobacco products within 60 minutes of providing a saliva sample. Doing any of these things within 60 minutes of providing a sample could produce an inconclusive or invalid result and require retesting. Test results are posted in the patient portal after the lab results are completed.
All SHIELD Illinois testing participants must register in advance by visiting go.eiu.edu/EIUShield to provide consent and create a SHIELD Illinois portal account. The following codes will be needed to create an account:
Once an account is completed, individuals will be able to schedule an appointment. While scheduling, select “Student Recreation Center – Court 5” for the location. Test results will be posted in the patient portal after the lab results are completed. Participants must remember their SHIELD username and password, as they will be needed to view results and schedule future appointments.
*During Move-In, staff members from EIU’s Health and Counseling Services team will be onsite to guide participants through the account setup and registration process from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (August 18-20) in the South Quad (between Andrews, Lawson, Thomas, and Taylor Halls).
As of July 27, 2021, Coles County was one of several Illinois counties identified by the CDC and IDPH as having a substantial rate of community transmission of COVID-19. As such, the University’s masking policy has been temporarily revised to align with updated CDC and IDPH recommendations. As of July 28, 2021, all EIU students, employees, and campus guests – even those who are fully vaccinated – are required to wear masks indoors in all buildings on campus. Exceptions to these revised masking requirements remain in place for students when in their individual residence hall room or university apartment, as well as for employees in their private offices.
The University’s masking policy is dependent upon Coles County indicators and will be updated and revised based on conditions. To monitor revisions to the masking policy, please review Eastern’s COVID-19 website regularly.
The heart of the EIU student experience has always been personal relationships, a community that is ALL IN for each other and with each other, both inside and outside the classroom. When the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the traditional EIU student experience as we knew it, our community came together in impressive fashion to find new, innovative ways to build and maintain relationships despite the required physical separation. Those measures were necessary to protect the health and safety of our community, and they were effective. Some of those innovations will remain with us and improve the student experience well beyond the pandemic. Today we are stronger for it, and we are excited, eager and, most importantly, grateful to look forward to a much more traditional student experience for the 2021-2022 academic year.
For the Fall 2021 semester, at least 50% of the space in every classroom will be dedicated to physically distanced seating. The remaining space will be set with traditional seating. Unvaccinated students will be expected to utilize the physically distanced seating. Instructional space for faculty members will be physically distanced from student seating.
All students and faculty members will be masked in classrooms and other scheduled learning spaces for the Fall 2021 semester, regardless of vaccination status.
This strategy will permit many more classes to utilize their existing spaces and enable the University to offer face-to-face instruction in nearly all situations.
We recognize that health and safety guidelines can swiftly change as the scientific community assists us in mitigating COVID-19 and its evolving variants. Please be assured that those guidelines are closely monitored by the University. As guidelines change, members of the University community will be notified via their EIU email account. Updates also will be posted to the University’s COVID-19 website.