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Hello and Welcome to our New EIU Panthers!
I hope you, your family and friends took time over the holidays to safely relax and recharge over the winter/holiday break. As we close the book on 2021, I’m excited to once again see our campus come alive with the energy and excitement of a fresh semester, and with new students. Spring 2022 looks to be productive and exciting as we continue 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. While our returning students should already be familiar with these guidelines, our newest students may benefit from the information in this guidebook as we enter the Spring 2022 semester.
All students, faculty, staff, and guests are responsible for complying with the health and safety measures outlined in this Campus Guidebook. We will continue to utilize a science-based approach to ongoing COVID-19 mitigation that will 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 is committed to following 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), or to support future guidelines issued to EIU by the State of Illinois or Federal Government aimed at abating the spread of COVID-19 and/or its evolving variants.
I am very excited to see you all on campus in Spring 2022, 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 to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. (“Full vaccination” is defined as two weeks after the final vaccination.) This expectation also extends to all EIU faculty and staff. All students, faculty, and staff should self-report their vaccination status (regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or not vaccinated). This allows EIU to create an accurate surveillance testing pool (see section on SHIELD Illinois Testing). New students should self-report their COVID vaccination status as soon as they are admitted to EIU.
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.
The deadline for new students to verify full vaccination status is 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. Beginning Monday, Jan. 10, all EIU students who did not verify full vaccination status by January 6 will be required to participate in weekly SHIELD Illinois surveillance testing (see section on SHIELD Illinois Testing).
Students who become fully vaccinated after the start of the Spring 2022 semester may update their status at any time through the MyHealth tab in PAWS or in person as described earlier. They will be removed from the weekly mandatory testing group after their vaccination status is confirmed. (“Full vaccination” is defined as two weeks after the final vaccination.)
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.
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:
The Moderna vaccine is available in EIU’s Medical Clinic by appointment on Tuesdays. To schedule a vaccine appointment with the Medical Clinic, please call (217)581-3013.
EIU students and employees who are not fully vaccinated are required to participate in weekly SHIELD Illinois surveillance testing. Individuals who become fully vaccinated after the start of the Spring 2022 semester may update their status at any time through the MyHealth tab in PAWS or in person as described earlier. They will be removed from the weekly mandatory testing group after their vaccination status is confirmed.
EIU is pleased to partner with SHIELD Illinois to provide weekly COVID surveillance testing for 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.
Mandatory SHIELD Illinois testing for students who are not fully vaccinated will begin on the first day of classes (Monday, Jan. 10).
Beginning Monday, Jan. 10, SHIELD Illinois testing will be available on the following days and times:
Testing is conducted on Court 5 of the Student Recreation Center. Participants 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 email@example.com.
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.
Only tests completed through EIU’s SHIELD Illinois testing will be accepted for compliance. No substitutes (e.g., off-site tests) will be accepted.
Students and employees who do not comply with mandatory testing will be subject to disciplinary action.
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.
Registration assistance will be available for new students at the SHIELD Illinois testing site.
Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days should request temporary exemption from SHIELD Illinois testing by sending an email to Georgia Ryan in the Medical Clinic (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Coles County continues to be one of several Illinois counties identified by the CDC and IDPH as having a substantial rate of community transmission of COVID-19. Coles County’s vaccination rate also remains significantly below the state and national averages. As such, the University’s masking policy has been temporarily revised to align with updated CDC and IDPH recommendations. 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 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 be offering a much more traditional student experience for the 2021-2022 academic year. We are appreciative of the cooperation of our students and employees regarding COVID vaccination, masking, and social distancing. These actions have allowed us to provide the traditional experiences so valued at EIU.
For the Spring 2022 semester, all classrooms will have dedicated physically distanced seating, as well as 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 continue to be masked in classrooms and other scheduled learning spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
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.