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EIU Media Relations

Message to Students from Dr. Glassman


The following message was sent to students July 12, 2021

Dear Panthers and their families, 

I hope you are all enjoying your summer. It won’t be long before we begin an incredible new academic year at EIU, and plans are all set for a safe, enjoyable learning and living community this fall.

I’ve recently received emails from a few of our new and returning students asking questions or seeking clarifications concerning my previous email about vaccinations. I thought it might be helpful to provide all EIU students with my responses.

1. What will EIU’s student experience be like this Fall?

All students can expect a wonderful experience at EIU whether or not they are vaccinated. All students will be able to enjoy face-to-face, in-person classes and attend exciting and fun events and activities, including the return of Homecoming and countless other great Panther traditions.

2. What are the guidelines for vaccinated students? 

If you are fully vaccinated — meaning it has been at least two weeks since your final COVID-19 vaccine dose — then you:

  • Will not be quarantined if contact-traced to someone who has tested positive (unless symptoms become present).
  • Will not need to participate in EIU’s COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program.
  • Are not required to wear masks in most indoor and all outdoor locations.
    • Masks will still be required for all students in classrooms (including labs and studios), the Student Medical Clinic, at the SHIELD COVID-testing site, and on the Panther Shuttle.
  • Are not required to observe physical distancing protocols at University events.
    • 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.

3. What are the guidelines for unvaccinated students? 

‚ÄčIf you are either not vaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated, then you:

  • Can still register for and attend face-to-face, in-person classes.
  • Are required to wear a mask and maintain six-foot physical distancing in all indoor areas except in your personal on-campus Residence Hall/Greek Court room or University Apartment.
    • This includes all classrooms (including labs and studios), the Student Medical Clinic, at the SHIELD COVID-testing site, and on the Panther Shuttle.
  • 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 participate in EIU’s COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program.
    • Like last spring, EIU will use the noninvasive SHIELD saliva testing method. 

4. What do I need to do for the COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program if I am unvaccinated?

Participation in the EIU COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program for unvaccinated individuals is easy and quick. Each week, a random sample of unvaccinated students and employees will be selected for testing in the Student Rec Center. If selected for any given week, you will be alerted by a text or email message indicating when the testing is available to you that week. If you are notified, you will need to be tested. Testing is done by spitting a small amount of saliva into a tube, capping the tube and handing it over to a testing staff member. That’s all there is to it! You will be notified of your COVID test result in approximately 24 hours.

5. Why does EIU need to verify whether or not I’ve been vaccinated?

The purpose for validating your vaccination status is so EIU can develop the COVID testing list of unvaccinated students and employees participating in the COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program. Later this month, 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.

6. 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).

No matter what your situation is, we know you’re going to love your EIU experience. After all, we are ALL IN for you! See you soon and GO PANTHERS!!


David Glassman
President, Eastern Illinois University



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Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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