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August 7, 2022

Gov. Pritzker Extends Vaccine Deadline at Request of Hospital and School Leaders

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On September 3, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, IL. (ECWd) –

Illinois e-News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 3, 2021

CONTACT
[email protected]

Gov. Pritzker Extends Vaccine Deadline at Request of Hospital and School Leaders

As Hospitals and Schools Establish Testing, Accountability Measures, First Dose Deadline Extended to Sept 19

SPRINGFIELD – As hospitals and schools work to implement additional COVID-19 testing programs and accountability measures, Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike today announced a two-week extension of vaccination requirements for individuals in high-risk settings.

All healthcare workers, including nursing home employees, all P-12 teachers and staff, as well as higher education personnel and students will now be required to receive an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 19, 2021. The extended deadline came at the request of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA), as well as education leaders including the Illinois Education Association (IEA), Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), and Illinois Principals Association (IPA), who best understand the localized needs of hospitals and schools implementing their own testing, vaccine and accountability protocols.

Entities continue to be permitted and encouraged to put in place more stringent vaccination requirements. The Executive Order does not prohibit any entity from implementing a requirement that personnel, contractors, students or other visitors be fully vaccinated without providing the alternative to test on a weekly basis consistent with applicable law.

“Vaccines remain our strongest tool to protect ourselves from COVID-19, the Delta variant, and most crucially, to maintain our healthcare system’s ability to care for anyone who walks through their doors in need of help,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “While hospitals and schools move forward in good faith, this extension ensures they are prepared to meet this requirement to better protect our most vulnerable residents and children who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated.”

“Even as our hospitals and schools are taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the testing and accountability measures mandated in Executive Order 2021-22, we recognize that some institutions will need additional time in which to establish procedures that will guarantee they are compliant,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “Our primary goal is to make sure that healthcare workers, education employees and students are protected, along with their families and communities, and this extension will help us achieve that goal.”

To combat the more contagious Delta variant, on August 26, 2021, the Governor announced that all healthcare workers, P-12 teachers and staff, higher education personnel and students would be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to regular testing requirements. With Executive Order 2021-22, workers and students in applicable settings must receive the first dose of a two-dose vaccination series or a single-dose vaccination by September 19, 2021. The two-week extension will allow for more schools and hospitals to implement the new accountability measures. The second doses of either two-dose vaccine must be received by 30 days after the first dose, as directed by vaccine providers.

“I deeply appreciate how hard schools are working to protect students and educators while offering the highest quality in-person learning experience,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “Our school leaders said they needed more time to plan and communicate, and I thank Gov. Pritzker and Dr. Ezike for providing this extension. While testing is an option for all school personnel, vaccination is the safest and most effective defense against COVID-19. I encourage everyone who works with our students to use this extra time to get vaccinated.”

The extension will also allow for more time to put additional testing protocols in place, given that individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive the vaccine are required to get tested for COVID-19 at least once per week to prevent further spread. IDPH and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may require increased testing in the event of positive cases. Healthcare professionals, school workers, and higher education personnel and students who do not provide proof of vaccination will be required to follow the testing protocol in order to enter healthcare and educational facilities.

“The Illinois Health and Hospital Association applauds Governor Pritzker’s extension to the deadline by which the testing requirement must be implemented,” said IHA President & CEO A.J. Wilhelmi. “We share the Governor’s goal of vaccinating healthcare workers against COVID-19 to protect themselves, their families, patients and communities against severe disease, long-term health consequences and possible death. Hospitals continue to be on the frontlines fighting the pandemic during this latest surge of the virus, while simultaneously continuing to make progress in vaccinating healthcare workers. The Governor’s welcome announcement will grant hospitals additional time to meet the testing requirement.”

“Today’s announcement of the two-week deadline extension on the governor’s Executive Order on vaccines is welcome news,” said Illinois Education Association President Kathi Griffin. “We have said all along that the best place for students to be is in the classroom, as long as it’s safe. We believe the governor’s executive order – which encourages all education employees from preschool through college to be vaccinated and if they can’t, or won’t, then to be tested weekly – will help keep schools open and all those who work and learn inside them safe.”

“We welcome today’s extension from Governor Pritzker. It is an important step that will help educators and school staff work with management to comply with the vaccine mandate,” said Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery. “To be clear, we believe that the best place for students to learn is in the classroom, and that can best be accomplished by following the science and public health guidelines and getting everyone vaccinated who can be vaccinated.  We continue to work toward that goal.”

“To give school districts more time to logistically prepare for full implementation of a COVID-19 vaccination and testing program, we appreciate the Governor postponing the timeline by two weeks,” said Illinois Association of School Administrators Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark.

“With the increased risks posed to young people by the COVID-19 Delta variant, the IPA recognizes the critical role vaccinations and testing play for young people to remain in-person at school and stay healthy while doing so,” said Illinois Principals Association Executive Director Dr. Jason Leahy. “Additionally, we appreciate the Governor’s recognition of the time needed for school leaders, teachers, and staff to set up the systems needed for these new requirements.”

As of today, 8.4 million Illinoisans (66.2%) have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 6.5 million are fully vaccinated (51.4%). Illinois continues to be a leader in the Midwest in vaccinating its residents, with 61% of children between the ages or 12 and 17, 78.7% of adults and 93.7% of seniors vaccinated to date.

From the onset of the pandemic, the Pritzker administration has implemented policies and guidelines in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to slow the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of all residents. Building on efforts to make access to the COVID-19 vaccine equitable and accessible for frontline workers, the vaccine has been available for healthcare and nursing home workers since December 15, 2020, and open to teachers since January 25, 2021. In August, the administration announced that employees at all state-run congregate facilities would be required to be vaccinated. As of Monday, August 30, a statewide indoor mask mandate went into effect for all Illinois residents, regardless of vaccination status, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates continue to increase.

Vaccines remain critical to keeping communities safe and ending the pandemic. All Illinois residents over the age of 12 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost and proof of immigration status is not required to receive the vaccine. To find a vaccination center near you, visit vaccines.gov.

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11 Comments
  • Golden County
    Posted at 15:38h, 03 September

    Looks like they realized they cannot force anyone to get vaccinated under current Illinois law.

  • Ralph C Norris
    Posted at 15:54h, 03 September

    What about HIPPA? Doesn’t HIPPA prevent anyone from asking about your vaccination status? I’m sick of this crap. Read IDPH stats on hospitalizations right now. Barely 4% of the state population is in the hospital for covid right now. This illegal nazi style forcing of the jab needs to stop. If you want it go get it. If you don’t then don’t get it.

  • Michele Thomas
    Posted at 16:38h, 03 September

    Hahaha. This is because people are quitting these systems in droves, especially the medical systems. This extension won’t convince any more people to take these injections. What will he do in two weeks when the hold outs still won’t do it?! Stand strong! Hold the line! Do not comply with this nonsense! Show this clown that he nor anyone else owns your body and can tell you what you must inject into your body. This clown mandates this nonsense illegally while criticizing the new abortion law in Texas. And don’t forget his family was sent to live in Florida in March of 2020. They live life normally mask free and engage in activities. They probably aren’t even injected and if they are it wasn’t what the plebs are injected with. No injections. No masks. No physical distancing. It’s way past time to end this scam!

  • PK
    Posted at 20:44h, 03 September

    From the onset of the “pandemic”, the Pritzker administration has implemented policies and guidelines that purportedly rely on science and data. But the Pritzker administration isn’t transparent about data collection or their analysis of that data, and is heavily partisan on the whole science affair. Now, an octagon of sycophants approximate a little dot.

    Also, IHA has a web-site but their web-site doesn’t list member hospitals.

  • Cathyann
    Posted at 21:12h, 03 September

    The governor is totally clueless about the recommendations coming out of the medical community!

  • Pete Johlie
    Posted at 07:50h, 04 September

    Kinda weak to put a byline on a cut and paste of a press release.
    But thanks for all your other work!

    • John Kraft
      Posted at 22:15h, 04 September

      built into the software we use

      • Pete Johlie
        Posted at 17:24h, 06 September

        Ok, makes sense to me.
        Thanks!

  • Pete Johlie
    Posted at 17:24h, 06 September

    Governors, mayors, health departments, and school boards have no legal authority to pass mask, vaccine, or other laws, since they are not legislative bodies. And there are either laws or there are not. There is no such thing as a legal mandate.

  • COOL GUY
    Posted at 22:51h, 19 September

    Resist the clot shot.

    None of these folks (governor, health dept, school board, any private employer, with lawful exceptions) have any legal authority to mandate medical treatment on anyone.

    Any law that any legislature would dream up can not force medical treatment without due process.

    And even worse, none of these measures have done any good. These mRNA treatments are turning out worse than they promised. They can’t even say “the ends justified the means:

$