CLC adjusts to Illinois governor’s COVID-19 mandate

Alex Kisiel

The College of Lake County is taking steps to comply with Illinois Governor Pritzker’s COVID-19 mandate, which enforces vaccination and in-door masking regardless of vaccination status.

Originally released on August 26, the mandate required higher education personnel and students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Those who cannot meet this requirement for whatever reason must get tested for COVID-19 once a week.

Illinois governor Pritzker announcing COVID mandate, Image courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago

Illinois governor Pritzker announcing COVID mandate, Image courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago

Amidst an increase in COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates, the stated purpose of this mandate was to stop the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant.

“Unlike the wave of COVID-19 we saw earlier this Spring, we’re now seeing our hospital resources stretched thin with some areas of Illinois reduced to only a handful of available ICU beds,” said IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health) Director Ngozi Ezike.

Accordingly, on August 27, CLC President Lori Suddick sent an email to all students informing them of the actions they must take.

“You will need to provide proof of vaccination or be required to take a COVID-19 test weekly,” the email said. “CLC is planning on-campus delivery of both vaccinations and testing.”

More specifically, this requirement applies to students with “any on-campus class requirements, or who come to campus to access resources, services, or to participate in co-curricular activities for any period of time.”

The initial deadline to receive the first dose, or only dose if taking a single-dose series, was September 5. However, due to responses from hospitals and school leaders, the Illinois Governor extended this deadline to September 19.

According to Dr. Suddick, those who do not obey the college’s new policy will be disciplined.

“Per the Executive Order, non-compliance with the vaccine mandate or testing must result in a student’s exclusion from the College.”

As of September 3, 32.5% of CLC students (3,920 out of 12,036 students) have completed the process to submit their vaccination status, according to an email sent by Dr. Suddick.

This mandate works in tandem with CLC’s $100 vaccination incentive, which started earlier this year.

Students who are currently enrolled in a course for the Fall 2021 semester and have already received their final COVID vaccination dose are eligible to receive $100 directly from the college.

Apart from vaccination, the governor’s mandate requires each Illinois resident over the age of two to wear a mask in all indoor settings.

This policy will not change CLC’s previously instilled indoor masking policy, which has remained consistent throughout this academic year.

Image courtesy of CLC LinkedIn page

Image courtesy of CLC LinkedIn page