By JENNA SKARLUPKA, NEWS3 Reporter
MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) — Western Illinois University’s latest COVID-19 policies are in accordance with the state’s recent vaccination and testing mandates for those in higher education.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Aug. 26 that healthcare workers, teachers and higher education students will be required to receive the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing. This comes after WIU updated the Protect the Necks Plan II on Aug. 4, which already included those requirements.
WIU then announced on Aug. 30 that students and employees who cannot or will not get vaccinated, but do not comply with weekly testing, will face a series of consequences.
Students and employees without vaccinations and miss the first test clinic will receive a letter of reprimand. Second and third missed test clinics will lead to a referral for disciplinary action or suspension. Fourth and beyond missed clinics will lead to progressive discipline up to dismissal or discharge from WIU.
According to the Office of Risk Management’s COVID-19 dashboard of WIU administered tests, there are 27 active COVID-19 cases on campus amongst students, faculty and staff as of Sept. 8. Those cases are included in the total 44 positive cases posted so far this semester, these are only from tests administered by WIU.
The Student Recreation Center’s MAC Gym is holding test clinics Mondays through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Individuals required to participate in the testing program must register in advance online.
Fully vaccinated individuals may opt out of testing by uploading a copy of a personal official vaccine card to WIU’s internal secure site. They may also show the card in person to staff at the Beu Health Center for students, or in Sherman Hall 321 for employees.
Vaccination clinics will take place in the University Union Sandburg Lounge on Sept. 14, Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine will be available at each clinic, while the first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be available at the Sept. 14 and Oct. 5 clinics, respectively.
Social distancing and face covering protocols continue to be in place in select indoor settings at WIU. For more information on the current policies, see the university’s Protect the Necks Plan II.