Illinois State University is urging but not requiring returning students to be vaccinated for fall classes. The Illinois Board of Higher Education is encouraging state schools to require vaccination.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board released guidance earlier this week "strongly encouraging" schools to require vaccinations of students returning to campuses this fall.

It follows recently released guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

On June 21, the University of Illinois announced it would require students on its three campusesto receive a COVID-19 vaccination if they planned to be on campus for the fall semester. The University of Illinois became the first public university system in the state to announce such a requirement.

Illinois State University, Eastern Illinois University and Southern Illinois University were strongly encouraging but not mandating students be vaccinated.

Illinois State students taking courses on campus who do not provide evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination for the coronavirus will be required to participate in an on-campus testing program.

All schools "are strongly encouraged to provide information to promote vaccine trust and confidence and address vaccine hesitancy," the guidance stated.

"Unvaccinated persons and those who might need to take extra precautions should wear a face covering and, where feasible, maintain physical distance while indoors," the guidance added.

Northwestern University, DePaul University and Loyola University all announced earlier in the spring students would have to be vaccinated before the start of the fall semester.

Monday's guidance from the IBHE and the ICCB encouraged schools to continue COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated individuals to identify and slow virus transmission consistent with the CDC.

The guidance also stated that schools should continue to promote and facilitate health-promoting behaviors such as hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette and continue routine cleaning of high-touch surfaces and shared objects and maintaining improved ventilation in accordance with CDC recommendations.

Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788,,


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