FAQ About COVID-19 Executive Order No. 87

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Wednesday (09/01) 2:00p – 3:00p
Wednesday (09/01) 3:15p – 4:15p
Thursday (09/02) 10:00a – 11:00a
Thursday (09/02) 2:00p – 3:00p
Thursday (09/02) 5:00p – 6:00p
Friday (09/03) 8:00a – 9:00a
Friday (09/03) 1:30p – 2:30p

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Q: What is the college doing to keep students and employees safe from the COVID-19 virus?

A:  The college has multiple mitigation factors in place to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including:

  • Health screening protocol for all individuals (including students, employees, and guests) upon entry into each campus facility.
  • Reduced the number of entry doors into each facility to increase the enforcement of the health screening protocols.
  • Mask requirement for all, including individuals who are fully vaccinated.
  • Social distance requirement of 6 feet for all individuals (including students, employees, and guests).
  • The main campus is outfitted with MERV-13 filters on our air handling units. These are the same filters used for general surgery, hospital inpatient care areas, smoking lounges, and superior commercial buildings.  These filters capture particles from .3 to 1 micron.  Essentially these filters capture particles like bacteria, sneeze nuclei, legionella, pollen, mold/spores and many types of dust particles.  These filters create better indoor air quality and provide a safer learning/working environment for all of us.
  • The College disinfects all classrooms and heavy traffic areas throughout the day and will continue to do so until this public health crisis subsides.
  • The College offers vaccination clinics and plans to provide clinics for booster shots for those who received the vaccination earlier in the year, when available.
  • The College intends to set up PCR COVID saliva-based testing facilities at the Main Campus and all Extension Centers. Once set up, all students, employees, and eventually community members will be able to test for free.


Q: Are masks mandatory on Campus and at the Extension Center?

A:  Yes, SCC is following CDC and IDPH/Illinois state guidance, requiring masks indoors (and outdoors when social distancing is not possible), regardless of vaccination status.


Q: Are vaccines mandatory on Campus and at the Extension Center?

A:  Yes, as required by Executive Order 2021-20 from the Governor of Illinois.


Q: Who is included in the Governor’s mask and vaccination mandate?

A:  In response to increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Illinois, Governor Pritzker announced on August 26, 2021, that as part of the state’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to lower the number of cases that require hospital admission, the following individuals must get vaccinated:

  • All healthcare workers, including workers at public and private nursing homes.
  • All teachers and staff at Pre-K-through Grade 12 schools.
  • All higher education personnel and students (attending classes in-person) at public and private institutions.
  • All State employees and vendors of State-owned or operated congregate facilities (e.g. Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Illinois Department of Corrections, and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice).


Q: Will I be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination?

A:  Yes, as required by Executive Order from the Governor of Illinois. However, individuals who have medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs may apply for an exemption from this requirement.  Individuals who demonstrate they are exempt from the vaccination, must submit to, at minimum, weekly COVID-19 testing as outlined in the Executive Order.  


Q: Who is included in the higher education personnel definition?

A:  The higher education personnel includes:

  • Employees, volunteers, and those contracted to provide services for higher education institutions.
  • Employees of third-party vendors who are on college premises and are in close contact (fewer than six feet) with other persons at the institution for more than 15 minutes at least one time per week.
  • Any individual (i.e. student) enrolled in credit-bearing or non-credit bearing coursework at an Institution of Higher Education (i.e. the College), either on campus or at an affiliated off-campus location (i.e. our Extension Centers).
  • Students who are attending an institution fully remote are not required to provide vaccination or testing status.


Q: Why is the State mandating vaccines or requiring testing?

A:  Currently, most Counties in Illinois, are facing “high transmission” levels of COVID-19, which means we are experiencing 100 (or more) new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents each week and/or are experiencing positivity rates of greater than 10% for all COVID-19 tests issued.  This mandate is aimed at keeping the State open (i.e. in Phase V recovery).


Q: What is the deadline for compliance with the Executive Order?

A:  Individuals must receive their first dose of a two-dose vaccination series or a single-dose vaccination by September 19, 2021.   The second dose of the two-dose vaccine must be received within 30 days (by October 18, 2021) after the first dose.


Q:  To what extent does the Governor’s Order apply to Vendors, Deliveries, Sales Personnel, Visitors or Media?

A:  Guests who visit the College for a term of less than 5 hours on an infrequent basis, such as those who drop off packages, et.al, are not subject to this mandate.


Q:  What if I schedule an appointment with a student, that is 30 minutes, do we require vaccination record or testing.

A:  No, however if this an impending/future student, please alert them to the mandate requirements for future attendance.


Q:  How do I prove I have been tested?

A:  If you test at an off-campus location, you must present your weekly test results through the Saints Health Protection Portal; however, if you test on-campus through SHIELD, the College will receive your results through SHIELD’s reporting process i.e. you won’t have to do anything additionally.


Q:  What are the approved tests?

A:  Any FDA approved Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or Antigen (e.g. BinaxNow) test that is allowed through Medicare/Medicaid. Here are some links to help you find an approved test:  FDA Approved Antigen Tests  & Molecular Diagnostic (PCR) Tests.


Q:  If you have results from an antibody test can it be used as proof of vaccination?

A:  No, this type of test is expressly excluded in the Governor’s Executive Order.


Q:  Where can I be tested?

A:  Testing and Vaccination Sites are listed on the College’s COVID-19 webpage.  The College is participating with Shield testing.  This testing will be offered On-Site.  We are hopeful to have Shield testing available within 3-4 weeks.  Also, there will be site information at each approved entry way.


Q:  If I am not vaccinated by September 19, do I have to find a testing center on my own and bring in my results?

A:  Yes, until SHIELD testing is available on campus.


Q: How will weekly tests be determined?

A: Any test conducted from Sunday through Saturday of that week is good for that week only. 


Q: How do I show proof of my vaccination?  What types of vaccination documentation are acceptable?

A: Proof of vaccination can be established by:

  • Presenting a copy of your official IDPH/CDC COVID-19 vaccination record (we will photograph it for our records).
  • Presenting documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider. Or,
  • Providing a copy of your State Immunization record.


Q: If I am vaccinated, to whom do I provide a copy of my vaccination card?

A: You can submit your vaccine card through the Saints Health Protection Portal or to an individual working at the support station on Campus or at any Extension Center.


Q: Is my vaccination card and/or test results private?

A: Yes, SCC is obligated, by law, to protect your personal and medical information.  Additionally, the Saints Health Protection Portal is HIPAA compliant.


Q: If I am not vaccinated, can I come to the College before the SHIELD testing stations are in place?

A: Yes, access to College facilities will not be limited while the testing protocols are being established. Students and employees can come to campus and should continue to pre-screen, social distance and wear masks.


Q: Will I have to produce my vaccination card each time I am on campus or at an Extension Center?

A: No, once we have proof of your vaccination status, your SCC ID number can be used to enter any Campus or Extension Center.


Q:  I am not vaccinated nor do I plan to be vaccinated. Do I have to test weekly?

A:  Yes, per the Governor’s Executive Order, all non-vaccinated individuals are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test weekly to retain full access to any Campus and/or Education Center facility.


Q:  What happens if I forget to submit my weekly COVID-19 test?  Will I be barred from Campus or any Extension Center?

A:  Not necessarily.  You will need to work with the College’s Health Coordinator to identify strategies to help you get into compliance.  There will be progressive mitigations if you continuously fail to submit your weekly tests.  The College’s Health Coordinator will help you understand these mitigations.


Q:  Will employees be reimbursed for expenses related to having weekly tests by a provider?

A:  Yes, until SHIELD Testing is running on-campus, employees should submit a request for reimbursement as noted in College procedure.  After SHIELD testing is operational, employees will test on-campus (eliminating the need for reimbursement).


Q: Is SCC providing testing? If so, when does testing begin?

A: The College is working with a third-party vendor called SHIELD Illinois to provide saliva-based testing. SHIELD Illinois is part of the University of Illinois system.  Once we work out the logistics (which we think will be at some point in mid-October or sooner) testing will be provided for FREE to all students and employees.


Q: What is the cost for SHIELD testing?  To the student/staff/faculty and to the school for providing this service?

A:  Once SHIELD testing is established on Campus, there is no cost to the individual (i.e. free).  The cost is covered by the Illinois Department of Public Health.


Q: Will I have to test at SCC or can I bring in proof from another testing provider?

A: You may provide proof of a test from another testing provider, and it will be accepted, providing the test is an FDA approved Antigen Test or Molecular Diagnostic (PCR) Test was conducted within the seven (7) day timeframe for the week in question.


Q:  What if you have had one dose of the vaccine and the 2nd is missed, do you have to get tested?

A:  Yes, you must get tested on a weekly basis.  You should also discuss your vaccine situation with a medical professional.


Q: I have received my first dose of the vaccination. Do I still have to be tested?

A: Yes, according to the Governor’s Executive Order, you must test until you are FULLY VACCINATED (i.e. ten (10) days following administration of your last dose in the two-dose vaccination series).


Q:  Do I have to wait for test results before I can go to my classes or work?

A:  Once you have presented your SCC ID at entry, and you’ve communicated with the Health Coordinator your testing status, you may proceed to your classes or work without interruption. However, if you are experiencing symptoms, please refrain from coming to campus.


Q: If I have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, do I need to test?

A: Yes, previous infections may show up but the SHIELD testing laboratory can distinguish between those and reinfections. The Health Coordinator will monitor your test results and inform you if we believe you to be reinfected.


Q: I have a religious/medical waiver. Do I have to test weekly?

A: Yes, according to the Governor’s Executive Order, individuals with a medical or religious exemption must test weekly.


Q: How do I obtain a medical or religious exemption?

A: You must complete the medical exemption or religious exemption application process and submit the completed forms through Saints Health Protection Portal or to an individual working at the support station on Campus or at any Extension Center.


Q: What if I am not vaccinated and refuse to comply with the weekly COVID-19 testing mandate?

A: The College will present you with options for progressive mitigation and compliance.  However, if you refuse to comply after these steps, the Governor’s Executive Order requires us to prevent you from participating in any on Campus and/or Extension Center face-to-face activity.


Q: Are College employees being treated the same as students under these guidelines?

A: Yes, per the Governor’s Executive Order, all non-vaccinated individuals are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test weekly to retain full access to any Campus and/or Education Center facility.


Q: Does the Governor’s Executive Order apply to students enrolled in dual credit classes with SCC?

A:  No, the Governor’s Executive Order does not extend to high school students taking dual credit classes EXCLUSIVELY through their high school.  However, if a high school student is classified as a dual enrollment student or is taking credit-in-escrow classes on our Campus or any Extension Center, then the Governor’s mandate does apply.  Those students will need to show proof of their vaccination status or participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. 


Q:  Who will be providing the Shield testing? Who will provide testing at the Extension Centers?

A:  We will be using various individuals to help us with the SHIELD testing, including current SCC employees and students.  All individuals providing the testing service will be trained by SHIELD.


Q:  Do faculty and/or staff have to “police” the students regarding their vaccination status or testing status?

A:  No, the College’s Health Coordinator will monitor the status of all College students and employees.


Q:  Can an individual that has been vaccinated be tested?

A:  Yes


Q:  Once I am vaccinated, do I still have to wear a mask?

A:  Yes


Q:  Is there guidance on boosters?

A:  Not right now, but the College does expect that there will guidance issued on these sometime during the fall semester. Regardless, until otherwise notified, you are considered fully-vaccinated.


Q:  If I have had COVID-19, but I am not vaccinated, do I have to be tested weekly and/or get the vaccination?

A:  Yes


Q:  Do students learning remotely, with only a lab on campus, have to provide vaccination and/or get weekly testing?

A:  Maybe, the Governor’s Executive Order suggests the mandate may apply to you if you come to class “periodically” and for more than “five hours per week”. This requires an evaluation of each individual’s unique circumstance.  Therefore, please check with College’s Health Coordinator to determine your status.


Q:  When K-12 students visit the College, are they subject to the mandate?

A:  These students, while visiting less than 5 hours, fall under the K-12 mandate and are not required to show vaccination records or undergo weekly testing.