Pritzker relaxes COVID-19 vaccine or test mandates for some health care workers, college students

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday the relaxation of some COVID-19 vaccine and testing requirements for workers in various industries.

Pritzker amended his executive orders to life vaccine mandates for college and university students and employees, according to a news release.

The prior executive order required weekly testing of unvaccinated health care staff. Under the updated requirements, long-term care facilities will have to test staff who are not up to date with their vaccinations weekly if they are in an area with a moderate community level of coronavirus transmission. If they are in an area with high transmission, they must test twice per week.

Unvaccinated staff at hospitals and other health care facilities that are certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be required to test weekly only if located in areas of high transmission.

Vaccine mandates will remain in place for K through 12 schools, daycares, state-run 24/7 congregate care facilities and any health care facilities no covered under the federal vaccine mandate.

State officials still urged residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We continue to remind everyone in Illinois that the most important step they can take to protect themselves, their loved ones and friends and colleagues is to remain up-to-date on vaccinations and booster shots,” said acting IDPH Director Amaal Tokars in a statement. “This is especially important for those who are vulnerable to serious outcomes. We urge everyone to take advantage of the current availability of vaccines for the sake of their children, as well as getting up-to-date as a parent, guardian or grandparent.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that as of this week, 65.2% of Illinois residents are fully vaccinated and 70.7% have received at least one shot.


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