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Deadline extended for healthcare workers, education personnel to get vaccinated

As of Friday, Sept. 3, 8.4 million (66.2%) Illinois residents have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine and 6.5 million (51.4%) are fully vaccinated
Governor JB Pritzker announced a new statewide mask mandate and new COVID-19 requirements for...
Governor JB Pritzker announced a new statewide mask mandate and new COVID-19 requirements for all educators on Thursday morning, August 26.(Source: Governor JB Pritzker/Facebook)
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 4:23 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) - Workers in high-risk settings will now have two more weeks to get vaccinated, according to an announcement from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike Friday.

The extension gives hospitals and schools more time to put COVID-19 testing programs and certain measures into place. Those required to get their initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 19 are all healthcare workers, all P-12 staff and all higher education personnel and students. A second dose is required 30 days after the first dose.

“Vaccines remain our strongest tool to protect ourselves from COVID-19, the Delta variant, and most crucially, to maintain our healthcare system’s ability to care for anyone who walks through their doors in need of help,” Gov. Pritzker says. “While hospitals and schools move forward in good faith, this extension ensures they are prepared to meet this requirement to better protect our most vulnerable residents and children who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated.”

The IDPH and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may require increased testing positive cases incease. Healthcare professionals, school workers, and higher education personnel and students who do not provide proof of vaccination will be required to follow the testing protocol in order to enter healthcare and educational facilities.

“Even as our hospitals and schools are taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the testing and accountability measures mandated in Executive Order 2021-22, we recognize that some institutions will need additional time in which to establish procedures that will guarantee they are compliant,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike says.  “Our primary goal is to make sure that healthcare workers, education employees and students are protected, along with their families and communities, and this extension will help us achieve that goal.”

As of Friday, Sept. 3, 8.4 million (66.2%) Illinois residents have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine and 6.5 million (51.4%) are fully vaccinated.

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