ISBE Emergency Rules Regarding Mandatory Vaccinations

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Last week, ISBE published Emergency Rules regarding Mandatory Vaccinations for School Personnel. The Emergency Regulations clarify the requirements under Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2021-22.  

  • New Personnel: School personnel starting after September 19 must receive the first dose of a vaccine within 10 days of their start date. 
  • Testing Requirement: Beginning September 19, schools must require all school personnel not fully vaccinated for any reason – including but not limited to religious exemption or medical contraindication – to undergo testing at least weekly. If a school is experiencing an outbreak, defined as two cases that are linked epidemiologically with respect to person, place, and time, school personnel who are not fully vaccinated may be part of the outbreak, such school personnel must be tested two times per week for the duration of the outbreak. Notably, there is no exemption for the testing requirements.  
  • Exclusion Requirement: Schools must exclude school personnel who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they comply with the testing requirements. This is limited to times the school personnel are acting in their school-based role. While “school-based role” is not further defined, if a school employee is also a parent of a student in the school, the employee likely would not be prohibited from entering the school building in their capacity as a parent. 
  • School Personnel Awaiting Testing Results: School personnel who are not fully vaccinated may be permitted to enter or work at the school while they are awaiting the results of their weekly test.  
  • Exclusion of Symptomatic School Personnel and Close Contacts: Schools must refuse to admit school personnel to the school while acute symptoms of an infectious disease are present. Schools must handle contacts of infectious disease cases as prescribed by 77 Ill. Admin. Code 690.30(c), or as recommended by the local health authority. 
  • Contractors or Service Providers: A school may determine that contractors or service providers are compliant with the emergency regulations by requiring that the contracting entity to collect proof of vaccination or proof of compliance with the testing requirements. 
  • Recordkeeping: Schools and school districts must require school personnel who are fully vaccinated to provide proof by September 19 or immediately upon becoming fully vaccinated. All schools must keep a record for school or school district employees that identify them as one of the following: fully vaccinated, unvaccinated and compliant with testing requirements, or excluded from school premises. Each school must also maintain the following documentation for each school employee: proof of vaccination and the results of the COVID-19 tests. Thus, inspecting an employee’s proof of vaccination or testing results is not sufficient; schools must maintain that documentation as well. 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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