Facing Pressure, Governor Eases Some COVID Mandates

After months of Executive Orders forcing individuals tied to certain professions to get vaccinated or tested weekly, Gov. JB Pritzker has finally eased up those mandates but only for a select couple of professions and groups.


In a new Executive Order issued July 13 by the Governor, students and employees at higher education facilities are no longer under the vaccine mandate. Additionally, emergency medical service providers, including EMRs and EMTs had their mandate lifted.


Furthermore, unvaccinated health care staff will no longer be required to submit to weekly testing. Instead, long-term care facilities with the most vulnerable residents, including skilled nursing homes, will now test staff who haven’t been fully vaccinated weekly if they are in an area of moderate community level transmission, and twice weekly in areas of substantial or high community level transmission.


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


Vaccination mandates are also still in place for state-run 24/7 congregate care facilities and health care facilities not covered under the federal CMS vaccine mandate, which includes independent doctors’ offices, dental offices, urgent-care facilities, and outpatient facilities.