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Hilltop READY

Hilltop READY messages from President Barbara A. Farley

2021-22 Communications 

Hilltop READY :: COVID-19 Vaccinations | Released August 26, 2021

In a press conference today Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker spoke about the pressures facing hospitals and the dangers of remaining unvaccinated. Currently, in Illinois, 96% of hospitalizations and 95% of deaths are among the unvaccinated. This underscores the importance of being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Nearly two-thirds of IC’s students and over 90% of employees have documented that they are fully vaccinated. I strongly recommend that if you have not already done so that you get vaccinated as soon as possible. Same-day appointments are available here in town at Walgreens and the Morgan County Health Department. An on-campus vaccination clinic is scheduled on September 9.  

Memorial Health System is posting weekly, COVID-19 hospitalized patient updates to its website: https://www.choosememorial.org/COVID19. The sobering reality is that unvaccinated patients are most likely to be hospitalized and placed in ICU and on ventilators. The graphic below illustrates this point. Dr. Scott Boston, CEO of Passavant Area, said last week in a local radio interview that currently, admitted patients are younger and sicker than was the case last fall. Please take steps to protect yourself against COVID-19. 

COVID dashboard from Memorial Health System

IC’s campus-wide policy, which is in line with the Governor’s mandate for higher education, is that: 

  • Individuals who have not yet provided documentation that they are fully vaccinated (faculty, staff, and students) must SHIELD test twice a week, beginning next week.  
  • Vaccinated students must test weekly from August 30 to September 24. Vaccinated employees will be randomly tested (approximately 20-25% each week) during the same four weeks.  If we need to continue these precautions beyond the first month of the semester, we will let you know. 
  • Masks are required indoors for everyone on campus until further notice. Those who have not provided proof of vaccination are required to wear masks outdoors, as well, when in large groups. 

Sincerely,
President Farley
 

Hilltop READY :: Updates to COVID-19 testing on campus | Released August 19, 2021

We are continuing to monitor COVID-19 recommendations as we prepare for a successful fall semester and renew our commitment to one another’s health and safety. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we must adapt as a community.

Vaccinated students will now be required to participate in SHIELD testing once a week for the first four weeks of the semester, Aug. 30 through Sept. 24. IC will randomly select 20-25% of fully vaccinated employees each of those four weeks for SHIELD testing, as well. Individuals who have not provided proof of full vaccination (students, faculty and staff) will be required to take a SHIELD test twice a week until further notice. Faculty, staff and students will also have access to testing on request. When in doubt, I encourage you to get a test. 

It is essential that we continue following the revised Community of Care Agreement and keep up the practices that have helped to protect our campus community over the last year. Taking precautions like wearing masks, social distancing, handwashing and avoiding unnecessary travel and crowded areas make all the difference to keep us fully in-person this semester.

As you return to campus, please be aware that masks are required indoors for everyone on campus until further notice. Those who have not provided proof of vaccination are required to wear masks outdoors, as well, when in large groups. Additionally, please make every effort to maintain social distance while indoors. Classrooms will be set up to allow three feet of physical distance for occupants.

I strongly recommend that you get vaccinated as soon as possible. If you have been proactive and have already sent your vaccine card to COVID19concerns@ic.edu, thank you. We must all do our part to protect the health and wellbeing of our friends, mentors and teammates.

 

Hilltop READY :: Be Part of IC's Community of Care | Released August 3, 2021

Illinois College is a close community committed to protecting the health and safety of every member. In advance of the start of fall semester, we strongly recommend that all students be vaccinated. The available vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious illness that can result from a COVID-19 infection. Please send a picture of your vaccine card to COVID19concerns@ic.edu, preferably from your IC email address. 

The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is highly contagious and spreading rapidly in most areas of the country, including among college-age students. Sadly, unvaccinated individuals have the highest risk of getting sick from the virus at this time. You can protect our campus community and prepare for an engaging, successful year by making sure you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before arriving on campus this month. It’s the most important thing you can do to protect your own health and that of your friends, classmates, and team members. 

Students who have not submitted proof of vaccination will be required to:

  • Take a rapid test before moving in or engaging in any campus activities.
  • Be tested a minimum of twice a week.
  • Wear a mask in all indoor public spaces, including classrooms.
  • Quarantine for 10 days after coming in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Maintain at least 3 feet of social distance. 

The rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant makes it necessary for everyone on campus to pledge their commitment to the new Community of Care Agreement that is in effect. I know I can count on you to work together to keep IC Hilltop READY. Everyone should begin following the expectations outlined in this agreement now in order to be fully prepared to protect yourself and others when classes begin on August 31. 

Please continue to check your IC email for up-to-date information and important reminders, including move-in details from the Office of Residential Life.

 

Hilltop READY :: Supporting student success by fighting COVID-19  | Released on July 8, 2021

I hope you are enjoying your summer. We at Illinois College are looking forward to welcoming you to campus in the fall. We want to provide you with as many life-defining experiences as possible, especially after the challenges last year and the restrictions that were necessary to protect everyone’s health. 

The most important thing you can do to prepare for a successful year is to make sure you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before arriving on the Hilltop in August. In doing so, you will be following the advice of federal, state and local health authorities. To find a vaccine provider near you visit www.vaccines.gov/search/.

Approximately 90% of Illinois College’s faculty and staff are vaccinated against COVID-19. The more members of our campus community who get the vaccine, the safer everyone will be, and the more likely it is that IC can continue to offer extraordinary opportunities to students both inside and outside the classroom.  
As you may have heard, there is a new COVID-19 virus variant, Delta, which is threatening many communities. This highly contagious variant can impact college-age adults and may result in serious illness. The vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant. 

Below is additional information about policies and procedures the College has developed for the fall. This information will also be posted on the Hilltop READY website. More information will follow later in the summer. For now, I want to emphasize both how eager we are to welcome you back to IC and how strongly we encourage you to take the steps to prepare for a successful and healthy academic year. Together we can do this!

Sincerely,
 
President Farley

ILLINOIS COLLEGE FALL 2021 HEALTH PROTOCOLS
July 6, 2021 (subject to update) 

  • Students are requested to send documentation of COVID-19 vaccination before arrival on campus through taking a picture of your vaccine card and emailing it to COVID19concerns@ic.edu, preferably from your IC email address.
  • Students who upload their vaccination information before arrival on campus, and therefore help make the campus safer, will be entered into a drawing for $500 in cash. There will be one drawing for every 100 students who submit documentation (over 10 students could receive the benefit). 
  • Students who have not submitted documentation showing that they are fully vaccinated (at least two weeks past the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or two weeks past the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) by the time they arrive on campus will be required to take a rapid test before moving into housing or engaging in any other campus activity. 
  • Unvaccinated students will be required to test a minimum of twice a week through the Shield Illinois program in order to remain on campus and enrolled
  • Unvaccinated students should be prepared to wear masks as required in certain indoor spaces.  
  • If unvaccinated students test positive, they will need to isolate and any unvaccinated contacts will need to quarantine. 
  • Please send any questions to the COVID19concerns@ic.edu email address.