Illinois College - Home Logo
Open Menu

Hilltop READY

Hilltop READY messages from campus

2021-22 Communications 

Hilltop READY :: Updated Community of Care Agreement | Released February 28, 2022

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

Based on changing guidance from the CDC and the State of Illinois, Illinois College is suspending the across-the-board requirement for indoor masking as of March 1, 2022. However, mask requirements may remain in certain classrooms and offices. Faculty will communicate the policies for their classrooms, and we will create signage for offices that retain a mask requirement. The Community of Care Agreement has been revised to reflect this change and remains fully in effect; compliance with any classroom and office mask requirements will be a condition of the Community of Care Agreement.

The College fully supports any members of the community who choose to continue to wear masks in support of their own or others’ health. Please contribute to creating an inclusive community.

At this time, there is no change to the testing requirements for individuals who are not vaccinated or not up to date with their vaccines. Those currently required to test weekly should continue. We encourage anyone who would like to do so to test after Spring Break.

All the best,
President Farley

Hilltop READY :: Updated COVID Vaccination Definitions, Testing and Quarantine Protocols….Oh My! | Released January 25, 2022

(sent by Dean Jessica Edonick to IC students and parents)

Good afternoon IC! 

I hope that you are staying warm on this chilly day. The College continues to monitor evolving federal and local guidance from health officials and want to update you on a few new changes to our IC COVID testing and quarantine protocols. 

Today through Sunday, February 13:

  • All students, regardless of vaccination status, who test positive for COVID-19 will need to participate in isolation on or off campus and participate in remote learning.
    • If after 5 days, a student is asymptomatic or the symptoms are lessing, the student may take a rapid test at home or through your doctor/pharmacy. 
      • If that rapid test is negative, the student may return to on-campus classes after being cleared by Chesley Health & Wellness
      • If that rapid test is positive, the student will need to remain in isolation until either they receive a negative result on a rapid test or day 10 at which time they may return to on-campus classes
  • Students who have not provided documentation that they are fully vaccinated
    • Continue to Shield test once a week
    • Quarantine on or off campus, and participate in remote learning if in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19.
      • Take a test on Day 6 after exposure. 
        • If that rapid test is negative, the student may return to on-campus classes after being cleared by Chesley Health & Wellness.
        • If that rapid test is positive, the student will begin isolation as described above.
  • Students who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer, or one dose of J&J vaccine, or who have received a Booster: 
    • No need to Shield test
    • No need to quarantine even if exposed to an individual who is positive for COVID-19
    • Vaccinated/booster eligible student-athletes may experience a different testing and quarantine protocol per NCAA regulations. Please contact your athletic coach or trainer for more information.

Starting Monday, February 14th: 
Vaccinated students who wish to continue opting out of weekly Shield testing and avoiding quarantine if exposed must be up to date on your vaccinations.
The CDC, FDA and IDPH now define this as receiving a booster within 5 months of your second Pfizer or Moderna shot or 2 months from your J&J shot.  Students must be vaccinated and boosted (if eligible) and submit documentation to COVIDbooster@ic.edu

In partnership with IDPH, IC will be hosting two additional booster and vaccination clinics:

  • The first is TOMORROW, Wednesday, January 26 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the Bruner Multipurpose Room (Dance Studio). This is a walk-in clinic, so please come anytime you are available. IC will also be having a raffle for cash prizes and IC Swag.
  • The second clinic will be on Wednesday, February 9 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. in the Bruner Multipurpose Room as well. You can sign-up to participate here.  Walk-ins are also welcome.  

A lot has been changing over the past few weeks, and we appreciate being able to work with you to navigate these shifting sands. Thank you again for remaining adaptable, creative, and patient as we continue to monitor the evolving landscape of COVID-19. 

Take care of yourself and others,
Jessica Edonick
Dean of Students

P.S. Don’t forget to pick up your KN-95 masks in the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) in Caine Student Center. When you pick up your masks you will be given a brown paper bag, and care instructions for how to reuse your two masks. 
 

Hilltop READY :: Remote Learning Tuesday and Wednesday | Released January 17, 2022

(sent by Dean Jessica Edonick to IC students and parents)

Good morning IC,

Welcome back to campus! It was wonderful to see so many of you this weekend. Thank you for your continued ability to adapt and help make our return to campus as smooth as possible. 

As we wait for over 700 Shield results to come back this evening into tomorrow, the College will move to remote learning Tuesday, January 18 and Wednesday, January 19. The College will return to in-person instruction on Thursday, January 20. 

  • Today, Monday, January 17 is advising day. 
    • Advisors may have you meet with them in-person or ask to meet with you via zoom. 
    • Please reach out to your advisor, if they have not already connected with you, to see in what manner they would like to meet with you. 
  • Tuesday, January 18 and Wednesday, January 19, all IC course work will be held remotely. 
    • Your professors will be reaching out to you with specific instructions for how your class will come together virtually over the next two days. 
    • Each course may look a little different, and the first two days of classes will be different than the rest of the semester.

Booster/Vaccination Clinic is this Wednesday, January 19 and on Wednesday, February 9 from 9-noon in Bruner Fitness and Recreation Center. 

  • Walk-ins are welcome. 
  • You can sign-up to participate here
  • The first 50 students will receive a free IC shirt. All students who participate will be entered into a raffle for both cash prizes and IC swag. 

The IC MLK Jr. Commemoration Convocation: ReAwakening The Dream: MLK, Pope Francis, and a Better Future with IC’s very own Dr. Christopher Oldenberg will be held remotely on Tuesday, January 18. Please check the IC Convocation Moodle for more information. 

Community of Care Agreement 
As we move into the start of classes, please keep in mind:

  • All members of the Illinois College community are required to wear a mask when indoors in public spaces including classrooms, laboratories, performance, and study spaces. 
  • To protect you and others, a mask must be worn correctly. Masks must be worn to cover the mouth and nose. Eating and drinking are not permitted during class.
  • In the classroom, faculty may ask you to adjust your mask if it is not sitting correctly on your face. 
  • It is your responsibility to have an appropriate mask when you are in public spaces on campus.
  • Just remember, in this case not sharing COVID is caring.

Thank you again for remaining flexible and patient as we continue to monitor the evolving landscape of COVID-19. We are excited to start the spring semester, and look forward to seeing you participate in  the many opportunities that await you. 

Take care of yourself and others,
Jessica Edonick
Dean of Students

Hilltop READY :: Updates on IC Booster/Vaccine Clinics & Isolation Protocols | Released January 14, 2022

(sent by Dean Jessica Edonick to IC students and parents)

Good afternoon IC Students,

We are excited to welcome many of you back to campus this weekend. Below are the revised protocols for isolation as we begin the spring semester. I also want to strongly encourage you to get your booster as soon as you are eligible.   

This is the best way to decrease your risk for infection and severe illness - plus - it’s a great way to show your IC community you care about their health and well being. As always, we strongly urge those who have yet to receive the vaccine to please do so as soon as possible. 

As soon as you have received your booster, submit a copy of your card to COVIDbooster@ic.edu.  It is very important for us to have a record of your booster.

The College is hosting vaccine/booster clinics on Wednesday, January 19 and Wednesday, February 9 from 9-noon in Bruner Fitness and Recreation Center. Walk-ins are welcome. The first 50 students will receive a free IC shirt. All students who participate will be entered into a raffle for both cash prizes and IC swag. 

You can sign-up to participate here.

Updated IC Protocols for Isolation 

  • Students who test positive on either a rapid or Shield test will:
  • Isolate as before. Students living within 4 hours of campus are asked to return home if possible given the limited space on campus to host students in isolation and quarantine
  • After 5 full days of isolation (positive test or first day of symptoms is day zero), if students are asymptomatic or their symptoms are improving, they may test out of isolation with a negative antigen (rapid) test. The Chesley Health & Wellness team will support students to access a rapid test either in their home community or on campus. 
  • If the rapid test is positive on day 5, students will remain in isolation.
  • We care about you, your education, and the health and wellness of our entire community. We will do this together. 

If you have any questions about the above information, please feel free to contact me or Associate Dean of Students, Jennie Hemingway. 

Take care of yourself and others,
Jessica Edonick
Dean of Students

Hilltop READY :: Updates on COVID Testing for Return to Campus This Weekend | Released January 12, 2022

(sent by Dean Jessica Edonick to IC students and parents)

Welcome to the spring semester! 

As you know, the situation with Covid-19 continues to change quickly. Based on the recommendations of various government organizations and health professionals, the College is making the following adjustments to IC’s Hilltop Ready policies and procedures:

Move-in & Testing

  • All IC students check-in the weekend of January 15 and 16. 
  • You should have signed up for a check-in time already.  If you haven’t, please complete one of the following sign-up forms as soon as possible. (form link can be found in student original email)
  • Check-in will now include both a COVID-19 rapid test and a SHIELD Test for all students regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Do not eat, drink (including water), brush teeth or use tobacco products for one hour before you SHIELD test.
  • After move-in week, students should be ready to SHIELD test even if fully vaccinated.  The extent of testing for vaccinated students will be determined based on the number of cases.  Watch your email for updates.
  • Students who are not fully vaccinated must SHIELD test once a week throughout the spring semester. 

Masks

  • IC has ordered KN-95 masks that will be distributed at check-in. IC is encouraging the use of the KN-95 mask. Remember that masks are required in indoor spaces on the IC campus. 
  • Masks only work if they are worn correctly: not down around your chin, not below your nose. 

Socializing and Dining

  • Until your SHIELD Test results are in, we are asking all students to exercise caution and strict physical distancing for these first few days after check in to reduce the risk of exposure.  
  • We understand that this will be hard to do as you are excited to be back on campus and connect with your friends again but it is only for a few days and will make a big difference in our ability to protect each other. 

I look forward to having you back on campus. We remain dedicated to providing opportunities for you to realize all that IC has to offer you inside and outside of the classroom. Please check your IC email regularly for updates as we navigate the latest wave of the virus. 

Take care,
Jessica Edonick
Dean of Students

Hilltop READY :: Return to Campus: Updates to COVID Testing Protocols | Released January 7, 2022

(sent by Dean Jessica Edonick to IC students and parents)

I hope that you are doing well and having a great start to the new year! We look forward to welcoming you back to campus soon.  

Illinois College is monitoring the spread of the coronavirus regionally and nationally and continually updating our protocols based on recommendations from the CDC and state and local public health officials. Given the current impact of the omicron and delta variants across the nation, the College will rapid test all IC students upon their return to campus regardless of vaccination status. 

Prior to the break, Residential Life emailed residential and commuter students about signing up for a time to check in for the spring 2022 term (financial clearance and move-in) on Jan. 15 and 16. This check-in time will now include a COVID-19 rapid test. If you have not signed up for a time to return to campus, please do so right away. 

In addition to creating a transformative, inclusive and in-person learning experience, IC is dedicated to promoting the safety, health and wellness of our community. Being fully-vaccinated and boosted has proven to be effective protection against COVID-19. IC will be hosting two vaccination/booster clinics on Wednesday, Jan. 19, and Wednesday, Feb. 9, for all IC students, faculty and staff. Details on these clinics and any other updates will be communicated to you in the coming weeks. Please continue to check your IC email over the winter break.

IC’s Community of Care Agreement and COVID-19 protocols can be found on the Hilltop Ready website.

Take care of yourself and others,
Jessica Edonick
Dean of Students

Hilltop READY :: Updates to Community of Care | Released December 16, 2021

(sent by Dean Jessica Edonick to IC students and parents)

You are almost there! The end of the fall 2021 semester is upon us. I am thrilled with all of your hard work in the classroom and the leadership you have shown through your student organizations and teams this fall. I have really enjoyed getting to know you this semester. 

To help you prepare for the spring 2022 semester, I wanted to share with you what to expect regarding the Community of Care Agreement and IC COVID-19 protocols once you return to campus. 

Over the past year and a half, the IC campus community has been working together to uphold the Community of Care Agreement. Winter break is approaching and we want to share some information for next semester:

  • If you have not provided proof of full vaccination by December 20, you will have to get a COVID-19 test when you return to campus. You can send a copy of your vaccine card to: COVID19concerns@ic.edu.
  • All residential students will need to sign up for a time to return to campus. You will receive an email from Residential Life with a move-back sign-up link the week of December 20.
  • All commuter students who have not provided proof of vaccination will need to test on January 16. An email with further testing details will be sent out the week of December 20.
  • Please review the Community of Care Agreement to view changes in testing expectations: in general, if you have documented that you are fully vaccinated, you will not need to participate in the College’s weekly surveillance testing protocol.

I am pleased to share that Illinois College is working with the Illinois Department of Public  Health to host two COVID-19 vaccination/booster clinics on Wednesday, January 19 and Wednesday, February 9 for all IC students, faculty, and staff. Watch for information about how you can sign up for a vaccination or booster appointment!

Please continue to check your IC email over break for more information about move in, COVID-19 testing, and any updates in regard to the spring 2022 semester.

I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing winter holiday and that you return to campus ready for an exciting spring semester!

Sincerely,
Jessica Edonick
Dean of Students

Hilltop READY :: Booster Shots are Now Recommended | Released December 3, 2021

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises across the region and country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending fully vaccinated people 18 years or older receive a booster shot. If you have not yet been fully vaccinated or received a booster, I strongly encourage you to take this step to keep yourself and others safe and healthy going into the end of semester and holiday break. Data have shown that these vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious illness that can result from a COVID-19 infection and a booster shot will add to your protection from the virus.

The CDC recommends that you should receive a booster shot if:

  • you are 18 years of age or older, and
  • it has been six months since you received the second shot in the Pfizer or Moderna primary vaccination series, or
  • It has been two months since you received the Johnson & Johnson primary vaccine.

Jacksonville’s Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and the Morgan County Health Department all have vaccines available. You can find other locations where vaccines are available and make appointments at www.vaccines.gov. Please email COVID19concerns@ic.edu if you need a ride to get your booster or vaccination. 

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, contact your healthcare provider before seeking a booster shot.

We can protect the safety of those around us through our individual actions. It is very important that you continue to SHIELD test and follow the Community of Care Agreement as the semester comes to a close. Please make sure you wear your mask correctly (over your nose and mouth). As we go into the holidays, you can protect the health of your friends, teammates, professors and family by getting fully vaccinated and receiving a booster shot.

I am thankful for all of your efforts to keep IC Hilltop READY this year. Let’s continue these efforts together and finish this semester strong.

Sincerely,
President Farley

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.