Dear UIS Students, Faculty and Staff —
We have just completed an exceptionally successful Fall 2021 semester. A quick look at the numbers clearly shows how important being a highly vaccinated campus was for moving us closer to the campus experience we all miss and want.
· The number of COVID cases on campus during Fall 2021 was three times less than Fall 2020.
· Our positivity rate was half of what it was during Fall 2020.
· We placed 10 times fewer students in quarantine or isolation than in Fall 2020.
· Student Life programming increased significantly compared to Fall 2020, with several hundred students attending more than 450 events.
However, as the CRRT’s message earlier today regarding our campus positivity rate highlights, we remain on the COVID roller coaster. When we return to campus in January, we want to do so safely and in line with what public health experts are recommending. Below is new and important information regarding COVID-19 requirements for UIS students, faculty and staff who will be on campus for Spring 2022; these are in addition to our previously announced requirement to be fully vaccinated, pursuant to the employee and student vaccination policy addendums for Spring. If any additional mitigation strategies need to be announced, it will be done so via UIS email, social media channels and the United in Safety website. I encourage everyone to pay attention to these channels, should we need to make additional announcements in the coming weeks.
1. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must participate in Entry Testing for Spring 2022.
As most of you will recall, we did entry testing for about five weeks in the Fall. We have been talking with colleagues and experts throughout the state regarding the need to take this approach again, and the consensus is that we should. With Delta still surging and Omicron looming, experts believe both variants will be co-circulating in this area in January and February, and testing will be a key mitigation strategy to prevent transmission.
If you are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated: Test at least once Jan. 5 or 6 if you work on campus or at a UIS facility one or both of those days and then return to twice per week testing thereafter, unless otherwise directed.
If you are fully vaccinated (boosted or otherwise): Begin testing once per week as soon as you return to campus in January, including at least once Jan. 5 or 6 if you work one or both of those days.
Entry testing requirements for fully vaccinated individuals will end Feb. 10 unless otherwise announced. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals must continue to test twice a week. Testing hours are posted online.
2. Upload your booster record if and when you have it.
Last week, the UI System and UIS strongly encouraged getting a booster shot if you are eligible. If you already have received a booster shot, please upload your record to the Medicat patient portal at your earliest convenience. You will upload your booster information similarly to how you uploaded your original vaccination card.
From your computer:
Step 1 – Take a photo of your booster card and email it to yourself.
Step 2 – Save the photo of your booster card on your computer.
Step 3 – Log into your secure Patient Portal from the UIS Health Services website using your NetID and password.
Step 4 – From the top menu bar select Upload.
Step 5 – Scroll down to the drop-down menu under the “Choose document you are uploading.” (Do not click the link under “documents available to upload.”)
Step 6 – Select “COVID-19 Vaccine Record (New Requirement for 2021-2022).” It will not say booster.
Step 7 – Select file – and choose the photo of your booster vaccine card and hit upload.
To check to see if the card has been added to your file, choose “immunization” from the top menu bar, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Print.” This will bring up your personal immunization record that is on file with UIS. You should see the latest SARSCOV2 vaccine with the date that it was uploaded.
From a mobile device:
Step 1 – Take a photo of your booster card.
Step 2 – Log into your secure Patient Portal from the UIS Health Services website using your NetID and password.
Step 3 – Scroll down the page and select “Uploads.”
Step 4 – Scroll down to the drop-down menu that says, “Choose document you are uploading.” (Do not click the link under “documents available to upload.”)
Step 4 – Select “COVID-19 Vaccine Record (New Requirement for 2021-2022).” It will not say booster.
Step 5 – Select file – and choose the photo of the your booster vaccine card, hit upload.
To see if your booster information has been added to your file, scroll to the top and tap the hamburger icon in the top left, select immunization, scroll down and select “Print.” This will bring up your personal immunization record that is on file with UIS. You should see the latest SARSCOV2 vaccine with the date that it was uploaded.
Thank you for your continued flexibility and adherence to our United in Safety protocols. The care and commitment we have for one another is certainly Leadership Lived! I am so proud of us all and can’t thank you enough for the hard work this experience has required of us.
Karen M. Whitney, PhD
University of Illinois Springfield
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org