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Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and testing of students and employees

Please see below for information for students and employees, and an FAQ about testing on campus:

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and testing of students

In accordance with the mandate from the state of Illinois and the college’s COVID-19 mitigation plans, Augustana College will require that all students verify that they are fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination. Students who are unwilling or unable to receive the vaccine, as well as students who are not yet fully vaccinated or who have not provided their vaccination status, will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

The college conducted the first round of COVID-19 testing for students during the week of Sept. 6.

Students subject to testing will receive an email informing them of their scheduled weekly COVID test day. Effective the week of Sept. 13, 2021, students who fail to submit to testing on their scheduled test day will be subject to sanctions, as outlined below.

Requirements for students subject to COVID testing

Students who are not vaccinated, including those who are not fully vaccinated, against COVID-19 and students who have not provided verification of their vaccination status must participate in community weekly COVID testing. Students who fail to comply with these testing requirements will be subject to sanctions for violating the college’s COVID-19 mitigation requirements. In the case of failure to participate in testing, students will receive a warning for their first offense.

Second offenses will result in a written warning and a $50 fine. Any student who misses two consecutive weeks of mandatory testing, however, is prohibited from accessing academic and administrative buildings on campus. Students who miss two consecutive weeks who do not reside in campus-owned housing also will be prohibited from visiting any campus-owned housing. Students who are prohibited from accessing campus buildings under this policy may gain access by completing a COVID-19 test.

The college will not provide remote learning opportunities to students who are prohibited from being on campus due to their failure to participate in testing.

A third offense of a COVID mitigation requirement, including testing, will result in the student being placed on probation and a $100 fine. Any student who misses three consecutive weeks of mandatory testing also will be prohibited from accessing all campus-owned buildings and housing, including the residence halls. Students who are prohibited from accessing campus buildings and housing under this policy may gain access by completing a COVID-19 test.

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and testing of employees

In accordance with the mandate from the state of Illinois and the college’s COVID-19 mitigation plans, Augustana College will require that all employees verify that they are fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination. Employees who are unwilling or unable to receive the vaccine, as well as employees who are not yet fully vaccinated or who have not provided their vaccination status, will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

Weekly testing will be conducted in accordance with state and federal requirements. 

The college conducted the first round of COVID-19 testing for employees during the week of Sept. 6.

Employees subject to testing will receive an email informing them of their scheduled weekly COVID test day. Effective the week of Sept. 13, 2021, employees who fail to complete testing on their scheduled test day will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination, as outlined below.

Requirements for employees subject to COVID testing

Employees who are not vaccinated, including those who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and employees who have not provided verification of their vaccination status, must participate in weekly community COVID testing on campus. Employees who fail to comply with COVID-19 testing requirements will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. In accordance with current state requirements, unvaccinated employees who do not participate in testing also are subject to restrictions from accessing campus.

The first time an employee fails to complete a COVID test, they will receive a written warning. The second time an employee fails to complete a COVID test, they will receive a second written warning. Employees who fail to complete a COVID test three times will be subject to a disciplinary suspension. Employees who fail to complete a COVID test four times may be subject to termination of employment.

In addition to the progressive discipline outlined above, failure to appear for tests two or more consecutive weeks will result in inability to return to campus until a test is completed. Remote work arrangements will not be made for employees refusing testing.

Frequently asked questions about COVID testing on campus

Q: How do I verify my COVID vaccination?

A: COVID vaccination status may be verified by a COVID vaccine card, or another form signed by a medical professional, or provided by a state department of public health that you received an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: What if I am off campus or just not able to make it to the test on my scheduled day?

A: Students and employees are encouraged to prioritize taking a test on their scheduled day.

It is possible, however, that employees might be scheduled for a vacation day or a student might be off campus occasionally. When this occurs, please follow instructions on your testing email to find another day in the week to test. Employees who are off campus for the full week will not be subject to a testing requirement that week, but must participate in testing when they return to campus.

Q: What happens if I miss my scheduled COVID test on campus?

A: Students and employees are required to participate in on-campus testing on a weekly basis. Individuals may get testing any time on their assigned day during Augustana Convenient Care clinic testing hours of 10 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. weekdays. If you miss the scheduled, college-paid COVID test on campus, you may provide verification of completing a COVID test, even if results are not yet available. If you choose alternative, off-campus testing arrangements, you are responsible for any and all costs associated with the test.

Q: What if I am unable to arrange an alternative COVID test?

A: Anyone who is required to test and does not participate in weekly testing on campus, or submit evidence of completing a COVID test, is subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. Failure to comply with these testing requirements is a serious violation. Individuals who consecutively fail to participate in weekly COVID testing requirements also are subject to restrictions from being present on campus, as required by the state of Illinois.

Q: Is the COVID test safe?

A: Augustana College has contracted with Genesis Health System to provide and conduct all COVID testing of students and employees. Only FDA-approved tests are used.

Q: If I miss the campus scheduled test paid for by Augustana, where else can I get a test?

A: Augustana College will provide COVID tests at no cost to community members on their scheduled weekly test day, and during the employee’s work hours.

If you do not take advantage of this benefit you may choose to obtain testing on your own, and at your own expense. A test from a local medical clinic or pharmacy would satisfy the requirement. However, home tests do not satisfy the requirement.

Q: I have missed two of my scheduled COVID tests on campus, and am now told I cannot return to campus until I submit a COVID test. What are my options?

A: Missing tests will result in disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from campus and termination of employment for college employees.

An employee who has missed two consecutive tests will be prohibited from entering campus-owned buildings. Missed work due to this prohibition will be unpaid. Employees will be unable to use paid time off or COVID leave for this suspension. Nor will employees be permitted to work from home while on a campus suspension.

An employee who missed three or more COVID tests will be subject to more serious disciplinary action, up to and including suspension and termination of employment. Students who miss three consecutive tests will be prohibited from entering all campus-owned buildings, including the residence halls. After suspension from campus, the only way to gain access to campus property will be to complete a COVID-19 test, and to participate in weekly testing.

A student who has missed two consecutive tests will be prohibited from entering all academic and administrative buildings on campus. This will prevent the student from attending classes. If you have missed two consecutive tests, you may be allowed to return to campus by completing a COVID-19 test. You will be able to do this on campus at the Convenient Care Clinic, and you will be allowed to return to campus for this purpose only.

You also may choose to complete a COVID-19 test privately, on your own time and at your own expense. As soon as you are able to provide proof of having completed a test (even if you don’t have the results yet), you may return to campus. Of course, any individual with a positive COVID test must isolate in accordance with current requirements.

Q: Will Augustana continue to test community members even if the state or federal government does not require it?

A: Upon the termination of any state or federal mandated testing, Augustana College will determine the frequency of COVID-19 testing required on campus for unvaccinated and vaccinated community members.