With the surge of new Covid cases and variants across the state, the Governor (J.B. Pritzker) has issued a new vaccine mandate for campuses across the state. An extension was made until September 19, 2021 for students to get vaccinated, where Lewis and Clark will then begin weekly testing for unvaccinated students.
This change backs newly available COVID-19 data, indicating that we are up by nearly 300 percent of daily cases than we were roughly a year ago (1,500 daily infections in September 2020 to 4,500 daily infections in September 2021). Vaccines will be available all the time—absolutely free—on campus for any student that wishes to receive a first or second dosage.
In the short term, this change should help prevent the spread of the virus at Lewis and Clark. Preventing an outbreak means a higher likelihood of maintaining in-person classes, which is something that many students can appreciate. Wearing masks, social distancing when possible, and getting vaccinated are key to keeping yourself and our campus safe.
With daily cases continuing to soar, it remains unclear whether or not this mandate will ever be laxed. The best and easiest way to avoid testing is to receive one of the three FDA authorized vaccinations; these are the only accepted treatments at Lewis and Clark, and they remain as the most effective and trusted means of treating the virus. Any and all vaccinated students can prove their vaccination status via a secure form to L&C and be exempt from weekly testing.
As we begin a new fight to stop the spread of COVID-19, it is important to consider not only the health and safety of yourself, but also the health of fellow peers and staff on campus. For any questions about Covid and/or Lewis and Clark’s new policies, visit www.lc.edu/coronavirus.