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COVID-19 vaccination deadline arrives for Illinois state workers

The deadline for vaccination was pushed back 10 days from the original deadline of Oct. 4

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — State workers in Illinois and people working at state facilities are now required to have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

The deadline for vaccination was pushed back 10 days from the original deadline of Oct. 4. Employees will have to show proof they’ve had at least the first dose of the vaccine by Oct. 14, and their second dose by Nov. 18.

The deadline for vaccination was extended in Executive Order 2021-23, issued Sept. 17, after multiple workers' unions reached out to the governor's office and said the original deadline was too strict and too soon.

The mandate impacts employees at the following state facilities:

  • State veterans' homes
  • Developmental centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Juvenile justice facilities

Some workers could get exemptions from being vaccinated. Exemptions can be given for medical or religious reasons.

But, if the deadline comes and an employee doesn’t have an exemption and isn’t vaccinated, they could face disciplinary action.

According to the mandate, state employees who do not get vaccinated or get an exemption by the deadlines will face "progressive" disciplinary measures. Those measures could ultimately lead to "discharge," according to the governor's office.

Governor Pritzker said this mandate is important to protect inmates and prison workers, since they work so closely together daily.

The Illinois Department of Corrections said their employees will be required to present their vaccination card as proof on Oct. 14.

Employees who decide they won’t get vaccinated could be denied access to these state facilities, unless they agree to be tested for COVID-19 weekly. 

The executive order notes that those employees could be tested more frequently in the case of a COVID outbreak.