Illinois Daycare Workers Must Get COVID Vaccine or Test Weekly, Pritzker Says

Similar requirements also apply to pre-K through 12th grade teachers and staff, workers in congregate settings and those in higher education

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In an effort to protect young children who aren't eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced an executive order Friday requiring workers at daycare facilities to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing requirements.

The mandate applies to more than 55,000 staff members who work at 2,872 licensed daycare facilities statewide. Those who opt not to be vaccinated for COVID-19 will must undergo testing at least once a week, the governor's office said in a news release.

According to the executive order, workers will be required to receive their first dose of a two-dose vaccine series or a single-dose vaccine by Dec. 3, and the second dose of a two-dose vaccine series by Jan. 3, 2022.

“Vaccinations offer life-saving protection for the people who receive them and make the community safer for the people who can’t..." Pritzker said. “By extending vaccine-or-test requirements to those who work at licensed day care centers, we are adding another level of protection for our youngest residents and preventing outbreaks in daycare centers as more and more parents return to work.”

Late this summer, Illinois announced vaccination or testing requirements for pre-K through 12th grade teachers and staff, higher education personnel and students as well as workers in a variety of congregate settings such as nursing homes and hospitals.

Last week, the state once again extended the deadline for workers in state congregate settings to receive their first dose as it continued negotiations with two unions.

Workers in mandated groups have until Oct. 26, to receive the first dose of a two-dose vaccination series or a single-dose vaccination. Second doses of the vaccine must be received by 30 days after the first dose, according to the state requirement.

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