Feb 8, 2022
Thank you all for your hard work and cooperation throughout the past several months as we worked to keep our campus community healthy by implementing a number of COVID-19 safety protocols.
To address a question many have asked — all students, employees and visitors must continue to wear masks in indoor spaces on Oakton’s campuses. Higher education institutions, including community colleges, are NOT impacted by the temporary restraining order on the enforcement of mask mandates and other COVID-19 mitigations issued by a downstate Illinois judge last Friday.
As most know, a statewide mandate was issued in August requiring students and employees to submit proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status or enroll in weekly testing.
We’re proud to say that, to date, 98% of employees and 88% of students enrolled in face-to-face classes are in compliance — far more than many of our peer institutions.
Special thanks to IT for quickly developing a secure portal to upload vaccination cards and test results. Thanks also to Student Affairs staff for leading the work of tracking student compliance, including communicating with non-compliant students, and Human Resources staff for tracking employee compliance. And of course, we greatly appreciate all of the faculty and staff who continue to remind students of our protocols and connect them with resources to support their compliance. This was — and continues to be — no easy task, and we appreciate your support.
The College developed a guide to help students understand the steps needed to comply with the vaccine/testing mandates. We encourage faculty and staff to share it with students who may have questions. Students with additional questions or who believe they have been inaccurately flagged as non-compliant should be directed to contact the Office of Student Affairs (Room 2270, Des Plaines) at email@example.com or (847) 635-1739.
Here are a few helpful reminders as we continue working to keep our campus community safe and further increase compliance rates.
Free, on-campus COVID-19 testing is available at the Des Plaines and Skokie campuses, Monday through Friday, in partnership with SHIELD Illinois. (Hours and scheduling instructions). The College strongly recommends those in the weekly testing protocol use the on-campus testing services.
Students and employees unable to utilize Oakton’s on-campus testing program but are completing weekly COVID-19 testing elsewhere can alternatively upload proof of their test via a secure portal.
Please note: Per the guidance of local and state mandates, at home, self-administered COVID tests cannot be accepted by the College for COVID testing compliance. Off-campus tests must be processed through verified third parties – such as pharmacies, other SHIELD sites or approved testing labs. Acceptable off-campus testing must include both identity verification and accompanying documentation – whether electronic or in hard copy form.
Reporting positive COVID-19 cases and close contacts:
Students enrolled in classes with an on-campus component and employees that report to campus (regardless of vaccination status) are requested to self-report in the following categories:
- Testing Positive for COVID-19, 2. Experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, 3. Having had close contact with a person known to have tested positive for COVID-19, or 4. Having had close contact with a person experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.
Individuals determined to be possible close contacts will be contacted by the College’s contact tracing team to inform them of next steps.
Visit the Return to Campus section of the College’s website: www.oakton.edu/return for more information about Oakton’s COVID-19 protocols. Students with additional questions should continue to reach out to Student Affairs, and employees should contact Human Resources. Faculty members may also consult their Deans for guidance in addressing specific in-classroom situations related to student mandate compliance.
Thank you all once again for your continued cooperation as we navigate COVID-19’s evolving challenges while fulfilling our mission of empowering and transforming students’ lives by providing high-quality education opportunities.
President’s Council of Oakton Community College