Quincy University has announced updates to its COVID-19 policies after a new executive order was issued by the Governor of the State of Illinois on August 26.

“Consistent with QU’s understanding of guidance from the Catholic Church, we have recommended that every person who is medically eligible should be vaccinated,” said Brian McGee, Ph.D., QU president. “We have also understood the Church as maintaining that vaccination should be voluntary rather than mandatory. However, as a university operating in the State of Illinois, we are obligated to follow the new executive order, and we will do so.”

Beginning August 30, facemasks are now required for all individuals, including campus visitors, when inside campus buildings.  This requirement is for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and applies to all indoor public spaces.  Beyond the usual allowances for all members of the community when eating and drinking, masks are not required when students are in their residence hall rooms with their roommates or when engaged in personal grooming in their residence halls. In addition, employees working in their individual offices or cubicles may remove their masks provided they can maintain 6 feet of physical distancing.

As required by the State of Illinois, unvaccinated individuals at QU should get their initial COVID-19 vaccination on or before September 7, 2021, unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.  All students or employees who are not fully vaccinated by that date will be required to take a COVID-19 test on a weekly basis until they are fully vaccinated or for as long as they receive a medical or religious exemption or are in the process of seeking an exemption. Those individuals wishing to request a medical or religious exemption will be given ample time to do so.

“Because the new state requirements were announced with a very short timeline, we will do everything we can to accommodate the unique circumstances of each member of our community,” said McGee. “Some of our students and employees will require time to consult with their healthcare providers and religious advisors, and we will work with each individual to meet individual needs.”

Details about the new facemask and vaccination requirements are posted on the university’s COVID-19 website at www.quincy.edu/coronavirus/ or will be emailed directly to members of the QU community.

At the beginning of the 2021 fall terms, 68 percent of QU students (excluding students taking online courses only) had been partially or fully vaccinated, and almost all of those are fully vaccinated. Eighty-seven percent of full-time faculty and staff at Quincy University have been partially or fully vaccinated, and almost all of those are fully vaccinated. For the entire QU community, 71 percent of our target faculty, staff and student population have been vaccinated, exceeding the 70 percent goal the university set in May 2021. More students and other QU community members have received their initial vaccination since the beginning of the term, and updated vaccination percentages will be announced periodically.

New recommendations from the CDC, changes in Illinois policies and rules, updated recommendations from local public health officials or additional guidance from the Catholic Church might lead QU to revise its policies related to COVID-19.

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University is a small Catholic university emphasizing the sciences, liberal arts and the professions. Quincy University offers undergraduate, graduate and adult education programs integrating practical experience and Franciscan values. Faculty and advisors work with students to design customized success plans to help them graduate on time, find their passion and prepare them for life. QU is a member of NCAA Division II for intercollegiate athletics. For more information, please visit www.quincy.edu or contact the Office of Community Relations at (217) 228-5275 or communityrelations@quincy.edu. Quincy University. Success by Design.