GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College will hold a hybrid community forum next Tuesday to discuss Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recent mask and vaccine mandate for higher education to mitigate spread of COVID-19 in Illinois.
The forum is 5-6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 31, in the Hatheway Cultural Center’s Ann Whitney Olin Theater and will be accessible by Zoom.
“Lewis and Clark is focused on the success of every student,” said President Ken Trzaska. “We strive for the most welcoming teaching and learning spaces that are safe and healthy for everyone. COVID-19 continues to complicate our daily lives and we know that you have questions and concerns about the governor’s recent announcement and how it directly impacts Lewis and Clark. We are holding a forum because we want to hear from you and reaffirm our commitment to our students and community.”
Following the most recent mandate, the college announced Thursday, Aug. 26, that vaccinations are required for all college employee team members and students, with first shots required by Sept. 5.
Per the state mandate, individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive the vaccine will be required to get tested for COVID-19 at least once per week. To facilitate this, the college will fast-track the availability of free testing on campus for the convenience of students and team members. Testing will be available Sept. 7, when students and team members return after Labor Day weekend.
Lewis and Clark has been encouraging vaccinations through PSAs on campus and social media. The college will hold multiple vaccination clinics, in conjunction with the Madison County Health Department and Illinois Department of Public Health, over the course of the semester to help protect students and team members.
Two clinics are planned for September. The first is Sept. 8, and the second Sept. 29. Both first and second doses are free and available at either clinic, but registration is required. On and off-campus community members are invited to register for an appointment at http://events.juvare.com/IL-IDPH/rstlj. The link is also posted at www.lc.edu/coronavirus. A registration link for the Sept. 29 clinic is TBA.
The mandate requires masks indoors in all public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. The college’s own indoor mask mandate for all began Aug. 6, in preparation for the fall semester. Faculty returned to campus Aug. 16, followed by students on Aug. 23.
“We strive to provide an environment that is conducive to student learning,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Jill Lane. “Providing a safe environment for our team members and students is an extremely important part of that goal.”
In-person community forum participation is limited to 250 people, to allow for social distancing. Masks will be required.
For the Zoom link, please visit www.lc.edu/coronavirus.
Participants should submit questions to the President’s Office by emailing Executive Secretary Sue Keener at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 11 a.m., Monday, Aug. 30.