Students at McHenry County College who refuse to comply with COVID-19 vaccine and testing requirements will be removed from in-person classes starting next semester.
In late August, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced vaccine mandates for preschool through 12th-grade teachers and staff, higher education personnel, higher education students, and healthcare workers in a variety of settings like hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care and doctor’s offices.
Those who refuse to get the vaccine are required to get tested for COVID-19 at least once a week under the governor’s mandate.
During a Thursday Board of Trustees meeting, McHenry County College President Clint Gabbard said that 100% of employees have complied with the state’s mandate.
Gabbard said approximately 80-85% of students have also complied with the mandate by either getting fully vaccinated or testing weekly.
He said about 300 students have not been compliant. “We did not deny them entry to campus. We reached out time and time again.”
Everyone who registers for the spring semester will be required to commit to the mandate if they are taking in-person classes.
Otherwise, those who refuse to comply during the spring semester, which starts in January, will not be allowed to attend in-person classes.
“I can tell you it goes against every fiber in our beings to talk to students about ‘you’re not going to be able to come on campus.’ Our campus has been richer for having students in it,” Gabbard said.
“It’s a change. It’s one we wish wasn’t taking place. But our hope is that the folks who want to be here will step up,” he added.
Last month, the College of Lake County set a deadline of October 14 for students to either get vaccinated or opt for weekly testing.
The school said those who did not comply would be automatically withdrawn from in-person and hybrid classes.
The College of Lake County said in October that approximately 30% of students were not in compliance. They did not provide an updated figure once the deadline passed.