Daycare Staff Required to Vaccinate or Test Under New Executive Order

By Jeremy Coumbes on October 22, 2021 at 1:55pm

Anyone who works in a licensed daycare center in the state of Illinois will be required to get vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 soon.

Governor J.B. Pritzker issued another executive order for COVID vaccination and testing this afternoon.

Pritzker says the order is an effort to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of Illinois’ youngest residents, employees of licensed daycare centers will be required to have received at least the first dose of vaccine by December 3rd and the second dose by January 3rd.

The executive order covers more than 55,000 daycare center staff statewide. According to the announcement, employees in these settings who are unable or unwilling to receive the vaccine will be required to get tested for COVID-19 at least once per week and increased testing frequency may be required in certain situations.

Licensed daycare centers are child care facilities licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The centers are operated outside an individual’s home and regularly provide child care for groups of children ages 0-12.

Currently, there are 2,872 licensed daycare centers in Illinois. The executive order is the latest in a series of orders since the vaccine became readily available earlier this year.

On August 4th, Pritzker announced vaccinations would be required for all state employees who work in the state’s congregate facilities, including individuals at the Illinois Departments of Human Services (IDHS), Corrections (IDOC), Veterans Affairs (IDVA), and Juvenile Justice (IDJJ).

Pritzker issued requirements on August 26th that all Pre-K-12 teachers and staff; all higher education personnel; all higher education students; and healthcare workers in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care facilities, and physician offices are to either get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

Currently there are no COVID vaccines approved for use in those under the age of 12, however earlier today Pfizer announced it’s vaccine is 90.7% effective against symptomatic COVID in children ages 5 to 11.

Pfzer is currently seeking emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration of a 10-microgram, two-dose regimen for children.