Lewis University will require students, staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before fall semester

‘A vaccination requirement will contribute to the overall health of our community, protect the most vulnerable, and best position us to thrive’

Lewis University in Romeoville announced this month it will require all of its students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the start of the fall semester.

The university said last month its leadership team was discussing which factors to consider when planning what public health measures to implement for the upcoming school year.

In the announcement, Lewis University President David Livingston cited the success of vaccinations in being the most effective defense against the spread of the novel coronavirus. Since vaccinations became available to all individuals age 12 and up, Will County and the state of Illinois have seen transmission of the virus and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 plummet.

“A vaccination requirement will contribute to the overall health of our community, protect the most vulnerable, and best position us to thrive in the fall semester and beyond,” Livingston said in the announcement.

In the last month, Will County’s rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate has declined from just under 5%, to under 2%, according to the latest Illinois Department of Public Health data. The IDPH also reports that hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Will and Kankakee counties have decreased by nearly 50% in the last month.

For those who are unable to get vaccinated, the university asks that they email its Office of Human Resources at hr@lewisu.edu no later than June 15 so other accommodations can be considered.

For more on COVID-19 vaccines, visit willcountyhealth.org.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.