Dental News Archive

  • August 27, 2021

IL governor mandates Covid vaccine for all healthcare workers

ISDS stated in an Aug. 26 email to members:

In light of Governor JB Pritzker’s press conference this morning, and subsequent Executive Order, announcing changes to vaccination requirements and face coverings, we wish to keep members apprised of how this impacts the profession of dentistry in Illinois. 

In short, the intent of the Governor’s Executive Order, which carries the force of law, appears to be a mandate for all Health Care Workers to be fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.  Dental offices and the significant majority of personnel (for example: owners, employees, associates) will meet the definition of a Health Care Worker under this Executive Order.

More detailed information:

Health Care Worker Vaccinations (see definition at bottom)

All Health Care Workers must have the first dose of a two-dose Covid-19 vaccine series (for example: Moderna or Pfizer) or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine (for example: Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) within 10 days of August 26 and then fully vaccinated against Covid-19 within 30 days following administration of the first dose in a two-dose vaccination series.  This means the first dose must be received before September 6 and the second dose before Oct. 6 (of a two-dose Covid-19 vaccine series).

Proof of Vaccination: Health Care Workers must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to the Health Care Facility (this specifically includes dental offices).  In terms of a dental office, this would generally mean providing proof to the employer.  

Such proof may include:

  • CDC Covid-19 vaccination record card or photograph of the card
  • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider or electronic health record
  • State immunization records

Testing for Covid-19 (until fully vaccinated)

Health Care Workers who are not yet fully vaccinated against Covid-19 must be tested for COVID-19 weekly, at a minimum.  The Health Care Facility (for example: employer) must obtain proof or confirmation from the Health Care Worker of a negative test result until the individual is fully vaccinated by the dates listed above.  No-cost testing is available at local health centers and select pharmacies, please click here to locate such a testing site.

Health Care Facilities (again, which include dental offices) shall exclude Health Care Workers who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from the premises unless they comply with the testing requirements in the interim period.

Exemption: Individuals are exempt from the requirement to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 if they demonstrate they are exempt due to:

  • Medical exemption: Vaccination is medically contraindicated, including any individual who is entitled to an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act or any other law applicable to a disability-related reasonable accommodation, OR
  • Religious exemption: Vaccination would require the individual to violate or forgo a “sincerely” held religious belief, practice, or observance.

Individuals with a medical or religious exemption shall undergo, at a minimum, weekly testing for Covid-19 and provide proof of negative test result to the Health Care Facility.

Face Coverings

Face covering rules will not have changed for dental practices – all individuals entering or working within dental practices are still required to continue wearing a face covering.

Abbreviated Definitions from Executive Order 2021-20 (Full definitions available on page 3 of Executive Order 2021-20):

Health Care Workers: employed by, volunteers for, or is contracted to provide services for a Health Care Facility, or is employed by an entity that is contracted to provide services to a Health Care Facility AND is in close contact (fewer than 6 feet) with others persons in the facility for more than 15 minutes at least once a week on a regular basis as determined by the Health Care Facility. 

Term Health Care Worker does not include any person who is present at the Health Care Facility for only a short period of time and whose moments of close physical proximity to others on site (for example: deliveries).

Health Care Facility: any institution, building, or agency, or portion of an institution, building, or agency, whether public or private (for-profit or nonprofit), that is used, operated or designed to provide health services, medical treatment or nursing, or rehabilitative or preventative care to any person or persons.  This specifically includes dental offices.  Please reference the attached Executive Order under Section 2, a. ii for the full listing of health care facilities.

Fully vaccinated against Covid-19: an individual is fully vaccinated against Covid-19 two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use, licensed, or otherwise approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or two weeks after receiving a single-dose Covid-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use, licensed, or otherwise approved by the FDA.