COVID-19 Testing Halted at LLC


No more COVID tests at LLC! Photo provided by Jones Day.​​

Paul Dorman, Reporter

Over the summer, testing for COVID-19 to gain access to Lake Land College (LLC) facilities finally came to a close after the expiration of Section 4 of a series of Executive Orders signed by Gov. of Illinois Pritzker. The testing was in effect for all in-person students, staff, faculty, and in some cases visitors who remained unvaccinated but requested to be on campus for long periods, whether for class or other college-related business.


Executive Order 2021-22 (COVID-19 Executive Order No. 88) was signed on Sep. 3, 2022, whereas the actual testing requirements concerning the COVID-19 testing for Higher Education, referred to as Section 4, went into effect on Sep. 19, 2022. The Orders were extended on near-monthly periods leading up to Executive Order 2022-14 (No. 107), which was the last one in effect. It was signed on June 24, 2022, and lasted until July 12, 2022, when Executive Order 2022-16 (No. 109) was signed, effectively ending Section 4. The testing was, therefore, in effect for exactly nine months and 23 days.


The Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) was put in charge of handling the overall pandemic response of LLC. The EOC’s job extends outside of pandemics as well, as there are several plans in place to respond to sudden changes in security and safety, including fires, tornados, and aggressors on campus. The EOC consists mainly of individuals from LLC’s Administration and several first responding groups, such as the campus police officers and the two nurses of LLC.


Vice President of Student Services Valerie Lynch was a part of the EOC during this time. She was able to provide a little backstory as well as more information on the sudden and very rapid changes the college was thrown into. “The most challenging part of it all was handling the new sets of guidelines constantly coming out from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” Lynch stated. The EOC and the Cabinet of the college met regularly to sort out how they would respond to the changes as the status of the pandemic shifted. She goes on to further state challenges in the development of testing centers, citing logistics such as identifying who is and isn’t vaccinated, ordering supplies, hiring additional staff and handling the overall setup of the testing facilities. However, they managed to quickly resolve these challenges as the facilities were deployed in the whole operation in Nov. of the same year, resulting in just two months of strategic planning and development.


Due to July’s Executive Order modifications, students and staff no longer have to test for COVID-19 to attend the campus in person. It remains to be seen whether or not any of the current provisions will change in the future as the situation continues to evolve. For more information, students, staff, and visitors can find the updated guidelines here on the college’s website:

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