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Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I hope each of you are enjoying the warmer weather, and you all have plans to find some time to relax and rejuvenate over the summer. We are looking forward with great anticipation to the Fall 2021 semester and the return to a much more normal campus experience for working, learning and living.

On May 17, the Governor’s Office issued an Executive Order detailing updated public health guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Governor’s announcement includes a Bridge Phase which began in Illinois May 14.

As a response to updated guidelines offered by Illinois’ Bridge Phase and enhanced CDC recommendations, EIU is implementing the following changes to our campus face masking policy. These modifications will take effect beginning Monday, May 24.

Face Masks (On Campus, Outdoors)

Face masks will not be required outdoors for anyone who is fully vaccinated or for anyone who is not fully vaccinated but who can maintain appropriate (minimum 6-feet) physical distancing.

Face Masks (On Campus, Indoors)

General Guidance: With no way to easily or unobtrusively determine who has been fully vaccinated*, the default will remain that all individuals  regardless of vaccination status — must wear face masks while indoors in shared settings including summer classrooms, Student Medical Clinic, Shield Testing (Court 5, Student Rec Center), indoor public spaces and riding the Panther Shuttle. However, the following exceptions exist:**

  • Private Offices and Multi-Person Offices
    Employees are not required to wear face masks when alone in their private office.  Employees in multi-person offices are not required to wear face masks if all people in the workspace are fully vaccinated*.

  • Meetings in Offices and/or Conference Rooms (This does not include ballrooms, auditoriums, classrooms or other large meeting spaces.)
    In cases where all people attending a meeting or gathering in an office or conference room have been fully vaccinated*, face masks will not be required.

  • Research Labs and Shared Academic Spaces (Non-Classroom)
    In cases where all people working in research labs or non-classroom academic spaces have been fully vaccinated*, face masks will not be required.

* Fully vaccinated individuals are two (2) weeks past their second injection (Pfizer or Moderna) or single injection (Johnson & Johnson) vaccinations.

**Declaration of an employee or student being fully vaccinated in these contexts will be based on the honor system. No one should request to see anyone’s vaccination card or other documentation.

Additional guidance is anticipated as the State approaches Phase 5, which may begin as early as mid-June. When the Phase 5 guidelines are announced, we anticipate further easing of face mask requirements for fully vaccinated employees and students.

The best way to truly end the pandemic and return to normal operations is for all students and employees to receive vaccinations if they can do so. As such, students and employees are strongly encouraged by the University to get vaccinated. Vaccines are currently and widely available for people age 12 and older.

As always, the university continues to monitor the situation and will continue to update our guidelines as more information is made available from the CDC, Governor’s Office, IDPH and the IBHE. We are working quickly to update our existing resources with guidance and information. We will continue to provide more information about any further adjustments or changes to our operations and policies

We wholly appreciate your continued patience as we navigate this newest phase. If you have questions about any of these new changes, you can always email

With gratitude,


David Glassman
President, Eastern Illinois University