SPRINGFIELD, IL (WEHT) – Governor JB Pritzker today announced that the Arbitrator in the State’s Vaccine Mandate Interest Arbitration determined that the State can and should require vaccinations for Illinois Department of Correction (IDOC) guards and Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) staff.

This decision will ensure employees in State Correctional Centers and Juvenile Justice facilities are protected with the COVID-19 vaccines. Employees subject to this decision will be required to get their first shot by January 31, 2022 unless they are approved for a religious or medical exemption.

“The recent surge of cases brought on by the Omicron variant has brought a serious threat to our state, and I’m glad that this ruling will protect nearly 10,000 state workers and all of the people at these facilities,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Protecting the health and safety of workers and residents across the state remains a top priority for my administration and I look forward to continued discussions with our labor partners as we move forward with the task of keeping our employees and residents of our congregate facilities safe.””

All Illinois residents over the age of 5 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost and proof of immigration status is not required to receive the vaccine. People can go here to find a nearby location to receive a vaccine or booster dose. Testing locations can be found here, as well as hours of operation for these sites.