Pritzker requiring daycare center staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing

Gov. Pritzker issued a new executive order Friday that will require individuals who work in licensed daycare centers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.

Over 55,000 daycare center staff in Illinois will now be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Those who are unable to or unwilling to receive the vaccine must get tested for COVID-19 at least once per week.

Depending on the situation, increased testing may be required.

"Vaccinations offer life-saving protection for the people who receive them and make the community safer for the people who can’t – including the babies, toddlers, and young children not yet eligible for the vaccine," said Pritzker. "By extending vaccine-or-test requirements to those who work at licensed day care centers, we are adding another level of protection for our youngest residents and preventing outbreaks in daycare centers as more and more parents return to work." 


All licensed daycare center staff in the state will be required to receive their first dose of a two-dose vaccine series or a single-dose vaccine by Dec. 3, 2021. The second dose of a two-dose vaccine series will be required by Jan. 3, 2022.

Daycare center staff members who are not full vaccinated by the deadline will have to get tested weekly until they are fully vaccinated.

"For continued, ongoing protection of our youth not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, this Executive Order is the best way to protect the lives of thousands of Illinoisans," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  "Scientific and medical experts have reviewed the data and found the COVID-19 vaccine will avoid serious illness, hospitalization, and even death."

This new requirement builds on existing vaccination requirements for the Pre-K-12 teachers and staff, all higher education personnel, all higher education students and healthcare workers.