Evanston Township High School plans to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or a negative COVID test within 72 hours, for certain events and activities at the school.

While student vaccinations are not mandated, voluntary testing at ETHS will begin during the week of Oct. 11.

However, in a message on the District 202 website, superintendent Eric Witherspoon says “unvaccinated students who want to participate in extracurricular activities will not be able to opt out of testing.”

Such students will only be allowed to take part in these activities if they have the weekly COVID test with a negative result. The same thing will be true for unvaccinated students attending certain events, participant or not.

Visitors to the school will also apparently have to submit proof of vaccination or negative test results before going to some indoor events, beginning next month.

The district says “if you want to attend ETHS events in person, particularly large gatherings, you may need to submit your proof of vaccination or negative test results in advance.”

While specific events are not mentioned, it appears these regulations could cover things such as basketball or concerts.

More details on submitting proof will be available soon.

More than three-quarters of ETHS students have already provided proof of COVID vaccination. That number may increase today, as there is a vaccination clinic on campus.

Vaccinations are required for teachers and other staff members. Approximately 87 percent of ETHS employees are fully vaccinated, based on numbers on the district’s COVID dashboard. Staff members may only opt out if they have a legitimate religious or medical exemption, and then will have to be tested regularly, as per orders from Governor J.B. Pritzker.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.