|Message Sent To:||All Students|
|Message From:||Message from the Wellness Center, Message from Facilities|
|Date Sent:||Thursday, February 4, 2021 10:30 AM CST|
Updates on COVID-19 Exposure Guidelines, Surveillance Testing
February 4, 2021
Our COVID-19 surveillance testing program has been up and running for three weeks now. Thanks to everyone’s patience and care, we’re off to an excellent start. In our first 20 days of operation, Loyola University Chicago has administered nearly 13,000 saliva-based tests, and our overall campus positivity rate sits at 0.20 percent. If we continue to test frequently, wear masks, and keep our distance, we can keep each other safe.
We also wanted to share two modest updates we’ve made to the University’s COVID-19 safety protocols. These changes are based on guidance from health care and infectious disease experts at both the Health Sciences Campus and at Loyola University Medical Center.
For those who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have been identified as a close contact by a contact tracer, we’re reducing the span of time by which you’ll need to quarantine from 14 to 7 days, assuming you receive a negative test for the virus (test must occur on Day 5 or later) and aren't showing symptoms. Exposed students will receive support and detailed quarantine and testing instructions from a COVID Care Coordinator. If you are identified as a close contact, you should not report to our SHIELD surveillance testing sites for your COVID-19 test. Instead, you should call Dial-A-Nurse at (773) 508-8883 to schedule a test at the Wellness Center. Dial-A-Nurse is an automated answering system; you must leave a voicemail to schedule your test. For two weeks after exposure, you should also monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, even with a negative test result. If at any time you develop symptoms or are feeling ill (even if you have not been identified as a close contact), you should call Dial-A-Nurse to schedule a COVID-19 test at the Wellness Center. Note: Anyone in the Loyola community who personally tests positive for COVID-19 will still need to isolate for 10 days.
Surveillance testing once vaccinated
For Loyolans who have received a complete COVID-19 mRNA vaccine series, we ask that you continue to participate in our surveillance testing program if you plan to spend time on our Chicagoland campuses. We had previously indicated that individuals would be excused from surveillance testing after they received their second dose of vaccine. However, we do not yet know how effective the vaccines are in preventing asymptomatic infection that could spread to others lacking COVID-19 immunity. In addition, data are still emerging regarding how COVID-19 variants—which may be more prevalent than currently known—may influence vaccine effectiveness, and we want to err on the side of caution.
If you haven’t visited one of our testing sites yet, you can watch this video tutorial to see exactly how the process works. Should you have further questions, please consult Loyola’s On-Campus Testing website or email COVID-19testing@LUC.edu.
Thanks, as always, for your cooperation.
Joan Holden, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC
Health and Safety Officer, Management, Policy, and Command
Director, Wellness Center
Associate Vice President for Facilities
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