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Message Sent To:All Faculty, All Staff, All Students
Message From:Message from the Office of the President
Date Sent:Thursday, March 5, 2020 04:53 PM CST

COVID-19 Update: CDC & Travel Updates

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

It is our hope that you have rested and been renewed during spring break. As you prepare to return to campus, it’s important that you are current with the latest updates that Loyola University Chicago has received on the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak.

We have been communicating since January, and in keeping with our Ignatian values, we believe it is our civic responsibility to do everything we can to protect each other, prevent the spread of the virus, keep in mind the most vulnerable among us and remain respectful, compassionate, and caring.

Within this message, please find important reminders and links on how to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 along with policies and resources to utilize and share with fellow students, family, friends, and co-workers. We should all be informed and care for each other as one University community and as global citizens. Your cooperation is integral to helping slow the spread of this virus.

  • Guidance from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) on staying home if sick or at-home 14-day isolation.
  • Loyola travel policy modified to align with CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) travel restrictions:
  • New, dedicated Coronavirus information site with LUC Resources: LUC.edu/coronavirus
  • Coronavirus Response and Prevention Task Force
  • Update on Office of International Programs and John Felice Rome Center
  • Reminder of Loyola community’s call to prevent spread of Coronavirus

Guidance from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chicago Department of Public Health

The CDC and CDPH have issued guidance to all schools and institutions of higher education on COVID-19. They also remind us that it is still flu season; the precautions taken for COVID-19 are the same, sound measures against the spread of flu.

Both the CDC and CDPH recommend that any students, faculty, or staff returning from or passing through CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries (China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) should stay home and not return to campus or campus events for 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread, ongoing community spread and practice social distancing. Students from the John Felice Rome Center (JFRC) have returned back from Italy and are staying in their respective homes with their families in compliance with the CDC and CDPH guidelines.

For those that have travelled to or pass through these Level 3 countries, please follow these instructions during this time and take these steps to monitor your health and keep a safe distance (six feet is recommended) from those who might be sick:

  • Stay home and do not go to school or work. This includes not visiting any of Loyola’s Chicago campuses or off-campus programs and events.
  • Take your temperature with a thermometer twice a day and watch your health.
  • If you develop a fever (100.4°F/38°C) or cough, seek medical care immediately.
  • Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them your symptoms and that you were in an affected area. Students can call the Wellness Center Dial-A-Nurse at 773-508-8883 during business hours. Faculty and staff should call their health care provider.
  • In Chicago, you may also call CDPH at 312-746-7425 during business hours. After hours, call 311 and request to speak to the Medical Director on call. If calling from outside Chicago, please dial 312-744-5000. If symptoms develop and you call the CDH, please notify them that you are a Loyola student, staff, or faculty member.
  • In the case of a medical emergency, dial 911.
  • The CDC also provides guidance to families on how to care for a family member and resources for the home.

COVID-19 Virus Symptoms (potential to develop from two days to 14 days after exposure)

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

Students, faculty, and staff should seek immediate medical attention in the event that any symptoms are noticed.

Illness Prevention

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are healthy wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Loyola Travel Policy Restrictions: Alignment with CDC and WHO

Given the evolving nature of this global health concern, please stay current on updates to the University travel policy by regularly checking LUC.edu/coronavirus. If and when necessary travel policy changes are implemented, updates will be posted to this site.

In addition, when travelling on non-University sponsored trips, students, faculty and staff should also source information from government-issued travel advisories. This will ensure that you are informed on the proper health protocols to minimize exposure and enable you to exercise appropriate caution.

With the ongoing concern for international travel amidst the coronavirus outbreak, we have modified our travel policy to align with CDC and WHO travel restrictions. Loyola has put in place the following University-wide restrictions, effective immediately:

  • No University-sponsored travel for faculty, staff, and students to Travel Advisory Level 3 countries (China, Iran, Italy and South Korea)

  • Faculty, staff, or students who must travel for personal reasons to a Level 3 countries must follow instructions on a mandatory 14-day at-home isolation upon their entry back in the United States. Therefore, these travelers cannot return to work or classes until the end of that period. They are expected to contact the Wellness Center and CDC and wait for additional instructions. Faculty and staff may contact their health care provider with questions.

  • Faculty, staff, or students traveling to any Level 2 international location are expected to use caution and take necessary steps to ensure proper health protocols to minimize any exposure to the virus. Please see CDC recommendation for Level 2 countries:
    • Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing non-essential travel.
    • Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60 to 95 percent alcohol.
    • Travelers should watch their health during travel and for 14 days after returning to the United States.

Dedicated LUC Coronavirus Site: Resources & Guidance

In addition to the formation and work of the Coronavirus Response and Prevention Task Force, the University has created a dedicated COVID-19 (coronavirus) site on LUC.edu/coronavirus which will evolve over time with relevant updates about our University’s response team, decisions regarding students and operations, Office of International Programs, and other meaningful internal and external resources to utilize and share with the broader community so we are all informed and prepared.

There is a lot of misinformation and speculation about the outbreak, treatment, and responses to slow the spread of the virus. Please take time to review our Coronavirus Response Resource site, which has comprehensive information and is regularly updated. We encourage you to share it with friends and family.

Coronavirus Response and Prevention Task Force

The health, wellbeing, and safety of our students, staff, and faculty is of utmost importance to us, and we established a Coronavirus Response and Prevention Task Force in early-January.

Since then, our Loyola Wellness Center and the Coronavirus Task Force have been continually monitoring the COVID-19 situation. They are working closely with global, national, and local health agencies and experts like the WHO, CDC, CDPH, the American College Health Association (ACHA), and our own medical experts and academics at Loyola’s Health Sciences Center in Maywood. This group is led by Thomas M. Kelly, office of the president and senior vice president of administrative services, and aligned with Provost and Chief Academic Officer Norberto Grzywacz.

Members of this task force are in close contact with the aforementioned organizations and also federal, state, and civic authorities; other colleges and universities; hospitals; and public health officials to coordinate effective communication and prepare for potential scenarios in the event that this current situation escalates.

Office of International Programs & John Felice Rome Center Student Update

The Coronavirus Response and Prevention Task Force, in conjunction with the Office of International Programs (OIP), the JFRC, and the Loyola Vietnam Center (LVC), have been working together to assess risks and ensure the well-being of all of our students - international and study abroad students - with as little disruption to their academic programs as is possible and prudent.

For those students in programs outside the U.S., we remain in continuous communication with representatives at our study abroad providers and university placements across the globe. Loyola continues to care for and closely monitor the situation and are working with national and local health agencies and experts.

Currently, there are no cases or disruptions to report in other programs since we announced the moratorium to travel to China several weeks ago and the repatriation of students from the JFRC in Rome. We are in continual communication with students, faculty, and staff in the field in the countries where they are conducting their studies. We are asking them to be aware and inform us regularly about their individual country health requirements and to follow guidelines established by Loyola and the health authorities in their host countries.

In Vietnam (where the travel advisory remains at Level 1), our LVC program in Ho Chi Minh City is in operation after a two-week extended holiday for University programs as requested by the Vietnamese government.

As we have shared with you, once the travel advisory level for Italy was raised to Level 3, we made the decision to repatriate the JFRC students. We are pleased to report that all of our JRFC students have returned from Rome as of March 4. Based on CDC direction, they have been instructed to return to their homes and shelter-in-place for 14 days.

Academic Affairs in the United States and Rome are creating an alternative curriculum for those students who wish to complete the semester. We anticipate that the majority of them will be completing their studies online and in their homes while others will be returning to campus after they have completed 14-day isolation. The proposed date for entry into campus housing for those who wish to return to campus for the remainder of the spring semester is March 19.

Reminder of Loyola community’s call to prevent spread of Coronavirus

Let’s remember that as global citizens and people in service of humanity through learning, justice and faith, we continue to treat each other with great care, compassion, trust, and concern.

Timely information is critical and we will continue to provide updates as the situation develops. Please visit the Coronavirus Resource site or the Loyola Wellness Center for the updates to students and families. Students can also call Dial-a-Nurse at 773-508-8883 if you have any questions. For questions on Office of International Programs, email studyabroad@LUC.edu or call 773-508-3899.

For faculty and staff employees, please contact your manager and/or human resources directly at 312-915-6175 or via email at benefits@LUC.edu should you have questions or concerns about your individual situation.

These are challenging times for some of our fellow students and broader community and we are here to lift them up and demonstrate what a strong and inclusive community we are.

With our community's best interests and health in mind,

Joan Holden, APRN, ANP-BC, Director of Wellness Center
Norberto Grzywacz, PhD, Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Jane Neufeld, Vice President of Student Development
Thomas M. Kelly, Office of the President and Senior Vice President of Administrative Services