|Message Sent To:||All Faculty, All Staff, All Students|
|Message From:||Message from the Office of the President|
|Date Sent:||Tuesday, March 10, 2020 01:21 PM CDT|
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
As increased coronavirus (COVID-19) incidents are reported internationally and in the United States, Loyola University Chicago continues to monitor the situation closely and remains committed to the health, wellbeing, and safety of our Loyola community (for more information, click here). We continue to align our decisions with guidance from public health officials, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the City of Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
We are aware that some universities located in the eight states that have declared a state of emergency due to high numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases have moved their classes online through at least the end of the month, including Fordham University in the Bronx, New York; Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California; and Seattle University, in Seattle, Washington.
Although Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has declared a disaster proclamation over the coronavirus outbreak as a first step toward obtaining federal funding to help mitigate the risk of an outbreak in Illinois, both he and the CDPH continue to advise that the immediate health risk in Chicago remains low and that there are only 11 COVID-19 cases in the state so far. As of today, there are no incidents at any of our campuses and none of the reported cases in the state have any connections to Loyola. In addition, in accordance with CDPH guidance, there is no current prohibition on group meetings or conferences on our Chicagoland campuses. Therefore, Loyola is continuing with routine campus operations until otherwise noted.
However, given these rapidly evolving developments, Loyola’s COVID-19 task force continues with its preparedness plans, including the possibility of moving all classes from face-to-face instruction to online instruction. We have already encouraged faculty to move their courses online, which many are currently doing. If you have health-related concerns over attending classes in person, we encourage you to speak with your instructors about completing coursework online or remotely. Again, our University will continue to follow guidance from the CDC, CDPH, and IDPH and medical experts before implementing this decision. We will keep our community posted through all relevant communications channels so that all are informed.
In our previous communication, we indicated that the students from the John Felice Rome Center (JFRC) who have returned from Italy have been strongly advised to comply with the CDC and CDPH guidelines for those who have traveled to CDC Level 3 Travel Advisory countries.
To ensure academic continuity for these students, they will be able to complete all of their academic coursework online with their Rome-based instructors through this spring semester. Their online midterms have been rescheduled for the week of March 16 and their online classes will resume March 23. It is important to note that none of these students are living on or attending classes at any of Loyola’s Chicagoland campuses with no evidence of using individual swipe cards anywhere on those campuses since they left for Rome last December.
Following the 14-day self-isolation period (as instructed by the CDPH and the CDC), students who have satisfied the CDC requirements and are cleared will be able to return to our residence halls.
Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) COVID-19 Notification Process
To date, we have not heard from the CDPH about any Loyola student. The reporting process in place within the state of Illinois includes the CDPH notifying the institution or employer after an individual has been tested and confirmed as a COVID-19 case. In our case, in the event of a confirmed individual, the CDPH protocol immediately initiates contact with Loyola’s Wellness Center and provides guidance on how to proceed, and then we begin our University-wide communications implementation.
If a Loyola student is diagnosed through the Wellness Center, the CDPH will again provide guidance on how to proceed. During both instances, the University’s COVID-19 task force will provide guidance to students, faculty, and staff as deemed appropriate through the CDPH. Again, as noted above, the University will communicate with the Loyola community accordingly. As of this time, there is not widespread transmission of COVID-19 in Chicago.
We appreciate everyone’s support and understanding during this time of uncertainty. Loyola will continue to monitor the situation and is prepared to do what is necessary with the health, wellbeing, safety, and best interests of our students, faculty, staff, and communities at the forefront.
Please visit our LUC.edu/coronavirus site for updates and monitor all University communication channels.
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