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April 14, 2021 - Newsletter Issue 003

Return to Campus Update: Wednesday, April 14


April 14, 2021

Dear Loyola Community,

Loyola University Chicago's weekly Return to Campus Update helps keep our community informed as we continue our phased reopening.

This week, learn about what the fall 2021 academic experience will look like through a Q&A with Susan Ries, associate dean for the Quinlan School of Business and co-section chief of the Academic Continuity Working Group under the University's COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan. Important COVID-19 vaccination updates can also be found in today's message.

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Q&A: Fall 2021 Academic Experience

What will the fall academic experience look like?
We are planning to return fully to in-person classes at our Chicagoland campuses this fall in our undergraduate programs and many of our graduate programs as well. This decision was based on current and projected trends and with our community's health, safety, and overall wellness as our top priority. Based on increasing vaccination rates, we anticipate being able to return to the classroom with some limitations—for instance, we will abide by city guidelines for classroom capacities and continue to monitor evolving health and safety guidelines.

What steps is the University taking to keep the classroom safe?
We will continue to follow the health and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) as we return to campus this fall. Loyola will continue to contact trace and clean our classrooms in accordance with these guidelines. Wearing masks in the classroom and on-campus COVID-19 testing also will likely continue to be required. During the extended 30-minute periods between fall classes, faculty and students will be asked to continue to wipe down their work areas when they arrive in the classroom and before they leave. Wipes will continue to be provided.

When registering, how can I tell where my classes will be?
Undergraduate registration for fall semester opens on Monday, April 19. When registering in LOCUS, you’ll be able to tell where your classes will be held by looking at the campus and room assignment. Some classrooms may not have been assigned yet for on-campus classes, but they will be soon. Be sure to drill down into the details in LOCUS for each class for more information.

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Vaccine Information

Distribution: All Loyola faculty and staff are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Chicago and Illinois, and all students are now eligible to make vaccine appointments in Illinois. Read our latest email update and visit our vaccine information page to learn more. 

Johnson & Johnson: Yesterday in a joint statement, the FDA and CDC called for a pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccine use after six reported cases of rare blood clots. Potential adverse reaction to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine appears to be extremely rare, and the vaccine has still proved to be very effective in preventing illness. If you have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are experiencing abnormal side effects, please contact your health care provider. 

This pause should not limit Chicago and Illinois residents from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. According to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Moderna and Pfizer make up the vast majority of doses currently on hand in Illinois. To learn how you can schedule an appointment, please visit Loyola’s vaccine information page.

Vaccination cards: If you have not already, you can now upload your COVID-19 vaccination cards to the Loyola Health function of the Loyola mobile application. A step-by-step guide on how to do so can be found on the vaccine information page. The Wellness Center will verify your vaccination card after it is uploaded. You should not email a copy of your vaccination card to covid-19support@LUC.edu.

All Private Health Information at Loyola, including your vaccine records, is kept in strict confidence and protected by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant applications and storage. Learn more.

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Apply Now: HEERF II Student Share Grant Application

To serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education earlier this year announced additional funding available to higher education institutions. This funding is allocated to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). 

Students can still apply for HEERF II Student Share Grants at forms.LUC.edu/heerfThe online application should take less than a minute to complete. Applications submitted through Tuesday, April 20 at 5 p.m. Central time will be included in the Priority Application Period. 

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COVID-19 Compliance

Compliance with Loyola's surveillance testing program and the required personal safety practices is a key to keeping our community safe as we plan to return to campus. For those who continue to comply, we thank you! Shown below are the most up-to-date testing numbers as of Tuesday, April 13. 

COVID-19 testing numbers as of Tuesday, April 13

The positivity rate noted above reflects the University's 7-day rolling average. Please visit our COVID-19 Testing Dashboard to learn more and to access city, state, and national data.

Loyolans who have received a complete COVID-19 vaccine series and plan to spend time on our Chicagoland campuses are still required to participate in our surveillance testing program. If public health guidance changes and we adjust our policies, we'll be sure to let our community know. Data is still emerging regarding how COVID-19 variants may influence vaccine effectiveness, and we want to err on the side of caution. In the meantime, click here for more information about our testing sites and how the program works.

In The News

  • Chicago Tribune: Chicago neighborhoods with the highest rates of vaccination per capita, such as River North, are being hit harder by new cases of COVID-19 than those where fewer people are vaccinated.

  • Chicago Tribune: The 7-day positivity rate for Illinois was 4.4 percent as of Sunday, which was the highest its been since January 27. Health officials are concerned about ICU bed capacity as the trend continues in the wrong direction. 

  • CNN: WHO officials on Monday sounded the alarm about weeks-long increases in COVID-19 transmission and deaths, warning that measures such as masking and social distancing remain crucial even as vaccines ramp up.

  • NBC News: A new study finds U.K. variant no more deadly than original virus strain. The variant is more contagious than the original coronavirus strain.

Return to Campus Resources

All previous Return to Campus Updates can be found on our Return to Campus Communications page.