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April 28, 2021 - Newsletter Issue 005

Return to Campus Update: Wednesday, April 28


April 28, 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 more about vaccine distribution as well as the City of Chicago's College Vaccination Day on Friday, April 30. In addition, hear from Joan Holden, director of Loyola's Wellness Center, about the University's fall vaccination requirement.

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Vaccine Distribution

College Vaccination Day: The City of Chicago will host a College Vaccination Day on Friday, April 30. Appointments are open to all students, staff, faculty, alumni, and parents at three locations: Chicago State University, Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field, and the United Center. To register, visit zocdoc.com/vaccine.

Requirement: All students are required to be vaccinated from COVID-19 before returning for the fall 2021 semester. Exemptions for medical contraindications or religious reasons consistent with our current policy will be granted. If not fully vaccinated by the start of the 2021-2022 academic year or your move-in date, you will be unable to live in residence halls, attend in-person classes, or participate in on-campus events. As a reminder, full vaccination takes place two weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

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

Appointments at Loyola University Medical Center: Vaccine appointments are now available at Loyola Medicine. If you are an existing LUHS patient, please view the MyLoyola Scheduling COVID Vaccine document for instructions on how to schedule your appointment. If you are a new LUHS patient, please view the Create MyLoyola account document to get started.

Vaccination cards: If you have not already, we encourage you to upload your COVID-19 vaccination card to the Loyola Health function of the Loyola mobile application. Please do not email a copy of your vaccination card. A step-by-step guide on how to do so can be found on the vaccine information page.

After you upload your card, you will be contacted if your upload was approved or not approved. If it is not approved, you will receive an email asking you to check for the most common errors and to upload your vaccination card again. If you have questions from there, we encourage you to reach out 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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Q&A with Joan Holden: Fall Vaccination Requirement

Why did the University decide to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all students?
Our goal throughout these last several months has been to help ensure the health and safety of our campus and surrounding community and to continue to provide an uninterrupted and superior academic experience for our students. We've determined that the most effective, efficient, and safest way to return to our three Chicagoland campuses is to require all students to be vaccinated from COVID-19 before returning for the fall 2021 semester. By keeping yourself healthy with a vaccine, you are helping to keep our Loyola community, neighbors, and other communities safe, too.

Should people be worried about vaccine side effects? What should they do to manage any symptoms?
People should not be worried about COVID-19 vaccine side effects. As with many vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccination can cause some side effects: most commonly, pain, redness, and swelling at the site of injection. You may also experience some tiredness, headache, muscle aches, chills, or fever. These side effects are normal and are a good sign that your body is building protection. Some people have no side effects, while others have symptoms lasting a few hours to a few days. To manage injection site discomfort, consider applying a cool washcloth and stretch your arm. For other symptoms, you are encouraged to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and use over-the-counter medications for pain and fever relief. If you have persistent or more concerning symptoms, please call your primary care provider.

How can the University help Loyolans who haven't been able to schedule an appointment?
As with all things COVID-19 related, information on COVID-19 vaccinations continues to change on a daily basis. We encourage all eligible persons to become vaccinated. Please continue to use the vaccine information website and look for resources under the Finding An Appointment section. We also encourage all to use their city, county, and state websites and your home medical providers to learn more about vaccination opportunities close to you.

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Study Abroad in Rome at the JFRC

Are you interested in studying abroad and traveling next semester? Loyola is planning to reopen the John Felice Rome Center (JFRC) campus in Rome this coming Fall 2021 semester. A full range of courses will be offered and available soon in LOCUS; plus, students will have the opportunity to explore Rome and many stunning cities in Italy: Florence, Venice, Milan, and more.

Plan to attend an information session in mid-May. Definitive plans will be announced on or before June 15, 2021. A pre-departure orientation will be offered by the Office of International Programs in June, to be followed by an orientation session with faculty and staff in Rome. For more information, contact Rome@LUC.edu.

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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 27. 

COVID-19 testing numbers as of Tuesday, April 27

The positivity rate noted above reflects the University's seven-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 Sun Times: Both Chicago and Cook County mass vaccination sites are now accepting walk-ins. 
  • Crain's Chicago Business: Illinois is changing to smaller venues with longer hours instead of mass vaccination sites to address a worrisome decline in vaccine interest in some areas of the state where fewer than 30 percent of people are vaccinated. 
  • CDC: Following a thorough safety review, the FDA and CDC have lifted the pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.  
  • The New York Times: Confirmed new cases in the U.S. have fallen 18 percent since April 14 and remain in the narrow range where they have held since late-February. 

Return to Campus Resources

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