In preparing for the phased reopening of our campuses, Loyola has made the health and safety of our community our top priority. This includes making sure everyone is well-informed on COVID-19 and how to prevent the spread of the disease, as well as the health and safety precautions that all Loyola students, faculty, and staff are expected to take upon returning to campus. We also aim to help members of the Loyola community maintain personal wellness and offer resources to help our students achieve a holistic sense of well-being in mental, emotional, and physical health.
COVID-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It is thought that the virus may spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose or mouth, causing infection. Implementing important principles such as personal prevention practices (e.g. hand washing, staying home when sick) and environmental cleaning and disinfection can help prevent the spread.
Learn more about COVID-19 and the CDC’s tips for protecting yourself.
At this time, COVID-19 symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- A fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
- Chills and shakes
- Runny nose or new sinus congestion
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
While using the app, students, faculty, and staff will check any symptoms they have. Depending on their symptoms, the app will direct them with a RED, YELLOW, or GREEN sign indicating how they should proceed. If they check all of the following: fever greater than 100 degrees, loss of taste or smell, and recent contact with a test-confirmed COVID-19 person, they will get a red STOP, with instructions to not come to campus or class and to call their health care provider. People with other checked symptoms will get a yellow caution sign, which will tell them to call their provider. If they have no symptoms, they will get a green sign and be free to come to campus or class. The symptom app will refresh every 24 hours. More information on this application is coming soon.
For more information about the symptoms of COVID-19 visit the CDC website.
Students at the Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses, including ABSN students:
Call Dial-a-Nurse at 773-508-8883
Biomedical graduate students and medical students at Health Sciences Campus:
Call Employee and Student Health Hotline at 708-216-1170
Faculty and Staff: Call your medical provider
Students, faculty, and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 must report their case to the University as soon as possible. If you have tested positive for the virus, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 773-508-7707. All COVID-19-related questions or feedback should continue to be sent to covid-19support@LUC.edu, not the new case reporting email address.
All positive cases should be reported immediately following the diagnosis. If you are reporting a positive case by phone, please leave your name and phone number in your message so that our contact tracing coordinators can return your call.
Students, faculty, and staff only need to report positive cases within the last 14 days. Those who are conducting studies or working remotely from outside the City of Chicago are still encouraged to report their positive cases for tracking and data purposes.
It is the University’s responsibility to respect and maintain the privacy and anonymity of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who may be part of any contact tracing investigation. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the University, along with public health authorities, is not allowed to share the identification of any these individuals, nor will we provide any information that may compromise confidentiality.
If you are living in a residence where someone has tested positive for COVID-19, it is essential to monitor your own symptoms and take steps to reduce your exposure to COVID-19 in the shared residence. If one of your roommates has COVID-19 and was not diagnosed by the Wellness Center, they must self-report their positive case by calling 773-508-7707 or by emailing COVID-19report@LUC.edu. Ideally, a person who is sick with COVID-19 should self-isolate in a private space with a private bathroom.
Please see below for tips on how to keep yourself and others healthy if you are living in an apartment with someone who has COVID-19, or an apartment where someone has tested positive but is in isolation in another location.
For students who are living in a residence with someone who has COVID-19:
- All close contacts (with or without symptoms) should be tested between five and nine days after exposure to a positive case. Loyola students can get tested at the Wellness Center Clinics.
- By definition, close contacts are individuals with whom the positive case was within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (e.g. three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes), starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Roommates should always be considered a close contact if they shared a room with the case during this time period.
- If you receive a positive test result, you should isolate until:
- it has been at least 10 days since the onset of the illness OR specimen collection date.
- symptoms, including cough, have improved.
- you are free from fever without the use of fever reducing medications for at least 24 hours.
If you are living with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you must quarantine for 14 days. A negative test result done between days five and nine does not release you from quarantine. Follow these guidelines for quarantine from the CDC to prevent exposing others to COVID-19:
- Monitor your own symptoms by using the LUC symptom checker app daily; if you start to feel ill and develop symptoms while in quarantine, contact Dial-a-Nurse at 773-508-8883 for assistance and support
- If possible, designate a private bedroom and bathroom that will solely be used by your roommate who is sick and in isolation; they should avoid all common areas of the residence until their isolation period has ended
- Ask your roommate who is sick to wear a mask and maintain at least a six-foot distance if you have to enter their room or if they have to enter a shared space
- Avoid sharing household items such as kitchen utensils and dishware with the person who is sick or with other roommates who are in quarantine
- Avoid sharing any personal items with others such as phones, clothes, etc.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
- Disinfect high touch surfaces and items frequently such as shared toilets, light switches, and doorknobs (Note: this does not include the space where someone is isolating, as cleaning that space may increase possible exposure to COVID-19)
- Open windows or use a fan or an air conditioner in shared spaces in the home
- Do not allow any non-essential visitors besides the people who live in the home
- If you are helping your sick roommate with meals, leave them outside of the door of their room
Support your roommate from a safe distance. Testing positive for COVID-19 can be very emotionally and physically difficult for the person who is ill. You can show them support and kindness by Face-Timing them to chat from your room, offering to get food or groceries delivered, or asking them to let you know if their condition changes and they need help finding immediate care.
For COVID-19, contact tracing could involve:
- Interviewing people with COVID-19 to identify everyone with whom they had close contact during the time they may have been infectious
- Notifying contacts of their potential exposure
- Referring contacts for testing
- Monitoring contacts for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
- Connecting contacts with services they might need during the self-quarantine period
Contact tracing at Loyola
Loyola University Chicago has developed its own contact tracing team who will have access to details relevant only for contact tracing purposes. The contact tracing team will consist of contact tracers, care coordinators, contact tracing coordinator, team leads, team clinician (can be registered nurses, nurse practitioners, or physicians), and a supervisor.
The data obtained during a case investigation and contact tracing will then be entered into a secure platform known as Go.Data, an outbreak investigation tool developed by the World Health Organization for field data collection during public health emergencies. The tool includes functionality for case investigation, contact follow-up, visualization of chains of transmission (including secure data exchange), and is designed for flexibility in the field to adapt to the wide range of outbreak scenarios.
The purpose of the contact tracing team at Loyola is to:
- Inform contacts of their encounters with a confirmed positive case and monitor contacts for symptom onset
- Disseminate information and guidance on quarantining, isolating, social distancing as well as methods for preventing infection
- Provide support to cases and control so that they may isolate or quarantine effectively
Currently there are two training courses for contact tracing (below) of which completion of one is required.
- Making Contact: A Training for COVID-19 Contact Tracers:’ Basics of Contact Tracing – Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
- COVID-19 Contact Tracing – Johns Hopkins University via COURSERA
HIPAA training for all contact tracers will also be required. Additional soft skills training will be identified as needed.
Everyone in the contact tracing team will also undergo training on the following:
- PowerBI information dashboard
- Go.data platform
- An orientation/reminder of privacy and security features
Together, these trainings will prepare the contact tracing team in implementing contact tracing in an efficient and timely manner.
Overview of Contact Tracing Process
Cases will be identified in one of three ways:
- The Loyola Wellness Center may identify lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive cases via testing
- Individuals may self-identify as a case by calling the Loyola Contact Tracing Initiation Hotline at 773-508-7707
- Individuals may also self-identify by sending an email to: covid-19report@LUC.edu.
Upon identifying a COVID-19 case, a CT Team Lead will initiate a case investigation, which includes the following steps:
- Calling and interviewing the person with a confirmed case; conducting at least 12 contact interviews per four-hour shift
- Providing instructions for isolating
- Assessing any support needs
The Contact Tracer then initiates the tracing process and follows these steps:
- Notify and call the contact
- Conduct an interview with the contact
- Determine the presence of symptoms
- Provide instructions for quarantining
- Assess any support needs
Want to be a contact tracer? Contact Anne Luckose of Loyola’s Wellness Center at aluckose@LUC.edu.
You can find Frequently Asked Questions on contact tracing from the CDC here: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#Contact-Tracing
For more on the principles of contact tracing, visit: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/principles-contact-tracing.html