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Health and Safety

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. 

 
In This Section

COVID-19 Testing Approach

Loyola’s testing strategy for COVID-19 was developed via a collaboration of experts from Loyola’s schools of public health, medicine, and nursing. The group consistently referenced and sought input from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Starting May 23, surveillance testing is required of unvaccinated faculty, students, and staff who come to campus, including those who have been granted a religious or medical exemption from vaccination. Vaccinated Loyolans will no longer be required to participate in regular surveillance testing. Loyola will administer the saliva-based test developed by University of Illinois. The saliva-based test offers Loyola the ability to widely test its population quickly and accurately. The saliva collection process is non-intrusive, takes only a couple minutes to perform, and results are returned within 24 hours.

All unvaccinated faculty/staff, undergraduate, and graduate/professional students will be required to test twice per week. Through the course of the semester, Loyola will review access patterns and transmission rates of its cohorts and will adjust the required testing frequency as needed. Consent for testing is not required for vaccinated people but is highly encouraged in the event there is a change in Loyola’s surveillance testing approach based on positivity rates.

Testing sites will be available at all three Chicagoland campuses. Locations and hours of operations can be found here.

At the collection sites, individuals will check in, receive a vial in which to deposit the saliva sample, drool saliva into the vial, and will then proceed to deposit their sample into a collection bin. Samples will be transported to a network of labs in the Chicagoland area for processing, and results will be returned within 24 hours.

Anyone not complying with the required surveillance testing will risk having their access to campus buildings revoked.

Students demonstrating symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested in the Wellness Centers at the Lake Shore and Water Tower Campuses. Students with symptoms of COVID at the Health Sciences Campus will continue to have access to testing at the occupational/student health clinic located at the medical center.

COVID-19 Testing Dashboard

Our COVID-19 Testing Dashboard reflects all testing data and positive COVID-19 cases that result from Loyola-provided testing on campus. This dashboard does not reflect any testing or positive case results from tests provided by any non-Loyola, private, or community-based testing service. The dashboard also excludes any designated positive cases reported in person, via email, or by phone. 

To view the dashboard, visit LUC.edu/coronavirus/dashboard/

For the most up-to-date data on positive COVID-19 cases within the City of Chicago, the state of Illinois, and across the United States and world, please visit the following resources: 

Infection Prevention

Social distancing has been a standard mitigation measure since the pandemic began. Because of the University’s vaccine mandate, social distancing will no longer be required in most situations.

During the summer term, all faculty, staff, and students are required to maintain six feet of social distancing. Beginning with the fall semester, social distancing will no longer be required in most situations. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be supplied extensively throughout campus, encouraging people to use proper hand hygiene (when soap and water are not available) and to clean spaces as they go. Until further notice, face coverings must be worn at all times. Plexiglass barriers have been placed at public-facing counters and will remain in place until further notice. Building ambassadors will be assigned to each building to ensure that the University’s health and safety guidelines are being respected.

In order to promote health safety and to prevent infection, Loyola will make the following resources available on campus for the Fall 2021 semester:

Classrooms/class labs:

  • Wall-mounted sanitizing wipe dispensers in rooms; students and faculty will be required to “clean as you go” and wipe down high touchpoint areas before and/or after they enter the classroom
  • Wall-mounted hand sanitizer
  • Trash can

Shuttles (when in operation):

  • Hand sanitizer bottle near driver
  • Spray bottle with liquid sanitizer for driver to clean between rides

Elevator lobbies:

  • Wall-mounted hand sanitizer near push buttons

Office suites:

  • All employees will be encouraged to practice regular hand washing in bathrooms
  • Wall-mounted hand sanitizer placed in main entrances to buildings and/or office suites
  • Spray bottles with liquid sanitizer to “clean as you go”
  • In open office buildings, housekeeping will clean common areas (including restrooms) daily; staff and faculty will clean their own workspaces based on occupancy

Dining halls:

  • Wall-mounted hand sanitizer at entrance and exit
  • Wall-mounted sanitizing wipes; tables will be “clean as you go” with periodic cleaning by the food service vendor

All other large gathering spaces (student center, fitness center, chapel, library, multi-purpose rooms):

  • Wall-mounted hand sanitizer at all entrances, and sporadically throughout the building
  • Wall-mounted sanitizing wipes at all entrances (in the case of the fitness center, throughout)

Required Personal Safety Practices

Face Masks/Face Coverings

In light of new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) as well as substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission in the city of Chicago and surrounding counties, masks are now required in all public spaces and in all buildings at all Loyola campuses. This applies to all students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors who are vaccinated or unvaccinated.

Loyola will continue to review its mask policy based on local health guidance and as we monitor levels of COVID-19 transmission. We will communicate any policy updates as quickly as possible.

Mask IconMask Policy

As a reminder, masks are now required in all indoor public spaces (defined as anywhere two or more are gathered) and in all buildings at all Loyola campuses (such as classrooms, labs, meeting rooms, lounges, shared office space, hallways, elevators, etc). This applies to all students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors regardless of vaccination status.

If fully vaccinated, masks are not required outdoors, but encouraged when attending a large gathering or event. If not fully vaccinated, masks are required outdoors especially when social distancing cannot be maintained like at a large gathering or event.

Mask usage

Disposable masks may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash.

You may also wear a cloth face covering. The fabric design or pattern for cloth face coverings should be appropriate for the workplace and school. Cloth face coverings must only be worn for one day at a time and must be properly laundered before using again.

To learn more, view the CDC guidelines on how to select, wear, and clean your mask.

Use and Care of Face Coverings

To ensure that face coverings are as effective as possible in preventing the spread of COVID-19, it is important to follow these instructions for wearing and cleaning your mask.

When putting on your face covering or disposable mask:

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering/disposable mask
  • Ensure the face-covering/disposable mask fits over the nose and under the chin
  • Situate the face-covering/disposable mask properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable)
  • Tie straps securely behind the head and neck or secure the loops around your ears
  • Always avoid touching the front of the face covering/disposable mask at all times when handling or wearing it

When taking off your face covering/disposable mask:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face covering/disposable mask

Face Shields

Students, faculty, and staff at Loyola do not need to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus. Good hand hygiene, face masks, and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient protection in a non-health care environment.  

Coughing and Sneezing Hygiene

If you are in a private setting and do not have on your face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60 percent ethanol, or 70 percent isopropanol as the preferred form of hand hygiene in health care settings.

Hand Washing

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds—especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. When using hand sanitizer, cover all surfaces of your hands with it and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and always wash your hands after touching your face.

Self-Monitoring

The first step to preventing the spread of COVID-19 is to stay at home if you are sick. If you have any of the symptoms commonly associated with the disease (as defined in the Self-Monitoring and Symptoms of COVID-19 section), you should not come to campus and should consult your health care provider.

Wear Your Loyola ID

As members of the University community will be required to wear face coverings, it is now required that a valid University ID be worn by every student, faculty/staff member, or University contractor while on campus. Your ID should always be clearly visible and in plain sight; building access will not be allowed for anyone without a visible ID.  

Wearing your ID is important for several reasons. First, it makes it easier to ensure that the people on campus are members of the University community who are permitted to be there. Second, in emergency situations it can help emergency personnel immediately identify who belongs and who does not. Finally, student badges make it much easier to distinguish between students and visitors.  

Together we can all help to ensure safety and security on the Loyola campuses. Wear you badge with Rambler pride!

Wellness

Emotional and Mental Health

For students, mental and emotional well-being are the keys to success in college. This includes accessing the care needed to manage any mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, while also successfully navigating normal developmental transitions and developing skills for maintaining healthy relationships. Optimal mental and emotional health involves acknowledging your strengths, learning healthy coping skills, and building a supportive community.

The Wellness Center offers a range of services to support your mental and emotional health, including brief individual therapy, group therapy, care management and referral, psychiatry services, mindfulness meditation, and crisis intervention and support. These services continue to be available during the pandemic.

More information about our services is available at LUC.edu/wellness/mentalhealth/.

Telehealth

As we continue a phased return for the fall, Wellness Center mental health and medical professionals will follow public health guidance on masking and social distancing. Because counselors are most effective when we can see each other’s faces, many mental health services might continue in a hybrid environment, with some services provided in-person and others provided remotely. In-person and telehealth services will be available at no cost to eligible Loyola students through the Wellness Center. Telehealth in this context refers to confidential counseling sessions and medical consultations that will take place through a live video connection via Zoom. In-person medical and mental health visits will be available with both students and providers masked. Students who are interested in medical or mental health services first need to schedule a phone triage appointment with the Wellness Center.

Ways to schedule a telehealth appointment:

For mental health telehealth services:

Call the front desk at 773.508.2530 (press option 3)
Visit the Wellness Center website to book an appointment online

For medical telehealth services:
Call Dial-a-Nurse at 773.508.8883

To be eligible for telehealth or in-person services through the Wellness Center, a student must be currently enrolled at Loyola, reside in the state of Illinois, and attend an initial phone triage appointment. Students at the Health Sciences Campus are not eligible for services at the Wellness Center but can access services at no cost through Student Health Services or Perspectives.

For more information about current Wellness Center services, including information on telehealth privacy and eligibility, visit LUC.edu/wellness.

How to access mental health and other support services

  • For routine counseling, your first appointment will be a 30-minute telephone assessment. You can schedule this appointment online at LUC.edu/wellness/about/hours/ or by calling 773.508.2530 and pressing option 3.
  • Due to legal restrictions, ongoing individual counseling via teletherapy is currently available only if you are residing in Illinois. More information about teletherapy is available at LUC.edu/wellness. However, even if you are outside of Illinois, we are still able to help you connect with care in your area. In addition to telephone consultation and care management services, out-of-state students in online learning are also eligible for many of our groups and workshops that are posted here.
  • You can schedule a care management visit at LUC.edu/wellness/about/hours/ or by calling 773.508.2530, pressing option 3.
  • If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency either during or after business hours, a counselor can be reached by calling 773.508.2530 and pressing option 3.

There are many mental health and wellness resources available to students—whether you are living on campus, off campus, or learning remotely. 

  • Tool Kit for Staying Well and Connected During COVID-19: On this page, you will find fun apps and free resources to help you stay connected and entertained. There is also important information for different populations who are affected by this crisis, and information about nutrition while sheltering at home.
  • Telehealth Counseling:If you are interested in scheduling a telehealth or in-person counseling appointment with the Wellness Center, this page provides information on eligibility and how to access services. 
  • Group Counseling: The Wellness Center will offer therapy and support groups for undergrad and graduate students. Please contact the group facilitators for more information on how to join.
  • Mental Health Resources for Special Populations: The Wellness Center has compiled mental health resources for Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, AAPI, and international students. Resources include websites, articles, social media accounts to follow, as well as assistance locating a therapist.

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic can have a negative impact on students’ mental health. If you are experiencing an urgent, non-life-threatening mental health crisis, please contact the Wellness Center at 773-508-2530 and press option 3 to leave a message. A mental provider will call you back within 30 minutes. You can also visit our Emergency/Crisis Care page to learn more. 

For more information on all student mental health services offered through the Wellness Center at the Lake Shore and Water Tower Campuses, click here. For information on mental health services offered at the Health Sciences Campus, click here.

Student Mental Health and Wellness Resources

There are many mental health and wellness resources available to students—whether you are living on campus, off campus, or learning remotely.  

  • Tool Kit for Staying Well and Connected During COVID-19: On this page, you will find fun apps and free resources to help you stay connected and entertained. There is also important information for different populations who are affected by this crisis, and information about nutrition while sheltering at home. 

  • Telehealth Counseling:If you are interested in scheduling a telehealth counseling appointment with the Wellness Center, this page provides information on eligibility and how to access services.  

  • Group Counseling: The Wellness Center will offer therapy and support groups for undergrad and graduate students. Please contact the group facilitators for more information on how to join. 

  • Mental Health Resources for Special Populations: The Wellness Center has compiled mental health resources for Black students, Latinx, LGBTQ, AAPI, and International students. Resources include websites, articles, social media accounts to follow, and assistance locating a therapist.  

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic can have a negative impact on students’ mental health. If you are experiencing an urgent, non-life-threatening mental health crisis, please contact the Wellness Center at 773-508-2530 and press option 3 to leave a message. A mental provider will call you back within 30 minutes. You can also visit our Emergency/Crisis Care page to learn more.  

For more information on all student mental health services offered through the Wellness Center at the Lake Shore and Water Tower Campuses, click here. For information on mental health services offered at the Health Sciences Campus, click here.

FAQS

What is COVID-19 and How Does it Spread?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19.

COVID-19 is spread in three main ways.

  1. Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.
  2. Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.
  3. Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.

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: Things to Know about the COVID-19 Pandemic | CDC

Self-Monitoring and Symptom Checker App

The University has developed a Symptom Checker application to promote your health and safety and to improve awareness of the symptoms of COVID-19 and other medical conditions. It is strongly recommended that you use the application on a daily basis. It is available for use via your browser and also within the Loyola mobile application. Learn more at LUC.edu/coronavirus/symptomchecker. At this time, COVID-19 symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

While using the app, students, faculty, and staff will check any symptoms they have. Depending on their symptoms, the app will indicate with a RED, YELLOW, or GREEN sign how they should proceed. If they indicate they have a 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 will be free to come to campus or class. The symptom app will refresh every 24 hours.

For more information about the symptoms of COVID-19 visit the CDC website.

Temperature checks

Each Loyola student will be given a thermometer to enable them to check their temperature each morning. Students will note their temperature using the mobile app. Those who report their temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above and note a loss of taste or smell and other symptoms will receive a red STOP on their mobile app and will be instructed to call their health care provider. The health care provider will make the judgement whether that student should be tested for COVID-19. 

What to do if symptoms develop?

If you are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms, please remain at home and reach out to the following for guidance and care:

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

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

Follow the University’s Positive Diagnosis Protocol, available here.

What If I Live with Someone Who Tests Positive?

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.

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:

  • Non-vaccinated 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. Vaccinated people test three to five days after exposure.
  • 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 and you are unvaccinated, you must quarantine for seven days, as long as you get a negative test days five to seven days after exposure. A negative test result done between days five and seven does not release you from quarantine earlier than a full seven days. 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

For students who are living in a residence with someone who has COVID-19

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested.
  • People with known exposure with suspected or confirmed COVID-19:
    • Fully vaccinated people with a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 need to be tested three to five days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
    • Non-fully vaccinated people should quarantine and test immediately after being identified, and, if negative, test again five to seven days after their last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop during quarantine.

If you are living with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and you are unvaccinated, you must quarantine for seven days as long as a negative test is done between days five and seven. A negative test result done between days five and seven does not release you from quarantine earlier than a full seven days. 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)

Contact Tracing

View our infographic to understand how contact tracing works

Case investigation and contact tracing are fundamental activities that involve working with a patient (symptomatic and asymptomatic) who has been diagnosed with an infectious disease to identify and provide support to people (contacts) who may have been infected through exposure to the patient. This process prevents further transmission of disease by separating people who have (or may have) an infectious disease from people who do not. Case investigation and contact tracing are most effective when part of a multifaceted response to an outbreak.

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 consists of contact tracers, care coordinators, team leads, team clinician for consultation (can be a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician), and a supervisor.

The data obtained during a case investigation and contact tracing is 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. 

Purpose
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

Training
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.

For more on the principles of contact tracing, visit: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/principles-contact-tracing.html

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. 

 
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