Loyola Officials on COVID-19 and In-Person Fall Classes: ‘No Decisions Have Been Made’

Zack Miller | The PhoenixWhile no decisions have been made about fall 2020 classes, Loyola officials said the school is preparing for multiple scenarios.

As colleges across the country discuss whether fall 2020 classes will be held online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Loyola officials said the school’s administration hasn’t yet made any decisions.

Anna Rozenich, a university spokesperson, said in an email to The Phoenix the school is “hopeful” and is “planning to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to campus in the fall.”

She said along with other colleges, nobody knows what the exact public health situation will be in the fall or what public health officials will recommend for schools and businesses.

As of April 24, there have been 830,053 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 42,311 deaths in the U.S., according to the World Health Organization. In Illinois, health officials announced April 24 the largest increase in COVID-19 cases to date, with 2,724 new cases and 108 additional deaths, bringing the state’s total to 39,658 confirmed cases and 1,795 deaths, The Phoenix reported.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the stay-at-home order will be extended to the end of May in his April 23 press conference, The Phoenix reported.

Rozenich said the university’s top priority is the health, safety, wellbeing and academic success of Loyola students — current and prospective.

“Regardless of the different recovery scenarios proposed for the country, Loyola will be prepared,” Rozenich said.

About 230 faculty and staff are working on “areas ranging from academic continuity to operations and student life,” as part of Loyola’s Emergency Response Management (ERM) protocol, Rozenich said. 

“We are planning for multiple scenarios given the fluid situation surrounding the progression of the virus, testing protocols and other decisions on relevant public health safety measures,” Rozenich said. “The focus of these ERM teams is about moving forward swiftly and intentionally to ensure that Loyola’s quality education and student services continue without interruption.”

Rozenich said once a decision is made, university administrators will communicate the information broadly to the university community and on Loyola’s COVID-19 website.

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