As Illinois moves to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan June 26, Loyola officials announced they can move ahead with plans to reopen campus later this summer in preparation for the modified Fall 2020 semester.
In an email to the Loyola community June 22, Loyola officials said they plan to reopen campus in phases if it is “legally allowed and medically advisable.” Loyola tentatively plans to offer a mix of in-person and online courses for the fall through a modified class schedule and reduced classroom capacity as The Phoenix previously reported. All dorm rooms have also been reduced to single-occupancy, according to the email.
In Phase 4, schools and businesses can reopen with capacity limits, while social distancing and face masks are encouraged, according to the Restore Illinois Plan.
In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from students traveling, there won’t be a mid-semester break and on-campus instruction will end after Thanksgiving break, according to the email. Instead, classes will move online on November 30 and all finals will be online, officials said.
A Healthcare Advisory Working Group — led by Wellness Center Director Joan Holden — is working on plans for testing, contact tracing and health screenings, according to the email. Testing will be available at Lake Shore Campus and Water Tower Campus, but mass testing hasn’t been recommended yet by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Holden told The Phoenix.
Holden said the working group is also looking into the viability of surveillance testing — ongoing systematic testing — to keep a closer eye on possible cases. Two face masks will be given to every student and thermometers will be available for those who need them, according to Holden. She said she isn’t aware of any faculty or student cases of COVID-19, but that they hope to improve the reporting process.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer Norberto M. Grzywacz, Senior Vice President for Administrative Services Tom Kelly and Associate Vice President of Facilities Kana Henning, who also signed the email, didn’t respond to request for comment.