Loyola officials said the university will reopen some of its operations this spring after a fall semester of mostly online classes and empty residence halls.
Up to 10 percent of undergraduate courses should plan to be in-person, along with some graduate and professional courses, officials announced in an email to the Loyola community Oct. 28. Classes offered in-person will mostly be labs and “other classes that we must teach in person,” the email said.
Loyola residence halls have been empty all semester after the university called off on-campus living Aug. 6 — nearly two weeks before students were scheduled to move in, The Phoenix previously reported. Now, the university is planning to open up housing to a limited number of students for the spring semester.
Priority to live on-campus will be given to students who held an active housing contract Aug. 6, officials said. Those who do move to residence halls will live in single-occupancy rooms and be required to quarantine for their first two weeks on campus, the email said.
Spring break will look different, too — instead of one week-long break, Loyola is giving students two long weekends. The mini breaks will be from 4 p.m. Feb. 10 – Feb. 14 and March 6 – 4 p.m. March 10, according to the email.
The university said it will begin surveillance testing asymptomatic members of the Loyola community while continuing to offer the symptomatic testing already in place.
“Students, faculty, and staff who will be on campus for studies, research, work, or recreation should expect to be tested regularly,” the email said.
The university has tested nearly 2,900 people since July and has reported 47 positive cases, according to Loyola’s COVID-19 dashboard.
The announcement of a more open campus in the spring comes as Chicago is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases. The city currently reports an average of 818 positive cases daily and has a positivity rate of 7.6 percent as of Oct. 28, according to the city’s COVID-19 dashboard.
University officials acknowledged this rise in the email and said they will continue to align their plans with legally allowable and medically advisable protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state of Illinois and city of Chicago.