Loyola announced some in-person classes will be taught virtually the first two weeks of spring semester, according to a Dec. 15 email from the university’s provost, who oversees academic affairs.
The decision to postpone some in-person classes was made in an effort to reduce COVID-19 transmission among the Loyola community as advised by public health experts, the email said. Health experts expect cases to peak in January, so the university plans to limit on-campus classes until the peak has passed. The classes are expected to transition to an in-person format Feb. 1.
Some lab classes are excluded from the recent change, with most students able to choose between taking labs either online or on-campus during the first two weeks of the semester, the email said. However, all students living in residence halls are required to quarantine for 14 days after moving in and must take lab classes online during their quarantine period.
Loyola students, faculty and staff were also asked to follow quarantine guidelines and travel orders set by the Cook County Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Chicago Department of Public Health, according to the email.
“If together we follow expert public health guidance and the protocols in Loyola’s robust campus health and safety plan, we can help ensure a successful and healthy spring semester,” the email said.
Students, faculty and staff who plan on returning to campus must take part in surveillance testing, The Phoenix reported. The frequency of the tests will depend on how often people plan on visiting the campus in a week. On-campus diagnostic testing and screening will also be available for people who are symptomatic.
Classes at Loyola have operated virtually since March, The Phoenix reported. Loyola students, faculty and staff were informed some spring semester classes would be held on-campus in a Oct. 28 email, The Phoenix reported.
Since the beginning of the fall semester, there have been 233 confirmed cases at Loyola from a total of 5,469 total tests administered with a test positivity rate of 4.26 percent, according to the Loyola COVID-19 Testing Dashboard.