Loyola Advises Community Against Holiday Travel

Zack Miller | The PhoenixLoyola is urging students, faculty and staff to refrain from traveling during the holidays as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Chicago.

Loyola is advising students, faculty and staff to stay put as holidays approach, according to an email sent out to the Loyola community Nov. 13.

“Out of an abundance of care and concern for our wider community, nation, and world, we are advising Loyola students, faculty, and staff to either refrain from or limit non-essential holiday travel this year if feasible,” the email said. 

The holiday season comes as Chicago is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The current test positivity rate in the city is 15.7 percent and rising, according to the city’s COVID-19 dashboard. An average of 2,325 confirmed cases are reported daily as of Nov. 16.

Chicago currently has an emergency travel order in place — meaning people returning to the city from most states will have to quarantine for two weeks, according to the city’s website.

The only states not included in the emergency travel order are California, Hawaii, New York, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. 

The city is also under a stay-at-home advisory, which began Nov. 16 and will last until Dec. 16. The advisory urges residents to stay home and only leave for essential reasons like work, school, food and medical visits, The Phoenix reported.

The university itself is also seeing an increase in cases. Loyola has confirmed a total of 162 COVID-19 cases as of Nov. 16, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard. The university only reports positive tests confirmed by its own testing facility, not third-party testing sites.

Students who want to check if they’re free of the virus before heading home likely won’t be able to get a test through the university’s Wellness Center, according to the email. 

“While limited appointments for PCR testing for travel are available, the Wellness Center unfortunately is unable to accommodate the volume of exit testing for most students at this time,” the email said.  

Testing locations near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus include Physicians Immediate Care (6140 N. Broadway) and Prism Health Lab (2320 W. Peterson Ave). A full list of recommended third-party testing sites can be found on Loyola’s website.

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