COVID-19 Updates

Updated 4:30 p.m. May 5, 2020

Elmhurst College has moved classes online for the remainder of the Spring Term and for the entire Summer Term.

With a focus on the health and safety of our entire campus community, we plan to return to in-person, campus-based learning and living in the Fall Term. Read President Troy D. VanAken’s letter about the preparations underway.

Following Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s latest “stay-at-home” order for the entire state, the campus is closed to all but essential personnel and remaining students through at least May 30. Most employees have transitioned to working from home, and any essential employees on campus are adhering to social distancing and other safe practices.

In his amended stay-at-home order, Gov. Pritzker also mandated the use of facemasks, beginning Friday, May 1. A facemask must be worn in public spaces by anyone over the age of 2. Individuals are expected to wear facemasks in public places such as grocery stores, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc. Establishments may deny entry to those not wearing a facemask.

In addition, all in-person campus events are canceled until further notice.

  • The College has made the difficult decision to postpone undergraduate and graduate Commencement exercises from their planned dates in May. We are exploring new ways to celebrate our students and hope to announce updated plans soon. If you have any questions regarding regalia for Commencement, please direct them to elmhurst@becksbooks.com. Please send any other questions regarding Commencement to commencement@elmhurst.edu.
  • To support students’ successful completion of their courses and to reduce stress and anxiety associated with the pandemic, the College is making exceptions to standard academic policies for the Spring 2020 term only. Read about these temporary policies here.
  • Email Updates: Faculty members are sending course information to students’ Elmhurst email addresses. Student Financial Services, Academic Affairs and others are also sending vital information. Please check your email periodically to stay up to date.
  • Tutoring: The Learning Center is offering online tutoring via My Tutoring on the myElmhurst Portal.
  • The A.C. Buehler Library has gone online and is supporting student and faculty work. Find more details and information about online resources on the library’s website. If you have borrowed any materials but will not be returning to campus before the end of the term, please know that we will waive any fees when you return them in the fall.
  • The College has ended physical student field placements in the health-related academic programs until further notice.

We thank everyone for understanding as we work together to safeguard the health of our community.

If you believe you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, call your doctor’s office prior to showing up. This will help your doctor’s office take steps to prevent others from being infected or exposed. You can also find testing guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Updated COVID-19 Symptoms

The CDC has added to their list of COVID-19 symptoms, as reported by patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

If you experience any of the following symptoms, get medical attention
Immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Ways to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • Wash your hands: Use soap and water, and wash for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home if you are sick: If you are running a fever of 100.4° or higher, do not come to class/work.
  • Wear a face covering in public. The CDC notes that COVID-19 can transmit even when a person does not exhibit any symptoms. Covering your nose and mouth can offer some protection, provided that you still observe the rule of 6 feet of social distancing.
  • Avoid group gatherings if possible.
  • Clean/disinfect your area: Use a regular household cleaning spray or wipe on frequently touched objects and surfaces such as door handles and the surfaces of tables and desks.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze: Use a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.

What to Know About COVID-19

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is a new respiratory virus. Answer your questions about COVID-19 with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Helpful Resources

What the College is Doing

Our Coronavirus Campus Preparedness Task Force continues to meet and monitor campus and coordinate with local and regional officials.

If you have any questions about the task force’s work, please email us.

Travel Guidelines—Effective Until Further Notice

  • International Travel – College-Sponsored or Personal: We have canceled and are restricting College-sponsored international travel to any country. College-sponsored activities include all academic conferences, athletic travel, academic sponsored trips and other activities arranged or funded by the College. The U.S. Department of State has issued a “Global Level 4 Health Advisory” urging U.S. citizens to not travel abroad. If you undertake any personal travel, you must understand there is the possibility of a self-isolation requirement for 14 days upon your return, and you will also be subject to airline or governmental restrictions that are beyond our control.
  • Domestic Travel – College-Sponsored Travel: A national state of emergency was declared on March 13 as a result of COVID-19. College-sponsored travel is prohibited unless approved by the president.
  • Domestic Travel – Personal: Elmhurst College strongly recommends against any non-essential travel, recognizing that the status of COVID-19 infection in the United States continues to change.

We encourage anyone who is planning to travel to register with the Coronavirus Campus Preparedness Task Force. This will allow the College to contact you in the event of a major emergency or changing circumstances related to your travel destination.

How to Register With the Coronavirus Campus Preparedness Task Force

If you will be traveling out of state or internationally for College-sponsored work, please send the following information to Phil Riordan, vice president for student affairs (phil.riordan@elmhurst.edu), and Marc Molina, executive director of campus security and emergency management (marc.molina@elmhurst.edu):

  • Name:
  • Department:
  • Cellphone Number (if you are using a different phone number for international travel, please provide):
  • Emergency Contact Information:
  • Dates of Travel:
  • Destination:
  • Reason for Travel:
  • Supervisor Name:

Living By Our Values

The safety of our campus community remains our top priority, which is why we are taking these precautions now. But we remind everyone that this is an opportunity to come together, not to spread fear or mistrust. COVID-19’s proliferation from its origins in China has been accompanied by unfortunate reports of bias, disinformation and worse.

As our Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy states, we will not tolerate discrimination against any member of our community.

Avoid Scams

COVID-19-related fraud schemes are on the rise. Take extra precaution, and ignore phishing emails, phony messages and offers of “treatment.”

Hotline for COVID-19-Related Stress

Illinois recently launched Call4Calm to put residents in touch with mental health professionals. Text TALK (or HABLAR, for Spanish) to 552020. The service is free, and you only provide your first name and ZIP code.

Illinois Statewide COVID-19 Hotline

From the Illinois Department of Public Health

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