The following message was sent by the University’s COVID-19 Task Force to the campus community on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020:
Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
We realize there have been many questions and some speculation about our plans for course delivery and campus life after Thanksgiving break. On behalf of the COVID-19 Task Force, we are writing to clarify that we remain committed to our Bluejays Unite! plan, which includes maintaining our current array of course modalities and keeping campus offices and the residence halls open through the end of the Fall Term. We are grateful that we have gotten to this point in the semester while maintaining our original plan. We know that we couldn’t have done so without the dedication of our faculty, staff and students in fostering a safe and healthy campus environment.
Over the summer and throughout this semester, many individuals and planning groups have participated in thoughtful deliberation about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Elmhurst University community. Our plan, as articulated in Bluejays Unite!, was to preserve our academic calendar, to allow faculty to choose course delivery methods for their individual courses, and to fully open our campus to both commuter and residential students. We believe this is still the best course of action for the remainder of the Fall Term.
Rest assured, we continue to monitor COVID-19 testing results, quarantine and self-isolation levels, and government and health guidelines on a daily basis. Our overall positivity rates remain relatively low, and we continue to stay within our capacity for quarantine and self-isolation of students. Contact tracing results suggest that the transmission rate linked to in-person instruction and campus life remains low as well.
Our campus community’s health and safety continue to be a primary consideration in responding to the pandemic. While we remain confident that we can make it to the end of the semester with our current plan, we also recognize that circumstances beyond our control could require us to pivot. If that situation should arise, please know that we will take into consideration the needs of the entire Elmhurst University community in making any decisions.
Dr. Phil Riordan
Dr. Dean A. Pribbenow
Co-Chairs, COVID-19 Task Force