March 25, 2021, Task Force Update

March 25, 2021 | by the Elmhurst University COVID-19 Task Force

Dear Elmhurst University Community:

This is the weekly update from the COVID-19 Task Force.

Spring break is upon us (hooray)! We are all looking forward to some downtime to recharge our batteries for the final push to the end of the semester.

The end of the 2020-2021 academic year is quickly coming to an end. Now is not the time to panic. There is plenty of time to pull grades up and finish strong. All year, faculty, staff, and students have worked hard inside and outside of the classroom to get us to spring break. The COVID-19 Task Force is asking everyone to finish strong as it relates to the virus.

Many of us have received the vaccine and that is very exciting news. However, the Task Force would be negligent if we did not share that the positivity rate has risen from 3.3% two weeks ago to 4.7% today in DuPage County. We still have a lot of work to do. The Task Force asks that all of us make smart decisions regarding travel and wearing your face mask over spring break. Our mask mandate has not changed and will still be in place when we return from spring break.

We have worked together as one team since March of last year. Let’s finish strong as one team and keep everyone in our Bluejay community safe.

  • Important Note: If you are experiencing flu- or cold-like symptoms, please do not come to work or attend in-person classes until you are symptom-free for 24 hours.
  • Testing
    • March 19, 2021: 145 individuals tested using the saliva test, 0 positives
    • March 22, 2021: 169 individuals tested using the saliva test, 0 positives
    • March 23, 2021: 45 individuals tested using the PCR test, 1 positive
    • March 24, 2021: 21 individuals tested using the PCR test, 0 positives
    • March 24, 2021: 159 individuals testing using the saliva test, 0 positives
    • Elmhurst University has provided more than 7,400 COVID-19 tests for faculty, staff, and students.
    • Elmhurst University has received 235 reported positive cases of the virus from on-campus (48) and off-campus (186) testing since March 2020.
    • To date, 211 students, 19 staff, and 5 faculty have tested positive since March 2020.
  • Alert Status
    • Elmhurst University remains in the Yellow Alert Level.
    • The current positivity rate for DuPage County is 4.7%. This is an increase from 3.8% last week.
    • The current positivity rate for Elmhurst University is 0.0064. This is down from 0.0068 last week.
  • Vaccines
    • 26.9% of the population in DuPage County has received their first vaccine dose. This is up from 23.4% last week.
    • 15.7% of the population in DuPage County has also received their second dose of the vaccine. This is up from 13.7% last week.
    • Fewer than 0.001% of people who have received a dose experienced a severe adverse reaction.
      Vaccine eligibility for DuPage County is currently in Phase 1C, Tier 1, which includes other essential workers, including higher education staff, government workers, and media (except Chicago).
    • The COVID-19 Task Force remains encouraged to hear that some of our Bluejays have been fully vaccinated. Congratulations to all of our fully vaccinated campus community members.
    • Additional information regarding the vaccine may be found here and on the University’s COVID-19 Updates page.
    • The Task Force is requesting that as individuals become fully vaccinated, they submit their name to Phil Riordan and/or Dr. Dean Pribbenow. No further information is needed other than your name. This is not mandatory. We are trying to get some idea if people are successful in getting the vaccine.
  • Next Update: There will not be a COVID-19 Task Force update the week of spring break. The next update will come out the week of April 5th.
  • Today’s Inspiration Quote: “Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” — Bob Goff, Author
  • Today’s Feel-Good Song: What a Wonderful World, Sam Cooke

As always, please be safe and healthy. Wear your face mask (double up on face masks for extra protection—the CDC says it can help better protect you). And let’s be kind to each other during these difficult times we live in.

Bluejay Proud,
The COVID-19 Task Force

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