Your Safe Return to Campus and COVID-19 Testing

August 19, 2020 | by the Elmhurst University COVID-19 Task Force

The following message was sent by the University’s COVID-19 Task Force to students on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020:

Dear Residential Students:

We hope this message finds you well, and as excited to return to campus as we are to welcome you! Since the health and safety of our campus community are paramount, we are writing with updates about how your return to campus can be as safe as possible.

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing is a critical component of a safe return to campus. Because of this, Elmhurst University is requiring all residential students to take the COVID-19 (PCR) test within five days of their scheduled residence hall check-in date. You must present a negative test result in order to get your residence hall/apartment/house keys. If you test positive for the virus, you must remain at home for the 10 days of self-isolation as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you are unable to get tested prior to arriving on campus, you will be tested on campus as soon as you arrive. Students who are tested on campus, as well as those who have not received their results from off-campus testing, must self-quarantine in their room and participate in all academic activities remotely until their test results come back.

If a student receives a positive test once on campus, they will be encouraged to return home off-campus to self-isolate for 10 days, as recommended by the CDC. If returning home is not an option, a student can be relocated to a designated room on campus for the required self-isolation period of 10 days. The University will arrange for food and package delivery to the student’s room during this time.

Additional information regarding how to submit a negative test and where you will go on campus to do so before checking into your housing assignment will be communicated in another email within the next few days.


Following proven safety precautions is a matter of social responsibility, one of our University’s core values. We have the following expectations for all members of the Elmhurst University community:

  1. Do a self-assessment for symptoms daily. Use the following app to check your symptoms.
  2. Wear a face mask. Wear a face mask. Wear a face mask. (Research indicates that wearing a valveless N95 mask provides the best protection to the user and those they come in contact with, followed by disposable surgical masks, and cloth masks.)
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Maintain physical distancing of at least six feet.
  5. Use a hand sanitizer when the ability to wash your hands is not readily available
  6. Take your temperature daily.
  7. Avoid large gatherings, including parties, busy restaurants and bars.
  8. Refrain from shaking hands and giving hugs
  9. Take care of yourself. Go for a walk or a run, use the fitness center, and take care of your emotional and mental wellbeing.
  10. Finally, hold your friends accountable to following the above guidelines.

We all want to return to campus. If we fail to abide by the above-stated practices, and the number of positive tests becomes unmanageable, the University will need to take action. This could include closing the residential facilities and moving all classes to remote and online delivery formats. We sincerely hope this does not happen. We all have decisions to make, and we hope all of us make good decisions that will keep the Elmhurst University community safe and healthy.


Our final recommendation is for each residential student to pack an emergency COVID-19 bag, just in case you test positive and need to be moved to a self-isolation room on campus. Having a pre-packed bag allows a roommate or a staff member to easily bring it to you should you become symptomatic and need to urgently self-isolate. Here are some suggestions for your COVID-19 bag:

  • List of medications, allergies, or other health issues
  • List of emergency contacts (names, phone numbers, and email address)
  • Extra cell phone charger
  • Comfortable clothing: sweat pants, pajamas, T-shirts, sweatshirt and; socks
  • An extra blanket
  • Thermometer
  • Body lotion and chapstick
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body soap
  • Brush and/or comb
  • Over the counter cough drops and/or cough medicine
  • Tylenol to bring the fever down, and for aches and pains
  • Tissues
  • Snacks
  • Extra face masks. (Each student placed in self-isolation will receive an N95 face mask, disposable surgical face masks, gloves, and antibacterial wipes.)
  • Whatever else you think you may need for 10 days

We look forward to your arrival on campus. Please check your email regularly as information is changing on a daily basis when it comes to this pandemic. Email any questions about this policy to

Bluejay Proud!

— The COVID-19 Task Force

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