Dear Elmhurst University Community:
We write today to provide some important updates and reminders on how to continue to keep our entire Bluejay community healthy.
It has been very uplifting to see the energy on our campus over the past few weeks as our 2021 Fall Term is actively underway. Returning to and maintaining our high-quality residential educational experience, with meaningful in-person student, staff, and faculty interactions, is helping the University meet its core mission. We must, of course, remain committed to health and safety measures that will mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in our community, even as it appears that we will very likely be living with COVID-19 in some form or another going forward and likely beyond this semester.
The following essential steps must be taken by everyone in our campus community for the health of the community:
- Wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status—as described below, the University will maintain the requirement for all community members to wear masks indoors.
- Get vaccinated, if you are able to do so—vaccination is now required for all except those who have an approved exemption.
- Stay home if you feel ill—this is extremely important. If you have any symptoms, stay home for your well-being and the health of other members of our campus community and their families. It is also important to report your symptoms or any positive COVID-19 test.
- Adapt as needed—COVID-19 will cause new disruptions at work and home, and we must work together to adjust to our circumstances.
Here are some general updates:
- Since August 1, 2021, we have 41 reported positive cases of COVID-19. Of the reported cases, 50% are unvaccinated and 50% are vaccinated.
- The majority of cases are students. However, faculty and staff have also reported positive cases.
- If you have an approved exemption from the University, you must get tested weekly.
For individuals who are fully vaccinated and are showing COVID-19 symptoms:
- Get tested off campus 3-5 days following a known exposure.
- Isolate for 10 days if you test positive for COVID-19.
- Complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form if you test positive.
- Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and who meets the following criteria does NOT need to stay home.
- Someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.
- Someone who has COVID-19 illness within the previous 3 months, and
- Has recovered, and
- Remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath).
As of September 15, 2021, our vaccination rates on campus are as follows:
- 98.8% of the faculty have reported being fully vaccinated.
- 94.6% of the administration have reported being fully vaccinated
- 87.3% of the staff have reported being fully vaccinated.
- 85.8% of the students have reported being fully vaccinated or have received the first dose.
- 265 faculty, staff and students have received an exemption.
We strongly encourage anyone who is not vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
We continue to thank all members of our community for their understanding as we work together to ensure another year of high-quality, in-person education for which Elmhurst University is so well known. We will continue to provide updates as we monitor the pandemic and the changing health and government guidelines.
As always, please be safe and healthy.
The Elmhurst University COVID-19 Task Force