Winter Break Update from President VanAken

December 23, 2021 | by the Elmhurst University COVID-19 Task Force

President Troy VanAken sent the following message to campus on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021.

Dear Elmhurst University Community:

As we conclude a successful Fall Term and look toward the new year, we are witnessing yet another surge in the global pandemic. In response to an increasing number of questions that we are receiving about January Term and the Spring, we are writing with our current plans to keep our campus community safe and healthy.

At this time, we do not anticipate any significant changes to our University COVID-19 protocols. While we know that, based on the data available, the Omicron variant is recognized as the most transmissible COVID-19 variant we have experienced, the guidance from health and government agencies indicates that we should continue to use the tools available to us to mitigate the virus. We have implemented a vaccination requirement, abided by the indoor mask mandate, required regular testing for the unvaccinated, and encouraged other health recommendations such as social distancing, handwashing, and remaining at home if you are feeling ill.

Moving forward, we are strongly encouraging the following:

  • If you are not yet vaccinated, we encourage you to do so now.
  • If you are fully vaccinated but haven’t yet received your booster, we highly recommend you schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Evidence indicates that the additional protection provided by booster shots is effective against the new COVID-19 variants.
    Within 72 hours before you plan to return to campus (either for January Term or the Spring Term), we request that you schedule a COVID-19 test and be prepared to share your results. We are also studying plans for increased on-campus testing prior to and at the start of each of these terms.
  • Make plans to take these steps now, since scheduling for vaccinations, boosters, or tests can take a few days.

We learn more about COVID-19 each week. Accordingly, we will continue to monitor the situation and, if necessary, update the campus community with new protocols or requirements over the next few weeks.

By most measures, including the number of positive COVID-19 cases among our campus community, we have achieved a high degree of health and safety amidst this pandemic. We have done so because we are a highly vaccinated community and have diligently abided by public health guidelines. Join us in continuing with this commitment in the new year.

Troy VanAken, President
Dean Pribbenow, VP for Academic Affairs Dean Pribbenow
Phil Riordan, VP for Student Affairs

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