Today, we decided to close the University for a traditional snow day. We have been successful in moving instruction entirely online on days with inclement weather, but everyone in our community has been working so hard. Sometimes nature reminds us to step back from the busyness of the day and take a little time to nurture ourselves in mind, body, and spirit. In the future, we will continue to have online instruction during inclement weather, but I hope each of you found time for a restful and rejuvenating pause—and maybe even some fun in the snow.
Last week, in consultation with city and state health officials, we implemented a modified form of the Campus Assessment and Restriction Period (CARP) on Campion Tower and tested all the residents. I am sure it was inconvenient for the students living there, but it was important. Through our testing, we identified two additional positive results, and those students have moved temporarily to isolation. We lifted the CARP at 6 a.m. Wednesday, in time for students to return to in-person classes for the day.
Being able to take steps like this one will be essential as we work to maintain a safe and healthy campus. I appreciate that our students understand that being a member of a community means looking out for one another.
Although I hope we won’t have to implement CARP again in the future, we will be ready to do so as needed. I appreciate your flexibility and willingness to help us mitigate COVID-19 in our community.
Loyola will hold its Easter/Spring Break as scheduled
. Students who are living in Loyola housing will be welcome to stay for the break, but they are permitted to leave campus if they choose. We are asking that students only travel domestically and use all health precautions while traveling. We also are not permitting students to travel internationally over this break and then return to campus because of the COVID-19 risks associated with international travel.
We will hold no classes over the break, though the Fitness & Aquatic Center and Library will be open, and Campus Ministry will offer services in Alumni Memorial Chapel for Holy Week and Easter.
At the end of the break, before we resume in-person classes, we are planning to conduct baseline testing of all undergraduate students, including those who are living off-campus and commuters. We will hold classes online until everyone has their results. Students who want to be tested prior to traveling home to visit family will find a list of urgent care centers offering COVID-19 testing on the Emergencies and After Hours page on the Student Health Services site
I will share more details about these plans as they are finalized.
Yesterday, Christians around the world marked Ash Wednesday. Here at Loyola, we celebrated with Mass and a prayer service, and ashes were distributed throughout the day in Alumni Memorial Chapel.
Lent is a time when we focus on our relationship with God and others, seek renewal and conversion, and strive to embody the hope and joy of Easter. This pandemic consistently calls us to act with greater responsibility and care for ourselves, one another, and especially the most vulnerable in our society. May this journey toward the joy of Easter lead us closer to God, one other, and a more just and humane world.
Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.