The following is an email that was sent to the Loyola community, including families, on Sunday, March 15, 2020.
Subject: Coronavirus update from the president
Dear Members of the Loyola Community,
I have an important update to share with you today. A Loyola undergraduate student, who has not been on campus since before he became symptomatic, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The student traveled to Spain over Spring Break, developed symptoms there, and went home without coming to campus at any point in time. He is making a good recovery at his home outside of Maryland.
Six other undergraduate students had traveled to Spain with this student. They had been back on campus for approximately 24 hours when the University learned that the student was being tested for COVID-19. Those six students immediately were sent home to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Since then, five of those students have not developed any symptoms, but one has exhibited mild symptoms and is now also being tested for COVID-19. He expects to receive those results later this week, and we will certainly update you then. Student Health Services has reached out to members of our community who may have been in close contact with that student.
I assure you that we will continue to take every precaution to try to keep members of our community healthy. Even though we have known that the coronavirus could and would touch our Loyola community, this is certainly difficult news to receive, causing anxiety and fear. It is also a tangible reminder of why we have taken the steps we have taken and put the policies in place that we are implementing. But I assure you we continue to assess what more we can and should do to protect our community.
As a university community, we will continue to practice social distancing, trying to minimize the risk to all members of our community and supporting faculty, staff, and administrators who may need to work remotely. Employees, your vice president or supervisor will work with you to reduce the number of employees who are present on our campuses, keeping in mind that many may need flexibility because they are at-risk for COVID-19 under the CDC guidelines, ill, caring for ill family members, or caring for children who are home with Maryland’s public schools closed. I encourage divisions to transition to a schedule with fewer employees present and more working from home. Members of the faculty are welcome to continue to prepare for online teaching either at home or in their offices on campus. Meanwhile, all admission campus tours and in-person information sessions are suspended until April 14.
This weekend, Baltimore City has also announced its first case of COVID-19. During this time of great anxiety, please know that we are here to support one another. I am in awe of how our faculty, staff, and administrators are rising to the occasion to serve our students and one another—and I hope, even though distance separates us, our students know that we are in this together.
Students, please do not hesitate to reach out to the professionals in the Counseling Center, Campus Ministry, the student life office, or Student Health Services. If you need assistance outside regular business hours, please call the department of public safety at 410-617-5911, and they will connect you with someone who can help. Employees may contact Loyola’s Employee Assistance (EAP) Program at 1-800-765-0770.
The University will continue to communicate with you regularly, and we will keep our coronavirus webpage updated with the latest information.
Please join me in praying for the health and wellbeing of all members of our Loyola community, and know you are in my prayers every day.
Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.