Loyola University Maryland

Coronavirus Updates

Spring 2021 FAQ

General Questions

How is Loyola making its decisions?

Loyola is looking to the State of Maryland, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other health and government officials for guidance to determine the appropriate steps to keep students and staff safe. Professionals and departments across the University are working to identify innovative solutions to ensure the health and safety of our campus community, and faculty are spending time this summer working to ensure they will be able to offer their courses online, as well as in person.

The University has formed three interdepartmental working groups—Academic Continuity/Modified Course Delivery, Residential/Student Contingency, and Health Care/COVID-19 Management—to focus on planning, policies, training, and structures to ensure successful operations for the educational and residential experience Loyola plans to offer.

Health and Wellness

When and how will I be expected to wear a mask or face covering and engage in social distancing?

Social distancing and wearing face coverings will be a standard part of campus life at Loyola, with social distancing across campus—in classrooms, dining, and extracurricular activities. You will not need to wear a face covering or engage in physical distancing in your residence hall room.

What if I have a medical concern that puts me at increased risk for COVID-19?

We care very deeply about the health and wellness of our students. We are following the CDC guidelines throughout our processes, and they recommend that students, faculty, staff, and administrators with underlying health concerns protect themselves by not coming back to campus. Even if you are remote from the campus, you will have access to all the campus services. If you plan to take all your courses remotely from home, reach out to odugs@loyola.edu to make arrangements.

How will Loyola accommodate students with asthma?

It is hard to answer this question because asthma is a condition that can vary from person to person as to how well it is controlled. Please consult the CDC guidance for college students at higher risk for severe illness and work with your doctor to see if you should request an accommodation (such as remote learning). Disability Support Services is the office that reviews requests for accommodations for both classes and housing. If an accommodation is approved, DSS will work with your student to coordinate the arrangements. Please contact Marcia Wiedefeld, Director of Disability Support Services, at (410) 617-2062 or mwiedefeld@loyola.edu for more information.

How will Loyola address students’ mental and spiritual health?

The Counseling Center has maintained services throughout this time, through social media and telehealth for groups and for individuals. Campus Ministry has been offering resources for spiritual health and a weekly livestreamed 5 p.m. Mass on Sundays. All of these will continue to be available to all our students.

Who is your health care partner?

Loyola is partnering with LifeBridge Health, and specifically Sinai Hospital. Sinai will help us with testing, case management of students who are in quarantine and isolation, after-hours support, and with hospitalizations—which we certainly hope are not needed. SHS has had a positive relationship with Sinai in recent years, and we look forward to collaborating with them in advancing the health of our community. We are also working with an infectious disease specialist, who will serve as a resource to the team as we make decisions moving forward.

I have questions about the flu shot, isolation, quarantine, or other health-related concerns. Who can I reach out to?

Contact Student Health Services at healthservices@loyola.edu.

What are your plans for testing and contact tracing?

Before students return to campus, all undergraduate students arriving on campus will need to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test result that has been completed within 7-14 days of their planned move-in date. We will also ask that you self-quarantine at home for 14 days prior to your arrival. We are still reviewing protocols for graduate students and will provide an update as soon as we finalize plans. Once students have returned to campus, we will provide symptomatic testing of students who report symptoms via the Campus Clear symptom tracker app and surveillance testing of all NCAA student-athletes (as required by NCAA guidelines) and about 10% of the rest of the student population, randomly tested each week. We have identified employees who are being trained through a program offered by Johns Hopkins to assist with contact tracing, and we are also identifying employees and making sure we have a good system in place to assist with case management. It is essential that we provide ongoing monitoring and appropriate support to our students while they are in quarantine and isolation.

What are your plans for quarantine and isolation?

We will ask each student to have a “go bag” ready in case they need to relocate to the isolation space. Student life will provide a packing list in advance so students can be prepared. Residential students who test positive will be permitted and encouraged to go home, but for those who are not able to go home, we are planning to provide isolation space for them. A student will take their go bag and academic materials and relocate to their isolation space. They will stay in that space until they are cleared by Student Health Services. SHS will provide daily telehealth visits for students, and each student will be assigned a case manager who will check in with them throughout the isolation period. Students who may have been exposed and are awaiting test results will quarantine in their current living space. Students in isolation and quarantine will have their meals delivered by Parkhurst Dining, which will work with students on dietary restrictions and allergies.

How will COVID-related policies be enforced?

Student Conduct has updated the University policies, which are available here. Violation of those policies would ultimately be addressed through the student conduct process. We hope our students will engage in a culture of positive peer pressure and kind correction, encouraging others to wear face coverings and engage in physical distancing for their health and others’.

Will the Counseling Center be operating in the spring?

Yes! We have been providing services throughout the pandemic. In the spring, we will have a hybrid model based on the most current medical guidelines. At the start of the spring semester, most clinical services will continue to be virtual to ensure everyone’s safety and physical health. Please see our website for the most up-to-date information.

What services will be offered?

We are offering workshops, groups, Let’s Talk problem solving sessions, individual counseling, and comprehensive referral services. For more info, visit the COVID-19 Counseling Center resources website.

What if I am at attending Loyola remotely from home?

If you are taking classes and not living in Maryland, you are still able to receive most of our services. Some states have put limits on what we are legally permitted to provide. Please call us at 410-617-CARE (2273) to discuss your specific circumstances. Let’s Talk!

Residence Halls

How will the University promote health and wellness in the residence halls?

The health and wellness of those in the residence halls will depend on the behaviors of the people who live there—as well as our facilities colleagues who will keep the buildings clean. You will get information on how to wear a face covering properly because we will be asking everyone on campus to wear a face covering in public areas. We will be encouraging cleanliness. We will provide resources in advance to help students know how to prepare for their return to campus.

What does “lower-density” mean when describing the campus experience?

Although students will continue to share space and live in community, the University is working to ensure that students have more distance and fewer indoor gathering spaces in the residence halls and eating areas and in other parts of campus. Students commuting and employees working on campus will also be practicing physical distancing.

What if I signed my housing contract but I decide to live off campus in non-Loyola housing?

You can request a cancellation of your housing contract until Dec. 15, without penalty. After that, there may be a cancellation fee and loss of deposit.

If a student’s roommate decides to stay home for the spring, will my student be assigned a new roommate?

Possibly. We are still looking at our vacancies and number of residents. It is possible your student will be assigned a new roommate. We will use the roommate profile to identify a compatible roommate.

If a student knows someone they would like to live with, can that be arranged?

Potentially. We plan to offer a room change request process in mid-November. Students will be communicated with the details once available. If there is a confirmed vacancy during that time your student may be able to request to “pull” someone into the open space.

If I have a vacancy in my room will it be filled, or will I be reassigned?

Student Life is in the process of assigning all students who are requesting housing to a bedspace. Over the summer the University inspected bedspaces to ensure that students can social distance at least 6 feet within their bedroom. Any bedrooms that did not meet these criteria had their capacity reduced to 1 person. Students should expect to have a direct roommate. Students should contact their original assigned roommate to confirm if they are returning to the residence halls for the Spring. Please note, students with confirmed vacancies in their bedroom or unit may be consolidated with residents who also have vacancies. We will use the roommate profile to identify a compatible roommate. Student Life may consolidate residents who have vacancies in their bedrooms and/or apartments.

What safety measures will be put in place for move-in?

Student Life has created a centralized systematic move-in designated to reduce congestion, promote physical distancing, and expedite arrival for students and their families. All residential students will move in during their designated appointment time. Student Life will be communicating move-in guidelines and the process to schedule an appointment in December.

Can students leave campus?

With all our policies, we are hopeful that students will take personal responsibility in following the policies to ensure a safe and successful semester. While we will not be monitoring individual movements, we would be able to adjudicate incidents where a student leaves campus for non-essential reasons. With a focus on egregious violations (i.e. leaving campus to attend a large gathering), sanctions for such behavior could include a status sanction, such as disciplinary probation or deferred suspension with repetitive incidents resulting in more severe sanctions.

I signed the housing contract, but my plans have changed can I cancel it?

We understand that students’ residential plans may change from the date they signed their contract. Students who no longer need their housing for the Spring semester should submit the Request to Cancel Housing form no later than Dec. 15 to avoid penalties and fees.

I currently do not have housing for Spring. How can I request it?

Students who canceled their housing prior to Aug. 6 or did not participate in housing selection will need to reapply for housing by submitting a Spring 2021 Housing Application in the RoomRez portal. Student Life will communicate the process along with dates and deadlines in early November.

When will I receive my housing assignment for spring?

Students will receive a Spring 2021 housing assignment and roommate confirmation email in December.

If I defer or decide to study remotely for the Spring semester will I have housing for Fall 2021?

Students who do not live on campus for the Spring semester are welcome to live on campus for the 2021-2022 academic year. All students are required to participate in the 2021-2022 housing selection process which is scheduled to occur in the Spring. Regardless of your intent to live on campus, off campus, commute from home, or study abroad, students must complete Phase 1 of the housing selection process.

Will there be a grace period for room and board for the Spring 2021 semester?

We are offering Spring 2021 semester students a two-week grace period on room and board. If residential students voluntarily decide during the first two weeks of in-person classes that they want to move home and continue their Loyola instruction remotely, we will refund their room and board charges for the semester.


What changes might I see in dining on campus?

Parkhurst Dining will be offering more online/mobile ordering and grab-and-go options. For more information, visit the Parkhurst Dining reopening information page.

Will meal plans still be available?

Yes. The meal delivery options may look different and students might use meal plans differently, but the plans will be structured in the same way.

For dining, are the only options “grab and go”?

Parkhurst No, students will still be able to eat in a safe way in our dining facilities. Parkhurst is reducing density in its dining facilities with a tent we will add on Diane Geppi-Aikens Field and implementing changes to ensure students can enjoy a safe and enjoyable dining experience with a variety of choices this spring. Parkhurst is adding grab-and-go items to their current variety of offerings. You can learn more on the dining website.


Will there be any changes to the spring 2021 academic calendar?

The original spring 2021 calendar has been updated to include a later start date (Jan. 19), and Easter and spring breaks are combined into one holiday to minimize travel to and from campus. These changes have already been communicated in an email to students. You can find the calendar on the Records website. In terms of additional changes to the calendar, we are monitoring virus conditions and following guidelines from state and local officials see if changes are necessary.

If a student lives in off-campus housing, can they participate in hybrid courses on campus?

Yes, students in off-campus housing can participate in hybrid courses on campus, unless they have communicated to the office of the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies that they will be studying remotely for the semester.

When is the deadline to decide on remote or hybrid courses for the spring semester?

Any student can choose to take all of their classes remotely with Loyola. If you wish to do that, please indicate so on the follow-up remote-learning survey that will be sent by the office of the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies in early November.

Can a student decide to take some courses remotely and others in-person?

We are not planning to let students choose which courses they can take remotely and which they can take in-person. You would either decide to be fully remote with Loyola or to live on or commute to campus and attend all scheduled in-person classes in person.

When do I need to make my decision about whether I want to take all my courses remotely for the spring?

Ideally, you would make your decision in early November, but you could make it by Dec. 15—the same deadline you can request to cancel your housing contract without penalty. The office of the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies and student life works closely together to ensure that we have the same list of students who have opted out of housing and are working with us remotely for spring.

If a student plans to continue online for the spring semester, are they limited to only those classes labeled online-only or are they able to register for other classes that are hybrid but take them online?

All classes will be available to students who wish to work with Loyola remotely in the spring. This includes online courses and any hybrid courses. For the in-person sessions that are part of the hybrid model, students can join remotely. All classrooms will be equipped with technology to allow remote access/participation.

How will courses requiring a lab operate during the spring semester?

Each science department is deciding how to best handle its labs for optimum learning—for both in-person and remote learners. Many science faculty are, in fact, teaching the online labs from the science lab rooms this semester, so that they can get used to the technology. Here is an example of how labs were conducted during the Fall 2020 semester.

When does course registration for Spring 2021 happen for first-year students?

First-year student registration for the Class of 2024 happens on Nov. 11 and 12.

How many courses will be offered fully remotely versus in a hybrid format?

Currently, our plan is for a maximum of 25% of courses to be fully online and the remaining 75% to be hybrid, with one fully in-person session, per course, per week, and the other sessions online. When registering for courses, students should be able to tell which courses are currently planned for fully online delivery by noting the "W" (indicating "web") before the section numbers. Although this is our current plan, the percentage of online courses may shift, depending on whether the number of faculty who cannot be on campus in the spring shifts.

Will library/study spaces on campus be available in the spring for students living on campus?

Yes, there will be spaces all around campus designated for student study and for participating in online class sessions outside of residence hall rooms. Once rooms are scheduled for spring courses, we will develop a list of spaces reserved for purposes of study that will be made available to students, and these spaces will also be identified as study spaces. Many of these spaces will be traditional classrooms that are just too small to accommodate students in courses because of social-distancing requirements.

What academic support services will be available?

All academic support services will be available. Most of these them will continue virtually for the spring, and we will assess over time to determine whether in-person opportunities can be offered safely.

What if I don’t return to campus in the spring but want to continue my Loyola education?

As was the case for fall, all students, undergraduate and graduate, will be able to choose to come back to campus to take classes in the spring or to join their classes remotely from home.   
If you are an undergraduate student, you should have received a survey on Oct. 1 from Elissa Derrickson, Ph.D., dean of undergraduate and graduate studies, about your interest in working with Loyola remotely in the spring versus taking your classes on campus. This survey was non-binding. However, so that we can let your professors know that you will be remote, our office will send a final survey to you in early November for a response by Tuesday, Nov. 17.  If you have questions, feel free to reach out to odugs@loyola.edu

If you are a graduate student who wishes to work remotely in the spring, please contact the director of program operations for your particular program.

What can I expect if I am participating in a class online?

Faculty are focusing on enriching their online course offerings so that students in both the real and virtual classrooms will benefit from the exceptional education Loyola faculty deliver.

If I decide to take all my courses online for the spring semester, will I still pay room and board?

No, you would not pay any room and board charges. You would pay only tuition and fees. Students who are studying remotely for the Spring semester will have their housing and meal plan cancelled for the full academic year.

What about students who are planning to study abroad?

The office of international programs will send an update on study abroad on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 20. Students will have until Sunday, Oct. 25, to decide if they want to pay their housing deposit and stay on campus or if they want to pay their study abroad deposit and study abroad. If students stay in Baltimore, they will register on Wednesday, Oct. 28, for Spring 2021 courses.

If I live off campus, will I have access to campus facilities and be able to attend classes on campus?

Both residential and off campus/commuter students will have the option to attend classes and utilize the University spaces for the Spring semester. The only students who would not have access to campus facilities are students who opt for virtual learning for the Spring from their permanent home address.

What if I decide to live off campus or commute to campus? Will I have access to campus facilities?

We are considering all our students in our planning. Non-residential students will be welcome to attend classes on campus, use campus facilities such as the Fitness and Aquatic Center and the Loyola/Notre Dame Library, and participate actively in in-person events. Students who will be on campus at all will be expected to complete the mandatory training module that SHS will be updating for students for the spring semester, sign the Healthy Hounds pledge, use the Campus Clear symptom tracker every day, and comply with all health and safety policies.

Will there be any social activities held in person?

Yes, some activities may be held in person in compliance with health and safety guidelines.

Other Questions

Will I be able to work on campus?

Work study employment is not changing. Work study is part of a student’s financial aid package, and all attempts will be made to hire work study students who want to work. The University is also not making any changes to direct hires, although obviously the usage of direct hires may change depending on departmental needs.

What will clubs look like?

Clubs and organizations may meet in person ONLY if they can do it safely (masked, distanced, and following capacity guidelines for campus rooms). If there are too many people to meet safely, we will ask the club to either split up into smaller meeting groups or bring everyone together online. No matter how a club meets safely in the spring, we will ask that they at least keep meetings as a hybrid format so that students who are not physically present can still be an active member. 

Will there be club sports?

Club Sports is currently under review, and a final decision will be communicated with all coaches and captains.

How will shuttles operate?

Shuttles will run on their usual routes with the addition of routes to serve students living in off-campus Loyola housing. All shuttle drivers and passengers will wear face coverings at all times and engage in physical distancing on the shuttles. After each loop, the touch surfaces (hand rails, seat back handles) will be wiped down with a 70% alcohol solution wipe.

Bus capacities will be lower, so during peak rush times additional service will be added as needed.  Midday and off hours demand should be unaffected, as the Cathedral shuttle is mostly empty in those times.

What are the plans for Commencement for the Class of 2020?

We will celebrate the Class of 2020 at an in-person ceremony in the spring of 2020 as government regulations and public health conditions permit. We will be in touch with more details as plans come together. We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2020!

What are the plans for Commencement for the Class of 2021?

We are planning to hold Commencement for the Class of 2021 on May 22, 2021. We will hold the event in compliance with government and public health guidelines. If we need to make any changes to those plans, we will send any updates as we have them. We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2021!

Will the Fitness and Aquatic Center (FAC) be open Spring Semester?

Yes. The FAC will be open and operating when students return in January. More information about restrictions, guidelines and procedures will be available mid-December.

Will I be able to access Recreation and Wellness programs virtually during the Spring Semester?

Yes. Recreation and Wellness will be offering virtual fitness options that can be done from the comfort of your own place.

Will Club Sports be up and running in the Spring?

Club Sports are currently under review. There will be opportunities available to connect with teammates, although normal practices and competitions will be extremely limited. Club Sport officers and captains will receive final information prior to the start of Spring Semester.

What will campus Masses look like?

We will have regular scheduled Sunday and daily Masses in Alumni Memorial Chapel. More details will be forthcoming soon.

Healthy Hound approved