Loyola University Maryland

Coronavirus Updates

Spring 2021 FAQ

General Questions

How is Loyola making its decisions?

Loyola continues to look 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 healthy and safe.

Communication Measures

How will I know where to receive information about COVID-19 this semester?

As we begin the Spring semester, you may be wondering how you will receive information—from specific information related to you to updates that are broader about the overall university community. Here is a helpful guide to how you will receive the information you are looking for.

How will I know if I need to quarantine?

If there is a need for you to quarantine because you are considered a close contact of a positive COVID case, you will receive a call from a 443 number from our contact tracing Team. Please answer this call. The caller will not disclose the name of the person who tested positive, but they will share that you are a close contact and give some general quarantine instructions.

Students are discouraged from traveling during the semester. Per our current travel policy and in compliance with state recommendations, if you travel outside of Maryland during the semester, you will need to self-quarantine for 10 days upon your return to Maryland. For students, you will need to complete Campus Clear each day as always, and you should notify your professors that you are quarantining due to travel. If you develop symptoms or start to feel unwell, contact Student Health Services.

How will I know if I test positive for COVID and what I should do next?

The results of all COVID testing conducted through Loyola will be relayed via text, phone call, and/or email. You need to make sure you are watching for these notifications in the few days following your test. If your result is negative, no further action is needed.

For Students

If your COVID test result is positive, you will be able to speak with a provider on the phone about how you’re feeling. A Loyola COVID Logistics Coordinator will contact you following that phone call to discuss next steps and your plan for isolation. If you are a residential student and are well enough to go home—and can get home without taking any form of public or mass transportation—that is one option for your isolation. Loyola is also providing dedicated isolation space for residential students who cannot go home. Non-residential students will isolate where they are.

For Employees

If your COVID test result is positive, you should schedule a telehealth appointment with a VitalCheck physician as soon as possible. If you prefer, you may contact your primary care physician to discuss how you are feeling and any recommended treatment. You will need to quarantine and should not return to campus until medically cleared to do so. A member of Loyola’s human resources team will contact you to ask where and when you were last on campus and to answer any questions you have about the VitalCheck telehealth process and next steps before returning to campus. You will also be contacted by Loyola’s contact tracing team, and you will be expected to respond to the contact tracer without delay and cooperate in answering their questions.

How will I know when I can stop quarantining or isolating?

For Students

You will be notified when your quarantine or isolation period has ended by a staff member from either LifeBridge Health or Student Health Services. If you are in an isolation space provided by Loyola and cleared for return to your residence, you will be given specific instructions about how to check out of the isolation space and return to your residence hall space. If you are quarantining because you traveled outside of the state of Maryland, you should self-monitor and end your quarantine after 10 days if you have not developed any symptoms.

For Employees

The VitalCheck physician will provide you and Loyola with documentation clearing you to return to campus and stop quarantining. If you choose to engage with your primary care physician, you will need to provide human resources with a medical clearance to return to campus.

How will I know if my roommate/classmate/friend/acquaintance tests positive?

You may not know that someone you know tested positive for COVID—unless that person chooses to share that information with you directly. Loyola has a strong contact tracing program that will promptly reach out to you if you have been identified as a close contact to a positive case and need to quarantine. You will not be notified if your roommate, friend, or colleague tests positive, but you would be identified as a close contact and contacted by our contact tracing team.

Remember, if you are masked and keeping to the social distancing guidelines of greater than 6 feet apart for less than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, you’re taking the necessary steps to avoid contact and infection. Masks make all the difference in cases where you’re unsure if you are interacting with someone who is potentially infected. If both parties are wearing masks and keeping a 6-foot distance for 15-minute (or shorter) interactions, the risk for COVID dramatically decreases. If even one person is unmasked, though, that risk increases.

How will I know if my my class is being temporarily moved online?

The faculty member teaching your class will notify you.

How will I know how many COVID cases are on campus?

You can check Loyola’s COVID dashboard, which will be updated regularly as the University tracks cases in our community.

As a reminder, we are implementing baseline testing, which means we are testing all residential students at check-in. Thus, we anticipate having positive test results as the semester begins.

How will I understand what the number of cases means for Loyola?

Loyola’s president, the Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., will email our community regularly to provide perspective and context around the case numbers and the current situation in our community.

For Parents/Families: How will I know whether my student tests positive or has been identified through contact tracing?

If your student is under the age of 18, you will be notified directly from a staff member at Student Health Services that they have tested positive for COVID-19. We will also contact the student.

If your student is over the age of 18 and has tested positive for COVID-19, the results will be relayed directly to them; family members will not be automatically notified. If there is a desire to speak to someone regarding the health of a student, that student needs to grant consent to the provider before we can speak to the family member. Of course, in an emergent situation, the student’s emergency contact will be notified as quickly as possible.

For Faculty: How will I know whether a student in one of my classes is quarantining or has tested positive?

The office of undergraduate and graduate studies will contact the faculty member that a particular student will be missing class, but they will not mention COVID-19. A student may choose to tell the faculty member themselves, but the University will not communicate specifically that a student in the class has tested positive for COVID-19.

Health and Wellness

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

Social distancing and wearing face coverings are a standard part of campus life at Loyola, with social distancing across campus—in classrooms, dining, and extracurricular activities. You do 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 virtual access to all the campus services. Students who plan to continue remote instruction for the Spring 2021 semester should contact the office of the dean for undergraduate and graduate studies at odugs@loyola.edu.

If I choose to study remotely, can I visit campus?

If you choose to be a remote learner, you are not permitted to visit campus during the Spring 2021 semester. Use of campus facilities is limited to those students who have elected to attend in-person classes. Those students are part of the surveillance testing, using Campus Clear, and following other University policies related to COVID-19. 

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.

How will COVID-related policies be enforced?

Student Conduct has updated the University policies. 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 Counseling Center website for the most up-to-date information.

What services will be offered through the Counseling Center?

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 site.

What Counseling Center services are available to students who are attending Loyola remotely from home?

If you are taking classes remotely 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 is the University promoting health and wellness in the residence halls?

The health and wellness of those in the residence halls depends on the behaviors of the people who live there—as well as our facilities colleagues who are keeping the buildings clean. Students are receiving information on how to wear a face covering properly because we are asking everyone on campus to wear a face covering in public areas.

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 living off-campus 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.

What safety measures are 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. Students who have questions about move-in guidelines and the process should write to studentlife@loyola.edu.

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.

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, or commute from home, 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. Students who decide to study remotely must complete this Spring 2021 Remote Learning form.

When will students move into housing for the Spring Semester?

Returning students will move into Loyola housing on one of the following days: January 11, 12, 13, or 17, 2021. First-year students will move in on either Jan. 15 or 16 with first-year orientation beginning on Jan. 17. Transfer students will move in on Jan. 13.

Dining

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”?

No, once the Campus Arrival Restriction Period has concluded, 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.

Academics

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. 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, undergraduate students in off-campus housing can participate in hybrid courses on campus. However, if a student has indicated that they would like to remain fully virtual for the Spring 2021 semester (i.e. students who have submitted the Spring 2021 Remote Learning Confirmation form), they will be expected to only participate virtually.

Can an undergraduate student decide to take some courses remotely and others in-person? Students have two options for attending spring courses:

  • Fully Remote – students will attend all courses online and only participate in virtual campus services and activities (for this option, students must submit the Spring 2021 Remote Learning Confirmation form sent out via email from the office of undergraduate and graduate studies); or 
  • On-campus – students may commute or live in Loyola housing, and will be expected to attend all scheduled in-person class meetings in person. 

If a student decides to study 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 undergraduate 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.

How many undergraduate 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.

What should I do if my classes next semester are separated by 10 mins and one is in-person while another is online?

If you are in this situation, speak with your professor immediately to inform him or her that you need to leave class at the time that the class is scheduled to end. Learn more about where you can study in "Space for Online Class Sessions and Quiet Study" on the Classes/Academic Instruction page.

If I am enrolled in a hybrid class but have a conflict on a random week, will I be able to opt for online for days as needed?

Probably not. Within the hybrid model, attendance at the in-person class sessions will be required. The only students who will be able to join an in-person class remotely will be those who have registered to take all Loyola classes remotely and those who are ill or quarantined and should not attend class in person.

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. Learn more about where you can study in "Space for Online Class Sessions and Quiet Study" on the Classes/Academic Instruction page.

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. All classes will have a remote, synchronous option. Undergraduate students should contact the Office of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies at 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?

All Spring 2021 study abroad programs have been canceled.

If a Junior student is unable to complete study abroad next semester, will there be opportunities for that student to study abroad their senior year?

It will be possible for a limited number of current juniors to study abroad during the fall of their senior year, as space in Loyola-affiliated programs allows. The Office of International Programs (OIP) does not recommend spring study-abroad for seniors who plan to graduate in May because final transcripts often are not sent to Loyola by partner institutions in time for graduation clearance. Students must apply again through OIP before Dec. 9, 2020.

Another option for current juniors wishing to study abroad as seniors is to consider an external study abroad program, which is a program not offered through Loyola. Students can contact Ms. Renée Harris, RHarris@loyola.edu, if they wish to have an external semester-long program approved by Loyola or Ms. Naomi Githae, NGithae@loyola.edu, for an external summer program.

Currently, a variety of short (two, three, or four week) study tours are also scheduled for Summer 2021.

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

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. 

The only students who would not have access to in-person events or campus facilities are students who have chosen to be fully remote for the spring semester by submitting the Spring 2021 Remote Learning Confirmation form sent out by the office of undergraduate and graduate studies.

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. Working on campus will be an option for all students who are attending in-person classes.

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. 

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 2021 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