We want to provide some insight into our office's COVID-related preparations, including changes in our daily operations. As we continue to plan, please know that we are working diligently not only to ensure the safety of our students, but also to continue to provide effective health care services. More information about these processes, specifically health requirements, screening apps, etc…will all be communicated in the weeks to come. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 410-617-5055. Please make sure to review Loyola University's Spring Reopening plans as well.
HEALTH REQUIREMENTS PRIOR TO SPRING RETURN
Please note that failure to complete these requirements will result in a health hold in the student record which will prevent ability to move into Loyola housing or, in the case of graduate students or students living in non-Loyola housing, permission to be on campus. All students are also expected to self-quarantine to the best of their ability for the 14 days prior to arrival at Loyola—with the exception of the trip for COVID-19 testing and travel back to the University. This will put us in the best position for a healthy semester for our community.
1. COVID-19 Testing
Students living in Loyola housing will be tested upon their arrival to campus in January. Students will then begin a Campus Arrival Restriction Period (CARP), which will extend through Jan. 20. During CARP, students will limit their interactions with other students per specific CARP guidelines.Students who are living off campus in non-Loyola housing will be required to obtain COVID-19 testing (a PCR test; not antigen or antibody testing) within the two weeks prior to start of classes and/or anticipated return to campus community and be able to provide proof of a negative result. Students will receive more detailed information about these processes.
2. Influenza Vaccination
All undergraduate and graduate students who will be returning to Loyola campuses and/or attending in-person classes are required to obtain the seasonal influenza vaccination and submit proof of the vaccination to our office prior to the start of spring semester. We will review and accept valid medical/religious exemptions on a case-by-case bass. All documentation regarding flu shots can be submitted to email@example.com
3. Health Forms and Immunization Records
First-year and transfer students must submit any outstanding health and immunization records (which had initially been required by September 2020) to SHS prior to arriving on campus in January.
4. COVID-19 Student Training
All students will need to complete a mandatory online student training prior to spring return.Students will receive more information about this training by mid-December.
5. Commit to being a Healthy Hound
All students will be asked to review the information on the Loyola Healthy Hounds website, as well as sign the pledge page. This will serve as a recognition of the student's responsibility to follow all appropriate health and safety protocols in order to help keep our university community safe
COVID-19 SCREENING & TESTING
- All undergraduate and graduate students will be expected to enroll in Loyola's student symptom checker app, Campus Clear. We will encourage a culture of raising self-awareness and social responsibility through daily symptom monitoring through our screening tool. Preventing potentially infected individuals from interacting with other students is one of the best ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our community.
- If a student is experiencing symptoms or has been a recent close contact of someone with COVID-19, they will be flagged on the app and will receive follow-up from our office for further evaluation, testing, etc. Every student is expected to answer honestly each morning as well as comply in showing their Campus Clear green pass if asked by a Loyola faculty member, staff member, or administrator. Our office will communicate the enrollment process to all students in an email in the upcoming weeks.
Baseline/Pre-Return Testing Requirements
- Residential students: We will not require proof of a negative PCR test prior to the arrival of undergraduate students who will be living in Loyola housing. Instead, baseline testing for undergraduate residential students will be conducted on campus upon student arrival. In order to mitigate risk and provide a cohesive opening experience for all residential undergraduate students, the entire community will participate in a Campus Arrival Restriction Period (CARP) beginning on Jan. 11 and continuing through Jan. 20. During CARP, residential students will limit their interactions with others, dining facilities will be open for students to pick up grab-and-go meals, the Fitness and Aquatic Center will be closed, and in-person meetings and events will not be held. The first two days of classes will be held online to allow for all test results to be received before the start of in-person classes and other interactions on Jan. 21
- Off-campus Students/Commuters: Students who are living off-campus in non-Loyola housing will need to provide proof of a negative PCR test that has been administered onJan. 5 or later prior to returning to campus for classes or use of any Loyola facilities. These students will not be part of the baseline testing on campus. We will require that off-campus students stay off campus except for essential purposes until after the CARP is complete on Jan. 21.
- Graduate Students: Prior to returning to any of Loyola’s campuses, all graduate students who will be taking classes in person will need to provide proof of a negative PCR test that has been administered on Jan. 5 or later.
- Loyola will also conduct ongoing random surveillance testing of students, faculty, staff, and administrators. This testing will encompass roughly 10% of our student population each week, including undergraduate students living in bothLoyola housing and non-Loyola off-campus housing, as well as some of the graduate student population.
- Surveillance testing and symptomatic testing of students will be facilitated through a partnership with an outside partner, which will provide on-site testing. Students will be selected via a randomized list each week. Once selected, they will be notified to schedule their testing appointment through a streamlined process through the outside partner’s platform.
- Testing will be done on-site at Loyola at a predetermined location. Additional details about testing locations and how students will be notified will be posted to the our website and communicated directly to students prior to the start of the spring semester.
- Baseline and surveillance testing done on campus will be done through a self-administered swab. This method allows for the student or staff member to administer the nasal swab (not nasopharyngeal) test themselves. There will be a healthcare provider overseeing the process to ensure the testing method is being done correctly and provide verbal guidance or assistance as needed.
- Undergraduate students who report symptoms through Campus Clear will be contacted by SHS, who will work to arrange testing as needed. Graduate students who report symptoms through Campus Clear have the option to obtain testing guided through their primary care physician or can contact SHS who can assist and guide testing as necessary.
OFFICE UPDATES FOR SPRING 2021
Appointments & Visit Flow
- SHS is planning to address student concerns virtually from our office, via telehealth, when possible. We feel this is best in order to maintain low density numbers in the office, avoid illness transmission between students, and maintain safe distancing measures.
- We will not be accepting walk-in students this upcoming semester and will require that all students have an appointment first.
- If students need an appointment, they will call our office and be directed to a health care provider for a phone screening. We recognize that not all visits will be appropriate for management via phone or video appointment. In those cases, the student will be scheduled accordingly for an appointment after speaking with a health center provider.
- We will not be utilizing our waiting room this fall, again to maintain safe distancing measures and limit contact between students. Because of this, we plan to have a streamlined check-in process. Students will have the ability to self check-in for appointments through their student portal in our new Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system (more information forthcoming). Once checked in, students will be brought directly back to exam room by their provider, rather than sitting in waiting room or being assessed first in our triage room.
- In the event we need to bring ill students into the office, we are also working to establish a scheduling system that will stagger in-person visits in a manner that minimizes contact between ill vs. well students.
Pharmacy & Supplies
- If a student had an appointment with one of our providers, they will still be able to purchase medications (both OTC and prescription) from our office as well as receive certain vaccinations. We will encourage the use of a credit card or Evergreen card as contactless payment options.
- Student Health Services can still send prescriptions to any local outside pharmacy as well, but students will be asked to check those pharmacies first for any new/updated procedures for pick up with regards to COVID.
Communication, Technology and Signage
- We are planning to add outside floor markers under our awning for students to utilize if waiting for an appointment. However, we will encourage students to check-in as close to their appointment time as possible in an effort to avoid gathering outside the health center.
- We are currently onboarding a new EMR (electronic medical records) system which will greatly assist tele-health efforts. This system will also have a secure student portal where students can contact their providers directly, set up appointments, view their immunization records, print discharge instructions, etc
- We will be utilizing web-based communication as much as possible this spring with our new EMR platform, tele-health, secure email, and regular website updates. We also plan to continue posting regular updates on social media (IG: @LoyolaMDhealth, FB: @LoyolaMDhealth) in order to communicate important health trends, tips and education. We plan to remain as communicative and engaged with our students and campus community as much as possible!
Safety & Sanitation
For in-person visits, all health care providers will be wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) including gowns, face shields, masks and gloves. Students will also be asked to wear masks while in the health center as well.
- We have clear plexiglass barriers for the reception area and, for any charges, have installed a new contactless payment swipe at checkout.
- We are working closely with Environmental Services to maintain thorough and detailed sanitation and cleaning practices in the exam rooms and throughout the health center.
- We have also installed air filtration units to each exam room and outfitted our triage room with a negative pressure system for the assessment and management of students with potential COVID-symptoms.