Coronavirus Campus Updates

COVID-19 Update and Spring Return

Nov. 13, 2020

Students and families:

With just one week left of the semester, we continue to focus on your academic success and our commitment to campus health and safety. While we know that we have not yet officially closed out our time together for Fall 2020, we thank you for your diligence and resilience as we have worked through this semester together. 

Verified class absences due to COVID-19:  Faculty are notified by the Dean of Students office of all verified illnesses or contacts due to COVID-19. However, we are receiving reports of students missing class or assignments with a COVID-19 explanation unverified by student affairs. Our ability to track the level of illness on-campus is absolutely critical to a healthy campus response. You must notify Arnold Health Services if you are ill or believe you’ve been exposed, especially if you anticipate missing class or participating remotely. We must also ensure integrity in classroom experience with verified absences.

Staff reduction in offices:  To help mitigate the rapidly spreading COVID-19, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued new recommendations this week encouraging employees to work from home, when possible. Colleges and universities are not recommended for closing, but caution is still warranted. To support public health, Illinois Wesleyan will begin reducing staff presence on campus next week. All student service offices will remain open with on-site staffing to support your experience and all staff will still be available virtually. Because remaining class sessions are limited and we have been vigilant about masks and distancing, in-person classes and finals may continue as planned at the faculty member’s discretion.  

In these next few weeks, please remember to observe the updated guidance from the State of Illinois related to COVID-19 for our region as well as explore how you can keep yourself and others safe and healthy as you return home. Please follow updated guidance for your home community over holiday break. We anticipate most of our health and safety policies from the fall will continue in the spring, and will update you as changes occur.

Mandatory Spring Return application:  As a reminder, ALL STUDENTS must complete the Spring Return 2021 application found in your MyHousing page. That application will be available until Monday, November 16, and it will help inform some of the decisions that are still being made for the campus.

Spring baseline testing:  We will repeat our baseline testing in January for ALL students who are engaged in any on-campus activity (e.g., class, meetings, recreation, activities, residential living). The only students who do not need to participate in baseline testing are those living at home with a fully virtual spring schedule and no plans to participate in on-campus activities, or those who have already provided written documentation to Arnold Health Services of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis between October 10, 2020 and January 10, 2021. Campus-based testing will occur beginning Sunday, January 10 through Tuesday, January 12 and will require quarantine until results are known. Fortunately, our partner, Reditus Laboratories, has been able to deliver results within 24-36 hours. Any student assigned to the Marriott Hotel in Uptown Normal for the Spring 2021 term will arrive on Tuesday, January 12. Students living in non-University housing will need to sign up for a testing time on one of these 3 days (Jan. 10, 11 or 12) or test as part of approved early arrival activities. More details will be provided at a later date.

Spring move in:  Around November 20, SignUpGenius links will be provided for times to return to campus in January. Times will be available for Sunday, January 10, through Tuesday, January 12. Roommates should attempt to return on the same day. Unless you are approved, in writing, by the Office of Residential Life or the Office of Student Involvement to return to campus early, do not plan on returning before Sunday, January 10. Questions? Contact Residential Life (orl@iwu.edu) or Student Involvement (getinvolved@iwu.edu).  

Final date for fall opt-in testing:  November 18 is the last day for campus-based COVID-19 testing. Sign up here (deadline Tuesday at noon) if you would like to participate in testing before going home. Arnold Health Services continues to work with students on the best place to complete quarantine and isolation after housing closes on November 20.  

We know this semester has been difficult considering the amount of unknowns and changes from our normal fall experience. Thank you for your hard work prioritizing the safety of yourself and our community. Wishing you success on your final projects and exams!

Be well!

Dean Karla


Campus Mitigation Strategies for COVID-19

Nov. 6, 2020

As COVID-19 cases increase on campus, around McLean County, Illinois and the United States, we continue to review our campus mitigation strategies. Our community health is the highest priority and will take all of us to safeguard a strong finish to the fall semester. We are in a critical time for working aggressively to control spread.

For the remainder of the semester, we highly recommend the following:

  • Do not go to class, work or engage with others if you have COVID-19 symptoms. A growing concern is students who are symptomatic disregarding the implications of their symptoms in favor of attending class and continuing to do other activities. If you have symptoms, please consult with Arnold Health Services immediately (309-556-3107). If it’s the evening or the weekend, please contact Campus Safety (309-556-1111) and they will have a health professional contact you. With your health vigilance, we can avoid moving all classes to virtual instruction and all activities to remote participation.

  • Choose dining to-go: Given the beautiful weather and the potential spread with any mask-less activity, we highly recommend that you grab food to go and dine outside. The State of Illinois has implemented indoor dining restrictions for our region, but education is exempt for now. However, if we continue to see cases rise on campus, we will move to to-go only dining.

  • Choose virtual gatherings with friends: As part of our contact tracing, we understand that most of our current spread is through small group gatherings (under 10) which is in compliance with the Titan Pledge. However, we strongly encourage students to more carefully limit your exposure to others for the next two weeks. We recognize that social connection is important to your mental health and academic success, and hope that you will choose virtual connections during this period of increased cases. Through your careful commitments, we hope to avoid further residential restrictions which would include a residents-only approach to residence halls, fraternity houses and apartments.

Between COVID-19, racial injustice, and election uncertainty, we know this semester has been extremely challenging. We recognize you are exhausted and overwhelmed at times. We appreciate all that you are doing for public health and our Titan community.

Be well,

Georgia Nugent
Karla Carney-Hall
Vickie Folse
Mark Brodl


COVID-19 Update

Nov. 4, 2020

Students, faculty and staff:

As we all await election results, please continue to be kind to one another and be patient as the results unfold. During these uncertain times, our day-to-day COVID-19 practices remain clear.

With less than two weeks of classes left to go, Titans – let's bring this semester home! Now is the time to reaffirm our health precautions, not ease up. We've begun to see an increase in on-campus cases: our 7-day average is now over 2 cases per day for the first time since Sept. 10.

Please note:

  • State Restrictions: Effective this week, Illinois Region 2, which includes McLean County, is under increased restrictions. Indoor service is no longer permitted at restaurants and bars. Events are restricted to 25 or fewer people.

  • Campus event size restrictions: Although educational institutions are not included in these new state restrictions, Illinois Wesleyan will enact similar event restrictions, effective this Thursday, for non-class activities such as meetings and campus events. All in-person classes may still meet at this time. We will continue to monitor whether additional changes are needed, including potential changes to dining and residence hall guest policies.

    While Region 2 is facing restrictions because its rolling, seven-day positivity rate exceeded 8% for three straight days, McLean County's rolling positivity rate remains below this threshold (5.1% as of Monday).

  • Halloween weekend concerns: If you participated in large gatherings or patronized establishments in which mask wearing was inconsistent during Halloween weekend, Arnold Health Services recommends you test at the Interstate Center approximately 5 days after potential exposure.

  • Optional testing prior to going home: If students want to test for COVID-19 before heading home, we recommend signing up for the Nov. 11 optional testing on campus. Results will be returned on Nov. 12, and then you should be very careful about potential exposure before leaving campus. If able, students who test positive any time November 11 or later will go home for the remainder of the semester, through January. Be aware that a positive diagnosis may limit your public transportation options.

    Testing on campus will also be available on Nov. 18, but on-campus and quarantine housing will not be available after Nov. 20. Students who test positive on November 18 will need to work with their families and health services to create a plan for travel and housing.

    Students may also choose to test at other McLean County sites.

  • Required forms: All students must complete the Spring 2021 Student Return application in MyHousing by Monday, November 16 (whether you currently live on or off campus). This will inform the University how you will be taking classes next semester and whether you will be living on campus, allowing us to plan for spring course delivery and housing needs.

We deserve to be proud of how we've responded to very challenging health conditions this semester. Let's all do our part to finish strong and healthy!

Karla


 

COVID-19 Reminders

Oct. 23, 2020

Students and families,

(CC: Faculty and Staff)

We're nearly to the home stretch of our fall semester (under 30 days left)! While the COVID-19 numbers across the state and the country are increasing, we recently completed our longest stretch with zero new positive cases (from 10/9-10/18) and now have a 7-day average of 0.57 new cases per day. At this time, we have under 5 active positive cases among students and zero known cases from classroom-based transmission! Although these numbers are outstanding, it's important that we all remain vigilant as the weather gets colder and activities move inside. Several Illinois communities are facing state-mandated restrictions and some Midwest universities are experiencing campus-wide quarantines. Please help ensure our community can continue a positive campus-based experience.

Especially as we move into colder weather …

  • Remember that screening for symptoms is increasingly critical as we move into the cold/flu season. And the combination of viruses heightens the health risk for vulnerable individuals, whose immune systems may be depleted by the flu and therefore more threatened by COVID-19. If you missed the IWU flu shot clinic, we hope you’ll consider getting a flu shot when you’re home over the break or locally at a drug store or local healthcare provider.
  • Maintain indoor physical distance too. While you’re studying, please maintain distancing. If you're in a campus space where capacity has been reduced, please don't override these safeguards by moving furniture.
  • Wear your mask over your nose and mouth.
  • As end-of-the-semester stress increases, please remember to respond respectfully to requests by RAs, student leaders, faculty, and staff to maintain the Titan Pledge.

Halloween cautions: As we approach Halloween, I especially urge you not to let holiday fun override your commitment to the Titan Pledge. I continue to hear rumors about parties (mostly at neighboring institutions) that are problematic (no distancing, no masks, no attempt at good health practices). Because finals are early, a Halloween-based COVID-19 transmission could be disruptive to your final exams.

I also urge good judgement related to Halloween and your concern for others, beyond physical health. Consider my recent message that challenged all of us to bring the same attention we give to COVID-19 to our concerns around racial injustice. Remember to think about the respectfulness of possible costumes, and refrain from choices that perpetuate stereotypes or trivialize another person's culture. Do not culturally appropriate this Halloween. Get creative, not offensive.

Housing: There are two applications related to ongoing COVID-19 planning currently active in MyHousing.

  • The Winter Break Check Out or Request to Stay application must be completed by November 1 and serves two functions for all residential students: notification of departure date when you will return your key, and any request to stay later than Nov. 20.
  • The Spring 2021 Student Return application must be completed by November 16. Similar to the application you submitted this summer, this one will inform the campus of your plans for how you will be taking classes next semester and whether you will be on campus.
  • If you currently live in a single and would like a roommate for next semester, or you would like to have a different roommate for next semester, please contact the Office of Residential Life directly at orl@iwu.edu.

As ever, recognize that this year has been a strain on everyone's mental health, and allow extra doses of compassion for others and yourself. (Hint: Counseling and Consultation Services is still available for support: 309-556-3052) Thanks again for your commitment to maintaining a healthy IWU.

Be well!

Karla


 

Ongoing and Spring Semester Plans

Oct. 5, 2020

Students and families:

Thank you for all of your amazing work to keep campus healthy this fall. We are proud of the ways that our campus has responded to the initial wave of positive COVID-19 cases. Our numbers are certainly headed in the right direction and we are feeling confident about completing the fall semester! Please stay committed, especially as activities move inside due to the weather change!

In our recent survey of returning students about response to COVID-19, many of you asked for additional communication about our ongoing and Spring semester plans. A bulleted update is provided below:

  • Flu Shot: Last chance for an on-campus flu shot. Wednesday, October 7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Henning. Please bring your insurance card.
  • Opt-in Testing: Optional surveillance testing is available every week. For this week, please use this form to register.
  • Break Housing: Limited Winter Break housing may be provided for students with critical needs. Additional housing fees may apply. The Office of Residential Life will provide additional break housing information and a request form no later than October 12, with a deadline for applying on November 1. Failure to submit the form by November 1 may result in a late request fee.
  • Spring Calendar: Classes will start a week later than usual (Jan. 13) and Spring Break has been eliminated due to travel concerns. We listened to your concerns and are not returning to Saturday classes as we did this fall. See the revised spring calendar.
  • Academic Delivery: Classes will continue to be delivered in four modes: in-person, hybrid, hyflex, and online. Delivery modes will be available when registration begins on Nov. 4.
  • Spring Housing: We will continue to use the Marriott for housing in the spring. You will return to your same housing for the spring semester unless you request a change through the Office of Residential Life or if spaces become available on campus for those living at the Marriott. Although students living in the Marriott will need to move out over the Winter Break, students living on campus will be permitted to leave belongings in the halls. Unlike other years, students will be required to return their room keys as part of the break check-out process.
  • Spring COVID-19 Testing: We will again conduct baseline testing at the start of the spring semester. We are still determining whether we will use the PCR nasal swab testing or the PCR saliva test, which will determine when students can return based on the timing of results. We anticipate having a decision about testing by November 1. Surveillance testing also will continue.
  • Move-in Date for Spring - TBD: Once a decision is made about the testing method, we will notify you of dates for spring return. The earliest that non-student athletes will return is January 9, but dates have not been finalized. Winter sport athlete return dates will be determined shortly. If you need a confirmed return date for your travel plans, please contact the Office of Residential Life or the Office of Student Involvement (fraternity housing).

Thanks again for all that you are doing for your own health and the health of others.

Be well!
Dean Karla

PS - Look for a fun “thank you” treat this week in dining locations on Thursday.


 

Flu Shot Clinic and COVID-19 Update

Sept. 11, 2020

Students, faculty and staff,

Thanks for all that you are doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in our community. Our surveillance testing identified only 1 positive case (from 108 tests), which supports early identification and our ongoing efforts to contain this fast-spreading illness. If you are selected for surveillance testing, your participation is required. We have increased the number of available voluntary registration spots for students, faculty and staff who wish to “opt in” for testing. Please register using this link.

Flu shot clinic: In preparation for the coming flu season, IWU has partnered with Walgreens to make the flu vaccine conveniently available on campus. It's especially important for everyone to get flu shots this year to reduce strains on our campus community – already burdened with the pandemic – as well as the unknown risks of simultaneously contracting both influenza and COVID-19. Let's avoid a "twindemic"!

Please call the 1-800 number on the back of your health insurance card prior to the clinic day to check coverage for this service to be provided through Walgreens.

Tuesday, Sept. 15 and Thursday, Sept. 17

Hansen Student Center

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Open to all IWU faculty, staff and students. Remember to wear your mask, stay 6 feet apart, bring a picture ID and your insurance card. Direct questions to Arnold Health Services at 309-556-3107 or healthservices@iwu.edu

Residence Hall restrictions extend through the semester: Please remember that non-IWU guests are prohibited in our campus residence halls, apartments, fraternity houses, and Traveling Titans housing at the Uptown Marriott, and this policy is now extended through November 20. Unfortunately, based on our community spread (both campus and McLean County), it is not wise to lift non-IWU guest restrictions for our campus housing at this time.

Off-campus travel: Coming off a holiday weekend (although many were in class) and the NELK Boys gathering near ISU, several have asked questions about the Titan Pledge component that suggests we should “limit leaving the Titan community”. Limiting non-essential travel home and off campus assists in limiting the spread of illness. Although it’s difficult to create guidance appropriately restricting travel given family emergencies and other personal circumstances, we do encourage you to use a high standard for determining if travel is necessary.

Additional info: Some additional COVID-related updates and reminders:

Thanks again for your sustained commitment to your health and the health of others. We know that these commitments are not always easy and appreciate your resilience!

Karla Carney-Hall


 

COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Protocol

Sept. 4, 2020

Students and families:

We are committed to COVID-19 testing in order to ensure early identification, notification, and isolation of students participating in any campus activity. We’ve completed our baseline testing, which resulted in early isolation of 10 students who were asymptomatic, but who tested positive for COVID-19 immediately upon arrival to campus. This early identification was essential to limit the spread of illness as we returned to campus. We will now shift our focus to surveillance testing which will allow us to monitor the spread of the virus among our campus community throughout the semester.

Weekly surveillance testing will begin next week with approximately 100 strategically sampled students on Wednesday, September 9. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requires surveillance testing for student-athletes in mid- to high-contact sports. In addition to student-athletes, we will also intentionally sample communities where other high-contact activities exist (for example, theatre). For non-athletes, we will select based on residence (both on and off-campus) to gather a snapshot of activity across campus.

A few details about testing:

  • Who: Students selected for participation will be notified by email of required participation on Tuesday prior to the next day testing. Students will be notified either by the Dean of Students office or by Athletics.
  • What: PCR nasal swab (same test as the baseline testing)
  • When: Every Wednesday, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Where: Shirk Center, activity court (signage will be posted)
  • What do I need to bring: Please bring your student ID and your insurance card. As with baseline testing, personal insurance will be billed for surveillance testing.

New FAQs have been added to the website.

If you have questions, please contact Mindy McCluskey at 556-3196.

We appreciate the many precautions that you, as students, are taking to keep yourself and others healthy. Surveillance testing is another critical component of our campus health strategy. Although I know you will be busy with classes this Labor Day weekend, I would encourage you to continue your vigilance about limiting group gatherings and physical distancing. Thanks in advance for your commitment to good health practices.

Be well!

Dean Karla


 

Spring 2021 Academic Calendar

Sept. 2, 2020

Dear students, faculty and staff,

In consultation with the COVID planning groups and the Calendar Committee, Academic Affairs has recommended and President Nugent's Cabinet has approved a revised Spring 2021 Academic Calendar.

Recognizing that COVID-19 will still be with us in the spring, classes will resume on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 (one week later than originally planned) to facilitate travel, move-in, and initial testing. The university will forego spring break to reduce the spread of disease. We will continue to have mixed modes of course delivery and 15-minute exchange periods for the spring of 2021. We will not have Saturday classes :-).

Decisions about the nature of commencement will be made later in the year when the trajectory of the pandemic is better understood.

Please stay well and know that we are all in this together.

The Academic Affairs Team


 

COVID-19 Update and Dashboard

Sept. 1, 2020

Students, families, faculty and staff,

We have launched a COVID-19 dashboard where we will update numbers of new COVID-19 cases identified daily, among students who have followed campus protocols by reporting their testing status through Arnold Health Services. (Please note that yesterday's total accounts for testing throughout the weekend, for a three-day average of under 6 new cases a day.) This dashboard can be found, along with other campus updates and FAQs, on the University's COVID-19 response website. We will continue to provide important updates to the campus community, but we don't intend to send repeated broadcast emails with new case tallies. You are encouraged to monitor the dashboard for updates.

We are committed to COVID-19 testing in order to ensure early identification, notification, and isolation of students participating in any campus activity. To monitor the spread of the virus among our campus community throughout the semester, we plan to begin weekly surveillance testing next Wednesday, Sept. 9. Details will be provided soon.

As we evaluate our ability to remain in-person this semester and interim measures that may be needed to reduce COVID-19 spread, we will continuously monitor new campus cases and other key factors, including:

  • Regional infection rate
  • Decreasing hospital capacity
  • # of quarantining students
  • % of isolation space filled
  • # of unrelated cases
  • Shortage of cleaning supplies/personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Testing concerns
  • Contact tracing concerns (including both human resources and participation by students/integrity)
  • Faculty/staff infection and ability to maintain service delivery

Students are reminded that all large group gatherings carry significant public health risk and are restricted by the Titan Pledge, especially because physical distancing is not possible and is not likely enforced. Discipline for students failing to adhere to campus and public health expectations may include a ban from campus (with no course accommodation) and the possibility of suspension for the semester.

Our commitment to a successful, in-person fall semester hinges on everyone's cooperation to protect the health of our neighbors. Let's all take care of ourselves and each other.

Be well,

Karla Carney-Hall


 

Update: COVID-19 Cases Among Students

Aug. 24, 2020

As we begin the second week of the fall semester, we write to provide an update regarding confirmed COVID-19 cases among Illinois Wesleyan students.

Over the past three days (Friday through Sunday), we confirmed 11 additional positive cases among students who initially tested negative upon arrival to campus this fall. All 11 students who tested positive live in non-University owned housing. We determined that all 11 new cases are connected to the outbreak announced last week, stemming from off-campus social gatherings in the week before classes began, where the consistent use of masks and physical distancing did not occur. The outbreak now consists of 30 students who tested positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 Cases Among Illinois Wesleyan Students

  • Total positive cases confirmed during universal baseline testing: 10
  • Total positive cases confirmed through community spread: 30 (28 living in non-University owned housing, 2 living in University-owned housing)
  • Total positive cases during the fall semester (baseline + community spread): 40
  • 2.4% of IWU’s student population has tested positive for COVID-19

Many test-positive students have reported COVID-19 symptoms, while some are asymptomatic. All students who tested positive are either returning home, staying in off-campus housing to isolate, or are isolating off campus in university-provided quarantine space, consistent with the University’s COVID-19 protocol.

We continue to monitor not only the health of our campus community, but also the health of the greater Bloomington-Normal / McLean County community. The McLean County Health Department has announced a recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases, including a single-day record of 99 new cases in the county confirmed today (Monday). Of those 99 cases, 90 involve people who are age 18, 19 or in their 20s.

We hope this early outbreak serves as a reality check for all of us that this virus spreads quickly and easily. Unfortunately, we continue to investigate reports of students failing to adhere to campus and public health expectations and we will hold individuals and groups accountable. Any increase in college-age COVID-19 cases jeopardizes our county’s positivity rate and our privilege of staying open as a residential campus. To the many students who have been adhering to our expectations, shaping cultural norms, demonstrating flexibility and leading in unprecedented uncertainty –– thank you and please continue to make great choices.

It is imperative that we take responsibility as a campus community to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes: Wearing a mask over both your nose and mouth; maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others; frequently washing your hands with soap and water; performing daily self-screening for symptoms; avoiding gatherings in which mask wearing and physical distancing are not required; and avoiding large gatherings.

Information regarding individuals who test positive for COVID-19 is regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines which provide for the confidentiality of such test results.


Be Smart This Weekend

August 21, 2020

Students,

As we head into another weekend, I want to reiterate the importance of making good decisions in your activities and promoting community health (physical and mental health). All large group activities/parties are risky; even small gatherings without adherence to public health measures can place you and others at risk. Any additional outbreaks will escalate our campus and community risk. You are a critical partner in our ability to remain in-person for the fall semester.

University Actions: In response to recent increases in student COVID-19 cases, a variety of intermediate steps are already being taken to reduce the risks of spreading the virus in our community, including:

  • All high-contact athletic activities have been suspended until August 30.
  • Additional physical distancing measures are being reinforced in the dining commons. Masks are required in all food service areas. Group dining is not permitted; do not move chairs to sit with friends. If protocols are not followed, we may be forced to close the dining area and offer only to-go meals.
  • Thursday’s Nursing clinicals were canceled as a precautionary measure as the scope of this preventable outbreak was being assessed.
  • Individual students are being held accountable for party hosting and disregarding public practices outlined in the Titan Pledge.

Additionally, the city of Bloomington has informed local establishments that their liquor licenses may be revoked if they do not observe State of Illinois requirements for operation, including use of face coverings when people are not eating or drinking, and limiting gatherings to fewer than 50 people or 50% occupancy, whichever is less. Mayor Tari Renner stressed the importance of following these guidelines in preventing the community from moving backward and triggering another shutdown.

Care for our Community: Many members of our campus community are fearful for their health and the health of family. The CDC notes that systemic health inequities have contributed to increased risk and disproportionate impact of COVID-19 for people of color. Additionally, please also be aware that you have peers and faculty who appear healthy but might have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of lifelong or life-threatening consequences if they contract COVID-19. Please be mindful of the ways your choices impact others and may reflect privilege.

Support Resources: I appreciate that this first week has been filled with emotions -- excitement to be back and see friends, anxiety about new classes and expectations, frustration about the public health behavior of others and fear about COVID-19. These stressors are real and can be overwhelming. I encourage you to continue to connect with supports: Arnold Health Services, Counseling and Consultation Services, advisors, family and friends. If you need help, please always feel free to contact the Dean of Students office.

Health Resources: Please continue to access the health FAQs if you are unsure whether you should be testing or quarantining. All “early” notifications are being managed by Arnold Health Services; official contact tracing is being provided by McLean County Health Department.

We understand that you love being with your friends, but please contribute positively to our ability to remain together – even if we're not as physically close together as we might prefer.

 

Have a great weekend. Be smart and be well.

 

Dean Karla


Update: COVID-19 Cases Among Students

August 20, 2020

Vickie Folse, Interim Executive Director of Health and Counseling

 

This is an update to the message you received Wednesday regarding a COVID-19 outbreak among a group of Illinois Wesleyan University students.

At this time, we have confirmed nine additional positive cases among students who initially tested negative upon arrival to campus this fall. We determined that all nine new cases are connected to the 10 cases announced Wednesday for which we identified spread of the virus through off-campus social gatherings where the consistent use of masks and physical distancing did not occur, a violation of University protocols. Additionally, today, one student who had not yet presented to campus received a positive baseline test result and has no connection to the outbreak.

This brings the total outbreak to 19 students who were involved in several of the same off-campus social events Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before classes began. Additional students who were either present at those social gatherings or who were in close contact with individuals who have since tested positive are awaiting test results, so the outbreak number could continue to increase. Identified potential contact individuals have been instructed by Arnold Health Services (AHS) to pre-quarantine as a precaution and in an effort to contain this outbreak.

COVID-19 Cases Among Illinois Wesleyan Students

  • Total positive cases confirmed during universal baseline testing: 10
  • Total positive cases confirmed through community spread: 19
    (17 living in non-University owned housing, 2 living in University-owned housing)
  • Total positive cases (baseline + community spread): 29
  • Student Positivity Rate (from approximately 1,500 tests, both baseline and risk-group assessment tests completed by Reditus Laboratories): 1.93%

Of the nine additional individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 related to this outbreak, seven reside in non-University owned housing, and two reside in University owned housing. Some test-positive students have reported COVID-19 symptoms, while many are asymptomatic.

All students who tested positive are either returning home, staying in off-campus housing to isolate, or are isolating off campus in university-provided quarantine space, consistent with the University’s COVID-19 protocol.

See a reminder of relevant protocols

Illinois Wesleyan Physical Plant workers are following enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols and will conduct additional deep cleaning and disinfecting of on-campus spaces occupied by students who receive positive test results.

This outbreak continues to demonstrate the necessity for all members of the Illinois Wesleyan community to adhere to the Titan Pledge, which requires: Wearing a mask over both your nose and mouth; maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others; frequently washing your hands with soap and water; performing daily self-screening for symptoms; avoiding gatherings in which mask wearing and physical distancing are not required; and avoiding large gatherings.

Moving forward, ongoing surveillance testing will be conducted on campus throughout the fall semester. Each week, 5-10% of the entire student body will be retested to monitor the potential emergence of positive COVID-19 cases on campus.

Information regarding individuals who test positive for COVID-19 is regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines which provide for the confidentiality of such test results.


COVID-19 Cases Among Students

August 19, 2020

To: Students, Families, Faculty and Staff

From: Karla Carney-Hall, Dean of Students

Vickie Folse, Interim Executive Director of Health and Counseling

 

We are actively monitoring and responding to a COVID-19 outbreak among a group of Illinois Wesleyan University students, all residing in non-University housing. At this time, 10 individuals have tested positive after initially testing negative upon arrival this fall. Some test-positive students have reported COVID-19 symptoms, while many are asymptomatic.

All students who tested positive are either returning home, staying in off-campus housing to isolate, or are isolating off campus in university-provided quarantine space, consistent with the University’s COVID-19 protocol. We have identified, through the early identification and notification process, that the spread of the virus resulting in this outbreak occurred as a consequence of off-campus social gatherings where the consistent use of masks and physical distancing did not occur, a violation of University protocols.

Protocols

Contact tracing is being conducted by the McLean County Health Department (MCHD), while Arnold Health Service assisted with limited early identification and notification of potential “close contacts.” The University has instructed all potential close contacts to begin quarantine and monitor for symptoms while awaiting MCHD to notify close contacts of the need to quarantine for 14 days.

Students who believe they meet the criteria for being a “close contact” (direct contact more than 15 minutes, closer than 6 feet with a known or presumed positive case) may elect to begin quarantine in anticipation of further instructions. Students who have interacted with an identified “close contact” (making them a secondary contact) do not meet the criteria of a “close contact” requiring quarantine.

For students who test positive for COVID-19, approval to return to campus will be provided by Arnold Health Service. Required criteria include completing the isolation period and displaying an improvement in symptoms (if applicable). Students must also provide a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test result or, in some cases, primary care provider approval in the absence of a negative test – exceeding CDC recommendations to safeguard the health of the Illinois Wesleyan campus community.

This outbreak demonstrates the necessity for all members of the Illinois Wesleyan community to adhere to the Titan Pledge, which requires: Wearing a mask over both your nose and mouth; maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others; frequently washing your hands with soap and water; performing daily self-screening for symptoms; avoiding gatherings in which mask wearing and physical distancing are not required; and avoiding large gatherings.

 

Universal Testing Update

In preparation for the fall semester that began this week, all Illinois Wesleyan students were required to undergo COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing upon arrival to campus and to isolate until they received a negative test result.

Of the nearly 1,450 baseline tests administered to students over the past two weeks, a total of nine unrelated students – seven on-campus residents and two off-campus residents – tested positive for COVID-19 immediately upon arrival to campus, for a positivity rate of less than 1% (0.62%). By comparison, McLean County’s 7-day rolling positivity rate was 2.1% as of Tuesday, and the statewide 7-day rolling positivity rate was 4.3%. They were each notified and either returned home or to their off-campus residence to continue isolating.

Please note, this universal baseline testing tally includes the four initial positive test results announced to campus last Thursday, at approximately the halfway point of our testing protocol. Combined with those who have tested positive after arriving on campus, the student positivity rate is 1.3%.

Our decision to adopt a universal testing protocol for students – which goes above and beyond CDC recommendations for safely returning to campus – was made in an effort to quickly identify and isolate positive cases (including asymptomatic individuals).

Ongoing surveillance testing will also be conducted on campus throughout the fall semester. Each week, 5-10% of the entire student body will be retested to monitor the potential emergence of positive COVID-19 cases on campus.

Illinois Wesleyan Physical Plant workers are following enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols and will conduct additional deep cleaning and disinfecting of on-campus spaces occupied by students who receive positive test results.

Information regarding individuals who test positive for COVID-19 is regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines which provide for the confidentiality of such test results.


Accountability for Social Gatherings

August 18, 2020

Every day for at least the last month, I’ve been asked how long we think we will be able to continue having classes this fall. The question is so pervasive that I suspect my neighbors have a pool going where they’re betting on the “move to virtual” date and are using any intel to inform their bet. Are we going to make it to Thanksgiving? Did you see that UNC-Chapel Hill closed after only one week of classes? My answer has consistently been that it depends on your willingness, as students, to commit to public health guidelines and make social sacrifices.

Right after folks ask how long we think we’ll be open, they ask, “How will you hold students accountable for the Titan Pledge?” For those of you who think you are invincible and that this virus is “no big deal”, please be aware that students who tested negative on arrival have now tested positive, which suggests that students have contracted COVID-19 since returning to IWU. Community spread is real and can result in devastating consequences. In addition to health implications, please also know that the following possibilities exist for this fall:

  • Restriction to Online Courses only and/or University Suspension: Students who disregard health expectations (party hosts and attendees) may be required to participate in online class schedules only and may also be restricted from being on campus for any activities (including athletics). If a class is not taught online, you will be required to drop the course which could affect your financial aid and progress toward graduation. Students may also be suspended from the University for repeatedly endangering health and safety.
  • Athletic restrictions: Athletics has already demonstrated quality leadership by delaying the start of practices for fall sports due to risky health behaviors exhibited this past week. It is possible that all practices could be eliminated and winter sports could be canceled or postponed. Individually, you may face game or team suspensions for poor choices.
  • Loss of recognition: Student organizations may lose university recognition and/or recruitment activities may be delayed. We cannot bring new students into unhealthy organizations.
  • Facilities restrictions: Facilities may be restricted to individuals or groups. For example, we may limit residence halls to only students who live there (not just non-IWU guests), and we are likely to extend our “No Visitation Policy” beyond September 14. We may close facilities like the Shirk Center or Ames Library to limit the spread of illness.
  • Service changes: Dining halls may be shut down except for to-go meals, to prevent the spread of illness.
  • Return to virtual instruction: Last, but not least, we can return to remote instruction across the University like we did in the spring semester.

None of these are desirable options, but they are the actions that may be required if we do not change course. For those of you who failed to follow guidelines, now is the time to take responsibility and make changes in your behavior. It is not too late to make the changes that are required for us to have a successful in-person semester. You know what these things are:

  • Do not gather in large groups -- no parties, no bars, no large groups. Don’t host them and don’t go to them. Small groups (less than 10) are possible, but still have risk -- plan for outside, with masks and distancing.
  • Maintain 6 feet distance -- all the time.
  • Wear a mask properly -- all the time when around others.

I want to thank the many of you who have been adhering to all these expectations, shaping cultural norms, demonstrating flexibility and leading in unprecedented uncertainty. I also want to thank every faculty member, staff member, and student leader who has spent any time trying to plan for this pandemic. I recognize that you are also angry about the multiple off-campus parties with too many people to count -- no masks, no distance, no commitment to limit community-based transmission, even (or especially) among your friends.

Ultimately, our community health and fall semester is largely dependent on your healthy choices.

By the way, I need your help to win a bet … in that imagined pool … I’m betting on you -- November 20! (Less than 100 days! This is temporary! You can do this!)

Dean Karla


Campus COVID-19 Protocols

August 17, 2020

To: Students and Families

From: Karla Carney-Hall, Dean of Students

Vickie Folse, Interim Executive Director of Health and Counseling

 

As we begin a fall semester unlike any other, we take this opportunity to clarify the protocols in place for students who test positive for COVID-19 as well as students who are identified as close contacts.

For Those Who Test Positive

Students who test positive for COVID-19 are asked to leave campus and return home to isolate. After completing the recommended isolation period, students will work with Arnold Health Service for approval to return to campus. Approval to return to campus will be based on: displaying an improvement in symptoms (if applicable); demonstrating a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test result; or primary care provider approval in the absence of a negative test – exceeding CDC recommendations to safeguard the health of the Illinois Wesleyan campus community. If returning home for isolation isn’t possible, a quarantine space and appropriate support will be provided to students living in university-provided housing. Faculty are prepared to support students who are isolating and unable to attend class, either with virtual instruction/materials, extensions, or other appropriate accommodations.

Contact Tracing

The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) is conducting all Illinois Wesleyan contact tracing. Arnold Health Service is assisting with limited early identification and notification of potential contacts; additionally, students should anticipate official instructions from MCHD. Students who believe they meet the criteria for being a “close contact” (direct contact more than 15 minutes, closer than 6 feet with a known or presumed positive case) may elect to begin isolation in anticipation of further instructions.

Students who have interacted with an identified “close contact” (making them a secondary contact) do not meet the criteria of a “close contact” requiring quarantine. Close contact with someone who has tested positive is the primary criteria. Self-assessment is difficult and we recommend that you consult with Arnold Health Service (309-556-3107) or a health care provider before making independent decisions about your own health and isolation status.

If you are identified by MCHD as a “close contact,” you will be instructed to quarantine for 14 days. Testing is not recommended during the quarantine period. MCHD has been clear that you cannot “test out” of isolation or quarantine expectations.

Shared Expectations

Our ongoing commitment to campus health requires us to continue to make good personal choices, including: Wearing a mask over both your nose and mouth; maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others; frequently washing your hands with soap and water; and performing daily self-screening for symptoms. All are asked to commit to the Titan Pledge to keep themselves and each other in good health.

Moving forward, students who become ill and/or are displaying any symptoms should plan to stay at home or in their rooms and contact Arnold Health Service (309-556-3107) for further direction. Additionally, our Counseling and Consultation Services staff are prepared to assist students during this time of uncertainty (309-556-3052).


Universal COVID-19 Testing Update

August 13, 2020

To: Students, Parents, Faculty and Staff

From: Karla Carney-Hall, Dean of Students

Vickie Folse, Interim Executive Director of Health/Counseling

To assess our campus community health and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, Illinois Wesleyan adopted a universal testing protocol for students – which goes above and beyond CDC recommendations for safely returning to campus – so that positive cases (including asymptomatic individuals) could be identified and isolated early. This protocol requires all Illinois Wesleyan students to undergo COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing upon arrival to campus and to isolate until they receive a negative test result.

Of the 709 tests administered to students thus far, a total of four unrelated students – three on-campus residents and one off-campus resident – have tested positive for COVID-19 immediately upon arrival to campus, for a positivity rate of less than 1% (0.56% percent). By comparison, McLean County’s 7-day rolling positivity rate was 1.8% as of Tuesday, and the statewide 7-day rolling positivity rate was 4.1%. The students who received a positive test result have been notified and are returning home to continue isolating.

The McLean County Health Department has also been notified and is working in conjunction with Arnold Health Service to identify any close contacts of the individuals who tested positive for COVID-19. Illinois Wesleyan Physical Plant workers are following enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols and will conduct additional deep cleaning and disinfecting of on-campus spaces occupied by students who received positive test results.

Information regarding individuals who test positive for COVID-19 is regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines which provide for the confidentiality of such test results.

Thus far, all test results have been obtained by Illinois Wesleyan from Reditus Laboratories within 24-48 hours. The University expects to test approximately 750 more students upon their arrival to campus in the coming days. Additionally, ongoing surveillance testing will be conducted throughout the semester. Each week, 5-10% of the entire student body will be retested to monitor the potential emergence of positive COVID-19 cases on campus.

Students who test positive will be asked to leave campus and return home to isolate. Students should work with Arnold Health Service to provide evidence of a negative test result or clearance by a physician before returning to campus, again exceeding CDC recommendations to safeguard the health of the IWU campus community. If returning home isn’t possible, a quarantine space and appropriate support will be provided to students living in university-provided housing.

The level of risk in our campus environment depends on individuals following the University's health protocols, which have been identified as the best mitigation strategies for preventing spread of the virus. Most importantly, everyone should wear masks over both their nose and mouth while in shared spaces; maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others; and perform daily self-screening for symptoms. All are asked to commit to the Titan Pledge to keep themselves and each other in good health.

As the fall semester begins this Monday, Aug. 17 with a mix of in-person, online and hybrid courses, faculty are prepared to support students who are isolating and unable to attend class, either with virtual instruction/materials, extensions, or other appropriate accommodations. Moving forward, students who become ill and/or are displaying any symptoms should plan to stay at home or in their rooms, and contact Arnold Health Services (309-556-3107) for further direction. Additionally, our Counseling and Consultation Services staff are prepared to assist students during this time of uncertainty (309-556-3052).

We find ourselves at a pivotal point in history as our communities, states, countries, and world face an unprecedented pandemic, and we all play a critical role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and in protecting the health and safety of our campus community and the greater Bloomington-Normal area.


Expectations Surrounding COVID-19 on Campus

August 7, 2020

Students,

What to expect on campus this fall As we near the beginning of the academic year, we are excited to welcome you to campus, whether it be virtually or in person. By now you’ve received a lot of communications about our planning and how we will operate within the challenges of COVID-19. Below are a few quick reminders about your arrival.

  • It’s statistically probable that upon students’ arrivals to campus, once tested, we will see some positive cases for COVID-19. While this outcome could naturally create some concern, we want to ensure our community that we will follow the protocols we have in place and work with the local health department, as well as make changes to our plans should they become necessary.
  • A student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be asked to return home to isolate until cleared by Arnold Health Services to return to campus. If returning home isn’t possible, a quarantine space and appropriate support will be provided to students living in university-provided housing. For off-campus students (sororities and apartments/houses), students will need to quarantine at their home or chapter-provided housing.
  • We will be working closely with McLean County Health Department to identify all close contacts of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 to contact trace, test, and isolate.
  • Illinois Wesleyan Physical Plant workers are conducting deep cleaning and disinfecting of all on-campus community spaces, especially those occupied by students who receive positive test results.
  • As the fall semester begins, IWU faculty are prepared to support students who are isolating and unable to attend class, either with virtual instruction/materials, extensions, or other appropriate accommodations.
  • Anyone who becomes ill and/or is displaying any symptoms should plan to stay at home or in their rooms, and contact Arnold Health Services (309-556-3107) for further direction.
  • Our Counseling and Consultation Services staff are prepared to assist students during this time of uncertainty (309-556-3052).

While the University does not plan to notify campus with each occurrence of a COVID-19 case, the Emergency Response Team in conjunction with the McLean County Health Department will determine when it may become necessary to distribute a campus-wide message. We will maintain regular communication with the campus community regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 through email and website updates.

The coming weeks will bring new challenges and opportunities. While IWU staff and faculty have worked diligently to make an on-campus experience possible, we will undoubtedly encounter unanticipated obstacles. To the extent we can extend patience and understanding toward each other, we will make the journey easier. And remember, all members of the campus community play a critical role in reducing the spread of COVID-19: see this video.

We look forward to beginning that journey with you soon.

Dean Karla Carney-Hall


Fall 2020 Class Schedule and Registration Update

July 31, 2020

TO: Students

FROM: Mark Brodl, Provost

We have been working diligently to prepare for your return this fall! We appreciate your patience as we have updated the class schedule, and recognize that the uncertainty while waiting was likely stressful for you.

Fall 2020 Class Schedule

The class schedule in Banner Registration will reopen on August 1, 2020 for you to view the instructional methods of each of your classes. Here are video instructions on how to to check your schedule, and how to look up the instructional method for your classes.

As a reminder, the instructional method will vary by class, and not all classes will be offered in each instructional method. The instructional methods are indicated as follows:

  • P = In-person: The class will meet in-person during all of the scheduled hours.
  • O = Online: The class will be carried out entirely online using either synchronous pedagogy or a blend of synchronous and asynchronous pedagogy.
  • H = Hybrid: The class will implement a mixture of in-person and online activities. Students will need to participate in some in-person activities to complete the class..
  • F = HyFlex: The class is designed so that students can fully participate either in-person or remotely and switch modes as needed (with proper advance notification to the professor).

In addition, there are still some instructional methods that are being updated. Please check your schedule frequently to monitor for changes.

NOTE: When you view your class schedule, the (P) that is listed after the instructor’s name is NOT the instructional method of the class.

Time Conflicts and Schedule Review

Due to the updates to the class schedule, you may now have time conflicts between/among your classes. In order to see your schedule or make any changes, you will have to correct the time conflicts before making any other changes to your registration. To correct a time conflict, you will have to withdraw from a class and add one that does not conflict with others in your schedule.

That said, it is important for you to review your schedule to ensure that there are no time conflicts and that your schedule for the fall still meets your needs.

Schedule Changes

As you are reviewing the updated instructional method of your classes, and are determining if you want/need to make any changes to your registration, please be mindful of the following:

  • You will likely have at least one online class, maybe more.
  • If you are not going to take all online classes, please try to balance the instructional methods of classes that you elect to take so that our incoming students may also be afforded that same opportunity.

Once Banner Registration has reopened you will be able to log into your Banner account and make changes to your class schedule. Please do your best to make changes before Friday, 8/7/2020, as incoming transfer students will be registering on that date, and the first-year students will register on 8/13/2020. You may make changes after these dates, but your options will be reduced once the others have registered.

PIN

Your Fall 2020 PIN will be required to make any changes to your registration. If you no longer have your PIN, but are registered for fall classes, you may email registrar@iwu.edu from your IWU email address to request your PIN. If you do not have your PIN and are not registered for fall classes, you must request your PIN from your advisor.

Is a return to fully virtual instruction a possibility?

We have fully planned for a fall semester on campus in Bloomington, IL. Yet as with everything about this pandemic, the only thing that seems to be certain is uncertainty. We know many of you are concerned about a potential return to fully virtual instruction. Although we cannot predict whether this will occur, we have been planning for this possibility. If we must return to all virtual instruction, we will implement a “pivot week” that allows students to return home and faculty to make class adjustments. No classes will be held that week. In order to maintain the required number of instructional days, we must then extend the semester by one week following Thanksgiving for final exams. While not desirable, we wanted to communicate early with you about the possibility. Please note that your choices to consistently wear masks and maintain physical distance are absolutely critical to our full completion of the semester.

Whom do I contact if I have questions about my classes or need advising?

Please contact:

  1. Your advisor(s) if you have questions about how to complete certain requirements.
  2. The program/department chair of the class or major/minor requirement about which you have a question.
  3. The professor of the class if you would like to know more about the instructional method.
  4. The Academic Advising Center for general advising and scheduling questions.

Important Fall 2020 Registration Dates

Friday, August 21 - Last day to add or drop a full semester and 1st 7 week class

Wednesday, September 2 - Last day to withdraw from a 1st 7 week class

Monday, October 5 - Last day to add or drop a 2nd 7 week class

Monday, October 5 - Last day to withdraw from a full semester class

Monday, October 19 - Last day to withdraw from a 2nd 7 week class

FAQs Available on the Website

 

Please remember that the COVID-19 website is available with comprehensive information about fall. After reviewing that website, if you still have additional questions, please email covid19response@iwu.edu .


 

Fall Semester Update - PCR Testing and Move-In

July 27, 2020

Students and families:

We continue to gear up for the fall semester and are looking forward to your return to campus. It’s hard to believe that classes will begin three weeks from today! We appreciate your patience as we continue to finalize the implementation details related to COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing, arrivals/move-in, housing assignments/re-assignments, and class delivery. You will receive several updates this week about all of these items. Please see the information below about testing and move-in. Additional information will be forthcoming this week: we anticipate sending housing assignments on Wednesday and an academic update on Friday.

Testing background/rationale: We are working diligently to assess our campus community health and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, including by asymptomatic individuals. The PCR test screens for potential illness at one point in time. We acknowledge that there is no perfect solution to identify all people who may be ill or become ill, but the PCR test provides the best opportunity for early identification of asymptomatic individuals. We are aware that a period of isolation to await test results upon arrival is inconvenient; however, we believe it is an important step for student health and for increasing our chances of completing the fall semester.

PCR testing protocol: All residential students will receive a PCR COVID-19 test upon arrival. For students living off-campus, you must also be tested no later than August 15 (or two days prior to your first on-campus obligation like student employment, leadership experience, etc.), and remain off-campus until receiving a negative test result. This test is the less-invasive nasal swab and will be administered by Arnold Health Services staff, Athletics staff, School of Nursing faculty and staff, or campus healthcare partners, depending on your arrival date. All students must isolate until receiving a negative test result (approximately two days). In most cases, virtual activities will be provided during your two-day isolation period. For residential students, packaged meals from Sodexo will be provided in your residence hall, fraternity house, or hotel. Once a negative result is received, students may navigate campus with masks and in accordance with physical distancing guidelines. To expedite the testing process, all students will complete insurance billing information (private insurance or student health insurance) prior to the date of testing, using a link that will be sent with dates of on-campus testing dates.

Additional “hotspot” screening and international travel: For students traveling from U.S. “hotspots” (defined as 10% or greater 7-day average statewide positivity rate) or from other countries, additional testing will occur. Additional testing is recommended for students who live in counties in which the positivity rate is above 10% even if the state average is lower. Students arriving from a domestic “hot spot” have 2 options: 1) complete the first of two PCR tests a maximum of five days prior to your arrival on campus (and present a negative test result upon arrival) and then complete the second test on Day 1 of campus arrival or 2) complete the first test on Day 1 of arrival and again on Day 5 of arrival. For students who have access to testing in their home state, the first option requires fewer days of isolation upon arrival to campus, provides some assurance to others (e.g., a roommate) who has not traveled from a “hotspot”, and eliminates a student returning to their permanent residence soon after arriving on campus if results are positive. International travelers must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to the U.S., in accordance with CDC guidance. In the event the State of Illinois requires quarantine for individuals traveling from “hotspots”, the state policy will supersede the University’s plan for students traveling from “hotspots” to isolate while awaiting test results.

Move-in date: Your move-in date is dependent on two factors: what brings you to campus (IMPACT, Turning Titan, athletics, student employment, upperclass move-in, etc.) and the status of COVID-19 where you live currently, outlined above. For most students, move-in dates are as follows:

  • International students: information from Robyn Walter
  • IMPACT Orientation participants: August 8 (information from ODI)
  • First-Year Students attending Turning Titan: August 11 (information from Residence Life/Orientation)
  • Upperclass Students: August 13 or 14, based on the time you selected through SignUp Genius (information from Residence Life/Student Involvement)
  • Early arrival student employees: First day of reporting will be communicated by your employer. You will need to arrive two days prior to your first scheduled shift to accommodate testing (Information from your supervisor).
  • Out-of-state students: Students traveling from more than 450 miles are permitted to arrive a day early. Please notify the Office of Residence Life (residence halls, apartments), Office of Student Involvement (fraternity men), or your housing corporation (sororities and music groups) of your needs for an early arrival.

Move-in Day experience: We understand that this is an unusual move-in experience, especially for first-year students. We will do our best to encourage virtual engagement and community building as you acclimate to IWU. For new students, please review the Turning Titan schedule for a sense of your activities.

For move-in itself, we will be orchestrating a contactless move-in process. Students may bring a maximum of two helpers to assist with moving onto campus. More specific instructions about move-in, key collection, etc. will be provided in a separate email because it will look different for new and returning students due to scheduled move-in dates.

Isolation: The isolation period is intended to prevent the spread of asymptomatic illness by limiting in-person contact with others. Obviously, you will need to use restrooms (with capacity mindfulness) and access food distribution in our common areas. Beyond attending to essential activities, we recommend enjoying your room and getting set up for the fall independently. Please bring materials that allow you to connect with friends virtually and/or entertain at home.

We know there are many individualized questions about testing and move-in. Please be patient as we respond to your individual circumstances and needs. We’ve provided some additional FAQs below. For additional information, please contact:

Thanks again for your resilience in uncertain times. We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Karla C. Carney-Hall, Vice President for Student Affairs

Victoria Folse, Interim Executive Director of Health and Counseling Services

Kyle Griffith, Director of Residence Life

Kevin Carey, Director of Student Involvement

 

FAQs Available on the Website:


 

Fall Sports

July 27, 2020

To: Students, Faculty and Staff
From: President Nugent

Please see below a news release from the CCIW regarding fall sports.

CCIW POSTPONES FALL SPORTS COMPETITION

NAPERVILLE, Ill. - With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to present challenges to the campuses and communities throughout the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, the CCIW Council of Presidents, after thorough consideration of the new NCAA guidelines, announced the suspension of all fall intercollegiate sports. A decision on winter sports will be made in the coming weeks.

The CCIW will postpone all conference competition and championships for men’s and women’s cross country, football, women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball. Additionally, the Conference Office will explore the feasibility of opportunities for these teams to compete during the spring while maintaining full conference competition in spring sports.

As a result of the decision, the CCIW will move league championships for women’s golf and women’s tennis to the spring. The conference office will work with coaches to design a regular season schedule and determine dates for CCIW Championship competition.

“This decision was a very difficult one, both for the CCIW conference and for Illinois Wesleyan,” President S. Georgia Nugent said. “We recognize how disappointing it will be for our student athletes not to have conference competition this fall. But we must put safety first, and the CCIW presidents, after many hours of deliberation, believe this is the right decision, in light of the heightened risk that travel and competition present.”

“I am confident that our coaches and trainers will be thoughtful and creative in developing ways for our student athletes to remain engaged, conditioned, and ready to compete when that is possible,” she added. “I especially want to thank our Director of Athletics, Mike Wagner, for his important contributions to planning, through his participation on the Fall Contingency Planning Committee and COVID Athletics Action Committee on campus, as well as representing Illinois Wesleyan on the Health and Safety Committee of CCIW.”

“We worked very hard all summer at both the conference and institutional level to develop several scenarios that would allow us to return safely to full athletic competition,” Athletic Director Mike Wagner shared. “However, one of the primary assumptions was that the spread of the virus and the number of active cases would be very low at the end of the summer months. Instead, a significant portion of the country is dealing with increases in both cases and hospitalizations. We will take this time to strengthen the mind and body, build leadership skills, hone individual skill development and enjoy team building exercises. We have an incredible staff and coaches who will do everything in their power to ensure our student-athletes will be able to enjoy unique and fulfilling experiences with their teammates in a way that will be safe and healthy for all involved.”

 

Despite the CCIW conference-wide decision, IWU is exploring different ways of providing its student-athletes with meaningful opportunities to engage with their teammates, coaches, and support staff. Collectively, our coaches are working hard to find ways to provide skill development, conditioning, and other athletically-related activities for all teams in their traditional or non-traditional seasons will be permitted in accordance with NCAA Division III rules and campus, state, and NCAA health directives.

If you have questions or concerns, please use this form.

Fall Sports Decision - FAQs


 

Join Us for a Webinar on Fall Semester Planning at IWU

July 10, 2020

Students and families,

You are invited to an informational webinar about plans for the fall semester at Illinois Wesleyan.

Monday, July 13
7 - 8:15 p.m.

Zoom:
Click here to join the meeting on Monday

We will share updates and answer questions about our preparations for the fall, including community health expectations for preventing the spread of COVID-19, cleaning protocols, the academic experience, housing and dining, campus life, and Illinois Wesleyan's personal support for students.

We continue to post all email communications on our Coronavirus Response website, where you can find recent updates on Fall Calendar Adjustments, Academic Planning, Housing and Dining, and Campus Life.

In the interest of everyone's time, please review the previous email updates and our Fall Planning FAQ prior to Monday's webinar — if you have additional questions, feel free to bring them to us at Monday's webinar or contact COVID19response@iwu.edu.

The webinar will be recorded and posted on the IWU website for those who are unable to attend live.

We look forward to connecting with you!

Dean Karla and the Fall Planning Work Groups

 


 

Fall Semester Update - Campus Life

July 8, 2020

Students and families:

We hope you had a healthy and safe holiday weekend. As our planning continues for the fall semester at Illinois Wesleyan, we want to update you on campus life initiatives this fall. We look forward to the energy that you bring back to campus and know that our community will be creative in maximizing our connections. I appreciate the work of the Event Management Work Group, chaired by Kevin Carey, in developing the recommendations related to campus events.

If you’ve been watching news about college communities that are re-opening, there’s been much media attention to college parties, bars and other gatherings contributing to the spread of COVID-19. We also know that the U.S. continues to see a surge in COVID-19 among college-aged people and daily highs continue to rise. Making sound personal choices about public health, both now and when you return, will be essential in supporting IWU's return to and continuance of in-person campus life this fall. We must all remain committed.

We need your help: Students, please respond to this short survey HERE to gauge your campus life interests/concerns.

Assumptions: Face coverings and 6 feet physical distancing will be required for all activities (both indoor and outdoor gatherings).Restore Illinois Phase 4 allows groups to gather up to 50 participants. Catering and events with food may feature individually packaged foods/boxes only. Students who are not feeling well should not attend any activities under any circumstances. Symptom screening and liability waivers may be required for some high-contact activities.

Campus events: Much like the academic delivery plan which includes in-person, virtual, and hybrid delivery, we anticipate that traditional campus life experiences will follow suit. In-person activities will have fewer than 50 participants and will meet in spaces sized appropriately for the group. Unfortunately, we will be unable to have all-campus or other large events. We encourage virtual and outdoor meetings and events when possible. CAB and Student Involvement have done an outstanding job demonstrating these flexible event options through a sampling of fall events: In-Person Grocery Bingo, Fall Fest Activities, Campus Feud, Escape Rooms and more!

Traditions that Change: Titan traditions will change, in both major and minor ways. The Titan Carnival will be replaced with a virtual Casino Night as well as some smaller group and in-person activities. The RSO Fair will be re-tooled to allow us to promote student organizations differently by utilizing virtual and in-person hybrid experiences. We will see our successful Career Fair take shape in a different form, yet maintain our institutional focus on creating opportunities for job placement. Fraternity and sorority new member recruitment (September 9-13) will be hosted as a hybrid of activities, with a combination of virtual and in-person recruitment events. Event series like 3D: Diversity, Dialogue and Dignity and ReligiosiTEA will be facilitated both in-person and virtually. Because of the risk of spreading COVID-19 through travel, parts of Family Weekend will be held virtually in support of parents, and social aspects will be scheduled for the future, when, hopefully, a vaccine is developed. The “Big Show” that traditionally occurs in the spring will be sponsored as multiple virtual concerts and events, specifically for IWU students, with artists, performers and celebrities!

Area-specific information: For more detailed information about specific areas of campus life, please visit the links below:

Convocations/Lectures/Panels

Theatre/Music Events

Athletic Events

Recreational Fitness/Intramurals

RSO events and meetings

Hosting events

Planning meetings

Tracking attendance at events

Additional FAQs

Events calendar: IWU Mobile App will continue to be your best source for campus events information. When reservations are made, planners will indicate whether the event is virtual, in-person with a location, or a hybrid.

COVID-19 Informational Webinar: Please mark your calendar for Monday, July 13, 7:00-8:15 p.m. for an informational webinar about our campus preparedness for COVID-19 this fall. Details will be sent no later than Monday with log-in information.

Campus life will be different, but in many ways, these changes will not deter us from our close-knit community. Our small groups, close friendships and personal connections are a hallmark of Illinois Wesleyan and still easily achievable with these guidelines.

Karla Carney-Hall, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

 


 

Staff and Faculty - Return to Work Next Week

July 2, 2020

We hope you are looking forward to a holiday weekend and will take some time to disconnect from work for a few days. As a reminder, employees who are currently working remotely are expected to return to campus offices next Tuesday, July 7, unless approval of an alternative work arrangement has been communicated by Human Resources. We are looking forward to being on campus together, in healthy and appropriate ways.

Please be reminded of our recommended health protocols. Wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, frequent hand-washing, and daily self-screening for symptoms are critical components of our campus community health. Safeguarding the well-being of all members of our community will require a shared commitment.

Particularly as we head into the holiday weekend, please be mindful that our local community is affected by your health decisions while off campus. Although McLean County cases have remained low, we face a national resurgence of COVID-19 cases. As Dr. Fauci warned in The New York Times yesterday, the increases “put our entire country at risk." Our individual health-related decisions to control the spread of COVID-19 may impact our ability to have students return this fall. We encourage you to be good stewards of public health.

Shared Expectations

All are encouraged to have a proactive conversation with the colleagues and students you work with daily, to create shared expectations of one another. As part of our shared commitment to public health, we empower you to self-advocate for your needs, especially in support of established expectations to wear face coverings and maintain distances of 6 feet when possible. Respectful, but firm, reminders directly to students, colleagues and guests will help establish clear norms.

If you're uncomfortable confronting others, here is some possible language:

"Wearing a mask protects you and others."

"This is important to protect our high-risk colleagues, students and loved ones."

“Please step back. You’re too close.”

"Since you forgot your mask, please back up and leave a little extra distance."

“Let’s schedule a virtual meeting since you don’t have your mask with you.”

“Could you send me the Hangouts/Zoom invite for this meeting? I’d feel more comfortable joining virtually.”

Supplies

  • Masks: Facilities staff will have a limited supply of disposable masks if your office would like to have a few reserves for guests. It is the expectation that all employees provide their own mask, but we recognize that you may have emergency occasions to provide masks for an office guest. Please submit a SchoolDude request to receive a few emergency masks.
  • Cleaning products: It is our intent to supply a sanitizing kit for each office that includes disinfecting wipes. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrances to each building. However, the supplies that have been ordered have not yet arrived. We appreciate your patience and understanding while we work with supply chain delays.

Reminders

  • All employees may use this form to request an alternative work arrangement for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Employees are encouraged to seek testing for COVID-19, which is available at the Interstate Center in Bloomington, open daily from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. (more information) Coverage for tests is provided by all IWU health insurance plans under Blue Cross Blue Shield.

We will continue to add to the Fall Return FAQ and compile resources for your reference, including signage you may download and print for your work areas.

Our guidelines will be updated according to state and public health recommendations as necessary. Thank you for your continued vigilance as we look forward to welcoming colleagues and students back to campus.


 

Fall Semester Update - Housing and Dining

June 30, 2020

To: Students and Families

From: Karla Carney-Hall, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

 

We are looking forward, as a staff community, to being back on campus next week. We appreciate the tremendous work that our Housing/Arrivals work group, Health Expectations work group and the Facilities staff have done to develop these plans and protocols for a healthy return. We know that you too are looking forward to the fall semester together. The purpose of this update is to focus on our progress related to student housing and dining.

Background: A residential campus is very similar in density to other residential communities that have seen high incidence for COVID-19. The fastest growing age group for COVID-19 positive cases is our college-aged demographic; however, they are also the least likely to experience severe symptoms. For all of these reasons, we are taking appropriate precautions to prioritize student well-being in our dense residential community. We also realize that physical distancing of 6 feet per person challenges both the social and residential experience for students in the residence halls and the dining spaces.

We need your input: In the next week, you will receive by email a supplemental housing form regarding your needs and preferences for the fall semester housing. Please complete that quickly so we can effectively respond to housing assignment needs.

Housing Priorities: We are committed to the residential student experience. During the pandemic, we believe that single rooms provide the healthiest option for students, both to minimize risk and to allow isolation/recovery should a student be exposed to COVID-19. For some students, a roommate is an important source of support; because health guidelines allow roommates to be considered a “family unit”, we want to honor that relationship where we can. We have not yet finalized the reassignment process and many of the implementation details; your preferences in the supplemental housing form mentioned above and the following guidelines will help us further our decision-making for the fall semester:

  • Single rooms: All students living in on-campus housing will be offered single rooms.
  • Roommates: Students who prefer having a roommate may select one if both parties sign an "assumption of risk" waiver. Having a roommate is an option for all students (first-year students and returning students).
  • Hotels: In order to accommodate single rooms, we are contracting with quality local hotels to house students. Contract negotiations are in progress and hotel partners will be shared as finalized. Because hotel rooms are bigger and allow for 6 feet physical distancing, hotel rooms will be double occupancy. Hotel rooms will have single baths. Students will maintain a campus-based meal plan.
    • Transportation: Hotels with easy access to public transportation are being explored. Ideally, students with personal transportation would elect to live in hotel-style housing. A campus parking lot will be designated a “commuter lot” for convenient parking.
  • Cost: The standard double room rate will be charged to students assigned to a traditionally designated double room or hotel. Apartment and suite style pricing will remain the same.
  • First-year students: In order to support first-year students' successful college transition (academically and socially), first-year students will have priority for on-campus housing.
  • Health Expectations: As has already been shared, face coverings, frequent hand-washing, and physical distancing will be required across campus. Face coverings will not be required in your own room, but will be expected in common residential areas, including hallways and elevators.
  • Cleaning protocols: Our University custodians perform enhanced cleaning by cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic areas (restrooms, lobbies, lounges, breakrooms, hallways, etc.) as well as high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, door push plates, light switches, elevator buttons, handrails, and horizontal surfaces). Disinfectant cleaning products are utilized during enhanced cleaning procedures. The Physical Plant has upgraded equipment, such as electrostatic sprayers, and is using products proven to be effective against the human coronavirus to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of cleaning on campus. We have also begun testing and using Saturated Aqueous Ozone as a safer alternative disinfectant, which has been proven to kill the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 in less than 1 minute.
  • Students who become ill: Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be expected to return to their home community, if reasonable to do so. For those living on campus who cannot return home, we will provide quarantine housing. Details are still being finalized. Students living off campus will quarantine in their apartments/houses.
  • Move-in day: We know that you are anxious to learn about the move-in process and timing. You may bring up to two people to assist you on move-in day inside the residence halls. Face coverings will be required for anyone assisting with move-in. We will be scheduling times/days for move-in in order to accommodate the need for distancing. Details are still being determined. Please wait to schedule your travel until you receive an update on this process.
  • Guests: Because we will be adjusting to a new environment this fall where reducing density is critical, non-IWU student guests will be restricted in the residence halls for the first four weeks (until September 14). Optimistically, we will then return to a normal visitation policy if health/safety allows. This decision will be made based on our collective ability to effectively follow health guidelines and minimize illness on campus.

Dining Priorities: We appreciate the leadership of the Dining Services (Sodexo) team in bringing their expertise to providing appropriate changes to our dining program, given the health protocols required under COVID-19. We are confident that we can provide a quality dining experience for students; and, like all things COVID-19 related, things will be different from your traditional dining experience. All of our dining spaces must honor the 6 feet physical distancing requirements and occupancy reductions. Self-serve, high-touch items are prohibited in food safety protocols for restaurants and dining facilities.

  • Meal plan flexibility: In order to accommodate space restrictions, meal exchange will be available at all dining locations at all times for the fall semester.
  • Dining service hours: We will also extend service hours for lunch, dinner, and to-go options to accommodate the need for reducing density in the dining facilities. Please refer to iwu.sodexomyway.com for updated location information.
  • Food service changes: Self-serve areas (salad bars, cereal stations, bread and soup stations, beverage stations, microwaves/toasters/waffle irons) have changed service delivery; staff will assist with and serve all food and beverage items. In order to comply with current public health regulations, some of these items will be pre-packaged in the dining centers; other food items /stations will be offered at limited times. To-Go containers will be an option across all locations. Service times may be slower as self service is eliminated.
  • Employee health: In support of employee health, plexiglass shields have been installed and masks and gloves will be required. Employee hand washing will occur every 30 minutes or as required per health regulations.
  • Student/guest health: Hand sanitizer will be available at every entrance. Masks will be required to enter dining centers.

SAVE THE DATE: We know you have many questions about our plans for this fall related to COVID-19. We will be hosting a Zoom webinar on Monday, July 13, 7:00 p.m.-8:15 p.m. to provide an overview of our plan and respond to questions that you have. More details will follow closer to the webinar.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through many details for a healthy fall semester at IWU! If you have questions, please contact the following resources:

We look forward to seeing you on campus this fall! Although things will be different, we are confident that our strong Titan community will continue to thrive!

Be well!


Fall Semester Update - Academic Planning

June 29, 2020

To: Students and families

From: Mark Brodl, Provost

Thank you for sharing your feedback about our safe return to campus in the fall. We know that you have many questions, especially about how health and safety measures will shape the delivery of classes.

As Illinois moves into Phase 4 of Restore Illinois, we are thrilled to share that many staff will be returning to campus on July 7. Although we’ve been available remotely, we are excited to bring life back to campus so that we will be prepared for your return in a month.

In this communication, we want to provide an update on our progress on the academic experience for this fall. Departments, schools, and our Fall Instruction work group have been working diligently on plans to provide high-quality education that acknowledges student's needs, health and safety considerations, and space limitations.

Assumptions: Given guidance from the CDC and State of Illinois, physical distancing and wearing masks will be a requirement across campus. And, the 6-feet physical distancing requirement means that classroom occupancies will be much smaller than usual. Courses may meet in atypical places or with students rotating between in-person and online attendance. Many faculty will use a new Zoom license to safely maintain active and engaged learning through discussion, group work, office hours, etc. Because of cleaning protocols and technology changes, we will need more time between classes; the transition has been extended from 10 to 15 minutes.

Course delivery: Course delivery will vary. When the revised course schedule is available in late July, individual courses will be designated as in-person (P), hybrid (H), online (O), or HyFlex (F).

  • An in-person (P) course will meet in-person during all of the scheduled hours.
  • A hybrid course (H) will implement a mixture of in-person and online activities. Students would need to participate in some in-person activities to complete the course (e.g. classroom, lab, performance, clinical, etc. activities).
  • An online course (O) will be carried out entirely online using either synchronous pedagogy or a blend of synchronous and asynchronous pedagogy.
  • A HyFlex (F) course will be designed so that students can fully participate either in-person or remotely and switch modes as needed. A student could take the course from any location, but would have opportunities to participate in-person if living in B/N.

Students who cannot come to campus owing to health concerns or travel restrictions will need to enroll in online (O) or HyFlex (F) courses for fall 2020.

Informed by public health guidance and surveys of the campus community, we have begun the complex process of designating each course as P, H, O, or F and identifying and configuring large spaces for in-person instruction. Thank you for your thoughtful responses to our student survey; it has helped us understand the range of students' instructional and medical needs. It is our hope that by the end of July, you will be able to revisit your fall schedule, see the mode of delivery of each course, and adjust your schedule if needed. If you anticipate needing to study completely online for fall 2020 owing to medical or travel constraints, we recommend letting your academic advisor and academic department chair or director know after July 20, when the course schedule information is available.

Support for teaching and learning:

Over the summer, we are expanding peer tutoring services through the new Center for Engaged Learning headquartered in The Ames Library; reconfiguring classrooms for socially distanced, in-person instruction; providing faculty opportunities to become certified online instructors; adopting a campus-wide Zoom license; and updating classroom and faculty technology for smoother online interactions. We have been inspired to hear how individual faculty and departments are responding creatively to the COVID challenges.

Questions: You likely have many questions, some that we’ve resolved and others we are still working on. We’ve tried to anticipate a few questions below that will link to an FAQ page that will be regularly updated.

What is the rationale for holiday/weekend classes?

What are the dates for holiday and weekend classes?

What will happen if I get sick and need to miss class?

What if I want a fully virtual schedule?

When will I be able to adjust my class schedule?

What are the dates for the fall semester?

Where can I purchase my textbooks?

Thank you for your patience as we continue to make plans for a healthy return to campus this fall. An update on fall semester housing will be sent later this week. Please continue to watch your email for updates and feel free to contact Covid19response@iwu.edu for other questions.

We appreciate your commitment to returning to campus under new norms and expectations. We're eager to see you in person!

 

 

Update For Employees – Return to Campus

June 22, 2020

To: Faculty and Staff

From: President Nugent and vice presidents

Illinois is anticipated to enter Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan on June 26. Phase 4 allows for higher education to reopen with safety guidance in place. We know that many are excited to return to campus, while some may have ongoing concerns about COVID-19. Please read the following guidance carefully, as you plan for your return.

Returning to Offices

On the surface, a return of all employees to campus is a return to normal; however, there are many protocols and practices that must be followed for the health of our community. We appreciate that the Titan community is committed to a healthy campus for all of our students, faculty and staff.

Employees who are currently working remotely are expected to return to campus offices on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, while those working reduced hours or on temporary layoff will be contacted by HR to outline their work schedule/return date. All employees may use this form to request an alternative work arrangement for reasons related to COVID-19. For those scheduled to return July 7, please complete the form by July 1.

For those who typically return August 1 or later (including faculty), please complete the form by July 22. Your request will be reviewed by Human Resources, your supervisor, and the respective Vice President. You will receive email confirmation from Human Resources if your request is approved.

Employees are encouraged to seek testing for COVID-19, which is available at the Interstate Center in Bloomington, open daily from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. (more information) Coverage for tests is provided by all IWU health insurance plans under Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Health Protocols

Safeguarding the health and well-being of all members of our community will be a shared commitment. We cannot prevent all illness, but we can, individually and collectively, take affirmative steps to greatly reduce the risk of illness for ourselves and for others.

Individual Health Expectations:

  • Hand-washing: Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible.
  • Face-coverings: Wear face coverings consistent with CDC guidelines when interacting with others or in common areas. Please think of face coverings as an article of clothing – essential to an appropriate workplace.
  • In some high-traffic reception areas, plexiglas shields will be erected, to replace or supplement masks for shielded employees.
  • Distancing: Maintain distances of 6 feet when possible.
  • Monitoring: Monitor symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 daily and report symptoms including temperatures of 100.4 or higher to supervisor.
      • Employees should not come to work if they are feeling ill or have any COVID-19 symptoms. Discuss COVID-19-like symptoms with your primary care provider to determine your best health response.
      • If you have been exposed to a known COVID-19 positive individual, consult with the McLean County Health Department and your primary care provider on recommended health measures, including the potential for testing and self-isolation. If testing is recommended, employees should not return to work until negative results are known. Use this form to report your need to self-isolate.
  • Travel: Employees who travel should follow CDC travel guidelines regarding isolation upon return.
  • Self-advocating: We will each have different personal needs and comfort levels with these health and safety measures; however, these expectations are in place for all members of our community. We empower you to self-advocate for your needs, especially in support of these established expectations. Respectful, but firm, reminders directly to students, colleagues and guests will help establish clear norms. This will require a community-wide commitment.

Environmental Health Expectations:

The value of being together in our shared physical space is the opportunity to deliver the core work of the university. Together, we communicate more effectively, are more responsive to constituent needs, brainstorm and problem solve collaboratively, and realize a shared understanding of our work priorities. Simply put, it is much easier to be on the same page and deliver for students.

  • Review your space: Each department needs to assess their current space to be compliant with best practice health guidance. Remove high-touch items like magazines, common pens, etc. Consider where student employees may be seated, to account for distancing requirements. If you have questions about safeguarding the office environment, please contact Human Resources, Physical Plant or a member of the Health Expectations work group to consult on best strategies.
  • Be available and healthy: Although we want to be back together to increase our effectiveness, our work connections will look different. Employees may choose to leave their doors closed while working with signage inviting people to knock and don a mask prior to entering. Meetings may be conducted outside or virtually, due to physical distancing requirements, group size or sustained contact concerns. Employees may explore whether in-person meetings should be relocated to larger offices/spaces or held virtually.
  • Be together and careful: COVID-19 guidance suggests that sustained contact with others and high-touch surfaces are problematic. Group gatherings in common spaces (break rooms) should be avoided and the use of common touch items (like coffee pots, toasters and microwaves) should be eliminated.

University Health Expectations: Cleaning Protocols

  • Enhanced cleaning: Physical Plant has implemented enhanced cleaning procedures to help ensure the health of the campus community. High-touch surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected using EPA-registered disinfectant products that are effective against human coronavirus.
  • Your role: Members of the campus community are encouraged to keep their personal workspace clean throughout the day, and to disinfect high-touch surfaces and objects (e.g., desk, chair, phone, keyboard, cabinet/file drawer handles), especially in shared spaces, to reduce the spread of germs on campus.
  • Cleaning supplies: Physical Plant Custodial Services should serve as the source for obtaining and distributing cleaning supplies. Custodial Services is in the process of developing a plan to support this initiative.

 

COVID-19 has caused many personal stressors. Please remember that our Employee Assistance Program is available to employees who are in need of assistance. For covered employees, Blue Cross Blue Shield continues to offer mental health services – both in-person and via telehealth with MDLive.

As Illinois and IWU “return to normal,” we have seen many different approaches to health and safety and people will relax the standards for disease prevention. As a dense residential campus, we must maintain our vigilance and commitment to these safety standards for everyone’s health. Please help us create campus norms that embrace these safety protocols. As staff and faculty, we must model these expectations for students.

If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources regarding employee needs or COVID19response@iwu.edu for COVID-specific information. We will continue to provide updates and adjust our guidelines as state and public health recommendations change. We look forward to being together again, with safety precautions, and appreciate your continued flexibility.


Important Fall Semester Update

June 15, 2020

 

To: Students, faculty and staff

From: Fall Contingency Planning Review Committee

While much across the world continues to be uncertain, we are making progress on our decision-making about the fall semester. Although we cannot prevent all illness, we can take measured steps to reduce risk. Our collective health will require personal commitment by all members of our community to adhere to health protocols. Thank you in advance for making this commitment.

Students, we need your perspective on the anticipated fall experience. Please take this brief survey. (Deadline: June 21). Faculty, a friendly reminder to complete the course survey you were sent last week from the Provost’s office.

Please read carefully these important updates about our planning for the fall semester at Illinois Wesleyan:

Calendar Adjustments

These adjustments are intended to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 through travel away and back to campus. By ending the semester early, we also look to minimize the intersection of flu season and a possible second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.

  • Early start: We will start classes one week early (Aug. 17)
  • Early finish: All classes and finals will be complete by Nov. 20, for an early start to our winter break
  • To enable this shortened schedule, additional calendar changes will include:
    • Classes will be held on Labor Day
    • Fall Break will be cancelled (classes will be held on Friday, Oct. 16)
    • Classes will be held on some Saturdays (up to 4 Saturdays). For students, faculty and staff with spiritual obligations on these Saturdays, please work with your faculty or supervisors regarding accommodation (see IWU’s Religious Accommodations statement here).
    • Turning Titan Orientation will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 11. For faculty, academic advising will occur on Aug. 12-13.
      • IMPACT (pre-orientation for Students of Color) and international student arrival and orientation are still being thoughtfully planned.
  • Move in: For all students, please do not make travel arrangements just yet . We are planning for a phased move-in based on health and social distancing needs.
  • Virtual instruction possibilities: We understand not every member of the Titan community has the same comfort level around COVID-19. Although much course instruction will be in-person or a combination of in-person/virtual, we anticipate that a fully virtual course schedule will be possible.

Health Protocols

Our campus community's adherence to health protocols will be essential to our successful, healthy return. Guidance is evolving regularly, but best practice will be consistently followed throughout campus. Based on our best information available today, please keep the following health expectations in mind as you plan your return to campus:

  • Testing: We are planning to conduct PCR nasal testing for all members of our campus community upon return to campus. Details are being finalized and will likely include a period of self-isolation between the test and results. For students, approval to move to campus will be dependent on the start date for approved activities (such as athletics or orientation) and the required isolation period. Again, please do not schedule travel until you have received further information.
    • More information about the employee protocol will be shared as we finalize plans to return to campus in Phase 4 of Restore Illinois.
  • Face coverings: Minimally, cloth face coverings will be required for all classes, activities and events. Please plan to bring several washable cloth masks, consistent with CDC recommendations, to campus with you.
  • Physical distancing of six feet will be required for all engagements (classes, residential, dining, etc.) Exceptions are still under review for activities like athletics, theatre, etc. Group activities must have fewer than 50 attendees.
  • Symptom checks: Daily self-monitoring for symptoms including temperature checks will be required. You will need to bring your own thermometer for temperature checking. Additionally, a no-touch infrared temperature scan may be required before entering buildings or activities.
  • Illness: Anyone who becomes ill and/or is displaying any symptoms should plan to stay at home or in their rooms, and contact Arnold Health Services for further direction. Students confirmed with COVID-19 are expected to return to their permanent residence for the duration of their illness and quarantine period, unless circumstances, such as distance or a vulnerable person at home, are prohibitive.
  • Limited campus quarantine space will be provided for students living in University-provided housing only.

On-Campus Housing

Decisions are still pending regarding campus housing and whether students will be housed in double or single rooms. We remain committed to providing housing for all students, but it may not be as originally assigned. In addition to CDC and American College Health Association guidance, we anticipate some guidance from the State of Illinois in the next few weeks that will allow us to finalize our decisions.

Students, please note:

  • The first round of student bills, including housing, is scheduled to be posted by Wednesday, June 17, but housing assignments are still under consideration. This first bill reflects a standard double room rate for most students. Bills will be updated in August to reflect accurate charges, based on final room assignments. If your housing changes due to COVID 19 reassignments, you will not be charged additional housing fees.

Special Thanks

We thank faculty and staff for their ongoing efforts to prepare for a safe and healthy return, and thank the entire community for their patience as we figure out how to adapt the college experience to evolving public health recommendations. We appreciate the work of the Instruction work group, Health and Safety Expectations work group, the Event Planning work group, and the Facilities assessment group in informing our decision-making. This guidance is based on the best information available today and will likely continue to evolve.

Questions

We recognize that you may have specific questions about implementation details not yet finalized. For example, we anticipate course delivery will be a hybrid of options (in-person, virtual and a combination due to physical space restrictions), but course-specific details are still in progress and may require some schedule adjustments. We will continue to update the campus community as decisions are made. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact COVID19response@iwu.edu.

Your health and safety, and the health of our communities, are our top priority. We wish you a healthy and safe summer!


 

COVID-19 Update for Titans and Titan Families

May 26, 2020

I hope this message finds you doing well and continuing to thrive in these unprecedented times. On campus, we continue to work diligently to evaluate our options for returning to campus in the fall semester and wanted to update you on our planning.

  • State Update: The State of Illinois will move to Phase 3 of Governor Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan guidance at the end of May. In Phase 3, non-essential businesses can open with appropriate public health guidelines, but higher education remains virtual. This is consistent with our current decisions about our new June summer term continuing with remote learning. (In the State’s current plan, higher education may resume in-person courses in Phase 4. Please refer to the Restore Illinois plan if you'd like more information.)
  • Campus Summer Operations: We are following State, CDC, and American College Health Association guidance that advises that employees who can telework should continue to do so. The University remains open (observing 4:00 hours) and working remotely. All offices that are typically operational in the summer can be reached by phone, email, and virtual appointments. Offices that reduce hours in the summer (Arnold Health Services, Counseling and Consultation Services, some academic departments, etc) may have a delay in response, but all messages will be returned.
  • Fall Planning: Our Fall Contingency Planning work group continues to aggressively review options for the fall semester. With appropriate medical and state guidance, decisions will be made based on the health and safety of our entire community, the quality of the student educational and co-curricular experience, and the financial health of the university.
  • Options Considered: While we intend to welcome our students to campus for face-to-face instruction in the fall, we also acknowledge that a number of factors may be beyond our control. Assuming that every scenario requires new public health commitments for all of us, four primary options are being explored: full return to campus; hybrid delivery (some residential, some virtual); academic calendar adjustments; and full virtual delivery.
  • Assumptions/Implementation: Based on current prevailing medical advice about public health measures, we are operating with some assumptions about our return to campus in the fall:
    • All students, faculty and staff will be expected to practice appropriate public health precautions including physical distancing (6 feet apart) and the use of cloth facial coverings when physical distancing is not possible. Dr. Vickie Folse, Director of the School of Nursing and Interim Director of Health and Counseling, is chairing the Health Expectations work group that is developing these guidelines, and others, for the fall.
    • Assuming we move to Restore Illinois Phase 4 by the fall semester, community gatherings must be in groups of less than 50 participants and physical distancing observed. Kevin Carey, Director of Student Involvement, is chairing the Event Management work group that is identifying opportunities for ongoing community building, both in-person and virtually.
    • Plans involving athletics will be guided by NCAA and CCIW decisions.
    • We continue to explore additional residential and academic adjustments, and will update the campus community as decisions are made.
  • Commencement: Given the state of Illinois restrictions, regretfully it has become clear that we will not be able to hold Commencement in person as planned on Aug. 2. We are working on alternative plans for a virtual celebration that we will communicate soon.
  • Timeline for fall decisions: We know that you are ready for certainty about the fall semester. As we make decisions (even incremental ones like campus health standards and event management guidelines), we will provide updates. As you know, information evolves daily and will inform our strategy for moving forward. Ultimately, we are still on track to make decisions by mid- to late July.

We hope you are doing well and finding meaningful and productive summer activities. We look forward to seeing you in the fall.

Karla Carney-Hall, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students


 

Update on COVID-19 Planning

May 8, 2020

Faculty and staff,

I'm writing to provide an update on the University's ongoing response and planning during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all receive continually evolving – and even conflicting – information about the pandemic, it is natural to seek certainty. Recently, many universities have issued statements emphasizing that they “intend” to open in the normal way on campus for the fall semester. Of course, Illinois Wesleyan is no exception. We definitely “intend” to welcome our students to campus in the fall. But we also acknowledge that a number of factors may be beyond our control.

As we plan for a return to face-to-face instruction, we are working to incorporate precautions to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and our community. Federal agencies such as the Center for Disease Control offer guidelines for safe practices, and state governments have the authority to issue orders intended to protect citizens. But a residential university, where almost 2,000 young people live, work, dine, and socialize together, is a more complex environment than an office or a retail business. We recognize that we will need to make decisions guided by these governmental entities, but also adapted to the special circumstances and needs a campus environment presents.

It is particularly helpful that, on May 7, the American College Health Association (ACHA) issued “Considerations for Reopening Institutions of Higher Education in the COVID-19 Era.” This document provides clear, consistent, medically-informed advice from health-care professionals, covering all aspects of COVID-19 preparedness and protection, specific to the campus environment and its various activities. The ACHA advocates a realistic caution in this uncertain time:

“The single constant for each institution of higher education is that the road to recovery will be long. We can anticipate restrictions and limitations in activities will be in place for the next 12-18 months, if not longer.”

“Meticulous adherence to public health practices including hand hygiene, physical distancing, cough/sneeze etiquette, frequent disinfection of common and high traffic areas, symptom assessment, temperature checks, and face covering in public is the campus’ new normal.”

At Illinois Wesleyan, we are developing a multi-pronged approach, in line with the ACHA guidelines, to enhance our community’s capacity and resilience to manage COVID-19 challenges. To date, a COVID-19 planning team has been evaluating logistics, such as adjusted residential capacity, dining arrangements, and technological infrastructure. In addition, a Health/Safety Protocol Development Work Group, led by Director of the School of Nursing Vickie Folse, has been identified to make recommendations regarding health expectations for our return to campus. Enhanced protocols in place for sanitizing campus areas include increased disinfecting measures in high-touch and high-traffic spaces on campus; providing disinfecting wipe stations in learning spaces; and use of state-of-the-art technology to test the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection efforts.

As we turn to issues more directly related to the academic program, faculty will address considerations for personal health and safety measures, such as social distancing in instructional spaces, creative (re-) design of experiential learning (e.g., theatre, laboratories, clinical experiences, field experiences), and the optimum mode of delivery to foster specific learning objectives. In every instance, the uppermost considerations will be the quality of the student experience and honoring our high standards for teaching and close connections among students and faculty.

The adaptability and resilience of our campus constituencies thus far bode well for our ability to continue to provide a distinctive Illinois Wesleyan experience, adjusting as needed to a changing environment. During the semester just completed, we found that:

  • Faculty pivoted to online instruction with a week's preparation.
  • Staff worked swiftly to adjust to remote work and continued supporting University operations.
  • Members in Student Affairs created a new environment for engagement opportunities for our students.
  • Students, with support from faculty and staff, were able to complete course objectives, pursue and defend honors research, and meet graduation requirements for internships and other experiential components, such as clinicals and student teaching, in virtual settings.

Of course, our plans necessarily remain subject to change, based on evolving guidelines and developments. Critical factors will include: progress on testing, health monitoring, treatments and strategies that mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we are judiciously investigating possible alternative scenarios, such as a hybrid of residential/virtual environments; modifications to the academic calendar; and virtual alternatives, even as we actively plan for students’ return to campus in the fall (with appropriate adjustments for health and safety).

We are confident in our ability to face challenging times and find our way together, committed to the long-term well-being of our campus community. We will continue to monitor evolving developments in this public health crisis and announce any changes to our fall semester plans as soon as possible.

Georgia


 

 

Update for Students

April 21, 2020

As the final week of the semester comes to a close, we hope you are finding a rhythm with your virtual classes and preparing for successful finals. We know this semester has been challenging and appreciate your persistence as we all adapt to changing circumstances. We also wanted to provide you with a few updates about the University response to COVID-19.

    • Room and Board refunds: We expect to credit student accounts for the prorated amount of housing and dining charges by April 28, 2020. If the credits to your account result in an overpayment, a refund can be requested as described in our March 27 update. Seniors, who are scheduled to graduate in spring of 2020, do not need to request a refund. Refund checks will be disbursed starting May 6, 2020. If you have not signed up for direct deposit already, we encourage you to do so by completing this direct deposit form. Requests for refunds and direct deposit forms can be sent to busnoff@iwu.edu.
    • Federal CARES Act funds: We are receiving approximately $670,000 in federal funds that is to be used to assist students with this crisis. We anticipate that distribution guidance regarding these funds will be made clear to colleges and universities later this week. Once we’ve had time to carefully consider the guidance, we will send an update no later than May 10 with the information we can provide at that time. We want to distribute these funds in ways that benefit students with the greatest need. We appreciate your patience.
    • Titan Student Emergency Fund: As part of supporting your unanticipated financial concerns, we are launching the Titan Student Emergency Fund. This fund will allow us to provide small grants to students to address unanticipated expenses. We appreciate the generosity of our alumni, faculty/staff, parents and friends who have contributed donations to support the Titan community. Look for detailed information this week.
  • Senior recognition: On Thursday, we will announce the senior leadership award recipients via social media (4:00 p.m. on the IWU Facebook page). Please join us in celebrating all seniors and send your senior friends a note of appreciation for their leadership.
  • Move Out: A reminder that all students need to move out of campus residences by May 3. Please use SignupGenius to schedule your move out time and follow the guidelines in previous emails from the Office of Residence Life. If you cannot move out by May 3, please email COVID19response@iwu.edu to begin exploring options.
  • Fall contingency planning: Our hope, like yours, is that we will return to all the normal hustle and bustle of the fall semester. However, we want to be prepared for alternatives as this public health crisis continues to evolve. We are exploring calendar adjustments, hybrid delivery (mix of residential and remote), as well as virtual alternatives. Every university is exploring this essential question about fall return and each institution will make decisions based on their unique needs and opportunities. Decisions will be made when we have the best information available from public health experts and state and federal officials to guide us toward the best possible student experience. Because of the evolving nature of this pandemic, we are not likely to make a decision until late summer.

We will communicate regularly with all students throughout the summer. Please continue to check your IWU email regularly for updates. Good luck with your final exams.

 


Campus Schedule Updates Related to COVID-19

April 3, 2020

To Faculty and Staff

We hope all are staying safe and well during these unusual times! We have a few brief updates below regarding the University schedule and adjustments related to Coronavirus. We expect to send a COVID-19 financial update soon.

Commencement

Commencement will be held in-person on Sunday, August 2. A senior recognition event will also be held on Saturday, August 1. We recognize that departments may want to add traditional senior recognition events to this weekend, and we hope to minimize overlapping events. If you would like to schedule other traditional senior recognition events that weekend, please send your request to Julie Anderson at janders3@iwu.edu.

Honors Day Convocation

The traditional Honors Day Convocation scheduled for Wednesday, April 8 is canceled in its current format, but activities are being reimagined. Senior recognition will occur as a social media event. We also hope to provide a virtual venue to recognize Tim Rettich, this year’s Kemp Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence honoree, and the convocation booklet will be published online. Reminder: Faculty, please send your lists of student honorees to Sue Milligan at smilliga@iwu.edu by April 17.

Stay-at-Home Extension

Given Governor Pritzker’s extension of the stay-at-home order through April 30, we ask that everyone who is able to continue working from home.

Residence Hall Move-Out

The Office of Residential Life has reactivated the move-out process for students, beginning this weekend. The governor’s order provides some reasonable accommodation for students needing essential materials; we will extend move-out with a careful process for health and safety. We appreciate the work of the Office of Residence Life, Physical Plant, Campus Safety and Student Involvement as we slowly allow students to return to gather their belongings.

 


 

Campus Medical Update

April 1, 2020, 10:08 AM

Students, faculty and staff:

As you might imagine, we are beginning to receive reports from members of our University community who have either experienced symptoms or are awaiting results for COVID-19. Given the widespread nature of this virus, it is to be expected that all of us will know someone in our communities with the illness. Our hearts go out to anyone who is symptomatic and those supporting family members who are ill.

We will not send a campus notice every time we become aware of someone affected, but will inform as required by health authorities. In collaboration with the McLean County Health Department, we will support notification of any members of our community who may have been exposed on campus or on University-sponsored experiences within the last 14 days. You will be notified if you need to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms.

For all students, if you become ill and must miss class, please notify your professors and/or the Dean of Students office. All students may also consult with Arnold Health Services if you are experiencing symptoms. For students living on campus who become ill, please contact Arnold Health Services by phone (309-556-3107) for consultation and assessment. We need your assistance for the good of our campus community health.

Karla C. Carney-Hall, Dean of Students

Vickie Folse, Interim Executive Director of Health/Counseling


 

Campus Medical Update

March 26, 2020, 8:53 AM

Students, faculty and staff:

Good morning! As you are following the spread of illness throughout the United States, we will provide periodic updates about the health status of our campus community. We are not aware of any positive COVID-19 cases for students, faculty or staff. We understand that two students living off-campus have been tested and are waiting results, but we have no known cases at this time. Students – please continue to notify Arnold Health Service if you are concerned about symptoms, undergo testing, or have questions about health during this time.

We have also been receiving a lot of questions about navigating this pandemic related to travel, transmission, and general best-practice medical advice. We’ve updated a medical FAQ for the campus community in an effort to centralize advice from the CDC to respond to our basic concerns.

Thank you to all students, faculty and staff for your genuine commitment to “flattening the curve” in the best interest of our community health. We appreciate the many adjustments you are making to your daily lives in support of our global community.

Vickie Folse, Interim Executive Director of Health/Counseling

 

Message to Campus from President Nugent

March 23, 2020, 4:56 PM

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

This morning, we entered a new chapter in the history of Illinois Wesleyan. But it is not an entirely unique chapter. Our country has mobilized during national crises before, and this pandemic is no different. At Illinois Wesleyan, we have endured these difficult battles before, and we have come back from those experiences, have grown, and flourished. We will do that again.

I know that many are anxious about how we will manage distance learning. Already, with help from the great work of our IT and Ames library staff—as well as the assistance faculty are providing each other—faculty are managing this new environment well, as they try to offer the best opportunity for students’ learning. The Academic Affairs office, in addition to Ames and IT, will continue to be a resource as we go forward. Faculty and students should not hesitate to contact them. As well, Dean Carney-Hall has sent a great list of “tips” for students to transition successfully to remote learning.

What we value most is the close contact between faculty and students, and among students. So the new modes of delivery and interaction we are trying are unfamiliar to us. But relationship and care are possible online—as our (“digital native”) students know better than anyone. Our forebears carried out meaningful and even intimate relationships just through written correspondence. We can do this. What will be paramount, as we find our way in these new media, will be patience with and compassion for each other, as we navigate together how to learn in new and different ways.

President Nugent

 

Confirmed COVID-19 Case

March 20, 2020, 4:49 PM

To: The Illinois Wesleyan Community

From: President S. Georgia Nugent

This afternoon, the McLean County Health Department reported to the media that a person has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) with connections to Illinois Wesleyan.

To maintain confidentiality, MCHD was unable to provide additional information to us, but offered assurance that anyone who has had direct contact with this individual has been notified.

We have subsequently learned that the individual is not an Illinois Wesleyan student, faculty or staff member, and they have not visited our campus recently. This is the first known case of COVID-19 involving an individual with contacts in our campus community.

Because the majority of our students are no longer on campus, and most of our employees are now working remotely, we have significantly reduced the risk for transmission of COVID-19 on campus. However, it is imperative that all members of our University community continue to practice social distancing, monitor their health, and follow CDC guidance pertaining to COVID-19.

Students on campus who don't feel well should contact Arnold Health Services at (309) 556-3107 or an after-hours medical clinic (evenings and weekends). Students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to notify the University, to help us take every possible precaution to protect the health of the campus community.

The health and safety of our community is our top priority. The latest information regarding Illinois Wesleyan’s response to COVID-19 will continue to be assembled at www.iwu.edu/covid19, and we invite any questions or concerns you may have via covid19response@iwu.edu. The McLean County Health Department can be reached at: (309) 888-5450.

Please take care.

 

COVID-19 Semester Update

March 20, 2020, 10:47 AM

To the IWU community

From President S. Georgia Nugent

I am writing to the IWU community to convey a very difficult decision, but one that we believe is necessary. Our hope had been to resume on-campus classes on March 30. But, based on the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as the current spread of the coronavirus in Illinois, we now believe this is not feasible. We have determined that our best course of action will be to extend our plans for remote instruction until the end of the semester and for May Term, which will also be offered remotely.

Students, you will receive detailed information about moving out of residence halls in a separate email. Please follow all instructions so we can adhere to social distancing requirements.

As COVID-19 response timelines became clear, we were able to reach this decision earlier than originally expected and hope this also helps families who may need to adjust their planning for travel and other considerations. We recognize this decision will be a great disappointment for our students, who were looking forward to returning to campus and re-connecting with faculty and friends. I am particularly pained by what this means for our seniors and their expectations at this time.

Because current CDC guidelines advise that no events be held with 50 or more people through May 10, sadly we will not be able to hold Commencement in its traditional format. However, we are committed to finding alternatives to meaningfully celebrate our graduating seniors. We will be working with the senior committee to explore options and will communicate our plan to seniors and their families by April 1.

These are unprecedented times, and obviously not the experiences that any of us were anticipating. But our faculty and staff are hard at work in finding new and creative ways to stay connected with our students and to continue their education, although in new venues, with the same close attention that Illinois Wesleyan can distinctively deliver. Even during such a time, Illinois Wesleyan will continue to offer a level of interaction and mentoring that would not be possible at a larger institution and, together, we will surmount this challenge.

There remain many logistical issues to be addressed and questions to be resolved, both for students and for faculty and staff members. Across the university, we are working hard to determine solutions. We will be communicating as clearly as we can, as quickly as we can, and your patience, as we work through the many implications of this change, will be much appreciated.

We will continue to post the latest information at www.iwu.edu/covid19 and respond to questions via covid19response@iwu.edu.


 

From President Nugent on COVID-19

Tuesday, March 17

To students and families

As all of us are grappling with new uncertainties amid the global pandemic, our feelings are especially strong – in appreciation and gratitude for our shared Titan community, and in disappointment for halted expectations around the culmination of the academic year. We deeply lament the abrupt ends of promising athletic seasons, study abroad experiences, fine arts productions, performances and exhibitions, and all that so many have been working toward.

The campus is quiet during this extended Spring Break, and will be even quieter as we ask many of our employees to work from home, doing our part to slow the virus' spread. A core team at The Ames Library is taking health precautions while preparing to resume classes with remote instruction next week. Transitioning to this new modality may require a spirit of patience, but our faculty are committed to working with you to ensure your success through this portion of the semester.

We also appreciate your patience as we navigate our courses of action amid sudden changes in the global and regional situation. We have tried to balance the need for conveying updates as quickly as possible, but also ensuring our decisions are sound and information is helpful and accurate. We ask for your continued understanding as the situation continues to evolve.

As you may be aware, recent national guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend scheduling no events for 50 or more people for the next 8 weeks — i.e., through the first week of May. (And, on Monday, President Trump suggested no groups larger than 10 should gather.) We are deeply saddened that this CDC timeframe includes our planned Commencement date. Yet we are committed to finding alternatives to meaningfully celebrate our graduating seniors. We are confident that the Class of 2020 is superbly equipped by their experiences at Illinois Wesleyan for the urgent challenges facing the world today.

We will continue to monitor news of the COVID-19 outbreak, including CDC, state and local health department recommendations. Our campus response team is monitoring developments as they unfold. Our website has a link on the home page to our latest campus updates, at iwu.edu/covid19. Check it often and check your IWU email; we’ll be communicating with you there as changes occur.

In unsettling times like these, it's helpful to reflect on who and what are important in your life. At Illinois Wesleyan, we're strengthened by all that we've endured in our long history, and by the continual infusions of hope borne by each new generation of Titans. Our IWU spirit of “I With U” will carry us through.

Sincerely,
President S. Georgia Nugent


 

COVID-19 Update for Employees

Monday, March 16, 5:49 PM

In response to recent developments and state-level recommendations addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the University remains “open” for instruction (delivered remotely), but the physical campus will be closed for most non-essential operations and most external visitors, effective tomorrow, March 17. Faculty are making preparations this week for remote instruction of classes to begin next week.

Campus buildings will be locked with the exception of the Memorial Center, which will remain open for students who have been granted permission to stay on campus. (Hansen Student Center will be open on Tuesday, March 17, as the polling place for the Primary Election.)

All employees who are able to work remotely should do so, and not come to campus unless it is essential to perform their work. If necessary, employees will be permitted to return to campus briefly to bring home desktop computers and other equipment required to continue their work remotely.

Supervisors are expected to consult the University's Telecommuting Policy, which is expanded to include non-exempt staff during the current COVID-19 situation. Supervisors should complete the Telecommuting Request Form for each subordinate staff member in order to track equipment taken off campus and to manage employees' expected productivity. For workers whose duties aren't typically based online, assignments may be available to support the University’s transition to remote instruction or assist in other areas. There may also be opportunities for online professional development. Employees should consult their supervisors about these possibilities.

Employees are encouraged to use remote-work technologies such as Google Hangouts Meet to continue meetings and other collaborative efforts where necessary. Please continue to monitor your voicemail. Instructions for forwarding your office extension to your mobile or another phone are available here, and we've provided instructions for gaining remote and safe access to campus network resources.

Trade and custodial employees may still be assigned to work on site, observing social distancing guidelines, in order to perform deep cleaning and other maintenance work.

We have updated the FAQ online for employees on the www.iwu.edu/covid19 site. Please ask your direct supervisor if you have additional questions, and continue to check your IWU email for ongoing updates.

Impacts and responses to this global outbreak are unprecedented. We appreciate the resilience, dedication and creativity of our staff and faculty as we depend on each other in new ways, while staying productive, safe and well.


 

Update on COVID-19

Sunday, March 15, 9:16 PM

To the IWU Campus Community from President Nugent

As I know you are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic—and the responses to it—are evolving rapidly. This afternoon, Governor Pritzker announced the closing of bars and restaurants throughout Illinois beginning on Tuesday, March 17 and the closing of State offices. Cases of the virus in Central Illinois have been confirmed. In light of these and other developments at the national, state, and local levels, we are revising our response plans in the following ways:

— As announced on Friday, staff members should report to the campus as usual on Monday. However, the objective for the day is for staff to work together to develop work-from-home plans for as many people as possible, beginning on Tuesday. Moving to “work at home” is in line with the Governor’s and others’ guidelines.

We know there will be many complexities to this decision and that it will not be possible for everyone. Decisions will need to be made at the department, office, and individual level, between supervisors and staff members, and it isn’t possible to issue general policies at this time. Please be patient with one another, as we all try to cope effectively with the pandemic threat and enter into new ways of working (and living).

— Ames Library will be open for mission-critical activities, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Use of the library will be limited to faculty who need to use resources to move their instruction to an alternative mode and to a select group of staff for cleaning. Workshops in online teaching are scheduled, and faculty are urged to participate in these (social distancing will be observed). The schedule of workshops is available in the employee FAQ page. Ames Library will not be available for study or group meetings, other than the workshops.

— Beginning Tuesday, the Shirk Center will be closed to non-Shirk employees. The Shirk Center will not be available for athletic or recreational purposes. Students and others are encouraged to continue to remain physically active in other ways (walking, running, online exercise programs, etc.)

— The CDC issued guidelines today on “mass gatherings.” Their recommendation is that no events for 50 people or more be scheduled for the next 8 weeks— i.e., through May 3. This national recommendation presents a very great challenge to the planned Illinois Wesleyan calendar, and we will be working hard to understand how we can comply with the CDC guidance and at the same time honor our commitments to our university community.

I’m keenly aware that these measures present many challenges, and I regret the hardships that many or most of us will experience in these extraordinary times. And the reality is, there may well be more changes to come. I hope that each of us is able to draw on inner sources of strength, our support for one another, and our shared commitment to our students to guide us through these difficult days.


 

Spring Break Extended

March 12, 2020

To: Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents

From: President S. Georgia Nugent

Illinois Wesleyan will extend Spring Break until Sunday, March 22. Classes will resume using distance learning methods from March 23 - 27. We will evaluate and determine by March 26 whether classes will return to campus on March 30. Campus offices will remain open during this time.

As we continue to assess the escalating impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are committed to taking responsible action toward mitigating the potential spread of the virus, to proactively safeguard the health of our community and the resilience of our healthcare system.

  • All domestic students must remain at their permanent home residence until further notice. Students, including our international students, can petition for an exception on their MyHousing page. Food service will be offered for students approved to be on campus. Sodexo is following best practices for enhanced food safety. There will be restrictions including limits on social gatherings, travel, non-IWU guests, etc.
  • All student events, including athletics, will be suspended through March 29. Other university-sponsored campus events with over 50 attendees will be prohibited. At this time, no decisions have been made about events after March 29, including Commencement.
  • Students may not return to campus without permission until March 29. Faculty will be providing materials for course instruction electronically as part of distance learning.
  • We're requiring all students studying abroad from Europe to return home. They are expected to self-quarantine at home for 14 days prior to a return to campus, no sooner than March 29. We are recommending that all other students studying abroad return home and self-quarantine as well.
  • Arnold Health Services will remain open.
  • Students abroad for athletic trips during Spring Break have returned to the U.S., and a Collegiate Choir tour of South Africa is being shortened so that students can return as quickly as possible.
  • All non-essential travel by employees will be restricted until further notice.
  • Decisions about May Term and summer travel will be made no later than April 15.

This extended break is intended to allow our faculty time to develop alternative methods for delivering course instruction. As you know, we value our culture as a residential University and the importance of faculty-student interaction, and hope to return to in-person learning as soon as possible. If accessing courses electronically presents a hardship for you, please contact Scott Walter, University Librarian.

Our response team will continue to comprehensively assess developments as they unfold. We realize many questions remain, and will continue to send followup messages with more details, including information specific to employees. We also have established the email address covid19response@iwu.edu, where you can direct related questions. Information will continue to be assembled on the University website at www.iwu.edu/covid19.

While there are currently no known cases of COVID-19 on campus or in Central Illinois, please remember to follow recommendations to help protect yourself and others from disease, and make personal decisions to reduce opportunities for the transmission of this new virus in our communities.


 

For Students Studying Abroad


Updates for International Travel

 

Coronavirus and Spring Break

Friday, March 6 at 7:43 PM

Dear Colleagues -

The rapidly-evolving novel coronavirus/COVID-19 situation has demanded thoughtful and appropriate responses to the health challenges the virus presents. We are doing our very best to stay on top of this situation and to assess appropriate responses. We are working to balance concerns of students, families, faculty & staff, and official responders.

Students Returning from International Travel During Spring Break

As you have read in the IWU Update email sent at 2:28 pm on Thursday, March 5, 2020, we are requiring all students who plan travel to any areas designated by the CDC or the State Department as being under Level-3 or -4 travel warnings, OR who travel to areas that become Level-3 or -4, to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. They have been asked to self-report their travel plans through a travel registry (see highlighted text below from the IWU Update email). This has important implications for teaching and learning:

  • Students using the travel registry who place themselves under self-quarantine will be granted university-sanctioned excused absences. These excused absences supersede any attendance policies for individual classes.

  • We ask you to work with students to keep pace with your course as normal classes resume following Spring Break.

  • Ames Library and the Thorpe Center will provide assistance to faculty interested in using distance learning technologies to reach students in self-quarantine.

  • We will work to share with you the names of any students under self-quarantine who may be in your class(es) or working under your supervision, and we will work hard to do so in as timely a manner as possible.

We recognize that this is highly unusual, and we very much appreciate your forbearance during these times as well as your focus on the needs of our students.

Personal Travel: In the interest of campus health, please report your international travel plans or travel to known high-risk areas of the U.S. on this form. If you are traveling over Spring Break to affected areas, please be aware of risk factors. Please consult with the CDC warning levels and the State Department Travel Warnings for any travel. If you travel to any areas designated advisory level 3 or 4 (U.S. State Department or CDC), you are expected to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus, per CDC recommendations. We will be working with faculty to determine alternative course delivery for students should a quarantine occur. – IWU Update email, March 5, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Faculty/Staff Travel

In addition, you may yourself be traveling in the coming months to an area/areas under CDC/State Department Level-3 and -4 travel warnings OR areas that become under Level-3 or -4 warning as well. In such circumstances you are asked to report your travel plans or completed travel to the office of the appropriate vice president/provost, and you are requested to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. This will clearly cause a disruption in normal instruction and work function during the self-quarantine period. We will work with you to enable workable accommodations.

If your travel is university related, it is important to bear in mind that any travel to a country or region under a Level-3 or -4 US State Department travel warning is not permitted under the IWU international travel policy. IWU will cover any non-refundable expenses should you need to cancel your trip. If you elect to travel to a country or region under a Level-3 or -4 U.S. State Department travel warning in violation of the university's international travel policy, your travel costs will not be reimbursed. For your reference, the IWU international travel policy can be found here.

International Students

While it is too soon to know either how severe or how long the coronavirus/COVID-19 health situation will be, it has been particularly stressful for our international students. It is possible that some of our international students may not be able to return home this summer. The university is working to provide housing for the summer. And if you or your department is in a position to hire a student summer worker, please bring the opportunity to the attention of any international students who might be seeking employment.

The start of Spring Break will bring additional uncertainties and potential hazards. We do not know what the course of the viral outbreak will be or whether it will even impact IWU and Central Illinois. We emphasize that the steps outlined here are being implemented to respond in a proactive manner to minimize potential health risks, and your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Thank you and have a restful and healthy Spring Break!

Georgia, Matt, Mark, Karla, LeAnn, and Steve

 


 

Coronavirus Response at Illinois Wesleyan University

Message to Parents —
Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 8:08 PM

Dear parents and families,

Illinois Wesleyan is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak as it unfolds, and we want to share with families the policies and plans that are in place. Our communications with the campus community about the virus can be viewed at www.iwu.edu/updates.

We are mindful of our students from highly impacted areas around the world, and extend our support and care as their home communities respond to the virus. We are in the process of identifying additional summer housing for our international students if the need arises.

To date there have been no confirmed or suspected cases in McLean County.

While our campus risk is still considered low, we are encouraging members of our campus community to take preventative precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We're encouraging students with any respiratory illness to visit Arnold Health Services or other healthcare providers for assessment and evaluation.

As we head into Spring Break, campus community members are asked to report their travel plans and to monitor CDC warning levels and the State Department Travel Warnings for any travel. Those who travel to any areas designated advisory level 3 or 4 (U.S. State Department or CDC) are expected to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. We will be working with faculty to determine alternative course delivery for students should a quarantine occur.

The University’s policy regarding international travel prohibits students, faculty and staff from University-sponsored travel in regions that are under U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 Advisories. In response to the latest travel advisories, all students studying in Italy are returning home and will complete the CDC-recommended quarantine. Planned May Term travel to Italy is suspended, and we are exploring ways to modify the proposed course.

We will make a determination no later than April 15 about other University-sponsored travel in May Term and summer. Regardless, at all times we encourage students and families to make personal decisions for their own safety.

The health and safety of our community is our top priority as we continue to monitor updates from state, federal and international health organizations.

Sincerely,

Karla C. Carney-Hall, Dean of Students

Mark Brodl, Provost & Dean of Faculty


 

Coronavirus Update and Travel Plans

Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 2:28 PM

Students, faculty and staff:

As information continues to evolve about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to make you aware of several things:

Personal Travel: In the interest of campus health, please report your international travel plans or travel to known high-risk areas of the U.S. on this form. If you are traveling over Spring Break to affected areas, please be aware of risk factors. Please consult with the CDC warning levels and the State Department Travel Warnings for any travel. If you travel to any areas designated advisory level 3 or 4 (U.S. State Department or CDC), you are expected to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus, per CDC recommendations. We will be working with faculty to determine alternative course delivery for students should a quarantine occur.

Health Support: If you return from Spring Break with any respiratory illness, students are encouraged to visit Arnold Health Services for assessment and evaluation. Faculty and staff experiencing symptoms are encouraged to visit their personal healthcare providers.

Arnold Health Services will have extended hours (from 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. with service available over lunch) on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. On campus, we will follow the CDC recommendations, which may include isolation (at home or local quarantine, if home is not an option).

If you have a compromised immune system, please contact your primary care provider and/or Arnold Health Service staff about any additional precautionary measures that may be appropriate for your health. Advance planning may be important to anticipating your needs.

Study Abroad: We continue to closely monitor this situation for all of our students, including students who are currently abroad. All students studying in Italy are returning to the U.S., to their home communities. The CDC guidelines for a 14-day quarantine will be enforced.

Decisions about May Term and summer travel will be made no later than April 15. If you have questions about your course and decisions you may make personally, please be in touch with your professor.

International Students: We understand that you may be making decisions about your summer plans in the next few weeks. Please talk with the International Office about options for the summer. We are in the process of identifying additional housing if the need arises.

Since this evolving situation may escalate or de-escalate in coming days, please check your IWU email frequently. For ongoing updates, our communications with the campus community about the virus are posted at www.iwu.edu/updates. The health and safety of students and our campus community is essential to our collective success.

 


 

Coronavirus Update

Friday, Feb 28, 2020 at 3:03 PM

Students, faculty, and staff,

As we look forward to Spring Break which typically brings some travel, we want to remind you to stay healthy and take preventative precautions. Between flu season and ongoing concerns about the Coronavirus, we want to be mindful and vigilant about public health. We have many confirmed instances of flu on campus, but no cases of Coronavirus at IWU or in the Bloomington/Normal community. Our study abroad partners are monitoring the spread of Coronavirus in Italy and other areas of the world. If you are abroad now or scheduled to study abroad in May, summer or other international travel, you will receive a separate update from the International Office.

While we believe our campus risk remains low, we will continue to monitor this global health crisis. Please note the following preventative strategies:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use antibacterial hand solution when available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home and avoid public contact.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces.
  • If you are traveling out of the US, research health advisories for your travel area. Review the ‘CDC Travelers’ Health website: (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel) to learn how to stay healthy during your trip.
  • Monitor the CDC website for updated information.

We want to be mindful of our students from highly impacted areas around the world – our support and care go out to you as your home communities respond to the virus. We encourage all members of our campus community to be inclusive and respectful in supporting each other through this difficult global crisis.

The health and safety of our community is our top priority and we will continue to monitor updates from state, federal and international health organizations. Please contact Arnold Health Services with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Karla C. Carney-Hall, Dean of Students

Vickie Folse, Interim Executive Director of Health/Counseling


 

Coronavirus Information

Monday, Feb 3, 2020 at 9:31 AM

Students, faculty and staff:

We have been following the developments of the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus within China. The Coronavirus outbreak was declared a global health crisis and we are seeing the first cases in the U.S., including Chicago. U.S. health officials are monitoring this respiratory illness closely. Most U.S. cases have been people who have recently traveled to affected areas in China. At this time, we consider the risk to our campus community low; however, we always want to be conscious of any potential health concerns in our community.

The coronavirus is similar to other respiratory illnesses in preventative approaches. You can help prevent the spread of any illness with the following, common-sense strategies:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use antibacterial hand solution when soap and water wash is not an option.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid public contact.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and dispose of tissues responsibly.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Continue to monitor the CDC website for updated information and further recommendations regarding this outbreak.
  • Prior to Spring Break or any planned travel in or out of the U.S. within the next few months, take a few moments to research health issues associated with your destination prior to travel.
  • Review the ‘CDC Travelers’ Health website: (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel) to learn how to stay healthy during your trip

If you are ill with fever above 100.0, please go to Arnold Health Services for evaluation and treatment. Please do not attempt to wait out the fever (or tough it out). Medications are available to provide relief of symptoms. Needed medications can be ordered through a pharmacy of your choice.

Arnold Health Services
Lower Level – North Entrance Magill Hall

Hours: M-F 8AM -12 noon and 1PM - 4:30PM

Thanks for always making good decisions about your individual health so that our community health can be strong. Please don’t hesitate to contact Arnold Health Services if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Karla C. Carney-Hall, Dean of Students

Vickie Folse, Interim Executive Director of Health/Counseling