A building on the Loyola University Chicago campus in November 2018. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

ROGERS PARK — Loyola University Chicago will close its residence halls to begin the school year, citing the still-raging coronavirus pandemic and the dangers dense living quarters pose to students.

The on-campus dorms will remain closed “until conditions are favorable” for their reopening, Loyola’s leadership said in a letter to students Thursday night.

“Evaluating current health conditions, and factoring for uncertainty in the months ahead, has led us to make the very tough decision to suspend plans to host students in on-campus residence halls until conditions are favorable,” Loyola’s president president, provost and other school officials wrote in the letter.

Loyola in July announced most of its fall classes will be held online. At the time, the university said dorms would be limited to single-occupancy rooms and residents subjected to other social-distancing measures.

With the country’s worsening coronavirus caseload, Loyola said it had to close dorms this fall for health and logistical reasons.

For one, 700 students would be heading to the dorms from states that would require them to quarantine for two weeks under the city’s emergency travel order.

Loyola has about 12,000 students, with most freshman and sophomores living on in-campus housing, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“… We simply cannot put our on-campus residential students in harm’s way and risk further disruption to them and their families if they needed to move home mid-semester because of an outbreak in one of our residence halls or as a result of the state and city reverting back to Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois reopening plan,” Loyola administers said in a letter.

The university’s Rogers Park and Downtown campuses will be open this fall with limitations, the school said. Some classes, like labs and research seminars, will be held in-person.

A “Return To Campus” page on the university’s website will provide additional details on campus life.

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Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown ReporternnRogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown Reporter Twitter @jaydubward