ROGERS PARK — After a mostly remote start to the school year, Loyola University is planning to open up more of its campuses in the spring semester, according to the school.
Loyola officials announced Wednesday dorms will begin to reopen and more classes will be held in-person this spring. Also, spring break is being rescheduled to help avoid travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
The changes will be accompanied by greater COVID-19 testing procedures, Loyola administration said in a note to families Wednesday. Plans could be altered depending on the coronavirus threat in the area.
The preliminary plan to reopen the campus to more students, faculty and staff comes as confirmed coronavirus cases are surging both in the city and state. A record-breaking 6,363 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Illinois in the past day, and more than 1,400 new cases were reported in Chicago.
Northwestern University also announced this week it plans to bring freshman and sophomore students back to campus in January.
For the spring semester beginning Jan. 19, Loyola will “prudently” increase the number of classes held on campus. About 10 percent of undergrad classes are expected to be held in person, according to school leaders.
Loyola will focus on bringing back labs and other classes that benefit most from in-person instruction. Students will have options for online participation for classes taking place in person, the school announced.
Dorms will re-open on a limited basis, and students returning to dorms will have to quarantine for two weeks after moving in, according to school leaders.
Students will live in one-person dorms and won’t share a bathroom with more than one other student. Priority for open dorms will be given to freshmen who were approved for on-campus housing in the fall.
Instead of a one-week break scheduled for March, Loyola will follow other schools in revising its spring break. There will be two extended weekend breaks, one scheduled for Feb. 10-14 and one for March 6-10.
Since the beginning of the school year in late August, Loyola has recorded 49 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to its coronavirus dashboard.
The school has conducted just under 3,000 coronavirus tests since July 24 for a positive rate of 1.65 percent. Loyola’s enrollment this fall is just under 17,000 students.
“Like other universities, we have learned much since the beginning of the pandemic and we trust our community to remain informed, vigilant, and caring so that we can best experience a spring semester in an expanded operational capacity,” Loyola administrators said in the note.
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