Loyola University Chicago Lake Shore campus in the Rogers Park neighborhood on January 8, 2021. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

ROGERS PARK — Loyola University students will be required to get a coronavirus vaccine before returning to in-person campus activities for the fall semester, the university announced Thursday.

Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney said in an announcement that students who are not fully vaccinated by the start of fall semester will not be able to move into dorms, attend in-person classes or participate in on-campus events.

“We’ve determined that the most effective, efficient, and safest way to return to campus is to require all students to be vaccinated from COVID-19 before returning for the fall 2021 semester,” Rooney said in an announcement.

Exemptions for medical conditions or religious reasons that are consistent with existing policy will be granted, university officials said.

Loyola’s three Chicago campuses have been mostly remote this school year. The university started this school year by closing dorms and moving most of its classes online. Over the spring semester, it opened some dorms and held about 10 percent of classes in-person.

Despite campus being closed, students living off-campus in Rogers Park over the winter worried some neighbors, who said parties and other student gatherings could have caused coronavirus to spread.

The vaccination requirement will help Loyola safely reopen more of its campuses ahead of next school year, university officials said in its announcement. Students are asked to upload their vaccination card information to the Loyola mobile app.

Loyola has seen 610 positive COVID-19 cases since July with a seven-day average test positivity rate of 0.14 percent, according to its coronavirus dashboard.

Depaul University also announced this week that its students will be required to be vaccinated ahead of the fall semester.

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