CHICAGO (CBS) — Loyola University Chicago on Thursday announced that it will not be opening dormitories “until conditions are favorable” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” officials at Loyola told the campus community in an online update. “For those who were eager to reside in on-campus housing, you will receive another email from Residence Life shortly with more details and answers to your immediate questions.”
While there had been hope that the trajectory of the virus would subside over the summer, the opposite ended up happening. Thus, such as it is, 700 students who planned to live on campus coming from hot-spot areas would have had to start the semester under a 14-day quarantine.
“Beyond the complex logistics of caring for this many quarantined students, public health experts indicate that the virus spreads faster in residential, high-congregate settings. With predictions of increased outbreaks in the coming months, and early reports of COVID-19 clusters at other higher education institutions, 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,” the update said. “This is the most responsible path forward in these uncertain times.”
Loyola’s Chicago area campuses will remain open with limitations for the fall 2020 semester, though the university said in July that most fall classes would be online.
In-person courses will be limited to those that require face-to-face interaction, such as labs, experimental learning, and research.