COVID-19 Update - Hotline, STAR Program

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COVID-19 Update - Hotline, STAR Program

Published: August 14, 2020.

As we plan for a robust fall semester, we continue to academic excellence with our community's health, safety and well-being.   Our blended approach for the fall offers an opportunity for effective learning but also presents some unique challenges. 

We also know that thousands of our students have signed the Flyers Promise, a pledge of responsibility for their own health and well-being and to help keep all members of the Lewis University community safe from the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. The Flyers Promise recognizes the spirit of solidarity inspired by our Mission value of Association to act with great care, civility, and profound respect for each other.

Part of that care for each other is to act appropriately if we were to receive a positive result in a COVID-19 test. Our university has developed the subsequent protocols following public health guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and local public health agencies. As federal, state, and county guidelines are updated, our protocols may be adapted to those guidelines.

Positive COVID-19 Case Hotline

Students, faculty or staff who test positive for COVID-19, or have been informed by their healthcare provider they are suspected to have COVID-19, should contact the Lewis University COVID-19 Hotline at 815-588-7000 or as soon as possible. The individual will be contacted by a hotline team member within eight hours to discuss the best next steps. University response protocols will be implemented, which include providing supportive services and academic or work accommodations for the individual. Hotline team members will communicate health department directives to any students, faculty, or staff deemed to have been in close contact with the individual.

COVID-19 Negative Test Not Required

As recommended by the CDC, Lewis University will not require students and employees to submit a negative COVID-19 test result before arriving on campus. The CDC website states “Testing of all students, faculty and staff for COVID-19 before allowing campus entry (entry testing) has not been systematically studied. It is unknown if entry testing in IHEs provides any additional reduction in person-to-person transmission of the virus beyond what would be expected with the implementation of other infection preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, masks, hand washing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection). Therefore, CDC does not recommend entry testing of all returning students, faculty, and staff.”  Though we will not require a negative test before arriving, we will provide resources about testing locations, and we will likely provide opportunities for testing throughout the fall semester.  

Metrics to Monitor Virus Activity

Our Leadership Team will continue to work with faculty, staff, students, public health officials, and governmental authorities to gather additional information, evaluate emerging data and technologies, and monitor developments regarding the pandemic in order to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.  This ongoing process involves the consideration health care and hospital resources in the region, isolation and quarantine capacities in the residence halls, statewide and regional data on positivity rates, public health guidance and guidance from the state of Illinois and other government entities. 

Student Technology Academic Resources (STAR) Program

As part of Lewis University’s Mission-inspired efforts to support students as they pursue their academic goals during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have established the Student Technology Academic Resources (STAR) Program. Laptop computers and Wi-Fi hotspots are available for loan to students who need these resources during the Fall 2020 semester. Students who would like to be considered for this program should complete the application form, which is available at All forms must be submitted by Monday, August 24 for priority consideration.

We’re looking forward to the start of a successful semester on Monday, August 31. We appreciate your patience, flexibility and understanding during this unprecedented time. Visit Fall 2020 Campus Plan for the most current information.

Stay healthy!

Dr. Christopher Sindt

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