Tuesday, November 10, 2020

UIS announces two-day “pause” in on-campus classes and activities due to COVID-19

The following message was sent to UIS students, faculty and staff on Nov. 10, 2020.

Dear UIS Students, Faculty and Staff:

I share with you the unfortunate news that we had 15 individuals test positive for COVID-19 yesterday, resulting in a 3.15% daily positivity rate. Out of an abundance of caution, the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team is issuing a two-day pause in campus activity to allow the UIS Testing Team to conduct contact tracing, notify and quarantine affected individuals, and assess the full situation.

Effectively immediately through at least Wednesday, Nov. 11, the following mitigations are in effect:

  • In-person classes currently in session should adjourn as soon as reasonably practical. All classes (daytime and evening) must pivot to remote-only delivery for the remainder of the day and tomorrow (Nov. 11).
  • All in-person gatherings, meetings and athletic practices/training must be postponed or canceled.
  • Food Service will transition to grab-n-go only and close at 6 p.m. today and tomorrow. The Student Union will be open only for individuals to purchase meals in the Food Studio.
  • TRAC will be closed.
  • Brookens Library will be closed.
  • Non-essential personnel should talk to their supervisors about working from home, if possible. Employees (including student workers) should first consult with their supervisor to determine if they need to work on site. 
  • Tomorrow’s emergency notification test is postponed.
  • Masks should be worn in all indoor spaces unless you are alone; this includes residential spaces.

The CRRT is investigating the potential sources of yesterday’s test results and will make its recommendations for the full length of this “pause” as more information is known. Additional information will be shared as it is known.

Please continue to comply with our weekly testing requirement if you are working or living on campus; however, do NOT visit the testing site if you are experiencing symptoms, have a known exposure or have been directed to isolate/quarantine. The testing site will remain open during regular hours (8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.).

This decision was not taken lightly. While we hope this pause is very temporary, we must be flexible in how we approach the coming days to allow the CRRT to make the best decisions possible to prioritize health and safety at UIS.

A decision regarding Thursday’s approach to operations will be announced by late Wednesday afternoon. A Zoom briefing will take place at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 11) to share the most current information and to address campus questions; watch for Zoom information via email with login instructions. The CRRT will provide daily updates at the end of each day to keep the campus informed.

I cannot stress enough how important it is that we continue to consistently wear masks, keep our distance from others, avoid unnecessary gatherings and practice good hand hygiene.

United in Safety,

Karen M. Whitney, Ph.D.
Interim Chancellor
University of Illinois Springfield

Please send questions to covid19@uis.edu.

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