QnA from Oct. 29 Fall Briefing

Regional COVID Mitigation

Q. What is the likelihood that our community will see more restrictions?

A. Mitigations will begin on Sunday, Nov. 1, in our region. This mostly affects the size of gatherings (no more than 25 people) and hours of operation and inside dining for restaurants and bars.

 

Q. What does this mean for UIS?

A. Educational institutions are not required to follow the mitigations strategies, so long as we can continue to maintain our own low UIS campus positivity rates. We are not the first university experiencing surges in positivity rates. We have reached out to other universities in the state that are in regions under mitigations to see what their response has been.

  • Course delivery modalities will likely not change.
  • Gathering sizes for registered student organizations will be reduced to 25 people or 25% capacity of a specific space.
  • Guests to campus will be allowed only for operational needs. Guests must continue to be the exception and not the rule, especially now.
  • Gatherings need the OK of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team.
  • We will maintain in-person dining in the Union but have already taken action to reduce seating.
  • We will be asking unit leaders to again review their on-site working arrangements and consider further reducing on-campus density, especially as we approach the end of the semester and/or see local cases rise.
  • Testing will continue to be very critical, and compliance will continue to be closely monitored.

 

Spring Semester Schedule

Q. Will start and end dates of the semester change?

A. No, start and end dates will remain the same. Discussion right now is based on whether or not to take a traditional one-week break mid-semester.

 

Q. Could we take a week break, and then require two weeks of quarantine upon return to campus?

A. This could work if positive cases remain low. However, if many residential students return to campus and test positive, it would become a strain on quarantine resources such as extra Residence Life spaces, Food Services delivery, Health Services monitoring, etc. We believe this idea is not worth the risks involved.

 

Q. What are some of the unintended consequences of placing students in quarantine?

A. We are noticing that students in quarantine struggle more with mental health issues, so avoiding quarantine is always the best goal.

 

This week’s UIS COVID Response Super Star

UIS Food Service team, led by Geoff Evans

The Food Service team creatively and effectively adapted how it provides meals to campus to best prioritize health and safety during the pandemic while continuing to offer a variety of high-quality meal options, including working with students with special dietary needs.

This team also plays a critical role in serving our students in isolation or quarantine on campus. To-date, Food Services has delivered more than 500 meals to these students, all while juggling their usual duties.

The team has received more positive feedback regarding quality and selection than ever before, including the offerings provided at the ever-popular World Flavors, the salad-and-sandwich grab-n-go options and the Grill.