COVID-19 Updates and Resources. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority. Coronavirus Information

Coronavirus Information

Correspondence

Important Update about Fall Semester Plan

7/29/20

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

In the College’s planning process for the fall semester, the goals we all shared were to maintain our educational mission and protect the health and safety of our community during the coronavirus pandemic. Our Fall Semester Plan, published July 1, detailed strategies to accomplish those goals: reducing density on campus, implementing vital health and safety measures, and sustaining our academic program through in-person and remote teaching modes. Groups that helped prepare the Plan – the Crisis Management Team, Transition Support Team, COVID-19 Academic Task Force, Campus Spaces Team, and Campus Community Team – continued to work this past month on steps to implement the Plan.  

Importantly and unavoidably, the Plan called upon the College to continue monitoring the pandemic and to change direction if necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff. After many recent consultations, we write now to say that such a change is unfortunately required.  

The background for this change is clear. The pandemic is rapidly, broadly spreading, contrary to our hopes a month ago. Positive cases and deaths are tragically rising in much of the country, including many of our students’ home locations. The number of COVID-19 patients in American hospitals has never been higher. Numerous state and local governments have imposed quarantines, including Chicago and Cook County, and our own Lake County recommends that people traveling here should self-quarantine for two weeks. Scientists have recently confirmed that 40% of infected people are asymptomatic, that the virus can spread indoors through aerosolized transmission, and that transmission can also occur outdoors through prolonged physical contact. This last fact has led many athletic conferences to cancel fall sports seasons, including our own Midwest Conference this week.  

For these regrettable reasons, the College must pivot to a non-residential fall semester in which students stay home, faculty teach all courses remotely, and non-essential staff continue to work from home. The Board of Trustees confirmed this decision yesterday in a unanimous vote.

We know this news is very disappointing. The College’s greatest responsibility, however, is to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. Given the relentless progression of the virus, this change to a non-residential fall semester and remote instruction is the only way the College can fulfill that responsibility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued clear guidance in this regard: the safest way for a college to reopen, as the pandemic continues to rage, is to switch to a non-residential semester.  

Many colleges, universities, and high schools have already made this decision. Grinnell, Dickinson, Lafayette, Pomona, and Occidental Colleges are five examples among many nationwide. Loyola University in Chicago is another, as are Stevenson, Evanston, and Oak Park High Schools in our area. 

We realize this change will greatly affect our community. For students eager to come to campus, in particular, we deeply regret this disappointment. Rest assured that our faculty will provide exceptional remote instruction in your courses, and we will also launch several exciting new programs and activities to help you have fun and stay connected to other students throughout the fall.  The Office of Student Affairs, the Career Advancement Center, and the Athletic Department are all at work on these programs and activities, and more details will be published next week. 

Because we understand the financial impact of the coronavirus on many families, the College will also provide students with either a reduction in fall semester charges or a free one-credit course or internship in January or summer terms.  The free courses are valued at $3300 apiece; more details are provided at through  FAQs at this link, where you can also find more information on academics, athletics, campus facilities, information technology, and other topics.  The College plans to hold virtual town hall meetings about the fall semester with students and parents in the next two weeks: dates, times, and Zoom sign-ups will be announced very soon. Finally, please feel free to direct follow-up questions to these email addresses:  

The coronavirus is challenging the world – and our College – in unprecedented ways.  We deeply regret that the virus is compelling the College to pivot to a non-residential semester with remote instruction.  That pivot is required, however, to protect the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.  Although the fall semester will clearly differ from our original expectations, we are convinced it will be vibrant, rewarding and fun, and we are committed to making it so.  With our faculty and staff colleagues, we look forward to matriculating the Lake Forest College Class of 2024 in a few short weeks, and we can’t wait to see everyone back on campus for the spring semester. 

Stephen D. Schutt, President   
Andrea Conner, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students   
Chris Ellertson, Vice President for Enrollment   
Sean Riedel, Chief Information Officer   
Davis Schneiderman, Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty   
Jackie Slaats, Vice President for Career Advancement and Athletics   
Lori Sundberg, Vice President for Finance and Planning; Treasurer 

Previous Correspondence

MWC Fall and Winter Sports Announcement 7/27/2020

Dear Forester Faculty, Staff, and Students,

I am writing to share an announcement released earlier today by the Midwest Conference (MWC). Presidents of the ten member institutions, in coordination with athletic directors, voted this morning to suspend conference competition for fall and winter sports through December 31, 2020.

The decision, although certainly disappointing news to our Forester student-athletes and coaches and staff, was made in order to protect the health and safety of all student-athletes and their communities and consistent with recent decisions made by several other NCAA and Division III conferences given the rapid spread of COVID-19 across much of the nation.

Despite this development, league members remain committed to providing the most meaningful athletic engagement possible for student-athletes and as you will read in the MWC FAQ, plans include potential intercollegiate competition in the spring and opportunities for student-athletes to work with their coaches and teammates through practice, small group training, skill development, and strength and conditioning while closely adhering to the most recent Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport guidelines (as outlined by the NCAA Sports Science Institute) and in accordance with agreed upon MWC league protocols. 

Head coaches delivered this news to their teams earlier today and communication is also being sent to parents and athletic alumni, but as always, feel free to contact me or Blake Theisen, interim athletic director, if you have any specific questions about this release or athletics in general. It is also worth mentioning that earlier this month, the NCAA approved a blanket eligibility waiver for student-athletes that face disruptions due to COVID-19. Click here to read more.

Finally, decisions on non-MWC sport competition this fall (Golf in the SLIAC, Hockey in the NCHA, and Handball in the USHA) will be made by the end of the week.

I hope my note finds you safe and healthy and as always, GO FORESTERS!

Jackie

Jackie Slaats
Vice President for Career Advancement and Athletics
847-735-5290
slaats@lakeforest.edu

International Student Issue 7/6/20

Dear Forester Faculty, Staff, and Students,

I am writing to share an announcement released earlier today by the Midwest Conference (MWC). Presidents of the ten member institutions, in coordination with athletic directors, voted this morning to suspend conference competition for fall and winter sports through December 31, 2020. 

The decision, although certainly disappointing news to our Forester student-athletes and coaches and staff, was made in order to protect the health and safety of all student-athletes and their communities and consistent with recent decisions made by several other NCAA and Division III conferences given the rapid spread of COVID-19 across much of the nation.  

Despite this development, league members remain committed to providing the most meaningful athletic engagement possible for student-athletes and as you will read in the MWC FAQ, plans include potential intercollegiate competition in the spring and opportunities for student-athletes to work with their coaches and teammates through practice, small group training, skill development, and strength and conditioning while closely adhering to the most recent Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport guidelines (as outlined by the NCAA Sports Science Institute) and in accordance with agreed upon MWC league protocols.     

Head coaches delivered this news to their teams earlier today and communication is also being sent to parents and athletic alumni, but as always, feel free to contact me or Blake Theisen, interim athletic director, if you have any specific questions about this release or athletics in general.  It is also worth mentioning that earlier this month, the NCAA approved a blanket eligibility waiver for student-athletes that face disruptions due to COVID-19. Click here to read more.  

Finally, decisions on non-MWC sport competition this fall (Golf in the SLIAC, Hockey in the NCHA, and Handball in the USHA) will be made by the end of the week.  

I hope my note finds you safe and healthy and as always, GO FORESTERS!

Jackie 

Jackie Slaats
Vice President for Career Advancement and Athletics

847-735-5290
slaats@lakeforest.edu

Lake Forest College Plan for Fall 2020 Semester in Response to Coronavirus 7/1/2020

Dear Students, faculty, staff, and families,

The College’s plan for the fall semester is attached. Several campus committees have worked diligently to produce the plan, and it is also informed by recent helpful comments from numerous students, parents, and health officials. The plan is comprehensive, but it cannot yet answer all questions, and the College will provide supplemental information as soon as it becomes available. The College will also be prepared to adjust the plan and quickly change direction, if the coronavirus requires us to do so. I am grateful to everyone involved in helping our campus community advance to the level of preparation embodied in this plan. Thanks and best wishes.

Stephen D. Schutt
President
Lake Forest College

Announcing the Academic Calendar and Room Rate 6/19/20

Students and families,

I’m writing with a brief update on the faculty vote regarding the academic calendar for 2020-2021. The faculty voted overwhelmingly in favor of the calendar that I’ll provide for you below, as they believe that these adjustments will preserve and uphold the high quality academic experience that you expect from Lake Forest College, while also compressing the semester to account for the global pandemic that continues to disrupt our lives. Additionally, you’ll find information about room and board rates, reassurances about housing capacity, and a reminder about the Intention Form, below.

Academic Calendar

First, regarding the fall semester 2020, key features include starting classes three days earlier, eliminating fall break, ending in-person instruction on the Friday before Thanksgiving, inserting a week-long Thanksgiving break to transition, and then holding one week of remote instruction and remote finals.  As many other colleges are doing, this plan will eliminate cross-country travel during the semester, compress the overall timeline so that students can get home for a long winter break, while still providing a full academic experience:

Event

Revised Calendar

First Connection arrival day

Sun, Aug 16

First Connection

Mon, Aug 17 – Wed, Aug 19

New student arrival day

Wed, Aug 19

New Student Orientation

Thurs, Aug 20 – Sun, Aug 23

Returning student arrival days

Sat, Aug 22 – Sun, Aug 23

First day of Classes

Mon, Aug 24

Add/Drop Deadline

Mon, Aug 31

Academic Alerts due

Mon, Sep 21

Mid-semester break

None

Automatic “W” and Pass-Fail deadline

Fri, Oct 23

Last day of on-campus instruction

Fri, Nov 20

Residence halls close

TBD

Thanksgiving break

Nov 23-27

Last day of classes

Fri, Dec 4

Final exams

Dec 7-11

Fall 2020 dates for First Connection, New Student Orientation, and returning student move-in are included above.  Arrival dates for student leaders and fall athletes will be announced in the coming days.

Next, regarding the spring semester 2020, key features include a delay in the semester, eliminating spring break, and ending the semester a bit later than before. This plan will allow for re-entry to campus after a majority of the flu season has passed, eliminate cross-country travel during the semester, and compress the overall timeline, while still providing a full academic experience:

Event

Revised Calendar

First day of Classes

Mon, Feb 1st

Add/Drop Deadline

Mon, Feb 8

Academic Alerts due

Mon, Mar 1st

Mid-semester break

None

Automatic “W” and Pass-Fail deadline

Fri, Apr 2

Student Symposium

Held remotely; date TBD, but not on weekday

Last day of classes

Fri, May 7

Final exams

May 10-14

Commencement

TBD, but no later than the weekend of May 22-23

You may have noticed that spring 2021 residential opening/closing dates are not included.  These decisions, along with more details about winter and spring athletics, etc., will be forthcoming. 

Room and Board Rates

Additionally, the College has decided that the Fall 2020 room rate for all students, no matter whether on campus or in a hotel, no matter which room they are in, will be $2,965. This is at the lower end of the previously-published range of rates. This rate will be charged for the Fall 2020 semester as listed in the above academic calendar.  Parkhurst Dining and the Business Office are also working hard on adjustments to meal plan options that will be flexible and responsive to our new COVID-19 situation. Those options will be published as soon as possible, but rest assured that they will not be more expensive than the currently published semester rate for the fall. Those of you who are considering renting off-campus are making year-long lease commitments, and we understand that. The packages awarded to you for Fall 2020 will extend through Spring 2020.  As previously announced, you will be asked to sign a new housing contract/community agreement later in the summer. 

Ensuring You Have a Healthy Place to Live

Many questions have arisen about the College’s plans to reduce density in our residence halls.  The CDC recommends reducing density as the safest option for residential colleges behind learning remotely, and your safety is our top priority. Therefore, we must follow this important guidance and spread out on campus. We will invest college funds into renting hotel rooms for everyone that wants (or needs) to live on campus but for whom there is not space. No one will be left homeless nor turned away. The hotel options will be considered satellite Lake Forest College locations and will be supported as such. 

We wanted you to have this information in your hands as you consider your fall intentions. Here’s your friendly reminder that the Fall 2020 Residential Intention Form is due Wednesday, June 24 at 5pm.

Thank you!

Andrea

__________________________________________

Andrea B. Conner

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College

Fall 2020 Residential Intention Form 6/17/20

Dear students and families,

At the bottom of this email you will find the link for the Fall 2020 Residential Intention Form. Please read this email in its entirety and then discuss it with your family.  Then, please complete the Intention Form by 5pm on Wednesday, June 24. 

We received a couple of ‘frequently asked’ questions from my email on Friday, which I will address here as a supplement to the information you’ve received and the text in the Intention Form.

Decisions

Yes, I’m afraid we really do need you to designate your intentions now, but there will be more information coming your way soon!  Later this week, I will send you the results of the faculty vote on the academic calendar, along with the related changes to early arrival dates for fall athletes, student leaders, and new students.  You’ll also receive the room rate for Fall 2020, which will be on the low end of the range of rates that were previously published. Shortly thereafter, you will receive updates on board (meal) plan options and rates, all of which are similar to our previously published rates.

Academic Instruction

How will courses work? The faculty are being queried right now (concurrently with you) to learn who will be able to teach in person, and who will teach remotely. Therefore, we are still working out the specifics of what the status of each individual course will be, and we expect to have those details ironed out in the coming weeks. We are guided by two priorities: the safety of our community and the quality of the education we offer. So, we will offer some of our courses in person (on campus) in the fall, while others will be offered remotely, with a strong commitment to synchronous instruction. Students who learn remotely will be able to register for all available courses, including those that have a lab, and will be able to complete courses that are taught in-person/on campus from their remote locations. The College will publish a list of which courses will be remote and which will be in person, but your access to courses is guaranteed. Only in rare cases may the content of the course not lend itself to remote instruction, and students will be individually advised as to how to set their academic schedule to ensure progress toward their degree. Furthermore, a student living on campus will likely take some courses by walking to class and some courses remotely, on the computer in their room.  Students who commute but are comfortable learning in person would come to campus for some courses and participate in others via their computer at home.  Students who feel more comfortable learning remotely will do all their courses that way. Once we have the specifics about each course set, students will be able to assess the schedule for which they are registered and see what their combination of in person/remote will be.  Of course, changes will be possible during the Add/Drop period. More information will come soon, but I hope this gives you a sense of our thinking and our priorities.  We are committed to offering our students the best possible education—no matter the teaching format—until we can all be together again.

Accommodations

Supporting our students with disabilities is a priority for us, and we will continue to give personalized attention to the needs of these students.  If you have been working with Disability Services to secure residential accommodations, you can indicate that on the Intention Form and we will continue to partner with Kara Fifield to ensure that your accommodations are met.

International Students:

Returning F-1 international students will want to make efforts to return to the United States to resume classes on-campus, if possible. The U.S. Government has not yet issued guidance to permit international students to continue remote learning in the fall semester. As soon as the College learns that the U.S. government has finalized guidance for the fall semester, we will update F-1 international students with further information.

Hotels & Shuttle

No contracts have been signed yet, but the hotels that are in the running are the Hilton Garden Inn and Residence Inn in Mettawa, and the Staybridge Suites and Homewood Suites in Lincolnshire. We are consulting with the hotels and ITS to ensure appropriate internet service. Socially-distanced busses will run to-and-from campus and the hotel(s) multiple times a day and will be cleaned frequently per COVID-19 protocols; the schedule will be set once we have a better sense of the numbers of students housed there.

Personal Belongings

We encourage all residential students (on-campus or in hotels) to PACK LIGHT.  With very little notice, students may be asked to move, so maximum flexibility is important for fall. For example: Residential students who test positive – or are presumed positive – for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for at least 14 days at home or in a designated location. Hotel students may be welcomed on campus as space becomes available. Residential students may be asked to consolidate. And, at any time, if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs, we may have to pivot to a remote semester. Therefore, we urge students to pack light and bring only the essentials for Fall 2020.

Thanks for reading, folks.  Please continue to send additional questions to coronavirus@lakeforest.edu and we’ll get back to you as soon as humanly possible.

And finally, here is the link to the Fall 2020 Residential Intention Form.  ALL STUDENTS must complete the form by Wednesday, June 24 at 5:00pm.

Best wishes to you and yours. I hope you are well.

Andrea

__________________________________________

Andrea B. Conner

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College

Important Update on Fall Planning 6/12/20

Dear students and families,

I am writing to share that the College’s planning for the fall semester is progressing well, thanks to the hard work of many members of the campus community. A meeting last Friday with the College’s Board of Trustees reaffirmed the direction of our planning for fall: we aspire to have a significant complement of students on campus, and will offer both in-person and remote courses to support the academic program and meet the needs of our students, whether on or off campus.

What follows is a short list of protocols you can expect to be implemented due to COVID-19; a full list of these and other protocols to be released by July 1. As will be obvious to everyone, campus life this fall will be different than in other semesters. We will all be asked to do new and different things to support the good of the community, and everyone on campus will be part of a culture of mutual support, accountability and safety.

All of our planning assumes that the State moves into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan by August. The following is based upon Phase 4 provisions and all local, state, and federal guidance in place at this time, as well as the most current scientific understanding of best practices. The situation, of course, continues to evolve, and our planning will evolve accordingly. 

Here is a preview of what we have planned to date:

  • Students will be directed to sign a new commitment (which, for residential students, will also serve as the new housing contract).
  • Students, faculty, and staff will be required to watch a series of training videos about safe practices regarding the coronavirus before returning to campus (along with previously required modules for EverFi).
  • All community members will be tested for COVID-19 in August through a partnership with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. The test cost will be covered by the College or by insurance, with specific details to follow as we move closer to the testing dates. After August, testing will also be readily available during the fall semester for those who are symptomatic or in other situations where testing is recommended.
  • All students, faculty and staff will receive Lake Forest College-branded cloth masks and refillable personal hand sanitizer containers before the start of the semester. 
  • A group of College staff members will serve as contact tracers, and are receiving summer training to equip the College to efficiently and effectively manage positive cases. 
  • The Glen Rowan House will serve as our dedicated isolation facility for students who test positive or are presumed positive. Glen Rowan will be reserved for this purpose and specific isolation guidelines will be followed.
  • Those who are determined to have significant exposure to someone with COVID-19 will be asked to quarantine at home or ‘in place’ in their residence hall rooms. Specific guidelines will be followed. For students, this will be made possible through reducing residence hall density. 
  • We expect significantly fewer students will reside on campus in the fall semester, and more details on the fall semester residential plan will be detailed below.
  • Students, faculty, and staff will be required to submit a daily temperature check and symptoms monitoring through a free, convenient smartphone app. This will be supplemented through additional temperature checks in public areas. Assuming fall sports move forward as planned, similar safety precautions will be created and applied. 
  • Only students will have access to the dining hall; capacity will be limited and students will sit six feet or more apart.  There will be “to go” options for most meals.  
  • Specific guidelines on what gatherings will be allowed will come later in the summer, but all events and gatherings will be limited to fewer than 50 people, with six feet of distance in place. 
  • Per CDC guidelines, masks will be required inside buildings at all times (unless alone in an office or residence hall room) and also outside when 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained.
  • Absent special circumstances and advance permission, students will not be allowed to visit any residence hall other than the one in which they live.
  • Campus guests will be strictly prohibited from visiting residence halls, the library, and other campus buildings. Decisions about athletic competitions, spaces, and spectators are forthcoming.
  • A variety of academic and other building protocols will decrease the risk of spreading the virus, including designated entrances and exits, limits on elevators, one-way stairwells, turning off water fountains, and a proliferation of sanitizer/wipes.
  • Classroom capacities have been adjusted in keeping with reduced density, social distancing, and other public health protocols. Aramark will provide additional cleaning services to maintain clean classroom environments. 
  • Aramark will also increase cleaning in public areas and shared residence hall bathrooms, but students, staff, and faculty will also have more responsibility to keep their own work spaces clean and sanitary.
  • Students in residence halls will have ready access to sanitizing cleaning materials. All department offices will have sanitizer and needed cleaning supplies purchased and distributed by the College. 

Certainly, some notable decisions have not yet been finalized.  For example:

  • The faculty will soon vote on a new academic calendar that compresses the fall semester. New start and end dates for the semester (and their impact on break periods and orientation) will be published by July 1.
  • The staff and coaches in Athletics are in close communication with the Midwest Conference and other colleges as we make preparations for fall 2020 sports. No decisions have yet been finalized regarding practices, competitions, and travel, but we expect these details to be available by July 1.

Finally, and most importantly for today’s communication:  students and families are advised that we will soon begin a process that reduces the residential density of our campus, which is recommended by the CDC for colleges and universities. Here are more details:  

  •  We will begin a new housing contract process based upon the new room capacity guidelines. All previous room selections/assignments and housing contracts for 2020-2021 are now voided and will be replaced.
  • 761 residential spaces will be available on campus during the fall semester, which is a temporary decrease from the approximately 1150 spaces we typically use.
  •  On-campus residents will have private, or semi-private, rooms. Quads are now doubles, doubles are singles, and triples were reduced to either doubles or singles depending on the square footage.
  •  Room rates will be similar, but will be re-released officially in July, along with any adjustments to meal plan options and rates, before you are asked to sign a new housing contract. 
  • Students can cancel signed housing contracts in favor of commuting or learning remotely at any time before moving in, without penalty or fees.
  • Priority for on-campus rooms will be given to new students, international and domestic students who live at a great distance from campus, and then seniors.
  • Rooms will be initially assigned by Residence Life in July based upon preferences previously gathered, and an opportunity to change/swap rooms will be offered in late summer.
  •  Roommates will only be allowed in quads or triples; students will have an opportunity to request this arrangement.
  •  Restrooms will be assigned to decrease the number of students using them.
  • To address the reduced density of on-campus housing, we will supplement our on-campus option with modern and attractive local hotels at a similar room rate and provide transportation to campus. The hotels we have identified will primarily have single rooms; some will have kitchens; all will have A/C and housekeeping service once per week.
  • Additionally, more local students will need to commute to campus for the fall semester. Students who commute will keep all of their financial aid, but have the room charges removed from their account. Additionally, vehicle registration fees will be waived for all commuting students.
  • Finally, some students will elect to learn remotely (i.e. from home) due to their own situation. Students who learn remotely will also keep all of their financial aid, but have the room charges removed from their account.

Students, now that you have been informed of the cornerstones of our plan, you will receive a link to a form next Wednesday, June 17 that will ask you to state your intentions for the fall. Please discuss this with your family so that you will be prepared to answer whether you intend to:

  • Stay home and learn remotely?
  • Commute from home to campus?
  • Live/rent off-campus and commute?
  • Express interest in the hotel option?
  • Indicate preference for on-campus residence hall options?
  • Designate roommate preferences for multi-bedroom spaces on campus, or multi-room hotels?

We understand that many of you will continue to have questions as the coronavirus situation continues to evolve. The College is committed to providing additional information as soon as it becomes available, and as noted above, a full list of protocols will be published by July 1. For now you can direct individual questions to coronavirus@lakeforest.edu. Answers to questions will be provided as promptly as possible.

Best wishes,
Andrea Conner

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College

Fall Semester Planning 5/14/20

Lake Forest College is planning to resume classes on campus in the Fall 2020 Semester.  Our academic program, activities, relationships, and discoveries are all deeply connected to our beautiful campus, and our students want to live, grow, and learn here, not in a hundred other scattered locations.

We are also committed to the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.  With their well-being firmly in mind, the College is working hard on preparations for the fall semester.

Three planning teams are meeting day by day on those preparations:

  • The Campus Spaces Team is analyzing every academic, administrative, residential, and recreational building.  To maintain social distancing in each building, the team is developing specific rules to govern the building’s activities, occupancy limits, traffic patterns, ventilation, and cleaning protocols.
  • The Campus Community Team is preparing for life on campus, including testing, screening, contact tracing, masks and physical distancing, and adjustments to large-scale events and gatherings.
  • The Transition Support Team is actively supporting faculty as they prepare for fall classes.

In addition to these preparations, the College expects to receive specific guidance from the State of Illinois about safety precautions for the fall semester.  Sixty Illinois colleges and universities have formally requested that guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Board of Higher Education, and we expect to receive the guidance within the next several weeks.

The College also follows all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thanks to our fortunate location 30 miles north of Chicago, the College is blessed to have outstanding hospitals and other medical facilities almost literally on our doorstep.  The acclaimed, new Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital is only three miles from our campus, and the North Shore Health System’s Highland Park Hospital is only four miles away.

Even as the College prepares for an on-campus fall semester, we are also actively, responsibly planning for contingencies outside our control. The College expects to announce its final fall semester plan by the end of June.

Stephen D. Schutt
President
Lake Forest College

Free Summer Courses, Graduation Plans, and Summer Programs 4/15/20

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As we move into the second half of April, I am pleased to share several positive announcements.

Free Summer Course

Thanks to a lot of quick, effective work by the Transition Support Team, I am delighted to announce that every Lake Forest College student will have an opportunity to enroll in a free, full-credit course this summer.  The College is offering this special opportunity in response to the financial challenges that many students and families are now experiencing due to the coronavirus.

This free course is available to current and transfer students, including those who are behind on credits for graduation as well as those who are on track.  More than 40 different course offerings will be available in our popular May, June, and July sessions.  The course schedule can be accessed here: 
https://www.lakeforest.edu/academics/summer/session/classes.php
More details about registration will be sent to all students very soon.

New first-year students will also be invited to take a First Year Summer course for free. In this innovative new program, a slate of compelling First Year Studies courses will be offered in June and July.  Taught by experienced First Year Studies faculty, these courses will be offered to all new students who submit deposits to join the College.  The program will provide an excellent introduction to the College, and new students who complete a summer course will gain an opening in the fall semester to fill with another course they find interesting.  A list of all available First Year Summer courses will soon be posted on the College’s website.

All summer classes in the May, June, and July summer terms will be held online.  We have made this decision so that students and faculty can make firm summer plans with certainty, regardless of any COVID-19 complications.

Graduation

The College has developed exciting plans to recognize our 2020 seniors and graduate degree recipients in two stages.  First, on Saturday, May 9, we will hold a virtual “Senior Celebration” to mark the important day when our graduates would otherwise cross the Ravinia stage.  The College will post a video that morning featuring photos of graduates, congratulatory remarks, and a variety of campus scenes and events.  We are mailing caps and gowns to students at home this week, and we hope they will dress in their regalia on May 9, gather with their families, and use social media throughout the day to post photos and content to complement the morning video.

Second, I am pleased to announce that we will hold a special fall Commencement on campus on Friday afternoon, October 9, the first day of Homecoming Weekend.  We hope that all of our 2020 graduates will return to campus, receive diplomas, be recognized for their achievements, and hear the applause that would have echoed at Ravinia if we could have held our traditional ceremony.  Other senior events will be also scheduled throughout the weekend, and more information will be provided in days and weeks ahead.

Summer Camps, Conferences, and Research

The current Illinois stay-at-home order is set to expire on Thursday, April 30.  With that date in view, the College plans to wait until Friday, May 1, to decide whether any summer camps, conferences, or on-campus student-faculty research projects can go forward.  We hope the answer may be yes for at least some of these activities.  Richter Scholars, in particular, will have the opportunity to work remotely if their projects make that possible, or to defer their projects to the summer of 2021 and become second-year Richter Scholars then.  The College will decide by May 1 if a shortened, late-summer Richter residential program can proceed on campus.

Thanks to everyone for your attention, and best wishes for your continuing good health and safety.

Stephen D. Schutt
President
Lake Forest College

Campus Message at the End of Week Two 4/3/20

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We have now completed two weeks in our new way of life and changed mode of instruction at the College.  I greatly appreciate the way everyone is handling the new demands thrust upon you.  My hopes and best wishes for good health and safety go to all members of our College community.

The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc around the world as the number of confirmed cases rises every day.  Despite that undeniable fact, I am encouraged by positive developments that also occur every day.  More than 200,000 people have now recovered from the virus, as news media reported yesterday.  Nearby Abbott Labs has produced a diagnostic test that may be able to identify the COVID-19 virus in only five minutes. And scientists around the world have joined together in remarkable research collaborations to develop effective vaccines.

The Illinois stay-at-home order — like orders in most other states — is now in effect through April 30, and may be extended even longer.  As we all continue to adjust to our constrained circumstances, I want to highlight several examples of the helpful actions and important work that so many of you are providing.

This week faculty voted to make all courses default to pass-fail this semester, in recognition of the unfamiliar pressures on students negotiating online courses for the first time.  Students will be able to convert a course pass to a letter grade if they choose.

The Gates Center and other campus offices have collaborated to launch a terrific new Virtual Engagement webpage to help students stay connected to each other and the College.  Students can use links on the page to connect with each other and find sources of virtual entertainment.  New links can and will be added to the page:  please make suggestions.

The ITS help desk has recently fielded more than 700 requests, tirelessly helping students and faculty utilize Zoom and the other technologies these days require.

Relay for Life will take place this year as a virtual event.  Kudos to the student leaders of this event — one of the College’s most inspiring traditions — for making it go forward.

Faculty are developing great new ways to address the changed world we now inhabit.  An intriguing example announced yesterday is ES 382: The Political Ecology of Infectious Diseases, to be taught next fall by Professor Glenn Adelson.

Our Admissions Office hosted 42 students on virtual campus visits this week, as the Office continued its hard, effective work to recruit the graduating Class of 2024.

The Transition Support Team published yesterday a new advising manual — Advising During COVID-19 — that will give faculty timely help in advising students through these unprecedented days.

Although internships and job searches look a lot different this spring, Career Advancement Center (CAC) staff are hard at work guiding students through virtual meetings and online career planning and preparation. With CAC’s help, students can pursue available internships, implement job searches, and submit graduate school applications.  Career-A-Palooza, the large CAC spring program, is now set to go forward in a new virtual format.  CAC also continues to connect students with the broad network of Forester alumni and employers, and is launching the Foresters CAREer Initiative that will exclusively connect current seniors to influential alumni and College trustees for personal support and guidance. 

Our College community is also reaching out to help others beyond campus in numerous ways.  As one illustration, Lillard Science Center faculty recently donated their supply of masks, gloves, and disposable gowns to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.

Thanks once more to everyone for your good will, dedication, and support for each other in this very trying time.  I look forward to seeing you soon (most likely through Zoom!).

Stephen D. Schutt
President
Lake Forest College

Campus Update 3/30/20

Students, staff, and faculty,

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Lake Forest vicinity continues to grow, and we anticipated that one or more members of our campus community might also test positive. Over the weekend, a Lake Forest College employee has now been confirmed to have the virus, which is the first confirmed case at the College.  Following guidance from the Lake County Public Health Department and the CDC, the employee is self-isolating at home. I’m sure you join me in wishing them a speedy recovery to good health.

The Lake County Health Department, in coordination with the College, has conducted a risk assessment and determined that no staff, faculty, or student had close contact with the employee (officially defined as being within 6 feet for 10 minutes or longer).  As a result, all are considered to be at low risk and therefore not recommended to self-quarantine.  In the last 14 days, the employee was only on campus for one day, and maintained physical distancing.  The already-established careful cleaning protocols in the affected areas have been deliberately increased to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. We urge and expect all of you – whether on campus or not – to continue to be diligent in your hand washing and physical distancing practices.

Following privacy guidelines, the College does not intend to identify the affected employee, their department, and the building(s) they have been in.  We anticipate that this will not be the only case of COVID-19 within our community, and we will not send general notifications of newly identified cases on campus if/as they arise.  In any and all cases, we will work with the Lake County Health Department to identify and inform those members of our community who are recommended to self-quarantine. For today, we want to inform you of this first confirmed case in our campus community, and encourage everyone to keep the employee and family in our thoughts.

For employees: If you or someone in your household is ill or being tested for COVID-19, please refer to the Human Resources FAQ. This document reminds you that, in such event, you should notify your department leader or manager, and HR Director Agnes Stepek. They will put you in contact with Kathy Salinger, our Nurse Practitioner at Health & Wellness, for continued consultation. If you are in self-quarantine, please log it on this confidential form.

For students:  If you are ill or being tested for COVID-19, please email Kathy Salinger at salinger@lakeforest.edu. For more general inquiries, call Health & Wellness at 847.735.5240 and leave a message for a return call.

We continue to update www.lakeforest.edu/coronavirus with these campus messages and other resources, and any questions can be directed to coronavirus@lakeforest.edu.

Thinking of you,

Andrea

__________________________________________

Andrea B. Conner

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College

Campus Message at the End of Week One 3/27/20

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

At the end of our first week in this new chapter of College life, I want to thank everyone for your continued resilience in the face of adversity.  The coronavirus has changed all of our plans for the semester and has dramatically altered our lives.  Given the extent of our changed circumstances, in fact, I think this week has gone very well, and I applaud your dedication, hard work, and courage.

The sudden shift of courses from on-campus to online instruction has been challenging for all students and faculty. We are required to teach and learn in new and unfamiliar ways, from new locations, and that’s not easy for anyone.  I am heartened, all the same, by numerous reports of productive, imaginative classes held this week.  And I’ve been delighted to hear from students – who may be thousands of miles apart – about their pleasure in seeing each other on-screen in Zoom sessions.

For the small group of students who remain at the College, “campus life” is now an oxymoron.  Buildings are closed, events have been canceled, and gatherings are prohibited under the Governor’s shelter-in-place order.  I know it is especially difficult to stay away from each other in an anxious time when we most want the support that friendships and close contact can provide.  For now, though, we all have no choice.  There is a rising number of COVID-19 cases in the local community, and we all must maintain the social distance that is essential to help slow the spread of the virus.  Until restrictions can be eased, I urge you individually – not in groups – to step outside, breathe fresh air, and raise your spirits.  If you walk or jog on campus, you will likely see my two dogs walking me!

I want to warmly commend the staff from Public Safety, Residence Life, Facilities Management, Aramark and Parkhurst who continue to work on campus.  We are all in your debt.  As long as we are in this crisis, I know you will diligently support, protect, maintain, and clean our campus, and prepare daily meals for the students still here. 

For members of the Class of 2020 and your families, I am deeply sorry that we have had to postpone Commencement.  I assure you that the College will hold a future graduation ceremony, as Dean Conner confirmed in her message this week.  The course of COVID-19 is still too unpredictable for us to say when, where or how that ceremony will take place, but I promise that it will happen.  As soon as possible, given the course of events, we will provide more details.

I encourage everyone to realize that despite the current upheaval, vital College work is moving forward.  By way of illustration, our Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is actively recruiting a strong entering class for next fall. With great support from faculty, coaches, and staff from other offices, admissions staff are communicating with prospective students every day and offering them a Virtual Visit Experience that provides the same options and interactions they would receive in an actual campus visit.  Despite challenges that lie ahead, we now have more new student commitments to join us next fall than we did on this date last year.  For current students, in addition, our Career Advancement Center has facilitated the transition of 100 academic internships to remote learning, and is actively helping students – especially seniors – in virtual career preparation and planning. 

As a final word, I recognize that the coronavirus is a unique source of anxiety for everyone.  We do not know when, where, or whom it will strike, how long it will last, or how damaging its effects will be.  We cannot control those things, and that’s unnerving.

We can take comfort, though, if we follow the steps that public health officials advise:  washing hands, maintaining social distance, staying home.  These actions can make a big difference:  they can help obstruct the path of the virus, and they are well within our control.

I wish everyone good health and – to the maximum extent possible in this difficult time – freedom from worry.  Perhaps you can find solace, as I have, in this line from the poet Claudia Rankine:  “A father tells his son the thing he regrets most about his life is the amount of time he has spent worrying about it.”

Do your best not to worry.  Stay active, stay in virtual contact with each other, and keep your spirits up.  We will all get through this.

Stephen D. Schutt
President
Lake Forest College

Campus Update 3/25/20

Students, staff, and faculty,

Today’s campus update is brief, but please take note of these three important items:

UPDATE: Reduction of Room and Board Charges

The Business Office will apply reductions and credits to individual student accounts BY FRIDAY.  These changes will be for room and board and vehicle registration fees.  Please see more details and FAQs under Resources for Students on the coronavirus webpage.  Students will receive an email from studentaccounts@lakeforest.edu when the adjustments are made.

Reminder about Library Services

The library will scan course reserve material and items from our general book collection. To submit a scanning request, fill out this form.  For help from a librarian about research, email a librarian. Students may also schedule appointments with librarians on Zoom or on the phone. For updates, check out Library Services during COVID-19. Library material will not be considered overdue and fines will not be collected.

New Mental Health Support Option

As our community adapts in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is normal to feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. As part of our commitment to our students’ whole health, we are working with SilverCloud, a clinically proven online mental health platform, to offer programs that build resilience, help you manage anxiety or depression, and help you develop skills to manage stress and sleep issues. Based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness and positive psychology, these action-oriented programs build self-awareness and self-management skills for your emotional health.  To sign-up, please visit the [gsh.silvercloudhealth.com/signup/]SilverCloud webpage and choose Lake Forest College from the dropdown list to get started. Please note, to confirm your eligibility, you will need to use your school-issued mx.lakeforest.edu email address. This service is confidential and  your e-mail address will not be used outside of the SilverCloud platform.  If you have questions, please contact Dr. Mary Grigar at mgrigar@lakeforest.edu.

Thank you, and take care of yourselves,

Andrea

__________________________________________

Andrea B. Conner

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College

Campus Update - Future Communications and Commencement 3/24/20

Students, faculty, and staff,

Communication

Today marks our second day of classes in our new remote learning environment, and the first day that the residence halls are closed (except to those with ​special exceptions to stay). It seems fitting, then, that we mark this day as a chance to shift our communication back toward our more typical formats.  For example:

  • This is the last time that we will accompany ​these daily campus emails with a Rave alert via text message, barring any new developments​ that require text alerts. Campus updates that relate to COVID-19 will continue to be posted on www.lakeforest.edu/coronavirus, and – when appropriate – the Parent & Family Facebook page, but we will save ​the Rave texting system for true emergencies from here on out.
  • There will continue to be occasions for me, Dean Schneiderman, or President Schutt to address the campus on ​campus-wide ​matters. But, you’ll start to see departments communicating with students, faculty, and staff, via email as they typically would.  Additionally, The Weekly News will start up again next week, and we encourage all community members to read this thoroughly as their primary source of news. Faculty and staff can email items for the Weekly News to the Office of Communications and Marketing at news@lakeforest.edu or files/photos can be shared on OneDrive to news@lakeforest.edu.
Commencement

Finally, we want to address the multitude of questions we have received regarding Commencement and other senior events. In times of change and grief, it’s normal to look to these traditions as opportunities to come together and reunite our community.  In his March 16 email, President Schutt said:

It is especially painful for me to announce, in this regard, that Ravinia Festival Park has had to cancel all events until June, including the College’s May 9 Commencement.  I cannot yet say where or when it will happen, but the College is committed to holding a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020.  At the earliest opportunity, after COVID-19 concerns have dissipated, the College will provide details about that ceremony.

It is still too early to predict how this national and global public health crisis will unfold ​and finally end. and therefore we are ​not yet able to specify a date or format for a rescheduled Commencement, Senior Honors Convocation, or Leadership Awards Ceremony. However, we have advised faculty and staff in relevant roles to continue to a) select a senior class speaker, b) review and select leadership awards, and c) identify seniors for special departmental honors.  ​As soon as it is possible, we will make sure to honor these students, alongside our graduating seniors, with a truly celebratory spirit.  ​Please trust in the College’s commitment to these important traditions that are fundamental to the Lake Forest College experience.

Best wishes,

Andrea

__________________________________________

Andrea B. Conner

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College

Campus Update - Food Service Practices 3/23/20

Students, faculty, and staff,

Most of you are reading this email from other cities, states, or even countries now that we have moved to online learning. Now that the Governor’s stay-at-home order has gone into effect here in Illinois, we’ve seen a decrease in traffic around campus and in the city of Lake Forest as people work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The state expects the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois to increase now that testing has become more available. All students, faculty, and staff – and especially students who live on campus – should pay close attention to any symptoms they are experiencing. If you would like to discuss your symptoms, please call your primary health care provider. Students can also call 847.735.5240 to leave a message for the Health & Wellness staff, who are working remotely.

Questions have arisen about health practices at Boomers/The Market as we continue to serve food for students who are approved to stay on campus.  Parkhurst Dining cares about your wellness, and Parkhurst staff are in consultation with industry leaders and health professionals about our food preparation standards.  Here are the answers to a couple of commonly asked questions:

  1. Why DON’T we wear masks?

a. First of all, masks are in desperately low supply nationally, and must be preserved for first responders and health professionals. Also, surgical masks lose protective value quickly, within 15 to 30 minutes of wear, and are not designed, in any case, to keep small airborne viral particles out.  Finally, if any Parkhurst staff are sick, they are staying home and are not serving students.

2. Why DO we wear gloves at Boomers but NOT at the Market?

a. It’s standard food preparation practice to wear gloves, and thus the staff in Boomers are wearing gloves, which they frequently replace during a shift.  The staff at the Market are not wearing gloves because they are not engaged in food preparation.  Given the nature of their work, it is preferable for them to regularly sanitize their hands, which they do.  For staff in the Market – as for the rest of us — wearing gloves is no more helpful than exposing your bare skin. Germs that land on your skin can land on gloves, and if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, the virus could be transmitted from either your skin or your glove.  Therefore, our focus is on washing hands and using hand sanitizer – even on top of gloves.

Thanks for reading. Barring any other important new developments, tomorrow’s campus update will focus on Commencement, Senior Honors Convocation, Leadership Awards, and the like. Thank you!

Andrea

__________________________________________

Andrea B. Conner

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College

Illinois Shelter in Place Order 3/20/20

To the Lake Forest College Community,

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced this afternoon a statewide “shelter-in-place” order directing all state residents to stay home, in order to increase “social distancing” and slow the spread of COVID-19.  The order, which takes effect at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, March 21, and runs through April 7, only allows residents to leave home for essential purposes such as buying groceries, filling pharmacy prescriptions, fueling up their cars, and the like.  In addition, the order only permits essential employees to be present at their employment sites.

Essential Employees

For Lake Forest College, in the context of the shelter-in-place order, essential employees are only those whose roles affect security, safety, or the College’s physical operations.  All essential employees, defined in this way, will be directly notified by their supervisors of their responsibility to come to campus.  If any essential employee is experiencing health symptoms that could be related to COVID-19, please notify your supervisor and Director of Human Resources Agnes Stepek, and do not come to campus. The College is committed to the safety and well-being of all employees.

Working at Home

All faculty and staff who are not deemed essential, as defined above, must perform their work remotely from their homes.  To facilitate working at home, please take with you – either today or tomorrow before 5 p.m. – the work materials you will need.  If you lack a home computer to do your work, please arrange with your supervisor to take home a College-owned desktop computer and other necessary equipment.  Similarly, if you lack internet access at home, please notify your supervisor and the ITS help desk so that an appropriate arrangement can be made.  Here is a link regarding off-campus access to the campus network:  https://www.lakeforest.edu/offices/it/faculty-and-staff-network-storage/.  In addition, here is a link to the ITS help desk:  ithelp@mx.lakeforest.edu

Supervisors should work proactively with all employees to form solid plans for their work at home.  Supervisors are encouraged to consider special assignments, projects, job-related reading, and training that employees can undertake at home.

The College intends to continue paying faculty and staff on their regular pay schedules, regardless of whether they are working on campus or at home.  We recognize that the sudden, significant operational changes now underway will be unsettling for College employees, and I thank everyone in advance for your cooperation.  Please contact Agnes Stepek if you need help in dealing with any employment-related issue.

Students Removing Belongings and Exiting Campus

Consistent with the shelter-in-place order, the College is preparing to close campus buildings, including residence halls.  The College urges students and parents to retrieve belongings from residence hall rooms before tomorrow at 5 p.m., if at all possible, and certainly no later than this coming Monday, March 23, at 5 p.m.  Thereafter, students will be given a subsequent opportunity to retrieve belongings after the shelter-in-place order is lifted.  Any student in this situation must contact reslife@lakeforest.edu to alert us that you will be temporarily leaving your belongings in your room.  There will be no penalty for this.

For students retrieving belongings over the weekend, please remember to formally check out by returning your key to Rosemary House between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., or to Public Safety after hours. Should you name a proxy to remove your belongings, please ask the proxy to mail your room key in a padded envelope, along with your name, to Lake Forest College, Attn: Residence Life, 555 N. Sheridan Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045.

As COVID-19 realities continue to change day by day, the College will make every effort to keep you informed.  Thanks to everyone for your understanding, cooperation, and good will.

Stephen D. Schutt
President
Lake Forest College

Campus Update - Room and Board Charges 3/19/20

Students, faculty, and staff,

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to disrupt our daily life, there are now approximately 300 confirmed cases in Illinois, including cases in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and at colleges and universities in Chicago.  All of us in our campus community – students, parents, faculty, staff, and families – must accept and shoulder new burdens and disruptions in order to keep our community safe. I have seen many moving examples of Foresters helping each other in recent days, and I am confident that we’ll get through this. Thanks for reading today’s update in its entirety.

Reduction of Room and Board Charges

For all students who received room and board charges for this semester and who are now required to leave campus, the College will reduce those charges.  The reduction will be customized for each resident student based on the specific room type and meal plan selected this semester.  Unused meal plan Boomer Bucks will be rolled over to the fall semester, and seniors with unused Boomer Bucks will receive a credit on their student account. Students who receive approved exceptions to continue residing on campus this semester will not be reimbursed for room and board, and will continue to have access to their existing meal plan. 

The Business Office will begin applying reductions and credits to individual student accounts next week.  Please see more details and FAQs under Resources for Students on the coronavirus webpage.

Please remember that all Business Office functions will be remote effective Monday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m. You can contact the Business Office employees by phone or email. Contact information can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/offices/business/

Questions about student accounts can be made through email to StudentAccounts@lakeforest.edu.

Self-Quarantine Requirement

Following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC), travelers to the U.S. who are returning or coming for the first time from any country under a CDC Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) are expected to self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of whether that direction is specifically given to them at the U.S. point of entry. Lake Forest College expects that all employees returning to the College or coming for the first time who meet this criteria – or, who have been exposed to the Coronavirus – will self-quarantine for 14 days prior to coming to the campus. The HR FAQ includes additional details regarding self-quarantine. All other contracted workers who work on campus (Aramark, Parkhurst, etc.) who meet the CDC criteria are expected to follow the same 14-day self-quarantine requirement.

In the early stages of this pandemic, we must do our best to track who from our community is self-isolating due to a concern about exposure. Please log your decision to self-quarantine through a confidential form here as it will help us protect the health of all of our community members.

Student Exceptions to Campus Departure Requirements

Those students who have requested an exception to either a) delay picking up their belongings or b) remain in campus housing after next Monday, March 23 have received their notice from the staff in Student Affairs. If this applies to you, please see your email for more information.

——-

We encourage you to continue visiting www.lakeforest.edu/coronavirus for a record of previous correspondence, updated hotel/moving/shipping information, facility hours, and other valuable resources.  Questions can be directed to coronavirus@lakeforest.edu; we have a team responding to those emails as quickly as is possible.

Thank you,

Andrea

__________________________________________

Andrea B. Conner

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College

Campus Update - Building Access and Hours 3/18/20

Students, faculty, and staff,

Today’s campus update relates to building access and departmental hours. The changes in facility hours announced here will contribute to the nation’s efforts to reduce contact, increase social distancing, and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.  As you will read, some immediate changes will take place this week, and more dramatic changes will take effect once the residence halls close next Monday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, please continue to keep close watch on your email for a campus update each afternoon.

Updates to Current Campus Building Access Through Next Monday, March 23:
  • Public Safety is open 24/7 every day.  Call 847.735.5555 or visit the center on South campus.
  • Rosemary House is open 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. every day (including Saturday and Sunday, March 21-22) to help with move-outs.
  • The Mohr Student Center is open 24/7 every day. The Market is open from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. daily. Boomers is also open from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. daily according to the following schedule:  breakfast 8:00 – 10:30 a.m., lunch/deli 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; dinner/deli 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • The Sports and Recreation Center is closed for workout purposes, effective immediately.  The facility will remain open through to permit retrieval of belongings from 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, through Monday, March 23, but all workout areas are now closed.
  • Donnelly & Lee Library, including the Circulation Desk, is currently open via keycard access 8:30am - 4:30pm, and the 24 hour area remains open via keycard access as normal. Students will not receive overdue notices, fines, or bills from the library or I-Share. For updates about I-Share borrowing, course reserves, research help, and hours check out Library Services During Covid-19.  This page will be updated regularly.
  • The Health and Wellness center is open from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, but can no longer accept in-person appointments. Same-day consultations will occur by phone; please call 847.735.5240 or email healthandwellness@lakeforest.edu. The staff are exploring options to be able to offer some remote phone- or video-based services that are aligned with the regulations pertaining to clinical practice in the State of Illinois as well as professional ethical guidelines. More information will be forthcoming.
  • The Business Office is closing its cashier services. All reimbursement requests of all amounts can be submitted to Accounts Payable via email to AccountsPayable@lakeforest.edu. Be sure receipts, account numbers and approval are included in any attachment or email message. Obtaining approval via email is acceptable. In order to make payment, you can do so electronically by making a one-time payment at https://lakeforest.afford.com/.  Please email studentaccounts@lakeforest.edu for questions about payment options.
  • Mail Services is extending their hours this week to 10:00 a.m. –  5:00 p.m. in order to assist with shipping.  Many of you have questions about forwarding mail or packages that have recently arrived at Mail Services; students who are still moving out should go to Mail Services to grab their mail.  The staff there are working on a plan to address mail forwarding next week once they can turn their attention away from shipping student belongings.  Faculty and staff should be advised that Mail Services is suspending delivery to campus offices, and faculty/staff who need mail forwarded should contact stanley@mx.lakeforest.edu.
  • Unless otherwise specified, above, campus buildings are operating under their typical academic year hours and access.
Campus Building Access Beginning Monday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m.:

Be advised that effective Monday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m., building access will change dramatically until further notice. The exterior entrance doors to every academic, administrative, and residential building on campus will be locked 24/7 until further notice except for the Public Safety Center, which will remain open and staffed around the clock. 

  • Faculty and staff that have keys to their offices and building will be able to move freely in and out of their offices as needed.  Any previous access that students were granted in these areas will be terminated, however, and faculty and staff should attempt to retrieve any keys that were given to these students.
  • Faculty and staff will need to use their college ID card to gain access to the Donnelly and Lee Library and the Mohr Student Center/Commons.  Anyone whose ID card fails to work will have to contact the Public Safety Center at 847-735-5555 for assistance.
  • All student college ID card “swipe” access will be turned off until further notice and reset to allow only those students who have been granted permission to remain on campus the ability to access their residence hall, the Donnelly and Lee Library, and the Mohr Student Center/Commons.  Anyone whose ID card fails to work will have to contact the Public Safety Center at 847-735-5555 for assistance.
  • Commuting and local students will not have access to any campus buildings and cannot visit campus until further notice.

Once again, these regrettable changes are required to help reduce contact, increase social distancing, and reduce the transmission of COVID-19. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we take these steps to support the health and safety of everyone in our community.

Andrea

__________________________________________

Andrea B. Conner

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College

COVID-19 Update 3/17/20

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

Several updates have become necessary since yesterday’s email to campus.  We encourage you to re-read yesterday’s message for clarity, but here are some additional notes:

Communication

For at least the next week, we will be sending daily campus updates via email and the website www.lakeforest.edu/coronavirus

Leaving Campus

As announced yesterday, students are required to vacate campus no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23.  If a student cannot return to campus to pack and remove their belongings, there are options listed in yesterday’s email along with an opportunity to request an exception.

Any room key that must be returned by mail should be sent in a padded envelope, along with student name, residence hall, and room number, to Lake Forest College, Attn: Residence Life, 555 N. Sheridan Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045

Mail Services is extending their hours this week to 10:00 a.m. –  5:00 p.m. daily, through Monday, March 23 in order to assist with shipping.  Many of you have questions about forwarding mail or packages that have recently arrived at Mail Services; the staff there are working on a plan to address those matters next week once they can turn their attention away from shipping student belongings. 

Rented microfridges and bed lofts may be left in rooms.  Lofts should be disassembled and microfridges should be cleaned, defrosted, unplugged, and doors should be left open.  Additional questions should be directed to Bedloft Customer Service.

Students may maintain rented textbooks. Follett Bookstore will make arrangements for their return by mail. Questions can be directed to 0148mgr@follett.com.

The Gates Center will be coordinating free, limited shuttle service to O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week at 9am, Noon, and 3pm.  Capacity will be reduced in order to observe proper social distancing.  If you are interested in this service, please email gatescenter@lakeforest.edu ASAP with your flight information and a representative will respond to you individually.

A modest meal plan will be provided by Parkhurst Dining for the limited number of students who are approved to remain on campus.

Over the course of this week, students are highly encouraged to observe social distancing and gathering in groups of fewer than 10 people.

Academic Calendar Update

Student Symposium on April 7 has been cancelled, and will now be used as an instructional day.  The first Reading Day, April 29, will also be used as an instructional day.

The deadline for adjusting courses to Pass/Fail has been moved to the last day of classes, April 29.

Campus Facilities and Offices

Beginning today, the College will begin to lock campus buildings to prevent community access.  More information regarding specific building hours will be shared tomorrow, but in the meantime students should be sure to carry their ID card to swipe into relevant buildings.

Tomorrow’s update will include a comprehensive list of facility hours and departmental closures.

Commencement

Since the federal government has advised against gatherings of 10 or more people indefinitely, the College is not yet in a position to reschedule Commencement. We understand the deep importance of celebrating the graduation and accomplishments of the Class of 2020 in a meaningful way, and the College looks forward to sharing plans for that as soon as appropriate.

Refunds

A memo from the Business Office regarding partial refunds for room, board, fees, and parking permits will be forthcoming later this week.  Boomer Bucks, flex dollars and commuter plans will all roll forward to fall semester.  Seniors will be refunded their unused Boomer Bucks via a credit on their student account.

——

Finally, we realize the added anxiety recent decisions have placed on members of our campus community.  We are committed to do all that we can to communicate with you in a clear and consistent manner as one way to help ease your concerns.  Best wishes to all of you for your health and safety.  Thank you for your patience during this difficult period.

Andrea

__________________________________________

Andrea B. Conner

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College

COVID-19 Update: Courses Taught Remotely and Students Leaving Campus 3/16/2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

These are very challenging times as COVID-19 sweeps across the nation, causing widespread anxiety and upending all of our plans.  We must react to the demands of the virus as quickly and effectively as possible, and I am proud of the many ways that all of you are doing so.  The College will continue to keep you informed through our website, www.lakeforest.edu/coronavirus, and I encourage you to email any specific questions about this message today to coronavirus@lakeforest.edu.  We will make every effort to respond within 24 hours.  Thanks once more for the concern you are showing for each other, and for the mutual support you are providing.

Remote Course Delivery

After several days of effort and planning by the College’s Crisis Team, and with vital work underway by College faculty, I write now to announce that all course instruction will take place remotely for the rest of this semester once classes resume next Monday, March 23.  No courses will be taught on campus; all will be taught through online or distance-learning means.  Students will receive further instructions from faculty about specific courses in the days ahead, and ITS assembled a webpage to help students make the transition to remote learning at this link here.

Moodle will be the primary method most faculty will use to share course materials with students and manage assignments and exams. Any supplemental resources will be shared with students by professors as needed.  Any student concerns regarding reliable home access to a computer and the Internet to complete coursework should be sent to the Help Desk so ITS can assess how to help.

Internships

Student internships will also be completed online or remotely.  The Career Advancement Center is working directly with students and employers to make specific arrangements for all current internships.  Any exception to this online internship rule must be approved by CAC.  Please know that CAC is committed to provide ongoing career counseling and support to all students, especially current seniors.  CAC will soon send several important messages about career planning and preparation: students should be sure to read them when they arrive.

Requirement for Students to Leave Campus

Given the decision to switch to online/remote courses for the rest of this semester, the College must close residence halls and students must leave campus and our Chicago Loop facility as quickly as possible.  We realize how disruptive this departure will be, but it is necessary to reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19.  Public health officials are very clear that “social distancing” between people must be maximized, and colleges across Illinois and the nation are sending students home.

Students must retrieve belongings from their residence hall rooms within the next seven days (including Saturday and Sunday, March 21-22).  The final deadline for retrieving possessions will be next Monday, March 23, at 5:00 p.m.  Students who come to campus should retrieve belongings in no more than 8 hours.  Students should not plan to stay overnight, should visit as few campus offices as possible, and should handle any campus business by phone or email.  For students who live nearby and have extra storage space at home, please consider offering that space to a friend who may need it.

If a student cannot return to campus to pack and remove belongings, there are two options:

  • First, you can send a proxy (family member or friend) to gather your things for transport, storage, or shipping. Simply write ResLife@lakeforest.edu to confirm this.  If arriving between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., your proxy should call Residence Life at 847-735-6232.  If arriving between 5:00 p.m. and 8:30 a.m., your proxy should call Public Safety at 847-735-5555.
  • Second, you can arrange for your items to be managed by an outside company that can pack and either store or ship your belongings. A list of company options can be viewed here.

Once your room is empty, you must formally check out by turning in your key at Rosemary House between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on any of the next seven days, or at Public Safety after hours. 

Requests for Exceptions to the Requirement to Leave Campus 

Any student who seeks an exception to the requirement to vacate campus – or to the March 23 deadline to remove personal possessions – must complete and submit this linked form by 5:00 p.m. this coming Wednesday, March 18:  https://www.lakeforest.edu/live/forms/316.  The only exceptions that can be granted must be based on extraordinary hardships, e.g., F1 international or ISEP students who cannot fly to their home countries due to travel restrictions or clear and present dangers, or students who lack any access to a safe home or friend’s family in the United States.  If any student in the Loop seeks and is granted an exception, they will be required to move to the Lake Forest campus within 24 hours.

Student Accounts and Student Employment

The College is working on policies regarding adjustments to room, board and other fees previously paid this semester. Support and guidance are also being developed for students who rely on work-study funds. Policies will be announced this week, and the Business Office will email details to students and parents. 

Access to Campus Facilities

General access by the public to campus facilities will be prohibited effective next Monday, March 23.  Student, faculty and staff access to facilities will also be limited, and building-specific information will be publicized by the end of this week.

Health and Counseling

Students should note there will be no walk-in hours for Health and Counseling, effective immediately.  All visits for both Health and Counseling – including same-day crisis visits for Counseling Services – must be scheduled.  To schedule appointments call (847) 735-5240 or email healthandwellness@lakeforest.edu

Administrative Staff at Work

As announced last week, administrative staff should plan to work this week on campus or at home if approved by supervisors.  Requests for parental/medical leave should be submitted to HR Director Agnes Stepek.  As soon as there is clarity about pending federal legislation on extended sick and family leaves, in addition, Agnes will email relevant details to faculty and staff.

Beyond communicating with supervisors, any staff or faculty member who has either personal or family health concerns related to COVID-19 should communicate directly and immediately with Agnes Stepek.  All institutional travel by faculty and staff has been cancelled except for specific trips approved by Dean Schneiderman or Vice President Lori Sundberg.  Faculty and staff should also minimize personal travel to the maximum extent possible.

Cancellation of Campus Events

All campus events must be cancelled for the rest of the spring semester, including all athletic practices and competitions, theater and music productions, all-campus parties and other student events.  I sincerely regret this because I know that students – especially our seniors – were looking forward to numerous events this spring with great anticipation.  Unfortunately, the College has no choice at this time.  Any questions about particular event cancellations should be directed to Dean Schneiderman, Dean Conner, or Vice President Slaats.

Commencement Postponement

It is especially painful for me to announce, in this regard, that Ravinia Festival Park has had to cancel all events until June, including the College’s May 9 Commencement.  I cannot yet say where or when it will happen, but the College is committed to holding a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020.  At the earliest opportunity, after COVID-19 concerns have dissipated, the College will provide details about that ceremony.

I thank everyone, once more, for your commitment, cooperation, and resilience in this very difficult time.  We are all dealing with a list of setbacks and disappointments that grows longer by the hour, due to COVID-19.  I have great faith in our strong College community, however, and I am confident that these challenging days will pass away like others before them.

Best wishes to all of you for your continuing health and safety.

Stephen D. Schutt
President
Lake Forest College

COVID-19 Campus Update - Residence Life and Meals 3/13/20

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I want to thank everyone, once again, for your continuing efforts to deal with the challenges and complications caused by COVID-19.  The College Crisis Team met this morning and will continue to meet daily, and I am grateful for the expertise the team is bringing to this unprecedented situation.  Based on this morning’s meeting, I am writing now to provide the specific information below, which may help your individual planning for the weekend and days that follow.

College administrative staff should prepare to work next week on campus or remotely, if approved by their supervisors.  Please see the March 11, 2020 email from HR Director Agnes Stepek for relevant details.

For students on campus:

  • Please complete immediately, if you have not already done so, the brief ResLife survey that you can access at this link:  https://www.lakeforest.edu/live/forms/314.
  • Parkhurst will provide daily meals at Boomers for students still on campus next week.  Menus will be posted later today on the Food U app and at http://www.lakeforestcatering.catertrax.com/ .  In addition, the Market on the lower level of Mohr Student Center has been freshly restocked with a variety of “grab and go” food items and other supplies.
  • The Health and Wellness Center has prepared helpful instructions for utilizing its services, which were emailed today to all students.

The Career Advancement Center is in direct contact with students engaged in internships this spring, and is working to make appropriate arrangements for all internships by next week.

Campus events, including rehearsals, remain cancelled indefinitely, and any exceptions must be approved by Dean Schneiderman or Dean Conner.

As previously communicated, the website www.lakeforest.edu/coronavirus will continue to be your best source of current relevant information.  If you have specific questions or concerns that are not addressed on the website, please send them to coronavirus@lakeforest.edu and we will make every effort to respond within 24 hours.

Thanks to everyone for your continuing understanding and cooperation.

Stephen D. Schutt
President
Lake Forest College

COVID-19 Campus Update - Further Spring Break Extension 3/12/20

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We are all in a very challenging time, and COVID-19 realities are rapidly evolving.  The College and our community have been through challenging times before, however, and I have no doubt that we will successfully navigate this one.  Thanks for the cooperative spirit that all of you have shown thus far, and thanks for your continuing efforts to take good care of each other.

The COVID-19 situation, nationally and regionally, is already different today than yesterday, so please pay careful attention to this important update.  In yesterday’s campus message, I informed you that spring break would be extended through next Tuesday, March 17.  I now need to tell you that:

  • The College has decided to extend the spring break through all of next week, inclusive of Friday, March 20;
  • We expect classes will resume on Monday, March 23, and we will inform you at the latest by next Wednesday, March 18, if all classes will move entirely to online formats for the rest of the semester;
  • We will also inform you at the latest by next Wednesday, March 18, if the College will be able to maintain a residential program for the rest of this semester.

This update is influenced by the World Health Organization’s declaration yesterday that COVID-19 is a pandemic, by President Trump’s address last night, by the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois, and by other fast-moving developments.  COVID-19 is compelling colleges across our region to make large, serious academic and programmatic decisions very quickly.  I hope the clarity in this message – that spring break is extended through next week, and that the College will make a final decision about the remainder of this semester by next Wednesday, March 18 – will help you make your individual plans. The Dean of the Faculty, Office of Faculty Development, and Information Technology Services will follow-up with further guidance and support for faculty.

In addition, effective next week, all group events on campus are cancelled until further notice.  This decision is based on the advice of public health officials, and is designed to prevent or slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  If you wish to apply for an exception regarding a specific campus event, please contact either Dean Schneiderman or Dean Conner, but know that we intend to grant few exceptions.

 Also effective immediately, all nonessential institutional travel by students, faculty or staff must be cancelled or postponed.

For students who will continue to reside on campus during the extended spring break, the cafeteria will remain closed next week.  Parkhurst will serve meals from Boomers, including deli and vegetarian options, beginning Sunday evening.  These can be debited from students’ meal plans.  The Market will also be open and available for individual purchases on the lower level of the Mohr Student Center.

Thanks once more to everyone for everything you’re doing to help our community weather this new storm.  I am grateful to all of you.

Stephen D. Schutt
President
Lake Forest College

COVID-19 Campus Update - Spring Break Extension 3/11/20

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The coronavirus COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States and around the globe. There are no known cases on the Lake Forest College campus. Because the number of cases continues to rise across the country, however, the College must move forward with plans to prevent or slow the transmission of the virus as best we can, to protect the health and safety of our campus community.  With this in mind, our campus crisis team is in regular contact with local and state public health officials, and we are following all available guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

As a first step, the College is extending the current Spring Break through Tuesday, March 17.  If events require that this extension go further, you will be notified immediately.

We know this extension will be disruptive, but it will provide necessary time for faculty to adapt current courses, in whole or part, to incorporate distance learning modalities.  When classes resume, the College will adopt a course-specific Flexible Attendance policy for faculty and students. This policy will allow individuals to make attendance decisions based upon their personal situations, including students or faculty who may need to make a choice for a sustained absence from campus. Faculty who are absent should deliver course content using Moodle and other online tools, and students should be permitted to make up missed work or have course content delivered remotely, without penalty for attendance-based grades. Further, faculty should prepare for the possibility of a future emergency suspension of classes, and the Dean of the Faculty will provide more information on that topic very soon. As a final point, students should regularly check email for course-related updates from their professors or the Office of the Dean of Faculty.

Administrative staff members will also be authorized to make individual decisions about being present on campus, if necessary to protect their health and safety. HR Director Agnes Stepek will provide more information promptly, and staff members should contact their direct supervisors as needed.

For the majority of students who are away from campus this week, we encourage you to delay your return until next Tuesday, March 17.  We realize some residential students may have no option to stay away from campus until then, and ResLife is making provisions for students already here or those who must return over the next several days.  If you are such a student, please contact reslife@lakeforest.edu immediately so that the College can maintain an accurate list of students on campus.  In addition, all residential students will shortly receive – and must complete – a vital survey about spring break-related travel and other important information. 

I want to assure everyone on campus, as Dean Conner previously communicated, that custodial and other staff are following CDC and other professional guidance about wiping down computer labs, tables and other public surfaces.  In addition, the College is supplying hand sanitizers and approved cleaning wipes – subject to availability – in locations across campus.  As of now, the cafeteria is scheduled to be open on Monday, March 16, with a reduced number of stations so that Parkhurst staff can serve diners at all of them.  The elimination of self-serve stations, except for the salad bar, will reduce the possibilities of contamination that can occur through self-service.

I also urge everyone to continue practicing the following health-protective measures:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Cover a cough with your arm, elbow or shoulder.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick, and try to stay three to six feet apart from someone who is sneezing or coughing.
  • Stay home if you have a fever or are otherwise sick.  Staff will receive this week new guidance about this from HR Director Agnes Stepek.

The College will provide frequent updates to this message, starting tomorrow, including information about campus events that may be cancelled in days and weeks ahead.  Now and in the future, the website www.lakeforest.edu/coronavirus will be your best source of current, relevant information.  If you have specific questions or concerns that are not addressed on the website, please send them to coronavirus@lakeforest.edu and we will make every effort to respond within 24 hours.

Thanks to everyone for your cooperation and the support you can give each other in this unprecedented time and situation.

Stephen D. Schutt
President
Lake Forest College

Coronavirus Update - Action Needed 3/4/20

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

​The College’s Crisis Management Team ​met again this morning to review and ​refresh our existing pandemic plans ​in case a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak ​should occur in the weeks and months ahead.

If you have not already done so, please submit your spring travel plans through an online form (click here).  We are pleased that more than 500 submissions have been received since Tuesday, but we want to have the most complete view of imminent travel away from campus in order to inform our future safety plans.

Should you or someone in your care present symptoms consistent with coronavirus, please know that medical professionals are advising the patient to NOT travel to an emergency department or urgent care facility. Rather the patient and/or caretaker should first contact a primary care provider by telephone to review symptoms and be triaged accordingly. For students without a primary care provider, they may contact the College’s Health and Wellness Center at (847) 735-5240 (Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm over Spring Break). Following this procedure will help contain any pandemic outbreak, including the need to potentially quarantine important emergency care workers. 

The Crisis Management Team will continue to meet over the Spring Break period and will communicate to the campus community, as needed. 

Please know that this message, along with other coronavirus-related information can be referenced at any time by going to www.lakeforest.edu/coronavirus. We continue to welcome students to share that webpage with your families.

Wishing you a safe Spring Break. 

Andrea

__________________________________________

Andrea B. Conner

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College

Coronavirus Update-Travel Plans and More 3/2/20

Students, faculty, and staff,

​The College’s Crisis Management Team ​met last Friday, February 28, to review and ​refresh our existing pandemic plans ​in case a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak ​should occur in weeks and months ahead. The team identified and initiated the following strategies:

  1. For the next 10 weeks, all students, faculty, and staff will be asked to submit any out-of-state business or personal travel plans through a confidential web form that will only be reviewed by a member of the Crisis Management Team.  This strategy will help us offer you support if a location you recently visited becomes compromised and quarantine is necessary. Please watch for that link via email tomorrow, under the subject line: ACTION NEEDED: SUBMIT TRAVEL PLANS.  We also urge anyone who plans to travel to check the CDC’s website for the most up to date travel guidance.
  2. The College will ​increase the supply of hand sanitizers and bleach wipes in public areas, and College employees will ​increase efforts to wipe down computer labs, library spaces, athletic facilities, and the like. Parkhurst employees will ​frequently change serving utensils in the dining hall and, whenever possible, will ​lower the sneeze guards to reduce “self-service” options in favor of being served by staff.  This change ​is designed to reduce the increased possibility of contamination that can more easily occur ​through self-service.
  3. Informational posters will be displayed around campus to remind everyone that covering your cough and washing your hands frequently prevents the spread of germs, viruses, and influenza.  We remind you that it is equally important to keep your distance from those who are sick, ​and you should not share drinking cups or bottles ​with anyone else.  Those who are immunosuppressed should continue to stay abreast of the news and stay in touch with their health care providers, especially if regional occurrences of the virus begin to rise. 
  4. We will ​enhance our communication outreach through a webpage dedicated to providing information and resource links. This new webpage is www.lakeforest.edu/coronavirus and we encourage students to share it with interested family members.    
  5. Finally, we recommend that faculty and staff start to consider what they might need in terms of technology and resources in the unlikely event that working from home becomes necessary.  If that were to happen, more information from Human Resources will be distributed, with reminders about our telework, sick day, and Family Medical Leave policies. 

Thank you for your continued attention to these matters!

Andrea

Coronavirus Update 2/26/20

Students, faculty, and staff,

Many of you have become aware that yesterday the CDC recently increased the level of concern about the likelihood of coronavirus (COVID-19) appearing in the United States in greater numbers.  Experts’ best advice for preventing the spread of this virus – as well as influenza – includes washing your hands, covering your cough, staying home/in your room if you are sick, keeping workspaces clean, keeping your distance from people who are sick, and getting your flu shot.  It’s also important to stay calm and continue to be kind and supportive to members of our campus community. Too many campuses are reporting anti-Asian sentiment, and such microaggressions are clearly unacceptable in our community.

We’d like to take this opportunity to reassure you of a number of things:

  • Throughout this semester, Kathy Salinger (Nurse Practitioner in Health & Wellness) has been in regular contact with the Illinois Department of Public Health and has been monitoring the Centers for Disease Control in order to respond and provide guidance to other administrators as needed. 
  • Student Affairs has been in contact with a few students directly affected by the coronavirus, including students currently outside the United States who have had interruptions to their study abroad plans, as well as those with impacted family members outside of the United States. 
  • Relevant staffers on the College’s Safety Committee recently discussed general preparedness for coronavirus and considered the challenges we’ll need to consider in the event that isolation and/or quarantine instructions are given by local, state, or federal authorities.
  • The Crisis Management Team will meet this week to review the College’s Emergency Operations Plan and our existing pandemic plans, to better prepare for a coronavirus outbreak, if one were to occur in weeks ahead.  We will be guided by recommendations from the American College Health Association, Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.
  • Rick Cohen (Director of Public Safety) is a member of the Emergency Management Coordinating Council of Lake County. He will be meeting with that organization next week and will provide guidance developed from that discussion.
  • If you are interested in learning more, here are two recent articles and the CDC website:

We will keep the campus updated of any significant changes, and will send another update next week before Spring Break travels begin. 

Thank you,

Andrea Conner, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Rick Cohen, Director of Public Safety
Mary Grigar, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Health & Wellness
Kathy Salinger, Nurse Practitioner

Coronavirus and Influenza Update 2/18/20

Don’t let the flu sneak up on you!

Did you know that it is not too late to get your annual flu shot, which is one of the best ways to decrease your likelihood of getting the flu? Illinois still has a high volume of flu activity, which has increased over the last three weeks. We have flu here on campus as well. So, we all need to stay vigilant in order to reduce the chance of getting this nasty virus!

Limit your risk:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds – about the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday!
  • If you don’t have access to a sink, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Try not to touch your nose, mouth, or eyes without first washing your hands – viral germs can live on surfaces for extended periods of time.
  • Use wipes such as Clorox to clean frequently touched surfaces like door handles, keyboards, remote controllers.

I am sick – now what?

  • Flu symptoms include; fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue, and occasionally vomiting and diarrhea.
  • It’s hard to tell flu from other respiratory viruses. Flu tends to start suddenly, while other viruses gradually worsen.
  • Rest and stay hydrated.
  • Isolate yourself as much as possible.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or with your arm/sleeve, and then wash your hands.
  • Over the counter medications (like ibuprofen or Dayquil) can help you feel better but don’t kill the flu virus.
  • If you have shortness of breath, rapid breathing, wheezing, chest pain, severe vomiting or other concerning symptoms, call or visit the Health & Wellness Center. Call Public Safety during hours when the Center is closed.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – I’ve been hearing about it, should I be worried?

  • The current outbreak of this new strain of virus was first identified in China, but has now spread internationally.
  • Currently in the United States the health risk to the general public remains low both in the U.S. and in Illinois.
  • The Center for Disease Control and The Illinois Department of Public Health are closely monitoring the situation and are responding and providing guidance as needed.
  • Lake Forest College administrators, in collaboration with the Health & Wellness Center and The NorthShore University Health System, are staying informed of the latest developments and recommendations to keep our community safe.
  • Because of the extent of virus in China, travel restrictions have been enacted:
    • The Center for Disease Control has recommended that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China.
    • Effective February 2, 2020, the U.S. government suspended entry of foreign nationals who have been in China within the past 14 days.
    • U.S. citizens, residents and their immediate family members who have been in mainland China are allowed to enter the U.S. but are subject to health monitoring and possible quarantine for up to 14 days.
  • Lake Forest College is strongly discouraging travel to China over spring break.
  • If you have concerns or would like individualized information about this novel (new) Coronavirus, please call the Health & Wellness Center or make an appointment online.
  • We will keep students informed of significant changes as needed.
  • Here is a link to the CDC website for updates as they are published: 
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html