Q: Under Gov. Pritzker’s executive order, can students choose to be tested rather than be vaccinated, even if they do not meet the requirements for a medical or religious exemption?
A: Yes. Under the Governor’s executive order, individuals covered by the vaccination requirement can choose to be tested instead of being vaccinated, regardless of the reason for being unvaccinated.
Q: Do I need to wear a mask while on campus?
A: Face covering for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, per state and federal guidance, is an important protection against the spread of the highly contagious and virulent Delta variant of COVID-19. As we return to campus this fall from across the nation and globe, all individuals will wear a face covering indoors. This temporary return to masks for all is a crucial component for returning to full capacity and campus events without having to alternate attendance and reduce capacities, while also reducing the spread of the virus as much as possible. Returning to full capacity will make social distancing difficult, especially in chapel, classrooms and in the Beamer Student Center.
After careful consideration of our community needs, Wheaton plans to return to fully in person and full capacity classes, chapel, and co-curriculars while allowing students and employees to choose whether to be vaccinated. Our goal is to foster a COVID-Safe environment that allows our students to resume as many in-person activities as soon as possible.
Each Illinois institution has a different set of circumstances (facilities, number of commuter vs. residential students, vaccination rates, etc.) and must adapt to state and federal guidance based on their own circumstances. Several colleges have opted to recommend rather than require face coverings for unvaccinated individuals, while others have decided to require vaccines for all students. In the immediate Chicago area, institutions requiring vaccines for all students include Columbia College Chicago, DePaul, Dominican, Elmhurst, Knox, Lake Forest, Lewis, Loyola, NIU, Northwestern, Roosevelt University, School of the Art Institute, University of Chicago, the College of DuPage, Elgin Community College, and the University of Illinois System. Wheaton, however, has pursued a different path, allowing our students and employees to choose whether to be vaccinated.
Please remember that these COVID-19 guidelines are not permanent. As with all pandemic protocols, we are monitoring the public health situation carefully and will adapt our policies to pre-pandemic conditions when appropriate. It is our hope that as soon as the public health context allows, we will be able to re-evaluate our campus face covering requirements.
Q: Are there any restrictions on off-campus employment, internships, or activities?
A: We no longer have restrictions on off-campus activities. Students should follow the face covering requirements when going off campus.
Q: What are the campus Covid-safe requirements for undergraduate students when arriving from an international location?
A: Expectations for students arriving from international locations will depend on their vaccination status. These expectations are consistent with those for all students arriving on campus in August. Students who have informed the College (prior to arrival) of being fully vaccinated by a World Health Organization EOI approved vaccine are not required to quarantine or test when moving into campus.
Unvaccinated students must show proof of being COVID-free (negative PCR or rapid antigen test result, from any country, within the past 72 hours or proof of a positive test result in the past 90 days) on arrival before joining in-person classes and events on campus. Unvaccinated and vaccinated students who have been cleared for campus activities must wear a mask indoors and practice social distancing when possible. Students unable to show proof of being COVID-free will need to be tested at Student Health Services Mon-Fri or a local pharmacy if on the weekend, while avoiding in-person classes/events and eating in the dining commons while awaiting results. International (F-1 Visa / MK / TCK) students may reach out to email@example.com with any further questions.
Q: What will happen if I come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19?
A: Vaccinated individuals who are close contacts will complete a COVID test 3-5 days post exposure. If you are unvaccinated and are considered a close contact, you will be tested, required to monitor your symptoms daily, and follow quarantine protocols for 10 days as currently directed by the DuPage County Health Department. Students in quarantine who are on a meal plan will now be allowed to pick up their meals to-go, without lingering in the dining hall. All missed classes and coursework will be arranged between the student and professor following typical practices for student illness and absence. Remote classroom options will not be available.
Q: What will happen if I test positive for COVID-19?
A: Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be moved to a campus apartment or a room on East Campus for their isolation period of 10 days. Students in isolation will need to bring their own bedding, pillow, towels, washcloths, clothing, toiletries, face masks, a laptop computer, and any course materials they will need. Campus wi-fi will be available. Shared bathrooms are available and are divided by gender. Pre-packaged meals will be delivered to the campus apartment. Their meal plan or student account ($15 a day if not on a meal plan), will be charged for the delivered meals. Medical staff will check in with students who are in isolation. All missed classes and coursework will be arranged between the student and professor following typical practices for student illness and absence. Remote classroom options will not be available.
Q: Will I need to report my COVID-19 vaccination status for the Fall 2021 semester?
A: All students are required to complete the Vaccination Attestation Form. This is a secure, HIPPA compliant form only to be used by Student Health Services. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination can be uploaded and will be entered into the permanent immunization record in EPIC. These records will remain private and confidential. Any student who neglects to complete the Vaccination Attestation Form will be regarded as unvaccinated and subject to weekly surveillance testing until proof of vaccination is provided.
Q: What test will be used to screen for COVID-19 if I am unvaccinated?
A: We will continue to use the saliva SafeGuard test used during the Spring 2021 semester. All unvaccinated students will receive a packet of supplies at check-in to test once or twice weekly as determined by activities on campus. Saliva samples will be deposited in drop boxes located throughout campus (updated locations: North Harrison Hall, King Arena Lobby, CPO, Armerding, and Jenks) by noon on Monday (once weekly testing) or both Monday and Thursday (twice weekly testing). All positive SafeGuard tests will be confirmed with a PCR COVID-19 test at Student Health Services.
Q: What is the protocol for varsity athletics related to COVID-19 for 2021-22?
- If you are unvaccinated you will be required to take the SafeGuard COVID PCR test 2x/week during your regular season at the College’s expense.
- Testing noncompliance means the student will not be allowed to train or compete until a negative result is received on the next test with Student Health Services or from and outside lab (expense not covered by the College) with a written test result that must be shown to the Tricia Deter, Head Athletic Trainer.
- All COVID test positive results will be followed up with a PCR test at SHS (unless this recommendation by the State of Illinois is dropped and then a SafeGuard positive would stand alone as a positive).
- Contact tracing and quarantining will apply to any unvaccinated student who is a close contact of someone who test positive for COVID-19.
- Vaccinated athletes will be required to complete a COVID-19 test three to five days after being in close contact with someone who tested positive.
- Contact tracing and isolation will apply to any student athlete who tests positive for COVID-1.
Q: What are the guidelines for use of the Chrouser Sports Complex?
- As of July 6, 2021, these facilities will be open to all spouses and dependents of faculty and staff!
- Everyone must use Chrouser Sports Complex’s Facility Reservation System to book a space for exercise. Participants will need to create a username and password using their wheaton.edu or my.wheaton.edu email address.
- All individuals must wear a face covering over both the nose and mouth at all times and unvaccinated individuals should practice social distancing from others.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Will club sports and intramurals be offered fall 2021?
A: All club sports will be permitted to practice and compete. In order to remove a face covering during club sport activities, club sport participants must comply with surveillance testing twice a week.
Q: Will intramurals be offered fall 2021?
A: All intramurals will be permitted. Unvaccinated intramural participants must complete the College’s weekly COVID-19 testing.