September 3, 2020
With Labor Day Weekend fast approaching, I wanted to remind you that, due to changes in the academic calendar, Labor Day—Monday, September 7—is an instructional day with classes occurring at their regularly scheduled times. I recognize that even though classes will be in session on Monday, some of you may be planning to travel to spend time with family and friends over the weekend. The topic of travel has raised a number of questions regarding whether or not out-of-state travel is permitted and/or if travel to certain states might result in a requirement to quarantine upon your return. Travel guidance from the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) continues to evolve, so I wanted to highlight a couple of points that have recently been added to the College’s COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page.
First, and importantly, the CDC states that you should avoid unnecessary travel as it increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. You should especially avoid travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone who is sick.
While the College is not prohibiting students from out-of-state travel, I do ask, on behalf of our campus community, that you strongly consider your need to travel and if doing so might unnecessarily put you and your fellow Cardinals at further risk for COVID-19. If you choose to travel, you are expected to follow current IDPH travel guidance, which includes following the three W’s: Wear a face covering; Wash your hands with soap and water; and Watch your physical distance by staying at least six-feet away from others. You should also familiarize yourself with IDPH’s Travel Advisory Map, which identifies states with higher risk of COVID-19.
If you are planning to travel out of state, make sure you are familiar with that particular state’s health and safety protocols, as well as the current protocols upon your return to Illinois, which may include a requirement to self-quarantine for 14 days if you travel to or from a state with a high incidence of COVID-19 cases.
Finally, as I stated in my email last Friday, the #TogetherNC pledge that we have all committed to extends beyond our campus, and it’s increasingly important that we continue to ground ourselves in our shared responsibility to protect the health and safety of our campus community and to preserve the opportunity that we have to be together on campus. We are nearly two weeks into a semester unlike any other and we are off to a great start. Thank you for your commitment and dedication! Let’s keep it going by continuing to care for ourselves and for one another this upcoming weekend and beyond.