December 18, 2020
Dear North Central College Campus Community,
As part of the College’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and as a follow up to the message sent earlier this week from President Hammond and Provost Gòkè-Pariolá, we are writing to share more information on two important updates.
First, the College will require that all students provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result prior to returning to campus for spring semester. Second, the College will implement a new COVID-19 testing program during spring semester in partnership with SHIELD Illinois. Please continue reading for more information on each of these items.
Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement
Due to current COVID-19 infection rates in Illinois and across the country and to help ensure a safe start to the spring semester, all students—both resident and commuter—must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result prior to returning to campus.
Requirements for submitting proof of a negative test result include:
- The test result must be from a test taken no more than seven (7) days prior to a student’s arrival to campus, or to the start of the academic semester (whichever comes first).
o Note that spring semester begins for undergraduate students on Monday, January 25, and for graduate students on Monday, January 11.
- The test result must be submitted to the College at least 48 hours prior to a student’s arrival to campus.
- Acceptable test results include those received from an FDA- or EUA-approved molecular/PCR or rapid antigen test.
- Once a student’s negative test result has been received by the College, they will receive an email message clearing them to return to campus.
We recognize that it can be difficult to obtain a timely and cost-effective COVID-19 test. For that reason, the College will provide opportunities for on-campus testing prior to the start of the spring semester. Students who choose to take advantage of on-campus testing cannot come to campus prior to their scheduled test and cannot stay on campus while awaiting their test result. Students must return home until they are able to provide proof of a negative test result.
Additional information regarding the process and requirements for submitting a negative test result will be forthcoming.
Further, we recommend that all members of the campus community observe a 14-day quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms prior to returning to campus for spring semester. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms prior to returning to campus, they must isolate at home, notify the College via the COVID-19 Form, and not return to campus until they are symptom-free and have been cleared by a medical professional.
Spring 2021 COVID-19 Testing Plans
The College is proud to be partnering with SHIELD Illinois to deploy a new COVID-19 surveillance testing program for spring semester. This program uses a highly accurate saliva-based test created by researchers at the University of Illinois. The tests are easy to administer and results are expected to be available within 24 hours. This will enable the College to increase its testing capacity and narrow the window for COVID-19 exposure by more quickly identifying and isolating positive cases. Please note that participation in our COVID-19 surveillance testing is mandatory for members of the campus community who plan to physically come to campus for any reason or any length of time.
More information will be forthcoming from SHIELD Illinois with instructions for creating a MySHIELDIllinois patient account. Individuals selected for weekly surveillance testing will be notified via email, at which point they will be provided with additional details regarding the testing process and will be able to schedule their individual testing appointment via their MySHIELDIllinois account.
For more information, visit the COVID-19 Testing page of the College’s COVID-19 website and refer to the COVID-19 Testing section of the FAQ.
Each member of the campus community bears responsibility for ensuring that our campus is a safe place to learn, live and work. Thus, participation in our new, robust testing program will play a critical role in our ability to safely operate in-person throughout the spring semester, as will the various other safety measures that we have in place—including wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance, avoiding large gatherings, washing hands regularly and staying home when sick.
The College will communicate a more stringent and robust compliance and enforcement model for anyone who does not adhere to the College’s health and safety measures. More information regarding compliance and enforcement will be forthcoming from the Office of Student Affairs.
We wish you and yours a safe and healthy holiday season and look forward to seeing you in January.
Dr. Peter Barger
Assistant Provost, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning
Co-Chair, COVID-19 Institutional Response Team
Vice President for Operations
Co-Chair, COVID-19 Institutional Response Team