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Education

COVID-19 Task Force Student Q&A

05.05.2021

Task Force answers questions from student body

COVID-19 Mitigations

What is guiding Moody’s mitigations surrounding COVID-19?

Moody is following three sources of guidance when making decisions about the pandemic: (1) the CDC, the City of Chicago, and the Illinois Department of Public Health for the Chicago campus, as well as the states of Washington and Michigan for Spokane and Plymouth campuses, respectively. Mitigations such as our room capacities, masking, social distancing, travel quarantines, and Sick Student Protocol have been informed by these sources. In certain cases – our no-guests policy, surveillance testing, Torrey-Gray’s capacity, and return-to-campus testing – the COVID-19 Task Force has gone above these guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our main campus. Moody also consults academic journals to gain an understanding of decisions being made on college campuses across the country in terms of best practices for mitigations within campus settings.

Why has Moody chosen to implement certain mitigations on campus that went above recommended guidance?

Moody has chosen to implement certain mitigations that go above the recommended guidance on a case-by case basis, when it was deemed a “best practice” in assisting to keep the campus safe and healthy through this past academic year.

What are the consequences for not complying with pandemic restrictions and mitigations?

Moody recognizes that only people within the Moody community can be held accountable to the campus mitigations that have been set this past year. Therefore, we require that students and employees agree to predetermined standards upon their return to campus. Students can expect consequences consistent with disciplinary guidelines set in place during the 2020-2021 school year, including requiring students to leave campus and complete their semester remotely. Students will be required to sign an updated COVID-19 Acknowledgement Form for the Fall 2021 semester.

Will we be required to continue to social distance and wear masks in fall 2021?

Students should expect social distancing and masking requirements to remain consistent with CDC, City of Chicago, and Illinois guidance. The percentage of those vaccinated in Chicago may impact the guidance on future mitigations. We recommend students get vaccinated to increase the likelihood of Chicago reaching herd immunity.

Will visitors be allowed on campus next semester?

During the 2020-2021 academic year, the Chicago campus has been closed to visitors except during residence hall move in and out, for Admissions activities, and pre-approved business-related purposes. We are currently reviewing the no-visitor policy. We are monitoring the number of Chicago COVID-19 cases to assist us in determining the best time to reopen our campus. An announcement will be made to the Moody community when this policy officially changes. Until further notice, campus remains closed to guests.

Will surveillance testing continue in the fall?

Surveillance testing will continue to be required during the fall 2021 semester. This will be especially important as it is our current intention, as of May 5th, to not mandate vaccinations. Surveillance testing assists Moody’s efforts to control and prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 cases on our Chicago campus. All students living on-campus are required to participate in this testing. Surveillance testing was very valuable to monitor the health of our campus during the spring semester.

Student Life

What will the residence hall living experience be in the Fall 2021 semester?

We continue to monitor guidance provided by the City of Chicago and state of Illinois to guide our residence hall living experience. At this time, we expect the guidance to remain similar as to spring 2021. We are monitoring guidance as we determine decisions regarding masking, room and lounge capacity limits, and bunking beds. We will communicate updates later this summer.

Will Open Hall return to the residence hall floors?

Residence Life continues to seek creative ways for large groups of students to connect while following national and local health and safety guidelines. We will continue to monitor guidelines provided by the City of Chicago and state of Illinois in order to make decisions regarding opportunities for communal gatherings.

What will the Student Dining Room (SDR) experience be like?

We are planning for the SDR to match the current capacity guidance provided by the City of Chicago in August. Currently, those numbers are limited to 50 people indoors. We will update this capacity if limits are expanded.

Will the tables remain in The Plaza?

Moody will continue to provide outdoor seating in good weather. Students are expected to continue practicing mitigation efforts in these seating spaces, including table capacity limits and wearing masks when not actively eating or drinking.

What will Chapel look like next semester?

Chapel is anticipated to look much like it did during the spring 2021 semester. A capacity of 150 students will be allowed to attend in-person, while the rest watch online. There will be continued sign-ups to attend. This capacity limit is subject to change, based on the city’s guidelines.

Academics

Will Moody still offer hyflex courses?

Moody will continue to offer hyflex courses in Fall 2021.

COVID-19 Vaccination

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be required for students?

We strongly recommend all students get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 this summer. While Moody is not requiring the COVID-19 vaccine at this time, we are monitoring the guidelines from the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois. In the unlikely scenario where we would require vaccination for students to return to campus, we will communicate this decision in a timely manner.

Will Moody host a vaccination site for students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on-campus?

An on-campus or near-campus vaccination site will be available when students return to campus in the fall for those of you who are unable to be vaccinated at home.

Will health and safety mitigations differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals?

We will continue to follow the guidance provided by the CDC, City of Chicago, and Illinois Department of Public Health. Currently, the CDC states that a fully-vaccinated individual is exempt from Close Contact Quarantines and can participate in some outdoor events unmasked. The City of Chicago states that a fully-vaccinated individual is exempt from travel-related COVID-19 testing.

Does my F-1 visa or nonimmigrant status prevent me from receiving the vaccine in the U.S.?

No, it does not. The vaccine is now available to anyone over the age of 16 in the U.S. Students can receive the vaccine just like anyone else. We recommend bringing personal identification as well as your Moody ID as proof of Chicago residency with you to the vaccination site in case they request any sort of documentation.

Can I receive the vaccine in my home country, even if it is not one of the vaccines currently available in the U.S.?

Moody strongly recommends all students receive the COVID-19 vaccination and encourages students to get whichever vaccine is available to them.

Does the vaccine exempt me from surveillance testing in the fall?

As you may know, receiving the vaccination does not guarantee you will not get COVID-19, it only limits the seriousness of the disease. You can still get and transmit COVID-19 once you are vaccinated. Therefore, at this time, surveillance testing will be required for vaccinated persons. Participation in surveillance testing is required of all students living on-campus.

If Moody were to require the COVID-19 vaccine, would I be able to submit the religious exemption form to excuse me from this requirement?

Currently, Moody strongly recommends all students get vaccinated for COVID-19, but it is not required. In the unlikely scenario that the vaccine is required, Health Service has a religious and medical waiver for immunizations. This form can exempt students from the requirement to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Please note that mitigations and testing of non-vaccinated students will continue.

If I experience symptoms as a result of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, do I need to report these and isolate?

If you experience side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, you should report your symptoms by filling out a “Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System” (VAERS) form at this link: https://vaers.hhs.gov/. You do not need to isolate for symptoms related to receiving the vaccine. A variety of symptoms are common upon receiving the vaccine, and it is wise to plan to not attend class or work should you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 due to having received the vaccine. If you experience symptoms not related to having received the vaccine, you must submit our COVID-19 Submission Form found on the myMOODY portal.

Travel

Will I need to quarantine upon returning to Chicago from out-of-state or international travel?

Travel requirements are based on the City of Chicago Emergency Travel Order. Please continue to review the latest updates regarding this travel order in order to stay informed when you travel to or from Chicago. There is a very helpful FAQ that you can download under the “Frequently Asked Questions” section, including questions regarding international travel. At this time, the Chicago Emergency Travel Order requires domestic travelers from orange states and international travelers to provide a negative test taken within 72 hours of departure or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the last 90 days before traveling. Students with proof of a negative test or proof of COVID-19 recovery within 90 days will not be required to enter a precautionary quarantine.

What if I am returning to Chicago from international travel?

At this time, the Chicago Emergency Travel Order and the CDC requires international travelers to provide a negative test taken within 72 hours of departure or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the last 90 days before traveling.

Do I still need to do a travel quarantine if I am fully vaccinated?

The Chicago Emergency Travel Order applies to returning Chicago residents and out-of-state visitors arriving in Chicago. Vaccinated persons (returning travelers who live or work in Chicago, or visitors to Chicago) who have travelled domestically are not required to quarantine if they are: asymptomatic and fully vaccinated (i.e., are ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID- 19 vaccine series or ≥2 weeks following receipt of 1 dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine). It is recommended that you bring a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination records while traveling.

F-1 Visa or Nonimmigrant Status Students

How do I maintain my immigration status during the Fall 2021 - Spring 2022 academic year if I return to campus?

According to the SEVP guidance that was released on April 26, 2021, active F-1 students will be permitted to count online classes towards a full course of study this upcoming academic year. You are able to study in the United States or abroad and maintain your immigration status as long as you are enrolled in a full course load. All F-1 visa holders will be required to fill out the registration form at the start of every semester. Please direct your specific questions to iso@moody.edu.

How do I maintain my immigration status during the Fall 2021 - Spring 2022 academic year if I cannot return to campus?

If you plan on staying in your home country this upcoming academic year, you still have the option of continuing your studies online. Your SEVIS record will remain active as long as you are enrolled full time. The International Student Office (ISO) will confirm at the beginning of the semester whether you are on-campus or off-campus using the requested registration form. Please direct your specific questions to iso@moody.edu.

Living in Chicago

What will living in Chicago look like?

The City of Chicago guidance provides information on what life in Chicago looks like. This includes information on travel, vaccines, business protocols and capacities, and more. The percentage of those vaccinated in Chicago will continue to assist in determining the mitigations surrounding daily life. We recommend getting the vaccination in order to increase the likelihood of Chicago residents reaching herd immunity in an effort to move towards normalcy.

Educational Resources

Please review the following resources for further information on COVID-19 as it relates to life at Moody:

If you have any further questions for the COVID-19 Task Force, please email covid19taskforce@moody.edu.

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