We are writing today to stress how essential it is to follow all university COVID-19 protocols. We are all in this together, and we must all do our part to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and to contribute to the well-being of our campus community.
We appreciate that the current situation is unprecedented in our lifetimes, and we understand that all of us are learning and striving to adapt to it. In doing so, we understand that we may make a mistake or forget to do something, but we must consciously and continuously monitor our actions, learn from our mistakes and failures, and do what is necessary.
Each of the protocols below is required. This is not an exhaustive list, but it includes the most common and essential protocols. We stress that repeated, reckless, knowing, and/or egregious failures to follow these protocols (or any COVID-19 protocol) can result in disciplinary action, which could include suspension or expulsion.
To the fullest extent practicable, stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) away from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Some areas to pay special attention to are dining halls, lounges, and informal sports and game activities or other social gatherings. Note that the household exemption for roommates applies only in the rooms where students reside and only when the roommates are the only ones present.
Wear Face Coverings in Common Spaces
Face coverings must be worn in all common spaces (classrooms, buildings, hallways, lounges, restrooms, dining areas, student activities areas, and the like) when you are around others. This includes outdoors when it is not possible to socially distance and in congregant settings. If you are eating, make sure that you have sufficient space between yourself and others.
Avoid Parties or Social Gatherings Outside of Health Protocols
Student gatherings in individual rooms are strictly limited; there should be no more people than there are the number of beds in each room. We expect that in any public place, on campus or off campus, students observe face covering and social distancing requirements. Parties or large gatherings are not allowed anywhere on campus, in the residence halls, fraternity and sorority houses, or elsewhere, and such parties held off campus should be avoided.
To be clear, sororities and fraternities are expected to follow the same guidelines as other residential facilities. These include mask wearing in common areas; frequent hand washing; and social distancing in rooms, common areas, hallways, elevators, and other public spaces.
Expectations for Responding to Contact Tracing
It is crucial that anyone who has a positive test or who may have come in contact with a COVID-19-positive individual cooperate with university protocol and respond immediately to contact tracers. Please take this very seriously and respond to contact tracers immediately if they reach out to you.
Though we sincerely hope this will not be necessary, it’s very important that you know the university is prepared to utilize the disciplinary process to hold individual students and student organizations accountable for any violations of its COVID-19 protocols; and any sanction authorized by the Student Handbook, including suspension or expulsion, may be imposed on violators. See the Student Handbook. Other community members, including faculty, staff, and contract workers, are accountable per the Human Resources Manual and/or to contractual agreements.
COVID-19 Concern Ombudsman
Illinois Tech has established a COVID-19 Concern Ombudsman to help ensure adherence to university policies and guidance. If you have any concerns regarding the university’s COVID-19 response or would like to report any noncompliance, please contact COVIDConcerns@iit.edu.
Self-Isolation and Quarantine Procedures
Self-isolation is required when a person tests positive for COVID-19. Self-quarantine is required when a person is identified by a contact tracer to have come into “close contact” with a person who has tested positive. As stated earlier, close contact is defined as contact that is within six feet of another person for more than 15 minutes.
It is imperative that anyone in self-isolation/self-quarantine adhere to the guidance for the benefit of the entire campus community. Students in self-isolation/self-quarantine will be given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to assist them with staying safe and keeping the community safe. A health care provider will also monitor each student in self-isolation daily, and students must comply with all phone health screenings and temperature checks. A student who is in quarantine must contact the Student Health and Wellness Center if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
We know Illinois Tech students and all community members have nothing but the best intentions. However, it’s crucial that we all take responsibility for our actions. The only way we can limit the spread of COVID-19 is to strictly adhere to health protocols.
During these challenging times, we must rely on one another to do the right thing and remain vigilant in our everyday practices to help reduce the risk to those around us.
Thank you for your cooperation and collaboration as we navigate this new territory together.
Alan W. Cramb, President
Illinois Institute of Technology
Peter Kilpatrick, Provost
Illinois Institute of Technology