Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
This page will be updated regularly as new information is available.
Message from President Barbara A. Farley
Updated March 20, 2020 at 4:28 p.m. (Leer en español)
At a press conference this afternoon, Governor Pritzker issued a statewide stay-at-home executive order starting tomorrow, Saturday, March 21 at 5 p.m. CST through Tuesday, April 7. I want to provide some immediate information about what this means.
This executive order is in effect to limit personal encounters across the state in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, health care facilities, and many restaurants providing take-out service will remain open. Roads, including interstates and toll roads, remain open and you can be outside freely.
Those students still living on campus will continue to be fully supported. Our residence halls will remain open and we will continue to offer carry-out only food service from Cummings Dining Hall. Because of the Governor’s call for as many employees as possible to work from home, I have to limit the number of buildings that remain accessible. After 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, Bruner will be closed. In addition, Baxter, Sturtevant and Whipple will now be closed. With this executive order, students living on campus should not travel outside of Jacksonville.
Students who have been planning to move home in the coming days or who need to travel within various communities outside of Jacksonville should make arrangements to leave as soon as you are able. You will need to communicate your plans with the Office of Residential Life. Please take your textbooks, educational materials and all those essential items that you will need in the coming weeks. Other nonessential items can be left in your campus residence, and we will provide details about how you can collect those possessions at a future date.
Students who are no longer living on campus may not return at this time but will have an opportunity to collect their possessions at a later date in coordination with our residential life staff. Additional communications regarding this process will be sent by Denny Schumacher as more information is available.
I encourage everyone to consider their health and safety first when making a decision about where to reside during this time. If you need assistance, please contact Dean Jennie Hemingway, your Individual Success Advisor, or one of the offices listed at www.ic.edu/coronavirus/ContactUs, depending on your area of concern. We will continue to update www.ic.edu/coronavirus as quickly as possible to reflect the most current information available.
In light of the Governor’s executive order, only employees designated “essential employees” by President Farley should report to campus. The College will work with all other employees to determine next steps, including work from home if possible.
At this time, there are no known cases of coronavirus at Illinois College or in Jacksonville. We will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with local, state and federal officials, and health agencies to make the best decisions possible moving forward.
Updated March 18, 2020 at 6:52 p.m. (Leer en español)
Illinois College will continue teaching in a remote/online format, and suspend all face-to-face instruction through the end of the semester.
Spring semester remains in session; this time of transition is not a break period for students, faculty or staff. The College remains committed to supporting students’ academic success and personal well being in this new environment. Following are some details of our plan moving forward:
- Illinois College remains open, including residence halls, dining services and student support services for those who need to remain on campus.
- We understand that everyone’s situation is different and we are committed to supporting students whether they decide to go home or remain on campus. We have restricted access to campus buildings to current IC students, faculty and staff for the safety of our community.
- We ask that current students or employees who live or have traveled beyond a 40-mile radius of campus avoid returning to campus.
- Students who are still living on campus and decide to leave campus at this time, should let the Office of Residential Life know of changes to plans and take belongings as possible.
- Students who are no longer living on campus may not return at this time, but they will have an opportunity to collect possessions at a later date in coordination with our residential life staff. Additional communications regarding this process will be sent by Denny Schumacher as more information is available.
I am also announcing a change to the Commencement ceremony, which will now be held virtually on Sunday, May 10. I understand that this decision is especially difficult for our seniors and that Commencement is a special time for Illinois College graduates and their families. We will plan a special campus celebration for the Class of 2020 during Homecoming Weekend on October 2-3. More details will be shared as they are available.
I know this is an uncertain time for everyone, and I am dedicated to providing answers to your questions as information becomes available. Please continue checking your email and the IC website for information from the College.
I am so proud of the Illinois College community for their dedication to one another and the ingenuity that they have brought to this moment. I have absolute confidence that our community will rise to this challenge and continue to support one another in the days ahead.
Updated March 16, 2020 at 9:32 p.m. (Leer en español)
On Saturday, we announced that face-to-face instruction in classrooms has been suspended and the College would be teaching in a remote/online format through at least April 12. Spring semester remains in session; this time of transition is not a break period for students, faculty or staff. The College upholds its unrelenting commitment to support students’ academic success and personal well being in this new environment.
Additionally, the following actions are being taken at Illinois College to minimize the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus):
- We are in the process of assigning each student an individual success advisor (ISA) to help them navigate this period of remote learning. The mission of each ISA will be to communicate with students on a one-on-one basis and to address any concerns or challenges that student is facing.
- We are closing campus to all non-essential visitors. Access to campus buildings is limited to current IC students, faculty and staff. Many facilities will require key cards to access.
- In keeping with state and federal recommendations, Chartwells has consolidated all food service to Cummings Dining Hall and will move to take-out service only effective Tuesday, March 17. Current hours of operation are 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m - 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
- Starbucks and Mondos are closed until further notice.
- Beginning Tuesday, all employees who can effectively do their work remotely are asked to do so. Departments are encouraged to use resources available to them through the College to collaborate remotely as we strive to meet the needs of our students.
- The College is evaluating the impact of this remote-work policy on opportunities for students to maintain employment on campus. We are evaluating needs on a case-by-case and day-by-day basis. There will be more information on this topic later in the week.
- Intercollegiate sports practices and competitions have been canceled for the season.
- Bruner Fitness and Recreation Center will remain open (for current IC students, faculty and staff) at the following limited hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Additional information regarding access to campus buildings will be sent via email.
- Most events on campus have been canceled or postponed until further notice. This includes literary society and student organization meetings. We are working to compile a list of canceled events that can be updated as decisions are made.
I want to acknowledge that this is a time of great uncertainty. The Preparedness Task Force met this morning and will be meeting frequently this week. I hosted two virtual town hall meetings with faculty, staff and students today to answer questions from our community. I anticipate holding these virtual meetings regularly as new information is available to make sure all community members are as informed as possible.
At this time, there are no known cases of coronavirus at Illinois College or in Jacksonville. We will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with local, state and federal officials and health agencies to make the best decisions possible moving forward. I have absolute confidence that our community will rise to the challenges we will work through together in the days ahead.
Updated March 14, 2020 at 6:26 p.m. (Leer en español)
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge for our community. We are carefully monitoring the quickly-changing environment and the latest government guidance. We have made the decision to suspend face-to-face instruction in classrooms and move to a flexible format of instructional delivery. We will be teaching in a remote/online format through at least April 12. We will evaluate the situation and hope to be able to return to classroom instruction after that date. There remain no known cases of COVID-19 at Illinois College or in the Jacksonville community.
To our students, I want to say that we have been working diligently to avoid interrupting your education and we will do everything in our power to continue that effort. We know that this situation will make the rest of your semester more challenging and are committed to working proactively to provide support for your continued success as an IC student. To that end, we will be working with you to develop an individual plan based on your circumstances. Faculty and staff will be available to meet with you in person, via phone, or online to develop these plans. Over the course of this coming week, faculty members will share the specific plans for continuing the work in their classes.
At this point, the College remains open, including residence halls, dining services, and student support services. We understand that everyone’s situation is different and we are committed to supporting students whether they decide to go home or remain on campus. Educating and caring for our students remains our top priority.
Please continue to watch your email for communication from the College and consult the IC website.
Updated March 13, 2020 at 2:45 p.m. (Leer en español)
I am sharing some updates from the past 24 hours to our ongoing plan to minimize the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on our community. Illinois College’s priority has always been to provide an excellent education to students in a safe environment, and we continue to be committed to that goal.
There are many news reports about schools extending their spring breaks and/or moving instruction online. Since news, by definition, is a change, there is more public discussion of these schools that are adjusting their schedules but the vast majority of colleges and universities continue to be open and teaching courses in the usual format. Because IC’s spring break was earlier than many and IC students are currently on campus rather than dispersed, keeping students here on campus is the approach recommended by health officials.
Our task force met today and they are monitoring this situation to advance precautionary measures outlined in this message. The College’s senior leadership is also meeting multiple times per day to review updated information. There are several important updates today:
- Last night Governor Pritzker issued new guidance for the state of Illinois that events gathering 250 people or more in a single space should be canceled or postponed. Illinois College is following this guideline, and being prudent about events that might draw large numbers. Specifically, the following upcoming events have been postponed or canceled:
- Admitted Student Weekend, which was scheduled for March 13-14
- The event featuring the hypnotist, scheduled for this evening
- The Drag Show, scheduled for Saturday, March 14
- The Peterson Farm Brothers event on March 26
- There may be changes to other scheduled events. Please check this page regularly for updates. We will try to provide as much notice of changes as possible.
- Governor Pritzker also recommended that schools remain open and operating.
- Earlier today, the Midwest Conference made an announcement to suspend all spring regular season conference competition and league championships until further notice. In an effort to further keep our student-athletes healthy and reduce travel, Illinois College will extend the suspension to include non-conference competition through March 20. Practices will continue. The College has adopted a more flexible attendance policy for all activities, including athletic practices.
- The dining hall has made important changes to ensure safety, including moving from self-service to full-service to minimize contact with high-touch areas.
- Our custodial staff is diligently sanitizing high-touch surfaces and continuously evaluating our sanitation process. They are implementing special training received earlier in the week.
Please monitor your email as I will continue to send updates regularly and post on the IC website: www.ic.edu/news/COVID-19update.
Updated March 12, 2020 at 2:40 p.m. (Leer en español)
Illinois College is carefully monitoring news about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We are taking every step recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as outlined in their guidelines for administrators of institutions of higher education.
The Center for Disease Control's guidance for institutions of higher education in communities with no confirmed cases of COVID-19 is to plan and prepare. Based on these recommendations, we have made the decision to remain open while taking important steps to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority. There are currently no reported cases of coronavirus at Illinois College or in the immediate region. Illinois College is working with local, county and state authorities and health officials. This includes Passavant Area Hospital, Jacksonville/Morgan County Office of Emergency Management and the Morgan County Health Department. Our custodial team has received special training and increased its efforts to sanitize high-touch surfaces on campus including the cafeteria, restrooms, athletic facilities, computer labs and popular common spaces.
As announced earlier this week, I have established a task force that is reviewing, updating and implementing our ongoing plan to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our community. I am reiterating our recommendation that everyone on campus minimize exposure by taking these simple and effective preventative measures:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. The CDC suggests humming the Happy Birthday song twice while you lather up to meet the 20 seconds guideline. Using a paper towel to turn off water and open doors is also recommended.
- Stay home if you are sick and avoid contact with others who may be sick. We have adopted more flexible attendance policies for all activities which bring together large groups, including classes, athletic practices and shared office spaces. I am encouraging the campus community to err on the side of caution and avoid coming to campus if you are feeling unwell and be supportive of students and colleagues who do the same.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your personal and shared spaces regularly. Avoid direct contact when possible such as handshaking or sharing cell phones.
I will be sending out regular communications and posting online updates as often as needed on this website. Thank you for being vigilant and conscientious as we work to keep everyone in the IC community healthy.