Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates →

Please click here for the latest information regarding Benedictine University's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Updated September 16, 2021
 

The BenU community is working around the clock with health and safety experts to ensure a safe return to the Lisle and Mesa campuses. We have a robust plan supported by expert counsel and protocols, but we still have work to do to create a safe and engaging learning environment. We don’t have complete answers to all your questions at this time and our staff and faculty ask for your continued patience as we navigate this ever-changing landscape amid the pandemic.

Please review this FAQ page to answer your questions and please continue to monitor this page for updates. If you have a question not on this list, please email COVIDResponse@ben.edu.

Campus: General Questions

What is COVID Surveillance Testing?

Benedictine is following CDC and DCHD guidelines for surveillance testing on a college campus.  Surveillance testing involves testing individuals without symptoms to identify asymptomatic or presymptomatic COVID cases in an attempt to prevent large scale COVID outbreaks on our campus.  Most colleges and universities throughout the country are conducting similar testing.  There is no health risk at all to our testing as it is merely an anterior nasal swab (goes in the rim of the nostril).

Will testing for COVID-19 be offered on BenU campuses?

Yes. We will continue our COVID-19 surveillance testing program. Resident students and student-athletes who are not vaccinated will be tested weekly for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have a known exposure or are showing symptoms of COVID-19. This allows us to make inferences about the level of spread in the student population and identify asymptomatic cases for isolation. Faculty and staff who are not vaccinated will also need to be tested weekly for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have a known exposure or are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

On the main campus, tests take place in the Rice Center from 7:00-10:00 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. You need to register for testing with Loop Medical here. You are required to provide your insurance and photo ID when registering, but there will be no out of pocket cost.

All non-vaccinated students, faculty, and staff on campus are required to test weekly. Tests may be done on campus or off-campus – send results of off-campus tests to COVIDResponse@ben.edu by noon each Friday to be cleared for access to campus the following week.

Loop Medical will utilize PCR (polymerise chain reaction) testing. Results will be received in the evening the same day of the test.

Individual students, faculty and staff will be notified of their test result via Loop Medical. Positive results will go through University protocol for COVID-positive students and faculty/staff.

*For testing off campus: The DuPage County Health Department and Maricopa County Department of Health have provided resources and testing site information.

 

 

Are we required to wear masks on campus?

Yes, at this time everyone is required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. This is in accordance with the guidance of both the CDC and our local health department.

Please wear your masks and be vigilant with regard to our health guidelines. In doing so, you will do our community a great service by putting your health and the health of our BenU community first.

More information can be found on this Mask FAQ document (PDF)

Will BenU require students to be tested for COVID-19 prior to their return to campus?

Yes, if they are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19. These individuals should obtain a PCR test 3-5 days prior to their arrival on campus. We are asking everyone to continue to review the CDC’s recommendations and recognize the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

  • As a part of Department of Public Health protocol and overall community safety, all positive cases must be reported to county health departments. We ask that everyone confidentially report any illness by filling out their respective symptom reporting form. Any medical information collected as the result of COVID-19 will be kept confidential.

 

If a student is required to test weekly and does not test, what happens?

The COVID Response and Recovery Team is tracking all students, faculty, and staff who need to test. Not submitting your test results has consequences!

Academics

  • 1st Offense - Written Warning
  • 2nd Offense - Restricted from attending any in-person classes - absences are unexcused, until a test result is submitted
  • 3rd Offense - Administrative removal from in-person classes

Residents:

  • 1st Offense - Written Warning
  • 2nd Offense - Temporarily removed from Housing until tested, included in the Student Conduct Process
  • 3rd Offense - Housing Termination without refund

Student Athletes:
Any missed tests result in immediate removal from athletics until a negative test is received, per NCAA protocol.
In addition, the following penalties are in place:

  • 1st Offense: Written warning
  • 2nd Offense: Meeting with coach and administration
  • 3rd Offense: Consideration for removal from athletics

 

What if students or faculty test positive? At what point will campus have to close again?

Maintaining safe campuses amid the threat of COVID requires daily vigilance and collaboration from everyone. At the same time, regulations and decisions about safe gatherings, even with a Six-Foot Campus, will ultimately be directed by our county health departments and state governments. We understand that there is always a risk for emerging variants of COVID-19, which may result in employee and student absences or state-mandated restrictions. Courses this fall are being offered in person, online, and in BenUFlex formats, however, we are prepared to continually modify the conditions (or close campus) if local governments adopt new or additional restrictions and return to virtual learning. We will maintain close, active relationships with our local health and medical community partners:

  • Our Lisle campus maintains a close, collaborative relationship with the DuPage County Health Department and Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare. We also continue to monitor State of Illinois and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
  • Our Mesa campus maintains a close, collaborative relationship with Maricopa County Health Department, and we continue to monitor State of Arizona and CDC guidelines.

 

What are the Quarantine and Isolation Protocols?

If you are FULLY VACCINATED and you are:
Exposed to COVID-19 and experiencing no symptoms (you are asymptomatic):
  • You need to be tested 3-5 days after exposure
  • You do not need to quarantine
  • You should wear a mask for 14 days or until the test results come back negative
Exposed to COVID-19 and experiencing symptoms
  • You must get tested as soon as possible. If you are negative for COVID with a PCR test, you can return with a note from a physician.
  • If test results come back positive, you must isolate for 10 days
  • Isolation count starts from the date of symptom onset
If you are not vaccinated and you are:
Exposed to COVID-19 and experiencing no symptoms (you are asymptomatic):
  • You must test on day 5 or later
  • You must quarantine for 14 days
  • You must wear a mask indoors and outdoors for 14 days
Exposed to COVID-19 and experiencing symptoms
  • You must get tested as soon as possible. If you are negative for COVID with a PCR test, you can return with a note from a physician.
  • If test results come back positive, you must isolate for 10 days
  • Isolation count starts from the date of symptom onset

Where do I go to upload a copy of my COVID-19 vaccination card?

If you are a student who is vaccinated, please upload a copy of your vaccination card here: https://www.ben.edu/student-life/student-health-services/immunizeupload.cfm

If you are a staff or faculty member who is vaccinated, please upload a copy of your vaccination card here: https://benu.formstack.com/forms/staff_vaccination_records_upload

What if a student does not feel comfortable with in person coursework, what options do they have?

They will need to check their schedule and see if they can move to online courses, or if they are comfortable with the class meeting plan.

What will happen if we need to evacuate campus buildings for a fire or other threat?

Public safety is a priority. Evacuation during an emergency creates a challenge for safe distancing, but we cannot compromise public health and safety. The emergency preparedness manager will continue to work with University Police and Campus Safety to plan safe building egress.

Residence Halls & Dining Facilities:

Will residence halls be open?

Yes. BenU residence halls will be open and prepared for residential students on both campuses.

How will quarantine and isolation be handled on campus?

If a member of the campus community is instructed to isolate or quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, symptoms, or exposure, they will be asked to do so at home for the designated timeframe. Campus community members cannot return to campus until cleared by the University.

Isolation due to testing positive for COVID-19 is a minimum of 10 days, but could last longer if your symptoms don’t subside. The exact duration will be determined by University Health Services.

Quarantine due to exposure to a positive COVID-19 case is 14 days long for non-vaccinated individuals. Vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine after exposure to a positive COVID-19 case, but will need to test 3-5 days after exposure.

Will common spaces be open?

Yes.  All lounges and other common spaces are open for use.  Please note that at this time, masks are required while using all common spaces.  These spaces will be regularly cleaned and maintained.

What are my responsibilities as a student living on-campus?

Student behavior can have the greatest impact on the spread – or the containment -- of COVID-19. Like everyone in the BenU community, we are all responsible for our behavior and must all be respectful community citizens by following CDC recommendations. Resident students must commit to a number of practices that are vitally important, which may include wearing a face covering, observing physical distancing practices while in public spaces and agreeing to self-quarantine and self-isolation directives lead by the University. All of these requirements are based on the current guidance from the CDC.

Expectations include:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Keep your room (or apartment) clean – bring and maintain your own cleaning supplies.
• Wear a face covering whenever you’re outside your room.
• Self-isolate if showing symptoms
• Remember that this is an unusual time and you and/or others may feel anxious about what is going on.
• Be kind to one another and remember we are all in this together. #BUnited #ProtectOurFlock
• Review the Safe Return to Campus Plan.

How will BenU accommodate safe on-campus dining (Lisle Campus)?

Our Dining Services team has created a detailed plan in collaboration with health and wellness experts to mitigate risk in our campus eateries.

  • Increased cleaning protocols, staff face masks and gloves, and hand sanitizer stations
  • We have increased pre-packaged and grab-and-go offerings at a number of our campus eateries.

 

Will the Fitness Center be open for use?

The Fitness Center will be open weekly with the following hours:

Monday-Thursday from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Friday from 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

The Fitness Center has returned to full capacity. Mask wearing will be required at all times. Increased cleaning protocols will remain in place.

Academics:

When will classes begin?

Monday, August 30th will be the first day of classes for both BenU campuses.

What format will classes be offered in for fall 2021?

Our goal is to deliver a safe, comfortable and engaging environment for both faculty and students; the best way to do that is to present options in course modalities, and to encourage clear communication between students and faculty and staff, should there be changes in the coming months.

While most classes began the spring term virtually, many more classes will be beginning the Fall 2021 term on campus.

The class schedule allows students (and faculty) options (online, in-person, or combination) for the courses they need to take to graduate on time.  The available modalities are:

  1. BenUFlex: These courses plan to be in-person or a mix of in-person/synchronous online.  Courses would be subject to change modalities dependent on health conditions*.  The following are options under BenUFlex:
    • A non-experiential course (in person) that’s taught regularly in-person and will make learning opportunities available for students who are ill or have medical reasons not to attend the live class.  It is not expected that all class sessions are conducted “live” in multiple modalities.  Instructors can design learning experiences that provide access to the content in the most appropriate format for those unable to attend.  This can include live-streaming the class, recorded lectures, chat sessions, or other modes of instruction.
    • A course may meet in-person on X day(s) and virtual on Y day(s).
    • Classes meet in-person at a minimum of 25% of the time in order to be considered BenUFlex.  BenUFlex courses are not designed to be a fully online option.
  2. In-person: These courses are experiential courses; each of these requires meeting in-person to meet the course learning objectives.
  3. Online synchronous:  These courses are delivered through virtual sessions that have set meeting times and days for students to participate via live-stream virtually.
  4. Online asynchronous: These courses are delivered online with virtual sessions posted online to allow students more flexibility on when to view class sessions.  Students are expected to participate and engage in the courses through the length of the term.  Often these are cross-campus offerings.

    Please note that for in-person classes and class sessions, masks are mandatory as the semester begins.  Masks must cover the nose and mouth, and should be of a material (or layers of material) sufficient to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  An instructor may ask any student who is not wearing a mask appropriately to leave the classroom, or to sit far away from other students.  Repeated noncompliance with mask wearing (or any other mitigation measures adopted by the campus as a whole) may result in a student being administratively dropped from a course.

Can I go to class if I am experiencing symptoms, including those from the COVID-19 vaccination?

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of any contagious disease (cold, flu, COVID) should not attend any classes. This includes symptoms that may occur as a result of a COVID-19 vaccination.

Please report any symptoms here

If I have to miss class because of a quarantine or because I am experiencing symptoms of an illness of any sort, what should I do?

If you are on quarantine, you should reach out to Taffie Duzan for accomodations: tduzan@ben.edu.

If you are not feeling well, contact your instructor (check the syllabus for their contact information, or use D2L). Faculty have been asked to work with students who need to miss class for quarantine or any illness or symptoms. Instructors will provide an opportunity to make up work or missed class time in a way that will help you to meet the objectives of the class. This does not include recordings or live streams of in person classes, unless an instructor has chosen to do so.

If I have gotten a shot (or two) of the COVID-19 vaccination but am not yet considered “fully vaccinated”, do I still need to be tested for COVID-19? (You are fully vaccinated after two weeks after your last vaccination shot.)

Yes, you must continue to test on campus (or submit an off-campus test result to COVIDResponse@ben.edu) at least once per week until you are fully vaccinated. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated and have no recorded test result will not be allowed on campus for any reason — and class absences for this reason are not excused!

If a faculty member cannot meet in person with students, what should they do?

If a faculty member is ill, or presenting symptoms, or is asked to quarantine, they should communicate with their students:

  • The plan for instruction for the period of absence
  • The expected dates for the alternative plan
  • The expected date of return to in-person instruction

Faculty do not need to provide the reason for this shift. They are also not obligated to provide synchronous online instruction during this period. The mode of instruction should be one that allows students to meet the objectives of the class during this period.

Faculty should work with their department chair and dean if they are unable to provide instruction due to illness. The department chair and dean will work to determine appropriate instructional options.

Can students or faculty members remove their masks while in class to take a drink?

Yes, if drinks are normally allowed in the classroom. However the mask should not be completely removed, if at all possible. Straws can allow consumption of a drink without completely removing a mask.

All are encouraged to hydrate prior to class to reduce the need to drink in class. Remember that there is a mask mandate in place for all public spaces, including classrooms. Everyone should have an appropriate, well-fitting mask at all times.

 

COVID Response & Resource Center
Email: COVIDResponse@ben.edu
Phone:  630-829-6039
Location:  Krasa 115A
Hours:  M-F 9:00 a.m. -3:30 p.m.