Information surrounding COVID-19 and its spread within the United States is a rapidly evolving situation. As such, the University remains in regular contact with the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) to ensure we’re ready to respond appropriately if the coronavirus disease 2019 – COVID-19 – spreads to our area. We are also proactively working on contingency plans to ensure we are taking necessary steps to ensure the health and well-being of our campus community, as well as continuity for teaching and learning. We reiterate that at this time, there are no confirmed cases in the region, including in Winnebago County.
There are many factors to take into consideration and difficult decisions to make during this unprecedented event. Our decisions are based on current guidance and information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Illinois, and WCHD. The University’s focus is on the health and safety of our students and employees through continued preparedness and prevention.
Rockford University will be putting the following decisions and protocols in place to help limit COVID-19 risk our students and our campus:
- Spring Break is extended through Sunday, March 22. It is our intent to resume in-person classes on Monday, March 23. We will continue to monitor the most recent information available and inform the campus of any changes.
- Extending Spring Break will allow faculty to prepare for online instruction should that become necessary.
- Campus will remain open during this time and offices will be open normal business hours.
- Classes and co-curricular events, such as athletic practices/competitions and theater rehearsals, will not be held during the extension. Classes, practices, competitions, and rehearsals will begin again Monday, March 23, unless new information changes these plans.
- Additional cleaning will be conducted in all public and common areas, including residence halls.
- If we have a student(s) exposed to COVID-19 outside of our region, we have a self-quarantine location designated and we are in regular contact with the county health department and prepared to follow recommendations and protocols they provide.
- The International Food Festival scheduled for April 4 is canceled.
- Residential students may return to campus at any time, but it is recommended/requested that students wait until Sunday, March 22.
- Nursing and Education students can expect to hear from their instructors regarding clinicals or observations.
Lang Wellness Center updated procedures:
- Lang Wellness Center is implementing telehealth through a Call First system as recommended by the Center for Disease Control. Rockford University students, faculty, and staff will need to call 815-226-4083 to set up appointments to speak with the nurse, counselor, disability support services coordinator, and office manager.
- We are unable to allow walk-in patients until further notice.
- If you suspect you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, we advise that you call your health care provider or contact the Illinois Coronavirus Hotline
(1-800-889-3931 or SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV).
- If you are scheduled to come in to see the nurse and are ill, only use the blue door/entrance C. If you have scheduled a well visit with the nurse, only use the faculty side glass door/entrance A and check-in at the small gray desk that has been set up upon entering the Wellness Center side. When an appointment is being scheduled, Lang Wellness Center staff will remind you where to check-in.
- Please continue to be diligent with your handwashing, social distancing, and stay home if you are sick!
The public can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, like flu by:
- WASHING YOUR HANDS OFTEN with soap and warm water.
- COVERING YOUR COUGH, cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve or a tissue that you throw away.
- CLEANING SURFACES OFTEN, increase cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
- STAYING HOME, if you are not feeling well, stay home to keep others from getting sick.
We realize that these changes will cause disruption—and that you will have additional questions based on the above information—but the risk of not acting outweighs the inconvenience of these temporary measures.
I appreciate your patience and cooperation and I urge you to stay informed of the facts surrounding COVID-19 and take preventative measures to ensure your health and safety.
Randy Worden. D.Min
VP for Student Life