University Updates about Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Sent August 5, 2020

Exception to COVID Quarantine for Wisconsin Residents

Dear RFU Community:

On July 7, the university announced a policy that requires a 14-day period of self-quarantine for any students, faculty or staff who return to the RFU campus from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases. As you might have seen last week, Wisconsin was added to the list of surging states by the Chicago Department of Public Health, which is one of the agencies we use for guidance on this issue.

The RFU administration would like to clarify that Wisconsin is exempted from our policy, so the self-quarantine requirement does not apply to students, faculty or staff who live in that state. 

The university still urges our campus community members to exercise good judgment in their day-to-day activities no matter where they travel to or reside. Wearing masks when out in public, washing hands frequently and avoiding congregate settings are among the best practices that will help keep everyone healthy and safe.

For more information on RFU’s policies during the pandemic, such as the list of states that require self-quarantine, please visit our COVID-19 resource page. As always, we will keep you posted as events proceed.

Thank you for your continued support and adherence to the RFU policies and practices during this pandemic.

Sincerely,
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, President of RFU Health Clinics


Sent July 22, 2020

Recent Reports of Social Gatherings

Dear RFU students, faculty and staff:

The vast majority of our campus community has responded admirably to measures enacted this spring and summer toward mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, despite the state of Illinois’ ongoing limitations on congregate settings, we have received word that recent social gatherings and other interactions among the RFU community have resulted in possible COVID exposures.

These reports come to us as we hear similar accounts from around the country about a spike in COVID cases among younger individuals. Our neighboring states of Indiana and Wisconsin are seeing increases in confirmed cases and seven-day positivity rates, and the state of Illinois announced new contingency plans last week to help manage a serious increase in COVID cases, with options that include renewed restrictions. We know that the largest share of confirmed COVID cases in Illinois has been among those aged 20 to 29. In light of the campus population that falls in this category, we must take the situation seriously.

We play an important role in this public health crisis. As members of a health sciences university, we must model the behavior that is expected of our community. Let’s lead by example and maintain social distance. If we decide that it is safe to gather, we must commit to wearing our masks and maintaining physical distance.

We are members of the university community even when we are not on campus. We also have an obligation to our families, our colleagues, our patients, and our community members at large to protect their health by protecting our own. No one wants to be responsible for risking someone’s life or livelihood.

As students, it is critical to avoid anything that might jeopardize your academic progression or that would expose you to this virus and risk passing it on to others, especially your patients. Each of us bears responsibility to keep COVID from spreading within our university community — a scenario that would impact education, our scientific progress, our frontline staff, our students and our faculty.

Our collective efforts have put us in a position to re-open our campus to academic activities, with proper and necessary precautions, in August. The decisions we make as individuals impact everyone. We are relying on one another’s good judgment, so let’s protect those around us. Let’s look after our vulnerable family members and friends, our patients, our neighbors, our students and our colleagues.

We need to stay focused on keeping COVID out of our lives and away from our campus. The end of this pandemic is many months away, so we must redouble our efforts to get us to that goal. Please make safe and healthy choices until that time comes.

Sincerely,

Wendy L. Rheault, President and CEO
Marc Abel, Dean, College of Pharmacy
Jim Carlson, Vice President for Interprofessional Education and Simulation
Archana Chatterjee, Dean, Chicago Medical School and Vice President for Medical Affairs
Lee Concha, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President for University Enhancement
Joe DiMario, Dean, School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Rebecca Durkin, Vice President for Student Success and Inclusion
Ron Kaplan, Executive Vice President for Research
Sandra Larson, Vice President of Partnerships
Rick Loesch, Chief Information Officer
John Nylen, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration
Nancy L. Parsley, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Andrew Romero, Executive Student Council President
Chad B. Ruback, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Judith Stoecker, Vice President for Faculty Affairs
John Vitale, Dean, College of Health Professions
Carl White, Faculty Senate President
Stephanie Wu, Dean, Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine


Sent July 7, 2020

RFU Requirements for Self-Quarantine Following Travel to Certain States

Dear RFU Community:

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing into the midsummer travel season, we will be instituting a policy directed at our shared responsibility of keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Starting this week, RFU will require a 14-day period of self-quarantine for any students, faculty or staff who are returning to the RFU campus from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases. This standard reflects guidelines of the Illinois Board of Higher Education and travel restrictions by many state and local agencies, including the City of Chicago.

This requirement extends to anyone who spent more than 24 hours in states reported to have a recent high incidence of positive cases. At this time, we will use the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) standard for designating those states, which is “a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population, per day, over a 7-day rolling average.” 

States currently meeting that description include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. This list, which is posted at the CDPH website, will be subject to review, and locations can be added or subtracted each week as necessary.

Our self-quarantine policy requires you to stay in a single dwelling, avoid contact with others and check yourself for COVID-19 symptoms. You can visit our COVID-19 resource page or connect with your healthcare provider for more information on monitoring your status.

A few other critical points to understand:

  • Students, faculty and staff who live in the Chicago municipal limits are advised that the city began enforcing a self-quarantine policy on Monday, July 6, for anyone who returned from a minimum 24-hour visit to one of the 15 states.

  • While the city of Chicago’s order allows exceptions for essential workers, students who have traveled from one of the listed states and live outside of Chicago but regularly commute to the city for their clinical rotations should check in with their sites for more information.

  • For any students who must travel out of state for clinical rotations, it is the university’s expectation that they will comply with policies enacted by the host state or agency. For example, New York is requiring a similar 14-day quarantine period for anyone traveling there from states that include those listed on the city of Chicago’s order. If you travel to New York from spending more than 24 hours in California, you would be subject to the self-quarantine regulations.

  • Also, to reiterate a university policy that has been in place since the pandemic began to spread into the country, all RFU community members who plan domestic or international travel must complete a notification form. Please visit RFU’s COVID-19 information page and click on the Student, Faculty and Staff Travel Registration Form to complete this requirement.

As the details of self-quarantine policies continue to evolve, we will keep you updated. The university plans to keep this policy in effect until further notice, with any changes being based on applicable public health guidance. Students can direct questions to student.affairs@rosalindfranklin.edu, and faculty and staff can consult Sally Madden (sally.madden@rosalindfranklin.edu) in Human Resources. For your safety and well-being — as well as the safety and well-being of our community and clinical partners — we encourage everyone to use caution and minimize non-essential travel.

By following these practical, precautionary steps, we can remain committed to forward-thinking solutions that address the pandemic. Please keep supporting and caring for one another as we do what needs to be done to emerge from this challenge.

Sincerely,

John H. Nylen
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, President of RFU Health Clinics


Sent June 10, 2020

Academic Plans for Fall Term - RFU Students

Dear RFU Students,

Your safety and well-being continue to be our highest priority as we steer our way through the COVID-19 pandemic while also ensuring that your academic needs are addressed. As we proceed through Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois reopening plan, which limits gatherings to 10 persons or fewer, we cannot fully know what to expect as summer turns to fall.

However, in anticipation of proceeding into Phase 4, which will allow gatherings of up to 50 people and permit institutions of higher education to reopen with guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, we are excited to share that we are actively planning for a return to campus for the fall term.

We plan to utilize a hybrid approach to education, with remote learning continuing for lecture-based courses. At the same time, we will prioritize for on-campus engagement those activities that are hands-on and skills-based, or involve other small group learning experiences that most benefit student learning. Our paramount mission will be to ensure academic progression as we train healthcare providers so direly needed at this time.

To prepare for the next phases of learning, the university created the Learning Experiences Taskforce. The Taskforce is developing a comprehensive set of Academic and Teaching Guidelines that will contribute to the ongoing development and delivery of high quality educational experiences.

We know and understand that you and all students have many questions about returning to campus, and what learning will look like in Fall 2020. Guidelines are being released to address a range of topics, including facility modifications and procedures, such as reduced entrance points to university buildings, the wearing of masks in shared spaces, and revised capacity in classrooms and other educational spaces; academic and teaching changes, including prioritizing the use of educational spaces for assessment activities and hands-on learning experiences; student health, including appropriate instruction on infectious disease precautions; and so much more.

As details of RFU’s plans to return to campus for the fall term are further developed, they will be shared with the RFU community. We are committed to delivering high-quality educational experiences in each of our programs while also preserving the health and well-being of our community. Your patience and cooperation as we continue to navigate to a new normal for the foreseeable future are appreciated.

Sincerely,

Nancy L. Parsley, DPM, MHPE
Provost


Sent June 10, 2020

COVID-19 Infection Control Training

All,

Attached is a powerpoint which goes through the best practices to be utilized by all students,faculty, and staff to minimize the spread of COVID-19 within the University.

Please read through each slide.

At the end of the slides there is an Acknowledgment of Risk and Personal Responsibility form which is to be signed and forwarded to HR. If more convenient, you may send an email to hr@rosalindfranklin.edu in which you acknowledge completion of this training and the acknowledgment of risk and personal responsibility.

Also, within the training is information regarding the daily health screening tool we are requiring all to complete before coming onto campus. It is either available either as an app on your smart device or accessible via the internet. The app is: Apple COVID-19, the internet address is: www.apple.com/covid-19.

No personal identifiable information is required to be entered, and the screening tool is free to use. It was developed by Apple in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC).

Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we journey on our road back from this pandemic.

John H. Nylen
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, President of RFU Health Clinics


Sent June 9, 2020

Return to Campus Plan

All,

As we start our return to campus over the next few months for work and study, we have instituted some changes within the facility for the safety and welfare of all students, faculty, and staff.

The attached document explains the changes, guidelines, and policies, as of now, that we are implementing.

Some of these changes will take a few weeks to implement, so as we ramp up please be patient.

Thank you.

John H. Nylen
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, President of RFU Health Clinics

As we plan to return to campus, we will be instituting multiple protocols to provide a safe environment for our students, faculty, and staff. It is the responsibility of each of us to follow these protocols; not only to protect our own health, but also to protect the health of others with whom we may come in contact.

These protocols are the result of discussions and guidance from public health authorities (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Lake County Health Department) and RFU senior administration discussions specific to our environment. Information about COVID-19 continues to be discovered and, as that information becomes available, public health authorities may modify their guidelines and recommendations. When that occurs, these protocols will be modified to comply with the updated guidelines and recommendations.

We have engaged Hygiengineering, an environmental health and safety engineering firm, and Harvard maintenance, our campus facilities cleaning firm, in developing an on-going plan for a clean, safe facility.

Guiding Principles to Keep in Mind

The more an individual interacts with others, the longer that interaction, and the smaller the size of the space they occupy, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. With that in mind, the following protocols are established for all upon entering the University's teaching facilities.

Promoting Behaviors that Reduce Spread

  • Stay home if you are sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Stay home if you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Wash hands regularly for at lest 20 seconds. If soap and water are not accessible use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Face coverings MUST be worn at all times when in public areas of the University (hallways, classrooms, washrooms. etc.). RFU will be providing washable cloth face masks to all students, faculty, and staff. Disposable masks will be available at University entrances.
  • If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, follow the RFU established protocols for returning to class or work.
  • Clean your workspaces. Remove pictures or other personal effects, paperwork, etc from surfaces to allow the cleaning staff to thoroughly clean your personal space.

Maintaining Healthy Operations

Limit your time on campus. If you can work or study from home, continue to do so. Remote learning, where feasible, will continue.

  • RFU will be limiting the number of entrances into the building. These will be communicated when determined.
  • Temperatures will be taken using touchless thermometers of everyone at each entrance. Anyone with a fever over 100.5 degrees will be denied entrance and encouraged to self-isolate and contact their healthcare provider.
  • RFU will require daily health screenings. We are exploring smart phone-based apps for ease of use. Proof of daily completion of the screening tool will be required for entrance into the buildings.
  • Social distancing will be practiced at all times. Classrooms will have maximum capacity limits to promote social distancing. Under Phase 3, the maximum limit is 10 per room, for Phase 4 it is 50.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned and sanitized after each change of class. Change of class is defined as a new cohort of students entering a single classroom. If students stay for a second class and just the instructor leaves, this does not constitute change of classroom.
  • All meetings should continue to be through the use of video / audio conferencing technology (e.g. Zoom or Google Meet). Conference rooms are to be used only for emergent situations, and social distancing rules will apply.
  • Hallways and stairwells will be designated one-way where feasible. Please adhere to those directions.
  • Elevators are to be utilized only when the use of stairs would not be reasonably feasible. One person at a time in the elevators.
  • Washrooms will have restricted capacity limits. All washrooms will be cleaned on a regular interval throughout the day.
  • Study areas will have restricted capacity limits, will be vacated and cleaned mid-day, and will not be available 24/7. Times and duration are still being discussed.
  • When we re-open the cafeteria, there will be offerings and limited, social distancing seating. No group seating will be available. Faculty and staff are requested to eat at your desks.
  • Water fountains will not be operational.
  • Office based water coolers should be sanitized before and after each use, mainly the touch points.
  • The workout facility will remain closed until further notice.
  • Campus hours for common areas (including library and study areas) will be limited. Open and closing times to be determined.
  • All campus visitors and vendors will be subject to temperature taking, screening questions, and mandatory mask wearing

RFU Preparations

  • Since the University has been effectively shut down for 2 months, Hygiengineering is performing water and air quality checks to ensure the water system is free from legionella and the HVAC is free of mold and mildew.
  • Harvard Maintenance has been performing a deep cleaning of the facility during this closure. Ongoing cleaning will continue, using cleaning/disinfecting chemicals that are EPA approved and meet or exceed the current CDC recommendations.
  • Harvard plans to clean/disinfect using a combination of electrostatic misting, surface wiping, and microfiber wipes (plan to launder after use).
  • There will be a daytime and an evening crew on site to complete routine cleaning/disinfecting.
  • Routine cleaning tasks cover:
    • High-touch areas (door handles, sink handles, grab bars, hand railings, etc.) (every 1-2 hours)
    • Bathrooms
    • Classrooms (after each class)
    • Cafeteria (each table after each use)
    • Outside handrails
  • The HVAC system utilizes MERV-14 filters. This exceeds CDC guidelines and is hospital level filtering.
  • Air flow will utilize outside air to the highest capacity feasible. All inside air will be vented to the outside. No air flow will be re-circulated.
  • Protective screens have been installed at each high-contact area (reception, mail room, LRC, Clinic Reception).
  • Touchless faucets have been installed where practical.
  • Doors will be propped open where feasible to limit touch surfaces.

Additional CDC Guidelines

  • The CDC highly recommends avoiding public transportation for the near future. At this time RFU will not provide shuttle service from the train station.
  • Avoid all unnecessary travel, especially air travel. RFU continues to have a moratorium on all business travel. Continue to report personal travel through the RFU COVID-19 reporting system.
  • Limit any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as possible – especially with individuals who are not from the local geographic area.

Additional RFU Guidelines

  • Continue to reference the RFU COVID-19 information on the RFU website for the most current information and documentation related to COVID-19 and the RFU Campus
  • Reporting of a positive COVID-19 result to HR or Student Affairs (for students) is expected and required
  • It is expected that faculty and staff will communicate and coordinate with supervisors their planned time on campus
  • COVID-19 testing MAY be required depending on circumstances (e.g. case increases in a particular unit or department)
  • Completion of infectious disease precautions training and awareness of risk form submitted to HR (faculty/staff) and through Student Affairs (students).

Sent May 1, 2020

COVID-19 Testing at RFU Health Clinics

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

Since April 17, the RFU Health Clinics have offered COVID-19 tests to our existing patients and members of our university community. Effective May 1, the health clinics will expand testing to the general public, a decision that reflects our commitment to the health and wellness of our region, and to containing the spread of the coronavirus. Testing for all is by appointment only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays at the RFUHC North Chicago location, just south of campus on the other side of The Woodlands apartments.

Anyone who is interested in a test must first call the RFUHC COVID hotline at 224-570-7575 to set up an appointment. During the initial phone screening, clinic workers will ask about existing COVID symptoms (fever, cough and/or shortness of breath) or direct exposure to someone with a confirmed case, with the goal of prioritizing incoming patients for appointments. Upon arrival, those seeking a test will be asked to stay inside their car. A phone number and instructions will be posted in the parking lot, and arrivals will check in with a patient service representative over the phone before the test can be performed.

A doctor's order is not required to receive this test. The cost of the test is covered by health insurance, with no copay required. The self-pay cost is $51.37, which is equivalent to the Medicare reimbursement rate.

The clinic will contact patients with test results, which can take up to two to three days. More information is available at www.rfuclinics.com.

Stay healthy and stay safe.

John H. Nylen
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, President of RFU Health Clinics


Sent April 28, 2020

CARES Act

Dear University Community:

RFU continues to prioritize the health and well-being of our entire community in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, with special attention to and empathy for our students who have shouldered unexpected disruptions in these months. We are tapping into all available resources, including legislative assistance and the generosity of our community, to support our students with housing, travel and academic challenges. Our efforts are reinforced by two initiatives designated to provide financial relief directly to our students.

The university has secured funding through the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, to provide direct support to our students due to loss of income, interruption of services, health care or other COVID-19 related challenges.

RFU has also established an Emergency Student Related Expenses Fund through the generosity of our alumni, staff, faculty, friends and advocates. We are grateful for our community’s commitment to students who need assistance during this unprecedented crisis.

Students will be informed separately regarding the process for accessing our different sources of assistance by Rebecca Durkin, our Vice President for Student Success and Inclusion. We encourage all members of our university family to check in with students in their circles to make sure they are aware of these relief efforts, especially those who may need additional support at this time.

Thank you for helping us take care of our university family. Wishing all of you good health.

Sincerely,

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO


Sent April 28, 2020

Summer Quarter

Dear RFU Community:

The sacrifices we are making to keep both our campus community and our neighbors safe during the COVID-19 pandemic are helping to flatten the curve, save lives and keep our hospitals and emergency departments from becoming overwhelmed.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced that Illinois’ stay-at-home order will continue through at least May 30. In response, RFU will continue to strike a balance between protecting our health and wellness and moving forward with our academic and research missions. We will continue with remote teaching, learning and work-from-home operations through Aug. 7, with limited exceptions for essential task training and assessment activities for our students. These exceptions will allow students to progress and to be prepared for clinical site rotations.

Making these decisions now will give students and faculty the ability to continue developing appropriate academic plans. Programs will communicate directly with their students in the coming weeks to offer additional details. We will continue to work closely with our clinical partners and program accreditors toward the resumption of any affected rotations and other clinical experiences, with the goal of safeguarding the health and safety of our students.

We are also consulting with local and state officials and our research leadership in re-evaluating the suspension of our in-laboratory research activities, with the goal of resumption as soon as it is safe to do so. Additional guidance will be developed and communicated by Executive Vice President for Research Ronald Kaplan, PhD.

We recognize that this extension comes on top of a series of adjustments we have asked of you during these weeks of uncertainty. We will revisit the work-from-home extension as new information becomes available and provide timely updates.

I ask you to stay the course and do your part to help control the outbreak and prevent a second wave of infections. We’re all looking forward to the day when we can return to campus. Thank you for your continued commitment to our collective health.

Sincerely,

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO


Sent April 17, 2020

New Protocol for Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis and Other HR News

Dear RFU Community,

To ensure the safety of all University employees, new protocols have been put in place for those diagnosed with COVID-19. In order to return to work, the following criteria must be met:

  • The employee must be fever free for 7 consecutive days, AND
  • the employee must be symptom free of other COVID-19 symptoms for 7 consecutive days, AND
  • it must be a minimum of 14 days since the first onset of symptoms.

If the employee meets the above criteria, then they need to make an appointment with the RFU Health Clinics where an RFU provider will perform an exam and administer a COVID-19 test. Once a negative result for COVID-19 is received, the results need to be communicated by the Clinic provider to Human Resources at hr@rosalindfranklin.edu. Upon receipt of notification, HR will clear the employee to return to work. No employee should return to work without prior clearance from HR.

In other news, I am pleased to announce that an Employee Resources tab has been added to the RFU Community Connections page. This tab, found at the bottom of the page, includes many articles relating to coping with stress and anxiety, tips for families, eating healthy, fun things to do, and other resources including our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) information and telehealth procedures. All of us are experiencing feelings of loss and anxiety during this time, and we hope you find the resources helpful. Access the page here.

We are also still seeking contributions - photos of your workstations, new co-workers (pets/family members), or even pictures of beautiful spring scenery! Thanks to Danielle Tonin for inspiring this theme of Spring which will be featured next week!

The Kudos section is also looking for your contributions to recognize your team member or another coworker who has gone out of their way to make you smile or keep you sane during this time! Please submit your photos and kudos to hr@rosalindfranklin.edu.

Be well,

Sally J. Madden, MBA, SPHR
Associate Vice President of Human Resources


Sent April 8, 2020

Second Confirmed COVID-19 Case at RFU

Dear University Community,

The Lake County Health Department has confirmed that a member of the university’s essential staff tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member was on campus last week as part of their essential job duties and they were following strict social distancing guidelines. We are happy to share that the staff member is doing well.

We continue to work closely with the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center (LCHD) in monitoring the situation to ensure the well-being of the staff member and the RFU community. At this time, it has been determined that no member of the university community has been in close contact with this staff member to warrant further isolation or monitoring. If you had been identified as someone who might have come in contact with this person or had been in close proximity to them, the health department would have contacted you.

As we approach three weeks since RFU shifted to online teaching and learning and stay-at-home operations, future communication about confirmed COVID-19 cases involving members of our campus community will be available online. In addition, you can find important information on the COVID-19 information webpage, including preventive health measures and symptoms to monitor. The page also includes a set of forms for students or staff and faculty to report any COVID-19 related illness or exposures, which the university will continue to track with the assistance of the health department.

Please know that our services remain available to our university community through this difficult time. Employees can reach out for support through our confidential Employee Assistance Program by calling 800-316-2796. Students may seek help through our Student Counseling Service, which is free to all currently enrolled students and can be reached by calling 847-578-8723, and the Division of Student Affairs and Inclusion.

Please join me in wishing our staff member a speedy recovery. Your continuing support of our efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 will see us through to the other side of this crisis.

Very Sincerely,

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM

President and CEO

Additional Information from the Lake County Health Department:

It is critically important that the community follow prescribed preventive measures such as social distancing and the three C’s to avoid getting sick:

  • Clean hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your elbow; and
  • Contain illness by staying home if you are sick.

Social Distancing

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet between yourself and others.
  • Call to check on family, neighbors, and older adults instead of visiting.
  • Check with your healthcare provider about telehealth options.

What to do if you are sick

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, stay home and call your doctor. Distance yourself from others in the household and if possible, stay in your own bedroom and use your own bathroom. Contact your doctor if your illness is worsening (for example, you have difficulty breathing).

Do not walk into a healthcare facility, urgent care clinic, or hospital before calling. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. If your doctor believes that you need to be tested for COVID-19, they should refer you to a COVID-19 testing site. The Lake County Health Department should only be contacted by your doctor to facilitate testing through the state lab for patients who are hospitalized or those who live or work in congregate settings (e.g., schools, long term care facilities, and group homes).

Residents who do not have a primary care provider can contact the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center at 847-377-8800 to schedule an appointment.

For general state and national information, please call the Illinois State Hotline at 800-899-3931, or visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website at dph.illinois.gov, or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at coronavirus.gov.


Sent April 6, 2020

Impact Fund: Support our Students and Campus Community

Rosalind Franklin University is meeting the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with a determination rooted in our trust in science, belief in humanity and unwavering commitment to the advancement of our mission and the health and well-being of our community.

We continue to make difficult but necessary decisions as part of the massive public health effort to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. In a matter of days, we transformed how we deliver our mission promise — we moved all faculty, students and staff to virtual learning and online working environments, while preserving the most essential of our research functions and university operations.

Many of our alumni, faculty and friends are putting the health of others before their own as they serve on the front lines of care. We are inspired by their strength, compassion and professionalism. We are also grateful for the generosity of so many donors and advocates. Their support has empowered us as we adapt to major changes to academic and operational systems, but more importantly as we work to support our students and faculty during these extraordinary and stressful times.

As the crisis has ramped up, many have asked how they can help our students, faculty and campus community. Our answer is, in so many immediate and meaningful ways. Our most pressing needs can be met through gifts to:

Emergency Student Related Expense Fund — Your generosity will help students in need of assistance for a wide range of necessities, including housing and food insecurities, travel, and technology costs related to online learning.

Community Impact Fund — As RFU works with state and county agencies to support the healthcare community’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, our Health Clinics in northern Lake County remain open, and our providers and staff are committed to maintaining continuity of care and helping patients meet their healthcare needs. We need to ensure that operations can continue, and also that our outreach programs can accommodate potential increased volume of patients from the community for general needs when social distancing is relaxed.

Greatest Strategic Priority — This fund will help the university navigate critical operational needs that include adapting our educational and work environment, and extending the utilization of online and simulation in support of essential clinical and team-based training. It will also fuel exploration of research opportunities to support endeavors like COVID-19 immunology testing.

If you want to help ensure that Rosalind Franklin University has resources to adapt to these continuing challenges, you can choose to support RFU.

Thank you for any and all assistance you can provide. With your support, we will get through this together. I wish you good health as we continue to work in shared responsibility to protect our community.

Very Sincerely,

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO


Sent April 6, 2020

COVID-19 Protocol Update

Dear Faculty, Students and Staff:

Over the last two weeks there has been, and will continue to be, evolving information regarding how to deal with the COVID-19 virus. Here is the latest guidance from the CDC, IDPH, and LCHD which the university requests you follow if you must leave your home for essential work or services:

Use of Masks/Face Coverings: While not mandated, we recommend that you utilize some type of covering of your mouth and nose when in public. These coverings should not be N95 respirators or surgical masks, which remain in short supply for our healthcare providers, but can be homemade cloth coverings.

Gloves: The use of gloves for routine shopping is unclear at this time. The latest studies indicate that the virus stays viable on gloves longer than hands, and wearing gloves typically does not stop you from touching your face, which is the major concern for contact transmissions. The use of sanitizers and proper hand washing are much more effective than routine wearing of gloves. Washing your hands frequently remains the best solution to fighting any virus.

Call First: If you feel you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider before arriving at their offices or the emergency room. There is a defined protocol that is followed and the phone screening will provide you with the appropriate steps that you should take. This applies to the RFU Health Clinics as well. Please call first.

COVID-19 Testing: At this time, you must get a physician's recommendation to get tested. There are multiple scams that involve drive-through testing centers that charge you on the spot and never send your tests to a verified lab. These are occurring throughout the Chicagoland area. Legitimate testing resources are being focused on those who are the most ill, first responders, and/or healthcare workers on the front lines. Testing is improving and this shortage should be changing in the next few weeks.

Social Distancing: Stay at home as much as possible. When you are in public, maintain at least 6 feet of distance between individuals, and never congregate in groups greater than 10. If you happen to pass by someone less than 6 feet apart, such as a grocery aisle, this shouldn't be a reason for concern.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Stay home, stay healthy.

John H. Nylen
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, President of RFU Health Clinics


Sent April 5, 2020


Sent April 1, 2020

Confirmed COVID-19 Case at RFU

Dear University Community,

I write to you today to inform you that a faculty member in the College of Health Professions has tested positive for COVID-19. We continue to work closely with the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center (LCHD) in monitoring the situation and have been informed that the faculty member did not become symptomatic until after our university community implemented our social distancing efforts and began operating remotely.

We remain committed to the privacy of the individual involved but do want to ensure that you know that they are under the care of their physician.

If you have been identified as someone who may have come in contact with this person, or have been in close proximity to them, you would have already received notification from the health department.

You can find important information on our COVID-19 information webpage, including preventive health measures, symptoms to watch for, and details on university processes for reporting illness. Our priority is to support the patient through this health crisis and to ensure the safety of everyone on our campus.

While we are doing everything we can to manage this public health issue, we recognize the stress and anxiety you may be feeling. If you are struggling to cope, we encourage you to seek help through our Student Counseling Service, which is free to all currently enrolled students and can be reached by calling 847-578-8723, and the Division of Student Affairs and Inclusion. University employees can reach out for support through our confidential Employee Assistance Program by calling 800-316-2796.

As we continue to navigate the complex and rapidly shifting situation posed by COVID-19 at home and abroad, we can find strength and support within our university community and beyond, among our caring colleagues, friends and neighbors, whether we are serving on the front lines or quarantining at home. We will get through this together.

Very Sincerely,

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO

Additional Information from the Lake County Health Department:

It is critically important that the community follow prescribed preventative measures such as social distancing and the three C's to avoid getting sick:

  • Clean hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your elbow; and
  • Contain illness by staying home if you are sick.

Social Distancing

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet between yourself and others.
  • Call to check on family, neighbors, and older adults instead of visiting.
  • Check with your healthcare provider about telehealth options.

What to do if you are sick

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, stay home and call your doctor. Distance yourself from others in the household and if possible, stay in your own bedroom and use your own bathroom. Contact your doctor if your illness is worsening (for example, you have difficulty breathing).

Do not walk into a healthcare facility, urgent care clinic, or hospital before calling. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. If your doctor believes that you need to be tested for COVID-19, they should refer you to a COVID-19 testing site. The Lake County Health Department should only be contacted by your doctor to facilitate testing through the state lab for patients who are hospitalized or those who live or work in congregate settings (e.g., schools, long term care facilities, and group homes).

Residents who do not have a primary care provider can contact the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center at (847) 377-8800 to schedule an appointment.

For general state and national information, please call the Illinois State Hotline at 1-800-899-3931, or visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website at dph.illinois.gov, or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at coronavirus.gov.


Sent April 1, 2020

Extension of Stay-at-home

Dear RFU Community:

I am truly grateful for the resilience and understanding you have displayed as we work together to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate the risk to our university community. Now, I must ask for an even greater commitment.

As the number of reported COVID-19 cases in Illinois continues to rise and put pressure on healthcare facilities across the region, we have decided that RFU must continue to practice social distancing through May 15. All classroom activities and business functions will continue to operate remotely, and the campus will remain closed to all but essential functions.

This revised course of action will take us through the end of the spring academic quarter. We recognize that this prolongs the adjustments and sacrifices everyone has been called on to make in response to our containment efforts. Hopefully, the stay-at-home measures taken by RFU, the state of Illinois and communities across our nation and the world will generate positive results in the days and weeks to come. When those improvements become evident, we will know that our efforts have been for the best.

We all look forward to a day in the not-too-distant future when we can return to campus, classrooms, labs, and rotations. Working together, we will make it through, stronger than ever.

Very sincerely,

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO


Sent March 31, 2020

Commencement

Dear RFU Community:

We have made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel our awards and commencement ceremonies, previously scheduled for May 28 and 29 in Chicago. Please know that I and all of our university leadership share in your disappointment, and that we are looking to find alternative ways to celebrate the Class of 2020 at a more appropriate time.

Nothing short of a global health crisis, like COVID-19, could have forced this decision. Commencement is a cherished RFU tradition. It always includes a powerful reading of the Oath of Geneva, in which we solemnly pledge as our first consideration the health and well-being of our patients, and to attend to our own health and well-being in order to provide care of the highest standing. Members of our Class of 2020 are already practicing these pledges, as they absorb the disruptions and share in the sacrifices demanded by our national efforts to contain the coronavirus and keep our people healthy.

Be assured that degrees will still be awarded to allow our graduating students to begin their residencies and enter the healthcare field at this critical time. Our decision to avoid congregating in a mass setting for commencement is focused solely on prioritizing the health and safety of the RFU community and the wider community of healthcare professionals.

In the coming weeks, we will explore options for a virtual celebration that allows us to recognize the achievements of our graduates and the support of their loved ones throughout their academic journey. We will be sure to share those plans with you as they take shape.

In the meantime, we will continue to take strength in each other and our professions as we deal with the current reality. We thank you for the sacrifices you have made during these times.

Very sincerely,

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO

Nancy L. Parsley, MHPE, DPM
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


Sent March 20, 2020

Illinois Stay-at-Home Order

Dear RFU Community:

As you have no doubt heard, on Friday, March 20, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that the ongoing response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic will include a stay-at-home order for Illinois residents, which will require everyone to remain in their residences and non-essential businesses to close from Saturday, March 20, at 5 p.m through April 7.

It is important to point out that the order does not apply to anyone heading out for essentials like groceries, gasoline, pharmaceuticals, medical visits and exercise. It is also notable that the exceptions listed in the governor’s Executive Order include traveling “to care for another family member, friend or pet in another household.” This speaks to the core values we all share to take care of each other as we navigate through this uncertain and developing challenge.

We encourage everyone in our campus community to comply with this order and continue to make sound individual choices to protect one another’s health and safety. Staying in our homes will be a shared sacrifice that will limit exposure to affected residents, keep emergency rooms and hospitals from becoming overwhelmed, and ultimately save lives.

Please be advised that during the stay-at-home period, key university resources will remain available even with the campus closed to most functions. The Health Clinics will remain open, and offices such as Student Affairs, Student Financial Services, Human Resources and the Learning Resource Center will continue to provide staff members for online inquiries.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at our university. Please continue to monitor your health and report any concerns through forms located at our dedicated COVID-19 resource page, which includes updates on university operations and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for help in recognizing symptoms of infection.

We also encourage you to visit the State of Illinois Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response page for more information.

This weekend and throughout the days and weeks to come, reach out to your loved ones and friends, especially those who might be feeling vulnerable, to stay connected with them and to keep tabs on their well-being. We look forward to the day we’ll be able to leave our homes without concern and share the world — and our campus — with each other again. Please stay safe and healthy.

Very sincerely,

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO


Sent March 20, 2020

Stay At Home Order and RFU Operations

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Given the Governor's Stay At Home Order, the following changes in Operations will take effect beginning Monday, March 23:

BUILDING ACCESS
No Changes, though Security will be monitoring to ensure only essential staff are entering the building. Only the Main Entrance, IRP Entrance, and Morningstar entrances will allow for keycard entry.

FOOD SERVICE
The Cafeteria will be closed beginning Monday.

SECURITY
Security will still be on site 24/7. No changes.

We will discontinue Bus runs to/from Metra. Metra has significantly reduced service, and there have been no RFU passengers the last 2 days.

The Wednesday bus run for Student Housing for groceries will continue at 4:00. Additional runs will be determined based on need and driver availability.

FACILITIES
Building facilities will continue to have a skeleton crew present to support building needs.

FINANCE
All requests for Finance must now be handled through email. There will be no Finance staff present.

HUMAN RESOURCES
All HR needs must be handled through email. There will be no HR staff present.

MAIL ROOM
The mail room will remain staffed daily, though it may close earlier in the day, depending on mail and package delivery schedules.

HEALTH CLINICS
The Health Clinics will remain open. The North Chicago Clinic will reduce hours to 9:00am to 2:00pm for primary care and podiatry patients.

STUDENT COUNSELING
No change in availability. Use of telemedicine whenever possible

All of these processes and hours are subject to change at any time as the situation evolves.

As always, thank you for your support, patience, and understanding as we navigate these challenging times.

John H. Nylen
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, President of RFU Health Clinics


Sent March 20, 2020

Updated Travel Guidance

RFUMS is reminding you of our existing policies and also providing some updates to continue being pro-active in our COVID-19 prevention measures for our community. All travel needs to be reported prior to travel on the travel form.

In order to protect yourself, and those around you, we recommend that for the foreseeable future you do not travel.

If you do travel, before returning to campus:

  • All faculty, staff and students returning from international travel to Level 3 must self-isolate for 14 days.
  • All faculty, staff and students returning to campus from the continental U.S. are asked to monitor domestic locations you may be considering as detailed on the CDC’s website.
    • If you're returning from a state with a high rate of incidence, according to the CDC website, please consider whether you need to self-isolate based on your health status, cities traveled to, and anticipated interaction with high-risk populations.
    • According to the CDC, in the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date.

We anticipate as this situation evolves, there may be additional screening and self-isolation requirements mandated by government entities.

If your travel plans change (altered or cancelled) and you have already reported your potential travel:

Rebecca L. Durkin
She/her/hers
Vice President, Student Success and Inclusion


Sent March 17, 2020

RFU Operational Changes

All,

The following operational changes will be in effect during our commitment to on-line study and social distancing to address the COVID-19 spread.

Since many individuals may be in and out of the office at irregular times without consistent access to voice mail, should you need to contact anyone PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL. This will ensure your question or request is addressed.

BUILDING ACCESS

In order to monitor and staff appropriately, only the following 3 entries will be open to keycard access: Main Entrance, the Morningstar Entrance, and the IRP Entrance. All other doors will be closed and locked for entrance into the main campus buildings.

COMMON AREAS

After further review on the progressing need for social distancing additional restrictions are being enforced. All common areas, including all lobbies, study rooms, library, classrooms, meeting/conference rooms, student lounges and the DNA cafeteria seating area are not to be used. If on campus maintain as much as possible a 6 foot distance between you and any other person.

CAMPUS SAFETY

Campus Safety will operate as normal, 24/7. Should there be any issues please do not hesitate to visit or contact the Campus Safety Office at 3288.

The Campus bus will continue at this time, however the number of runs may decrease once usage is determined.

Gordon Blanchard will provide more information regarding this and other Safety Developments as they occur.

HR

At least one person will be available in the HR department daily. All others will be available by email from their home connections. Further details regarding Health Insurance and other HR related topics will be sent by Sally Madden shortly.

FACILITIES

Building engineers and maintenance will be present daily. All areas will have coverage. Office staff will be on-campus at various times throughout the week, work from home the other times. Please note: all current maintenance projects are suspended during this time period.

PURCHASING

The purchasing department will operate remotely. The Spirit Store will not be open, neither on campus nor on-line.

Print Production will not be available.

The Mail Center will operate during normal business hours, however with limited staff.

Vince Butera has already sent a more detailed description of services.

FINANCE

The Finance department will have a manager on duty daily during the hours of 10-2. All other finance staff will be working remotely, periodically coming in to attend to on-site required duties.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

We expect a large volume of support requests for the ITS department as we transition to remote operations. Please be patient as we address these requests. There will be IT support personnel on-campus during normal business hours, however with limited staff. Walk-in support may be significantly reduced or unavailable during this challenging time. All other ITS staff will be working remotely. Rick Loesch will be providing more details and tips for support and working remotely shortly. You can contact ITS at helpdesk@rosalindfranklin.edu or (847) 578-8800.

LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER

The LRC will be closed at this time. Normal access to all electronic resources will continue, and Boxer Library staff are fully accessible for remote support during normal business hours. You can contact them at: eresources@rosalindfranklin.edu or (847) 578-8808 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday.

FOOD SERVICES

The DNA cafeteria will remain open, however there will be a change in the operating hours, which will now be 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. There will also be limited service available (all salads grab & go, Grill and sandwich lines). All food is to be taken to your office and eaten there, not in the DNA seating area.

The Grab & Go Cafe in the IRP will not be open during this time.

HEALTH CLINICS

The Clinics will remain open with normal operating hours at this time. We will be utilizing tele-medicine wherever possible. All non-essential appointments are being re-scheduled for a month from now. Only the main entrance is open for entry to non-clinic staff. Keycard entry for other RFU students, faculty, and staff is now unavailable.

Student Counseling will still operate during normal business hours. Utilization of tele-medicine is also being implemented where appropriate.

Business Operations of the Clinic (Billing Services, Student Occupational Health (Immunization record keeping) will continue but with limited availability. If you need either of these services call or email before arriving at the Clinic.

Thank you for your continued understanding and support.

John H. Nylen
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, President of RFU Health Clinics


Sent March 16, 2020

COVID-19 Update - Work from Home

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

We continue to closely monitor the rapid evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular focus on the health and safety of our university community. As a reminder, we have been taking action in accordance with state and federal guidelines, instructing all employees, with the exception of those designated as essential to campus operations, to transition to work from home, effective at the close of business on Wednesday, March 18. If supervisors are ready, they can move to remote workstations as soon as they are prepared to do so.

While we have no confirmed cases among our university community, as of Monday afternoon, there are 105 reported cases in Illinois and six in Lake County.

Our move to remote teaching, learning, and work underscores our support for Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who continues to call for social distancing as a primary strategy in limiting exposure to the coronavirus. All elementary and high schools will be closed from Tuesday, March 17, through March 30; all restaurants and bars will close to the public today through March 30, with limited takeout and curbside service. We ask each member of the RFU community to do their part in adopting social distancing by conducting their activities, including working and studying, remotely to the greatest extent possible.

Essential RFU staff have either already been designated or will be designated by their supervisors. In addition, supervisors will discuss work-from-home expectations with staff. Faculty and staff will continue to be paid as normal. Work study will be addressed separately. Look for more information via email from John Nylen, executive vice president of finance and administration.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates. We don’t know how long these preventive measures will be necessary, but we do know that they are necessary. The science shows that social distancing can help slow community transmission of the novel virus and we must do our part in fighting this pandemic.

Please continue to check your university email for updates, and thank you for your support as we continue to work in shared responsibility to protect our collective health.

Very sincerely,

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO


Sent March 15, 2020

Resources for Teaching Remotely

Dear Colleagues,

Many of you are quickly transitioning to an online environment for teaching and learning during this time of disruption in on-campus classes. OLID, IT, the Boxer Library, and the Office of Faculty Development are working to support you in a way that will help you continue to deliver high quality teaching and learning to your students through online technologies.

The Educational Continuity website has been established to provide resources on how to prepare and deliver courses online. There is a variety of information about instructional strategies, available technologies, and valuable resources about teaching online. In addition to the website, the departments that support your teaching will remain available for assistance by a dedicated email address and phone number - 847-578-3333 (starting Monday, 3/16/2020).

The professional development series on Educational Continuity scheduled for this week on-campus will continue, and also be recorded and posted on the Educational Continuity website. These sessions include cover the following topics:

Session 1 – Faculty Services and Support for Teaching Online
Teaching off campus requires the use of several software applications. This session provides contact information for the support needed to be successful teaching online as well as tips to prepare your remote work environment.

Session 2 – Preparing for Teaching Online
Accessing courses in Brightspace is the first step to teach online. In this session we will present ways to add learning materials to your online course for students to access.

Session 3 – Staying Engaged with Your Students Online
Teaching online requires instructor engagement with students to promote learning. We will present the communication media available to stay connected with your students online.

Session 4 – Delivering your Lectures Online
Presenting a lecture online can be done live or pre-recorded. We will present the ways it can be done without special technical experience.

Session 5 – Assessing Student Learning Online
Assessing student learning can be done online using tools available in Brightspace. We will discuss the techniques for assessing student learning through written assignments and quizzes.

We are committed to supporting you during this stressful time, and appreciate your patience as we work with you to provide educational continuity for our students.

Sincerely,

Bruce E. Sowers PhD, EdS
Associate Vice President for Online Learning & Instructional Design


Sent March 14, 2020

Education and Support Services

Dear Students,

As our University transitions to remote education and operations, our concern for your wellbeing, both mental and physical, as well as our commitment to supporting you through these unusual times, are the focus of our decision-making processes.

The summary below outlines the services and support available to you through this transition. Our education and support services are largely provided remotely and remain in place for you. We have also outlined our required reporting, an important measure in keeping our community healthy.

As the circumstances in our local community, region and campus evolve, we will address on-going services and support accordingly.

All students are encouraged to let us know if you have questions, concerns or needs that are not defined in the below message. Each of us experiences our own unique challenges at times like these and we remain here to support you in any way that we can.

Please see the attached list of contact numbers/emails for quick reference for direct services.

General Contact Information

The Student Affairs main phone line 847-578-8354 will remain operational and monitored Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm (excluding holidays) In addition, students can utilize the central email address of student.development@rosalindfranklin.edu with any general questions and concerns.

Illness or Exposure Risk Reporting

Students experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID‑19 should seek medical care. Students who are ill with suspected COVID‑19 or have a suspected close contact or exposure to an individuals with COVID‑19 should notify the university using the COVID‑19 Illness Report

Travel Restrictions and Reporting

Students are asked to continue documenting their travel, for the sake of necessary internal reviews and to fulfill requests from clinical partners and health departments. Please remember that all University travel is suspended (except travel necessary for clinical placements) and that all non-essential personal travel is discouraged. With that said, please continue to document ALL (including clinical placements) of your travel on the Student Travel Registration Form.

Student Housing

Students are asked to leave Student Housing and we strongly encourage students living in the Woodlands apartments who can coordinate leaving for the period of Remote Campus to do so. Student Housing staff will be available for students by contacting student.housing@rosalindfranklin.edu or 847-578-8354. The office will remain open between 8:30-4:30pm Monday-Friday (excluding holidays). Common space usage will be restricted including study rooms, study lounges, and the Clubhouse and Fitness Center at Woodlands on Green Bay as a safety precaution.

During the Remote Campus time period, no community programming will occur within the On-Campus Student Housing buildings and the housing buildings are closed to visitors. As always, Campus Safety is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to address any emergencies that arise on campus.

Fitness and Recreation Spaces

To ensure the health and safety of our entire University Community, effective Monday, March 16 the Fitness Center will be closed and not accessible to anyone to help prevent the transfer of germs during the Remote Campus period. This includes the group fitness room and fitness classes. In the coming weeks passive educational programming will be available to guide students for at home independent work outs and wellness routines during the Remote Campus period.

Closures will also include the Game Room, TV Lounge, Nap Nook, Reflection Room, and Music Room for the duration of the Remote Campus Period.

International Students

As we transfer to remote education, the Department of State has determined that international students may maintain their F1 Visa’s with continued full time enrollment while learning in the online environment. This is an exception to standard protocol and we will notify International Students as this circumstance progresses.

Veteran’s Benefits

Veteran’s benefits remain unchanged for this time-being. Should this circumstance change, we will update the student’s impacted.

Student Counseling and Health Services

Student Counseling and Health Services remain open with standard hours of operation. We are currently assessing the ability to offer extended tele-health alternatives.

Student Financial Aid

Emergency aid will be made on a case by case basis for students requiring assistance during this trying time. Financial Aid will remain available via phone and email for consultation and management of student concerns. 847-578-3217

IT/Technical Support

IT remains available to students for technical support on an as needed basis. Their operation is unchanged.

Learning Resource Center

The Learning Resource Center remains available to students on an as needed basis. Its operation is unchanged.

Academic Support

The Office of Academic Support will maintain operations to support students academically. Academic support concerns or questions should be directed to academic.support@rosalindfranklin.edu and a member of the Academic Support staff will respond to you.

Peer Tutoring

Our peer tutoring program will continue to operate both large and small group sessions with modifications. All tutoring will be conducted in a non face-to-face format including Google Hangout, Camtasia, and Zoom. Large group sessions will be hosted through online and available to all students enrolled in the correlating course. Small group sessions will also be continued utilizing Google Hangout only, no in-person sessions will be allowed. Academic Support will be in contact with you if you have an assigned Small Group tutor and that assignment needs to change due to remote campus status.

Academic Accommodations

Our Services for Students with Disabilities will continue to operate and will work with accommodated students to update accommodations where necessary due to remote campus status. Please contact ada.coordinator@rosalindfranklin.edu for any new or updated requests for academic accommodations.

Academic Support Counseling

Academic Support will continue to provide students support in the areas of time management, student skills, test taking skills, and board preparation planning however all counseling will take place remotely over the phone or via google hangout. To schedule an appointment please email academic.support@rosalindfranklin.edu or call 847-578-8354 during normal business hours.

Student Life

The Student Life staff will be in contact with all student leaders who have future Student Organization Activities planned. All in-person related student activities will be cancelled and the student life staff will work directly with you on this cancellation. Upcoming class officer elections will still continue and will be coordinated electronically for each class. Please watch for additional information on the nomination and election procedures and timeline. Should organizations need to conduct any student organization activities in a remote manner, they should contact student.life@my.rfums.org or 847-578-8354 to consult on the need of activity. Engage will still be utilized as the primary Student Organization and event platform. No student organized events are allowed without the direct permission of the Office of Student Life.

Best,
Rebecca L. Durkin
She/her/hers
Vice President, Student Success and Inclusion


Sent March 14, 2020

Updates regarding RFU housing and remote learning

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

In yesterday’s email to you I mentioned how quickly things are evolving with the coronavirus concerns locally and nationally. Illinois Governor Pritzker announced 32 additional confirmed cases in Illinois in the last 24 hours, including one confirmed case in Lake County. We’re adapting our response to this health crisis as quickly as possible to protect your health, and you can expect that we’ll continue to adapt and communicate as more details emerge.

Social distancing is a critical measure and we can redouble our existing efforts by asking our students to disperse from student housing on or before Monday, March 23. This does not impact the Woodlands. However, we are encouraging residents there to disperse as well. We will work with students and support them through this transition, and we will consider exceptions on an individual basis to make sure that no one is displaced. Residents in housing will receive additional details via email from our housing administrators. All students will receive additional details regarding student support and services via email from Rebecca Durkin, vice president for student success and inclusion, following this message.

We realize this decision will be disruptive to many, but our national health calls for swift action. Additionally, to allow everyone an opportunity to normalize to a new environment for teaching and learning, we have decided to continue remote learning through at least April 20, with a planned review of that decision no later than April 13. We will update our faculty, staff, and students at that time. It’s our sincere hope that this public health crisis will have improved by then.

We do not have any confirmed cases on our campus, yet we understand that this could change at a moment’s notice which means that these proactive measures are key to combating the spread of this virus.

I wish all of you good health.

Very Sincerely

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO


Sent March 13, 2020

Important university update related to COVID-19

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

I want to share the latest actions we are taking to help contain the outbreak of COVID-19 and ensure your health and safety. While we have no reported cases of the virus among our community on or off campus, the virus, which has now infected 32 people in Illinois, is attacking in other ways. It is causing uncertainty and anxiety, but we must meet these times with facts and compassion. It is our shared responsibility to safeguard the health and well-being of our communities.

The steps outlined below are based on state and federal guidelines that call for social distancing to help slow the spread of the virus and prevent overload of our healthcare infrastructure.

Our latest protective measures, made in collaboration with our Coronavirus Oversight Committee, include:

  • Transition to online delivery of all coursework, by end of day on Wednesday, March 18. Experiential learning at clinical rotation sites will continue. Graduate student work within our research labs will continue with agreement from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and advisors on an as-needed basis.

  • Funded research will continue on-site with careful monitoring and discussion among team members and directors. Additional guidance will be provided by Dr. Ron Kaplan, executive vice president for research.

  • Transition of faculty and staff to remote/work off-site, by end of day on Wednesday, March 18. The university is not closing. We remain open and operational and some services will still be available on campus, with limitations. Faculty and staff will continue to be paid as normal. Work study will be addressed separately.

  • Supervisors must meet with their staffs by March 18 to discuss duties that can be fulfilled offsite. Supervisors will also discuss with their teams essential functions that require work on site, such as materials management or payroll. All work situations will be determined by unit supervisors. Planning should include activation and use of the Duo Mobile app via cell phone, which will ensure login authentication and security. It should also include discussion of use of Google Docs, and the uploading of documents needed for work to Google Drive. Numerous tutorials are available on Google and YouTube.

  • All university-related domestic travel is suspended. Cancellation fees will be reimbursed by the university. As a reminder, all university international travel is suspended and prohibited as previously announced.

  • All domestic travel of a personal nature must be registered in advance through our travel registry. This allows us to know if members of our community are traveling to hotspots and what additional precautionary measures should be considered, if any.

  • The RFU Health Clinics will continue to operate on a normal schedule. All patient care services will continue, though we will be utilizing telemedicine whenever practical. Access to the North Chicago clinic is now limited to the main entrance. The student-organized ICC will suspend operations until further notice. We will re-evaluate this action as more information regarding this situation is known.

  • Adherence to illness reporting procedure: If faculty, staff or their family members experience symptoms suspected to be related to COVID-19, or if they test positive for the virus, they should seek appropriate medical care, refrain from patient care and work activities, and complete the Faculty/Staff COVID-19 Reporting Form. The university will assist with care, planning and follow-up. Students experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should seek medical care. Students who are ill with suspected COVID-19 or have suspected exposure to the virus, should notify the university using the COVID-19 Illness Report. We ask that members of our community who are immunocompromised – meaning those with health conditions that cause a weakened immune system and who may have a reduced ability to fight the coronavirus, share that information. Employees contact hr@rosalindfranklin.edu and students contact ada.coordinator@rosalindfranklin.edu. We recognize the sensitive and confidential nature of this information and will work with you directly in an effort to better ensure your health and safety.

  • Attendance at any university-related, in-person meeting, conference or events of more than 25 people is suspended, starting March 19. These gatherings or meetings must be transitioned to conference calls and Google Hangouts.

  • Students will receive an additional email from Rebecca Durkin, vice president for student success and inclusion, with specific instructions and information pertaining to student housing, student activities and all support services.

  • Food service will be limited but will continue under normal operating hours. The grill, pizza and sandwich bars will remain open. Pre-made salads will be available. Demand will be monitored and adjustments will be made accordingly.

We will revisit these decisions as new information becomes available and we will provide an update to our university community no later than March 30.

We know that these actions will disrupt routines and pose challenges and disappointments for some. They certainly call for short-term sacrifice. But they will help ensure our health and safety and protect the most vulnerable among us by limiting exposure to the virus.

We strongly encourage students who are struggling to cope to seek support through our student counseling services and the Division of Student Affairs and Inclusion. Staff can reach out for support through our Employee Assistance Program.

Please visit our dedicated COVID-19 information webpage, where you can access university updates, forms, and sign up for emergency text alerts. We will continue to stay in close communication and inform you of any additional measures.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. We are hopeful that these measures will keep our community healthy and enable us to return to our routines as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO


Sent March 12, 2020

Teaching Remotely During a Campus Disruption

Dear Colleagues:

In the event of a disruption in campus classes, it is important for faculty to understand the basics for teaching remotely in an online environment. The following professional development series are designed to help provide faculty and staff with the tools needed to successfully continue to teach during times of disruption at the University campus.

Please plan on attending so you can be prepared in the event of a disruption in campus operations. Recording of these sessions will be made available online for access by those who cannot attend the sessions.

Educational Continuity

Professional Development Series:

Keep Teaching During a Campus Disruption

Session 1 – Faculty Services and Support for Teaching Online
Monday, March 16, 2020 – 2:00-3:00 pm – Centennial Room, RWCLC 2.068

Teaching off campus requires the use of several software applications. This session provides contact information for the support needed to be successful teaching online as well as tips to prepare your remote work environment. Add this session to your calendar.

Session 2 – Preparing for Teaching Online
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 – 9:30-10:30 am – Centennial Room, RWCLC 2.068

Accessing courses in Brightspace is the first step to teach online. In this session we will present ways to add learning materials to your online course for students to access. Add this session to your calendar.

Session 3 – Staying Engaged with Your Students Online
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – 10:00-11:00 am – HSB Room 1.629A

Teaching online requires instructor engagement with students to promote learning. We will present the communication media available to stay connected with your students online. Add this session to your calendar.

Session 4 – Delivering your Lectures Online
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – 2:00-3:00 pm – HSB Room 1.629A

Presenting a lecture online can be done live or pre-recorded. We will present the ways it can be done without special technical experience. Add this session to your calendar.

Session 5 – Assessing Student Learning Online
Thursday, March 19, 2020 – 10:00-11:00 am – Centennial Room, RWCLC 2.068

Assessing student learning can be done online using tools available in Brightspace. We will discuss the techniques for assessing student learning through written assignments and quizzes. Add this session to your calendar.

In addition to these sessions, Online Learning and Instructional Design (OLID) will continue to offer assist during Walk-In Wednesday 10:30 am training sessions. Information Technology will be offering technical walk-in training on Fridays at 11:00 am. This is in addition to the 11:00 am Technical Tuesday walk-in training sessions regularly offered by IT.

The Office of Faculty Development, in cooperation with OLID, IT, and the Boxer Library, are also providing the Educational Continuity website to provide teaching support for faculty during campus disruption.

It is our goal to help you be prepared should the University experience a disruption in educational continuity.

Cordially,

Faculty Development

Click here for current faculty development activities.


Sent March 11, 2020

Launch of RFU coronavirus website

Dear RFU Community:

We continue to monitor the fast evolving COVID-19 outbreak and we are strengthening our preparedness with the help of so many members of our community and trusted partners. Each of us has a role to play in safeguarding our individual and collective health and well-being.

While there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus on our campus or among our university family, I want to assure you that we are taking actions to prevent and limit potential transmission.

We are prioritizing proactive, accurate and effective communication. We have developed a dedicated COVID-19 information webpage, where you can access university updates, forms, and sign up for emergency text alerts. You can also find any communications you may have missed, including: information on preparations for remote teaching; a travel advisory announcing the suspension of all RFU-related international travel; and specific guidance on classroom and clinical learning to help our students navigate this difficult time.

Our Coronavirus Oversight Committee continues to lead the development of contingency plans so that we can continue our mission of teaching, learning and research if additional on-campus and residential restrictions become necessary. We are assessing our ability to deliver education online, looking at alternative methods for clinical skills development and also ensuring that critical business operations can continue to function if our faculty or staff must work remotely.

We are in daily contact with our local health department and receiving guidance from federal and state agencies that oversee education and health care. Strong collaboration, sharing of information, and vigilant assessment of our plans will help us protect our community and minimize disruption.

We thank all of you for your support and understanding of our precautionary measures. I deeply appreciate the hard work and expertise of our faculty, staff and students as we work together to navigate this uncertain and challenging time.

Sincerely,

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO


Sent March 9, 2020

Information for Students - COVID-19

Dear RFU Students,

RFU, through its Coronavirus Oversight Committee, continues to actively monitor the COVID-19 situation and we are following the recommendations of the Lake County Health Department (LCHD), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At present, the following RFU decisions and policies have a direct impact on you as students:

Student Learning

-Clinical sites: Effective immediately, students in clinical settings are not to participate in direct patient care of known or suspected cases of COVID-19 infection. Clerkship and elective directors are also being advised of this restriction. Other than that limitation, students should continue their role as part of the healthcare team.

-Classroom and simulation settings: Students in classroom and simulation settings are presently unaffected. The RFU faculty is preparing contingency plans for continuation of learning activities should teaching become restricted. If the need arises to activate these plans, your specific program will provide direction to you and will remain in communication with you.

Student Travel

-As previously communicated, all university-related international travel is suspended and prohibited until September 1, 2020. RFU will absorb the costs for travel-related penalties for university-related international travel. Students should submit their Travel, Entertainment & Miscellaneous Expense Report requests to the Office of Student Life for approval and processing. Please enter “CANCELLED TRAVEL PENALTY” in the department name field when completing the form so Finance can process the requests appropriately.

-If you are traveling internationally for personal reasons, please follow CDC recommendations and federal travel bans and notify RFU using the Student Travel Registration Form, available on InSite.

-If you are traveling within the United States on behalf of the university, travel is not restricted. If you have specific questions regarding requirements, rescheduling or otherwise impacted plans, please email student.affairs@rosalindfranklin.edu.

Student Illness

-If you, or a family member living with you, experience symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath), seek appropriate medical advice and care. Do not attend class or participate in patient care activities. If your illness is suspected to be related to COVID-19, please notify the university using the COVID-19 Illness report by completing the information requested so that the university may assist you with planning and follow-up.

-If you, or a family member living with you, test positive for COVID-19, follow all CDC guidelines and instructions. Please also notify the Office of Student Life immediately using the COVID-19 Illness report by completing the information requested so that the university may assist you with care, planning and follow-up.

The university is developing a website page that will be available to all students, faculty and staff this week. RFU will provide updates on policies and procedures, guidance from the CDC and public health officials, and other information via that page. Additional communication regarding that page will be sent this week.

RFU remains committed to your well-being and safety. This is a constantly evolving situation and we will continue to keep you informed.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nancy Parsley
Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs


Sent March 5, 2020

RFU Travel Advisory

Dear University Community,

As we monitor coronavirus developments and reported cases around the world, the university's Coronavirus Oversight Committee has decided to take the following steps in regards to international travel:

Starting immediately and in effect until September 1, 2020, all university-related international travel is suspended and prohibited. This applies to all RFU students, staff, and faculty. This includes attendance at all international events, such as conferences, speaking engagements, research activities, global health activities, etc.

If you have already purchased airline, hotel, and/or conference registrations that fall within the March 5-September 1 timeframe, please cancel your reservations. Most airlines and hotels are waiving cancellation fees, but if your airline or hotel imposes a penalty, RFU will absorb the costs. Any penalties applied to reservations made with personal funds will be reimbursed by the university with appropriate documentation. Requests for this type of cancellation penalty reimbursement must be submitted to the Finance Department, along with your documentation and a completed Travel, Entertainment & Miscellaneous Expense Report.

Faculty and staff should submit completed forms to the Finance Department directly. Students should submit their requests to the Office of Student Life for approval and processing. Please enter “CANCELLED TRAVEL PENALTY” in the department name field when completing the form so Finance can process the requests appropriately.

If your international travel is scheduled to take place after September 1, 2020, you do not need to change anything at this time. The oversight committee will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and may extend travel restrictions beyond September 1 as new information becomes available or new guidance is issued by the CDC.

As a reminder, if you are travelling internationally for personal reasons, please notify RFU via the Student Travel Registration Form which is on InSite. This applies to all students, staff, and faculty. It allows RFU to provide the most up-to-date information to you regarding your area of travel.

RFU is preparing a webpage specific to COVID-19 as a way of keeping you informed of the most current situation, guidance from public health officials, information from the university on travel policies and procedures, etc. Please watch for communication regarding that webpage in the next few days.

Thank you for your support and understanding. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me.

John H. Nylen
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, President of RFU Health Clinics


Sent March 2, 2020

Preparing to Teach Remotely

Dear Faculty and Staff,

In recognition of recent updates on the coronavirus, COVID-19, and recent recommendations by the Illinois Department of Public Health asking institutions to assess their readiness and put contingency plans in place, we must be prepared to continue teaching activities for our students. While we hope we will not need to make adjustments due to public safety concerns, we want to ensure that we are prepared for any unanticipated disruptions.

The primary tool available for use during such a disruption will be our learning management system, D2L Brightspace. In the event of a campus closure, faculty will need to be prepared to provide instruction primarily using an asynchronous model. Options may include use of pre-recorded lectures from prior terms, use of short videos, or other assignments using available e-books and electronic journals. Additionally, D2L tools such as Discussions, Dropbox, and Quizzes are already available to facilitate student-to-instructor and student-to-student interactions. D2L Brightspace has integrated chat functions that can facilitate real-time discussions and Google Meet may be used for individual or small group conferences.

Students participating at clinical sites should be advised that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted Information for Healthcare Professionals at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/index.html.

Faculty and staff should also ensure that all necessary electronic files to conduct routine operations are accessible for remote work. According to RFU’s Information Technology Services (ITS), use of Google Drive is the best option to ensure access to needed files.

Advance assistance in preparing to use the university’s electronic resources can be provided by ITS, Online Learning and Instructional Design (OLID), or the Boxer Library teams.

Your ongoing efforts to educate students across the university are appreciated.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nancy Parsley
Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs


Sent February 28, 2020

RFU Preparedness for Coronavirus

All,

While there are currently no reported cases of the coronavirus in Lake County, RFU is actively engaged in scenario planning should the virus impact our campus.

We are following the recommendations of the Lake County Health Department (LCHD), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are monitoring the information updates provided by IDPH and the CDC daily, and are in direct communication with our partners at the LCHD.

While there are no known cases of coronavirus in Lake County at this time, Influenza A and B remain highly active and contagious within Lake County and require the same adherence to medical safety protocols as the coronavirus.

RFU has added additional hand sanitizer stations throughout our facilities. We have coordinated with our janitorial service and we can report that we exceed the IDPH recommendations for facility cleaning and sanitizing.

At this time, RFU requests that all students, staff, and faculty follow these procedures:

If you, or a family member living with you, are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms (such as fever, sinus congestion, cough, etc):

1: STAY HOME - Please do not come to work.

2: Seek medical care from your primary care provider, an immediate care facility, or the RFU Health Clinics.

3: Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

4: Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

5: Do not return to work until you have been fever free, without any fever reducing medication, for a minimum of 24 hours and are cleared for work by your healthcare provider.

If you are healthy, please follow these healthcare protocols:

1: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

2: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

3: Clean and sanitize keyboards and computer mice or other surfaces you touch on a regular basis.

4: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

5: If you have not had a flu vaccination we highly recommend getting one as soon as possible.

What NOT to do:

1: Do not wear a mask or gloves if healthy.

2: At this time it is not necessary to avoid crowds.

Further information specific to coronavirus is available at the IDPH website at: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus

TRAVEL NOTIFICATION

In January, the university had requested that employees report their travels to China to HR as a precautionary measure. Those of you who did report this, thank you. It has been helpful.

The CDC has now created a list of countries identifying 3 different levels of coronavirus outbreaks:

Level 3 - Avoid all nonessential travel to these areas.

Level 2 - Areas experiencing sustained community transmission of the disease. Older adults and those with compromised immune systems should avoid all nonessential travel.

Level 1 - No restriction, however utilize usual healthcare precautions.

Given that this list is in constant flux, RFU requests that all faculty and staff who are planning any travel outside of the continental United States, utilize the Student Travel Registration Form available on InSite. Your information will be forwarded to HR, and if there are any current CDC notices regarding the areas you are planning to visit, HR will notify you of the CDC's concerns and discuss processes for your return to campus, which could include a 14-day quarantine period, as necessary or required, once you have returned to the U.S.

This is a constantly evolving situation, and as more detailed information and recommendations come forward from the IDPH and CDC, we will keep you informed.

Thank you for your support and compliance with the processes as outlined above.

John H. Nylen
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, President of RFU Health Clinics


Sent January 30, 2020

RFU Travel Restriction

Dear Faculty, Students and Staff:

We’ve been monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and following the available guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States State Department. The CDC has issued a Level 3 Travel Warning, the most restrictive type of warning, which impacts mainland China and Hong Kong. The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to these regions.

RFU is following the advice of the CDC and the State Department and has cancelled all university-sponsored travel to China and Hong Kong by our faculty, students and staff until further notice. This includes global health experiences, symposia, conferences, seminars, etc. While this restriction does not pertain to your personal plans, we highly discourage you from travelling to these regions at this time, given the health and safety risks that are associated with it.

If you, or anyone in your household, have been to China or Hong Kong in recent months (starting December 2019), or if you intend to travel for personal reasons while the RFU restricted travel policy is in effect, we ask that faculty and staff notify Sally Madden, associate vice president for human resources, and students notify Shelly Brzycki, associate vice president for student affairs, so we are aware of your plans and your itinerary. You can reach Sally at sally.madden@rosalindfranklin.edu or 847-578-3266 and Shelly at Shelly.Brzycki@rosalindfranklin.edu or 847-578-8355.

We will continue to monitor this situation and adhere to the CDC’s recommendations. As new guidance is available, we will revisit the restricted travel and notify you of changes.

Thank you,

John H. Nylen
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, President of RFU Health Clinics