President’s Statement on COVID-19

The following statement was sent from President Jim Collins to the faculty, staff and students of Loras College. For updated campus information on the coronavirus, visit loras.edu/coronavirus.

Dear Members of the Loras College Community,

Increasing attention among healthcare providers (and the media) regarding the potential spread of the coronavirus (and in particular the COVID19 strain) has led the Loras College faculty, staff and administration to adopt a state of proactive preparedness. There are currently 8 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Iowa.

Loras understands that members of the College community may be concerned about COVID-19 and how it could affect them. We are monitoring the situation closely. We are aware of how quickly this illness has spread, and the College takes this potential threat seriously. We will continue to do our best to ensure our students, faculty and staff are safe and informed.

To that end, the College is in ongoing communication with the Iowa Department of Public Health, as well as Dubuque County and City of Dubuque Health officials, the U.S. Department of Education and other governing agencies. Timely information about COVID 19 is available at the Iowa Department of Public Health Coronavirus webpage (https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus) and on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Coronavirus webpage (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html).

Loras College regularly monitors its Emergency Response Plan and employs best practice readiness and emergency management protocols. The campus recently updated its infectious disease protocol, with members of the Emergency Response Team meeting regularly to share information, monitor risk, work on prevention and affirm procedures.

Given all of this, Loras will provide three information sessions this week for interested members of the campus community. Please note the following dates and times:

Tuesday, March 10, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 12, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Friday, March 13, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Each of the above sessions will be hosted in Room 453, Alumni Campus Center.

Coursework Continuity

The academic affairs division is developing plans to allow options for students to complete courses in the event that the spread of COVID19 necessitates limiting in-person classroom contact.

Study Abroad and Travel Recommendations

Loras staff are closely monitoring the CDC, U.S. State Department and host country official recommendations for any developments that could impact the 24 Loras students currently studying abroad. Staff are requesting that these students postpone any out-of-country travel and to keep staff informed of their whereabouts. None of our students are studying in a country where the CDC has recommended U.S. citizens avoid nonessential travel.

Other programs planned for the future will be evaluated as the outbreak unfolds.

Anyone considering travel, including over Spring Break, should monitor the risks at not only the intended destination, but also at transit points to and from. The College asks any Loras student, faculty or staff member traveling to or from a country with a CDC warning level of 3 or an alert level of 2 to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return (staying in their residence, not attending class, work, events or gatherings and monitoring their health).

Stereotyping

The Loras community creates a culture of mutual respect and understanding for one another, and works to guarantee that all students are able to study and learn in an environment that is healthy, safe and free from bias or discrimination. With that in mind, the College will not tolerate racial, ethnic or cultural harassment or bullying. 

Prevention and Awareness

Per the CDC, there are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses and all members of the Loras community are strongly encouraged to practices these measures. These include:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

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

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should

• Stay home when you are sick.

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

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We will continue to keep you further informed, as needed. Thank you for your assistance in keeping the Loras College community a healthy and safe environment for all.

Cordially,

James E. Collins ‘84

President Loras College

About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2019, Loras was the second-highest ranked Catholic college in the state of Iowa according to College Consensus, the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the third consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 10th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).