Lake Forest College's Intranet for students, faculty, and staff.
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
We write with an update on COVID transmission and post-Thanksgiving campus plans.
As the campus dashboard reported today, 3 students are currently in isolation after testing positive, including 1 on campus and 2 off campus. Based on contact tracing, 1 other student is now in quarantine on campus (none off campus). One faculty or staff member is in isolation and 2 are in quarantine.
We reported last week that positive cases and hospitalizations are rising nationwide and here in Lake County, where the test positivity rate is now 3.3%. Given this rise in transmission, it is vital for all of us to comply with standard precautions: masking indoors, social distancing, and frequent hand washing.
In addition, now that vaccine boosters are available to people 18 years old or older—i.e., almost our entire campus community—we strongly encourage everyone to get a booster shot if you completed your initial vaccination at least six months ago. Any unvaccinated student, faculty, or staff member should seriously consider receiving a shot now to gain protection against COVID during the winter ahead. A decision is still forthcoming about whether the College will require the booster shot, but scientific evidence is clear that vaccines offer safe, extensive protection against serious illness due to COVID.
Anyone who received a vaccine exemption from the College will need to continue weekly COVID testing. Moreover, as an extra layer of protection for our community, the College will perform random surveillance testing on campus during the week after Thanksgiving. In advance of Monday, November 29, our testing center will email a significant number of students, faculty, and staff to come in for testing that day; this process will be repeated throughout the entire week. If there is an increase in positive tests, the College may need to continue this random surveillance testing into the last week of classes, or take one or more of the actions listed in our email last week.
As a precaution to limit potential spread of COVID on campus for the rest of this semester, the College will postpone, reimagine, or cancel optional, large in-person events. We regret that one example is the traditional Late Night Breakfast originally scheduled for the evening of December 8, the last day of classes. Instead, Parkhurst and the Gates Center are planning for attractive grab-and-go options for students that evening. We look forward to resuming the traditional breakfast at the end of spring semester.
Our considerable experience this fall with contact tracing demonstrates that the greatest risk of COVID transmission occurs when students socialize with other students unmasked in small friend groups. Given this, we urge students to continue wearing masks and maintaining social distance even when you spend time with each other. This will keep you and our community safe and avoid a sudden need for you or a friend to move into isolation.
As a final note, the College will publish our updated COVID plan for spring semester by December 8, the last day of classes. Thanks for your attention, and Happy Thanksgiving.
Stephen D. Schutt, President
Davis Schneiderman, Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Andrea Conner, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As some of you know, the College’s campus shuttle was discontinued in Spring of 2020 due to high cost and low ridership. Now that we have returned to fully in-person teaching and learning, many constituents have asked whether we can recreate any of our transportation offerings. See below for a list of options the College is now making available:
1. Metra Shuttle
The College will restart a shuttle to and from the Lake Forest train station on Nov 29th, according to this schedule. The shuttle will run through the winter months to meet morning and evening trains (7:15am – 9:30am and 4:00pm – 6:10pm). Vans from the mail services or van rental fleet will be driven by certified student drivers in this new version of the program.
2. Student Shopping Shuttle
The Gates Center will be offering a shopping shuttle to Vernon Hills on Friday, December 3. The rented bus will leave campus at 2:30pm and return at 5:30pm, and will have stops at both Walmart and Target. Spaces are limited. Students can reserve a spot by emailing the Gates Center at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they will reply with instructions that will include mask expectations, seat information, and where to meet.
This shopping shuttle to Vernon Hills will be repeated on Friday, December 17 for students approved to stay over Winter Break, and those students will receive a targeted reminder email with similar sign-up instructions.
3. Funding for Internship Transportation
The Career Advancement Center coordinates an Internship Fund for unpaid academic credit internships. This fund can provide eligible students with financial assistance for transportation to and from internships they might not otherwise be able to pursue, and is also helpful to meeting other important internship preparation needs. The link to apply for Internship Funding can be found here.
Thank you, and best wishes for a healthy weekend,
Andrea B. Conner
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College
555 North Sheridan Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Pronouns: she / her / hers