Trinity Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

 

To ensure the health and safety of our community, Trinity continues to closely monitor the surge of the COVID-19 delta variant. We will provide timely and useful information as it becomes available. Please see the latest university update directly beneath our COVID Dashboard.

For the 2021–2022 academic year, we are also requiring the Trinity community to once again commit to the Community Care Covenant, which emphasizes the responsibility of monitoring and reporting relevant symptoms, undergoing testing when symptomatic, and isolating when positive.



Trinity COVID Update: Extension to the Illinois Governor’s Executive Order

09/07/21

We greatly appreciate everyone who has already taken the time to provide evidence of vaccination online through Med+Proctor.

Med+Proctor
We understand that some of you were unable to upload your vaccination records while at the same time bypassing the $10 paywall. We are working to get this rectified, and the service will remain free to you as we communicated last week. Expect a follow-up communication about this once it’s resolved.

On Friday (Sept. 3), the Illinois governor announced the compliance timeline for higher education personnel and students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing has been extended until September 19. Initially, schools had to be in compliance with the order by September 5.

Free Weekly Testing
It remains Trinity’s intent to be in compliance with the governor’s executive order, while at the same time preserving—as much as it is within our power under the constraints of the law—the agency, dignity, and privacy of the individual. We know there are several questions left revolving around this weekly testing, but this extension will greatly help Trinity’s administration work through logistical challenges and other issues we have encountered establishing a COVID-19 testing program that serves the needs of the community and contributes to sustaining an excellent educational experience for the students and work environment for staff and faculty.


Trinity COVID Update: In Response to the Illinois Governor’s Executive Order

09/02/21

Dear Trinity Community,

With the new semester just underway, it is clear that we are entering a reality different from the one we had been hoping for. Several days ago it was reported that the daily average for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United States has exceeded 100,000. Yes, we all had hoped for a better scenario. But God calls us to live wisely, faithfully, and responsibly—not in a fantasy world of unencumbered freedom but in the reality that he has sovereignly ordained, whatever its challenges, which are ultimately for our salvation (Romans 8:28).

In response to the increasing cases of COVID-19, on August 26, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an Executive Order mandating that all adults in Illinois who are medically able must wear face coverings in public indoors and in other specified settings; the order further mandated COVID-19 vaccination for all healthcare workers, school personnel and higher education personnel and on-campus students; otherwise, an individual would be required to participate in a weekly COVID test.

On Monday, August 31, I wrote a brief message reaffirming Trinity’s commitment to preserving—as much as it is within our power under the constraints of the law—the agency, dignity, and privacy of the individual, while also prioritizing the health and welfare of the community as a whole. Given the outworkings of providence (i.e., our reality) and given our institutional commitments, Trinity will be adopting the following provisional policies, pursuant to current healthcare trends as well as the governor’s mandate:

All students (taking face-to-face classes and/or residing in dormitory spaces), faculty, and staff will be required to choose one of two options:

  1. EITHER provide proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 (according to the Order, an individual is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving a single-dose of the J&J vaccine or the second dose of the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine);
  2. OR be tested weekly for COVID-19 (at no financial cost to you).

At Trinity Deerfield, evidence of vaccination is to be submitted online through MedProctor (instructions for employees HERE; most students are already registered and simply need to upload their vaccine documentation, if applicable. If needed, registration instructions for students are HERE). This service is free to you. Those not registering their full vaccination by Tuesday, September 7, will be contacted with further instructions regarding the weekly testing process. Vaccination status can be updated at any time on MedProctor.

Please note two further changes to earlier policy. First, following a recent mandate from the Lake County Health Department (LCHD), we are reinstating the quarantine policy on campus. Dormitory students instructed to quarantine by LCHD will be provided with (1) a space to quarantine; (2) special care from our Health Services and Student Life teams; and (3) the opportunity to self-serve their meals. Second, in light of the governor’s mandate, our masking policy will now require masks in all public indoor spaces except for your own dorm room, dormitory suite, and floor, as these areas are, once again, deemed non-public spaces (“home-pods”).

Finally, we need to keep our eye on the “what ifs” ahead. With the documented rise of “breakthrough cases” over the summer (for example, this week Minnesota health officials reported that 30 percent of corona­virus infections in the first four weeks of August have involved people who were fully vaccinated), we need (1) to continue to encourage Trinity students and personnel to vaccinate, while also preparing ourselves (2) to take additional measures should the current breakthrough trends persist. Should reliable data show the continuance of this trend over the next 30 days, I will be asking the COVID Response Team to explore a scenario requiring all duly vaccinated Trinity students and personnel to test on a monthly basis. Campus safety is a top priority and everyone’s responsibility; out of love for another, we will all need to play our part.

We got through this last year by God’s grace and by working together. We are going to get through this year the very same way.

In Christ,

Nick


Nicholas Perrin, PhD
President
Trinity International University

 

August 30, 2021: Trinity COVID Update—Illinois Governor's Executive Order

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

On August 26, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an Executive Order mandating new requirements relating to face-covering, vaccination, and weekly testing requirements. Such requirements apply to all educational institutions in Illinois, public and private, and therefore also to Trinity International University.

Unfortunately there was no previous communication from the Governor or the Illinois Board of Higher Education regarding the possibility of this mandate and, as of this email message, no additional guidance has been provided beyond the Order regarding some key provisions. Notwithstanding this sudden development, University leadership has been gathering information prior to formulating a policy response. We will issue an update later this week regarding the processes we will put into place to respond to this order; so, please look for an additional email by WednesdaySeptember 1, as to how we will implement the relevant portions of the Executive Order.

In the meantime, let me share two guiding principles for our leadership’s decision-making process: First, Trinity International University considers vaccination a personal choice and refuses to arrogate to itself the weighty responsibility of making vaccination decisions on behalf of community members—decisions that are better left to individuals in collaboration with their personal physicians. Second, since the burden for ensuring a safe campus falls to all of its members, regardless of vaccination status or personal convictions regarding COVID-19 interventions, Trinity asks that once again, this year as last year, we work together in love to create an environment characterized by mutual respect, support, and Christ-like sensitivity and gentleness. Personally, I am confident we can uphold both these commitments, as well as our commitment to uphold the law of the land, all the while completing our educational mission.

For the time being, we will continue to examine how this recent mandate applies to Trinity International University and will communicate to the community soon with further information.

Blessings,

Nick


Nicholas Perrin, PhD
President
Trinity International University

 

August 20, 2021: Fall 2021 Semester COVID Update

Effective August 19, 2021, Trinity instated a provisional masking requirement for all indoor public spaces. We will keep this requirement only as long as necessary.

Please Note: this requirement does not apply to residence halls, as these are deemed non-public spaces (“home-pods”). As a result, students do not need to wear masks anywhere outside, in their own residence hall, when visiting other residence halls, or during Open Hours.

In addition:

  • Vaccination is not required;
  • Classes, chapels, athletic events, and other student life events will be in-person without social distancing;
  • Hawkins Dining Hall is self-serve without plexiglass dividers at tables.

Our criteria for reducing masking requirements is determined by two benchmarks:

For the 2021–2022 academic year, we are also requiring the Trinity community to once again commit to the Community Care Covenant, which emphasizes the responsibility of monitoring and reporting relevant symptoms, undergoing testing when symptomatic, and isolating when positive.

August 19, 2021: COVID Masking Policy Update

Dear Trinity Community,

We wanted to inform you of an important update regarding safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 Delta variant surge occurring nationally and around the world.

While it was our hope to return to normal operations without any COVID mitigations this fall, it has come to our attention that the level of COVID-19 transmission for Lake County is now categorized by the CDC as “High.” Lake County’s Dashboard can be found here.

For the sake of the vulnerable in the Trinity community, including those who cannot be vaccinated, dependent children under 12, and the immunocompromised, we have decided to reinstate a masking requirement for all indoor public spaces, effective today (08/19/21). Until further notice, regardless of vaccination status, all faculty, staff, students, and guests will be required to wear a mask inside all academic buildings, athletic spaces, as well as Waybright, Chapel, and open office spaces. The requirement will not apply to residence halls as these are deemed non-public spaces and constitute “home-pods.”

Throughout the challenges of COVID-19 our emphasis has been on being a Christ-centered community that seeks to “Love One Another” and consider the needs of others above our own. While we would all like to see COVID-19 mitigations behind us, we believe this action is a responsible one as we consider the vulnerable among our community.

It is our intention to keep this requirement only as long as necessary. We will continue to monitor guidance and local transmission rates in order to carefully match mitigation requirements with developing circumstances.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

August 6, 2021: Fall 2021 Semester COVID-19 Update

Dear Trinity Community,Trinity’s COVID Readiness Team continues to plan for the upcoming academic year, in light of the daily updates and guidance from public health departments. We are attentive to the challenge of the COVID-19 Delta variant circulating in the U.S., and protocols for the Deerfield campus will remain attuned to federal, state, and local guidelines just as they were last year.

As of today (08/06/21), during the fall 2021 semester:

  • Vaccination is not required to return to school. However, we continue to strongly encourage all students and staff to be vaccinated. The University is exploring opportunities for on-campus voluntary vaccination.
  • Classes, chapels, athletic events, and other student life events will be in-person without social distancing.
  • Mask-wearing will continue to be a personal choice. Note that the CDC, IDPH, and IBHE are currently recommending that both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons mask up indoors.
  • We will be requiring everyone in our community to once again commit to our Community Care Covenant, which emphasizes the responsibility of monitoring and reporting relevant symptoms, undergoing testing when symptomatic, and isolating when positive.
  • Finally, we are asking all those in our community (students and staff) who have been vaccinated to communicate this to our health staff through this confidential form. (As medical information, confidentiality is protected by HIPAA.) For Trinity to maintain its educational mission in the months ahead, it will be important to monitor the approximate percentage of the Trinity community already vaccinated in order to take appropriate steps for mitigating risk. According to the CDC, a community that is 60 percent or greater vaccinated significantly reduces concerns of spiraling infections of COVID-19. This data will impact our consideration of mitigation steps should the situation change.

Along with you, we were hoping that this summer would bring a complete end to the need for speaking again of safety measures revolving around COVID-19. But we’re not there yet. By God’s grace and mercy, we pray that this will become a reality sooner rather than later!

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns at [email protected].

Reminder: Community Care Covenant & Self-Monitoring Health

One of the requirements for resuming in-person classes and activities was that every community member (faculty, staff, and students) would be required to complete the Community Care Covenant prior to returning to campus. If you have not signed it, please do so immediately.

In signing our Community Care Covenant we agreed to self-monitor health symptoms (including temperature) on a daily basis. Symptoms for COVID-19 include:

  • A temperature greater than 100.4°
  • Repeated shaking or chills
  • A cough (new or different than normal)
  • Shortness of breath (not associated with a preexisting condition, such as asthma)
  • A new loss of smell and/or taste
  • Loose stools / upset stomach
  • Muscle pain (other than normal soreness associated with exercise)
  • A sore throat
  • A headache
  • Congestion (not associated with preexisting conditions, such as allergies)

If you are experiencing symptoms, after contacting your primary care physician, please notify Trinity’s Health Services through the Student COVID-19 Screening Form or the Employee COVID-19 Screening Form.

If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected].