This week’s update includes information about the extension of withdrawal deadlines, Region 2 COVID-19 mitigation regulations, testing before Fall Break, Fall Break reminders, mental health support, and testing locations. Visit the University’s Coronavirus website for the most up-to-date information and guidance. Questions can be emailed to coronavirus@ilstu.edu.

Withdrawal Deadlines Extended

The University and full-semester course withdrawal dates for the fall 2020 term are extended. The new deadline is November 20. To withdraw from the University for the fall 2020 term or from individual fall courses, students should contact Registrar@ilstu.edu using their university e-mail address.

Impact of Region 2 COVID-19 Mitigation Regulations

Over the weekend, Governor Pritzker announced that Region 2, which includes McLean County where Illinois State is located, would be subject to COVID-19 resurgence mitigations beginning Wednesday, November 4. Illinois State University implemented significant COVID-19 health and safety protocols at the beginning of the fall term, and as a result, university operations will not be greatly impacted. Effective Wednesday, November 4:

  • McAlister’s Deli and Timbers Grille in the Bone Student Center will not provide seating and meals will be provided in carry-out containers.
  • Events and gatherings must be limited to 25 people.
  • Residential dining centers will operate with the current occupancy limits in place.
  • Designated dining areas and study spaces will continue to be available in the Bone Student Center in accordance with occupancy limits.

As the number of coronavirus cases continue to increase in Region 2 and throughout the state, remember to follow all health and safety guidelines such as wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distancing. Remaining diligent in our fight against coronavirus will help to keep all Redbirds healthy and limit the spread on campus and in the Bloomington-Normal community. For more information about resurgence mitigations, visit the IDPH website.

Testing Before Leaving for Fall Break/Thanksgiving

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of on-campus testing prior to returning home for Fall Break and Thanksgiving. Results from on-campus testing are received on average in 3-4 days. Testing now and limiting activity as much as possible until you return home will help to keep you healthy and help to limit the spread of COVID-19 to family and friends.

Symptomatic COVID-19 testing will remain available at Student Health Services on Monday-Wednesday, November 23-25. On-campus testing sites for asymptomatic students will be closed the week of Fall Break.

On-campus COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic and symptomatic students will remain available after the break. Students are strongly encouraged to be tested upon return to campus.

Fall Break

The University will move to online instruction after Fall Break beginning Monday, November 30. While face-to-face and hybrid instruction will end at noon on Saturday, November 21, instruction will continue online through the end of the semester. The fall 2020 semester will end Friday, December 11.  This impacts one week of regular classroom instruction and finals week. Final examinations will be delivered online. Clinical and experiential activities will be addressed on a program-by-program basis.

Illinois State services will operate normally through the end of the semester. Residence halls and dining centers will remain open, as will the Student Fitness Center, the Bone Student Center, Student Health Services, academic support units, and other offices that provide university services to students, faculty, and staff, and facilitate university operations.

This decision was originally communicated on July 9 in an email from President Dietz to students, faculty, and staff and was made to provide students who can stay home with the opportunity to do so and to potentially de-densify campus immediately following Fall Break and the Thanksgiving holiday—when many students, faculty, and staff visit with friends and family as well as travel. Such activities increase exposure to risks associated with the spread of COVID-19 and coincide with the beginning of flu season.

Mental Health Support

COVID-19 and the presidential campaign have been anxiety-provoking for many individuals in the campus community. It is important to take care of yourself, be respectful of each other, and utilize resources to help address your individual needs.

Several offices and departments on campus are offering opportunities where students, faculty, and staff can receive support. Students should check with their academic department to see what additional opportunities may be offered.

Relaxation Room Drop-in Hours – The Student Counseling Services Relaxation Room drop-in hours offer a safe space for students to learn how to relax, quiet their mind, and effectively cope with stress. Sessions will guide students through a personalized relaxation experience that incorporates deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, art therapy, full body relaxation, and more.

Tuesdays 11 a.m.–1 p.m.:

Meeting ID: 952 7355 3502 / Passcode: 716598

Wednesdays 3–5 p.m.:

Meeting ID: 999 5043 7020 / Passcode: 906643

WellTrack – New this fall is an online Resilience Course offered to students, faculty, and staff through WellTrack. The course is focused on developing resilience during a crisis. This quick, two-chapter module can provide a strong foundation to understanding the impact of a crisis on mental health, to feel empowered to make positive changes, and highlight the supports an individual already has in place. In addition, WellTrack offers modules on anxiety, stress, and depression. These modules use evidence-based tools to help anyone make changes to thoughts and behaviors that are not working for them.

How to access WellTrack

Schedule an appointment at Student Counseling Services – Students who have an urgent need for assistance should call Student Counseling Services at (309) 438-3655. Students will hear back from a counselor as soon as possible via phone and/or Zoom. After hours, calls are directed to an after-hours telephone service that is staffed by counselors who can assist students by phone.

Post-election Reflection Circles – Sessions are offered for students, faculty, and staff and will be held via Zoom on November 5, 6, and 9. They will be co-facilitated by faculty/staff and graduate assistants and will be structured spaces to share post-election concerns and hopes for improving our democracy. Learn more and RSVP by visiting the Post-Election Resources webpage.

Managing Stress by Being more Mindful – One of the biggest challenges that students, faculty, and staff members struggle with is managing stress. Mindfulness and meditation are practices that have been studied and proven in research to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and improve healthy eating behaviors, work, and academic performance. Mindfulness practice contributes to a greater sense of well-being and happiness. Learn more about when these sessions are offered and RSVP by visiting the Post-Election Resources webpage.

Testing Locations

Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for students will continue at the temporary building in the parking lot between Watterson Towers and Stevenson Hall and the fire station at 602 N. Adelaide St., Normal. Both locations are open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Only students being tested should enter a testing center.

Students experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms or who believe that they were exposed to a person with COVID-19 should contact Student Health Services at (309) 438-7676 for direction regarding quarantine and/or to schedule an initial screening and make an appointment to be tested.

Testing is available for students, faculty, and staff at the Interstate Center testing site. Students testing at this site should share positive test results with Student Health Services by uploading them to the Secure Patient Health Portal. Sharing test results will ensure students have proper documentation for classes, housing, and/or employment.

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