SIU System President Dan Mahony detailed how the university will comply with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan in an email sent out Wednesday.
Pritzker’s plan splits restoration into five phases, and splits Illinois into four regions that can move through the phases independently. SIUE, the SIU School of Dental Medicine in Alton, Illinois, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale are all in the southern region. The SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois, is in the central region. Phase four of the plan is “revitalization,” which allows for campuses to provide on-ground education again.
“We are optimistic that our regions of the state will reach phase four of the governor’s plan by August,” Mahony wrote.
The email details how classes may work in the fall. To comply with social distancing, options like more hybrid courses, shorter classes and more sections are all being considered. Classroom spaces are being evaluated, and larger spaces like auditoriums are also being looked at to hold some classes.
The email described possible additional health measures like more sanitization, enforced social distancing and reusable masks provided to all students. The campuses are also discussing on-campus testing with their local health departments.
Move-in days for residence halls may be staggered to allow for social distancing, and both campuses are considering options to isolate students who are ill. Dining practices are also being reviewed to ensure social distancing.
Phase four allows for events of 50 or less people, so fall events like homecoming and athletics are being discussed.
Mahony also wrote the campuses are exploring ways to accommodate high-risk students and employees.
Madison County has recently started reopening businesses, defying Pritzker’s orders. In another email distributed Wednesday, university leadership wrote SIUE will continue to comply with Pritzker’s plan.
Read more about the “Restore Illinois” plan here.