News - Thanksgiving 2020 Update

Thanksgiving 2020 Update

Ross Baker Thanksgiving 2020 Update

Dear GU Community,

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, we are grateful to God for all that we have accomplished with His help, creating a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff to learn and connect this semester. Students are meeting face-to-face in classrooms and labs due to the saliva-based testing program and high compliance of our GU community to safety protocols. 

We surveyed our students about whether they wanted to return after the Thanksgiving holiday to complete their face-to-face learning for the semester. The feedback compelled us to give students the option to either go online or to return to campus. Students who don’t do well with online learning pleaded for the opportunity to continue in-person as did other students who have limited support or access to WiFi from home.

With the protocols we have in place, the space allotted for isolation and quarantining, and the ability to test regularly, the following is our plan to continue to manage spread for those who return to campus.  

Important Guidance 

Last week, Governor Pritzker announced that Illinois would be under a new set of mitigations beginning Friday, November 20th. Schools and institutions like ours are exempt from these requirements and are encouraged to continue to follow existing guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. We continue to follow this guidance, consulting daily with the Bond County Health Department to monitor local data and determine any necessary changes in our operations.  

Return Precautions

For those who return to campus after Thanksgiving break, we will have the following mitigation strategies in place:

1)      Mandatory Testing and Red Zone compliance

a.       All students, faculty, and staff will be required to test upon return to campus and follow strict guidelines of social distancing, face covering, hand washing, and testing 2x per week. Testing will be available Sunday, November 29th from noon to 7pm. We encourage all members of our community to test Sunday or Monday before they move back on campus.

b.       Red Zone restrictions will be in place in all dining and residential areas just like we did when we started the semester in August.

c.       Our protocols will quickly identify, address, and reduce the spread of the virus on campus. We are prepared for several scenarios with the capacity and well-tuned logistics in place to respond to any increase in positive cases. 

d.       With a reduced number of students on campus there will be increased social distancing in classrooms and other university facilities

Red Zone Compliance:

Lounges: Residents of current hall only

Visitation hours: None

Non-student guests: None

Bathrooms: Assigned shower, sink, and toilet

Events in the Residence Halls: Groups of 10 or less, virtual preferred

Masks: Required, expect when in room or bathroom 

Union: Closed

Eating in the Dining Commons: Meals are pick up only with disposable packaging

Should you have any concerns or needs, please reach out to Community Life at [email protected].

Upon return to campus, students should plan to test during the following times:


Testing Schedule after Break 

Sunday, Nov. 29 – Noon-7 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 30 – 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 1 – 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 2 – 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 3 – 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 4 – 9 a.m.-2 p.m.


Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving, 


Ross Baker

Dean of Students


This story was published on November 25, 2020

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