Loyola encouraging seating charts in classrooms

The+statue+of+St.+Ignatius+of+Loyola+wears+a+protective+face+mask+in+the+Peace+Quad+on+Loyola%27s+campus+June+2020.

Alexandria Whitten

The statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola wears a protective face mask in the Peace Quad on Loyola’s campus June 2020. Loyola is encouraging professors to create seating charts to help with COVID contact tracing on campus.

Madeline Taliancich

Loyola announced today that it will be encouraging professors to create seating charts for their classrooms in an effort to help with contact tracing on campus, according to an email to faculty and staff from Provost Tanuja Singh. Singh said these seating charts will help the university quickly notify students who have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 in class. 

Faculty will create seating charts on the first day of classes and should tell students not to move from those assigned seats throughout the semester, according to the email. This may change as students drop or add classes in the first weeks of class. 

Singh noted that there are many ways to create these seating charts on paper, Canvas, or through Google docs, and that they don’t need to be high tech. 

The process will not be perfect, but “will help mitigate possible issues should they arise,” according to the email. 

A public health staff member will reach out to professors for seating charts should a student in a class test positive for COVID and contact students within the exposure distance, according to Singh. After these students have been notified, Singh said unvaccinated students must quarantine and non-symptomatic vaccinated students may remain in class, but should get tested within 3-5 days. 

“Keeping track of seating and attendance will limit the need for more drastic measures,” Singh said.