Update: April 16, 2021

Taylor employees and all students (including out of state residents and internationals students) will have access to the first round of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at the Upland Family Pharmacy on Friday, April 23rd, Saturday, April 24th, Friday, April 30th and Saturday, May 1st

All employees and students will receive either a text or an email from Zotec announcing a unique website to invite you to sign up for a vaccination time. You will not be signing up at the standard Indiana COVID-19 vaccine website. Again, Zotec will be texting you the sign up link if we have your cell phone number on file. If not, they will deliver via email.

Due to the one month waiting period, the second dose will need to be administered once the semester is over. We are told that registration for the second dose can be arranged through other locations, including State administered sites. You will need your vaccination card for the second dose. For those remaining near campus, the second dose can be administered at Upland Family Pharmacy as well.

Taylor strongly recommends the COVID-19 vaccine but understands this is an individual decision. We encourage your participation because current information indicates that vaccination would remove quarantining obligations. This exemption begins two weeks after the second dose. We will continue to monitor vaccination guidelines for any changes.

We are grateful to Upland Family Pharmacy for helping us arrange this service.

Update: April 5, 2021

While the State of Indiana mask mandate ends April 6, Grant County health officials have extended the mask mandate for higher education. Therefore, Taylor University strongly recommends masks in all indoor locations. Academic buildings, administrative buildings, and Chapel will continue to require masks. This means masks are required except in residence halls, dining areas (following restaurant guidance), physical activity (e.g., KSAC), and outdoors. PeRT will continue to assess the COVID-19 situation in Indiana, Grant County, and Taylor University with recommendations for further loosening, or tightening, of on-campus protocols as the situation warrants.

We recognize the complexity of corporate decisions while living together in community. In spirit with the Life Together Covenant, we ask you to care for one another by respecting individual decisions when masks are not required.

Update: March 30, 2021

Dear Campus Community, 

As part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), Taylor will be distributing relief funds to all degree-seeking students who are eligible for federal financial aid. I wanted you to be aware of Taylor’s cooperation with this federal program and the means of distribution for students. According to the Department of Education, these grants may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental healthcare) or child care.

Students who received Pell Grants this academic year will receive a check for $450 and non-Pell recipients will receive $250. Checks will be distributed in the Boren Center on Wednesday, March, 31, between 11:00am and 2:00pm. As a reminder, assistance funds remain available for unique student needs through this application portal:

https://admissions.taylor.edu/cares-assistance-fund

As we continue to remember Holy Week, may the promise of the resurrection of Jesus Christ be a blessing to your soul. 

Michael D. Hammond, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President

Update: March 24, 2021

Dear Campus Community,

First of all, please let me thank each of you for your perseverance through a challenging year. We are all encouraged as we move forward in the spring semester, thankful to have marked the completion of the fall semester and Interterm on campus. Your ongoing cooperation and support of our community guidelines for navigating the pandemic has made this possible. We are pleased to announce that this fall we expect to return to “business as usual.”

This year has brought many reasons to celebrate. Our shared creativity in classes, cooperation with cleaning protocols, and measured care for one another have meant that Taylor has been able to keep our campus truly open to students, with most of our classes meeting in person. Among many accomplishments, we have launched satellites into orbit; hosted a star-studded film festival; executed a community prescription takeback drive; worked toward greater understanding on political, cultural, and racial matters; and been awarded a Lilly grant to fund our health sciences initiatives—all in light of a historic tuition freeze holding steady for the 2021-2022 academic year that will make experiences like these all the more accessible to next year’s incoming class.

As I write this, the vaccine rollout is well-underway in Indiana, open to all over the age of 16 by the end of this month. COVID-19 numbers in the state, our county, and Taylor have all been trending downward and state restrictions will be eased in the coming weeks. The national basketball tournament in the Hoosier state is one result of these positive trends. On our campus we are able to invite prospective students and their families into dining areas and residence halls, more fully showing them what it means to be a part of Taylor. Chapel seating capacity is growing, too, and it has been a joy to watch students’ energetic celebrations being together.

Because of realities like these and the abundantly positive trajectory they demonstrate, we are well-positioned to announce “business as usual.” Returning students can look forward to a continuation of our commitment to in-person education, and are slated to begin registration for classes on April 5. We are delighted that at this point, we are planning on returning to our normal academic schedule—complete with a full spring break.

We are also thankful for what Taylor’s strong COVID-19 response means for the incoming class of 2025. Besides being able to more fully experience the campus we love (and get student IDs and class schedules on New Student Visit days), Welcome Weekend is officially on their calendars, and they have the bright prospect of an on-campus freshman year in front of them—one they will share with President-elect Dr. D. Michael Lindsay and his family.

We will continue our willing compliance to state and local COVID-19 guidelines as we plan for the 2021-2022 academic year, but we look forward with anticipation. Taylor family, you have my sincere gratitude for making all of this possible. God has been at work in and through you this year, and it has not gone unnoticed. I prayerfully look forward to business as usual alongside you this fall.

With Gratitude and Anticipation,

Michael D. Hammond, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President

Update: March 16, 2021

Dear Campus Community, 

Thank you once again for all you are doing to help Taylor persevere in the midst of COVID-19. We are all thankful for the hope of better weather that will allow us to move some activities outdoors in the coming weeks. Grant County, the State of Indiana, and neighboring states have been reporting much better numbers lately. COVID-19 vaccines are more available and provide hope for those who have not yet had the disease. Even though we are all ready to move past the precautions, they remain in place for now. Thank you again for your cooperation, and your care and prayers for one another. 

As you know, the academic calendar for the current semester was adapted to condense holiday breaks in the effort to keep students and employees from extensive travel away from and back to campus. We also understand the need for a pause from our classes and routines. With that in mind, we are announcing a change to the spring calendar. There will be no classes during the day on Monday, April 5. This will provide a short break from classes starting on Good Friday, April 2, and continuing the Easter holiday weekend. Classes will resume at 5:00pm Monday, April 5. This change to the class schedule will likely result in a new syllabus and calendar for some classes, and students are encouraged to communicate with faculty members for updates. 

I appreciate the input for this decision from faculty, staff, and student leadership, as well as the Senior Leadership Team and Pandemic Response Team. Please continue to use caution and care with any travel away from campus, given the risks of COVID-19 exposure. Please plan to celebrate the Easter holiday and rejoice in the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ. 

Michael D. Hammond, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President

Update: January 15, 2021

After careful review of the current COVID-19 student testing program, universal testing will conclude today, January 15. We knew the first two weeks were crucial to mitigate the spread of the virus when we announced the universal testing plan for Interterm. We care deeply for all members of our community and are especially mindful how these efforts mitigate infection to those most at risk.

We apologize for the role communication may have had in leading to confusion or frustration. We believe this re-entry testing did help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus, with early identification of asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, and symptomatic positive cases.

We are pleased that Lucid Laboratories has agreed to remain available for voluntary on-campus testing through at least January 22. This will also help us with current CDC protocols allowing those in quarantine due to close contact to be tested on or after day five (5) of quarantine and then be released from quarantine as early as day seven (7) if they have a negative test result and no symptoms. Providing on-campus and/or local testing options is a priority for being released from quarantine. These tests remain at no-cost to students per details announced last week. Student testing pre-registration information is available here.

Spring Semester Re-Entry

Students and Employees Returning for Spring Semester and not attending Interterm on-campus: PeRT strongly recommends obtaining a COVID-19 test prior to the return to campus, testing on or after January 25. Test results should be reported to my.taylor.edu/covidtest.

Interterm Travel

Interterm final exam day is Thursday, January 28 with a one-day Interterm break on Friday, January 29. We strongly recommend limiting travel during this time before Spring Semester classes begin Monday, February 1 at 8:00am.

Travel Reporting Update

After asking students and employees to report travel throughout the fall, we will discontinue reporting requirements for travel. Instead, students and employees should take the following precautions as part of any travel plans:

1. Limit Travel. Travel away from campus raises the possibility of contracting the virus outside of our campus and then bringing the virus back to the campus. As such, we strongly recommend all travel be limited to essential travel.

2. Remember the Safety Protocols. We are all growing weary of practicing the safety protocols. However, like the runner who wants to finish a race well, we all need to strive to do those things that can limit the spread of the virus including socially distancing, mask wearing, and washing of hands. This is especially true during these times of essential travel.

Future Plan Updates

We remain committed to working together to find ways to navigate through this pandemic that can allow the Taylor experience to continue in our campus community.

As we move forward, we will continue to address student, faculty, and staff concerns who together create the educational environment that is highly prized at Taylor.

Please know that future data and information will direct our plan in response to the pandemic, and additional changes may be necessary to safeguard our campus.

You can review the full Taylor Together, Again plan here.

Update: December 31, 2020

Earlier this week we informed you that we are blessed to have access to testing for students and employees starting January 5, 2021. Our intent is to test the entire student body each week in order to monitor the virus on campus.

We need for all students to assist with this expectation in order for us to have success in monitoring the virus and reduce the quarantine obligations required by the CDC for asymptomatic students. 

For the January term, students who have had the virus since November 1, 2020 will not need to follow this testing plan.

Background

  • The firm performing the testing collection and evaluation is Lucid Laboratory Services.
  • Costs are born by the student’s health insurance, and if not available, then Cares Act funding. Employees will also have access to testing, covered by TU’s insurance.
  • Testing will be held in Alspaugh West in the Hodson Dining Commons from 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM.

Setting up your account – THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP – BEST IF DONE ON YOUR PHONE!

  • Taking the time to register now will make the testing process much faster!
  • Please take a moment and take pictures of your insurance card front and back to have ready for registration.
  • Please pre-register with this link on your phone or computer.
  • Click the link and follow the prompts to enter your name, date of birth, address, insurance information (if no insurance information then enter your SSN – if an international student without a Social Security Number enter your Taylor ID number), and to place your signature at the bottom. You will also need to verify that you are “NOT A ROBOT” and then press submit. 

Once this registration is complete, the testing company we will be able to print this information off and bring it for tests starting on January 5, 2021.  If you do not pre-register, you will need to complete all paperwork at testing and this will slow down the testing process.

Test Results

Students should assume that test results are negative unless the University contacts them to work through the implications of a positive test result.  A negative test result will not be reported back to you. As the saying goes, “no news is good news!”

Schedule

Our plan is to divide the campus as follows for testing:

  • Monday – Begins January 11, 2021: Gerig Hall, Breuninger Hall, Campbell Hall and Swallow Robin Hall and Men’s and Women’s Basketball Team
  • Tuesday – Begins January 5, 2021: Samuel Morris Hall and Commuter Students (those students living at home and attending classes on campus).
  • Wednesday – Begins January 6, 2021: Wengatz Hall, Off-campus students, Casa, Delta, Lawvere and Luthy
  • Thursday – Begins January 7, 2021: Olson Hall and Wolgemuth Hall
  • Friday – Begins January 8, 2021 – English Hall and Bergwall Hall

We are very excited to have our students returning for the January term to be followed by our Spring 2021 term.  We believe it we all participate together in our various goals and requirements, we can finish on our semester on campus, God willing.

Please send any questions to PeRT@taylor.edu or covidhotline@taylor.edu.

See you soon!

Ron Sutherland
Special Assistant to the President

Update: December 29, 2020

Dear Students, Parents, and Taylor Community,

Happy New Year! I hope that you have been rejuvenated over the Christmas break. We are eager to welcome students, faculty and staff back to campus in a few days.

Please read this important update on COVID-19 planning.

Adjustments to the Taylor Together, Again Plan

As you know, the cases of COVID-19 began to spike in October, and Indiana is no exception. While the Taylor University campus has been blessed by relatively low numbers of positive cases, our county and surrounding areas have been hit hard with COVID-19. For the past 10 months, our Pandemic Response Team (PeRT) has been revisiting our safety protocols daily in coordination with Taylor’s Senior Leadership Team. As we prepare for Interterm and Spring semester amidst record numbers of positive cases, we made adjustments that will improve our ability to remain on campus.

We continue to believe God gives us a spirit that avoids fear, expresses love and care for others, and that empowers us with the ability to think and act carefully in order to limit the spread of the disease. We continue to follow federal guidelines, and consult with our local and state authorities and other experts to guide our planning. Confinement indoors during winter weather heightens the need for extra precautions.

PeRT and Senior Leadership at Taylor University continue to believe that in-person education, carefully monitored, and with actions taken with care for others at the forefront of our plan, is still a viable option for our students. However, we are making changes to help us confront the pandemic in a community focused way.

Summary

  • Get tested before returning to campus
  • Students on campus will be tested weekly
  • Mask requirements for groups of 4 or more, everywhere
  • Campus “quarantine” for the first 2 weeks

1) We continue to strongly recommend that students and employees get a COVID-19 test before returning to campus.

If you test positive, you can recover without the constraints of isolation on campus. We also ask you to report your test results at my.taylor.edu/covidtest. Additional testing information is available here.

2) We will begin on-campus testing every week for our students once they return to campus.

Twenty percent (20%) of students will be tested each day (Mon-Fri) through at least the first two weeks of Interterm. Testing may be extended as needed and will also depend on test availability. This testing plan comes with a benefit: with universal testing participation, we may be able to reduce quarantine requirements for close contacts.

This universal testing plan is not in lieu of getting a test prior to returning to campus.

3) Mask requirements will be extended to the residence halls, when in groups of four or more.

COVID-19 is an airborne virus that spreads quickly between those in close contact. Our own experience during fall semester in the residence halls showed that in a few instances, the virus spread among a wing or floor. Thus, we are expecting students who gather in groups of four or more to wear a mask, even in their residence hall/room as an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. PeRT conferred with Student Body President Emmanuel Terrell and Vice President Anna Craig about masks in the residence halls. Emmanuel and Anna were supportive of this measure and believe that this step will be beneficial for keeping our community healthy.

Boren Student Center. Students have been lax in complying with guidelines, especially proper mask wearing, when in the Boren Center. Eating and drinking were extended over long periods of time as a justification for not wearing a mask. The PeRT considered a number of options for increasing compliance. However, because we know this is a meaningful space for students to engage, we want to give our students another opportunity to respond positively to the expectations that they wear masks and observe social distancing before taking any further steps. 

Therefore, please finish eating and drinking in 20 minutes and then return to wearing your masks if you linger to interact or study, whether or not you are sitting with someone else.  Also, please honor the seating limits of 2 at high tables, 4 at tables and 6 in booths (and please do not rearrange furniture out of compliance with these guidelines). Even if the group you are sitting with is from your home wing or floor or even if you have the CDC approved 90-day ‘window of immunity’ due to already having contracted the virus, we are asking you, out of an abundance of care, to wear your mask and keep table limits.

4)  We ask all employees and students to restrict their public interactions in our community for the first two weeks of the semester.  

This does not mean to avoid getting fuel for your car or food for your residence halls. But shopping indoors or dining in restaurants is highly discouraged. We would encourage you to support local food establishments by ordering take-out meals to go, but avoiding entering these public spaces, for the first two weeks. This plan is designed to reduce the possibility of bringing the virus back to campus, or of asymptomatic students spreading the virus to our neighbors in Upland and other local communities.

We support Sunday worship participation at local churches that observe social distancing and mask wearing during their services.

I am confident I can count on your compliance with the increased limitations for at least the first two weeks in order to keep our campus community safe. If our numbers remain low (and we are working on that definition), we plan to gradually increase student freedoms, particularly when the weather permits more outdoor activities.   

As always, our goal is to stay together for the entire semester, finishing on campus, together. We believe strongly in our in-person education, and are excited to welcome all of you back to campus in a few days!

Continue to monitor weekly email updates and information/FAQs posted at taylor.edu/coronavirus.

If you have any concerns or observations, please let PeRT know by emailing PERT@taylor.edu.

On behalf of PeRT,

Paige Cunningham PhD, JD
Interim President

Update: November 13, 2020

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has announced new restrictions corresponding to each county’s status. Grant County is currently “orange,” necessitating changes to Taylor’s current protocols. The county’s status is updated every Wednesday.

In compliance with new state directives and in coordination with the Grant County Health Department, effective Sunday, November 15campus events and gatherings are limited to 25% capacity. Changes required to our Student Development or academic programs will be communicated throughout the weekend.

​​​It is our intention to proceed with the current academic schedule. On-campus classes conclude after classes Tuesday, November 24. Virtual final examinations will be held November 30-December 4. We will continue to monitor the situation on-campus and locally in collaboration with health officials.

Grant County’s Health Commissioner and Taylor University encourages students to be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning home for Thanksgiving break. Students have received detailed information from PeRT. Testing is available at state-operated locations and private facilities in and near Grant County. Students should continue to report symptoms, test results, and close contacts to the COVID hotline, even when at home.

Students should follow check-out procedures from Residence Life. Residence Halls will close for general use on Wednesday, November 25 at 10:00am. Students have received additional guidance regarding travel and reporting expectations.

PeRT will continue to monitor guidance regarding campus re-entry plans for January and Spring Semesters. We anticipate an update before Christmas. Students, parents, faculty, and staff should continue to regularly check emails for important updates.

You can review the full Taylor Together, Again plan.

Update: November 10, 2020

It is with great disappointment that we announce that our Silent Night game must be cancelled. 

The rising number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Grant County and Indiana warranted a reconsideration of our previously announced plan for a modified celebration. Due to recent guidance from public health officials, and at the request of the Grant County Public Health Officer, Dr. David Moore, we made this difficult decision. 

Although the Taylor campus has been blessed with a low incidence of Covid-19 cases, we must remain vigilant. College students, who may not even know they have COVID, are deemed by some health authorities to be primary vectors contributing to the current widespread surge in cases. 

Dr. Moore expressed his deep appreciation to the Taylor community for our cooperation with public health guidelines and our willingness to set aside personal preferences for the sake of others.

We prayerfully hope and believe we will be able to resume this beloved Silent Night celebration in 2021.

Faithfully and together, 

Paige Comstock Cunningham
Interim President