Updated: April 16, 2021 - 8:45 a.m. CST

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Millikin's Response to COVID-19

At this time Millikin University’s campus will remain open to faculty, staff and students. This includes our residence halls, academic buildings and offices. University buildings and operations are not open to the public. Questions about Millikin's response to COVID-19 should be sent to stdev@millikin.edu. Please check back often as we continue to answer more frequently asked questions related to our COVID-19 response.

Campus Safety

  • Are there any cases of COVID-19 in the surrounding community?
  • What are the current mitigations for Macon County?
    • The state of Illinois is currently in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.
  • Has Millikin reported any on-campus cases of COVID-19?
  • What happens when there is a confirmed case on campus?
    • The University has a robust contact tracing, quaratine, testing and related isolation plan. When a case is confirmed on campus, that individual will be sent home or placed in a University isolation room, away from the general community, where they will remain for the CDC recommended isolation period and until they are fever free for 72 hours. We will follow all local health department COVID-19 quarantine requirements for direct contacts of positive cases. More information on the case isolation and contact quarantine plan can be viewed here.
  • What are the University’s plans in the event of a statewide or nationwide shutdown?
    • We will follow the guidance of our local, state and federal agencies. We will not force residential students to move out, but service and meals may be more limited. At this time, we believe it will be acceptable for students to shelter in place in the residential units.
  • What steps can individuals take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
    • Millikin University asks that all members of the campus community follow the CDC guidelines in regard to prevention:
      • Practice social and physical distancing. Do not meet in groups, and do not go to or participate in activities in crowded places. Try to stay at least six feet away from other individuals.
      • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
      • If soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizers with an alcohol concentration of at least 60 percent can be used.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
      • Stay home when you are sick, especially if you have a fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit; you should be fever free for 72 hours before returning to work or school.
      • Cover coughs and sneezes by using a tissue or elbow.
      • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • What precautions are being taken by the University to protect students, faculty and staff from COVID-19?
    • Primarily this includes imposing social and physical distancing where appropriate, limiting non-essential travel both domestically and internationally, vigilant use of face coverings in all circumstances where others are present and generally elevating preventive hygiene practices across the campus. An Employee Return to Work Safety Plan was also released which can be viewed here, as well as a Campus Safety Plan for Students, which can be viewed here.
      • Staff will be establishing new modes of working and meeting in order to minimize contact.  
      • Residential staff is trained to properly refer students who are ill and to promote preventative hygiene practices.
      • The Millikin University Facilities Services Department is increasing cleaning and housekeeping measures with a focus on restrooms and common areas. 
    • Face mask/covering protocols are being implemented campus-wide.
      • Face masks/coverings must be worn by all individuals in common areas. Face coverings which are deemed to be racist, sexist, indecent, illegal, inciting or in any way oppressive in nature will not be permitted.
      • Employees are not required to wear face coverings when alone in private offices.
      • Students are not required to wear face coverings when alone in private rooms.
      • Masks should fit snugly, but comfortably, over the nose and mouth.
      • Individuals who forget or misplace their mask may obtain replacement masks in designated locations. Please see the Campus Safety Plan for Students and the Returning to the Workplace Safety Plan for Employees for a list of these locations.
      • Face masks should be properly laundered before reuse.
      • Students are encouraged to bring 5-7 face coverings with them to campus.
  • What should I do if I feel sick and believe I may have been exposed to COVID-19?
    • According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), if you feel you may have been exposed to COVID-19 OR you are experiencing symptoms OR if you have had close contact with someone showing symptoms who has recently traveled from an area affected by COVID-19, please follow the guidance below. Do not go in person to any medical provider without first speaking to medical staff over the phone for advice. 
      • Students should complete the MyMillikin symptom tracker. They will be contacted by a Campus Life team member who will give them instructions on next steps. On-call staff is available after hours by contacting Millikin Public Safety at 217.464.8888.
      • Faculty and staff should contact their primary care providers. Individuals without a primary care physician can view appropriate medical providers to contact for care or COVID-19 screening in the Returning to the Workplace Safety Plan for Employees.
      • The Illinois Department of Public Health has also established at COVID-19 Hotline at 1.800.889.3931.
      • For more contact information, consult the Campus Safety Plan for Students and the Returning to the Workplace Safety Plan for Employees.
  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19? How should I monitor for symptoms?
    • Please visit this page to learn more about the symptoms that have been identified at this point in time and for information about self-monitoring practices that all members of the Millikin University community are expected to undertake.
  • What testing criteria has Millikin University implemented for COVID-19?
    • Please visit Millikin's testing criteria page to get information on the University's three-pronged approach for mitigating the risk of COVID-19 on campus.
  • What should I do if I am diagnosed with COVID-19?
    • Self-isolate:
      • Your provider will alert the Macon County Health Department and share CDC recommendations for self-isolation with you. Students should inform the Office of Campus Life of their diagnosis. Employees should inform their direct supervisor.
      • Residential students will be isolated in either Walker or Huss House/Blackburn Hall. Family or guardian pick up of residential students for home isolation will then be expected within 24 hours of notification.
      • Non-residential students will be instructed to isolate at home.
      • Self-isolation will continue for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or confirmation of COVID-19.
      • Individuals who have self-isolated must exhibit improved symptoms and be fever-free without the assistance of medication for a minimum of 72 hours before returning to campus. 
  • What should I do if I have been potentially exposed to COVID-19?
    • ​Self-quarantine:​
      • In the case of possible exposure to COVID-19, you are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days from the most recent exposure. Students should inform the Office of Campus Life of their possible exposure. Employees should inform their direct supervisor.
      • For residential students, this quarantine will be arranged to occur on campus if they so choose.
      • Off-campus students will quarantine at home.
      • While in quarantine, students are expected to follow very strict social distancing guidelines, including wearing a mask both indoors and outdoors, avoiding shared spaces such as laundry rooms and traveling only if necessary.
  • Are student health services still being provided on campus?
    • Yes, our Millikin-Memorial Clinic is providing care to students and employees. We are asking that you call ahead to 217.424.6360, as we will begin operating on an appointment-only basis. No walk-ins will be accepted.
  • Are there any protocols in place for students residing on campus?
    • Yes. For full details, visit the Current Students page on the Millikin COVID-19 site, and click on the Housing tab.

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SHIELD Illinois Saliva-Based Testing

  • Where do I go to test?
    • The Collection Site is located on the ground floor of Dolson Hall, west of the campus bookstore. Entrance is off of Oakland Avenue. Limited parking is available.
  • What are the hours of operation?
    • The Collection Site Hours are Monday-Friday, 8am-11:30am. We do provide special appointment times for student teachers and those involved in off-campus employment. These appointments are from 7:30- 8am. You may reach out to stdev@millikin.edu should you need an early morning appointment time. As a reminder, if you pre-schedule your test time on your MySHIELD, you will experience fewer delays and will be able to complete your test quickly. Most individuals can be in and out of the site in less than 15 minutes.
  • Who should test?
    • Please review Millikin's testing criteria at millikin.edu/testing-criteria.
    • Students coming from hotspots, traveling by air in the last 14 days, who have traveled from hotspots in last 14 days, or those who have worked in high risk industries over the semester break are being asked to participate in entry testing for the spring term. Certain disciplines and high-touch programs will also be participating in regular surveillance testing. You will be contacted individually, if this applies to you.
  • When should I test?
    • Students:
      • We ask that you test between 2-5 days after your arrival to campus, should you meet the testing criteria. During the course of the term, students should test before returning to classes/activities after any air travel, travel to hot spots, if symptomatic, or if directed by a contact tracer from Millikin or the Macon County Health Department.
    • Employees:
      • We ask that employees self-quarantine for three days prior to returning to work, should they meet the testing criteria. Employees should then test for COVID-19 on day three of their self-quarantine. Should the employee test negative, they may return to work immediately. Should the employee test positive, they will be required to quarantine for the CDC recommendation window.
  • How do I schedule my test?
    • In order to get tested, individuals should register by clicking here and with the Agency Code (provided via email sent on 4/9/21) to create a portal account. Once one submits their information, they will be sent a verification code to enter and confirm their identity. This verification code, which is texted and emailed to you, is only active for five minutes. A PDF with instructions can be found here.
    • Once individuals set up their portal account, they should select a time to test. This creates a QR code in the patient account. Please bring a screenshot/printout of that QR code to the appointment. Only Millikin’s site hours of operation will appear on this new scheduling tool, making it easier to set-up a time to test.
    • If you need assitance with your SHIELD login or credentials, please call the SHIELD Helpline at 217-265-6059. 
  • What should I expect when I go to my testing appointment?
    • Please bring a photo ID and your cellular device with appointment QR code. Individuals should not eat, drink (including water), chew gum, smoke, or use tobacco products within 60 minutes of providing a saliva sample. Doing any of these things within 60 minutes of providing a sample could produce an inconclusive result and require the individual to re-test. Test results will be posted in the patient portal after the lab results are completed. You will be asked to provide a clear saliva sample, that you will collect in private.
  • When will I get my results?
    • ​Results are sent to your MySHIELD account, and a notification email is sent to you. Results are posting within 6-18 hours of tests currently. Monday testers, however, will not receive their results until Tuesday afternoon since the hospital lab that analyzes the samples is closed on Mondays. Once you receive your results, please follow the submission process as detailed by your program director or contact tracer.
  • What if I test positive?
    • ​If you receive a positive result, you should immediately isolate yourself. You will be contacted by a Millikin University Contact Tracer, or you may contact Campus Life during business hours at 217-424- 6395 or Public Safety at 217-464-8888 after hours to be connected to a contact tracer. This contact tracer will instruct you on the steps you need to take during your isolation and will ask you about your recent contacts and activity. In the interest of public health and the safety of our campus community, we ask that you cooperate with our contact tracing team. Most isolation periods are 10 days from the date of your positive test, or the beginning of symptoms, whichever is first.
  • What if I test negative, but I have been traced to a positive case as a direct contact?
    • We know that this is a frustrating experience, but it is imperative that all direct contacts quarantine for 14 days. This is why masking, social distancing, and avoiding gatherings is so important. Once you have had contact with a positive individual, it is possible for you to have the active virus and show symptoms between 1-14 days of your last contact. In most cases, we will seek to shorten your quarantine should you be symptom free for at least 10 days. Your contact tracer will be in contact with you to discuss your quarantine timeline. We will not permit students to “test out” of quarantine.
  • What if I receive an invalid or inconclusive result?
    • Most invalid or inconclusive results are the outcome of poor quality saliva samples. Perhaps you were dehydrated when you submitted your sample and it was inadequate, or you forgot to refrain from eating and drinking for one hour prior to collection and your sample was contaminated. In these case, please schedule a subsequent test at your earliest convenience. Make sure to hydrate well before your saliva collection time and make sure your mouth is free of debris. If you are nervous about providing a sample, you may ask the SHIELD site staff to provide you with a closed and private space or allow you to collect outside.​
  • What if I have already recovered from the virus?
    • If you have tested positive for the virus in the last 90 days, we will ask you to refrain from surveillance testing until you have exceeded the 90 day immunity window. You should provide evidence of you positive test to your director or contact tracer. After 90 days, you will be invited to engage in testing. Should your first result be positive, we will ask you to continue abstaining from surveillance testing for an additional 2 weeks, and will treat that first post-90 day positive as a false positive. We expect you to continue observing all health and safety guidelines during your immunity window. In some cases, individuals who have recovered from the virus will still present with positive test results up to 150 days post-recovery. We will work with recovered individuals on a case by case basis to avoid unnecessary quarantines, but maintain our testing program as pragmatic.​
  • What happens once I receive the COVID-19 vaccination?
    • Receiving the COVID-19 vaccination does not cause individuals to test positive for the virus, and even immunized individuals may carry the virus and spread it to others. It is for these reasons that we will continue testing individuals, as scheduled, even after they receive their immunizations. We will follow new CDC guidance that emerges regarding immunized individuals and testing.
  • What if I am involved in multiple surveillance testing programs?
    • We ask that you follow the multiple schedules as closely as possible. Should you be required to test for multiple programs on the same date, you only need to test once- you do not need to duplicate testing on a single day. However, you may be subject to testing on consecutive days due to different schedules. You should discuss concerns with your program director and ask for scheduling accommodations should your testing schedule become cumbersome.​
  • ​What if I have questions about the testing program?
    • ​You may direct questions about your testing schedule to your program director. If you have questions about the overall testing process, you may direct them to stdev@millikin.edu. Please direct all technical questions about your MySHIELD account to the Talon Help Desk at 217-265-6059.

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Housing and Dining

  • Is the University restricting visitors to campus residences?
    • Yes. Non-Millikin University visitors will not be permitted in campus housing. Only those students who reside in a residential facility and authorized University staff may have access to residential facilities.
  • What practices are being implemented for student housing?
    • Please view the Housing tab on our section of the COVID-19 site dedicated to information for current students.
  • What are the dining accommodations?
    • Dining Services will offer "to go" options through the University Commons dining hall, with some limited hours at Einstein Bros. Bagels and Common Grounds.
    • Limited, socially and physically distanced seating will be available for students, but dining space will be limited to 50% capacity, and carry-out will be encouraged.
    • Plexiglass guards will be placed at cashier locations and in areas of direct contact.
    • Self-swipe readers will be installed for contactless meal purchase.
    • Self-serve stations will be converted to serve stations. More grab-and-go options will be offered at each station in order to encourage carry-out dining.
    • When seated in the dining hall, parties will be limited to 3 people or the number of chairs designated at a table.

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Travel

  • Has the University restricted travel?
    • Millikin University has suspended all University-sponsored, non-essential domestic and international travel for the foreseeable future. Determination on future travel will be made as soon as possible. We also request that members of the community practice good judgment in personal travel, with the understanding that members of the community could be subject to quarantine should they travel to any area of heightened risk of COVID-19, as defined by CDC guidelines.
  • If I travel to a region the CDC has labeled as high-risk, do I need to self-quarantine?
    • Individuals who have traveled to or from an area identified as high-risk by the CDC will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing. Individuals should stay home and self-quarantine for 72 hours after returning home, prior to being tested. Individuals must continue to remain home until test results have been received. If you have experienced any illness, you must be symptom free for at least 72 hours before returning to campus or provide a physician’s note authorizing your return. See the University's current hot spot list for details. Furthermore, any individuals utilizing air travel or taking a cruise will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing. For additional information, visit the CDC website.
  • Can students travel off campus during the soft quarantine?

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Events, Meetings and Visitors

  • Are student organizations allowed to have in-person events on campus?
    • Due to the decrease in infection rate on campus and in Macon County, Millikin University now encourages students, faculty, and staff to begin gathering in person on campus for official meetings, events, and programs. The indoor event participant limit is increased to 50 persons, OR 50% of the occupancy limit of the facility, whichever is lower. Food is now approved to have at events, as long as certain guidelines are met. Individuals interesting in scheduling an indoor event should email cscheduler@millikin.edu Student organizations should continue to request event approval through the current online form. We will also be encouraging outdoor events, whenever possible. Outdoor events provide a safer and less restrictive environment. A higher participant limit will be available for outdoor events, and in certain circumstances, we will permit unmasked outdoor gatherings. Outdoor events must be formally requested and approved as well, following all established guidelines.
  • Who is allowed to attend Millikin Athletic events?
    • Millikin faculty, staff and students are allowed to attend outdoor athletic events with an ID. Only the ID holder will be allowed admittance. Student-athletes are permitted four guests per contest. Students must submit the list of attendees to their coaching staff prior to the event. Both indoor and outdoor athletic events are closed to the public. Athletic events will be livestreamed and can be viewed here.

  • Will the University continue Campus Visit Days and/or campus tours for prospective students?
    • The Office of Admission is currently offering online information sessions, individual campus visits and Virtual Campus Visit Days. Learn more at millikin.edu/visit.

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Delivery of Coursework and Support Services 

  • How are courses being delivered?
    • Millikin University classes are delivered in a variety of formats. The mode of instruction is either in-person, online-only or hybrid classes. 
  • Are online courses be presented “live,” or can students view lectures, discussions, etc., at a different time?
    • Online courses and hybrid courses look different for every student and for every discipline. We ask that students re-familiarize themselves with Moodle and check their Millikin email often. Tutoring and supplemental instruction will be offered online for any student needing extra academic assistance and support.
  • What if I do not have access to a computer, Wi-Fi, or have the technological support or equipment at home to participate in alternative modes of learning?
    • Students without technological support or equipment may wish to remain in campus housing so they have access to University resources. Students may contact the CAPP Office at 217.362.6424 for assistance connecting to these resources.
  • Whom should I contact if I have difficulty with online course technology?
    • Students having online course tech difficulties should contact the IT Helpdesk at 217.362.6488 or infotech@millikin.edu
  • I receive disability services at the University. Whom should I contact for assistance?
    • Students may continue working with the Center for Academic and Professional Performance (CAPP). Students may call the CAPP at 217.362.6424.
  • What library resources are available for students? 
    • All Staley Library services have transitioned online, however limited staff is available during operating hours. Please visit the Staley Library website for your library and research needs. To view an online guide detailing the changes that have taken place at the library, visit https://millikin.libguides.com/home-access.
  • Whom should I contact with specific questions regarding course delivery?
    • All learning experiences (i.e., internships, practicums, clinical, student teaching, performance-related courses) will be managed by the overseeing faculty member. Please reach out to the faculty advisor or chair for specific questions.
  • How will class disruptions due to COVID-19 be handled, in the case of a student recovering or placed under quarantine/isolation?
    • We understand that students will need flexibility and care during this time. As such, students will not be penalized for missing a face-to-face class due to symptomatic illness or following a quarantine order, but they are still required to complete all assigned work. Students may be assigned additional work to engage with course material missed during absence from class.

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International Students

  • Will my visa status be affected if I am required to complete all of my coursework online?
    • U.S. universities received guidance from the Department of Homeland Security that allows students to continue this semester’s courses online without jeopardizing their immigration status. This means that you must continue to be enrolled full-time and be making normal progress toward the degree. Regardless of where you are participating in online classes, your immigration status will remain active. Please note that this is a temporary accommodation in place until this health crisis ends and in-person classes resume.
    • If you are a new international student that started at Millikin University in the fall 2020 semester (or after), you are required to remain on campus and take at least 1 hybrid or in person course.
  • If I leave the U.S. and continue my courses online from abroad, will my visa status be impacted?
    • No.  As of March 2020, ICE has altered the online course requirements to allow F-1 international students to take classes online during the COVID-19 pandemic.  ICE has stated that these new guidelines will remain in effect for at least the fall 2020 semester.  However, please remember that when classes resume in person you must return to campus to maintain your immigration status.
  • If I leave the U.S. (or am already outside the U.S.), will I be able to return? If so, what should I do in order to return?
    • At this time, we DO NOT recommend you to travel outside the US; however, you will be able to return using your F-1 Visa and I-20 to resume classes at Millikin. It is impossible to predict if and when further restrictions will be put in place by the U.S. administration for travelers returning from high risk countries. If you are currently outside the U.S. or plan to travel outside the U.S., we recommend that you continue to monitor travel updates by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

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Student Financial Services/Resource Assistance

  • What if my parent’s employment has been affected by COVID-19 and I'm having trouble making payments? 
    • Please contact the Student Financial Services Office to discuss financial aid and/or payment options.
  • Who do I contact for financial assistance or if I have questions regarding my student account?
  • What options exist for students needing additional assistance with finances or other resources?
    • We realize that COVID-19 not only disrupts the physical and emotional health and safety of our students, but also the financial security of many of our students and families. We have several resources available to assist with the needs associated with financial disruption.
      • Information regarding Emergency Student Support Grants and Hardship Loans may be found at millikin.edu/millikinstudentemergencysupportfunds
      • Big Blue Food Pantry has options for students experiencing food insecurity. Students may contact campuslife@millikin.edu for assistance.
      • The CAPP is available to assist students with securing technology and educational supply assistance, such as loaner computers and internet access support. Students may contact capp@millikin.edu for more information.
  • What is the University's refund policy, with regard to COVID-19?
    • All on-campus housing and dining ​options are scheduled to be open and operational throughout the semester. Should a disruption in ​campus operations occur due to the COVID-19 pandemic, refunds for university housing and ​meal plans will be issued on a pro-rated basis for students who choose to leave campus. The maximum amount of refund may not exceed 50% of the price of room and board. ​All refunds ​issued will be in the form of a credit to ​the student​'s accounts to be ​applied toward fall 2021 term expenses. ​Exceptions will be made to this form of refund for those graduating in May 2021. No refunds will be provided for tuition or mandatory fees as the delivery of instruction will continue.
      Refunds for students who choose to withdraw from the University or choose to leave campus prior to a disruption in campus operations will be guided by existing policies that are aligned with the federal financial aid ​requirements.
    • Please see our Student Account Assistance page for more information regarding Millikin's refund policy.

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