Some normalcy returns for fall semester

By Stephanie Wallace

JJC has been operating at about 25 percent on-campus capacity since it first closed its doors and now hopes to allow for 50 percent of on-campus capacity over the summer.

JJC plans to increase employee and student capacity even more this fall.
All lab courses will be held in person while many other classes will become hybrid or face-to-face.

“Our return to campus college plan is based on positivity rates going down, and vaccination rates going up,” President Judy Mitchell said.

Classroom sizes will be determined based on the classroom capacity and every person being six feet apart. Students will be able to see how often a class is held in-person and online when registering.

“These options are possible due to the incredible work that faculty have done, creatively delivering content in their discipline,” Dr. Amy Gray, vice president for academic affairs, said.

Currently all events will still be held virtually. Student services will still hold virtual appointments, but in-person appointments are “highly recommended” as well. Tours of the school will also be held online instead of in-person.

“To ensure that our students and staff remain safe, we are unable to offer campus tours or on-campus information sessions at this time,” JJC admissions office said. “Please know however, that we are working on new, innovative, virtual ways for students to see the campus.”

In order to protect the health and safety of the students and staff, JJC will continue to partake in temperature checks, enforce social distancing along with wearing masks and increasing custodial presence throughout the day in order to keep the campus clean.

“In bathrooms, paper towels are now available and automatic dryers are turned off,” Kelly Rohder-Tonelli, executive director of communications and marketing, said. “Labs will be disinfected utilizing electrostatic sprayers between labs.”

Schools all across the country are making preparations for the upcoming fall semester.

JJC has been heavily monitoring the pandemic and doing their part in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of right now, students nor employees will be required to take the vaccine in order to attend in person learning in the summer and fall.

“While the college does not require students or employees to be vaccinated, JJC has provided resources for the campus community so they can make educated decisions regarding their personal health,” Mitchell said.

Over 100 combined public and private universities in the U.S require students to receive the vaccine before moving on campus, but many are allowing exemptions for medical and religious reasons.

In Illinois, everyone who is 16 years old and older is eligible to receive the vaccine by appointment only.

About 40,000 doses have been given according to recently elected Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, who spoke in a live panel about the COVID-19 vaccine about three months ago.

“What we thought originally was going to happen, take over months, is probably going to get done a lot sooner because of the dynamic community that we have here in Will County,” Berinto-Tarrant said.