COVID-19 Related Updates


Update on Fall 2020 Semester and Spring 2021 Start

Methodist College continues to plan learning experiences in a way that protects, to the greatest extent possible, the health of our students, faculty, and staff. We need to be particularly vigilant during the months of December and January, as these are the months in which the number of influenza cases have peaked in the past. There is concern that the COVID-19 virus might also peak during these months.

The following changes to delivery of course materials do not in any way affect the on-campus availability of support services for our students, including the Office of Access, Support and Inclusion Services, Academic Advising, Center for Student Success, Library, and Testing Center. Please continue to access these services to support your mastery of course content and to enhance your learning experiences at Methodist College.


Methodist College will not hold face-to-face classes on campus after Thanksgiving and before February 1, 2021. The following dates are of great importance to our students.


  1. No face-to-face classes between the dates of November 30, 2020 and January 31, 2021.
  2. Final exams will be delivered online with remote proctoring as indicated by faculty members.


  1. Fall 2020 clinical, practicum, field placement, internship, simulation, and laboratory experiences will continue to be held in person through the following dates in accordance with course syllabi:
    • LastDay for Full-Term Classes – December 7, 2020
    • Last Day for 2nd 8 Week Classes – December 13, 2020


  1. Didactic/Theory Courses – Online
  2. Clinical, Practicum, Field Placement, Internship, Simulation, Laboratory Sessions will be in person in accordance with the course syllabus.



  1. Spring 2021 classes will begin as scheduled on January 11, 2021.
  2. These courses will have all content delivered in an online format in accordance with the course syllabi through January 31, 2021.
  3. In person didactic classes will begin on February 1, 2021 in accordance with the course syllabi.


  1. Full Semester, First 8 Week, Nursing Assistant experiences begin in person January 11 in accordance with the course syllabi
  2.  Second 8 Week experiences begin in person March 12, 2021 in accordance with course syllabi

NOTE: Illinois is presently in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan established by Governor Pritzker. If there were to be any changes to the status of this plan, such as going back to Phase 3, Methodist College will make changes in accordance with these directions. Likewise, if the Illinois Board of Education were to make changes, we would respond and communicate with students.

If you have any questions about these plans, please Dr. Deborah Garrison at


Methodist College COVID-19 Statistics through 09/24/2020

COVID-19 Cases and Quarantines Students Staff
Current Confirmed Positive Cases - Isolating Off-Campus 1 0
Past Confirmed Positive Cases - Who Recovered and Returned 9 3
Currently Quarantined Due to Close Contact Exposure or Symptoms
(Not Confirmed Positive Cases)
19 2
Previously Quarantined Due to Close Contact Exposure or Symptoms
Have Since Returned to Classes/Work
88 26


Methodist College COVID-19 Statistics through 09/17/20

COVID-19 Cases and Quarantines Students Staff
Current Confirmed Positive Cases - Isolating Off-Campus 1 1
Past Confirmed Positive Cases - Who Recovered and Returned 9 2
Currently Quarantined Due to Close Contact Exposure or Symptoms
(Not Confirmed Positive Cases)
14 3
Previously Quarantined Due to Close Contact Exposure or Symptoms
Have Since Returned to Classes/Work
72 24


In compliance with guidelines of the CARES Act, the following 45 Day report is provided:

Methodist College CARES Act 45 Day Report (pdf)


Updated Mask Requirements

As colleges and universities across the country return to on-campus learning, there are more and more reported instances of COVID-19 outbreaks on campuses. 

While we are confident in the health and safety practices the college has already put in place, we believe that we need to tighten our mask-wearing policies to ensure we keep each other safe.

Effectively immediately, masks will be required at all times, in all spaces at the college, including parking lots and outside seating areas. 

Exceptions to this requirement include:
Private offices 
Inside of vehicles 
When eating or drinking (but please maintain social distancing when doing so) 
In personal residence hall apartments

Our continued success this fall depends on all of us practicing healthy and safe behaviors on campus and in our everyday lives, including off-campus, in the evenings, on weekends, and in our social activities.

Thank you in advance! We are confident that if we all follow these mask-wearing practices, we can finish the semester STRONG!

Return to Campus

The FALL 2020 SEMESTER is here! Welcome to all of our new and returning students! 

We are delighted to have each of you back on campus, and we are dedicated to providing outstanding education and support services. Please check your CAMS account for course delivery information, as any changes will be reflected through our student information system.

As we adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be exercising an abundance of caution to reduce any exposure of our campus community to the virus. Methodist College is dedicated to the safety and well-being of the college’s students, faculty, and staff. We are an institution of higher education and we are committed to creating a strong learning community. We will make immediate adjustments to course delivery in accordance with the State of Illinois Restore Illinois Plan, if necessary.

Health Screening and Safety Measures:
Each of us will:

  • Have our temperature checked upon entering the building
  • Certify that we are symptom free and record temperatures in the computer-based system provided
  • Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer often
  • Wear masks consistently, especially if social distancing is difficult
  • Avoid coming to campus when we are experiencing any signs or symptoms or if we have been exposed to person who has tested positive for COVID-19

NOTE: Methodist College is putting stringent cleaning schedules in place to maximize sanitization of the campus space.

Notify Human Resources (HR)
Anyone sick or experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (see below), who has had direct contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, or who is being tested for COVID-19, MUST contact Methodist College HR immediately at
Symptoms to be reported include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea; OR
  • Been advised self-isolation by healthcare provider in the last 14 days
  • Traveled outside the US within the last 14 days
  • Traveled on a cruise ship in the past 30 days

Managing Class Attendance and Learning Experiences during the Fall Semester
If you have a pre-existing health condition or other documented factor that places you at risk and may preclude your class participation, please provide a note from your healthcare provider to the Dean of your Division. Accommodations will be provided to any student who is restricted from attending face-to-face learning activities. Our students may have other circumstances that include issues with childcare or school schedules due to COVID-19. If you are impacted by any of the above circumstances, please complete the Google Survey at: .

If you are impacted in the above categories, please continue to be responsible for the learning activities associated with your course(s) as outlined in the course syllabus. If you are participating in learning experiences remotely due to issues related to COVID-19, you will not be impacted negatively, when you have communicated with faculty as indicated above.

Student support services, including the Center for Student Success, the Office of Access, Support, and Inclusion Services (The OASIS), Academic Advising, Library, and Testing Services remain available to students. Please visit their web pages for more information.

Methodist College is installing professional-grade audiovisual equipment in each classroom so faculty can broadcast via Microsoft Teams. If enrollment is too large for a socially distanced classroom, we will broadcast to a nearby classroom. This also affords students who must self-quarantine the opportunity to continue to receive instruction. You must notify your faculty member(s) in accordance with the syllabus if you will not be present.

Please check your computer to be sure it has a camera if you will be taking a course in a fully online or hybrid format. Also, be sure you have access to WIFI. Students are always welcome to come to campus to use the Student Computer Lab and WIFI when the campus is open.

Hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. seven days a week when the college is open.

We are looking forward to having you on campus! Here’s to a fantastic Fall 2020 Semester!

Human Resources:
Dr. Pam Ferguson, Dean of Nursing:
Dr. Eileen Setti, Dean of Arts and Sciences:
Dr. Deborah R. Garrison, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs:


In compliance with guidelines of the CARES Act, the following 45 Day report is provided:

Methodist College CARES Act 45 Day Report (pdf)


Restore Illinois Phase 4 Implementation

As part of Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, Methodist College has started holding some on-campus laboratory, simulation, and clinical classes. Methodist College is requiring the following actions of all students, employees and visitors:

  • Please do not come to the campus if you are experiencing any symptoms of illness
  • Please stop by Security to have your temperature taken. Anyone with a temperature exceeding 100 degrees F will not be allowed to proceed past the screening.
  • Please wear face coverings into and out of the building, and while inside building, especially when you cannot maintain 6 feet of separation between you and another person.
  • Please maintain social distancing while in the building.

The following are not open at this time: the library, fitness center, recreation center and computer labs. Printing is available in E215.

Students are able to come on to campus to study in the Student Commons, but must maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet.

The Campus Store is currently open Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Customers must wear masks and observe social distancing.

As a reminder, the library, OASIS, testing center, advising office and the Center for Student Success may be contacted through the Virtual Services resource page.

The college has implemented various working groups to develop processes and procedures for the start of the fall semester that will be in compliance with recommendations of the CDC, the State of Illinois, and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


In compliance with guidelines of the CARES Act, the following 30 Day report is provided:

Methodist College CARES Act 30 Day Report (pdf)


Methodist College officials today announced their plans for the fall 2020 semester. The college intends to be open for the fall 2020 semester with courses delivered as planned in a full range of formats to best support student learning. Courses will be delivered in a variety of formats, including: 

  • face-to-face in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings;
  • completely online in selected programs and courses; and
  • blended format including a mix of face-to-face and online methodologies. 

“As one would expect from a College dedicated to health sciences and human services, we will follow all public health guidelines to minimize any exposure to the COVID-19 virus, as outlined in the Restore Illinois plan issued by the Office of Governor JB Pritzker,” stated Dr. James Dire, Methodist College chancellor. “This means occupancy in our classrooms will be limited to accommodate the 6-foot radius required for social distancing, and masks will be the norm when there is any limitation to social distancing.”

In addition, Dire stated, there are plans underway to install interactive video technology in the classrooms to give faculty additional options for their course delivery.

“We will continue to monitor the guidance from the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and Governor Pritzker’s office, to base decisions on opening in the fall as described above on the fact that Illinois moved to Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan on May 29,” said Dr. Deborah Garrison, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “With the downward trend in new cases of COVID-19, and the capacity of health systems to respond to any future surge, it is anticipated that Phase 4 will be announced mid-summer. If there were to be any changes in these trends, there could be new public health guidance issued that could preclude a return to campus. Methodist College faculty are prepared for a return to online instruction, if needed. College administrators are committed to implementing public health measures to support the well-being of students, faculty, and staff.”


Methodist College has applied for funding that has been allocated to the college under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This funding will allow the college to provide grants to qualifying students using specific guidelines as outlined by the US Department of Education. When the college receives approval of our application, we will begin disbursement of the funds to qualifying students under the DOE guidelines.


The following information pertains to adjustments for the May Term and Summer I & II terms:

These are courses that consist of theory only with NO credits hours assigned for laboratory, practicum, clinical, field placement, or internship.

Instructional Strategy: These courses will be held online for the entire summer. If these courses are scheduled to include on-campus sessions, we direct students to hold those times available for synchronous (e.g. faculty and students meeting virtually at a set time) learning sessions on Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or other platform. In this manner, faculty can meet with students to support instruction at set times during the day.

After the shelter-in-place order is lifted, we understand that students may prefer to attend class as planned in the classroom. Therefore, if 100% of students independently verify their approval to return to seated instruction (if the course was listed originally as in-seat or hybrid) the faculty, at their discretion, may return to classroom instruction. Care will be taken to assure each student provides input privately.

These courses include those courses with credits dedicated to laboratory, clinical, field placement, practicum, and internship.

Instructional Strategy:  Unless the State of Illinois lifts the shelter-in-place order prior to the beginning of the summer terms, these courses will begin instruction using online, virtual, or alternative learning assignments. We know that there are many important skills that are learned through being in these real-world settings. Therefore, if the order is lifted at any point after the summer semester begins, students will have one week, or five business days, to prepare for instruction in the originally assigned mode. This grace period is intended to afford time for students to relocate back to the Peoria area if necessary.

Please address questions specific to the appropriate area of study to the Academic Deans. These include Dr. Pam Ferguson (, Dean of Nursing, and Dr. Eileen Setti, Dean of Arts & Sciences (


Due to the extended Stay-At-Home order, the following Methodist College events have been cancelled or postponed:

  • All April 2020 MC Reads Activities - CANCELLED
  • April 24 - Scholarship Breakfast - CANCELLED
  • May 15 -16 Commencement and associated activities - POSTPONED
  • May 20 - Wellness Forum - CANCELLED
  • June 22-26 - Learn and Serve Summer Camp - CANCELLED


Methodist College Announces Extension of Online Learning Through the Remainder of the Semester

In compliance with the announced continuation of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker's Stay-At-Home Executive Order through April 30, Methodist College has announced the extension of online learning through the remainder of the spring semester. Faculty will continue with online instruction and alternative assignments for clinical, laboratory, simulation, and practicum experiences.

Methodist College staff are providing virtual services for counseling, advising, library support, tutoring, coaching, technology support, financial aid, and billing. The college's testing center is providing ADA accommodated testing and make-up testing.

On March 25, the college announced the postponement of the spring commencement ceremony and associated activities. College administrators are in the process of determining alternate opportunities to celebrate the students' accomplishments.
There are limited personnel working at the college's campus. The main telephone number at (309) 672-5513 will be answered between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The college will continue to operate under modified hours of operation from 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., seven days per week with restricted access to the campus, unless by appointment.

In an earlier announcement to students, Methodist College Chancellor Dr. James Dire stated, "We are still on track to complete the Spring 2020 semester according to our academic calendar and confer all earned degrees and certificates on time."


As a result of current public health concerns, Methodist College administrators have made the decision to postpone the Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremony scheduled for May 16 and any associated activities. While specific alternate plans have not been determined, administrators are hopeful to have the opportunity at a later date to celebrate the accomplishments of students graduating in nursing, healthcare management, social work, and medical assistant programs.

"We understand the disappointment this decision presents to our students and their families, and our faculty and staff," said Methodist College Chancellor Dr. James Dire. "I am proud of the herculean effort put forth by our Methodist College community as we have moved all of our classroom and clinical instruction to online platforms. As a result, we are still on track to complete the Spring 2020 semester according to our academic calendar and confer all earned degrees and certificates on time. We look forward to celebrating our students' accomplishments at a time and place that is appropriate in light of current national and global conditions."


In compliance with the  direction in Governor Pritzker's Executive Order, Methodist College will  continue with online instruction and alternative assignments for clinical, laboratory, simulation, and practicum experiences as planned through April 12, 2020. We will re-evaluate the situation not later than April 8 to determine if this date needs to be extended based on the situation as it exists at that time. We will communicate further on April 8.

Faculty and staff will be working remotely in many cases. Please use email addresses to reach them as your first mode of communication. The main number at Methodist College will be answered between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.  For your reference the main number is  (309) 672-5513. 

Methodist College will begin new, temporary hours of operation, effective Sunday March 22. These new hours will be from 7:00 am - 6:30 pm, 7 days per week. Students shall not access the building unless they have an appointment or if they have instruction from their faculty to come  for testing. The Testing Center will be available for ADA accommodated students by appointment only. 

Please watch your email for further communications as they develop. The text of the Executive Order pertinent to educational institutions is reproduced below: 

Educational institutions. Educational institutions-including public and private pre-K-12 schools, colleges, and universities-for purposes of facilitating distance learning, perfom1ing critical research, or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible. This Executive Order is consistent with and does not amend or supersede Executive Order 2020-05 (COVID-19 Executive Order No. 3) or Executive Order 2020-06 (COVID-19 Executive Order No. 4) except that affected schools are ordered closed through April 7, 2020;

State of Illinois Governor's Executive Order - COVID-19 - Order No. 8



OASIS at Methodist College - As stress is undoubtedly running high for many during this time of uncertainty, please know there are many online mental health resources available. You can find a variety of resources at this link, as well as on the OASIS D2L page. 

Students can schedule a free counseling session with our Student Counselor. 

Methodist College Library - The library offers hundreds of ebooks that can be accessed from off-campus while the campus (and physical library space) is restricted.  Learn more on how to access library services off-campus.

Center for Student Success - Even though the college is closed physically, the CSS staff can meet with students virtually through the online Zoom platform. If you have an appointment scheduled or would like to schedule a virtual meeting, then please contact Melissa Williams or Tricia Fox.  Visit Zoom to create a free account.

Also, keep in mind the CSS YouTube channel has many helpful videos on a wide variety of topics.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR METHODIST COLLEGE STUDENTS: Please check your Methodist College email for important information regarding clinical, practicum, simulation and lab experiences.


In order to continue to provide a safe and healthy environment for our campus community the college is enacting the following restrictions, as per UPH guidelines:

  • Methodist College is restricting in-person, vendor visits for sales and marketing calls, routine business reviews, and any other non-critical meetings. Vendor visits required for business critical functions (equipment repair, facility maintenance, custodial services, delivery of packages, and necessary goods and services) are permissible with the appropriate screening and precautions. This change is to reduce risk of exposure to our college community and vendors given heightened awareness of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Allowed vendors and delivery personnel must enter the campus through the front doors and check in with Campus Safety.
  • We are restricting any on-campus meetings that include non-college personnel. If you have any meetings scheduled with any individuals from the community, please make other arrangements by either postponing the meeting or using teleconferencing or online meeting options.
  • Methodist College has already cancelled several community events.  College leadership is continuing to monitor conditions and public health recommendations and will make determinations regarding the continuation of events that are already on the calendar.
  • UPH has stopped all unnecessary travel for meetings between campuses to support the current UPH travel restrictions. If needed, you will have to use either v-tel, conference lines, and/or GoToMeetings for ALL meetings that involve cross-campus personnel. Make sure all off-campus attendees are aware that they should use conference lines, v-tel or GoToMeetings for ALL meetings (board members, clinic and hospital staff, etc.) Originators of the meetings need to ensure that options are listed in the appointments.
  • Campus visits with individual prospective students will be moved to phone or video conference options. Non-scheduled, walk-in visits are discouraged. The college recruitment staff will be making phone and video conference appointments. Prospective students can go to and make an appointment with one of the recruitment staff.
  • Students will have limited access to campus during this time. Those who have SIM, CPC, or testing needs are working with their instructors. Instructors must provide information to Campus Safety regarding students who have a required need to come on to campus.


Update from Provost Dr. Deborah Garrison:

Starting on 3/16/20, ALL theory classes will be online, as will all science laboratories. Clinicals (including simulation) will continue for the foreseeable future. There will be meetings with UPH this week, so if this changes, the college will inform students. Students coming on campus for Simulation will need to stop by Campus Safety and let them know which Simulation they are attending. In all cases, students should follow their faculty member's instructions.


Methodist College will cease face to face instruction at close of business on Sunday, March 15 at midnight.

All classes will transition to online instruction effective Monday, March 16 until further notice. 

Clinical classes, externship, and internship will continue to be scheduled. Students in those courses should be in communication with their faculty for further information. 

Methodist College is committed to ensuring students will be able to complete all coursework this semester.

Methodist College operations will continue. Faculty, staff, and student workers are to report to work as under regular conditions.

Additional information regarding access to academic support services will be provided next week.

Access to the building will be closed to students during this time including the Recreation Center and the Fitness Center. Information on how to make individual appointments for services will be provided next week. UPDATE: Students participating in on-campus Simulation or Guided Practice in the CPC per instruction from their faculty, may come on campus, but MUST check in with Campus Safety.

There are no changes to the operation of the Prairie Sky Apartments and students are encouraged to practice social distancing.

We will continue to provide updates via email and all updates are posted at

3/6/20 Update

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be front page in the news. Community transmission has been reported in the United States. At Methodist College | UnityPoint Health we are carefully monitoring the situation with the virus to stay prepared and keep our communities safe and healthy. 

There are no cases of the virus in central Illinois and no suspected cases of the virus on the Methodist College campus.

The following information is provided by Rosanna Rosa, MD, an infectious diseases doctor with UnityPoint Health.

What Is the Coronavirus?

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is a new type of virus that belongs to a large family of viruses called Coronaviruses. Many of these infect humans, others infect animals, but this new strain has not been seen in humans before.

How Has Coronavirus Spread?

In terms of where it started, it seems to have originated in Wuhan, China. Early reports were linking cases to the seafood and animal market over there. As of March 5, there have been more than 200 U.S. cases including several linked to person-to-person spread. Eleven people in the U.S. have died from the virus.

What Are Coronavirus Symptoms?

We know most people infected have fever, cough and shortness of breath. Milder symptoms can include body aches, and less frequently diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. 

How Is Coronavirus Transmitted Between People?

It is transmitted through respiratory droplets, which are essentially just tiny particles that are put out there into the world when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. According to the CDC, it may be possible for someone to get the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Is Coronavirus Treatable?

Right now, there is no specific medication or vaccine against this Novel Coronavirus. If someone gets sick, the type of treatment they would receive is more to alleviate symptoms and if they get very sick then they would receive other types of supportive therapies in the hospital.

Who Is Most at Risk for Coronavirus?

We know there is what we call a spectrum of illness. Many people have had what would be considered a mild illness including some fever, some body aches and things like that. But others have gotten really sick. The information that has come out from large case reports from China continues to support that it's elderly patients and patients with underlying illnesses that are at the highest risk of developing severe illness or even death. To define further, that means elderly patients and those ones who have underlying heart disease, chronic lung disease, and conditions along those lines.

What Are We Doing at Methodist College?

We are following guidance provided by UnityPoint Health, the Illinois Department of Public Health,  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and federal higher education agencies. 

What's the Recommendation for Travel?

The CDC has issued a level three warning and that essentially recommends people avoid all non-essential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy.

Should We Be Worried About Coronavirus?

The number of cases in the U.S. are low. There are other things far scarier, at this point, for the Midwest. Influenza activity remains high. There's been an estimated 32 million cases of flu, 310,000 hospitalization and 18,000 deaths from it. The good thing is we have a vaccine for the flu. 

What Can Help Protect Us from All Viruses?

We continue to recommend handwashing. If you don't have soap and water available, then it's OK to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It's important to avoid contact with people who are looking sick. And, if you are sick yourself, stay home and give yourself a day or two to actually get better. Then the other thing is to keep the surfaces at your home clean. It is also important for individuals to get a flu vaccine.

Where Can We Find Accurate Coronavirus Information?

You can find accurate and updated information from us at Methodist College | UnityPoint Health and from the CDC. It is encouraging to see that the CDC has been partnering with some of the big internet browser companies to make their results pop to the top of your during searches.