DePaul’s on-campus COVID-19 testing, Chartwells negotiations continue, a delicious fall cupcake recipe
and the Chicago Sky takes the WNBA win!
Welcome back to In the Loop! We’re your newsletter team — Claire, Kate, Elly, Eiman, Ally, Emily, Grace and Cam — and we have a great rundown for you today.
First up, we have a feature story on the COVID-19 testing services DePaul is offering on campus. Then, check out the latest news from DePaul, Chicago and beyond with our weekly headline roundup. Lastly, to round it all out, we’ve got a new fall favorite recipe for you to try in this week’s column!
So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in!
DePaul’s On-Campus COVID-19 Test: How It Works and Where to Get It
By Kate Linderman
In an effort to take control of COVID-19 cases on campus, DePaul has been offering on-campus COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff in both Lincoln Park and the Loop this quarter. The testing centers, located in the lobby of Sullivan Athletic Center in Lincoln Park and the concourse of the DePaul Center in the Loop, are run by DePaul employees, but appointments and tests are processed through SHIELD IL.
On-campus testing is for students, faculty and staff, and by appointment only. DePaul’s COVID-19 website provides detailed instructions about how to make a testing appointment, involving signing a waiver and making an account with SHIELD IL to book the appointment and view test results. Once the appointment is booked, there will be a QR code that is supposed to be presented at the testing center according to the SHIELD IL portal.
However, when I got tested at the Lincoln Park location, I was not asked to present the QR code despite the website’s instructions.
On testing day, those getting tested should, “refrain from eating, drinking, brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, chewing gum and using tobacco for at least one hour before submitting your saliva sample at the test site,” according to DePaul’s COVID-19 website.
Once the short check-in process is completed, the testee will receive a small tube and a funnel.
The instructions are simple: fill the tube with saliva to the designated line. Once this is completed, the testee will receive instructions from staff on how to dispose of the funnel and cap the small tube. Then, the tube is left with the staff and results will arrive in approximately 24 hours, though it can be up to 36.
In my experience, I received my results in less than 12 hours.
Since the earliest days of the pandemic, DePaul has required everyone on campus to report if they had tested positive for COVID-19, or if they knew someone that had been on campus and tested positive. However, just because the university requires positive cases to be reported does not mean they always are.
With on-campus testing, however, all test results are reported to the university according to Associate Director of Emergency Management at DePaul Cheryl Hover.
“DePaul does receive information automatically on test results from on-campus testing,” Hover said. Cases are then added to the COVID-19 dashboard following a vetting process by contact tracers — not automatically from the results.
Anyone that wants to get tested on campus must sign this waiver which states that SHIELD IL will share their test results with the university. If the waiver is refused, the person cannot receive a test.
To keep up-to-date with on-campus cases, see DePaul’s COVID-19 dashboard.
By Elly Boes
First, here’s your DePaul sports recap from this weekend (October 15 to 17):
Volleyball: Last Friday, DePaul v. Seton Hall won three sets to none and beat St. John’s 3-2 on Saturday.
Soccer: DePaul Men’s lost 0-1 v. Marquette on Saturday and the Women’s team lost 0-2 against Butler yesterday.
Cross Country: At the Bradley Pink Classic, the men’s team placed 12th out of 31 teams and the women’s team placed 25th of 37 teams.
Tennis: Men’s team completed the Bulldog Cup this weekend where two freshmen took home wins in the singles division.
Chartwells Negotiations Continue
Closer to campus, the union UNITE HERE Local 1 reached a tentative contract agreement last week with DePaul’s dining service, Chartwells. Members plan to vote on the agreement tomorrow, October 19 but negotiations may not be finalized until their next meeting, set for October 25.
Health and Benefits Fair for Staff and Faculty
For DePaul staff and faculty, this year’s Health and Benefits Fair will be held virtually starting today to prepare for open enrollment October 25 to November 5. To access more information on healthcare benefits, employees can visit the online fair here or check with DePaul’s “Open Enrollment” page here.
Upcoming Events from DePaul’s Newsline
The annual Dolores Huerta celebration begins this Thursday, October 21 hosted by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity. The event’s keynote speaker will be Marisol Morales who heads network leadership for Campus Compact, a non-profit coalition of universities across the country. RVSP’s for the celebration — which will be both online and in-person — are available here.
Next Sunday, October 24, President Gabriel Esteban heads to Barrington’s White House in Barrington, IL to give a speech on “The Transformative Power of Higher Education.”
Several DePaul faculty members will join Chicago Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady in presenting “Creating a New Normal in COVID Society” over Zoom October 29. Register here.
By Eiman Navaid
Chicago Sky Wins WNBA Finals, Parade to Follow — The Chicago Sky team won their first WNBA championship over the weekend, with a final score of 80-74. A parade will be hosted by the city to celebrate, starting at 11 a.m on Tuesday as the team leaves Wintrust Arena to arrive at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park by noon. Kelly Bauer of Block Club Chicago has the details.
Alderman Formally Reprimanded and Stripped of Role — Alderman Jim Gardiner (45th) was stripped of his role in the Cook County Democratic Party, as well as formally reprimanded, as he faces ongoing investigations on both the federal and local level regarding his leaked messages containing foul comments towards his female colleagues in addition to withholding city services from residents he was criticized by. Ariel Parrella-Aureli of Block Club Chicago reports.
CPD Vaccine Mandate — This past Friday marked the deadline for the Chicago Police Department to report their vaccination status, and less than 65% have met the requirement. Now, according to a CPD memo, officers who have not yet reported their vaccination status are being placed on a “no-pay” status. Gregory Pratt, Sylvia Goodman, Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas and Jeremy Gorner of the Tribune report.
Northwestern Extends Fraternity Ban — The Interfraternity Council of Northwestern University voted to extend their ban on all social and recruitment activities of their 12 fraternities. This follows a previous three-week ban instated after multiple reports of assault. Sylvia Goodman of the Tribune has the story.
Ex-DePaul Student Found Guilty — An ex-DePaul was found guilty of “attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization” by a federal jury, facing a maximum of 20 years in prison. Jason Meisner of the Tribune reports.
By Ally Daskalopoulos
Former Secretary of State Dies at 84 — Colin Powell, the former secretary of state, has died at the age of 84. Powell’s family reported that he passed due to complications from COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. Appointed by former President George W. Bush, Powell was the first Black secretary of state. Jessica Donati of the Wall Street Journal reported updates.
Parkland Shooter Set to Plead Guilty — The accused gunman in the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida intends to plead guilty on Wednesday to 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. The massacre that took place at Majority Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018 resulted in the death of 14 students and three faculty members, going down in history as one of the deadliest shootings in America. Nick Madigan, Michael Levenson and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs of the New York Times have the story.
The Future of the Democratic Party — The Democratic party has only a few weeks left to push a massive social spending bill before the government shutdown deadline. The next three weeks will be focused on Democratic consensus, particularly on Biden’s spending bill. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer are working to shrink the $3.5 trillion plan down to half its size. Other at-risk plans include the expansion of Medicare benefits, a nationwide paid family leave plan and a new clean energy program. This could be the last opportunity in a long time that Democrats maintain control over the House, Senate and the White House. Politico’s Burgess Everett and Sarah Ferris reported the story.
Ongoing Inappropriate Behavior by Bill Gates — Inappropriate behavior by billionaire Bill Gates has made headlines again. A 2019 letter from Microsoft Corp. dismissed an alleged prior sexual relationship between Gates and a female engineer. Gates had been warned not to pursue a relationship with a separate female employee prior to the 2019 allegation. There was also an alleged romantic relationship that the Microsoft board was not informed of dating back to 1992. While this is not Gates’s first warning about inappropriate behavior, the board concluded no further action was warranted due to no physical interaction. Emily Glazer of the Wall Street Journal investigates the story further.
Hey, Check This Out!
With Featured Columnist Emily Soto
Hey everyone, thanks for making your way back to our recommendations section.
As promised last week, I found something to start getting everyone into the fall season. So how about taking the weekend to grab a friend, get away from the crowds and do some baking together!
This recipe for pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting was so easy and is sure to satisfy even the pumpkin skeptics. I can actually say that with confidence, as I was able to share the final product with my grandma, who usually doesn't like pumpkin, and she absolutely loved it!
These cupcakes were the perfect combination of pumpkin and cinnamon with a hint of ginger and nutmeg. The ultimate “pumpkin spice” you could say. Also, they were so moist and light, unlike a more heavy pumpkin loaf. But I also credit that to never over mixing the batter. I’ve made my fair share of dense muffins because I get carried away with the mixing. So my recommendation — only mix until you see that everything is evenly blended. Not a second more.
When it comes to this frosting, it’s a nice balance of cream cheese and sugar. Not too sour, not too sweet. Add a bit of cinnamon, and it brings a nice warmth.
In total, the recipe came out so good and only took me an hour. But if you’re thinking to yourself right now, “Well, those sound good but I’m not really a baker,” maybe you have a friend or relative who loves baking! Or maybe you don’t. Either way, call someone and spend a fun afternoon nailing those cupcakes or creating that crazy memory of the time you made a disaster in the kitchen.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority periodically offers rental payment programs which send vouchers directly to landlords to subsidize rent costs. The program is currently closed to new applicants. However, housing stability service providers are offered year-round. Check out the resources here.
The city of Chicago’s Rental Assistance Program provides funding for Chicagoans who are at risk of becoming homeless.
Rentervention is a legal-aid bot that can answer questions, draft letters and explain tenant rights. See how it can help you here.
Cook County also provides rental assistance for renters. See if you qualify and for how much here.
COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Resources
All of these testing sites and vaccination sites can be accessed for free and without insurance.
Howard Brown offers free, walk-in COVID-19 viral and antibody testing at multiple locations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, in addition to mobile testing sites that are updated weekly. The organization also offers the Moderna vaccine for individuals 18 and older. You can check all of their current COVID-19 resources here.
The Illinois Department of Public Health and the city of Chicago offer free COVID-19 testing sites in the city and surrounding counties, which are listed with more information here. IDPH also offers COVID-19 vaccines to all residents 12 years and older. Call 833-621-1284 to schedule an appointment.
The city of Chicago partnered with the Community Organized Relief Effort to set up free drive-thru and walk-in testing sites in the city, primarily on the South and West sides, with appointments available Monday through Friday. Register here.
The city has also updated its COVID-19 testing program with more mobile sites, which change weekly. More info here.
Know someone 12 years of age or older who has yet to receive their COVID-19 vaccine? Check out appointments via Zocdoc, the city of Chicago’s Vaccine Finder or pharmacy websites such as Walgreens and CVS.
Mental Health Resources
At Open Counseling, there’s a list of people and nonprofits with counseling services available for free or low cost.
This website compiles mental health resources, including therapist directories and other online resources.
The Center on Halsted offers behavioral health, anti-violence and educational resources for LGBTQ+ people.
Howard Brown Health offers anti-racism resources and sliding scale counseling specializing in the LGBTQ+ community.
This document is a resource for Black people experiencing racial trauma. The master list includes specific resources as well as protesting tips and donation links.
This link is a directory of Black therapists in Chicago who provide services for under $75.
The Trans Lifeline’s peer support hotline is a resource operated by transgender and nonbinary staffers for the trans community: 877-565-8860.
The Center for Religion and Psychotherapy in Chicago is a nonprofit that provides affordable, sliding-scale counseling. Call 312-263-4368, ext. 9081 to schedule an intake appointment (counseling is not religious-centered).
That’s all the updates we have for you today. We hope you’re hanging in there and enjoying this beautiful fall weather. Until next Monday — see ya!
The 14 East Newsletter Team