Coronavirus Updates

This website provides the latest COVID-19 health information and related campus announcements. For information on establishing a safe campus environment that will enable the resumption of our most fundamental academic and research activities, please visit goforward.uchicago.edu.

Latest UChicago Updates

If you need medical attention, please contact your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, call your nearest hospital or urgent care facility. In case of an emergency, call 911.

As we continue to closely monitor novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and respond to the new and evolving situation, our goal is to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. We remain committed to our distinctive environment for education, research, and impact, and being responsible participants in the collective global public health challenge. If you have additional questions, please email us at coronavirusinfo@uchicago.edu.

Campus Operations Status

Recent Announcements

Archived Announcements

Public Health Information on Novel Coronavirus

How to Protect Yourself

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

  • In accordance with the Illinois governor’s directive and to prevent spread of the coronavirus, education and work should occur remotely. Only a few essential personnel are currently permitted in University facilities and all are required to follow these public health protocols.

Travel Guidelines

  • The University is suspending all nonessential international and domestic travel until further notice, and we urge similar caution in planning personal travel at this time.

Support

  • Students: We encourage any student who is not feeling well or who has questions or concerns to contact the Student Health Service at 773-702-4156. Students who need immediate counseling care should call 773-702-9800.
  • Faculty and Staff: The Staff and Faculty Assistance Program (SFAP) is a confidential program that provides support, counseling, and other resources for challenges that may arise.

Further Questions

General Information

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

What is the current reopening phase for the State of Illinois and City of Chicago?

On Friday, May 29, the State of Illinois moved to Phase 3 (Recovery) in its phased reopening plan. In Phase 3, businesses such as barbershops and salons will reopen, along with outdoor seating at restaurants, provided that certain measures such as social distancing are met. The City of Chicago announced that it will move to Phase 3 on Wednesday, June 3.

Have members of the University community tested positive for coronavirus?

On March 17, the University of Chicago announced its first case of COVID-19 on the Hyde Park campus. From March 17 to April 22, there were 26 reported cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty, staff, other academic appointees, or postdoctoral researchers, excluding the medical center. This figure is not intended to be comprehensive, as it relies on self-reporting.

The University strongly recommends that individuals continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

What does self-monitoring mean?

All individuals should monitor for the following COVID-19 symptoms: 

      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fever
      • Chills
      • Muscle pain
      • Sore throat
      • New loss of taste or smell

If any of these symptoms are present, the individual should not enter University facilities.

I am experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms. What should I do?

If a person is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they should not go to their University destination and should consult their healthcare provider and inform their supervisor.  Any employee or student who is experiencing symptoms can contact the UChicago Medicine COVID-19 triage hotline for screening, at 773.702.2800.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and has been in a University owned or operated facility must contact C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu so that health and safety of others in our facilities can be addressed.

Can I see my doctor online if I’m on a University of Chicago medical plan?

 All of the University of Chicago plans are offering telemedicine options. More information is available here.

Is COVID-19 testing available for members of the campus community?

Testing is available to anyone who has symptoms of influenza-like illness. You must be screened before you can be tested. Call UChicago Medicine’s screening hotline or complete a MyChart screening questionnaire. UChicago Medicine providers will determine if you should be tested at a curbside testing clinic. Curbside testing is not available without an appointment. See our full screening information.

You can find more information here

How do we donate blood to UCM?

Volunteers are welcome to donate blood at the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, 5758 S. Maryland Avenue, Room 2E. Please call 773-702-6247 to make an appointment. 

Precautionary Steps and Information

What can I do to reduce my risk of COVID-19 exposure?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. CDC recommends everyday preventative actions that you can find here. The University also recommends that you practice social distancing.  

Should I wear a facemask to prevent infection?

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. 

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

For more information go here.

Should I stock up on essentials?
Ready.gov recommends that individuals build an emergency kit for use in any emergency. You can find more information here.
What should I do if my roommate or housemate gets sick?

Your roommate should seek medical advice, particularly if they recently traveled to an area with reported community spread or have been in contact with someone who may have been exposed to COVID-19, and begins to feel sick with fever or cough, or has difficulty breathing.

• Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members (if possible).
• Clean hands regularly by handwashing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Provide your sick household member with clean disposable facemasks to wear at home, if available, to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others. Call Student Health Service for support. (773-702-4156).
• Clean the sick room and bathroom, as needed, to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person.
• Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, food, and drinks.

How can I access counseling care?
Students should contact Student Health Service at 773-702-4156. If you need immediate counseling care, please call 773-702-9800.

Faculty and staff may contact the Staff and Faculty Assistance Program, which provides support, counseling, and other resources for needs that may arise.

Travel

Is University-sponsored travel allowed?

The University is suspending all nonessential international and domestic University travel, effective immediately until further notice.. Essential travel is defined as supporting activities that are absolutely necessary, cannot be rescheduled, and must be done in person; further questions should be directed to appropriate deans or officers.

For additional guidance, please view these travel related FAQs.

I’m planning a personal trip abroad or within the United States. What should I consider?

The same public health considerations that led the University to suspend nonessential international and domestic University travel until further notice apply to personal trips as well.

How can I get help if something happens while I’m traveling overseas?

The U.S. State Department increased the global health advisory travel warning to Level 4, urging U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. We strongly recommend that all faculty, staff, students, other academic appointees, and postdoctoral researchers currently traveling internationally consider now whether to return to the U.S. as options for travel may be further curtailed. Especially in light of the new State Department guidance, the University’s ability to provide assistance to travelers who wish to return home will be limited.

Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation

What is social distancing?

According to the CDC, you practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from other people, avoiding gathering in groups, and staying out of crowded places.

Should I practice social distancing?

 Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The University recommends that the University community continues to practice social distancing. You can find more information on CDC’s public health recommendations page.

Are the quad and other green spaces on campus open?

For now, the University is keeping the campus and quad areas open, so long as people who use these areas continue to practice social distancing. According to the City of Chicago’s guide to help local residents abide by the stay at home order, outdoor exercise like walking, running, or cycling is allowed. But these activities must be done while keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from others. Additionally, the order bans gatherings of 10 or more people in outdoor areas, as well as close-contact group sports, including basketball, soccer, and touch football.

We ask for your help in keeping your distance from others and refraining from forming groups in public areas. The University of Chicago Police Department will monitor campus spaces with these guidelines in mind.

What does quarantine mean?

According to the CDC, quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Someone in self-quarantine stays separated from others, and they limit movement outside of their home or current place. A person may have been exposed to the virus without knowing it (for example, when traveling or out in the community), or they could have the virus without feeling symptoms. Quarantine helps limit further spread of COVID-19.

What does isolation mean?

According to the CDC, isolation is used to separate sick people from healthy people. People who are in isolation should stay home. In the home, anyone sick should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick” bedroom or space and using a different bathroom (if possible).

When should I practice self-isolation or self-quarantine?

A community member who has tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate as directed by healthcare professionals before returning to University locations and will be asked for physician approval in order to return.

University of Chicago Medical Center

Is it safe to come to UChicago Medicine?

Absolutely. Your safety and the safety of our staff is our highest priority, and we have implemented a number of practices to ensure you can get the high-quality care you need.  

  • Our healthcare workers have been fully supplied with highly effective personal protective equipment (PPE) and trained in its use in order to protect our patients and themselves. 
  • In the hospital and in our clinics, we have dedicated floors and units for treating coronavirus cases that are separate from the general patient population. 
  • Staff, patients and visitors are required to participate in universal masking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 
  • All employees and patients are instructed to follow the Centers for Disease and Control guidelines for social distancing of remaining 6 feet apart, including in waiting areas. 
  • Staff are also minimizing the time patients spend in waiting areas. This means patients will either be brought directly into patient rooms or, at some locations, patients will be checked in by phone in their car and asked to come when their exam room is ready. In the event a waiting room must be used, seats are spaced out to maintain social distancing. 
  • In addition, clinics are performing the normal check-out process and follow-up scheduling by phone to avoid patients congregating in waiting areas. We have a long history of continuously enhancing and improving our medical center’s safety systems and protocols.

This practice has enabled us to care for patients with COVID-19 safely and effectively while still meeting our community’s needs for a wide range of medical services.Throughout the pandemic, our clinical teams have continued to provide medically necessary, time-sensitive care to patients for whom a delay in treatment could have been life-threatening.

As we transition back to providing our full array of medical services, we are honored that our clinical teams’ skill in providing the safest level of care was recognized nationally on April 30. The University of Chicago Medical Center was awarded its 17th consecutive “A” grade for patient safety by the healthcare watchdog Leapfrog Group. We are the only medical center in Chicago to have achieved this record of consecutive “A” safety ratings and one of only 32 hospitals nationwide.

 

More Information

Where do I find more information?