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 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

  • For information on planning the resumption of programs and operations on campus, visit goforward.uchicago.edu

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.

  • Individuals that return to campus to campus are required to follow the University’s COVID-19 Health Requirements
  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and has been in a University owned or operated facility must contact C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu so that the health and safety of others in our facilities can be addressed.
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Travel Guidelines

  • The U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are continuing to advise avoiding all nonessential international travel due to widespread ongoing transmission. The University is continuing the suspension of university-sponsored international and domestic travel until further notice. Travelers returning from international travel should not come to campus for 14 days.
  • On Monday, July 6, a Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) emergency order went into effect that directs travelers arriving in Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine for 14 days. According to the CDPH, travelers who have spent longer than 24 hours in a designated state and arrive in Chicago on or after July 6 must quarantine for 14 days from the time of last contact within the designated state. For a list of designated states, criteria for states to be designated under the Order, and more information on the Order, please visit CDPH’s website. All faculty, other academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, staff, and students who have traveled to the identified states and return to Chicago on or after July 6 must quarantine for 14 days and not return to campus before the quarantine period is completed.
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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, June 26 the State of Illinois moved to Phase 4 in its phased reopening plan, as did the City of Chicago.

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?

Anyone coming to campus is expected to self-monitor for symptoms and stay home if you have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 or have had any symptoms, including:

  • Cough
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

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.

Someone who tests positive for coronavirus must remain isolated until at least 10 days have passed since the emergence of symptoms, and at least 3 days have passed since recovery. Someone who has close contact with a person with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 must remain in quarantine for 14 days. See here for more details on protocols for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 exposure.

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.

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 U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are continuing to advise avoiding all nonessential international travel due to widespread ongoing transmission. The University is continuing the suspension of university-sponsored international and domestic travel until further notice. Travelers returning from international travel should not come to campus for 14 days.

On Monday, July 6, a Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) emergency order went into effect that directs travelers arriving in Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine for 14 days. According to the CDPH, travelers who have spent longer than 24 hours in a designated state and arrive in Chicago on or after July 6 must quarantine for 14 days from the time of last contact within the designated state. For a list of designated states, criteria for states to be designated under the Order, and more information on the Order, please visit CDPH’s website. All faculty, other academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, staff, and students who have traveled to the identified states and return to Chicago on or after July 6 must quarantine for 14 days and not return to campus before the quarantine period is completed. CDPH defines quarantine as “staying at a single designated home or dwelling for 14 days before doing any activities outside of the home or dwelling. People in quarantine should separate themselves from others as much as possible and check themselves for symptoms.”

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 contact among people on campus is critical. Campus work, classroom and study spaces are being reconfigured to provide 6 feet of distance between people, and while on campus, everyone is expected to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others where possible. When walking in corridors and entries where you must pass someone close than 6 feet away, move with purpose. The University has begun to post signs to facilitate social distancing, including specifying the number of people allowed in a particular area at one time.

For more information, visit the University’s COVID-19 Health Requirements page.

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?

Individuals who are symptomatic or have tested positive for COVID-19 should not come to campus for at least 10 days since the symptoms first appeared AND 24 hours have passed since recovery. Recovery is defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).

Anyone with symptoms 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.

For additional information please refer to Protocol for COVID-19 Exposures.

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?