COVID-19 booster shot update
Dear faculty, staff and students,
With your help and participation, we have achieved a safe learning and working environment throughout the fall semester by achieving a 96% campus vaccination rate and by complying with rigorous COVID-19 health and safety measures.
We have also adjusted to our new normal and protected ourselves and others by wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and staying home if we are sick.
The University of Illinois System announced on December 6 that everyone who is eligible should obtain a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as it is recommended after your primary series (see the CDC website for details on eligibility). We strongly encourage everyone ages 18 and older to get a booster shot to protect our community. You can schedule a COVID-19 booster shot at UI Health.
As we have learned over the last 20 months, we need to continuously adjust to new conditions since the epidemiologic environment changes frequently. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in Illinois and in Chicago over the holiday break and will take necessary measures as needed prior to the beginning of the spring semester. In the meantime:
- COVID-19 saliva testing will continue to be required for all unvaccinated individuals who have a medical or religious exemption, twice per 7-day period, 48 or more hours apart, when they come to campus. Saliva testing sites at Student Centers East and West are walk-in only; appointments are no longer accepted. Test sites will continue to be open during winter break with reduced hours that can be found on the COVID-19 saliva testing webpage.
- Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 at a non-UIC testing location should report via the UIC COVID-19 Reporting Tool.
- New employees and students will receive information on how to disclose vaccination status as part of onboarding.
- Finally, anyone with signs or symptoms of infectious illness should stay home when sick and/or seek medical care. Vaccination decreases your risk of getting COVID-19 but does not eliminate it. It is important to know that cold-like symptoms could be COVID-19, even if vaccinated.
Faculty and staff who work in the hospital and also access college buildings must follow the campus processes as well as those outlined by UI Health.
Consistent with current public health guidance, face masks will continue to be required indoors for everyone on campus, including in classrooms. Individuals may unmask if they are alone in a private office or personal residence hall room, or when an individual has a medical condition, disability or other reason that prevents them from safely wearing a face mask.
Thank you for your continued partnership to ensure the health and safety of our community.
Robert Barish, MD, MBA
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
Susan Bleasdale, MD
Chief Quality Officer and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Quality & Patient Safety