COVID-19 safety measures for fall semester
Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,
As we prepare to begin the fall semester and young people across the country head back to school, now is a critical time for those who are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Delta variant has caused an increased number of COVID-19 cases across the United States and vaccination is the most effective way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death. Our goal is to have a fully vaccinated campus this fall to allow us to resume a more normal learning and working environment.
If you are a faculty, staff or returning student and you have not met the Aug. 1 deadline for disclosing your vaccination status through UIC Healthcheck, you should do so immediately before disciplinary action is taken. Freshman, transfer and new graduate students must disclose vaccination status by Aug. 16.
Unit supervisors, the Dean of Students and colleges are provided vaccination disclosure status reports and compliance reports for UIC Healthcheck and saliva testing to ensure that individuals comply with all campus health and safety measures.
Effective Aug. 16, at least weekly saliva testing and daily UIC Healthcheck COVID-19 Self Monitoring is required for the following individuals:
- those who submitted a medical or religious exemption
- those who are partially vaccinated who have a scheduled final vaccine dose and vaccination completion is imminent. You may update your vaccination status through UIC Healthcheck after your final vaccine dose.
Employees at UI Health should follow separately provided compliance guidance and deadlines, as communicated to them by the leadership of UI Health. 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 revised 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.
Given the dynamic situation with the Delta variant, we are closely monitoring public health recommendations and we may need to adjust physical distancing requirements for the fall.
We will also implement a new COVID-19 surveillance testing plan to include random or directed saliva testing and campus wastewater sampling to monitor the prevalence of disease in our community.
We have been busy preparing the campus for your safe return, but we ask for your patience as we monitor and evaluate what adjustments may be needed in the next few weeks based on the trajectory of COVID-19 cases in the city and state. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to follow the science, adjust accordingly, and do everything we can to protect our campus community.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. We have said it many times before, but it bears repeating. Get the COVID-19 vaccine if you are able to do so. The vaccines are safe and effective at preventing you and those you care about from becoming seriously ill, and if you have questions about the vaccine, please talk to your health care provider or visit the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 FAQ webpage.
Stay well and stay informed!
Michael D. Amiridis
Robert Barish, MD, MBA
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
Susan Bleasdale, MD
Chief Quality Officer and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Quality & Patient Safety