Frequently Asked Questions
Health, wellness and prevention
What can I do to protect myself?
There are measures that you can take to protect yourself from any virus even though there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
- Get a flu shot if you have not gotten it yet.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds whenever you are touching things that other people have touched. If soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth when you have been around other people or touching things that other people have touched.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze—remember to wash your hands afterward. Avoid close contact with other sick people. Follow all stay at home orders that are in effect. (If you are sick, stay home from school or work for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.)
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
- Wear a mask when out in public within 6 feet of others.
Should I wear a mask?
Individuals should follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. Only use a facemask intended for a health care worker if you have no other options.
How does COVID-19 spread?
Current evidence suggests that the virus is spread through person-to-person contact. It may be spread:
- between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets may contaminate surfaces like door handles or shopping carts.
Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, for example, health care workers, or household members of people with COVID-19.
If you are worried about your health, you should contact your personal health care provider for guidance. You can also contact the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) COVID-19 hotline. The number for Chicago residents is 312-746-4835 Monday through Friday during business hours and 311 during evenings, weekends and holidays. People in Chicago can also email email@example.com.
If you live outside of Chicago you can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV.
Are people contagious before they have any symptoms?
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic. Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are continuing to evaluate this new virus and are taking measures to prevent transmission.
If you are having any symptoms – whether or not you have been exposed to someone – please stay at home.
What do I do if I have been around a person who has since been diagnosed with COVID-19?
If the individual had no symptoms:
- Monitor for symptoms
- Follow all stay at home orders and guidelines on self-isolation. You do not need to self-isolate from your current setting
- Learn more about social distancing to prevent infecting others
If the individual was having symptoms of cough, fevers, or respiratory illness:
- You should self-isolate from others, including those in your home for 14 days
- Monitor for symptoms
- If you have symptoms of respiratory illness with fevers, cough or shortness of breath, remove yourself from work or school and contact your primary care provider. UIC students should contact the Student Health Services at University Village 312-996-2901
Someone I have been around was exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19. Do I need to be isolated?
If you were not directly exposed to an individual with confirmed COVID-19 (within 6 feet without a mask for more than a brief encounter) you should still continue to follow all stay at home orders that are in effect. You should continue strict social distancing and masking.
However, if you become ill for any reason remove yourself from close contact with all others, wear a mask when around others and contact your health care provider or Student Health Services at University Village 312-996-2901 for guidance.
I was notified that I was exposed to someone being tested for COVID-19, what do I need to know?
Testing typically takes 1-3 days to return.
You should monitor for symptoms and practice diligent social distancing and masking at work and home.
If you develop symptoms call your provider and inform them that you have been exposed to someone being tested for COVID-19.
Someone I work with was told to stay home on isolation, should I worry about them having COVID-19?
If someone was removed from campus or work because they have confirmed COVID-19 public health officials and/or UIC Campus authorities will contact people known to have been exposed. If you think you have had close contact (less than 6 feet without a mask for more than a brief time) with someone in campus-mandated isolation you should contact your RA and campus housing administrator for further guidance.
There will at times be individuals on campus that have been exposed to COVID-19 or have traveled from areas of increased COVID-19 transmission. They may be removed from group settings and told to monitor symptoms to prevent any transmission.
All persons on campus should follow social distancing, infection prevention, masking recommendations.
I heard there was someone at UIHealth with confirmed COVID-19. Was I exposed and do I need testing?
UI Health works to identify all contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 and notify these individuals and provide guidance.
If you were not exposed (less than 6 feet without a mask for more than a brief encounter), and you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, you do not need testing for COVID-19.
However, regardless of any exposure if you have symptoms of respiratory illness, fevers, or cough you should remove yourself from others and contact your provider for guidance or Student Health Services at University Village 312-996-2901 for guidance.
I have had respiratory symptoms and my provider told me that I can’t be tested because priority is currently for severely ill individuals. My provider told me to isolate myself at home and within my home from others. When can I return from this isolation?
Your provider should provide some guidance.
Based on CDC current guidance this will likely be:
Resolution or improvement in respiratory symptoms.
≥7 days after illness onset, resolution of symptoms and ≥3 days after resolution of fever, whichever is longer.
I am a UIC student. What should I do if I’m sick?
Students who are feeling ill or suspect that they could have COVID-19 should call Student Health Services at 312-996-2901. The clinicians will then advise you to your next steps. You may also contact your CampusCare primary care provider or primary care provider through your health insurance.
I am a UIC student and I am studying/working remotely and feeling ill or I have tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
- if you are experiencing symptoms and need to be tested,
- if you may have been exposed to COVID-19, and/or
- if you were tested for COVID-19 outside of Student Health Services,
Do not come to campus. Isolate at home and contact your provider or Student Health Service at 312-996-2901 for further guidance if you have questions. You do not need to notify Student Health Services if you are COVID 19 positive if you are studying/working remotely unless you require a medically excused absence to “return to class” (remotely or in person).
I am a UIC graduate or professional student and have been exposed to COVID-19, tested positive for COVID-19, or feeling ill and currently work or interact closely with patients/public/colleagues for training and/or research. What should I do?
- Do not come to campus if you are ill
- Isolate at home.
Contact your faculty supervisor and University Health Services at 312-996-7420 and select the COVID-19 option. The call will be directed to a customer service agent who will ask for demographic information (including UIN and supervisor’s email), any potential exposure, and any symptoms you may have. Please have this information available when making the call. The agent will provide you with information on your next steps. This line is available seven days per week, 24 hours a day. Nurse consultation and scheduling will occur Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Calls outside these times will be returned on the next business day. You may also contact University Health Services by completing this online form.
- If you have other/non-COVID health questions, contact your own health care provider or Student Health Services
- Chicago: Student Health Services 312-996-2901
- Peoria: UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine at 309-672-4977
- Rockford: University Medical Services at 815-395-5870 or University Family Health Center at 815-972-1000
Someone I work with or is in a residence facility with me was told to stay home on isolation. Should I worry about them having COVID-19?
If someone was removed from campus or work because they have confirmed COVID-19, public health officials and/or UIC Campus authorities will contact people known to have been exposed. If you think you have had close contact (less than 6 feet without a mask for more than a brief time) with someone in campus-mandated isolation you should contact your Resident Assistant and campus housing administrator for further guidance.
All persons on campus should follow social distancing, infection prevention and masking recommendations.
I live in a campus residence. Do we have new guidelines for minimizing spread of COVID-19?
There is not “new guidance” but rather we are re-enforcing CDC guidelines and State mandated advisories:
- Residents and staff should maintain social distancing, i.e. minimize close contact (less than 6 feet with a mask for more than a brief time)
- “Stay-at-home” orders are in effect immediately and until either revoked or amended by the Governor or by UIC administration
- Infection prevention through good handwashing technique while in residence and when outside residence: use of alcohol-based cleansers when hand washing is not possible, cloth face covering and/or mask if you cannot maintain 6 feet distance from others.
Does CampusCare cover treatment for coronavirus/COVID-19?
CampusCare covers treatment for coronavirus/COVID-19 in the same way it does all other illnesses. If you have CampusCare you can review the plan’s summary of benefits on our website at www.campuscare.uic.edu.
Students who have elected CampusCare coverage and are feeling ill or suspect that they could have COVID-19 should first call their CampusCare primary care provider:
Chicago: University of Illinois Physician Group, Department of Family Medicine at 312-996-2901
Peoria: UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine at 309-672-4977
Rockford: University Medical Services at 815-395-5870 or University Family Health Center at 815-972-1000
CampusCare will cover telehealth & e-visits with NO COPAYMENT. Students must contact their primary care provider or in-network specialty physicians to set up telehealth & e-visits for their health care needs.
Out of Network Care:
Please contact your primary care physician at Family Medicine for direction on all non-emergent care. Out-of-network care authorized by your primary care physician will be assessed at an in-network cost share and copayment.
COVID-19 Lab Testing is covered at 100% with no copay under CampusCare when medically necessary. Medical necessity will be determined by the CampusCare Medical Director.
Check the CampusCare website at www.campuscare.uic.edu/covid-19-information for updates regarding COVID-19 policies.
What is the status of classes offered by the university for the Fall 2020 semester?
UIC has developed a hybrid plan to include online and in-person instruction for undergraduate and graduate students. Plans have been developed to shift to in-person instruction to online should circumstances require it.
For more information about UIC academics and instruction this fall, visit the Circle Back to Campus Plan website.
Will dining services remain open?
Yes, residential dining will be open under revised hours and students may dine in or take out. Some retail dining locations may be closed or have modified hours due to changes in class schedules and on-campus populations.
Every dining location will use approved health and safety measures, have hand sanitizer available and will have nearby sit-down dining as well as grab and go options.
Visit our Dining website for up-to-date information.
Is parking available for faculty/staff/student employees who must remain on campus?
Parking has resumed normal operations and individuals may park in assigned permit location(s). Parking payroll deductions may be suspended for individuals who will not be returning to campus immediately.
A discounted daily parking program is available for students and staff on a per-use basis.
If you need to visit a parking office, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call ahead to reduce contact time. Service office occupancy will be limited.
Are UIC Transportation services available for faculty/staff/students who remain on campus?
The Intracampus Bus Service continues to provide free transportation for students, faculty, and staff via two bus routes: the UIC Intracampus Route and the Semester Express. The UIC Library Shuttle will continue to provide on-call service. All services are listed on the UIC Transportation website. Riders should continue to use the UIC Shuttle Tracker to obtain bus locations in real-time.
Face coverings or masks must be worn by all drivers and riders.
Buses are being cleaned twice per day with an EPA-approved cleaner and an intensive deep cleaning of each bus/shuttle will occur regularly.
Board and exit the bus using the rear doors and practice social distancing.
Where do I find information about ACCC operational status?
ACCC is committed to ensuring the UIC community is able to continue their daily work as smoothly as possible while remaining safe and healthy.
Can I workout, swim or use the Campus Recreation centers on campus?
UIC has made some changes in operation and policies to help provide a safer environment for our students and members and abide by the guidelines put forth by the State of Illinois for our recreation facilities.
Individuals must adhere to the Campus Recreation COVID-19 Protocol when using Campus Recreation facilities.
Please familiarize yourself with these new operations and policies BEFORE returning to Campus Recreation Facilities. Also, please keep in mind that future changes may be made as we continue to adjust to returning to full operation.
Campus Recreation will continue to offer at-home options.
Classes, academics, and information for students
Will UIC cancel classes?
Summer sessions are exclusively online for the remainder of the semester.
If UIC closes, what will happen to me if I live on campus?
Even though classes are now online, the University is not closed.
Residence halls and dining services remain open to students who choose to remain on campus and will not be affected by the move to online class instruction.
Students living in residences should follow guidance from Campus Housing.
UIC Dining Services schedules are available at dining.uic.edu.
It was announced on Friday, April 10, that students would receive an adjustment to the amount of Service fee paid during Spring 2020 semester. When will that adjustment to my account be made?
The staff responsible for processing student accounting are working hard to accomplish fee adjustments, however, there is a manual component required to complete this process. Students with active registration in Spring 2020 should expect to see an account adjustment by Friday, April 24. Students must sign up for direct deposit to facilitate the fund transfer. It is suggested that students verify their banking information on file in Banner is up-to-date.
I expect that I will receive a Service fee adjustment. How do I sign up for direct deposit?
Students must enroll in direct deposit with USFSCO to receive an adjustment. For more about refunds, direct deposit, and free banking options see www.paymybill.uillinois.edu
I still owe money to UIC. Will I receive a Service fee adjustment?
Any student with money still owed to UIC will get a credit against the balance due.
Will student events and meetings continue on campus?
All university-sponsored events with more than 50 people are suspended until further notice.
This includes student organization activities at various UIC locations and off-campus. The Center for Student Involvement will remain open on campus to respond to phone calls and emails.
Will athletic events take place on campus?
All athletic competitions and team practices have been suspended.
All camps, clinics and third-party events scheduled to be hosted at athletics facilities have also been suspended.
The athletics department has also suspended all recruiting travel by its coaches, as well as official and unofficial visits to campus by prospective student-athletes.
Applicants and prospective students
Can I still apply to UIC?
UIC continues to accept undergraduate first-year and transfer applications for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. Visit the COVID-19 Impact on UIC Admissions page for the most up-to-date information on application deadlines, credential submission, the best way to contact the office, event alternatives and more.
Are campus visits, tours and information sessions being affected at this time?
Programming for admitted and prospective students are being offered virtually. Please visit the UIC Nexus to review options.
Support services for students
The Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change are coming up with all kinds of creative ways to stay connected during this time. Never visited a Center before? That is okay. They are excited to welcome you to one of their virtual communities.
The Counseling Center is meeting with students virtually and continues to offer after-hours crisis care.
Concerned about safety?
In the case of an emergency, please contact UIC Police or your local emergency services.
The Campus Advocacy Network is a confidential resource available to provide support and advocacy for students who have experienced interpersonal violence. Advocates are available to meet by phone, videoconference, and online chat.
Have other concerns?
The U & I Care Program is here for you as a resource should you require additional support.
Visit dream.uic.edu for a wide variety of information and resources for undocumented students.
UIC Human Resources
Where can managers and employees find the latest updates and FAQs from UIC Human Resources during COVID-19?
Thank you to all of the dedicated employees across campus who are helping to ensure that UIC fulfills its important education, research and service mission during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have additional questions or require clarification, please contact UIC Human Resources at 312-996-0840 or email@example.com.
UI Health hospital and clinics
Is UI Health prepared to respond to suspected or confirmed novel coronavirus patients?
Yes, UI Health is prepared to safely care for any patient suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 and to minimize the risk of exposure to other patients, visitors, staff and the surrounding community.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Illinois Hospital & Clinics will remain open and continue to serve the healthcare needs of our community. UI Health has been continuously adapting to protect the health and safety of our patients, visitors, and staff.
All patients and providers at UI Health are screened for temperature and symptoms, based on the latest guidelines from public health officials. All health care providers who interact with patients suspected or confirmed to have novel coronavirus are monitored and protected.
More information about UI Health’s response to COVID-19 is available online.
If I think I have been exposed to COVID-19, what should I do?
Before coming in for your visit or the emergency department, call UI Health at 866-600-CARE to consult with a health care professional about what you should do if you are having symptoms that include fever, cough or shortness of breath.
If you have questions about COVID-19, you can also contact the Illinois Department of Public Health hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?
The most important steps to take are the same for every cold and flu season:
- Get a flu shot if you have not gotten it yet.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze—remember to wash your hands afterward.
- Avoid close contact with sick people. If you are sick, stay home from school or work for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
More frequent questions and answers for UI Health patients are available online.
Can I get screened for COVID-19?
UI Health has established various locations throughout the area for COVID-19 evaluation and testing. Currently, only individuals with symptoms are being tested. If you are interested in being evaluated or tested for COVID-19 at one of our outpatient locations, please do the following:
- Call 866.600.CARE (2273) to speak with a nurse.
- After answering a series of questions about your symptoms and exposure, the nurse will let you know if you would benefit from a visit.
- If you are recommended to be evaluated or tested for COVID-19, an appointment will be scheduled for you at either a drive-thru or evaluation clinic.
If you do not have acute emergent care needs do not go to the Emergency Department, Urgent Care, or walk into clinic, call first for guidance.
More information on testing at UI Health is available online.
How can I contribute to the resource needs of our clinical enterprise?
There are many ways you can help support UIC’s clinical enterprise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit our “Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic” page on the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs website for information on donating PPE, meals or financial gifts to support our students and our health system during this time.
Travel and study abroad
I have recently returned from an international trip. What should I do?
If you are a student, faculty or staff and have recently returned from international travel from an area with COVID-19 activity:
- Students should contact Student Health at University Village at 312-996-2901 for guidance.
- Employees should contact University Health Service at 312-996-7420 during business hours for guidance.
Specifically, if you have recently returned from any country with a CDC Travel Alert Level 3:
- Stay home and monitor your health for up to 14 days.
- If you are ill, you should contact your health care provider for guidance. Your health care provider will ask questions about where you have visited, your symptoms, and, if needed, provide recommendations from the local health department.
- You should call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
- Students should contact Student Health at University Village at 312-996-2901 for additional guidance.
- Employees should also contact University Health Service at 312-996-7420 during business hours.
If you have recently returned from any country with a CDC Travel Alert Level 2:
- If you are ill, contact your personal health care provider and stay home. You should call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
- Students should contact Student Health at University Village at 312-996-2901 for guidance.
- Employees should contact University Health Service at 312-996-7420 during business hours.
- Depending on the activity level and your role you may be asked to stay home to monitor for symptoms.
I am abroad or plan to travel soon. What should I do?
We urge everyone to be very cautious and to exercise sound judgment in deciding whether to travel internationally or domestically for personal reasons and take into account the possibility that you may face quarantine upon arrival at your destination, and/or upon your return. Before traveling, please review CDC travel advisories and restrictions.
All university-supported international travel is prohibited. If you are currently traveling internationally on university-supported study or work, we encourage you to return to the United States as soon as possible.
In addition, all University-supported, non-essential domestic air travel is also prohibited.
I am a UIC student currently studying abroad or planning to study abroad. What should I do?
UIC’s Office of Global Engagement and Study Abroad Office are closely monitoring and assessing all international programs daily. UIC policy does not permit students to travel to or participate in UIC-sanctioned study abroad in countries with travel advisories designated as Level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Level 4 by the U.S. Department of State.
Students with questions or concerns, should check with in-country staff for specific instructions based on your location or contact the Study Abroad Office at 312-413-7662 or email@example.com for up-to-date information.
UIC has temporarily suspended Fall 2020 study abroad programs with plans to resume in Spring 2021 pending health and safety concerns. The university will continue to monitor information from the Department of State, CDC and our partners abroad to decide on Spring 2021 study abroad programs.
The latest COVID-19 health and safety study broad updates and policies are online.
International students, scholars and employees
Where can I find the latest updates and resources for international students, scholars and employees?
For information regarding coronavirus/COVID-19 and the UIC international community, including immigration status maintenance, travel guidance, support resources and frequently asked questions (FAQs), visit the Office of International Services’ coronavirus/COVID-19 update page.