Novel coronavirus information
Dear Campus Community,
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been working closely with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal, state and local agencies to monitor cases of pneumonia caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that has originated recently in Wuhan, China.
Cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in countries outside China, and two cases have been diagnosed in the U.S. One of these cases is here in Chicago.
We are not aware of any coronavirus cases on the UIC campuses at this time. Out of an abundance of caution, we are sending this preliminary information to raise awareness and inform the university community.
The CDC began public health entry screenings at several major airports last week and activated its Emergency Operations Center to provide ongoing support. The Chicago Department of Public Health is not recommending any changes to activity but as with any virus, you can protect yourself and others by:
- Washing your hands regularly with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze—remember to wash your hands afterward.
- Avoiding 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.
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
Travelers to/from areas where the virus has been identified may encounter screening at airports. Travelers with symptoms have been triaged in airports and evaluated by the Department of Health.
If you become sick with respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fever) within 14 days of returning from travel to/from areas where the virus has been identified, you should contact your health care provider.
Ill students should contact Student Health at University Village at 312-996-2901 for guidance or to make an appointment.
Ill employees and students should not report to work or class and should contact your personal health care provider. If employees have additional questions regarding the coronavirus, please contact University Health Service at 312-996-7420 during business hours (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Wednesday from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
If you are traveling, it is wise to travel with all immunizations up to date, including the flu shot. Influenza symptoms are similar to coronavirus symptoms. Being immunized against influenza lowers your possibility of developing fever and respiratory symptoms due to influenza.
If you have specific medical questions about coronavirus and your health, you should contact your personal health care provider.
If you have questions about University-sponsored travel, refer to the International Travel Safety Policy and the International Travel Safety website, or contact the Office of Global Engagement at 312-413-2799 during business hours.
Robert Barish, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services