Novel coronavirus update: March 12, 2020
Dear campus community,
We continue to closely monitor the coronavirus situation and we want to make you aware that UI Health is caring for a patient confirmed to have COVID-19. We believe the risk to the campus community remains very low. The patient, who is not affiliated with UIC, is not known to have visited other areas of the campus, other than to receive care at the hospital.
The university, including UI Health, has been working closely with local and state Departments of Public Health to prepare for this possibility and to take any necessary steps to protect the health and safety of our community.
While the patient’s identity and the details of the patient’s case will be kept confidential in accordance with federal privacy laws, we want to share the information below to reassure you that our response has been comprehensive and timely:
- The patient called ahead before arriving at UI Health, which allowed hospital staff to leverage all best practices and infection prevention protocols.
- All staff who interacted with this patient used the recommended protective equipment and the patient was immediately isolated, limiting risk to others.
- The patient, who recently arrived in Chicago, has traveled internationally to an area with a known outbreak of COVID-19 and is believed to have contracted the virus abroad.
The hospital has protocols in place to ensure that all staff members who interact with patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 are proactively monitored by University Health Services.
As we continue to respond to this ongoing public health issue, it is likely that UI Health’s role as a leading provider of health care in Chicago may include monitoring, testing or caring for additional patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. UIC and UI Health will continue to comply with best practices and guidance from the CDC in these situations.
We recognize that this may cause concern or anxiety, particularly for those who have family or friends who are directly impacted by this situation. As we respond to this public health issue, we want to remind everyone that we have response plans in place to minimize any continued risk to patients, staff or students. Please be assured that we will continue to be proactive in our updates around these activities.
More information about UIC’s response to COVID-19 is available at today.uic.edu/coronavirus.
Robert Barish, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services