Novel coronavirus update: March 3, 2020

Dear students, faculty and staff,

The fourth case of coronavirus has been reported in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, and additional cases continue to be identified throughout the U.S. as screening and testing efforts are expanded.

Illinois was the first state to provide COVID-19 testing outside of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and the state has also implemented additional testing to improve surveillance for COVID-19. As testing is expanding it is expected that more cases will be identified here in Chicago and Illinois at large.

At UIC, we continue to work closely with local and national public health officials to ensure that we are doing everything possible to serve our students, our employees and our patients. We are actively planning in order to anticipate and address challenges that may at some point in the future impact the campus, including the possibility of finding the illness within our community and the need to curtail operations or cancel classes and provide alternative modes of academic instruction. More information about these plans are forthcoming. However, there are currently no restrictions to classes.

If you are a student, faculty or staff member and have recently returned from international travel please contact the university for specific guidance and recommendations for monitoring your health:

  • 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 or the University of Illinois Hospital at 866-600-CARE (2273) after hours for guidance.

If you have returned from any country with a Travel Alert Level 3, do not attend classes or work and call for guidance on self-monitoring and limitation of activities.

For additional questions, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions at today.uic.edu/coronavirus.

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 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 sao@uic.edu for up-to-date information.

There are steps that you can take to help minimize the risk of illness, including:

  • Get a flu shot — it’s not too late.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 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 and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick, and cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.

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 coronavirus@chicago.gov. 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.

Sincerely,

Robert Barish, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs

John Coronado
Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

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