Return to hybrid learning Feb. 8
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
The spring semester is off to a strong start and we are very encouraged that Chicago is gradually rolling back COVID-19 restrictions to allow businesses and other amenities to reopen as the positivity rate continues to decline.
At UIC, we have performed more than 70,000 COVID-19 saliva tests and we have a 7-day rolling average positivity rate of 0.5%. The increase in saliva testing and vaccination, along with our continued efforts to wear a mask, wash hands/use sanitizer, practice physical distancing, and participate in health checks have resulted in making UIC a safe campus. We are now ready to return to a hybrid model that includes some on-campus classes and labs for undergraduate and graduate students.
Beginning Monday, Feb. 8, instructors who had planned to offer on-campus or hybrid classes, labs, etc. during spring semester may now proceed with those classes, as long as they adhere to social distancing and other public health precautions as outlined in COVID-19 Classroom Safety Guidance.
Like last semester, these instructors are strongly encouraged to record live classes for students who cannot attend in person.
Supervisors should maintain reduced density on campus and allow employees to work remotely based on unit operational needs.
Anyone who feels ill or believes they were exposed to the coronavirus or the flu should stay at home and not come to campus.
As we bring additional students and employees back to campus, we will require all individuals who will be on campus to have regular on-campus saliva testing, participate in the UIC Healthcheck, and show their UIC Daily Pass upon request. These items are explained below.
Mandatory Saliva testing
Effective Monday, Feb. 8, COVID-19 saliva testing will be required for all individuals participating in on-campus activities.
- The existing mandatory testing program for students and staff in campus housing, certain students and faculty/staff in performing arts, and student-athletes and athletics staff will continue as it currently exists.
- Employees and students working in clinical settings will follow testing requirements provided by UI Health.
- All other students, faculty, and staff coming to campus are required to test once every 14 days and are strongly encouraged to test as often as, but not more than, once per week.
- Saliva testing will also be available at our regional campuses in Rockford and Peoria and at the Law School. Separate guidance will be provided to faculty, staff and students at those locations.
Saliva testing is for individuals who are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and may be scheduled online in advance. Walk-in testing is available based on availability around existing appointments.
UIC Healthcheck and Daily Pass
All students, faculty and staff participating in on-campus activities (outside of the hospital and clinics) are required to use UIC Healthcheck to record their health status before coming to campus each day. The UIC Daily Pass is an enhanced feature to show current saliva testing status in addition to daily self-reported status. The color-coded saliva testing status, indicated by the badge, is a tool to ensure staff, faculty and students obtain regular testing:
- Saliva tested negative in last 7 days = green
- Saliva tested negative 7-14 days = yellow
- Saliva tested 15 days or more = red
The Healthcheck and Daily Pass reports are available to colleges and supervisors to monitor the status of employees and students. Faculty may require that students show their Daily Pass before or during class. Anyone with a red Healthcheck or Daily Pass badge will be required to immediately obtain a saliva test or leave campus. Individuals with questions about saliva testing should contact COVIDtesting@uic.edu.
Thank you for your continued efforts to adhere to prevention measures to keep our campus and our community safe.
Michael D. Amiridis
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Robert Barish, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs