Spring break guidance
The city of Chicago and the state of Illinois are currently experiencing some of the lowest positivity rates since the beginning of the pandemic, which many experts attribute to the end of holiday travel, increased COVID-19 restrictions, personal adoption of prevention behaviors (like mask-wearing and social distancing), and, to a lesser extent, increased vaccination.
However, with spring break coming soon, it is important to remember that COVID-19 is still in our communities, and with COVID-19 variants on the rise and much of the US population still unvaccinated, it is possible that vacation travel and other social gatherings could cause campus, city and state COVID-19 rates to increase again.
As such, UIC contact tracing wants to offer the following reminders:
- Avoid travel — airports, bus stations, train stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces.
- If you do travel, make sure to follow local and campus guidance to return. This means utilizing the reporting decision tool on return from travel so that UIC contact tracing can provide you with the most up-to-date guidance.
- Gather with friends and family virtually, as it is the only foolproof way of ensuring COVID-19 does not spread among your loved ones.
- If you choose to gather with others:
- Meet outside.
- Wear masks at all times. Please see the CDC’s guidance on improving how your mask functions.
- Practice social distancing of 6 feet or more with anyone who is not a member of your household, even if you are wearing a mask. This applies to trusted friends, family, and coworkers.
- If you choose to enjoy a meal together, make sure to remain farther than 6 feet away from one another, as you will need to remove your mask to eat.
- Do not share food, drinks, or utensils.
- Everyone who plans to attend should limit contacts and interactions for 14 days prior to gathering to decrease the risk of bringing COVID-19 to the event.
- Anyone at risk for severe complications should not gather with others who live outside of their household.
- Continue compliance with mandatory campus saliva testing if you are coming to campus, but remember that a negative COVID-19 test only means you were negative on the day you were tested. You can become positive and begin to infect others up to 14 days after your last exposure, so all guests staying home and self-isolating for 14 days prior to gathering is the only way to truly protect individuals at an in-person gathering.
- You can experience no symptoms and still spread COVID-19 to others; approximately 40% of all cases have no symptoms, and those individuals who do develop symptoms are infectious two days before their symptoms start.
If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19, have a close contact exposure to someone with COVID-19, or travel out of state, please inform campus by using the UIC COVID-19 reporting decision tool.
Please help keep all of your friends, families, and our UIC community safe by staying home and spending time with other household members, or with other friends and family virtually.