UIC guidance on COVID-19 policies

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We write to follow up on the email you received from President Killeen last evening about the migration of classes to an online platform and evolving policies about travel and events. The goal of these new policies is to mitigate the risk to members of our community of contracting and spreading the coronavirus. We must balance this with the goal of continuing to teach classes and do everything we can so that UIC students’ progress successfully to the end of the semester.

CLASSES ARE MOVING ONLINE BUT THE UNIVERSITY IS NOT CLOSED

The University of Illinois System has stated that all classes must be migrated to online by March 23rd.  Because UIC’s spring break begins on March 23rd, the migration date for UIC is March 30th. This means that students should go to class as they normally do today and tomorrow UNLESS they have been notified that the class is now online. We expect most faculty and TA’s to implement the online requirement as quickly as possible, and preferably by next week. It is the instructor’s responsibility to inform the students in their classes when the classes will be online. However, in this type of public health event, every day that the density of interaction can be lowered makes a difference in how quickly and widely the virus will spread.  Classes must be taught at their regular times online so as not to interfere with students’ schedules.

Those who teach classes that cannot be converted to online and for which there is no substitute for live instruction (e.g. some science labs and clinical courses in the health sciences), should continue to be taught live on campus. For those classes, the instructor should consider how to implement reasonable social distancing. We will ask the deans to report all classes that will continue to be taught live and will direct increased cleaning and janitorial services to those areas of campus.

We expect that in most cases, office hours and academic advising will continue on campus, though individual colleges may make exceptions depending on circumstances and the practicality of social distancing.  The university libraries will remain open.

Faculty, staff, TA’s, GA’s and student workers are still required to report to work unless other arrangements are made with their supervisor. We ask that everyone continue to exercise good judgment in preventing the spread of COVID-19, including handwashing frequently, avoiding touching your face, and practicing social distancing. More information on preventive measures can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html.

The hospital and clinics will remain open and fully staffed and will continue to care for patients without interruption.

RESIDENCE HALLS, DINING, AND OTHER CAMPUS SERVICES

Residence halls and dining services will remain open to students who choose to remain on campus and will not be affected by the move to online class instruction. Students living in residences will be receiving further guidance from Campus Housing. Students will continue to have access to campus recreation facilities, although, there will be no group programmed activities (e.g., fitness classes, aquatic classes, club practices, intramurals, etc.).

Administrative offices and the libraries at UIC will remain open. All student support services, including the student health center, counseling center, cultural centers, etc., will continue to operate, although these units may shift the way in which they deliver their services.

Any changes to services or hours of services will be posted here: https://today.uic.edu/coronavirus

UNIVERSITY-SPONSORED EVENTS AND EVENTS AT UIC

Effective Friday, March 13th, all university-sponsored events with more than 50 people will be suspended until further notice. Please work within your units to identify these events and notify affected people. For classes with more than 50 people, those should be moved online as quickly as possible and at the latest by March 30th.

INTERNATIONAL & DOMESTIC TRAVEL

All university-supported international travel is prohibited. If you are currently traveling internationally on university-supported study or work, we encourage you to return to the United States as soon as possible. In addition, all University-supported, non-essential domestic air travel is also prohibited. We urge everyone to be very cautious and to exercise sound judgment in deciding whether to travel internationally or domestically for personal reasons, including during spring break, and take into account the possibility that you may face quarantine upon arrival at your destination, and/or upon your return. Furthermore, as more flights are cancelled domestically and around the world, it may become more difficult to travel back to Chicago.

We understand that there will be a lot of questions about these arrangements which are unprecedented and likely to evolve as time goes on. The Vice Chancellors and Deans have authority to use their discretion addressing individual situations and we will continue to communicate with the campus on a regular basis and post updates at https://today.uic.edu/coronavirus.

Thank you for your understanding, patience, and collaboration as we continue to work through this difficult situation.

Sincerely,

Susan Poser
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Robert Barish, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs