Campus COVID-19 Public Health Requirements

Policy Number: EHS-4200-002

Policy Title: Campus COVID-19 Public Health Requirements

Vice Chancellor/Associate Chancellor: Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

Unit Responsible for Policy: Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

Effective Date: August 14, 2020

Contacts:  Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, Director of Environmental Health and Safety Office

Policy Statement: Officials at the University of Illinois Chicago, along with public health officials locally and nationally, are closely monitoring the spread of respiratory illness caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus. As part of the university’s phased recovery of operations, UIC is following pertinent public health guidance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the University’s own health and safety officials.

Specific requirements and guidelines may be revised as the public health situation evolves.

This policy applies to all University of Illinois Chicago faculty, staff, students, and visitors while on university-owned or university-operated property. This policy does not apply to the University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics’ employees or operations, which are covered under separate guidelines.

  1. COVID-19 Testing
    1. In order to minimize the infectious spread of COVID-19, UIC is implementing a robust testing program.
      1. Testing will be mandatory for some groups of students and faculty/staff (students and staff in residence halls; certain students and faculty in music performance classes; student athletes and athletics staff).
      2. Testing in these groups is a requirement for campus attendance.
      3. Individuals in these groups will be notified and must adhere to the testing schedule and protocols.
      4. Testing will also be available for all students, faculty and staff, initially on a voluntary first come first serve basis, and as capacity increases on a regular schedule.
      5. All costs for testing will be covered by the University.
  2. Isolation and Quarantine
    1. In order to minimize the infectious spread of COVID-19, UIC has established isolation and quarantine guidelines for members of the UIC community:
      1. Faculty, staff, and students who have tested positive for COVID-19 must follow all campus protocols established for isolation.
      2. Faculty, staff, and students who have been exposed to COVID-19 infection must follow all campus protocols established for quarantine.
      3. All students (i.e., both on campus and off campus) arriving to campus from international locations or states covered by a city, state, or federal emergency travel order must:
        1. Comply with the quarantine requirements as stated in the travel order.
        2. Be tested and cleared to participate in onsite classroom instruction or campus events.
    2. Definitions
      1. Isolation is used to separate people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).
      2. Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
  3. Visitors on Campus
    1. To decrease the likelihood of COVID-19 spread on campus, reduce the number of people on campus, and avoid close contact with others, the following visitor guidelines apply:
      1. Until further notice, visitors inside university-owned buildings are restricted to those conducting approved on-campus interactions. Approved interactions may include, but are not limited to, research collaboration, student support, admission events, move-in/move out assistance, approved athletic events, construction and maintenance tasks, and business and education operations.
      2. Individual supervisors are required to develop and communicate department-specific visitor guidelines in their return-to-work plan for their area, consistent with these requirements and guidelines. All visitors to offices are required to have an appointment with a university employee who is authorized to be on-campus. Visitors will not be permitted in buildings outside of their appointment unless accompanied by their employee host.
      3. Visitors should follow up-to-date health practice guidelines, including the visitor-specific requirements outlined in this policy. In particular, visitors should review their own symptoms immediately before arriving on campus for an in-person meeting. Visitors who do not feel well or exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms should reschedule their meeting and must not come to campus.
    2. Definition: “Visitors” include family members of university students and employees, prospective students and their families, alumni, academic visitors, contractors, visiting athletics teams and staff, athletics officials, and vendors conducting business with the university, including making deliveries to the university
  4. Required Use of Face Coverings
    1. Each individual is required to wear a face covering at all times, including in classrooms, except when alone in a private office or personal residence hall room, or when an individual has a medical condition, disability, or other reason that prevents them from safely wearing a face covering. Any exception must be approved in advance by the UIC Office for Access and Equity.
    2. A face covering may be temporarily removed to eat or drink. Eating and drinking is not permitted in classrooms.
    3. Additional important information about face coverings may be found on the university’s Road to Recovery website:
    4. Definitions:
      1. A cloth face covering is typically a reusable item made from cloth fabric. It serves to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent people who may have the coronavirus but do not know it from transmitting the COVID-19 to others. This is the appropriate protection for most employees. Cloth face coverings should be laundered after each use in a washing machine or by hand following CDC guidance.
      2. A surgical mask is a disposable face covering cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is fluid-resistant and provides the wearer protection against large droplets, splashes, or sprays of bodily or other hazardous fluids.
      3. An N95 respirator is a face covering device evaluated, tested, and approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. It reduces the wearer’s exposure to particles including small particle aerosols and large droplets (only non-oil aerosols). An N95 respirator is tight-fitting and must be fit-tested. N95 respirators are not appropriate or necessary for most university faculty, staff, students, or visitors and should be reserved for health care workers and emergency responders in contact with individuals who are ill.
      4. At this time, CDC does not recommend using face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings.
  5.  Wellness Screening
    1. The university requires daily wellness screening in order to be on campus. Several options for wellness screening are described below. Employees and students are required to follow the wellness screening protocol outlined by their home college or department, the Dean of Students, or Campus Housing.
    2. Procedures:
      1. The wellness screening protocol requires that persons coming to campus answer a series of questions related to their health status and the health status of those in their household. Wellness screening may be conducted via online application, e-mail, phone call, or in person. All colleges, departments, and other university units must develop a system for reporting the results of the wellness screening. Specific information on the wellness screening protocol may be found on the university’s Road to Recovery website:
      2. In-person wellness screening may be conducted at the building level. In this scenario, there are limited building access points, and all individuals entering the building through the designated access points would be screened. Another option is for a department to designate select employees to serve as screeners.
      3. Self-monitoring may be conducted by UIC faculty, employees or students in their home before leaving for campus and during the day to verify wellness. Faculty, employees and students should complete the UIC online wellness screening application that produces a date and time stamped statement of completion. Specific information on the daily self-check screening tool for faculty, staff, and students may be found on the university’s Road to Recovery website:
    3. Wellness Screening Related Actions
      1. For higher-risk locations such as clinical environments, temperature monitoring is a recommended component of the wellness screening protocol. Any temperature above 100.4°F is considered a fever and may require medical attention. Any temperature at 103°F or higher requires immediate medical attention. Individuals coming on campus should be familiar with the temperature monitoring protocol to determine next steps if a fever is present:
      2. Any answer of “yes” to the wellness screening questions will require follow up by the affected party. Individuals coming on campus should be familiar with the wellness screening protocol to determine next steps:
      3. Students who reside in on-campus housing will have additional steps to take if a fever is present or if they answer “yes” to wellness screening questions. Students in campus housing should be familiar with UIC Campus Housing’s COVID-19 website and related action steps:
  6.  Social Distancing Requirements
    1. The university requires that all individuals on campus maintain social (or physical) distancing when in public spaces. The principles of social distancing should be applied to all university-owned and university-controlled public spaces, including shared workspaces, classrooms, laboratories, line queues, etc. In some cases, alterations to public spaces may be required to promote social distancing. These may include signage, physical barriers, and the removal or rearrangement of furnishings. Additional information about social distancing may found on the university’s Road to Recovery website:
    2. Definition: Social (or physical) distancing is a concept used to keep humans separated by 6 feet from other humans. A 3-foot radius is another term used to describe physical distancing when two people, each with a 3-foot radius, are 6 feet apart from one another.
  7. Gathering Size Limitations
    1. The university expects all individuals gathering on campus to abide by state limits, to maintain appropriate social distancing, and to wear face coverings. The university expects this gathering size limit to remain fluid as the public health situation continues to fluctuate. Faculty, staff, students, and visitors should be familiar with the guidance on the Road to Recovery website:
    2. Definition: A gathering is defined as any group of people that get together for formal or informal purposes, such as classes, study groups, student group meetings, athletic group activities or events, business meetings, and social gatherings.
  8. Additional Public Health Requirements
    1. The university may need to set additional public health requirements or adjust existing requirements as the public health situation continues to change. At this time, additional requirements include:
      1. Individuals on campus must adhere to public health social distancing and sanitization requirements, especially when eating or drinking.
      2. Upon arriving on campus, individuals should immediately wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
      3. All faculty, staff, and students will be required to complete mandatory online training regarding COVID-19 safety. This training will share information that will help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 on campus, including social and physical distancing, staying home if a person is sick, proper hygiene measures, use of face covering, and cleaning and disinfection procedures.
      4. To remain informed of any additional requirements, faculty, staff, and students should check the university’s Road to Recovery website on a regular basis:
  9. Compliance
    1. All faculty, staff, students, and visitors are expected to comply with the requirements of this policy to help protect the health and safety of all individuals in the university community and mitigate and prevent further spread of COVID-19.
    2. Any visitor who refuses to comply with the requirements of this policy will be directed to leave campus.
    3. Any faculty or staff member who refuses to comply with the requirements of this policy will be directed to leave campus and may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to applicable guidelines or employment policies and procedures.
    4. Any student who refuses to comply with the requirements of this policy will be directed to leave campus and may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to applicable guidelines or student disciplinary policies and procedures.

Note: COVID-19 is an unprecedented global health pandemic. Along with national, state, and local officials, UIC will continue to monitor the public health situation carefully. The requirements and guidelines listed here may be adjusted and revised as the public health situation evolves.

Reason for Policy: This policy is designed to help the university community resume operations while protecting the health of all faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

Minority Impact Statement: This policy does not have any disproportionate or unique impact on UIC’s minority students, staff, or faculty.

Who Should Read the Policy:  All UIC faculty, staff, and students should read this policy and be aware of its contents and requirements.