Fall COVID-19 update
Dear UIC community,
UIC’s public health and infectious disease experts meet weekly to assess relevant data and trends related to COVID-19 and evaluate the university’s approach to managing the virus.
The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing, and that trend is expected to continue in the near future. However, almost all of Illinois remains categorized as low transmission, and hospitalizations and deaths are still relatively low. For example, in the last week of August this year, nationally there were 17,400 hospital admissions. This compares to 37,000 at the same time in 2022 and 86,000 at the same time in 2021. COVID-19 will be with us for the indefinite future, but cases tend to be less severe compared to previous waves of COVID-19.
The FDA and CDC just approved a new vaccine and are recommending that everyone six months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine. The UIC community is strongly encouraged to take advantage of the new vaccine, especially those with risk factors for severe infection.
The new vaccine will be available soon. An update on how and where to get vaccinated will be provided as that information becomes available.
To help maintain a safe environment, please follow these guidelines:
- If you’re sick, or develop COVID-19-related symptoms, stay home and follow public and medical health guidelines on when it is safe to return to work or class.
- If you have COVID-19, isolate for at least 5 days. If after 5 days your symptoms are improving, you can exit isolation but should remain masked around others for an additional 5 days.
- Additional isolation and exposure guidance for campus members not affiliated with UI Health and who do not have clinical duties is available online.
- Practice good hygiene, washing your hands often and avoiding touching your face.
- COVID-19 testing is widely accessible throughout the Chicagoland area. Specific locations can be found through the CDC testing locator.
- Masks continue to remain optional on campus at this time but can protect the wearer from respiratory viruses (refer to UI Health information for guidance on masking in the health care setting).
The season of respiratory viruses is underway, so make plans to get a flu shot, as well as the updated COVID-19 vaccine. These vaccines help you and others stay healthy. Upcoming campus flu vaccination events include:
- UI Health SCB Pharmacy will welcome all UIC students with CampusCare insurance to its campus flu clinic on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at Student Center West, Thompson Room C, 828 S. Wolcott Ave.
- UIC College of Pharmacy will host its annual campus flu clinics for employees and retirees with state health insurance. Shots will be available Friday, Oct. 6, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Student Center East, Cardinal Room, 750 S. Halsted St.; and Thursday, Oct. 26, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Student Center West, Thompson Rooms ABC, 828 S. Wolcott Ave.
Please be kind to each other and generous with yourselves.
Marie Lynn Miranda, PhD
Karen Colley, PhD
Robert Barish, MD, MBA
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
Susan Casey Bleasdale, MD
Chief Quality Officer and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Quality and Patient Safety