Staying healthy as we return to campus

Dear UIC community,

In the last few weeks, the CDC has been reporting gradual rises in COVID-19 test positivity, emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths across the country. On Jan. 3, the Chicago Department of Public Health raised Chicago’s COVID-19 risk level to medium. Influenza levels across the country are elevated, and levels in Illinois remain high.

With gatherings over the winter break and holiday travel, we anticipate, as has been seen in past years, increases in respiratory illness throughout the month of January.

We’d like to remind you of the following information to best protect yourself, your loved ones and the UIC community.

  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19 and influenza.
    • Vaccination continues to be the best way to protect yourself against influenza infection and severe COVID-19 disease.
    • You should discuss vaccination guidance and availability with your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider or your health care provider does not have the influenza vaccine, you can schedule an appointment at the City of Chicago influenza vaccination clinic online or by calling 311.
    • View vaccination locations in the Chicago area.
  • Do not come to campus if you are sick, no matter how mild your symptoms may be.
    • No matter the illness, if you are sick, you should stay home, even if you test negative for COVID-19. View campus COVID-19 guidelines.
    • Campus employees that become sick at work should notify their supervisor, go home and contact their primary care provider for treatment.
  • Get tested.
    • Testing is especially important if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or influenza. Remember, there are effective treatments for both viruses, but it’s important to start them as close to when your symptoms began as possible.
  • Consider wearing a mask when in indoor public spaces or crowded venues.
    • If you are at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness, the CDC recommends wearing a high-quality mask or respirator (e.g., N95) when indoors in public.
    • Everyone is encouraged to utilize masks as an additional method of protection against respiratory illnesses.
  • Practice good respiratory and hand hygiene.
    • Make sure you cover any cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, making sure to wash your hands after.
    • You should also wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

As a reminder, students requiring assistance or support with COVID-19 related needs or questions can reach out to the UIC COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Epidemiology program at 312-355-2555 or

We wish you a great start to the spring semester.

Stay well,

Susan Bleasdale, MD
Chief Quality Officer and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Quality & Patient Safety

Robert Dixon
Interim Vice Chancellor and Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Raphael D. Florestal-Kevelier
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Health and Well-being

For more information, please contact:
UIC Health and Well-being

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