The University of Chicago is committed to supporting the vitality and strength of Chicago, and the South Side in particular.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the University quickly adapted, reimagining existing community programs to continue supporting its neighboring communities and residents at an uncertain time. To learn about civic engagement programs and initiatives that have moved to virtual formats to continue serving the city and South Side, visit https://civicengagement.uchicago.edu/community-impact.
The University also launched several new initiatives to support our extended South Side community during the pandemic. Starting in March of 2020, the University’s Community Support Initiative helped address the urgent food security needs of South Side residents. Community Support also provided emergency and, later, ongoing support for small businesses and community-based nonprofits navigating a landscape shaped by pandemic and growing economic challenges.
In partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and, later, local caterers and catering companies, the University funded and oversaw preparation and distribution of more than 300,000 meals to residents in need across the University’s nine-community footprint on the South Side. Additionally, UChicago provided more than $800,000 in emergency bridge grants to help over 200 South Side small businesses, including 27 University tenants;$400,000 in emergency bridge grants and capacity-building assistance to help 79 local nonprofits. Through virtual programming from the University’s startup hub, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Community Programs Accelerator, and other initiatives, local small businesses and nonprofits also received ongoing support to help them adapt to a new reality.
In August, the University launched the UChicago Stand Together initiative which builds on the University’s work to help Chicago students gain admission to, pay for, and thrive in college. The initiative offers specialized help for students from Chicago Public Schools and area charter schools as they navigate the college search and application process virtually.
There area variety of ways for community residents to tap into University programs. To stay informed about those opportunities, as well as online events, subscribe to University’s civic engagement newsletter here.
Return to Campus
The University held a community update on our campus reopening plans on September 17. University leaders shared information on campus safety protocols designed to contribute to a successful, healthy, and safe return to campus, as well as the safety of the broader South Side community. They also shared how lessons learned from other higher education institutions influenced UChicago’s planning, highlighted key metrics that are being monitored and shared publicly, and described how community programs have and are being adapted to operate safely throughout the school year, among other topics.
Please revisit this webpage for future updates.
Please revisit this webpage for future updates.
COVID-19 Community Resources
General COVID-19 Resources
- UChicago Medicine COVID-19 Testing Locations and Resources: This UChicago Medicine page offers relevant phone numbers, links, hours, directions, and other resources for local residents in need of COVID-19 testing information.
- City of Chicago Coronavirus Response Center: This site maintained by the City of Chicago provides up-to-date city and state COVID-19 case numbers, information about prevention measures, what to do if you’re sick, how to get tested, and reopening guidance, in addition to daily Facebook and Twitter Live Q & As with Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, access to the Chi COVID Coach mobile app, and other tools.
- The Illinois Department of Public Health Coronavirus Disease Resource Page: Illinois residents can find COVID-19 symptoms, treatment, and testing information; frequently asked questions; regional metrics; state vaccination plans; school and travel guidance; maps; a COVID-19 dashboard; and links to watch daily COVID-19 press conferences on this site operated by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
- City of Chicago Contact Tracing Information: Information about how Chicago COVID-19 contact tracing works, how residents can become contact tracers, and how community-based organizations and clinical partners are taking part in local contact tracing efforts is available on this City of Chicago page.
- South Side Weekly COVID-19 South Side Community Resource Guide: This comprehensive guide compiled by nonprofit newspaper South Side Weekly includes links and resources related to free and low-cost South Side clinics, pharmacy delivery, COVID-19 test sites, mental health support, community group efforts, food, kids, unemployment and sick leave, housing, utilities and city debt, legal aid, relief funds and mutual aid efforts, and other services.
- IDPH Mobile Testing Sites and Schedule: A list of mobile testing sites open to the public regardless of symptoms compiled by the Illinois Department of Public Health
- Search for Testing Sites by Location: Search platform includes information on appointment availability at each testing site
- Emergency Travel Order Map and Details: The latest updates from the City of Chicago on COVID-related travel restrictions
- Flu Shots at No Cost: Community flu clinic information from the City of Chicago
- Free Mental Health Apps:
Tech and IT Resources
- Information on Comcast Free Internet, Data for Low-Income Families: Private provider of affordable internet at home
- Chicago Connected: Free high-speed internet for Chicago Public School families in need
- AT&T Affordable Internet: Access to low-cost internet service for eligible households from AT&T
- Citizens Utility Board Telecom and Internet Inventory: Suggestions for free and affordable internet at home
- Illinois Drive Up WiFi Hot Spots: Searchable map of public, drive-up Wi-Fi hot spots in Illinois
- Chicago WiFi Program: Information on public WiFi hot spots in Chicago, including suggestions on troubleshooting connection issues.
- Internet Assistance for Low Income Families: List of financial assistance and Internet Service programs for low and fixed-income households.
- Internet Speed Test: You can check your internet speed by going to google.com and searching “internet speed test”. Your first search result will be the test. Click or tap Run Speed Test and it will test your download and upload speeds.
- Public Trainings
- Zoom Live Trainings: Free, live trainings on how to use Zoom, including various features
- Zoom Tutorials: Click-by-click tutorials on how to use Zoom, including various features
- Microsoft 365 Training: Online training manuals for Microsoft products
- Microsoft Learn: Self-guided learning for Microsoft products, including training videos
- Zoom Security Best Practices: Recommended settings to maximize Zoom security, recommended for public meetings
- Zoom Webinar Training: UChicago Information Technology Services-led overview of the difference between a Zoom meeting and Zoom Webinar, and how to manage a Zoom Webinar
- Halt a Zoom Disruption: UChicago Information Technology Services-led overview of how to handle a “Zoom bombing,” where an uninvited participant disrupts
Small Business and Jobs Resources
- Chicago Reopening Guidelines: The latest information about COVID-19-related business restrictions and guidelines from the City of Chicago
- Illinois Department of Commerce Small Business Information: COVID-19 information for small businesses from the Illinois Department of Commerce
Resources for Community Organizations
- Free PPE for Community Organizations: Contact Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp (GAGDC) at email@example.com call 773-358-3487
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I see the latest number of COVID-19 UChicago cases and tests?
How can the community report off-campus students who are violating COVID-19 regulations?
* Concerns about PPE usage
* Concerns about social distancing and density
* Concerns about cleaning and disinfection
* Concerns about individuals at work who should not be
* Any other COVID-19 related public health concern
This is NOT the process for reporting any potential COVID-19 exposures or confirmed cases. For these types of reports, please email C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu.
Who is in the Community Programs and Engagement planning group?
|Derek Douglas (lead)||Office of Civic Engagement|
|Alicia Berg||Facilities Services|
|Amar Parikh (staffing)||Office of Civic Engagement|
|Caroline Grossman||Rustandy Center|
|Chris Skrable||Chicago Studies/The College|
|Christina Angarola||Office of Civic Engagement|
|Cynthia Okechukwu||Office of Legal Counsel|
|E.J. Reedy||Polsky Exchange|
|Franklin Cosey-Gay||Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention|
|Gretchen Crosby Sims||Institute of Politics|
|Jackie Stewart||Arts + Public Life|
|Julie Krause||University Events|
|Kenton Rainey||UChicago Police Department|
|Michael Harvey (staffing)||Office of Civic Engagement|
|Mike Hayes||Campus & Student Life|
|Neli Fanning||Physical Sciences Division|
|Rob Chaskin||Social Service Administration|
|Shaz Rasul||Office of Civic Engagement|
|Tristé Smith||Office of Civic Engagement|
|Veronica Hauad||Office of Admissions|
|Wendy Williams||Office of Civic Engagement|
|Will Howell||Harris School of Public Policy|