Working Together to Protect our Community and Advance our Academic Mission

Health FAQs

The following are COVID-19 health-related FAQs. For questions related to Autumn Quarter, please visit the Autumn Quarter FAQ page.

General Information

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

What can I do to reduce my risk of COVID-19 exposure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. CDC recommends everyday preventative actions that you can find here

Protecting Public Health on Campus

What institutional measures is the University taking to prepare for COVID-19 cases that may emerge?

The University is implementing a testtraceisolate, and treat strategy, which is detailed here. These University-wide plans have been developed in close consultation with infectious disease specialists at UChicago Medicine and in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines for higher education.

Have members of the University community tested positive for coronavirus? (from covid site)
The University maintains a weekly count of cases reported to the C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu For the most recent information, please visit this website.
Will the University provide those coming to campus with facemasks or other items?

The University will provide members of the University community who will be on campus with a package consisting of two UChicago-branded cloth face masks and a digital oral thermometer.

Individual Actions

What should I do to help maintain the health of the campus community?

The success of all our planning for the coming academic year rests with each member of the campus community consistently taking steps to help keep themselves and our community safe. We will call upon every member of our on-campus community to uphold a new commitment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Specifically, every person on campus must adhere to these requirements – universal face coverings, social distancing, self-monitoring, COVID-19 reporting, and training and attestation.

What does self-monitoring mean?

Anyone coming to campus is expected to self-monitor for symptoms and stay home if you have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 or have had any symptoms, including:

  • Cough
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

If any of these symptoms are present, the individual should not enter University facilities.

Is COVID-19 safety training a requirement?

Yes. Everyone returning to campus must complete a short training program in advance and sign an electronic form affirming that they will comply with safety precautions. Students will receive additional information about the training and attestation they must complete. For others, links to these materials on available on the University’s UChicago Forward website.

What is the function of the UChicago Health pact?

The UChicago Health Pact is a reminder of the actions the University community needs to take in order to return to campus. Each individual is required to complete an online COVID-19 training program and affirm via an online form that they will comply with the University’s COVID-19 health and safety requirements, which are based on guidance from UChicago Medicine and other public health experts.

COVID-19 Testing

Where can I find information on COVID-19 Testing Program?

You can find information on the University’s testing approach by visiting the UChicago COVID-19 Testing page.

COVID-19 Tracing

How will contact tracing work?

Contract tracers will coordinate directly with those who test positive for COVID-19 to help identify others that may have been exposed to COVID-19 and provide recommendations to limit further spread of the virus. As part of this coordination, the contact tracer will determine if the individual has been in close contact with other members of the University community.

The Contact Tracing Team will notify any known close contacts at the University of their potential exposure to COVID-19. Contact tracers provide close contacts with public health recommendations to limit the spread of the virus (including information about quarantine requirements) and direct them to University resources for further support.

Isolation and Quarantine

What does quarantine mean?

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19, particularly through close contact or recent travel, away from others in case they develop COVID-19. Quarantine is needed because individuals with COVID-19 can be contagious before they show symptoms and some people with COVID-19 do not ever feel sick.

What does isolation mean?

 Isolation refers to the period when someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must stay away from people who are not infected.

Where should students stay for quarantine or isolation if they test positive for COVID-19 or have close contact with someone who has a confirmed or suspected case?

Separate space in campus housing will be reserved specifically for students in residence halls who contract COVID-19 and must follow isolation procedures. Students who contract COVID-19 while living off-campus will be required to remain in isolation where they live.

Treatment for COVID-19

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19 or have a known or suspected exposure to the disease?

The University has developed an Exposure Protocol for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or has a known or suspected exposure to the disease. According to the protocol, any University community member who has a confirmed case, symptoms, or exposure must promptly self-report at C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu. These initial reports are fielded by the University’s new Contact Tracing Team, which began operation this summer.

Public health guidelines call for anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to be isolated until at least 10 days have passed since symptoms appeared and at least 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement of other symptoms.  

Individuals who suspect they have COVID-19 due to exhibiting symptoms, or have had close contact with a COVID-19-positive person or recently returned from areas with widespread, ongoing transmission should review the University’s Exposure Protocol for specific guidance.

What treatment is available for those who test positive for COVID-19?

Any faculty, other academic appointee, postdoctoral researcher, or staff member with a positive result from a test conducted by UChicago Medicine will be informed of their test by UCM, and will be provided with options for follow-up care. Students who test positive will be notified by and can receive follow-up care from UChicago Student Wellness. 

What mental health resources are available?

Mental health clinicians at UChicago Student Wellness are available to support students and the Staff and Faculty Assistance Program (SFAP) offers support for University personnel.