COVID-19 Health Requirements

Required Health Protocols

The following measures have been adopted in consultation with experts at UChicago Medicine (UCM), and with consideration of public health guidance at the city, state and national levels. Please remember that we are still in a dynamic COVID-19 environment. These required protocols may change as the public health situation evolves.

  • In light of recent elevated COVID-19 metrics on campus and in the City of Chicago, and Chicago’s Community Risk Level being changed to “medium” last Friday, the University is recommending that individuals wear a mask in indoor settings when others are present.

    While the decision to mask is your own, we ask that you carefully consider this extra precaution in shared indoor settings, including offices, classrooms, and public transportation, as part of our efforts to help prevent further increases in cases. UChicago Medicine is maintaining its own masking policies, and the Laboratory Schools will communicate separately about its COVID-19 precautions.

    We have posted a Frequently Asked Questions resource for additional questions.

  • Students and employees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they have an authorized exemption. For more details, see the Vaccination FAQ.

  • Hand Washing

    Everyone is expected to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, touching surfaces often touched by others, and after nose blowing, coughing, sneezing, or eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of the hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

    Wash your hands graphic, providing details on how to correctly wash your hands to kill bacteria.

    – Image Courtesy of UChicago Medicine


    Workspaces and frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

  • The University maintains updated social distancing requirements in alignment with the City of Chicago’s guidance.

    • Outdoors – Social distancing restrictions, including capacity and density restrictions, are not in effect for outdoor spaces.
    • Indoors – Social distancing restrictions have been lifted for indoor spaces as well in the University’s Hyde Park campus and other Chicago area facilities.
    • Dining – Unvaccinated individuals should maintain at least 6 feet distance while eating or drinking indoors; distancing restrictions are not in effect for vaccinated.
    • Moving and Gathering –Members of the University community are encouraged to move with purpose in common and congregate areas with large groups of people.


  • The University’s Exposure Protocol provides mandatory guidance for many circumstances, including: individuals who test positive for COVID-19; those who have COVID-19-related symptoms but have not tested positive or have tested negative; individuals who have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person and are currently asymptomatic; and people who have traveled recently.

  • If you believe that a required COVID-19 safety policy or practice is not being followed, you should report the incident to your supervisor, academic leader, or via the University of Chicago Accident Incident Reporting (UCAIR).

    University Measures for Testing and Contact Tracing

    Our health and safety requirements must be combined with institutional measures to test, trace, isolate, and treat COVID-19 cases that may emerge. These measures include testing, a contact tracing team, guidelines for isolation and quarantine, and resources for treatment of COVID-19 cases. For more information, read about our COVID-19 contact tracing program and our COVID-19 testing program, or review our FAQs.