July 15, 2021 Email Update

To: Members of the University Community
From: Katie Callow-Wright, Executive Vice President of the University and Chief of Staff in the Office of the President
Date: July 15, 2021

Recently the University has revisited its public health requirements after the City of Chicago entered Phase 5 of reopening on June 11, and as many pandemic-related measures have improved on our campus and nationwide. This included revising social distancing restrictions, including capacity and density restrictions indoors and outdoors. Today we are announcing additional updates to the University’s guidance concerning masking requirements on our campus, procedures for visitors and vendors, and the policy for University-supported domestic and international travel.

Masking Requirements

Effective July 15, 2021, the University is updating masking requirements for fully vaccinated individuals as outlined below.  This change is consistent with guidelines from the City of Chicago and State of Illinois. Please note the masking changes apply at the University’s Hyde Park campus and other Chicago area facilities, excluding UChicago Medicine, UChicago Laboratory Schools, and UChicago Charter Schools, or facilities outside of Chicago, which each have separate expectations for members of those respective communities.

  • Indoors –
    • Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear face coverings when indoors. People should continue to carry a face covering with them in the event it is needed when on campus or in a University facility.
    • Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a face covering over the nose and the mouth at all times while in University buildings, with the following limited exceptions:
      • Private spaces – An unvaccinated individual may remove their face coverings if they are in a private room/office alone with the door closed.
      • Eating and Drinking – An unvaccinated individual may remove their face coverings to eat or drink so long as they maintain six feet of social distance from others.
      • Other exceptions – may apply for certain meetings, events, and programming. These will be documented and communicated for the specific situation.
  • Outdoors – As announced in May, the University has eliminated the masking requirement for people who are outdoors on campus grounds, though face coverings may still be required at certain outdoor events and programming.

University masking requirements may evolve based on new guidance from the State of Illinois, City of Chicago, and the number of COVID-19 cases and rates of transmission, increased risk from new COVID-19 variants, or sudden clusters of COVID-19 cases on campus.

We expect that many members of our community will choose to maintain social distancing and use face coverings for various reasons. We ask everyone to respect their decisions, act with consideration and respect regarding these choices and refrain from asking questions about the reasons why others are wearing face coverings.

Visitors and Vendors Attestation Requirement Ended

Effective July 15, 2021, visitors and vendors to the University’s Hyde Park campus and other Chicago area facilities are no longer required to sign an attestation.  Entering campus facilities serves as their acknowledgement and acceptance of the potential risks posed to them by COVID-19. Visitors and vendors are required to follow the University’s COVID-19 guidance and must be invited and hosted by a faculty member, other academic appointee, postdoctoral researcher, staff member, or student, division or unit, or authorized affiliate of UChicago. Access for most University buildings is still restricted and requires a UChicago ID for entry.

The University encourages everyone to be vaccinated at their earliest opportunity, including visitors and vendors. We will provide details in the near future on COVID-19 vaccine-related requirements for various types of visitors who will be on campus.

University-Supported Domestic and International COVID-19 Travel Policy Update

Effective July 15, 2021, University-supported domestic and foreign travel for all travelers to countries with U.S. State Department Level 1 or 2, do not require review and approval by a dean or head of administrative unit (or their designee), unless directed otherwise.

For any travel to countries with U.S. State Department Travel Advisory Level 3 or Level 4, deans, officers, head of administrative units, or their designees are still responsible for assessing travel requests from people in their area and ensuring that the requirements for approval are met and documented. Advance approval of travel to these countries is also required from the Pandemic Travel Review Committee (PTRC).

Any member of the University community who chooses to travel must follow destination guidelines for quarantining and other COVID-19 measures and upon their return to Chicago. For more information, see the revised travel policy on the UChicago Forward site.

New COVID-19 attestations are being developed for the next academic year for students and separately for faculty, other academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, and staff. The attestations will reflect this updated guidance and will only be required once for the academic year. More details to follow soon regarding the attestations.

The University will be working to update the UChicago Forward site and signage around campus to reflect these changes. If you have any questions please visit the UChicago Forward site or email coronavirusinfo@uchicago.edu.