Email from Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Executive Vice President of the University for Biology and Medicine (Mar. 13, 2020)

From: Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Executive Vice President of the University for Biology and Medicine
Subject: Update on Care and Precautions for Coronavirus

As part of the University’s commitment to ensure the health and well-being of our campus community and to provide regular updates on coronavirus (COVID-19), I am writing to inform you that a patient from outside the University has tested positive for COVID-19 and is under care at the University of Chicago Medicine, with extensive precautions to maintain our community’s safety.

The infectious disease specialist team at UCM has been preparing since January for potential cases. The patient has no affiliation with the University. Our doctors and staff are working closely with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide appropriate care for this patient, while following the highest level of precautions to protect others. Those measures include:

  • The patient is being treated in a specially designed isolation room.
  • Our clinical teams are following rigorous infection control protocols. This includes wearing gowns, gloves, masks and eye shields when providing care, and observing strict procedures when removing their gear or leaving the unit, to prevent any further exposure.
  • All UChicago Medicine staff are being actively encouraged to wash their hands frequently, use hand sanitation stations, and avoid touching their faces – measures that were already in place for flu season.

To protect the health and wellness of our community, the University is transitioning to remote learning for the Spring Quarter, encouraging remote work as appropriate, and taking other measures to promote social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to provide information to guide the precautions being taken in our community.

For additional information on COVID-19, please visit