Winter Quarter COVID-19 Actions

Due to the recent COVID-19 surge in Chicago and around the United States, the University has put in place important measures to help limit the spread and severity of the virus on campus. We continue to closely monitor developments to help ensure we maximize in-person instruction while upholding the health and safety of our community and managing the challenges of the COVID-19 surge. Over the past few weeks, the University has taken the following actions:

  • Implemented a booster shot requirement for students and employees.
  • Delayed the start of Winter Quarter by one week to January 10 and moved to a remote-only instructional format for the first two weeks of the quarter. In-person instruction resumed on January 24, 2022.
  • Revised the University’s masking requirements so that instructors, presenters, and performers must remain masked at all times while indoors.
    • The University does not require individuals to wear a certain type of mask on campus, but does strongly recommend masks that have two or more layers, and fit snugly against the sides of the face with no gaps.
  • Made free surgical-grade masks available to UChicago students and employees at the Front Desk Reception of the Quadrangle Club (1155 E. 57th St.) from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., on Sunday, January 23 through Friday, January 28.
    • Experts at UChicago Medicine have advised that surgical masks can be an important component of protection against transmission of the omicron variant of COVID-19, in addition to KN95 or KF94 masks. A surgical mask or a cloth mask provides a good level of protection, but it’s preferable to double-mask with two surgical masks or by wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask.
  • Aligned the University’s exposure protocols with the most recent CDC guidance for isolation and quarantine. According to the new protocols,
    • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 5 days and can end the isolation period after that time if symptoms are resolving with exceptions for students living in housing due to congregate settings.
    • Quarantine is not required for those who were recently vaccinated or have gotten a booster, but they must wear a mask around others for 10 days and get tested on day 5 if possible.
    • A 5-day quarantine is required for those who are unvaccinated or completed their vaccine series more than 5 months ago for Pfizer, six months ago for Moderna, or 2 months ago for Johnson & Johnson.
    • Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate and get tested if possible.
  • Expanded the COVID-19 testing program temporarily to include symptomatic and exposure testing. The University announced the opening of a testing location in Stuart Hall that is the exclusive campus location for symptomatic testing.
    • The Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program is temporarily paused to accommodate greatly increased demand for people with symptoms, those who have been exposed to COVID-19, and those who must be tested to meet University or public health requirements.
  • Encouraged all travelers to schedule a supplemental test immediately before returning to Chicago, and after their return to the city.
  • Limited dine-in service at University-managed Commons, cafés, and coffee shops on the Chicago campus to UChicago students and employees.
  • Revised the non-instruction meeting guidance to reduce the risk associated with certain types of convening.

Thank you to members of the University community for their flexibility as the COVID-19 situation evolves.