Complete your required training
Complete your attestation
Familiarize yourself with UCAIR for COVID-19 issues
Examples of COVID-19-related issues that should be reported through UCAIR include:
- Concerns about face covering/PPE usage
- Concerns about social distancing and space density
- Concerns about cleaning and disinfection
- Concerns about individuals who should not be in contact with others on campus; for example, if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19 or are subject to mandatory quarantine
- Any other COVID-19-related public health concern
This is an expanded role for UCAIR, which is the system currently used for reporting accidents/incidents or safety concerns on campus. During the pandemic, UCAIR will also serve as the system for anyone at the University to use to report and elevate concerns about COVID-19 health and safety violations. UCAIR should NOT be used to report any potential COVID-19 exposures or confirmed cases. For these types of reports, email C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu.
Report case of COVID-19
According to the protocol, any University community member who has a confirmed case, symptoms, or exposure must promptly self-report via C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu.
Report concerns about safety in the workplace
Submit your plan for resumption of in-person activities (for leaders/managers)
Staff and other personnel: As we gradually increase in-person work, unit leaders are developing plans to adapt work procedures and spaces to reflect health and safety protocols. If you have questions about your unit’s plans or how your unit’s plans impact your role, please reach out to your supervisor.
Guides for resuming in-person activity
Guide to Resuming In-Person Activities
Guide for Leaders and Managers
What the University is doing to help create a safe workplace
Cleaning & Social Distancing
- The University has reduced capacity in most shared spaces (classrooms, conference rooms, etc.) to help those on campus maintain physical distance (about 6 feet) from others.
- Signage and markers across campus will indicate capacity limits, distancing requirements, and other safe use of space.
Training & Attestation
Before returning to campus, all individuals also must sign an electronic form affirming that they will comply with safety precautions. Review and submit the online attestation.
Contact Tracing, Testing, & Reporting
- People with COVID-19 and their close contacts will be required to remain isolated or quarantined in accordance with guidance from University of Chicago Medicine and public health experts.
- Tests will be available for any member of the campus community with COVID-19 symptoms. In addition, students living on campus will undergo regular mandatory testing, and up to 5,000 volunteers on campus will be tested frequently throughout the year to track asymptomatic infections on campus.
- Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or has been knowingly exposed to COVID-19 must contact C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu so that the health and safety of others in our facilities can be addressed. People who are determined to be close contacts must adhere to all quarantine requirements for COVID-19.
Providing Face Masks
What you can do to help create a safe workplace
According to the protocol, any University community member who has a confirmed case, symptoms, or exposure must promptly self-report via C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu.
Wear a Face Covering
Cover your nose and mouth at all times in University buildings, with narrow exceptions. Individuals can remove face coverings if they are in a private room/office alone with the door shut or while eating indoors with at least 8 feet of social distance.
Face coverings must also be worn while on campus grounds when others are within 6 feet.
Wash Your Hands
Use Workspace Safely
Hold Meetings Safely
Support and Resources
Health & Wellness
Perspectives Staff and Faculty Assistance Program
You can also check out one of their newest resources on avoiding pandemic fatigue.
Mental Health Resources
BCBSIL Telehealth Expansion
- For PPO members, this is for medically necessary services with an in-network PPO provider who offers telehealth services. If a PPO member sees an in-network provider who offers telehealth services, those telehealth services will now be covered as a regular office visit.
- For HMO members, this is for medically necessary services from providers in their medical group who offer telehealth services. If an HMO member sees a provider within their medical group who offers telehealth services, those telehealth services will now be covered as a regular office visit.
- Telehealth visits currently include two-way, live interactive telephone communication and digital video consultations, which can allow concerned members to connect with their physicians while reducing the risk of exposure to contagious viruses or further illness.
- Additionally, through the 24/7 Nurseline, registered nurses are available to members to answer general health questions and guide members to the appropriate level of care. See the number on the back of your BCBS ID card.
- This expansion is meant to offer flexible options to members and reduce the spread of COVID-19, influenza, etc.
- For additional information, visit the BCBS COVID-19 Telehealth Extension page.
UCHP (Aetna) Telemedicine Visits
CVS Video Visits
Additional Benefits Information
- For information and benefits resources related to COVID-19, go to the Human Resources page dedicated to COVID-19 information.
Resources to Support Parents and Caregivers this Autumn
- University of Chicago
- University of Chicago Medicine
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Illinois Department of Public Health
Autumn Quarter Dependent Care Support Grants
Bright Horizons Child Development Center
Families may also call the center to discuss enrollment opportunities. Enrollment paperwork is available at https://enroll.brighthorizons.com/ by using the drop box to select Illinois and then completing the information applicable to the child. To schedule a virtual center visit, please call 773.819.2600 or visit their website at https://child-care-preschool.brighthorizons.com/il/chicago/uchicagodrexel. During your virtual center visit, staff will discuss program details, availability, and documentation needed prior to the child’s first day. (Bright Horizons’ Covid-19 policy: https://www.brighthorizons.com/covid19)
Bright Horizons currently operates one of its two onsite childcare centers (Drexel) at the University of Chicago and hopes to open the center on Stony Island this fall as soon as enrollment demand warrants. Bright Horizons will follow the COVID-19 guidance from city, state, and federal authorities, including closing the center(s) if advised. In some instances, Bright Horizons adheres to more stringent standards in accord with the advice of its pediatric medical consultants.
UChicago Drexel, email@example.com Shirley Neiman, Director, 773.819.2600
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Changes Permitted Because of COVID-19
Midyear changes to FSA plans are also now allowed. Employees may increase or decrease their 2020 elections only one (1) time for the remainder of 2020. Any decrease in the election amount cannot be lower than the amount already reimbursed by HealthEquity (WageWorks). Election changes can be made by contacting the Benefits Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To inquire about or alter your FSA, please email email@example.com or call 773.702.9634.
Family Resource Center Programming
Storytime with Laura
Wednesdays, 11-11:45 a.m. (Sept. 16 – Dec. 9, except for Nov. 25)
These sessions offered by the Family Resource Center combine thematic stories with songs, props, movement, and the occasional puppet. The target age is children 2 – 5 years old, though all ages are welcome. For more information, contact Laura MacGregor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursdays, 11 – 11:45 a.m. (Sept. 17 – Dec. 10, except for Nov. 26)
Preschool Fun includes virtual Circle Time, stories, songs, games, and drawing activities about early learning concepts such as colors, shapes, numbers, and letters. Sessions close with a scavenger hunt and show-and-tell. The only supplies needed are a dedicated notebook and some crayons. The activity is targeted to children in preschool and kindergarten, but all are welcome. For more information, contact Laura MacGregor at email@example.com.
Parenting in the Pandemic Discussion Group
The Parenting in the Pandemic Discussion group meets every other Tuesday afternoon. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Virtual Programs and Events
This summer the Library added more than 150 children’s books to its collection that are written by authors of color. Check out the Guide to Children’s Books, which includes information about finding children’s books in the Library, as well as links to a children’s ebook collection (Cricket Media) and online children’s magazines. While the Library remains closed, you can borrow titles via their paging and pickup service.
My Very Own Library Program
The My Very Own Virtual Read Aloud Program offers online literacy resources featuring University faculty, authors, community leaders, NFL alumni, and other prominent individuals reading books and poems.
UC Moms Resource Group
UC Moms is an employee resource group that advocates for and provides resources to parents across the University. The group meets monthly via Zoom, typically on the third Friday of each month from noon to 1 p.m., but the time and date are subject to change. For more information, contact Laura Markin at Laura.Markin@uchospitals.edu.
Connect with Other Parents Online
Faculty families can connect with each other and learn more about family-oriented campus programming through the Academics with Young Children Network and its Facebook page. The Student Parent Listserv (which is not just for student parents) and the Hyde Park neighborhood Parent Support Network are active lists in the University community.
Virtual Babysitting Program
The virtual babysitting and tutoring program supports tenure-track and School of Medicine faculty members who are working from home while caring for young children. Children of faculty will be matched with UChicago students for online babysitting and tutoring sessions. There is no cost to participate. Please complete this request form to enroll your child in the program. For more information, contact Liv Leader at email@example.com.
The Hyde Park Neighborhood Club offers a wide variety of programming for children of all ages. It is currently offering limited in-person events and a variety of online programming. Times and Zoom links for Spanish Story Time, as well as art and music classes, are available on this calendar.
Finding a Childcare Provider
Perspectives, the Staff and Faculty Assistance Program (Username: UNI500, Password: perspectives, or 800.456.6327), offers childcare information and referrals to childcare centers, family daycare, nannies/in-home daycare, preschool and toddler programs, summer camps, backup daycare, after-school care, school vacation programs, adoption, special education, new parenting and parenting concerns, school selection, and step-parenting issues to all faculty, OAAs, staff, and postdoctoral researchers.
Some parents who live near a family (or a couple of families) they know and trust are arranging babysitting and even teaching cooperatives or “pods” within their trusted circle. Such arrangements allow parents to take turns watching or teaching all the children while the other parents have time for work or necessary tasks that are more difficult to accomplish when children are present. Some educational “pods” have jointly hired a teacher.
Other parents are choosing one babysitter whom they trust and making an explicit agreement about exclusivity, self-isolating as if they were a single household.
While parents are free to use any sitter service or babysitter they know, given that individuals over the age of 60 and/or with certain underlying health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart conditions, engaging senior citizens or most grandparents to babysit is not recommended.
UChicago is continuing the suspension of University-sponsored international and domestic travel until further notice. In addition, non-essential personal travel is strongly discouraged. Any member of the University community who chooses to travel must follow local guidelines for quarantining and other COVID-19 measures at the destination and upon their return to Chicago. See the travel page for guidance about returning from travel and information about requesting an exception to the suspension of University-sponsored travel.
Building & Safety
Health and Safety Signs
Laboratory Safety and Cleaning
General Safety Issues
To help keep our community safe as we gradually resume on-campus operations and prepare for the return of some personnel to campus, the University has secured COVID-19-related safety supplies that will be available to your units.
Distribution of Cloth Face Masks
The University plans to supply two cloth face coverings to everyone returning to campus. These centrally funded face coverings will be provided to identified COVID-19 unit leads, who in turn, will distribute them within their organizations as appropriate. The number of cloth face coverings provided to each unit and distribution timing will be based on information provided to the UChicago Forward planning groups as a part of unit implementation plans and start with those individuals returning in June. Additional distribution will follow as the resumption of on-campus operations continues.
Ordering Other Safety Supplies
COVID-19-related supplies are available for units to purchase via “Internal Supplies” BuySite catalogs. Departmental BuySite requestors should contact their unit leadership for directions and guidance before purchasing. Please note: There are shortages and other supply chain disruptions to many COVID-19-related supplies nationwide. Thanks to the University’s supplier relationships, including the partnership with the Medical Center, we were able to purchase bulk quantities of the items listed in the catalogs to secure product and leverage pricing. We ask that departments only order the current amounts of supplies they need to ensure adequate supply for everyone returning to campus.
Installation of Hand Sanitizer Stations
The University will install hand sanitizer stations in certain common areas of campus where there is no access to sinks, such as building lobbies. These locations will be coordinated with the individual units, as well as with Facilities Services, to address any safety considerations and ensure proper servicing.
Unit-Specific Supply Needs
As part of the planning process for the resumption of campus operations, Planning Group leads are working with unit leaders to determine any critical additional unit-specific supply needs. The COVID-19 Supply Team will then be working with the Planning Group leads and units to advise on the best approach for securing these additional supplies.
For more information, please contact the Help Desk at 773-702-5800, weekdays, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. or submit a question via the Ask A Purchasing/Payment Question. Answers to frequently asked questions about these supplies are available here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will time off be handled for staff who must quarantine?
Under UChicago’s Temporary Policy on University Quarantine Orders, staff members who receive a directive to quarantine from a University of Chicago COVID-19 contact tracer due to exposure that occurred at work and are unable to perform their duties remotely will continue to be paid for regularly scheduled workdays during the length of their quarantine period, without using their existing paid sick time or other paid time off.
Staff who are required to quarantine due to exposure that occurred outside of work or because they are returning from travel in a state that is part of the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order must either work from home or use vacation time if remote work is not an option.
What resources are available to help teams and individuals stay connected during the pandemic?
UChicago’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative has provided this toolkit with guidelines and recommendations to help provide connectivity and support during the pandemic.
What resources are available to staff and academics with school-age children?
Perspectives, the faculty and staff assistance program, has provided the following resources:
- Tips for working while kids are learning online
- Recommendations for talking to children about going or not going back to school
- Advice for managing the stress of sending kids to school
Check back here for information about childcare resources.
What dining options are available to faculty, OAAs, postdocs and staff?
Hutchinson Commons and Pret A Manger are open to the campus community, effective September 29. Café Logan, Peach’s Café, Starbucks, Midway Market, and Maroon Market are open to the campus community, effective October 5. Learn more about on-campus dining options, including hours of service.
In addition, the Quadrangle Club has launched a weekday takeout lunch program open to the campus community. The takeout menu features favorites such as sandwiches, fresh seasonal salads, and quiche. Orders can be placed by phone at 773.702.2550 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., with pickup at the Club Lounge available 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Credit cards are accepted over the phone, and where applicable, member or departmental accounts may be used to pay for orders. Online ordering will be available at quadclub.uchicago.edu beginning in October.
Food trucks on Ellis Avenue, which are not affiliated with the University, are also operating.
When will parking fees begin to be charged again for parking permit holders? If so, is it possible to continue to defer payment for staff continuing to work remotely?
What should employees with medical conditions or other factors that may put them at higher risk for COVID-19 or who live with someone in a higher-risk group do if they are asked to return to campus?
Will masks/sanitizer/wipes be available for the workplace?
What is the focus of the Workplace planning group?
Who is in the Workplace planning group?
|Alicia Berg||Facilities Services|
|Brenda Johnson||University Libraries|
|Brett Leibsker||Employer and Labor Relations|
|Brian Schinker||IT Services|
|Cassandra Martynow||Office of the Provost|
|Casey Cook (co-chair)||Human Resources|
|Cathe Johnson||Booth School of Business|
|Courtney Davis Curtis||Office of the Vice President for Operations and Chief Financial Officer|
|Ellen Wetmore||Office of Legal Counsel|
|Eric Heath||Safety and Security|
|Garrett Kiely||University of Chicago Press|
|Jody Pradelski||Safety and Security|
|Joshua Beck||Social Sciences Division|
|Joshua Berg||Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering|
|Katherine Baicker||Harris School of Public Policy|
|Marc Klein||Office of Legal Counsel|
|Megan Harris||Office of the Executive Vice President|
|Melina Hale (co-chair)||Office of the Provost|
|Michael Grosse||Physical Sciences Division|
|Mumtaz Darbar||Biological Sciences Division|
|Susan Popa||Office of the Executive Vice President|
|Suzanne Baker||Alumni Relations and Development|
What should I do if I am working remotely, but need one-time access to my work area to retrieve documents, personal items, etc.?
How will any violations of the University’s health and safety requirements be addressed?
Given the critical importance of helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protecting public health and safety as many members of our community return to campus, the University has developed protocols for addressing violations of campus health and safety requirements among academics, postdoctoral researchers, and staff. (The University has developed separate protocols for students.)
Academic and operational units will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the University’s health and safety requirements and addressing any instances of non-compliance. The University has updated its Business Conduct policy (policy 104) for staff employees and annual appointment letters for academics to indicate that members of the campus community are expected to comply with the University’s health and safety requirements.
While the University expects issues of non-compliance to be infrequent, academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, and staff who fail to adhere to these requirements will be subject to corrective and/or disciplinary action. Such action will likely start with a verbal warning from unit leadership. Repeated violations could lead to revocation of building access, exclusion from the merit process in the next relevant merit cycle, and/or other disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment (in egregious cases).
Read more about noncompliance approaches.
What is the guidance for meetings not related to academic instruction?
In accordance with the University’s efforts to reduce density on campus to help limit the spread of COVID-19, most meetings that are not for the purposes of academic instruction should continue to be held remotely, by phone or videoconference.
In cases where there is a compelling reason to convene in person, such meetings can be held in person if there are 10 or fewer attendees and if the convening unit’s Dean or Officer has approved such meetings. Compelling situations might include: meetings where attendees are essential on-campus personnel without access to videoconference technology; meetings about crisis situations or highly confidential matters; or meetings between students and instructors or advisers related to academics and where the in-person experience is significantly more effective than a remote meeting. (Deans and Officers don’t necessarily need to approve each individual meeting; they may give guidance to department heads/managers about how to consider and approve meetings at the departmental level.)
Meetings of 11 people or more for non-academic purposes require submitting a Request for In-Person Programming or Event and approval by a Operations Integration Working Group subcommittee.
For meetings of any nature and size:
- Participants follow all University health and safety requirements.
- The meeting location must allow for social distancing of at least 6 feet between attendees.
- The building in which the meeting is held must have available capacity, taking into account density targets in classroom buildings in particular, and fully operational, with regular cleaning and sanitizing protocols in place.
- The meeting must be in space that has been assessed and approved for use with regard to HVAC conditions.
- The meeting space must be wiped down with disinfectant before and after the meeting.
- Attendees, including any visitors and vendors, must sign the University’s attestation form before convening on campus.
(Please note: Short, spontaneous interactions of a few people in University spaces are not considered meetings in this context and are permissible if the University’s health and safety requirements are followed.)