Updated January 31, 2020


Updated January 24, 2020

SAIC is Closely Monitoring the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and we are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). We are not aware of any cases in the SAIC community.

First identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, to date, the outbreak has resulted in approximately 800 confirmed cases. While the vast majority of the cases have been confirmed in China, the 2019-nCoV coronavirus has been identified in several countries, with two confirmed cases in the United States: A man in his 30s in Washington state and a woman in her 60s in Chicago. Both had traveled to Wuhan. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is one of five US airports screening for illness in passengers entering the United States who traveled from Wuhan.

While CDC has not yet determined how easily or sustainably this particular strain is spreading between people, most coronaviruses can spread through coughing or sneezing, or by touching an infected person. CDC considers this a serious public health concern; however, "based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time." If you must travel to Wuhan, the US Department of State offers this guidance.

See a Healthcare Provider If You Have These Symptoms

Symptoms related to this coronavirus strain include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia or other complications. CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear up to 14 days after exposure.

We encourage any student who is not feeling well or who has questions or concerns to contact SAIC Health Services, or 312.499.4288, or your healthcare provider. Additionally, here is a list of nearby clinics and a 24-hour free nurse advice line available to all students. Staff and faculty are encouraged to reach out to their primary care provider with questions about their health. Make sure to inform your medical provider of any recent travel.

Recommendations from the Chicago Department of Public Health

The Chicago Department of Public Health says that at this time, Chicago students, residents, workers, and visitors do NOT need to change their behavior in any way. As with any virus, CDPH recommends taking the following measures to help prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Cover your nose and mouth with tissue when you cough or sneeze; remember to wash your hands afterward
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • If you are sick, stay home from school or work for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs

For additional information and updates, please visit CDC’s 2019-nCoV coronavirus page