SAIC COVID-19 FAQs

If you don't see answers to your questions below, please visit the student, faculty, or staff FAQ pages. If you still need assistance, email saicinfo@saic.edu.

This information was last updated on Wednesday, November 18.

GENERAL FAQs

Recently, the Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago Department of Public Health issued new state recommendations and Protect Chicago measures to ensure businesses and schools can remain open while reducing the COVID-19 positivity rate. On November 17, Governor Pritzker also shared updated mitigation efforts. Given the health and safety measures SAIC has already implemented, our Make Ready protocols already meet the new city and state recommendations, and there will be no additional changes to operations at this time. Click here and here to read more.

On September 2, SAIC returned to on-campus teaching and learning with modified in-person classes—those that may take place both in-person and online—as well as fully online classes. The new academic calendar, which includes staggered class start times to reduce on-campus density, will go through Thanksgiving Break, after which point classes will resume for the remainder of the semester online.

Although many things about campus will feel familiar, there is no doubt that learning, teaching, making, and working on campus is much different this year, and we encourage all community members to review our Make Ready framework for further details. 

The COVID-19 pandemic means that we are all managing increased risk in our everyday lives. Nevertheless, it is important that the work of the students, faculty, and staff of School of the Art Institute of Chicago—the making, learning, teaching, and working—continues. That is why we have worked all summer long to ensure there are options for all of our students to choose how they want to engage with their education this fall.
 
Offering both online and modified in-person options allows those students who wish to teach on campus to do so, preserving access to the shops and facilities that so many are eager to return to and allowing those international students living in Chicago who must have a modified in-person option to obtain their visas to do so. On the other hand, students who are not able to come to campus this semester have a wide selection of all-online options.
 
To accommodate faculty and staff, we implemented a process by which they could request to teach and work partially or fully remotely. While, particularly among staff, some of us hold jobs that require us to be onsite, we were able to meet the vast majority of requests for remote teaching or modified work schedules.
 
While we understand that we cannot guarantee a COVID-free environment on campus, the physical modification to campus facilities and behavioral changes we will all make will significantly mitigate the risk of infection on campus. All of our return-to-campus planning has been informed by scientific and governmental expertise, and we will continue to be responsive to the changing demands of the health crisis.

During emergency situations, SAIC utilizes a Campus Emergency Operations Plan (CEOP), which is a crisis management strategy that Illinois colleges and universities are state-mandated to follow. The CEOP outlines actions and response procedures required for situations in which normal operations are impacted. Initially tasked with closing the campus and moving classes online, the working groups of the CEOP pivoted to preparing the campus to reopen. For many weeks, 128 faculty and staff members from across the School worked in CEOP groups to develop an approach to returning to on-campus facilities. This framework is the result of their efforts, touching on the operations of every area of the School.
 
This framework is the culmination of external research and internal planning. In finalizing the framework, we solicited the perspectives and feedback of faculty and staff. Final decisions were made by the Policy Group leading the CEOP in consultation with several shared governance groups: President’s Cabinet, Faculty Senate, CEOP Safety Committee, CEOP Remote Learning Committee, CEOP Employee Considerations Committee, the Make Ready Advisory Group, and five support teams. In order to maintain a shared institutional perspective, the Make Ready Advisory Group was formed with faculty and staff members and student leaders. 

In addition to the Make Ready Advisory Group, five support teams were created to lead the development of return-to-campus plans specific to each area of the School:

  • Instructional and Academic Resources Support Team
  • Schedule and Curriculum Support Team
  • Administrative and Office Support Team
  • Housing, Food Service, and Student Life Support Team
  • Campus Facilities Operations and Security Support Team

For more information on these groups, visit Planning.

We established a COVID-19 Monitoring Team that coordinates the collection and ongoing review of metrics related to the prevalence of COVID-19 within the SAIC community and the City of Chicago. Throughout the semester, this team is assessing conditions both on campus and in the city and recommending appropriate operational changes. Any adjustments to our course offerings and on-campus access to facilities and services will be based on cases relative to resources, requiring monitoring of many different factors and conditions. It's important to note that as these factors are evaluated, we are not facing a binary choice: on-campus versus all online. Just as the State of Illinois and City of Chicago have implemented different strategies throughout each phase, we too have a number of levers that can be pulled to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Some examples include the option to enforce curfews in the residence halls or further de-densifying campus. will be 

SAIC hired public health expert Dr. Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC to help guide the School’s plans to resume in-person teaching, learning, and residential life this fall. Working alongside faculty and staff, Dr. Rebmann is advising on contact tracing, testing, reporting protocols for positive cases, and more, and assists the School in following best practices that meet or exceed guidance from the Chicago Department of Public Health and other local and national health authorities. Board-certified in infection control and epidemiology, Dr. Rebmann reviews plans and provides guidance and scientific expertise in support of the School’s efforts to reduce the risk of spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), on our campus. You can read more about Dr. Rebmann’s credentials here.

The first day of classes for the spring semester is Thursday, January 28. Spring Break typically takes place over a Thursday through Sunday in March. Because our spring calendar has shifted slightly from previous years, and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 due to possible travel during this time, we will not take a break in March, and the staff holiday that coincides with our typical Spring Break will now take place on Monday, January 4, extending winter break.

Additionally, the semester will end a few days early: the last day of classes for spring 2021 will be Wednesday, May 12.

 

CAMPUS OPERATIONS

While the global health crisis continues to pose risks in our daily lives, our extensive work this summer to prepare for fall seeks to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community. All plans will align with City of Chicago and Illinois state standards as well as other governmental requirements. Physical modifications include increased ventilation and filtration, extra sanitation equipment, plexiglass screens, and directional signage in all our facilities. Our preparations also include new hygiene requirements, like face coverings, social distance guidelines, and expanded opportunities for students who cannot return to campus to opt into an all-online semester.

For more information on precautions the School is taking, review A Different SAIC. For more information on the safety guidelines for our community, review Shared Responsibilities

After a positive case is reported to SAIC and SAIC’s Case Management Team identifies and notifies the people who were in close contact with them. Every Tuesday and Thursday by 6:00 p.m. CT, the COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated with the number of students and employees who have tested positive. To protect the privacy of the individual and adhere to applicable Illinois State, HIPAA, and FERPA laws, their identity and other details about the person or their illness will not be shared. More details can be found here.

Beginning Monday, August 31, at 7:00 a.m., SAIC's academic buildings will be open to current students, faculty, and staff.​ Beginning September 2, building security desks will be staffed from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and building entrances will be locked from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.; however, overnight access is available, including to those who have a studio in 33 East Washington. Anyone wishing to use campus facilities after hours must obtain an overnight pass here.

On Wednesday, November 25, all buildings, except residence halls, will close at 7:00 p.m. for Thanksgiving Break and will reopen at 7:00 a.m on Friday, November 27.

Beginning Monday, November 30, and continuing to the end of the fall term on Monday, December 21, academic buildings will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week. Overnight access will be available to students between 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

All in-person instruction will conclude by the Thanksgiving holiday (November 25–29) and will resume online for the remainder of the semester. If you are traveling outside of Chicago for Thanksgiving Break, we discourage you from returning to campus. Current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Chicago Department of Public Health requires individuals coming from abroad or from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Chicago.

Effective Monday, November 30, all shops, media centers, and libraries will be open from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m on weekdays.

You can reach campus security any time by calling 312.899.1230 or using the “Emergency” button on any campus telephone. During overnight hours, Campus Security will monitor all facilities from our on-campus command center using security cameras installed across campus. Security staff will patrol the academic buildings and respond to requests for service.

Seating in the cafés will be limited, and much of the seating has been removed. We encourage all community members to eat outside while the weather is nice or in their room, and take advantage of mobile ordering, where you can place your order ahead of time and pick it up at a location outside of the café service and payment lines. In terms of the cafés themselves, the MacLean Café has been relocated to the SAIC Ballroom for the fall term. Barista drinks may be ordered in person and all food must be ordered though the Transact Mobile Ordering app. Since this café will be operating out of the ballroom kitchen, it will have greatly expanded offerings from previous years and will be able to handle an increased number of students, staff, and faculty. Click here to learn more

Living in our residence halls is an important way for students to build community at the School. We have made many changes to reduce the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For the most up-to-date information, click here.

All members of our community must wear a face covering or mask over their nose and mouth on campus at all times, unless they are in a private office or residence hall room with the door closed. If you do not have a face covering when you arrive on campus, we will have a limited number available. Review additional guidance.

To facilitate social distancing and de-densify our campus, in addition to running some courses all-online and others in a modified in-person format, students will attend classes with staggered start times. Classes may begin and end earlier or later than originally planned, by as much as a half hour. We are making these adjustments based on a detailed assessment of course enrollments and room and elevator capacities, and we are taking care to avoid creating conflicts in students’ existing schedules.

We developed new floor plans for classrooms, lounge spaces, the Neiman Center, and the SAIC Ballroom to allow for distancing, and created detailed plans for all lobbies to allow for distancing, which includes wayfinding signage and stanchions in place for traffic flow. We’ve also posted health, safety, and physical distancing signage in all classrooms, studios, instructional support spaces, and common areas. The number of people allowed in an elevator has also been capped at four with floor markers directing riders, and we created additional study spaces on campus to promote physical distancing, and added tents outside of the 280 building to be used for outdoor classes and meeting spaces.

For areas where social distancing isn’t possible, we have installed plexiglass partitions for all points of transaction, open offices, and labs.

Washable cloth face coverings or disposable single-use masks are recommended for our community, and can be either handmade or purchased. There will be a limited supply of disposable single-use masks at security desks for those who misplace their face coverings. 
The following face coverings are prohibited: 

  • Bandanas and neck gaiters which are less effective than other coverings
  • Masks with a relief valve as it compromises the integrity of the mask and can allow germ carrying droplets to escape

Please note, N95 respirators should continue to be reserved for healthcare workers at this time, and should only be used on campus for specific tasks, as identified by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), based on a hazard

 

Housekeeping efforts have been modified, particularly for high-usage rooms, high-traffic spaces, and frequently touched objects. Increased attention is dedicated to spaces like restrooms, lobbies, elevators, and cafes throughout the day. During overnight hours all classrooms, studios, and common areas will be cleaned.

While we’ve modified our efforts and increased our equipment resources, cleaning and sanitation throughout our campus depends on everyone’s participation. Certain surfaces, such as personal desks, tables with student or faculty projects that cannot be moved, personal phones, and electronics such as keyboards are not cleaned regularly by the housekeeping staff. Community members are expected to help by disinfecting shared spaces, as outlined in Our Shared Responsibilities.

To assist in these efforts, sanitation supplies have been placed in all classrooms and other high-traffic spaces including hand sanitizer, disinfectant cleaner, paper towels, and facial tissue. Students, faculty, and staff may utilize these supplies to wipe down surfaces and sanitize hands as frequently as desired. Supplies will be regularly monitored and filled by our Facility Services staff, and requests for refills can be made by calling 312.499.4920 or emailing irfm@saic.edu.

Instructional Resources and Facilities Management (IRFM) also worked with departments to develop cleaning protocols for each area, including those that have circulating equipment such as the shops and media centers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for using transportation. No matter the mode of transportation, be diligent about practicing hand hygiene, social distancing, and wearing face coverings. Additionally, the CDC recommends that you bring sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Here you’ll find guidelines specific to each mode of transportation. For more details, visit the CDC’s website. We also want to make you aware that the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) recently launched its Ridership Information Dashboard. This tool is intended to help those taking CTA buses or trains better plan and avoid heavy ridership

Beginning Monday, August 31, at 7:00 a.m., SAIC's academic buildings will be open to current students, faculty, and staff.

  • On August 31 and September 1, buildings will close at 11:00 p.m. and overnight access will not be available.
  • Beginning September 2, building security desks will be staffed from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and building entrances will be locked from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.; however, overnight access is available, including to those who have a studio in 33 East Washington. Anyone wishing to use campus facilities after hours must obtain an overnight pass here.
  • The new SAIC Galleries, located at 33 East Washington, will open this fall for in-person and virtual exhibitions. More information about exhibitions and accessing the gallery will be shared soon.

You can reach campus security any time by calling 312.899.1230 or using the “Emergency” button on any campus telephone. During overnight hours, Campus Security will monitor all facilities from our on-campus command center using security cameras installed across campus. Security staff will patrol the academic buildings and respond to requests for service.

Click here for a full update on resources such as the writing center, media centers, and more.

In-person events and exhibitions on campus need to follow current Illinois, Chicago, and SAIC guidelines. Online events will be considered on a case-by-case basis with your area vice president.

Click here to review our current visitor policy.

We are establishing a COVID-19 Monitoring Team that will coordinate the collection and ongoing review of metrics related to the prevalence of COVID-19 within the SAIC community and the City of Chicago. Throughout the semester, this team will assess conditions both on campus and in the city and recommend appropriate operational changes. Any adjustments to our course offerings and on-campus access to facilities and services will be based on cases relative to resources, requiring monitoring of many different factors and conditions. It's important to note that as these factors are evaluated, we are not facing a binary choice: on-campus versus all online. Just as the State of Illinois and City of Chicago have implemented different strategies throughout each phase, we too have a number of levers that can be pulled to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Some examples include the option to enforce curfews in the residence halls or further de-densifying campus. Details are still being developed.

There are a number of spaces available across campus that students and/or faculty can reserve when they are in need of a quiet place to study, work, or engage in an online class. These spaces must be requested via the EMS Space Reservation System (SRS). A comprehensive list of these spaces can be found here. Please note, there are separate tabs on the document for student, faculty, and staff spaces. For help navigating the SRS, please see the user guide. SAIC conference rooms located in the Sharp Building, Sullivan Center, MacLean Building, and Lakeview Building can be reserved via Google Calendar.

All nonessential travel sponsored by SAIC has been suspended for all faculty, staff, and students. Essential travel is defined by the vice president of each respective area.

  • The School does not regulate non-work travel; however, it is sincerely requested that you are mindful of personal travel given its potential risk to other SAIC community members. Those traveling are asked to follow the latest CDC guidelines upon return.
  • If you go through a period of self-isolation due to travel, please ensure you have essential items such as medications, laptops, or items related to your coursework or job duties, as you might need them before you are able to return to campus.

SAIC has hired public health expert Dr. Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC to help guide the School’s plans to resume in-person teaching, learning, and residential life this fall. Working alongside faculty and staff, Dr. Rebmann will advise on contact tracing, testing, reporting protocols for positive cases, and more, and will assist the School in following best practices that meet or exceed guidance from the Chicago Department of Public Health and other local and national health authorities. Board-certified in infection control and epidemiology, Dr. Rebmann will review plans and provide guidance and scientific expertise in support of the School’s efforts to reduce the risk of spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), on our campus. You can read more about Dr. Rebmann’s credentials here.

Wellness Center staff are providing counseling, health, and disability support services remotely whenever possible and in-person care when necessary. To schedule an appointment, please contact the Wellness Center services at the following emails and phone numbers:

The museum is officially reopened. More information can be found on their site.

The Gene Siskel Film Center is closed. For the most up-to-date information on a reopen date, please visit their website. If you have tickets to an upcoming event or screening, you may exchange or receive a refund of your ticket at the Box Office or Main Office when the Gene Siskel Film Center reopens. Or if you wish to support their mission as a nonprofit program, you may also donate the value of the ticket purchase. The Gene Siskel Film Center’s staff will continue to be available during normal office hours (9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. CT, Monday-Friday) and can be reached at filmcenter@saic.edu or 312.846.2600. 

If you see someone on campus not fulfilling our shared responsibilities, please give them a friendly reminder to keep their distance, pull up their mask, and honor our community commitments. We should all welcome reminders when we need them, and look out for one another. If you encounter someone who refuses to follow these protocols, security staff can assist you. You can call security by depressing the "emergency" button on SAIC phones, which will alert the security desk.

After careful consideration this summer of the dangers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the health and wellness of our students and faculty, SAIC made the difficult decision to suspend all Study Abroad exchange programs and study trips until further notice. At that time, we communicated with affected faculty and students about the summer and fall semesters.

This suspension of Study Abroad now includes programs for the winter, spring, and summer 2021 terms. Given that this decision may impact some students’ plans for completing their degrees, we are working with the Dean’s Office and Academic Advising to address the concerns of individual students. We share in the disappointment of our students and faculty and are committed to working with students as we look for ways to safely resume our programs. At this point SAIC does not expect to resume Study Abroad before 2022.

SAIC will offer a wide variety of studio and academic courses over the winter interim. All winter courses will be delivered via fully online instruction, and the courses on the schedule have been specifically selected for compatibility with online teaching and learning.

 

FINANCES

While SAIC is not in a financial position to completely offset the planned tuition increase for the 2020–21 academic year, the School will award a grant—i.e., an automatic, no-strings-attached adjustment to each student’s bill that does not need to be repaid—for all students eligible for Pell Grants, the federal program for students who display exceptional financial need. This will eliminate the tuition increase for 22 percent of the student body.

For more than 154 years, we have provided a world-class learning environment on the strength of the deep experience, knowledge, and innovative approach of our faculty. This year will be no different. We are committed to providing the robust art and design education you’ve come to expect from SAIC, regardless of modality, and we will not offer tuition refunds.

Through the Student Emergency Relief Fund, SAIC is able to provide financial assistance for students affected by the COVID-19 health crisis and/or recent protests and governmental response. Additionally, on July 7, SAIC received notification from the Department of Education that our Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant application was approved for funding, and we will begin awarding these grants immediately. Please find more details here.

The tuition for modified in-person and all-online instruction will remain the same. For more than 154 years, SAIC has provided a world-class learning environment on the strength of the deep experience, knowledge, and innovative approach of our faculty. This year will be no different. SAIC has committed to providing the robust art and design education students come to expect from SAIC, regardless of modality.

Inaugurated by Anita Sinha, Chair of the Board of Governors of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and supported by faculty, staff, alums, and friends of SAIC, an emergency relief fund has been established for students. Students may apply to this grant fund to support their emergency needs caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, including living expenses, online learning needs, and food assistance. These awards are not loans; they neither accrue interest or need to be paid back. All monies raised for the Student Emergency Relief Fund will go directly to students.

Click here to support the Student Relief Fund.

Inaugurated by Anita Sinha, Chair of the Board of Governors of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and supported by faculty, staff, alums, and friends of SAIC, an emergency relief fund has been established for students. Students may apply to this grant fund to support their emergency needs caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, including living expenses, online learning needs, and food assistance. These awards are not loans; they neither accrue interest or need to be paid back. All monies raised for the Student Emergency Relief Fund will go directly to students.

Students seeking support from either the Student Emergency Relief Fund or the CARES Act should complete this form. Each request will be considered in relation to all requests, with priority consideration given to students of greatest need.

CARES Act funds are available to students who are eligible for federal financial aid and demonstrate financial need based on a filed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). SAIC will ensure that the entire $1 million allotment received from the federal government for student support will be distributed to eligible applicants. Funds are available until that time. Click here for more information on this process.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting – Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students – Public Announcement

On July 7, 2020, SAIC received notification from the Department of Education that its application for $1,083,887 in emergency financial aid grants to students was approved for funding. SAIC presents the following information, which fulfills the disclosures required by the US Department of Education in connection with the receipt and disbursement of CARES Act Funding to eligible students. 

SAIC signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund ("HEERF") emergency financial aid grants. In keeping with the terms of the certification, the SAIC will use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students. As of September 30th, the School has distributed a total of $507,000 in CARES emergency grants to students, or 523 students have received CARES emergency grants. SAIC estimates that approximately 1,900 students are eligible to participate in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. Students have been provided with the following instructions and guidance concerning CARES Act funding.

On July 17, 2020, SAIC requested that all eligible students complete an online application by August 7 in order to receive a CARES grant in the amount of $300. Funding decisions will prioritize students with the greatest need. Distributions are being processed soon after applications are received. Once the application deadline passes, a second round of funding will prioritize students with the greatest need. Those students who receive the initial $300 will remain eligible for additional funding, contingent on their level of need. SAIC urges all students who are eligible to apply. Our second round of funding will ensure that we distribute the entire allotment received from the federal government for student support to eligible applicants.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting – Institutional Aid
On July 29, 2020, SAIC received notification from the Department of Education that its application for $1,083,887 in Institutional Aid was approved for funding. SAIC presents this quarterly (and final) report for the period ending September 30, 2020, which fulfills the disclosures required by the US Department of Education in connection with the receipt and disbursement of CARES Act Funding for Institutions. 

 

HEALTH, WELLNESS, AND PREVENTION

Currently, the School is not offering tests on campus. If a student thinks they might have COVID-19, they should contact Health Services at 312.499.4288 or healthservices@saic.edu for assistance in identifying where they can be tested. Faculty and staff will need to coordinate their own testing through their own health providers or through public health testing facilities.

In November, we shared this guidance from the American College Health Association.

Whether you’re a student or member of the faculty or staff, we all have a role to play to help mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. You’re responsible for the actions below:

  • Complete a mandatory training course to enhance your understanding of expectations while on campus. You will receive a link to the course, sent to your SAIC email.
  • Make a community commitment to do your part to mitigate the spread. You will be asked to affirm your commitment at the end of your training course.
  • Check your symptoms with the daily symptom checklist and take your temperature before coming to campus each day.
  • Pick up your personal safety kit, which consists of the daily symptom checklist, five face masks, and a thermometer. 

When on campus, all of us are also expected to uphold our shared responsibilities.

Contact tracing is an important strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing involves identifying people who have tested positive for COVID-19 (an infected person is known as a “case”) and those who have come into close contact with them, defined below by the CDC. At the recommendation of the CDPH, SAIC’s Case Management Team will take the lead in conducting contact tracing for close contacts that occur between members of our community. Click here for more information on what this will look like at SAIC.

If you are notified by the SAIC Case Management Team or by Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) that you are a close contact—defined by the CDPH as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 cumulative minutes over the course of a day starting from two days before the person began feeling sick until the time they were isolated—of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, the Case Management Team will provide specific guidance. Generally, you should expect to quarantine yourself for 14 days from the date of last contact with the ill person and maintain physical distance from others at all times. Self-monitor for symptoms. Seek prompt medical evaluation if you develop fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Following the most current guidance for contact tracing and quarantine and isolation, we will work with all members of the campus community who require testing.

If you are sick, stay home and away from others for at least seven days since your symptoms first appeared and at least three days (72 hours) with no fever (without using fever-reducing medications) and improving symptoms. 

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 for at least 20 seconds;
  • 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; and
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

Any students who have health-related questions or concerns are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider immediately. If you would like to discuss any symptoms, contact the Wellness Center at healthservices@saic.edu or 312.499.4288. If you need assistance during times Health Services is not available, including nights and weekends, you may utilize the Telehealth benefit that is provided for free to all SAIC student insurance plan members, which will give you access to a face-to-face visit with a doctor through video. Additionally, here is a list of clinics near campus and a 24-hour free nurse advice line available to all students at 877.924.7758.

Staff and faculty with questions about their health are encouraged to reach out to their primary care provider for medical concerns or the employee assistance program for mental health support. Additionally, for questions regarding benefits and coverage, benefits-eligible faculty and staff may contact Blue Cross Blue Shield at 855.418.9393. Benefits-eligible faculty and staff may also reach out to Telehealth at 855.667.9722 or MDLIVE at 888.726.3171 for questions about their health.

If you show signs or symptoms or are a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19:

  • Students: Contact SAIC's Health Services at healthservices@saic.edu or 312.499.4288 and you will be directed to the nearest clinic for additional instructions.
  • Faculty and staff: Notify human resources at saic.covid.report@saic.edu and your primary care provider.

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 COVID-19 may appear between two to 14 days after exposure.

If you develop symptoms, please stay in your home and contact a medical provider to prevent the spread of infection or possible exposure for yourself. If you are a student, we encourage you to contact your healthcare provider immediately. If you would like to discuss your symptoms, contact the Wellness Center at healthservices@saic.edu or 312.499.4288. If you need assistance during times Health Services is not available, including nights and weekends, you may utilize the Telehealth benefit that is provided for free to all SAIC student insurance plan members, which will give you access to a face-to-face visit with a doctor through video. Additionally, here is a list of clinics near campus and a 24-hour free nurse advice line available to all students at 877.924.7758.

Staff and faculty with questions about their health are encouraged to reach out to their primary care provider for medical concerns or the employee assistance program for mental health support. Additionally, for questions regarding benefits and coverage, benefits-eligible faculty and staff may contact Blue Cross Blue Shield at 855.418.9393. Benefits-eligible faculty and staff may also reach out to Telehealth at 855.667.9722 or MDLIVE at 888.726.3171 for questions about their health.

If you’re a student with the SAIC insurance plan, COVID-19 testing will be completely covered. The treatment for COVID-19 will be covered like any other medical condition. The benefits that are provided by the SAIC student insurance plan are the same for all members. 

Staff and faculty with questions about their benefits and coverage may contact Blue Cross Blue Shield at 855.418.9393. Benefits-eligible faculty and staff may also reach out to Telehealth at 855.667.9722 or MDLIVE at 888.726.3171 for questions about their health. They can also contact benefits@artic.edu with questions about their current enrollment.

First, it’s essential that you follow advice from your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you are a student, please contact Health Services at healthservices@saic.edu or 312.499.4288. If you are a staff or faculty member, please notify Irina Melnik, director of employee benefits, at imelnik@artic.edu or 312.629.3382. Human Resources and Health Services will consult with the School and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) on next steps for treatment, containment, and outreach.

Though individual identities will be protected in accordance with CDPH guidelines and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the CDPH and CDC will announce new cases publicly. We will also share statistical information with the School community on saic.edu/covid19

If you need a medical exemption for the School’s requirement to wear masks or face coverings, reach out to the Disability and Learning Resource Center. The center’s staff will work with you to make sure your academics are not impacted by this request.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19, you should stay home or in your residence hall room except for essential reasons, such as seeking medical care. You should limit contact with others, keeping six feet away from everyone, even those with whom you live. You should stay home until you meet the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria to be around others. More guidelines for on-campus housing is forthcoming.

If you are sick in any way, or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, stay home. Self-isolation is essential if you have COVID-19. Everyone should be flexible in their expectations, knowing that alternative deadlines can be made and substitutes can be found to complete one’s work. If you come to campus showing symptoms of illness, you will be asked to leave.

If a student thinks they might have COVID-19, they should contact Health Services at 312.499.4288 or healthservices@saic.edu for assistance in identifying where they can be tested. Faculty and staff will need to coordinate their own testing through their own health providers or through public health testing facilities.

If you have had close contact with someone known to have COVID-19, you should stay home for 14 days after your last contact. If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, stay home until 14 days after your last contact with the person who is sick or 14 days after the person meets CDC criteria to end home isolation. If you have traveled abroad, you should stay home for 14 days from the time you returned.

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;
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs; and
  • 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.

 

ABOUT COVID-19

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

Symptoms related to this coronavirus strain include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. A full list of symptoms can be found on the CDC’s site. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia or other complications. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear between two to 14 days after exposure.

Any students who have health-related questions or concerns are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider immediately. If you would like to discuss your symptoms, contact the Wellness Center at healthservices@saic.edu or 312.499.4288. If you need assistance during times Health Services is not available, including nights and weekends, you may utilize the Telehealth benefit that is provided for free to all SAIC student insurance plan members, which will give you access to a face-to-face visit with a doctor through video. Additionally, here is a list of clinics near campus and a 24-hour free nurse advice line available to all students at 877.924.7758.

Staff and faculty with questions about their health are encouraged to reach out to their primary care provider for medical concerns or the employee assistance program for mental health support. Additionally, for questions regarding benefits and coverage, benefits-eligible faculty and staff may contact Blue Cross Blue Shield at 855.418.9393. Benefits-eligible faculty and staff may also reach out to Telehealth at 855.667.9722 or MDLIVE at 888.726.3171 for questions about their health.

According to the CDC, current understanding of how COVID-19 spreads is based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. Spreading from person-to-person can happen among close contacts (about six feet) when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads. It may be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Some infections can be spread by exposure to the virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours. These viruses may be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet away from the person who is infected or after that person has left the space.

Risk levels are dependent upon an individual’s situation, so we recommend visiting the CDC’s and CDPH’s websites for the latest updates.

Updates will be sent frequently to students, faculty, staff, and parents via email. These updates will also be posted on saic.edu/covid19

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES