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, July 20. 

GENERAL FAQs

On June 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance for colleges and universities. Until we review the guidance with Dr. Rebmann, and receive additional input from the Chicago Department of Public Health, we continue to ask all community members to follow our shared responsibilities, even if you are vaccinated. Additional updates will be shared with the community as soon as they are available.

Yes. Every week, SAIC’s Case Management Team meets with public health expert Dr. Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC. Though she remains optimistic about the progress of the vaccine roll-out, she recommends that SAIC, like many other educational institutions, continue its health and safety protocols through the fall semester. Because much could change with regard to the pandemic and visa availability between now and the beginning of the fall semester, we must take additional time to plan the details of a full return to campus. As a result, we will offer as many fall courses in person as possible, as well as a robust selection of online classes, so that students can choose the course mode that best suits their needs, interests, and comfort level.

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 year, 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 will require COVID-19 vaccines for all undergraduate, graduate, post-baccalaureate, and Continuing Studies students who intend to be on campus for any period of time starting in the fall 2021 term. SAIC will also require all faculty and staff to attest that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Medical and religious exemptions will be accommodated, but the expectation will be that our campus will overwhelmingly consist of vaccinated individuals, greatly reducing the risk of infection for all. Because vaccine availability has been extended to all Chicagoans age 12 and over, we encourage all members of our community to get a vaccine as soon as they are able.

One of the most important things we can do to ensure the safety of our community is attain a high rate of vaccination on campus. A high vaccination rate will make it possible for more of us to safely be on campus and allow us to return to a more normal campus life. Throughout the year, we’ve consulted with SAIC’s public health expert, Dr. Terri Rebmann, and she is a strong proponent of vaccines. In the spirit of continuing to take care of one another, SAIC will require COVID-19 vaccines for all undergraduate, graduate, post-baccalaureate, and Continuing Studies students who intend to be on campus for any period of time starting in the fall 2021 term. SAIC will also require all faculty and staff to attest that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. 

SAIC will accept any vaccine approved for emergency use by the FDA or WHO. A person is considered fully vaccinated when they are two weeks or more beyond the receipt of their second dose in a two-dose vaccine or two weeks or more beyond the receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

SAIC hired public health expert Dr. Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC. 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 COVID-19 on our campus. You can read more about Dr. Rebmann’s credentials here.

 

CAMPUS OPERATIONS

While the global health crisis continues to pose risks in our daily lives, our extensive work seeks to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community. Our plans 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, SAIC’s Case Management Team identifies and notifies the people who were in close contact with them. Every Wednesday 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.

We encourage all community members to eat outside when 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. Barista drinks may be ordered in person and all food must be ordered though the Transact Mobile Ordering app. Since this café is operating out of the ballroom kitchen, it has greatly expanded offerings from previous years and can 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 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.

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 when weather permits.

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.

In February, the CDC shared new findings that wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask offers more protection against COVID-19, as does tying knots on the ear loops of surgical masks. Please note, it is not advised to wear two surgical masks or a surgical mask with an N95 mask at the same time.

While we do not require visitors to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine, all visitors are expected to abide by our shared responsibilities, which require everyone on SAIC’s campus to monitor their health, maintain physical distance, and practice good hygiene.

One of the most important things we can do to ensure the safety of our community is attain a high rate of vaccination on campus. Vaccines, along with continued mask wearing, social distancing, and personal hygiene, will make it possible for more of us to safely be on campus and allow us to return to a more normal campus life, though we must continue to follow state and local guidelines regarding capacity and social distancing. We’ll seek to host in-person events and programs wherever possible. 

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 are 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 are 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

In-person events and exhibitions on campus need to follow current Illinois, Chicago, and SAIC guidelines. 

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.

If you choose to travel, you must comply with Chicago Travel Advisory guidelines for domestic travel and the CDC guidelines for international travel. These guidelines may change, so if you choose to travel, please review the CDPH and CDC websites before and during your trip. Students living in SAIC’s residence halls who travel out of the state of Illinois must notify Residence Life before they leave to make arrangements for quarantine upon their return.

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:

SAIC Galleries welcomes the SAIC community and members of the public to visit in person by appointment only. SAIC Galleries offers viewing appointments Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT. 

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

The Gene Siskel Film Center is reopening on August 6. Visit their site for more details. 

No. Vaccines are widely available across the US. Anyone who qualifies for the vaccine is able to secure an appointment at various locations throughout the city, including locations near our campus.

 

FINANCES

No. As SAIC builds new ways of responding to the evolving health crisis, we've expanded the ways in which students take courses, allowing each student the ability to build a curriculum that best suits their needs, interests, and comfort level. That’s why we’ve offered classes all-online, modified in-person (which ensures socially distanced access to all the School’s facilities and services), or a mix of both. In either format, we are committed to providing the world-class learning environment—built on the strength of the deep experience, knowledge, and innovative approach of our faculty—that SAIC has for the past 155 years.

No. As SAIC builds new ways of responding to the evolving health crisis, we've expanded the ways in which students take courses, allowing each student the ability to build a curriculum that best suits their needs, interests, and comfort level. That’s why we’ve offered classes all-online, modified in-person (which ensures socially distanced access to all the School’s facilities and services), or a mix of both. In either format, we are committed to providing the world-class learning environment—built on the strength of the deep experience, knowledge, and innovative approach of our faculty—that SAIC has for the past 155 years. While that means tuition is the same regardless of modality, we’ve taken steps to make tuition more affordable during the uncertainty of the global health crisis.

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 SAIC's Board of Governors, and supported by faculty, staff, alums, and friends of SAIC, an emergency relief fund was established for students. Students applied 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 were not loans; they neither accrued interest nor needed to be paid back. All monies raised for the Student Emergency Relief Fund went directly to students.

SAIC also disbursed CARES Act Funding to eligible students. More details can be found below.

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 March 31, the School has distributed a total of $1,019,200 in CARES emergency grants to students, or 802 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.

On January 19, 2021, SAIC received notification from the Department of Education regarding additional funding of $1,083,887 for emergency financial aid grants to students under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), also referred to as HEERF II and CARES II. Department of Education guidelines require that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need for this second round of funding. In May 2021, SAIC began disbursing $1,000 grants to currently enrolled eligible students with exceptional need based on Pell Grant status and Expected Family Contribution.

 

HEALTH, WELLNESS, AND PREVENTION

No. 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.

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 COVID-19. When on campus, all of us are also expected to uphold our shared responsibilities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the US have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19. There are several benefits of getting vaccinated:

  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. Experts believe that getting a vaccine also helps keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated will not only protect you, but may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • After you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you may be able to start doing some things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic. For example, the Chicago Travel Advisory does not require fully vaccinated persons who have traveled domestically to quarantine if they are asymptomatic. A person is considered fully vaccinated when they are two weeks or more beyond the receipt of their second dose in a two-dose vaccine or two weeks or more beyond the receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
  • If you are fully vaccinated and are in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you may not need to quarantine.

 

SAIC’s public health expert Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, advised that once you are able to receive a vaccination, please do so; don’t wait for a particular vaccine to become available. The maker of the vaccine should not factor into your decision to get vaccinated, but your first and second dose should be by the same maker.

All Chicagoans aged 12 and older now qualify to receive a vaccine. 

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. 

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 fully vaccinated and are in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you may not need to quarantine. 

Different vaccine providers may have different practices, and these practices may change over time. Currently, we are not aware of any providers requiring proof of residency, though we encourage students who do not have IDs showing a residence in Chicago to bring a piece of mail with their name and Chicago mailing address.

According to the CDC, the federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the US, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status. COVID-19 vaccine providers cannot charge you for the vaccine or any administration fees, copays, or coinsurance. Here you’ll find more details.

Yes. The CDC recommends a COVID-19 vaccine for anyone who qualifies, regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic infection, including a positive antibody test. Additionally, anyone who experiences lingering symptoms for weeks or months after diagnosis should be vaccinated. For those who are currently infected with COVID-19, vaccination should be deferred until recovery from acute illness.

If you feel you can still perform your work or academic responsibilities, you can immediately participate in work or class activities, no matter if they take place on or off campus.

After receiving the vaccine, some people may experience side effects such as tiredness, nausea, muscle pain, and fever. During your appointment, you will receive a handout detailing possible side effects and what to do if you experience them, as well as information specific to the vaccine. Make sure to read and follow any directions detailed in this handout.

  • If you have any side effects following vaccination and the handout or vaccine administrator recommends you contact your doctor, please also inform SAIC’s Case Management Team. Students should contact Health Services at healthservices@saic.edu or 312.499.4288. Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources at saic.covid.report@saic.edu.
  • If you have any side effects following vaccination that are considered normal as described on the handout, you should stay home until you feel better, and you do not need to contact SAIC’s Case Management Team.

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.

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. 

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. 

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 six 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/communications

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES