Monitor Your Health & Maintain Physical Distance

Monitor Your Health

Everyone will need to monitor their health closely and report when they are sick. 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.

Complete Daily Symptom Checks

A daily symptom checklist can help ensure that you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. Everyone is encouraged to use this tool, which you can find here.

Review Symptoms of COVID-19*

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide variety of symptoms, which may appear from between 2–14 days after exposure to the virus, ranging from mild to severe in intensity. People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:

Symptoms of COVID19

 *CDC’s listed symptoms as of April 5, 2021.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea


If a student thinks they might have COVID-19, they should contact Health Services at 312.499.4288 or 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 any of these emergency symptoms, please seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

When Necessary, Stay Home 

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 can be found here.

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 are traveling to Chicago from a domestic location outside of the State of Illinois, you must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Chicago or receive a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result, with the test being taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago. If you are coming from an international location, you will need to provide a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result, with the test having been taken no more than 72 hours prior to travel, to the airline in order to board a plane for the United States. The CDC also provides guidance for what to do upon arrival in the US: quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Chicago or quarantine for seven days and receive a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test with the test being administered three to five days after you arrive in Chicago.

Report Cases of COVID-19

If you receive a positive diagnosis of COVID-19, stay home and report your status. Students should contact Health Services at or 312.499.4288. Staff and faculty members should notify Irina Melnick, director of employee benefits, at or 312.629.3382. Human Resources and Health Services will consult with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) on next steps for treatment, containment, and outreach.

Health information is private; information gleaned from individuals’ reports will be shared only with those who need to know as required by the IDPH, CDPH, or other government health officials.

Returning to Campus

Staff and faculty are permitted to return to campus when they are in good health. Prior to returning to campus after a period of self-isolation, students, faculty, and staff will receive an email with instructions on how to gain permission to return to campus. Minimum standards for returning to campus include:

  • Medical documentation from a health care provider that you are clear to return to work; or
  • Fulfillment of CDC guidelines to discontinue isolation, which includes 72 hours without fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications), improvement in respiratory symptoms, and the elapse of at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

A Note on Occupancy Tracking

To increase accuracy and timeliness in identifying the movements of individuals on our campus who have tested positive for COVID-19, and aid us in informing those with whom they are likely to have had significant contact, several occupancy tracking procedures have been enacted: 

  • Faculty are recording and reporting in-person attendance of students after each class. 
  • Supervisors are recording and reporting on the daily occupancies of work spaces. 
  • Instructional support staff are recording usage of space, ensuring users check in and out to accurately capture the time spent in each area. 
  • We are restricting visitors to SAIC's campus. Click here for the full policy.


Maintain Physical Distance 

Physical distancing is one of the most effective means of controlling the spread of COVID-19. Everyone should maintain a physical distance of at least six feet between themselves and others whenever possible.
To aid in physical distancing, campus spaces have been reorganized to allow for increased physical distancing, including updated capacity limits, updated layouts for rooms, and removal of some furniture. Campus spaces such as shops, studios, and computer labs, where moving furniture and equipment is more difficult, are now marked with distinct single-person work zones. Please follow all markings and signage to protect yourself and others.
Reducing occupant density in SAIC buildings is a priority as we support our primary objective of teaching and learning. Please report locations or examples of campus congestion to assist with identifying potential problem areas by contacting
Specific details on physical modifications, working and making practices, and schedule adjustments were determined for each area of the School through a collaborative process involving faculty and staff members working with departmental return-to-work support teams, as outlined in Planning. Special attention was given to shared spaces (e.g., lobbies, hallways, common spaces, meeting rooms, and classrooms).

To further assist in physical distancing, new guidelines for meetings, events, visitors, travel, and remote work have been established:

  • Conduct Meetings Online Wherever Possible. Wherever possible, faculty and staff meetings should take place online. In-person meetings should allow for at least six feet of space between all attendees.

  • In-Person Events on Campus Will Follow Health Guidance. In-person events on campus need to follow current Illinois, Chicago, and SAIC guidelines. In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, all student group/organization events and meetings must occur virtually. Other online events will be considered on a case-by-case basis with your area vice president.

  • Exhibitions on Campus Will Follow Health Guidance. Exhibitions on campus will continue; however, opening events and maximum room occupancies will be adjusted in accordance with Restore Illinois and City of Chicago current health guidance.

  • A Limited Number of Visitors Are Allowed on SAIC's Campus. Click here to review our full policy.

  • Reconsider Travel. 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-quarantine 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.

  • Developed New Protocols for Working and Learning. To ensure essential operations on campus, many staff and faculty have returned to campus to complete their work in person. As we finalized the guidance for returning to work, we communicated updates to the School’s remote work policy and procedures.