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 will be encouraged to use this tool, which will be made available soon. 

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 Covid-19

*CDC’s listed symptoms as of June 15, 2020.

  • 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 for on-campus housing is forthcoming.

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. 

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 and they have been informed they are needed on campus to complete their work. Department heads and supervisors are expected to know when the faculty and staff of their departments are working onsite, so those seeking to return to campus should reach out to department heads and supervisors to see if they are approved to return to SAIC facilities. 

All students, faculty, and staff will be required to complete a new training course through Canvas or Bridge, links to which will be updated on this site when they are available. It is additionally required that all community members acquaint their guests, including contractors, with the shared responsibilities and make sure they are compliant.

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 will be asked to record and report in-person attendance of students after each class. 
  • Supervisors will record and report on the daily occupancies of work spaces. 
  • Instructional support spaces will record usage of space, ensuring users check in and out to accurately capture the time spent in each area. 
  • Visitor policies will be updated to require that, in addition to accompanying a visitor at all times, the SAIC host creates a log of the visitor’s movements through campus.

A Note on Contact Tracing

Correlative to occupancy tracking protocols, contact tracing is the process by which those who have been in close contact with someone subsequently determined to have COVID-19 will be advised on further steps they should take. CDPH will be working with Chicago’s colleges and universities in contact tracing efforts. Several SAIC staff members have already completed training for contact tracing, and additional staff members have been identified to complete the training should more in-house resources be required. Over the summer, CDPH will be assessing their own personnel resources and will be informing area colleges how much personnel they will need to devote to the city-wide contact tracing effort and what each college’s specific role will be. This section of the framework will be further updated as those details are finalized.

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 will be 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 will be 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. 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.

  • Review Expectations for Hosting Visitors. All visitors to the School’s non-public spaces must be accompanied by a member of the SAIC community throughout their visit. It is additionally required that all community members acquaint their guests, including contractors, with the shared responsibilities and make sure they are compliant. SAIC’s visitor policy will be updated to require that, in addition to accompanying a visitor at all times, the SAIC host creates a log of the visitor’s movements through campus.

  • 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-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.

  • Developing New Protocols for Working and Learning. To ensure essential operations on campus, many staff and faculty will need to return to campus to complete their work in person. As we finalize the guidance for returning to work, we will communicate updates to the School’s remote work policy and procedures.