COVID-19 Exposure and Medical Care

Medical Care

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, first call 911 and then Campus Security at 312.899.1230.

Signs that you may need emergency medical assistance related to COVID-19 include:

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

If you show signs or symptoms of illness—even if they are mild, cold-like symptoms and you are fully vaccinated—you should do the following:

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On the advice of public health expert Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, and following the guidance of the CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), SAIC is committed to assisting students with signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and students with a recent known or suspected exposure to a person with COVID-19. If you show signs or symptoms—even if they are mild, cold-like symptoms and you are fully vaccinated—or have been notified by the CDPH or SAIC’s Case Management Team that you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you should do the following:

Following the most current guidance for contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation, we are working with all members of the campus community who require testing. Testing locations near campus include:

Michigan Avenue Immediate Care
24 E. Randolph St. 
Chicago, IL 60601 
Book online

Physicians Immediate Care (offers same-day results) 
811 S. State St. 
Chicago, IL 60605 
Book online

For a full list of testing options, click here.

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Contact Tracing and Close Contacts

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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This effort is led by SAIC’s Case Management Team, who are following the contact tracing process set forth by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) for higher education institutions, requesting support as needed and reporting to them all cases occurring among students, staff, and faculty. CDPH will conduct additional follow up of close contacts outside of our community if necessary. SAIC’s Case Management Team treats information sensitively and consistent with applicable Illinois State, HIPAA, and FERPA laws.

A close contact is 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 or within two days of their positive test if the individual is asymptomatic. Examples of close contacts may include:

  • Someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 cumulative minutes over the course of a day
  • Someone who provided care at home to an infected person
  • Someone who had direct physical contact with the infected person (hugged or kissed them)
  • Someone who shared eating or drinking utensils
  • Someone who has been sneezed on, coughed on, or somehow got respiratory droplets on them from an infected person
  • A roommate or significant other of an infected person

If You’ve Been Informed That You’re a Contact of Someone with COVID-19

If you are notified by the SAIC Case Management Team or CDPH that you are a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, the Case Management Team will provide specific guidance, but generally: 

  • If you are fully vaccinated and boosted and do not have COVID-like symptoms, you may not need to quarantine, but you may be required to be tested.
  • If you are fully vaccinated and boosted and do have COVID-like symptoms, you will need to isolate from others, be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, and tested if deemed necessary by your healthcare provider.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you should expect to quarantine yourself for up to 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—including cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, headache, or fatigue—and seek prompt medical evaluation. 

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

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Quarantine and Isolation

If you test positive, are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, or have symptoms of COVID-19, please contact the Case Management Team at We will work with you to determine quarantine and isolation protocols. 

Generally, if you are a close contact and are six or more months beyond your second vaccination, but have not yet received your booster, you will be required to quarantine for five days. To avoid quarantine, you must get your booster.

Quarantine: Keeps someone who was in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 away from others.

Isolation: Keeps someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms away from others, even in their own home.

If you are required to quarantine or isolate, in general, you must stay in your room or apartment—avoiding common areas of your building, including the hallway, elevators, and lounge spaces—until your quarantine or isolation period ends. Community members who do not adhere to quarantine or isolation requirements may be subject to disciplinary action. If you live with others:

  • Stay in a separate room (e.g., bedroom) as much as possible;
  • Always wear a face covering when in shared spaces, such as the kitchen and living room;
  • Prepare your own meals and use separate cooking items to prepare food and eat;
  • Make sure to wash all utensils and other items before using them again;
  • Maintain your distance, do not come within six feet of others in the space; and
  • Take extra care to practice good sanitation, including wiping down surfaces, particularly in shared spaces like bathrooms and kitchens.

SAIC community members required to quarantine or isolate will receive additional information and follow-up from the School’s Case Management Team. For those needing to quarantine or isolate, the member of the Case Management Team who made contact is available for questions or assistance.

Attending Class While in Quarantine or Isolation

Students should continue to work remotely for their classes while in quarantine or isolation unless they are too sick to do so. 

The Case Management Team will notify instructors of modified in-person classes that a student in quarantine or isolation will not be attending modified in-person classes. Students should also contact instructors of modified in-person classes to discuss how they can remain active in the class while not attending. 

Any absence from in-person class activity due to illness, any symptoms of illness, or precautionary self-quarantine will be excused. This means that students will not face an academic penalty for such absences, and instead, faculty will provide students with alternative work or ways to engage with the class while they are out.

Quarantine and Isolation While in the Residence Halls

Students who are required to quarantine or isolate in the residence halls will be allowed to do so in their own room if they live in a single. Students who are required to quarantine or isolate and who live in a studio double or the Buckingham will be separated for the duration of their quarantine or isolation period. This may involve the student or student’s roommate being asked to move. Here you'll find more details.