COVID-19 Restrictions Extended Through Friday

To:  Members of the University Community
From:  Michele Rasmussen, Dean of Students in the University, and Eric Heath, Associate Vice President for Safety & Security
Subject:  COVID-19 Restrictions Extended Through Friday
Date:  April 14, 2021

At the request of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the University is extending for one day the restrictions that we announced last week in response to a cluster of COVID-19 cases among undergraduates. The precautions, including all-remote classes for the College, the stay-at-home directive for undergraduates living in residence halls, and other restrictions on undergraduate research and student positions, will be effective through Friday, April 16.

Although we have been encouraged by the reduced numbers of COVID-19 infections towards the end of last week, the restrictions are being extended to help provide more time for CDPH’s examination of the recent cases. Some of the cases involved coronavirus variants such as B.1.1.7 that can spread more easily than other kinds; epidemiologists and other medical and public health professionals are continuing to look at how the variants have spread in Chicago.

The restrictions that we enacted last week appear to have helped limit the spread of COVID-19. From April 5 through April 9, following social gatherings that violated public health requirements, there were 84 new cases of COVID-19 among College students. From April 10 to today, we have seen 13 cases in the College, including 8 cases over the last 48 hours.

We will continue to consult with public health authorities in the event that any further extension in restrictions is needed, for example if we see an unexpected rise in cases. We will provide a further update later this week, with the expectation of resuming scheduled on-campus activities and in-person classes after Friday.

As always, if you are concerned you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please get screened immediately. Faculty, academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, and staff members should call the UChicago Medicine triage hotline at 773.702.2800 to arrange a test and receive any needed medical attention. Students should call UChicago Student Wellness at 773.834.WELL. Employees of UCM or the Biological Sciences Division may call 773.702.6819.