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UICOMP COVID-19 – Update

Greetings UICOMP Family,

Mother Nature has certainly given us all the elements of an Illinois winter with the frigid temperatures and snowfall. I hope you are all staying warm and safe and exercising care when walking and driving in the inclement conditions. Our thoughts are with those in Texas and other southern states who are weathering crisis upon crisis with the winter weather and its debilitating effects on travel, electricity, water, and virtually every aspect of their lives.

UICOMP COVID-19 Surveillance Saliva Testing Times Expanded to Thursdays at PHS

Effective February 25, UICOMP will begin offering Saliva Testing on Thursday afternoons, from 3:30 – 6 pm, in addition to continuing the testing availability on Friday mornings (7:30 – 11:30 am). The testing site remains at Positive Health Solutions clinical site. Advance sign-up for a testing appointment is required by 3 pm on Thursday in order to test later that day (Thursday) or the following day (Friday). This expansion in services is in response to student interests and thanks to the commitment of the staff at Positive Health Solutions. The Peoria and Rockford campuses are currently exempt from the mandatory testing that is in place for the Chicago campus.

OSF Changes Vaccine Administration Process

For those UICOMP faculty, staff and students who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine through OSF, please note that the OSF Occupational Health Clinic will change its COVID-19 vaccination procedures effective Monday, February 22. They will begin implementing an appointment-only system. This is to better control the vaccine supply and ensure zero wasted doses. Walk-in vaccinations will no longer be offered after February 22.

Individuals are able to schedule 2nd dose Moderna and 2nd dose Pfizer vaccinations Monday-Friday 7am-5pm at the SFMC campus location. Links for appointment sign up can be found below. As a reminder, please bring your white CDC card and your ID badge or photo ID to your appointment. For those that are not remaining on the Saint Francis campus after vaccine administration, there is a required 15 minute wait time to ensure there is not a vaccine reaction.

Before individuals reserve a time slot they should ensure they are eligible by checking the back of their white CDC card for the 2nd dose due date. The 2nd dose can be given up to four days prior to the due date.

UICOMP Collaborates to Understand Vaccine Hesitancy in Greater Peoria Area

A UICOMP team of faculty and staff is collaborating with the Peoria City/County Health Department and other community organizations to better understand vaccine hesitancy. A recent New York Times article takes a look at vaccine hesitancy and the messaging associated with it. The local team is collecting data from a community survey that will be used to identify concepts and beliefs that lead to hesitancy. With that information, the team will explore and develop potential solutions to sharing and distributing facts and information to allow residents to make informed decisions regarding vaccination.

Black History Month

As we continue through the month of February and recognize Black History Month, please consider these opportunities and join those that fit your schedule and interests:

Black Men in White Coats – Film Screening
A film documentary produced by Dale Okorodudu, MD
Link to movie trailer and info

February 24-28- Screening opportunity courtesy of Unity Point Health - Central Illinois
Register here.

WEEK Story on the Film -- Two UICOMP medical students were interviewed about the film for a news story this morning on WEEK-TV. You can see the story here.

Exploring Disparities in Black Heart Health
A Virtual Presentation
Monday, Feb. 22, 11 am
This special presentation will explore disparities in heart health in the Black community in recognition of Black History Month and Heart Health Awareness Month. Featured speakers are Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, Dr. Heather Prendergast, UIC Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs and more. This presentation is jointly sponsored by IDPH, UIC, Illinois CMS, Aetna, and others. Register for the virtual presentation using this link.

UIC Black History Month 2021: Preserve the Culture
The UIC Center for Student Involvement has developed a full month of virtual activities in recognition of Black History Month and supporting its theme “Preserve the Culture.” You can check out the calendar of events here.

Recording of Faculty Town Hall

If you missed the February 18 Faculty Town Hall on Technology Enhanced Medical Education: Lessons Learned from the Pandemic and Implications on Future with Dr. Lisa Barker, Leslie Hammersmith, and Dr. Jessica Hanks, you can view the recording here.

Faculty Engagement Series

The UIC Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs offers its Faculty Engagement Series with a wide range of topics. Check out the sessions here where you can access registration details or event link to recordings of past sessions.

Vaccine Administration Numbers*– 2/19/21

State of Illinois: 2,060,706 vaccines
Long-term Care Facilities: 271,142
7-Day Rolling Average of Daily Vaccine Administration: 59,460 doses

Source: Illinois Dept. of Public Health

Sources for Current Coronavirus Numbers

United States – https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
Illinois -- https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19
Tri-County Area – https://www.pcchd.org/289/COVID-19-Coronavirus

“History has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
-Michelle Obama

Tomorrow is National Love Your Pet Day! Throughout the pandemic, we’ve heard many stories about colleagues, friends, and neighbors who have adopted pets. We’ve swapped stories about sharing office space with our furry friends, and from time-to-time we catch a glimpse of another’s pet on a Zoom call. Certainly, opportunities for remote work and remote learning have strengthened the connection to our pets for many of us. Well, tomorrow is your chance to show them some extra attention on Love Your Pet Day!

Stay healthy and be safe.


Meenakshy Aiyer, MD, MACP
Interim Regional Dean


Office of the Dean
One Illini Drive
Peoria, IL 61605
Phone (309) 671-8402
Fax (309) 671-8438