Thank you again for all the hard work and dedication that allowed us to quickly pivot in response to the Governor’s Stay at Home Executive Order. I want to personally thank you for your support over the past two months. We were able to meet and overcome a variety of challenges to maintain critical and essential university operations because of the hard work and dedication of our UIC team, many of whom have been operating on the front lines since mid-March. We are grateful for all they have done and continue to do.
As you know, the Stay-at-Home order remains in effect until May 29, and Governor Pritzker’s office has published Restore Illinois, A Public Health Approach to Safely Reopen our State. Current indicators will allow all four regions of the State, including the northeast region, which includes Cook County, to move to Phase 3: Recovery. Phase 3 has specific public health guidelines for businesses and strongly encourages working remotely wherever possible. UIC will continue to follow this guidance. Therefore, units should continue to operate much like we currently do with limited exceptions as detailed below.
All operations and activities must comply with Illinois Executive Orders and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidance. UIC employees must also comply with the following public safety measures during Phase 3:
- Face coverings are required on all university-owned or operated property
- Temperature screening of all university employees reporting to work on campus
- Adherence to public health social distancing and sanitization requirements
- Gatherings limited to 10 people or fewer
UIC employees in those units performing critical and essential operations and activities on campus will continue to work on campus. Additional activities for Phase 3 may include the following, if approved by the appropriate Vice Chancellor or Dean. At present, these include:
- Non-human subjects research that cannot be performed remotely, if compliant with OVCR and Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO) safety guidance; for health and safety reasons the corresponding research labs will re-open gradually over a three-week period, with the priority determined by each academic unit
- Health Science Colleges, utilizing CDC/IDPH approved safety guidance
- pre-patient care clinics and simulations
- on-site clinical experiences, clerkships, and human subjects research that can be accomplished in the context of necessary ongoing clinical care
- Human subjects research that cannot be performed remotely, if compliant with OVCR
- Other activities may be allowed dependent upon the operational needs of each college or unit, and for suspended human subjects research upon risk review and/or amendment, and final approval by the appropriate IRB Committee.
All units will be required to complete a spreadsheet, which will be available by Friday, May 22, to document the status of all employees. The spreadsheet will include pre-populated employee names and departments and you will need to complete data regarding whether the individual will be working remotely or if working on-site, the specific location and business reason for working on-site. This information is necessary to assist Facilities Management, University Police and other units to be able to monitor building access and provide appropriate support. It is also important to understand the status of each employee from a HR perspective.
Our continued planning efforts to prepare our workspaces for Restore Illinois Phases 3 and 4 is vital to ensure the health and safety of our community. Please continue to visit UIC’s Road to Recovery website to find resources and tools that you can use as you develop and mature your plans. Our goal is to provide an update for Phase 4 planning no later than July 1. Thank you again for all you have done in support of the university’s mission during these unprecedented times.
Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services