FAQs from November 5 Fall 2020 Briefing

Questions and Answers from the Nov. 5 Fall Briefing with Chancellor Whitney


Q. Can I “test out” of quarantine?
A. No, a negative test will not keep you from quarantine if you’ve been a close contact of another person who has tested positive. It can take several days for enough of the viral load to build up in your body to cause a positive test. Just because you test negative today doesn’t mean you won’t test positive within the 14-day quarantine period.

Q. If I have symptoms, what should I do?
A. Do NOT go to on-campus testing. Employees should call their primary care provider, and students should contact UIS Health Services.

Planning for Thanksgiving Break and Beyond

Q. Is Residence Life allowing people to come back after Thanksgiving?
A. We strongly encourage residents to remain at their permanent home following Thanksgiving to limit a possible spread of the virus on campus. However, Residence Life building will technically remain open through the end of the semester. For more important Residence Life info, visit uis.edu/covid-19/resources/holiday-reduced-services/.

Q. What are saliva-testing hours between Thanksgiving and January?
A. New weekday hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (instead of 8 p.m.). The week of Thanksgiving and Christmas, the testing center will only be open Monday. For more info, visit uis.edu/covid-19/testing.

Q. What other resources on campus will have reduced hours after Thanksgiving?
A. TRAC, Student Union/Food Studio, Brookens Library and the Center for Academic Success are several of the main services that will have reduced hours post-Thanksgiving. This is fairly normal practice for UIS as we move into finals week and the semester break. For more details, visit uis.edu/covid-19/resources/holiday-reduced-services/.

Q. Will on-campus staffing hours change?
A. All departments are encouraged to consider reducing on-campus work if possible. The work of the university must continue, but preferably in a way that keeps our density low due to increasing positivity rates in our community. University offices and departments should make sure to update webpages to reflect new hours or contact info Also, employees are encouraged to take vacation time if appropriate. Student employees may work in-person or remotely, but they can only be paid for worked hours

Q. What’s the plan for the Spring 2021 semester?
A. The first two weeks will be completely remote, so we can test on-campus students upon return to campus. In lieu of a traditional one-week spring break, we’ve identified five non-instructional days (no classes, tests or assignments): March 2-3; April 26; May 6-7. These dates were chosen because of historical data about times in the semester when we’ve historically seen spikes in the need for mental health services. These days are also spread throughout the week.

COVID Superstars:

Steve Marvel and Jason Gibson, their Building Service Workers and all of the BSWs in Residence Life, TRAC and the Student Union.

From the beginning of our fight against COVID-19, the university’s building service workers have been on campus and literally touched every square inch of occupied space in every building to ensure it is clean and disinfected. Their mission day-in and day-out is to ensure a safe and clean living, learning, training and working environment for the UIS community.

The UIS BSWs returned to campus months before the campus community at-large returned to begin deep cleaning, and they have continued to relentlessly clean and disinfect classrooms, common areas, conference rooms, hallways, lobbies, restrooms, stairwells, elevators, dorm rooms, gymnasiums, and the list goes on and on.

Before classes started, teams of BSWs went through every classroom, conference room, lobby, common area, workout room, dining area and hallway on campus and evaluated, measured, and reset each piece of furniture to ensure the CDC and IDPH guidelines for physical distancing were met.

They proactively researched and quickly acquired scarce cleaning and disinfecting products, equipment and materials which was no easy feat as the community and country at-large scrambled and supplies ran extremely low.

These men and women are unsung heroes who, without hesitation, don PPE and go into the spaces to clean and disinfect when there is a reported or suspected case of COVID-19 on campus.

They have done these tasks on top of the hundreds of other tasks on their daily plate. Their work has truly been the work of Superstars!