FAQs from October 1 Fall 2020 Briefing

Questions and Answers from the October 1 Weekly Fall 2020 Briefing

Q. Could we could get an update on the FDA approval on the UIUC COVID-19 testing?
A. UIUC applied for an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA back in August and were told they did not need one. As UIUC continued to expand testing labs, the FDA has now said they do need Emergency Use Authorization. UIUC has again applied for this. It could take up to six weeks for that to come through. The only thing it slows down is the test being used outside of the UI System. It does not change the efficacy, or our testing requirements and standards.

Q. Please provide information on the 11 positives reported within the past two weeks.
A. Two positives were from last week’s reporting period, six were reported Monday and three were reported Tuesday. When we see trends, we ask for more frequency in testing from groups considered high-risk and it is tracked for 14 days. Those testing positive are isolating; those in close contact have begun the quarantine process.

Q. Can an individual test more frequently?
A. Yes, UIS employees and students can test more frequently if they feel it is necessary. If someone is unsure, please contact Bethany Bilyeu, 206-7122.

Q. Is there a plan in place to raise compliance for UIS students to get a flu shot this year?
A. It is very important for all UIS employees and students to get flu shots. It would be ideal to get above 60%. A compliance rate or 75-80% would be even better. The chancellor does not have the authority to mandate flu shots. We are making it easier to get a flu shot by scheduling flu clinics in the same area as saliva testing, to encourage more students and employees to get their flu shot. Slight changes to the spring semester academic calendar are being considered with regards to flu season.

Q. Are flu shots available for those with egg allergies.
A. No, those individuals should see their own medical provider for flu shots.

Q. Who can get the flu shot at UIS this year?
A. Only employees and students of the University of Illinois Springfield will be able to receive flu shots at the campus flu shot clinics this year. They are free of charge.

Q. What is the policy on campus guests/visitors?
A. Residence Life has its own guidelines. Conference Services, the Union and Performing Arts Services have paused allowing outside groups to use university space. They are currently reviewing those guidelines. When possible UIS is asking faculty to host guest lecturers virtually. All ECCE Series are virtual this semester. In general, the University is asking that guests only be invited when it is mission critical. Guests would then have to follow University policies on masks and physical distancing. Faculty inviting guests are asked to keep a 30-day log of who visits, for tracking purposes, if it should become necessary. Guests cannot currently be saliva-tested at UIS. The University requests that guest lecture events limit their gathering to 10 people or less, anything larger would need permission ahead of time. Guest lecture events would need to be compliant with all UIS and state safety standards for gatherings.

The Chancellor’s office is open to feedback on these processes.

Q. What about youth sports, which meet on the UIS campus?
A. UIS has agreements with the YMCA, Springfield Area Soccer Association (SASA) and Land of Lincoln Junior Olympic Softball (LLJOS). Those organization occupy space on the far edges of the UIS grounds, which are isolated from main campus. They are abiding by Restore Illinois safety guidelines.

Q. What about a visitor dropping something off at campus?
A. If a person is only spending a few minutes dropping something off to someone on campus, we do not consider that a visitor to campus, although they would need to follow UIS safety guidelines of masks and physical distancing.

Q. What are we doing about mental health, isolation and seasonal depression as we head into winter with regards to the limitations of meeting space indoors?
A. We are looking at repurposing of spaces. We will make that publicly known when there is a plan in place.

Q. Would we consider heated tents over the winter?
A. No. Heated tents are costly, and not entirely safe having propane burners. The prairie winters are not conducive to heated tents.

COVID Response superstars for the week of Oct. 1

Our COVID Response Super Stars for this week are Tulio Llosa, Kara McElwrath and the entire ITS team for their expertise and unlimited personal attention to make sure all of the IT needs for our entire campus, students, faculty and staff were met during this pandemic.

The team has also been instrumental in launching the new LMS, creating and rolling out the new Advise U app. The team always provides excellent customer service.