Dear Students, Faculty and Staff —
Our approach to managing COVID-19 at UIS this semester is going well, and we appreciate everyone’s efforts to be United in Safety by complying with our vaccine and testing requirements and responding accordingly if ill or symptomatic.
This semester’s approach is different than prior semesters, which understandably is generating questions. As we continue to transition out of an emergency operations response, we are asking individuals to seek advice from their personal healthcare providers or UIS Health Services (if a student) about how to make decisions related to COVID-19 infection or exposure.
INFORMING CLOSE CONTACTS
UIS is no longer conducting contact tracing or providing directives to individuals who test positive or are exposed to COVID-19. It is recommended that you alert others who are close contacts about your positive test so they are aware of a potential exposure. Quarantine is no longer required after an exposure, but individuals should follow CDC guidance for what to do if exposed.
General guidance for students and employees who test positive is provided below. Please also familiarize yourself with CDC guidance on ending isolation for further information.
STUDENTS WHO TEST POSITIVE
Isolate for at least five days from when symptoms started or the day you test positive. Day 1 is the first full day you are symptomatic or the first day after submitting your test sample. If your symptoms are improving and you are fever-free for at least 24 hours after completing Day 5, you may return to normal activity but should wear a mask for the next five days. If you aren’t improving or still have a fever, continue to isolate until you improve or 10 days have passed since symptoms began.
Residential Students: If possible, please spend your isolation period at your permanent home address. If you stay at UIS, please note that Food Services is no longer providing food deliveries and you will need to rely on friends or delivery services to receive meals.
Please follow CDC guidance to determine when to return to class, work or other activities.
EMPLOYEES WHO TEST POSITIVE
Employees should stay home for at least five days (working remotely if possible and approved by a supervisor) from when symptoms started or the day you test positive. Day 1 is your first full day of symptoms or the first day after submitting your test sample. If your symptoms are improving and you are fever-free for at least 24 hours after completing Day 5, you may return to normal activity but should wear a mask for the next five days. If you aren’t improving or still have a fever, continue to isolate until you improve or 10 days have passed since symptoms began.
Please follow CDC guidance or contact your healthcare provider for any questions about returning to work or other activities. To see if you are eligible for paid leave if you are unable to work, visit the System Human Resources Office website.
It’s important to remember that one-way masking is an effective means to prevent spread of COVID-19, and wearing a face covering continues to be fully supported at the university.
If you are interested in the new bivalent COVID-19 booster shots, visit the Sangamon County Department of Public Health website for up-to-date information on vaccine availability. Additionally, testing remains available on campus Monday through Thursday in the WUIS building for those who are required or want to test.
Kelsea Gurski, on behalf of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team