[Sent March 6, 2020]
Dear students, faculty and staff:
The Illinois Department of Public Health just reported the 5th case of coronavirus in the state, and much attention continues to be focused on minimizing risks and containing the illness. At UICOMP, we continue to work closely with UIC, our affiliate organizations, and the Peoria County Health Department to ensure we are doing everything possible to serve our learners, faculty, staff, and patients.
- If you are worried about your health or have symptoms consistent with coronavirus (fever, cough or shortness of breath), please contact your primary care provider via phone for further information and direction.
- If you are in a clinical setting and have been part of the care team of a patient diagnosed with coronavirus, you will follow the procedures outlined at the healthcare institution (UPH or OSF).
- If you are returning from international travel (personal travel), please contact the university for specific guidance and recommendations for monitoring your health:
- Students should contact Student Health at University Village at 312-996-2901 for guidance.
Residents, Fellows and Faculty:
- Follow protocol outlined by the hospital/clinic in which you are providing clinical care.
- If you have recently travelled to a geographical area affected by COVID-19 (currently China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea) and have fever or symptoms of a lower respiratory infection contact your primary care provider by phone for guidance on steps for possible testing and home quarantine.
- If you have plans for travel, consider the potential risks before leaving.
- Due to national shortages of personal protective equipment, conservation is an important part of our preparedness. For this reason we recommend limiting the number of healthcare workers entering rooms of patients on isolation. For example on a team with faculty, residents and students, consider limiting those entering the room to the faculty member and the resident primarily taking care of the patient.
- If you have recently returned from international travel, please contact University Health Services (UHS) at 312-996-7420 to complete a screening process. Specific instructions will be given prior to your return to work. UHS is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm and Wednesdays from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. You may also call the University of IL Hospital at 866-600-2273 after hours.
- If you are suspected of having been exposed to the virus or if you exhibit symptoms, please stay home and contact your personal health care provider immediately for guidance. Please follow your health care provider’s instructions closely.
- If you your health care provider suspects you have been exposed to the virus, you exhibit symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, please contact University Health Services at 312-996-7420 for instructions. They will be responsible for the coordination of all return to work approvals.
Steps you can take to minimize the risk of illness, include:
- Get a flu shot — it’s not too late.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick, and cover coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
This is a rapidly involving situation. Information may change as new developments occur.
Meenakshy Aiyer, M.D., MACP
Interim Regional Dean