Restore Illinois Phase 4 UIC Campus Operations

Dear colleagues,

As a result of the continued success of its COVID-19 mitigation strategies, the state will enter Phase 4: Revitalization of the Restore Illinois plan on Friday, June 26. In this phase, universities can continue to expand their operations while complying with guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. An overview of the Phase 4 changes can be found here. The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) has also released guidelines for Phase 4 that you should review.

The health and safety of our employees continues to be our top priority. UIC’s Phase 4 workplace adjustments will begin on July 6 and will gradually expand over a 4-week period through the month of July. This stepwise approach is necessary to ensure that our physical infrastructure, as well as all restored operations and activities comply with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidance and recommendations.

We recognize that all our required work for the University cannot be done remotely and Phase 4 will allow us to resume some of the work that has been interrupted by the pandemic. However, before employees in each unit are directed to return to work on campus, the corresponding Vice Chancellors and Deans for each unit need to comply with the following requirements.

Building Preparations and Access

  • Building safety plans must be submitted and approved before resuming operations in any building that is currently closed. This is the same process that has already been used for the gradual reopening of research laboratories and the return of the health science students on campus earlier this month. A status of building safety plan approval can be found here.
  • Signage and hand sanitization stations must be established in those buildings by OVCAS and unit personnel. The status of signage and hand sanitization stations in the various buildings can also be found in the link cited above.
  • Buildings will remain secured with card swipe access only and no visitors will be allowed through the month of July.

Employee Return Guidance

  • Review Campus HR guidance for developing your return to campus plans.
  • All employees who can productively work from home should continue to do so.
  • Office spaces may not operate at more than 50% staffing level (office occupancy at the same time).
  • Employee arrival and departure times should be staggered to avoid congregation at building doors and elevators. There will be signs at elevators noting their capacity limits.
  • Staggered work schedules can also be utilized to help employees avoid times when public transportation may be more crowded.

All units have been tracking their space occupancy data using the online FIM Manager Space Occupancy app and are required to update their portals to reflect employees currently working on campus and employees who will be returning to campus during Phase 4. The data is requested in two-week increments (July 6-17 and July 20-31) per occupied building and floor. This information should be submitted before end-of-day Monday, July 6 and Monday, July 20, as it is necessary to assist Facilities Management, University Police and other units with monitoring building access and providing appropriate support such as custodial and other services.

Public Health Measures

  • Employees who work on campus should self-assess their health status before reporting to their workplace and should not report at all if they are not feeling well or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Face coverings are required on all university-owned or operated property (exceptions may be made for individuals with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a face covering).
  • Employees who work on campus will be required to conduct temperature and wellness screening prior to or upon reporting to their campus workplace.
  • Employees will be required to follow the social distancing and sanitization IDPH guidelines, especially when eating or drinking.
  • Upon arrival, employees should immediately wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted if social distancing protocols are followed, and these limits will continue to be assessed throughout this phase.

As we continue to prepare for the start of the fall semester, I would like to thank each of you for your cooperation, leadership, feedback, and flexibility as we make our way through these unique times. With your continued support, we will be able to ensure the health and safety of the UIC community as we continue our efforts to return to full campus operations.

Sincerely,
John Coronado
Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services