University Reports 27 New Cases, 895 University Personnel Receive First Dose

The University reported that it has vaccinated 895 people against COVID-19 as Phase 1b of vaccine distribution continues in Chicago. Second doses will be administered beginning February 21.


By Yiwen Lu, Managing Editor

The University reported 27 new cases of COVID-19 this week, according to an email UChicago Forward sent to the University community on Friday, February 12. Of the 4,074 surveillance tests conducted since February 5, five were positive. The positivity rate in the past week is 0.09 percent, with the overall positivity rate being 0.22 percent as of February 3.

There are nine close contacts associated with this week's reported cases.

Currently, there are fewer than five students in on-campus isolation housing. 14 students are isolating off campus.

In an email sent to the University community on February 10, the University announced new face covering guidelines in response to the new coronavirus variants. Anyone on campus must fully cover their nose and mouth with a face covering with ear loops. Loose-fitting face masks like scarves or bandanas do not meet the new requirements.

The University is currently implementing Phase 1b vaccine distribution in collaboration with UChicago Medicine (UCM) and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). CDPH designated frontline essential workers who work in non–health care settings and Chicagoans aged 65 and older as eligible recipients of the vaccine in this phase. As of Sunday, February 7, 895 University-affiliated personnel have received the first vaccine dose. The Pfizer vaccine used on the University campus requires two doses to be taken three weeks apart.

University employees and individuals aged 16–64 with underlying medical conditions that make them vulnerable to serious health risks will be eligible to receive the vaccine when Phase 1c begins, which the City of Chicago has currently scheduled for March 29.

The citywide positivity rate dropped from 5.2 percent to 4.3 percent this week. The City’s Emergency Travel Order lists 46 states and one territory in the orange category, which advises avoidance of travel and requires incoming travelers to either present a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 10 days immediately following their arrival in Chicago.