UChicago’s COVID-19 Policies: A Year in Review

The earliest days of the pandemic brought sweeping changes to every facet of University life.

By Elise Yu and Caroline Kubzansky

March 2020

  • The Maroon breaks the news that UChicago will have an entirely remote spring quarter on March 11.
  • University of Chicago Laboratory Schools pivot to a remote spring quarter.
  • Dining halls serve the last sit-down meal service on March 16.
  • A Chicago Booth student is the first case of COVID-19 reported at UChicago on March 17.
  • University libraries close.
  • Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker issues a stay-at-home order on March 20.
  • Residence halls close on March 22.
  • The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) enacts a universal-masking policy.
  • Mayor Lori Lightfoot closes the lakefront to facilitate Chicagoans’ social distancing.
  • University administrators announce that campus buildings will start to have restricted access regarding who may enter.

April 2020

  • UCMC taps perioperative nurses to cover staffing shortages due to COVID-19 on April 15. 
  • The University announces that the 533rd convocation will not be held on campus. 
  • Provost Ka Yee Lee announces that the University will not reduce tuition in response to remote learning after a month-long campaign by UChicago for Fair Tuition.

May 2020

  • The University announces it will begin resuming research activities. 
  • President Robert Zimmer announces the University will lose about $220 million due to the pandemic, not including losses in the medical division.