According to the UChicago Forward email sent out on October 8, there have been 17 new cases of COVID-19 in the last week, adding to the past two weeks’ total of 75 cases and bringing up the total autumn quarter cases to 92. There are a total of 87 close contacts associated with this week’s new cases and 12 students are isolating off-campus. This week’s positivity rate is 0.22 percent.
Of on-campus students, 98 percent are fully vaccinated. This week, there are no students in on-campus isolation housing, compared to the past two weeks, when fewer than five were in isolation housing.
Fully vaccinated students are no longer required to be tested every week. However, the University did open applications for a Voluntary Surveillance Program for the 2021–22 year, and those accepted into the program will be notified later this week. On-campus testing will be occurring in Walker Museum. Starting on October 19, testing will also be available twice weekly at Chicago Booth’s Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago.
For 2021–22, the University has switched to a saliva-based COVID test, as opposed to the nasal-swab test from last year. Test results are expected to be released within 48 hours, according to a September 30 email to the University community.
Students who experience symptoms of COVID-19 are still required to self-isolate and arrange for prompt testing, either by calling Student Wellness at (773) 834–9355 or the UChicago Medicine triage hotline at (773) 702–2800.
All employees of the University must take steps to comply with the University’s employee vaccination requirement by October 15. These steps include uploading proof of vaccination, requesting a medical or religious exemption, or providing proof of being in the process of being vaccinated. Currently, approximately 90 percent of university employees have been vaccinated.
The CDC also released guidance regarding eligibility for vaccine booster shots. Individuals eligible for boosters must have received the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago and be 65 years and older, over 18 with underlying medical conditions, or over 18 with increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission, such as those who work in healthcare or school settings. The University does not currently have plans to provide vaccine booster shots on campus and does not have a booster shot requirement.