WOODLAWN — Due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus, the University of Chicago will transition to remote learning for the spring quarter beginning March 30, officials said.
University residence halls will remain open until the end of the winter quarter, according to a statement from President Robert Zimmer and Provost Ka Yee Lee. Students who can return home should plan on leaving on-campus housing by 5 p.m. March 22.
All undergraduate and graduate classes will be affected. The spring semester ends in June.
“The University will continue to provide housing, dining, health, and other resources to students for whom travel restrictions or other circumstances require them to remain on campus for Spring Quarter,” the statement reads. “Students who requested and have been granted spring break housing will still be able to stay through spring break.”
Students will continue to receive financial aid and stipends. The university will provide “detailed guidance” about remote teaching over the next week.
The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools will also transition to remote learning March 30.
“The Director of the Laboratory Schools will be in contact soon with more information, including about the duration of the remote learning period,” the statement reads.
The university and the University of Chicago Medical Center will remain open.
“We will provide additional updates on University operations in the coming days, including advice to staff regarding alternative work options,” the statement reads.
Coronavirus can be deadly, but the vast majority of cases have been mild. Those most at risk from the virus are people who are elderly or who have underlying health conditions.
Symptoms of coronavirus can appear two to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The virus spreads between people through coughing and sneezing, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
- Shortness of breath
How To Protect Yourself
First, reject the hype: You don’t need a facemask if you’re well. The CDC only recommends those are already sick wear facemasks because they help you avoid spreading the virus.
Here’s what you can actually do to prevent getting ill:
- The CDC and other officials have said people should wash their hands often, including before, during and after eating; after using the bathroom; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
The CDC has a guide here for how to properly wash your hands. Remember: Wash with soap and water, scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth, with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch frequently, like cellphones and light switches. Here are tips from the CDC.
- Stay home when you’re sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you have to sneeze with a tissue, throw it out immediately after using it, according to the CDC.
What To Do If You Think You’re Sick
Even if you’re not showing symptoms, the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends people coming from high-risk countries (here’s a CDC list) self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home.
If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, contact your primary doctor or a health care facility before going in. Explain your symptoms and tell them if you’ve come into close contact with anyone with coronavirus or traveled to an area where corona is widespread (here’s a CDC list) within the last 14 days, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
From there, the experts will work with your local health department to determine what to do and if you need to be tested for coronavirus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
And, of course, if you think you’re sick with coronavirus, don’t risk exposing other people to the virus.
Those with questions and concerns about coronavirus can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 800-889-3931.
Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.
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