NEWS

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November 13, 2020

University Reports 68 New Cases of COVID–19, Releases New Travel Guidelines as Chicago Sees New Wave of Virus

“Six Feet Apart” : Dots placed around the University Quad to help students keep their distance.

“Six Feet Apart” : Dots placed around the University Quad to help students keep their distance.

Abigael Thinakaran / The Chicago Maroon

The University has reported a total of 68 cases of COVID–19 this week, according to the most recent UChicago Forward update. 15 of the University-administered tests this week were positive out of 4,371 administered.

This week’s total case count is more than double last week’s 32 cases, a figure that includes both on- and off-campus university members, but not medical center personnel. The Contact Tracing Team has identified 53 close contacts, or about 0.78 contacts per positive case, this week, up from last week’s figure of 0.72 contacts per case. As of November 12, the University has seen 269 cases of the virus affiliated with its campus community since September 18.

Students living off-campus should not return to campus between Thanksgiving and winter quarter and should not host any non-essential visitors in light of the worsening COVID–19 situation in the city of Chicago, per an email from Provost Ka Yee Lee Friday afternoon.

The email comes one day after the city of Chicago implemented a new stay-at-home advisory in reaction to a spike in COVID–19 cases in the city. In response to the city order, Provost Lee emphasized new travel guidelines and limitations for on-campus work and specified that in-person classes will continue as planned through the end of next week in an email sent to the University community on Friday afternoon.

The University is discouraging unnecessary travel over the upcoming holidays and recommends limiting gatherings to immediate family members. In addition, students currently residing off-campus are not permitted to visit campus between Thanksgiving break and the beginning of winter quarter, unless given express permission. Students staying on campus over the break will continue to have access to campus and their UChicago Dining plan.

Provost Lee said a new “work-from-home approach” will remain in effect through winter quarter at the earliest, promising further guidance before the beginning of winter quarter. In-person work is limited to tasks that must happen on campus, such as laboratory research. Additionally, non-essential visits to campus are not permitted, effective through at least January. 

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The University will release additional guidance by week’s end, according to a spokesperson.

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November 12, 2020

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