Information for Staff and Students

COVID-19

Information for Staff and Students

COVID-19

A Message from Executive Dean Mark Rosenblatt

August 20, 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19

The University of Illinois College of Medicine, in concert with the University of Illinois at Chicago, continues to monitor the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. The College of Medicine is taking the necessary precautions to provide a safe environment while continuing our daily education and research activities.

Learn more at the UIC website about COVID-19, where you will find campus updates, UIC resources and community support information, and additional links to information about COVID-19.

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

For Students

Fall 2020 Update

On June 18, University of Illinois President Tim Killeen announced overall plans for the fall term across the system’s three universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield. The College of Medicine plan incorporates all the elements of this plan pertaining to instructional strategies, campus life, testing and notification, and campus safety as detailed in that message, and summarized below. We are also following to the extent appropriate to medical education the principles detailed by UIC Provost Susan Poser, which allow courses that “have been identified by the college deans … as having learning goals that require live instruction will be scheduled live on campus if at all possible.”

With these principles in mind, the educational leaders at all our campuses have developed the plans for each of the four medical school classes.

For the Class of 2023 (rising M2s), we can now confirm that we will be conducting significant portions of your M2 curriculum on campus in the fall. This will be a hybrid curriculum, with large group activities conducted online, but with significant portions of clinical skills education and various small-group activities conducted in-person. An explanation of how the various components of the curriculum will be conducted is available below:

The newly matriculated Class of 2024 will not be required to come to campus this fall.  All curricular components will be available online, as detailed below. To the extent that the fall M1 curriculum has included clinical skills instruction requiring in-person interactions, these learning activities will be deferred until students are on campus. Meanwhile, the faculty and administration will attend to details of the online curriculum to ensure that there are many opportunities for community-building and acculturation to the College of Medicine. We do anticipate conducting the spring 2021 curriculum, beginning in January, on campus.

The Class of 2021 (the rising M4 class) re-entered clinical clerkship settings on June 8, and have as of last Friday completed a supplemental clinical experience to augment the clerkships they were engaged in during March-April and were interrupted by the pandemic surge. As of this week, the previously established Academic Year 2020-2021 calendar applies. There are several adjustments, as on the national level, to the usual conduct and calendar of the M4 year. There will be, for example, no extramural rotations available to our students or to students visiting from other schools at least through November 1. The Class of 2022 (rising M3 students) completed their Transition to Clerkships activities last week and began the core Phase 2 clerkships on Monday.  As with the rising M4 students, adjustments to the usual rotation calendar have been previously communicated in detail to all students.

Throughout, in both classroom and clinical settings, we will ensure compliance with all COVID-related safety measures. Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily, and In-person courses and classroom schedules will be adjusted appropriately to ensure physical distancing and safer traffic flow. We recognize that the pandemic is still evolving, so our plans will be flexible and nimble, as emphasized by President Killeen in his message. We are actively monitoring conditions in all currently active clinical education settings, as well as in the community, and will remain vigilant through the fall as students return to classrooms as well. The safety of students, faculty, and staff remains our highest priority.

Extramural Rotations and Visiting Students

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly disrupted the conduct of medical education, on a global scale. While University of Illinois College of Medicine students usually explore a variety of domestic and international rotation opportunities during their final year of medical school, and the College likewise hosts a number of students from other schools on our campus, this year’s educational experiences must necessarily be approached very differently.

The College of Medicine endorses and will follow the recommendations of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which discourage away rotations for medical students, with limited exceptions. The AAMC recommendations can be found at https://www.aamc.org/what-we-do/mission-areas/medical-education/away-rotations-interviews-2020-21-residency-cycle.

Click to view the College policy.

You will find here guidance on accessing information and care for UI medical and graduate students who have questions about possible COVID-19 exposure and/or medical services. There are also recommendations on contacting Student Affairs at your site should you need to be away from the curriculum for health related reasons.

Some basics:

  • When you call, please identify yourself as a medical or graduate student seeking information for your own healthcare.
  • Coverage for these services if needed is provided under Student Health benefits or your Insurance benefit as for other illnesses, and can be clarified by the appropriate clinic.
  • The phone number on the diagram for Telephone Triage is the place to start for non-emergent information and care.
  • Details of CampusCare coverage
  • For UI COM students whose secondary insurance is a plan other than CampusCare, details of your plan coverage can be found at the plan website.

International and domestic travel poses risks for exposure to COVID-19. For students planning travel, currently traveling, or recently returned:

  • If you have traveled recently to any CDC level 3 countries (currently South Korea, China, Italy and Iran, but check here), whether for professional or personal reasons, must contact Student Health Services at 312-996-2901 and will be required to self-quarantine off-campus for 14 days BEFORE returning to campus. More information about the Self-Quarantine Protocol can be found online.
  • All international rotations or other international travel on university business should now be cancelled.
  • We are discouraging both international and domestic travel for personal reasons. Please consider the risk of being quarantined upon your return, resulting in postponement of a clerkship or other on-site activities, should your destination become an area at risk in the meantime.

Guiding Principles

The Volunteer Guiding Principles are meant to maximize personal safety while volunteering. The document is reflective of input from students, faculty, and College of Medicine leadership across the campuses and is in response to the requests and opportunities for medical student volunteers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Information

If you are not already on a roster of student volunteers, and you would like to sign up to volunteer within the College of Medicine and/or UI Health, please send an email to Beth Wrona Murphy ([email protected]) with your name, year, contact details, and availability, and we will expedite the volunteer registration process in order to enable you to participate more immediately.

For any general questions regarding student volunteering during the COVID pandemic or any questions regarding a specific opportunity, please also contact Beth Wrona Murphy ([email protected]).

Viral Transport Medium

Dr. Bellur Prabhakar has been tasked with providing Viral Transport Medium (VTM) for use in our state’s COVID-19 testing efforts.

Volunteers are requested to report to campus, under Dr. Prabhakar’s guidance/supervision, to work in his lab on the eighth floor of the College of Medicine Research Building. There will be NO direct patient contact, and we will schedule only three volunteers at a time to allow for appropriate social distancing within the lab space.

Volunteers will engage in a simple procedure of using a biosafety cabinet to dispense 3ml of the medium into a vial for packaging. Volunteers will be asked to work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (including lunch break). If your schedule requires flexibility, but you remain interested, we can discuss scheduling you for part of the day. At the moment, we are looking to schedule volunteers for this week – and can determine the frequency for need moving forward.

Please contact Dr. Prabhakar directly via email with interest: [email protected]

21st Center Good Neighbor Program

The University of Illinois Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy and Public Health are collaborating with Lifescape Community Services to develop the 21st Century Good Neighbor Program to alleviate senior citizen social isolation and fear/anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis. They are looking for student, faculty, and staff volunteers to make phone calls to Lifescape clients who reside in Northwestern Illinois (8 counties). The purpose of this program is to identify concerns/questions that Lifescape clients may have about health care and social issues.

Volunteers are asked to commit one hour of time per week to check-in on Lifescape clients by making weekly phone calls (phone call scripts will be provided to guide these phone conversations). All volunteers will need to complete the following training :

  • Zoom session training (30 minutes). A schedule will be sent to volunteers.
  • Complete and sign volunteer application package

Please sign up using this Google form

Mile Square Food Pantry Delivery and/or Case Management

Mile Square Health Center is looking for student volunteers to help with case management for the Mile Square Food pantry and also to assist with packaging and distribution of food. Volunteers are asked to commit approximately 2 to 8 hours/week. If you are a student at the College of Medicine and you have interest in helping with this project, please contact: Dr. Sodabeh Etminan at [email protected]

Or, you can sign-up via the Google Doc sign-up sheet.

For Everyone

The Centers for Disease Control has issued various travel recommendations, including certain restrictions on entry to the United States from certain countries. You can learn more from the CDC website on travel as well as the CDC’s FAQ for Travelers. We ask that individuals carefully consider their destinations for personal travel and investigate restrictions or quarantine measures that may be recommended or required by the CDC upon arrival or return.

Events and Gatherings

The College made the difficult decision to not conduct in-person Match Day events across its campuses. Instead, virtual Match Day festivities took place.  Students received their Match Day results via email. Visit the Match Day 2020 website to see more.

The traditional day when prospective students who have interviewed initially with the College of Medicine and are welcomed back for a second visit will have in-person visits canceled. Efforts are being made to arrange virtual visits.

The College of Medicine celebrated traditional events such as Match Day, campus convocations and commencement virtually.

The College conducted its first-ever live virtual commencement on Friday, May 8.