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FAQs for students: COVID-19 response

On Mar. 13, Dr. Kate Vincent, associate dean for academic affairs, issued this list of frequently asked questions for UIC Nursing students. The aim is to further clarify university and college responses to the coronavirus situation

In addition to the FAQs below from Assoc. Dean Vincent, Dean Weaver also recorded this video message for students. 

How will students and faculty be updated about the ever-changing status of COVID-19 as it pertains to UIC Nursing?

  • The Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs (VCHA) and other key administrators are meeting regularly; this includes UI Health’s key infectious disease physicians. This team will make decisions regarding hospital care as well as business continuity with regard to our mission.
    Visit UIC’s central COVID-19 policies page
  • As these groups make decisions, we will email the faculty, staff, and students at the College of Nursing to keep everyone updated. Please regularly check your email.
  • This COVID-19 situation is unprecedented, most of us have not experienced anything like this before. We care about your health and wellness. We also trust you to know what is best for you and your friends and families.
  • We know this is a trying time and we are instituting the CDC guidelines for social distancing and good hygiene.

Are classes at UIC Nursing cancelled?

  • NO, classes are not cancelled. We are gradually transitioning in-person classes to online instruction.
  • This transition to online instruction must be completed by March 30 but we hope courses will be transitioned by next week.
  • You will be notified by your instructor/professor when your classes have moved to online instruction along with details for accessing the online materials.
  • Until you receive notice when your class has transitioned, you are to attend class as usual. Classes will still be held on campus until they are converted to the online version.

Are we still having our simulations and skills labs in the Lab?

  • Yes, laboratory simulation will proceed as they have been unless notified by your instructor.
  • For your protection, we will divide classes into small groups throughout the simulation/skills lab to allow for social distancing.
  • Faculty and staff in the lab are also completing daily wipe down of all used manikins, exam tables and counter tops.
  • Students should wipe down their work spaces in the sim lab at the ends of their class / simulation.

Are we still having our scheduled clinical hours?

  • Yes, for now, all students, faculty and staff should report to clinical and work as usual. The College of Nursing and the university are open.
  • We will notify your faculty immediately if we are notified of changes to your clinical experiences. Please watch for communication from your instructor/professor.
  • In the event that our clinical partners suspend student clinical rotations, we are developing alternate experiences such as online simulations and an increased number of simulation experiences in the lab.

Are there any restrictions on travel?

  • All University-supported international and domestic travel is banned.
  • Private international and domestic travel is discouraged.

Is there anything else students / faculty / staff can do to maintain a safe environment?

So that we maintain a safe environment, please heed the following from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations for prevention, which include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Keep track of all university-level updates related to the COVID-19 response via UIC’s central COVID-19 policies page.