Health and Wellness

No institution—government, corporation, school, or any other entity—can guarantee the complete safety of their employees and those they serve. In short, the pandemic imposes an inherent risk to all that cannot be eliminated. However, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate risks associated with and reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus, and Illinois Tech has developed plans for our spring 2021 reopening that aim to accomplish this. Information on these plans are outlined on our main Campus Reopening website. This site covers topics ranging from testing to masks to social distancing guidelines. Of course, in order to be effective, these plans require all individuals—faculty, students, and staff—to take proactive steps to protect themselves and others, including, but not limited to, practicing social distancing, monitoring health, wearing face coverings, staying home when not feeling well, and regularly washing hands.

If a student, faculty or staff member believes they are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, university policy requires that they either (i) get tested and self-quarantine until they have received their test results, or (ii) remain in self-quarantine for 10 days from the date of symptom onset. (A student, faculty or staff who tests positive must self-isolate for 10 days.) Accordingly, students, faculty or staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19, been in contact with someone who has tested positive, or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not attend class or work until they have satisfied either criteria (i) or (ii) above. In such circumstances, students are expected to work with their professors to request extensions on coursework and/or to reschedule exams if their illness impacts attendance, the ability to participate in the course, and/or the ability to complete assignments and exams as per the established schedule. 

All members of the Illinois Tech community are expected to follow city, state, and federal guidelines for social/physical distancing. At a minimum, this currently means that people are expected to keep a 6-foot distance from others and to wear masks when social distancing is not possible.

Yes. The university is also working in conjunction with several local higher-education consortiums.

Illinois Tech will follow the City of Chicago’s guidance, which can be more restrictive than the state’s guidance but not less. A possible exception may be our campuses in Bedford Park and Wheaton, in which case state guidance may prevail.

Since March 2020, Illinois has taken concrete action to slow the spread of COVID-19. For example, Executive Orders were issued banning large gatherings as early as March 13, closing K–12 schools as of March 17, and requiring residents to shelter in place beginning on March 21 through much of the summer. Illinois and Chicago have also developed comprehensive, multi-phased reopening plans. Although subject to change, Illinois and Chicago have moved into Phase 4, which states that no gatherings should exceed 50 people or 25 percent of the space's occupancy capacity, whichever is less, so long as public health guidance is followed, including, but not limited to, social distancing protocols and the wearing of face coverings.

University leaders are working to prepare for a variety of future contingencies, including future outbreaks. For example, the university has designated space for students who may need to quarantine. From the date of the Illinois governor’s shelter-in-place order to the end of the semester, more than 500 students needed to remain in on-campus housing. The university operated campus housing in accordance with public health protocols, and it educated these students on these safety protocols. These measures—and the students’ compliance with them—helped to prevent an outbreak on campus.

The university has planned, and will continue to plan, for the possibility of another increase in COVID-19 infections throughout the city and state and the effect that increase might have. Illinois Tech will continue to work closely with city and state public health officials. If a future shelter-in-place order is issued, the university will comply with it, and will be able to move classes online for the remainder of the semester so that students are able to continue their studies and earn their credits.

As was the case with the spring 2020 semester, should it become necessary for students to leave the residence halls, housing fees would be prorated based on the time spent in campus housing. However, as instruction will continue to be offered, grades issued, and credit earned, tuition and fees will not be refunded.

Yes, this is our current intention, as long as they are over 2 years of age and medically able to tolerate wearing a mask.

The CDC does not recommend using masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent.

Though many students will have their own masks, and the university strongly encourages them to utilize their own masks, we plan to provide masks for any student who needs one. Disinfectant spray and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the campus, and plexiglass barriers will be in place at cashier/customer service stations and in classrooms, where necessary.

Yes, we aim to have hand sanitizers in common areas of all buildings.

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • - Before, during, and after preparing food
  • - Before eating food
  • - Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • - Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • - After using the toilet
  • - After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet 
  • - After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • - After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • - After handling pet food or pet treats
  • - After touching garbage

September 25, 2020

The Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) is now open for in-person visits! 

The SHWC has a check-in and screening area located in the northwest corner of the IIT Tower lobby (next to the auditorium). This area will be the first point of contact for all appointments and open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. All students who have an in-person appointment or those who would otherwise walk in should report to this area. 

During the check-in process, students will be assessed and either sent to the SHWC on the third floor or to the COVID Care Clinic, which is located in a trailer adjacent to the Minerals and Metals Building. The new COVID Care Clinic is equipped to provide care for students who are exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19. 

Appointments are preferred. If a student walks in and through the pre-screening process and a discussion with a SHWC representative their issue is not deemed urgent, they will be asked to call to make an appointment. All counseling and psychiatry appointments will remain remote for the duration of the fall semester. 

We look forward to serving you this semester. Please call 312.567.7550 with any questions or to make an appointment.

Counseling and psychiatry appointments will remain virtual for the duration of the fall semester. If the need for immediate mental health support should arise, students should call 312.567.7550 to schedule a same-day mental health triage appointment.

All of the center’s normal services, both physical and mental, will be available, as well as COVID-19 testing.

Counseling and psychiatry services that can be accessed online will be available through the Student Health and Wellness Center. Services are provided via a HIPAA-compliant video conferencing platform to ensure privacy.

Answered by Dean of Students Katherine Stetz during August 19 Town Hall:

Yes. All students are required to submit proof of vaccination to the university. Students who are up to date on their vaccinations can simply upload proof of vaccinations at medproctor.com. Those who need to receive vaccinations are encouraged to obtain one at any Walgreens or CVS pharmacy. However, the SHWC will have appointments available beginning August 31. Students can call the center or email at student.health@iit.edu. Please check in with the staff in IIT Tower Lobby (behind the elevator bays) for your appointment.

Student health insurance is provided through Aetna. Insurance premiums are set by the insurer based on utilization rates, both by the covered entity (which in our case is the Illinois Tech student body) and across all entities insured by the insurer. In addition to the general increase in utilization rates over the past year, there was also a significant increase in the utilization rate by Illinois Tech students, all of which contributed to this year’s premium increase.

Answered by Vice President for Facilities and Public Safety Bruce Watts during August 19 Town Hall:

It is very important, and is our expectation, that all members of our community, including staff, faculty, and students, voluntarily comply with the public health protocols not only on campus but also when they are away from our campuses. Our commuter students, our faculty, our staff, and our residential students need to comply with the public health protocols, whether on or off campus, to minimize the risk of an outbreak which may force us to go completely online again.  

These protocols apply to everyone, not just staff, as the question was worded. Administrators and supervisors have been coached to reinforce the protocols across campus and will be frequenting classrooms and public spaces to ensure compliance. Individuals who are seen not complying will be reminded and counseled. Repeat and/or willful violations will be handled through the applicable employer or student discipline process. All of that said, this will be most successful as a cultural community awareness approach where everyone participates in a positive way, rather than something that is completely dependent on a rules and infractions approach. So, we all need to set the example and protect one another. 

Students in our residence halls and in Greek houses must also understand that the state’s definition of “family unit” status in terms of public health protocols is limited to roommates. This means that roommates do not need to wear a face covering while they and only they are in their room, but that face coverings must be worn outside the room and/or when a non-roommate is in the room. It is wrong to think that everyone in a Greek house or a residence hall wing is considered part of a family unit and, therefore, does not need to wear a face covering while anywhere in the house or the residence hall wing. Recent news reports indicate that outbreaks at other universities are associated with campus residence halls and/or Greek houses. So, more than just rules, this is critically important to stopping the spread.

The university uses the definition supplied by the CDC, which is being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period) starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

The university using CDC definitions of these terms. “Self-isolation” separates infected individuals from people who are not infected. “Self-quarantine” separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID or otherwise might be infected, to see if they become ill and prevent spread.