Testing/Screening

Except for those individuals required to get tested in accordance with the City of Chicago travel guidelines, we do not expect to require all members of the community to get tested before the spring semester. The university's random-testing program has allowed us to track the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community, and we plan to continue with this approach as needed in the months ahead.

For students who become symptomatic or have been deemed to be in contact with someone who tested positive, Illinois Tech will be offering rapid COVID-19 testing in our on-campus care clinic.

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

Our original schedule for testing using Matrix Medical was devised to screen our community and assist many to get a test prior to arriving on campus. The Mies Campus offered three days, and one day of testing at Conviser Law Center, the week of August 17. We have added August 21, September 9, and September 21 to the testing schedule, and all spots have filled.

We are currently working with Matrix Medical to add at least one additional date prior to September 9. More information is to come.
We wanted to offer the “screening” testing option so that we could calculate and monitor the positivity rate on our campus. This rate will assist us in making decisions about the operations of campus.

The second step to our testing strategy is to have a point-of-care unit on our campus. This will allow those who have either come into close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms to get an immediate test and results within the hour. We are expecting our BioFire machine and testing modules to arrive next week. This service is scheduled to be available the week of August 31.

In addition to everything we have done and will do on campus, we are also encouraging those who have not been tested to use local resources. President Cramb actually went to Loop Medical Center this week—Loop Medical Center at 1921 South Michigan Avenue (loopmedicalcenter.com). It is an official IDPH COVID-19 testing site. He scheduled his appointment online in three minutes, visited the location on 19th and Michigan, and was in and out within 10 minutes.

We have also stated that all members of the Illinois Tech community who plan to be on campus after September 8 show proof of a COVID-19 test by September 4. Those who are not able to comply with this expectation may be required to leave campus.

Yes. Checking your temperature, like regularly washing your hands, is one of those actions we can all take to mitigate the spread of the virus. The university plans to follow applicable city and state mandates with regard to temperature checks. These mandates have not yet been finalized.

The university is piloting four devices in four different locations during the summer session. We anticipate increasing the number of locations in the fall to accommodate our students. These devices will be available for self-use so that anyone can check their temperature at any time. Unless the city and state mandates differently, no personal information will be captured by the thermal cameras.

If a student observes that they have a temperature above 100.4 degrees, they will be encouraged to have a telemedicine consultation with a professional in our Student Health and Wellness Center. The student may then be asked to come in for testing. Everyone with such a temperature should also minimize contact with others to the extent possible.

Faculty and staff will be advised to contact their healthcare provider for further guidance.

To the extent possible, COVID-19 testing will be available through the Student Health and Wellness Center for students who wish or need to be tested. The university has also established a COVID-19 Care Clinic.

The university will follow all applicable privacy and HIPAA laws to ensure the privacy of our community.

The university will, to the best of its ability, use contact-tracing and reporting methods.

A. Once someone is confirmed as infected with the virus, contacts are identified by working with the student to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact (defined as 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).

B. Illinois Tech personnel will contact Illinois Tech community members to inform them they may have had contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus. To the extent possible, Illinois Tech personnel will work directly with the affected student to assist in making contact with those who are not Illinois Tech community members. Communication to those who may have had contact with an infected person will include information based on applicable public health guidance about common symptoms, a recommended plan of care, and information on seeking medical attention.

Students who have a health request for accommodations should contact the Center of Disability Resources, which will engage and interact with students regarding their circumstances and possible options. Other health and safety concerns can be directed to the Office of Student Affairs at dos@iit.edu.

Those who believe they fall under this category may have the option to work and/or to take classes remotely, if possible, or other possible accommodations to minimize their contacts with other.

To reduce transmission among the Illinois Tech community, the university will, subject to space restrictions, the commercial availability of supplies, and other relevant circumstances, be guided by the following:

1. Sick students/employees should stay home and not come to campus. 
2. Students who live on campus and are ill may be eligible for a temporary living space to self-isolate.
3. Routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs will be increased.
4. We will notify individuals of the expectation that they practice social distancing protocols to the extent possible.

Students who are living on campus are expected to submit documentation that they have been tested for COVID-19 by Monday, August 24.

Essential staff and faculty currently working on campus are also expected to submit their documentation by August 24.

Students who are registered for in-class instruction and/or plan to visit campus are expected to submit their documentation by September 4.

Faculty and staff who will be returning to campus starting on September 8 are expected to submit their documentation by September 4. Faculty and staff starting after the week of September 8 are expected to submit their documentation no fewer than five days prior to their start date. 

COVID-19 tests are valid only at the time of testing and do not predict the potential for future infection. The aim of this initiative is to establish a baseline positivity rate against which to compare ongoing assessments of our positivity rate. This information will be used in conjunction with other relevant data to determine and evaluate any spread of the virus on campus and to be able to compare that to the infection rate in our larger Chicago community.

We have explored using the saliva COVID-19 viral test to screen all students, faculty, and staff to get baseline positivity. It appears that test will not be available to us through our partner until October at the earliest. We therefore contracted with Matrix Medical Network, a premier COVID-19 testing company, to provide screening viral test using nasal samples. We will also have point of care (POC) testing available for any member of our community who presents symptoms. This is in addition to the state and city testing sites and private testing facilities that are available throughout the Chicago region.

Our current plan is to have Matrix Medical come to Main Campus every two weeks to assess the positivity rate of our campus community.

We have not yet worked through all of the details, but our current plan is to seek to randomly test 300-plus members of our community using on-campus testing every two weeks. Our current expectation is that it will take about five minutes to take each sample. Based on this, we believe our initial plan will be to provide a one- to two-hour window for individuals to walk in and give their samples.

The SHWC will perform the POC test (nasopharyngeal), and test results will be available in two hours (approximately). The POC test is primarily intended for students who are showing symptoms or who have had contact with someone who has tested positive. Matrix Medical will also test using nasopharyngeal sampling, and those results will be available in two to three days.

The times given above reflect the time by which we estimate being able to deliver results to students.

No. If VanderCook College of Music staff, faculty, and students, who are not also staff, faculty or students at Illinois Tech, wish to pursue benefits at Illinois Tech, then they will need to have their leadership approach our university and negotiate that.

Illinois Tech  has decided that it will be using part of the most recent generous gift from Board of Trustees Chairman Michael P. Galvin (LAW '78) to cover up to $1 million of student out-of-pocket COVID-19 testing expenses, starting at the beginning of the fall semester. The university will, however, ask any student who is eligible to apply for COVID-19 testing coverage and/or reimbursement through their insurance to do so, particularly for those students who are tested and are symptomatic.

Illinois Tech will reimburse out-of-pocket travel costs up to $20 related to obtaining a COVID-19 test. A receipt is required for reimbursement, so please save that documentation. We will not reimburse for mileage or gas for a personal vehicle. One reimbursement per student will be granted during the fall semester. 

Students can apply for travel reimbursement by clicking here. If you have questions, you can email covidcosts@iit.edu.

Our cost for POC tests will be roughly $135 per test. As noted above, up to $1 million from Chairman Galvin’s gift will go to support student out-of-pocket costs. Again, any student who is eligible to apply for COVID-19 testing and/or reimbursement through their insurance will be asked to do so.

Once you have your COVID-19 viral test results, students should report results to medproctor.com, while faculty and staff should report their results to Viktoria Rill in the Office of Human Resources at vrill@iit.edu.

  • Any faculty or staff member with Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage can be reimbursed for the full cost of a COVID-19 viral test at any in-network provider. For the purposes of the required pre-opening COVID-19 testing, and for those purposes only, the university will allow individuals to use regular work hours to get tested. 
  • Any student, faculty, or staff member can also obtain a COVID-19 test at any state testing site at no cost. Travel costs up to $20 will be reimbursed, and details on requesting reimbursement will be provided shortly. 
  • Another alternative is to schedule a test at a Chicago Department of Public Health testing site. Again, travel costs up to $20 will be reimbursed.

Answered by Provost Peter Kilpatrick during August 19 Town Hall:

Given that it is impossible to test everyone simultaneously, we recognize that the mass testing at the beginning of our school year is helpful for establishing our baseline positivity rate and to catch as many positive cases as possible. Of course, all persons who test positive will be mandated to self-isolate for two weeks, and we will, consistent with public health guidance, seek to contact trace all with whom they were in close contact. Thus, we will allow students, staff, and faculty access to campus if they have been tested by September 4. However, after September 4, those who have not demonstrated proof of testing will not have public access to campus and will have to engage our campus community virtually.