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March 20, 2020

Dear faculty, staff and students:

Today, Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order for residents of Illinois, part of the state’s ongoing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. The order will be in effect through April 7 to keep people home as much as possible and minimize the person-to-person contact that has fueled the global pandemic.

Because of actions we have taken to date, the governor’s order is very consistent with what we are already doing. Faculty and students are transitioning to online and alternative learning mechanisms for the rest of the semester and many of our employees are already working remotely. It has been a herculean effort and we are grateful to all members of our campus communities who have worked so hard to enact such a swift changeover.  

Going forward, we will add the following to comply with the new order:

  • Employees will work remotely other than those in essential jobs defined in the order, such as police, healthcare workers, power plant operators, and housing and dining personnel. Employees who have specific questions about whether this announcement changes their current working arrangement should ask their supervisor.
  • Unless in essential jobs, faculty and staff should stay at home except when pursuing essential activities related to healthcare, pharmacy and grocery shopping, gas stations, banking, drive-through and carry-out restaurants, and home-based care for children and seniors.
  • Students, we are here for you and we are so proud of you! Please help us prevent transmission by staying in your residence halls, apartments, and permanent homes as much as possible while we clamp down on this virus. And use the technologies that you are so good at to stay connected to our universities.

Now, let’s keep showing the way. Our healthcare professionals at UIC and across the state are on the front lines, caring for patients while addressing the epidemic. Faculty across our three universities are sharing their expertise with the Governor’s Office, including an Urbana-Champaign epidemiological study that demonstrates how heightened social distancing can slow the outbreak and prevent a shortage of intensive-care unit beds across the state. In fact, Gov. Pritzker has praised the U of I System’s contributions, which also include providing up-to-date research on the control of infectious diseases, emergency preparedness and public health.

All of you share the credit. Thank you for your concern and compassion for each other and for embracing our collective responsibility to curb the spread of the virus across this state that we are so proud to serve. 

Sincerely,

Tim Killeen, President, University of Illinois System
Barb Wilson, Executive Vice President and VP for Academic Affairs, University of Illinois System
Robert J. Jones, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Michael D. Amiridis, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Susan J. Koch, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Springfield 

Additional resources:

University of Illinois System
Urbana-Champaign
UIC
UIS