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The University of Illinois System is continuing to closely monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus. A COVID-19 Planning and Response Team was established in February to help coordinate the system’s response to and communication about the virus. In addition, the system’s three universities are monitoring their respective campuses and working with local community agencies to combat COVID-19.

The U of I System, each university, and UI Health have all created websites to keep their communities apprised of the latest communications and developments, along with answers to frequently asked questions, and contact information for additional concerns:

U of I System Advocates for Support and Federal Resources to Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic

The U of I System’s federal relations team has been actively tracking legislative developments surrounding COVID-19 and joining the broader higher education community in advocating for federal support for students and universities.

As Congress was preparing the third emergency supplemental funding bill, U of I System leadership sent a letter to the Illinois congressional delegation urging them to provide much-needed relief, including direct funding for students and universities, assistance for academic health centers such as UI Health, and regulatory flexibility. While we were grateful to see that the final CARES Act package contains some relief on the funding and regulatory side, additional relief is urgently needed.


The U of I System is sharing expertise and resources from across its three universities and healthcare enterprise to support the state’s efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The people of our state are facing an unprecedented challenge, one that is disrupting their lives and clouding the future,” U of I System President Tim Killeen said. “Their state’s flagship university system is here to help in any way possible, sharing its world-class resources to put this crisis behind us.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the U of I System is playing a key role in guiding the state’s response to the crisis and in continued planning to stem the outbreak. Read more here.


A team led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering and Carle Health has produced a prototype emergency ventilator to help address the expected surge in the need for respiratory care associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.


Engineers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have designed a face shield made from thin plastic that can be used by medical employees treating patients with COVID-19. These alternatives to masks take 20 seconds to produce and are being manufactured at UIC’s Engineering Makerspace. The face shields are helping ease shortages of personal protective equipment at UI Health facilities in Chicago. Read more here.


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory is fabricating and packaging hand sanitizer at industrial scale to help ease shortfalls. The lab produces several hundred gallons of hand sanitizer each day, which is then shipped to the University of Illinois at Chicago for distribution. Read more here.


The University of Illinois at Chicago is on the front line in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff began testing an antiviral drug on March 25 that could help hospitalized patients fight the coronavirus. The study will help determine whether an antiviral drug that was initially tested against Ebola in West Africa could lead to positive outcomes for those infected with COVID-19. Read more here.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alumnus Tom Siebel announced the creation of the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute, a public-private consortium focused on using artificial intelligence to solve complex problems. According to Seibel, the first goal of the institute will be to help find new ways to slow the current COVID-19 pandemic. University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering Professor Rayadurgam Srikant will serve as co-director for the institute. Read more here.


The U of I System understands the importance of participating in the 2020 Census and ensuring that our students are counted correctly, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ramifications for our campuses. Each university is participating in Group Quarters Enumeration, in which the university provides Census data for students living in university housing, private certified housing, and fraternities and sororities. 

Students who live off-campus are receiving information electronically to ensure they should be counted at the place where they would have been living most of the time as of April 1, 2020 (Census Day), prior to COVID-19 changes. 

We are following the updates closely as changes may occur and will continue to update and inform our students.


An archive of these email announcements is available here

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