Re-Entry Frequently Asked Questions

For comprehensive information, read the Spring 2021 Re-Entry Plan before returning to campus.

Before Coming to Campus

What do I need to do before returning to campus?

1) Read the Re-Entry Plan for detailed information.

2) Students, staff, teaching faculty and researchers will be required to self-screen for symptoms on a daily basis using the Student COVID Screening Pass. Depending on your results, the pass will provide you with approval to return to campus or direct you to schedule a COVID-19 test.

3) We highly recommend that all students on campus participate in the biweekly University Campus COVID Screening Test. Click here for more details.

If you are having issues logging in to the daily self-screen pass, please contact the IS University Help Desk using any of the options below.

  • Call 312.563.2527 (3-CLAS)

  • Email

  • Walk-up assistance at METC on Floor 9 of AAC


Is it safe to use public transportation? What about carpooling?

We encourage campus members who use public transportation or participate in carpooling or ride-sharing to read and follow the CDC Protect Yourself When Using Transportation guidelines.

Campus Entry

What do I need to know about re-entering AAC?

The designated entrance to AAC is from the 4th Floor, near the bridge from the parking garage. The first floor of AAC will remain closed.

A thermal scanner has been installed on the 4th Floor entrance from the parking lot. The attendant at the information desk will be monitoring everyone entering the building and providing a hospital approved mask for anyone who needs one.

If you are arriving via public transportation, the Rush shuttle or on foot, use the Atrium, Professional Building or Parking Garage elevators to access the 4th Floor. You must bring your ID to gain entrance.

Will masks be required

Yes, hospital grade approved masks are mandatory on the Rush campus at all times unless you are eating, in which case, social distancing is required. Masks must be covering your mouth and nose at all times, unless you’re in a designated area to eat and drink. 

Where can I get a mask?

Hospital approved masks are provided to every person entering a building on the Rush campus. If your mask is lost or soiled during the day, return to the entrance to obtain a replacement. Reminder: cloth masks are not approved for use in any Rush buildings.


How often will classrooms be cleaned?

Classrooms will be cleaned and sanitized once a day, at the end of the day. Disinfectant cleaning wipes will be available in all classrooms. It is recommended that you wipe your desk and chair before and after use. Masks will be required for everyone inside of the building, and hand sanitizer is available at multiple stations on every floor in AAC, as well as in all open classrooms, labs and study spaces.

Will equipment used for instruction and testing be sanitized?

Yes. Equipment will be sanitized once a day, while computer testing labs will be cleaned before each testing session. Disinfectant cleaning wipes will also be available in these spaces at all times.

How frequently will bathrooms be sanitized?

Bathrooms in AAC will be cleaned three times per day. If needed, the bathrooms can be cleaned more frequently.

With study spaces at reduced capacity and social distancing requirements, will there be a place for students to go if there is a break between classes?

Study spaces will be used with reduced capacity on floors 2, 5, 7 and 9. Rules will be posted in these spaces on how to maintain social distancing guidelines. If you are not on campus for in-person classes or on a clinical rotation, please study off campus.

How do I get to the bookstore?

The first floor entrance to AAC will remain closed, so the AAC elevators should be used to access the bookstore.

Health and Testing

What should I do if I test positive for COVID at a non-Rush facility?

Contact your program director, and email and inform them of the positive test. They will provide instructions for quarantine and return to campus clearance.

Please review this flowchart for instructions for next steps after developing COVID-19 symptoms or received a positive test result.

If one student in class tests positive for COVID, will all students need to be tested and quarantine at home?

Everyone should be wearing a mask while in class or lab because this is considered a low risk exposure and therefore the rest of the class would not need to be quarantined. Follow all recommended infection prevention and control practices, including wearing a facemask and actively monitoring yourself for fever or symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If symptoms develop, immediately self-isolate and follow protocols outlined in the Student Guidelines for Re-Entry.

Not wearing a mask on campus without approval may be viewed as not adhering to the Rush University Student Conduct Policy found on the Student Complaint Portal under the “Policies” heading.

In the event that you were not wearing a mask and a classmate or anyone else in close proximity to you tests positive for COVID, you will need to quarantine at home. Your program director will ensure that this does not reflect on your attendance for any clinical or laboratory experiences.

Detailed information about how and when to quarantine can be found on the CDC website.

If I test positive, how do I keep up with class work?

Please contact your program director or course instructor to create a plan for ongoing engagement in your coursework.

What will happen if there is another outbreak or stay-at-home order?

If there is another COVID outbreak that requires us to implement stay-at-home precautions, all instruction will be delivered remotely. In-person labs and clinical rotations may be suspended in order to protect the health of students and those in the medical center and our partner sites. Your program director will contact you directly if this affects your program of study.

What happens if the course director tests positive? What about staff working in the same office environment?

If a faculty or staff member tests positive, employee health will make recommendations regarding care for that person and will make recommendations regarding quarantine and testing. The course director and college dean will make recommendations regarding access to the course and ongoing teaching on a virtual platform until additional arrangements can be made, if necessary.

Who should a student contact if they are in a classroom situation they think is not respecting social distancing?

Immediately contact your faculty member or course director for any issues of non-compliance regarding masking, social distancing, or other safety measures outlined in the campus Re-entry Plan.

If students don’t feel comfortable approaching faculty or fellow students who are non-compliant, they should file a confidential and anonymous complaint using the student complaint process found here.

Filing an anonymous/confidential complaint would also be advised when an instructor is not properly managing a classroom where students are not compliant.

What are the exposure protocols for students in clinical rotations?

Students in clinical rotations should follow the same exposure and quarantine procedures as clinical workers at their site.
Students should also notify their clinical coordinator and follow the procedures for monitoring symptoms, testing or quarantine as determined by the clinical site.

What if I was exposed to someone with COVID-19?

If you have been in close contact with a person (less than 6 feet away for more than 15 minutes) who tested positive for COVID-19, you are required to quarantine for 14 days after your last exposure with that person, per the CDC guidelines. This is the preferred option for direct exposures.

In December 2020, the Chicago Department of Public Health provided guideance for two additional options for quarantine. If approved by your program director, Rush students may follow one of these options:

  1. Quarantine for 10 days from last exposure if you are asymptomatic.

  2. Quarantine for 7 days from last exposure if on days 5 or 6 you receive a negative COVID test, and you are asymptomatic.

    For these options, you must self-monitor for the remaining days, up to day 14, for signs and symptoms of illness. If you become symptomatic, you should be tested for COVID.

As of March 2021, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to isolate after experiencing an exposure to someone with COVID-19. The updated CDC guidelines advise that individuals are considered fully vaccinated two or more weeks after the second dose of a 2-dose vaccine or the first of a single dose vaccine.

What is the difference between quarantine times and isolation times?

Quarantine is for those who do not currently have COVID-19 or symptoms, but who have been in close contact with a person (less than 6 feet away for more than 15 minutes) who tested positive for COVID-19. In this situation, you are required to quarantine for 14 days per the CDC guidelines. This is the preferred option for direct exposures.

In December 2020, the Chicago Department of Public Health provided guideance for two additional options for quarantine. If approved by your program director, Rush students may follow one of these options:

  1. Quarantine for 10 days from last exposure if you are asymptomatic.

  2. Quarantine for 7 days from last exposure if on days 5 or 6 you receive a negative COVID test, and you are asymptomatic.

    For these options, you must self-monitor for the remaining days, up to day 14, for signs and symptoms of illness. If you become symptomatic, you should be tested for COVID.

Isolation is for those who have tested positive for COVID-19, or have symptoms of the virus. In this situation, you are required to isolate for a mimimum of 10 days from the onset of your symptoms and be fever-free for 24 hours. If you are asymptomatic, you should isolate for 10 days after your positive COVID test. If you are still symptomatic after 10 days, you are required to continue isolating and consult with a primary care provider.


Am I eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Rush University Medical Center is carefully following the vaccine distribution guidelines provided by the Chicago Department of Public Health. As of January 25, 2021, Chicago is in phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Students enrolled in Rush University programs that are typically in-person are eligible to receive the vaccine as part of phase 1A of the vaccine distribution plan.

Students enrolled in Rush University programs that are entirely remote, regardless of COVID-19 restrictions, are not eligible to receive the vaccine under the current guidelines. These students may access the vaccine in the future at RUMC when they qualify in a future tier. Please review the tier requirements on the CDPH website to determine eligibility.

Vaccine distribution is based on location, if you live outside of Illinois, please check your local department of public health website for vaccine information.

How do I schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at Rush?

Vaccine scheduling is available through the MyChart and My Rush apps. If you are eligible for the vaccine, you should find a scheduling ticket for the vaccine in your MyChart account. 

To schedule, click on the vaccine scheduling ticket in the app, choose the location that works best for you, and pick a time slot you can attend. Please note that you will need to complete both doses of a two-part vaccine at the same location.

I believe I fit the eligibility requirements, but I don’t see a scheduling ticket in my account.

The RUMC testing team has been working diligently to distribute vaccine scheduling tickets to all eligible individuals. If you believe you are eligible for the vaccine and do not have a scheduling ticket, please email The team will check your eligibility and respond in the next 1-2 days with information for scheduling.


How do I quarantine?
Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease before a person knows they are sick and means staying at a single designated home or dwelling for a specific number of days before doing any activities outside of the home or dwelling. People in quarantine should separate themselves from others as much as possible and check themselves for symptoms. According to the CDPH, additional requirements under quarantine include:

• The individual must not be in public or otherwise leave the dwelling that they have identified as suitable for their quarantine, unless seeking medical care.
• If seeking medical care or testing, or when traveling to or from the airport, train station, or bus station (if applicable), a face covering must be worn and public transportation must not be used.
• Food and other needed supplies must be delivered to the individual’s dwelling; the individual may not leave the premises to acquire supplies.
• The traveling individual or family group should be situated in separate quarters with a separate bedroom and, if possible, separate bathroom facility from non-traveling household members.
• The individual must self-monitor for symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19. If any symptoms develop, the individual may leave the dwelling to receive testing for COVID-19 but then must return to complete the 10-day quarantine while isolating from other household members, regardless of the test result.

Professionalism and Compliance

What am I required to do as a student regarding re-entry?

The expectation is that you will read the Spring 2021 Re-entry Plan, specifically the Guiding Principles, Student Guidelines and University Guidelines, and adhere to the policies.

You are also expected to participate in daily self-screening for symptoms using the COVID Screening Pass. If you are required to quarantine or self-isolate, please continue to conduct yourself with professionalism. We strongly encourage that you take these guidelines and policies seriously to protect your own health, and the health of your surrounding community.

I don’t want to miss in-person classes. What should I do if I only have one symptom?

If you need to stay at home or self-isolate because you develop a symptom of COVID-19, please be assured that your college/program director will develop a plan so that your academic progress can continue. Do not come to campus if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild or limited.

Do University policies and guidelines apply to me when I’m off-campus?

Your compliance with policies, both on and off campus, will prevent the spread of coronavirus. We strongly encourage you to take personal responsibility as future health care professionals to comply with public health measures such as masking, social distancing and self-monitoring for symptoms.