The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Student health clinic reopens, Covid-19 resource

Elizabeth Gregerson
The DePaul student health clinic is located at 1150 W. Fullerton on the Lincoln Park Campus.

As the once familiar cold and flu season has transformed into Covid and flu season, public health officials say it’s important for students to commit to prioritizing their health.  

Beginning June 12, DePaul policy no longer requires students to receive the Covid-19 vaccine or wear masks indoors. The university recommends that students monitor themselves for symptoms and stay home when sick. 

“If you’re sick you’re sick. I don’t know how else to put it,” said Tyler Wurst, director of DePaul’s Office of Health Promotion and Wellness “We don’t want that person going to class and coughing on desks and breathing on other people.”

The DePaul Community Health Team emailed students, faculty and staff with reminders on how to stay healthy this fall. The Sept. 22 email offered general health and wellness information and encouraged community members to talk to their health care provider for more individualized advice. 

For students who find themselves without a designated health care provider, the DePaul Student Health Clinic is an option.

The DePaul Student Health Clinic is at 1150 W. Fullerton Ave., in the same building as the Lincoln Park Library. Though DePaul does not run the clinic,the university facilitates a relationship with the clinic through the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness. 

Previously open to the public as Sage Medical Group, Ascension Health now runs the clinic and only serves students who have paid the DePaul Student Health Service fee.  

The fee is not related to the student health insurance plan becoming available fall 2024. 

 The $60 DePaul Student Health fee is included in the housing costs of students living on-campus. Students who live in University Center in the Loop and commuters can opt in to the DePaul Student Health Service by paying the fee on their Campus Connect account. 

The DePaul Division of Student Affairs website explains that the DePaul Student Health Service fee is meant to “cover acute illnesses and injuries” and does not cover “long-term monitoring and treatment.”

 The fee is paid quarterly and will only cover students care when classes are in session. The fall 2023 fee covers care at the clinic from Sept. 7 to Nov. 22. Students must pay the fee again during the 2024 winter and spring quarters to receive care. 

DePaul freshman Akiya Mauldin wasn’t aware that DePaul had a clinic for students on the Lincoln Park campus; instead she usually goes to a Walgreens community clinic when feeling sick.

As a commuter student, Mauldinwould have to travel to Lincoln Park and pay the quarterly $60 fee to access the clinic. Despite those barriers, Mauldinwas still open to attending the clinic. 

“Yeah, that is something I’d do,” Mauldin said.

Julia Lippert, an assistant professor in DePaul’s Health Science Department, said she hopes students understand the importance of their choices. 

“We learned firsthand during the pandemic that our actions impact others and if we all sacrifice some comfort and personal freedoms, we can ensure the safety of those around us,” Lippert said. “The DePaul community is the ‘public’ in Public Health and we owe each other respect and consideration.”

To reduce the spread of illness, the Sept. 22 community health email urgesthe DePaul community to stay up to date on vaccines, stay home when sick, practice proper hygiene and follow CDC isolation guidelines by wearing a mask after testing positive for respiratory illnesses such as Covid-19, RSV or influenza. 

Lippert encourages her students and others to speak to their professors when they know they can’t attend class. 

“Faculty are usually willing to work with you if you are unwell,” Lippert said.  “Typically that means physically and mentally. We can’t help you if you don’t reach out.”

Wurst emphasized the importance of students communicating any illness-related absences to instructors as early as possible.

“I know sometimes students will miss the class and then the next day be like, ‘hi, I missed because I was sick,’” Wurst said. “Unfortunately, professors don’t always respond as favorably to that.”

The DePaul Student Health Clinic doesn’t currently provide Covid-19 vaccinations, meaning students will need to make vaccination appointments at a pharmacy. Students can text their ZIP code to 438829 for information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on how to get a Covid-19 vaccine. 

Similarly, the clinic is not a walk-in Covid-19 testing site. Students can order free at-home Covid-19 tests from the federal government. 

If a student wants to seek care at the DePaul Student Health Clinic and has paid the DePaul Student Health Service fee, they can call the clinic at (224) 273-7805 to schedule an appointment. The clinic is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Students will reach a 24-hour nursing line when calling after 5:30 p.m.

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