University News

WIU: COVID-19 Updates {Updated 10/20/20}

October 20, 2020


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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – With five weeks left in the Fall 2020 on-campus academic experience at Western Illinois University, the COVID-19 team and the Office of Risk Management are revising protocols and procedures to ensure the safety of the University community as cases are on the rise in WIU's service region. WIU officials also remind the University community that, as previously announced before the Fall 2020 semester started, classes will move to a remote-only format following the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov. 30-Dec. 18).

"We understand that people may be feeling some 'COVID fatigue' and there are so many messages coming at all of us every day; however, it's critical that we do not become lax in what we should be doing to protect ourselves and protect others," said WIU Risk Manager Joe Roselieb. "Think about others – your parents, your grandparents, compromised friends and family members – if you do not take the precautions for yourself, think of others."

Testing

Testing will continue through Friday, Nov. 20 at both the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses. Students, faculty and staff who receive an email regarding surveillance testing are expected to take advantage of the free test opportunities that are being made available. On the WIU-QC campus, free COVID-19 saliva test kits for faculty, staff and students will continue to be distributed at Riverfront Hall's east entrance. In addition, there is mandated testing being put into place for specific residence hall floors based on the number of positive cases reported in that community. Residence hall students who are notified must follow the instructions provided.

Individuals who are experiencing symptoms, or who are in quarantine, should contact Beu Health Center at (309) 298-1888 or their primary care provider for further instructions.

Quarantine and Isolation

Students, faculty and staff who test positive must remain in isolation for at least 10 days. Individuals who are placed in quarantine due to being in direct/close contact with a positive case must remain in quarantine for 14 days and should not be in contact with others. Individuals in quarantine cannot "test out" of quarantine. Antibody tests will not be accepted as a valid excuse to opt out of isolation or quarantine. More information related to quarantine and isolation can be obtained here.

Events/Gathering Participants Further Limited

Effective immediately, any gathering, meeting, event or in person program may only have 25 or fewer participants (Note: This does not affect classes). Individuals who are planning in-person events and meetings, must complete a centralized scheduling form.

All events and meetings are reviewed to ensure consistent safety procedures are being implemented and must be approved before proceeding. It is recommended that all information is submitted at least three weeks before an event. For more information, click here.

Dining Centers/Union Food Court Move to Carry-Out Only

In-house dining is no longer available in the dining centers and Union Food Court. All food purchased from residence hall dining centers and the University Union is now carry-out only. Seating is not available.

Face Covering Requirements

Face coverings are required in all campus indoor settings, including classrooms, dining centers, elevators, conference rooms, computer labs, laundry rooms and other common areas. Face coverings must also be worn in outdoor spaces, except under certain situations. Individuals who refuse to wear a face covering in a classroom, office space, or inside the library, will be asked to leave.

For more information regarding face coverings on the campus of WIU, please view the official campus policy here or the Return to Campus information page here.


Flu Shot Clinics

Student flu shot clinics continue and will be held in the Spencer Student Recreation Center from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21; Tuesday, Oct. 27; Thursday, Oct. 29; and Tuesday, Nov. 10.

The Rock Island County Health Department will also offer walk-in flu vaccination clinics inside the health department, 2112 25th Ave., Rock Island. The clinics are 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Oct. 20, Oct. 27 and Nov. 10. For more information, visit https://richd.org/

Macomb-area employees and retirees who were unable to attend the Oct. 8 clinic should contact the McDonough County Health Department.

Travel

The University encourages individuals to minimize travel out of the Macomb and QC regions as much as possible through the conclusion of the in-person semester. Faculty, staff and students who have an essential reason to travel on behalf of the University can request permission by completing a request form. Employees and students are also being asked to VOLUNTARILY disclose travel so that University administration can work with the individual on the best way to return to campus following travel. Individuals do not need to fill out the form to indicate they are leaving for the semester.

University Housing

All halls will remain open during Thanksgiving Break this year (Monday, Nov. 23-Friday, Nov. 27). Students living on campus received an email Oct. 7 regarding Thanksgiving Break and leaving campus for the remainder of the semester. Students have the option to remain on campus until Friday, Dec. 18, or they may leave campus by 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20. The break housing fee will be waived for students who choose to remain on campus the remainder of the semester; however, students who remain on campus through Dec. 18 will not receive a prorated housing credit. Students who choose to leave for the remainder of the semester, but need to stay until 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21 must complete the University Housing Late Stay Request Form on STARS.

On campus students should check their WIU email for information on how to submit their response if they choose to stay on campus or leave campus for the remainder of the semester.

Returning to Campus Following Break

It is strongly encouraged that once students leave campus for the break, they do not return until the Spring 2021 semester. However, the University understands that there may be some circumstances that require an individual to return to campus, and students may return if there is an essential need to do so. Information related specifically to student employment will be forthcoming. Individuals returning to campus who live in on-campus housing must follow all of University Housing and Dining Services (UHDS) procedures for remaining on campus.

Updates & Information

For more updates and information on the University's COVID-19 response, along with protocols and procedures, visit wiu.edu/coronavirus.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations