Return to Campus

Face Coverings

Individuals with questions, comments, or constructive feedback can email covid-19@wiu.edu. In addition, a comments/concerns form has been established for easy submission.

Who has to wear a face covering, and when?

All staff, faculty, and students will be required to wear a face covering in all campus indoor settings, including classrooms, dining centers, elevators, conference rooms, computer labs, laundry rooms, and other common areas. Face coverings are optional in outdoor spaces on campus for anyone who is fully vaccinated or for anyone who is not fully vaccinated but who can maintain the appropriate (minimum 6-feet) physical distancing.

Face coverings do not need to be worn when the following occurs:

  • When in a private office or workstation that has proper distance from others or alone in a space.
  • Designated areas within the Campus Recreation Center and Athletic Weight Rooms.
  • Students do not need to wear their face covering when inside their residence hall room.
  • When seated and eating/drinking in a University dining facility or the University Union.
  • Face coverings are optional in outdoor spaces on campus for anyone who is fully vaccinated or for anyone who is not fully vaccinated but who can maintain the appropriate (minimum 6-feet) physical distancing.When in a private office or workstation that has proper distance from others or alone in a space, face coverings do not need to be worn.
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Face coverings do not replace required job-specific PPE, such as medical/procedure masks, respirators, or face shields or any other type of mask needed to perform one’s job safely. The University face covering policy also requires contractors, vendors, suppliers and any other guests doing business on campus to wear a face covering when entering all WIU buildings as well as in hallways, elevators, public spaces and common areas.

To ensure that every member of the University community has a proper face covering, WIU will make cloth face coverings available for students, faculty and staff members at the University Union Service Center. Individuals are not required to wear the university-provided face covering and can purchase and/or wear any face covering that is appropriate and that meets CDC guidelines .

Additional face coverings may be available for the University community by contacting WIU’s Risk Manager at RMEP@wiu.edu. The University Bookstore also has face coverings available for purchase.

Students who need accommodations should contact Disability Resources in the Student Development and Success Center (SDSC) at SDSC@wiu.edu or (309) 298-1884.

Employees who need accommodations should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at EOA-OFFICE@wiu.edu or (309) 298-1977.

Appropriate Cloth Face Coverings

Individuals may wear any face covering that is appropriate and that meets CDC guidelines.

Per CDC guidelines, face coverings should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
  • Completely cover the nose and mouth.
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops.
  • Include multiple layers of fabric.
  • Allow for breathing without restriction.
  • Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.

A face shield is not a suitable substitute for a face covering. They can be worn as additional protection in conjunction with a face covering but do not, in isolation meet the requirement for wearing a face covering.

Western Illinois University endeavors to provide a safe, inclusive, and equitable environment for its employees and students. It is the expectation of the University that any and all content on a face covering be non-offensive, non-discriminatory, and does not display text or image(s) that will harm the reputation and integrity of Western Illinois University.

Administrators, University officials, and supervisors reserve the right to determine appropriateness.

Putting On/Taking Off the Face Covering

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering.
  • Avoid touching the front of the face covering.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing the face covering.
  • Wash hands immediately after removing.

Care, Storage, and Laundering

  • It is recommended that cloth face coverings not be used more than one day at a time and must be washed after daily use. They should be replaced immediately if soiled, damaged or visibly contaminated. 
  • Keep cloth face coverings in a paper bag when not in use.

What if I forget my face covering or it rips/tears?

In a majority of campus buildings, there will be a designated site that will have extra face coverings to provide to those who forget theirs, the covering rips, etc. Supplies will be limited in these locations, so individuals should make every effort to have their face coverings with them. Individuals who are found taking advantage of this process will not be issued a replacement face covering and will be asked to leave campus.

Face Covering Distribution Site Locations

Enforcement

Individuals who disregard safety measures will be subject to disciplinary action consistent with Western Illinois University’s Human Resources and Student Conduct procedures. Faculty and staff have the ability to request that a student leave their class or activity if they are found to be in violation of the campus policy and after a reasonable effort has been made to rectify the situation.

Concerns or comments regarding individuals not complying should speak with their supervisor (if applicable), or report it to the University Risk Manager.

It is not appropriate to notify law enforcement.