Return to Campus

Face Coverings

Individuals with questions, comments, or constructive feedback can email 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 must also be worn in outdoor spaces.

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, face coverings do not need to be worn.
  • Students do not need to wear their face covering when inside their residence hall room.
  • When eating or drinking in a University dining facility. Compliance with appropriate physical distancing must be observed.
  • In outdoor spaces when seated and maintaining social distancing of no less than 6 feet.

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.

Even if an individual has recovered from COVID-19, they must adhere to the University's face covering policy.

WIU will provide each student, faculty member and staff member with two cloth face coverings. Individuals are not required to wear the university-provided face covering and can purchase and 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 The University Bookstore will also have face coverings available for purchase.

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

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

How will I receive my WIU-provided face coverings?

  • Students residing in university owned residence halls will receive their face coverings upon check-in.
  • Students residing off-campus or who commute to campus will be able to pick them up at the Service Center of the University Union from 8am-8pm Monday-Saturday & 10:30am-6:00pm Sunday
  • Faculty, staff, and students attending the WIU-QC campus will receive their face covering at the front desk of Riverfront Hall.
  • Employees will receive their face coverings from department heads.

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


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.