Return to Campus

Return to Campus

Updated September 24, 2020 10:05am - Office of Risk Management & Emergency Preparedness

Western Illinois University is committed to creating a campus environment focused on your academic success and health. We plan to welcome you to campus this fall with some adjustments to ensure proper social distancing as well as safety measures to limit exposure and person-to-person contact. This page has been developed to provide information related to the process and procedures of returning this fall 2020. As more information is provided and announced, it will be posted on this dedicated webpage.

Individuals with questions, comments, or constructive feedback can email In addition, a comments/concerns form has been established for easy submission.

Face Coverings >

  • All students, faculty, and staff will be provided (2) University themed 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.
  • Face coverings will be required to be worn in all University owned indoor spaces. In addition, coverings must be worn in outdoor spaces except when seated and maintaining social distancing of no less than 6 feet.
  • Additional face coverings will be made available for purchase at the University bookstore.

Social Distancing >

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm’s or 2 bulldog's length) from other people.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
  • Observe the occupancy of rooms and maintain all furniture configurations and space setups that maximize social distancing.
  • Follow the directions on signage and appropriate enter and exits signs for each building.

Health & Hygiene >

  • Western is committed to testing all members of the WIU community for COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Wear a face covering when around others.
  • Take your temperature daily.
  • Monitor your health and report symptoms immediately.
  • Consider getting the flu vaccine.

Academics >

  • The fall semester will begin on August 24, 2020 with face-to-face instruction ending Friday, November 20, 2020.
  • Coursework will be delivered both in the physical classroom and through other alternative methods.
  • Many classrooms have been outfitted with technology to provide an enhanced online experience.
  • Classes will have a mandated seating chart and attendance taking policy to aid in the event of contact tracing.
  • Classrooms have been reconfigured for proper social distancing to allow for proper space between professors and students.
  • Study Abroad Programs have been suspended for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Campus Life & Events >

  • A variety of engaging events will occur throughout the semester both in-person and virtually.
  • Residence Halls will be open with new guidelines.
  • Campus Dining centers will be open with a variety of carry-out options and limited seating.
  • Campus Rec will be open with restrictions to ensure safety.
  • Meetings and other in-person gatherings will be permitted with capacity limits and require the submission of a room request.
  • Fall sports have been postponed until the spring.

Facilities & Environment >

  • A variety of different signage, decals, and markings will be used throughout campus to ensure proper social distancing and navigating procedures are followed.
  • Elevators on campus will have limited capacity, in most cases (2) occupants. 
  • Access to buildings will feature 1-2 centralized entrances depending on building.
  • Reception and transaction spaces will be relocated and/or be outfitted with plastic shields to allow for proper distancing.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols will be implemented in all areas of campus.
  • Mechanical systems are being adjusted to assist with air circulation.

Travel >

  • All University-affiliated travel is restricted until further notice with the exception of essential business travel.
  • When travel is deemed permissible, individuals must follow CDC guidelines for traveling.
  • The University is requesting all individuals to disclose personal travel.
  • The University is asking all individuals not currently on the WIU campus to voluntarily quarantine a minimum of 14 days before coming to campus in August.
  • All Study Abroad travel is canceled until further notice.

Quarantining and Isolation >

  • Bayliss Hall is been designated as the official location for students needing quarantine and isolation accommodations.
  • The University has developed an efficient and easy to follow process to move students to quarantine and isolation following notification of a positive test, those who are symptomatic, and those who have been in close contact to individuals with COVID-19.
  • Quarantine and isolation space is not limited to just on-campus students and will accept off-campus students as well.
  • WIU personnel and resources are available for around the clock assistance for those in quarantine and isolation and will help answer questions, wellness checks, assist with notifying instructors of class absences, ordering meals, etc.