Return to Campus

Return to Campus

Updated January 29, 2021 8:23pm - 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 spring 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 spring 2021. 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.

Vaccine Information >

  • Vaccinations will be administered following protocols set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Vaccinations will be performed by the McDonough and Rock Island Health Departments, McDonough District Hospital, and other area QC hospitals.

Testing Information >

  • Free tests are available on the WIU-Macomb and WIU-Quad Cities campuses throughout the semester.
  • Continued partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health for additional testing opportunities.
  • A strategic plan of baseline and surveillance testing for members of the WIU campus community throughout the spring semester.

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.

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.

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.
  • All Study Abroad travel is canceled until further notice.

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.

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.
  • 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.
  • Leatherneck sports will proceed spring semester with guidelines and protocols specific to each sport and contest.

Academics >

  • The spring semester will begin on Tuesday, January 19th with face-to-face instruction ending Friday, May 14th.
  • 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.

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.

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.