Return to Campus

Travel

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.

Travel Policy

All University-affiliated travel is restricted until further notice; however, faculty, staff, and students who have an essential reason to travel on behalf of the University can request permission by completing a waiver form. Individuals are encouraged to avoid areas with high numbers of reported cases.

To reference the official University Travel policy, please click here.

Business Travel:

Official University travel for business is defined as any travel that is funded, either partially or entirely, by the University, regardless of the account type used.

The following University travel is deemed permissible:

  • Travel for the purpose of official university business.
  • Travel between the WIU Macomb and WIU QC campuses.
  • University business which involves visiting high school or other college facilities, so long as the visit complies with all protocols instituted by the entity being visited.
  • Travel for meetings at a partner business, so long as the visit complies with all protocols instituted by the business, and the total number of attendees is less than the maximum permitted per Restore Illinois guidelines or in effect as instituted by the University.
  • Intercollegiate Athletics teams travel is permissible under the guidelines and coordination from the NCAA, Missouri Valley Conference, and Summit League Conference.
  • Travel for the purpose of completing clinicals, student/block teaching, or an internship, so long as the visit complies with all protocols instituted by the entity being visited.
  • Travel for the purposes of military service.

Field Trip Travel:

The University understands the importance of outside classroom learning experiences and aims to support instructional based field trips with the following parameters being followed:

  • All Field Trip travel must be approved by the respective Department Chair.
  • The field trip has to be a supported course based trip.
  • Field trip travel is limited to travel within the state of Illinois and cannot be to a region of the state that is under more restrictive mitigations than that of McDonough or Rock Island Counties.
  • It is recommended that trips be planned locally where all participants involved can walk to the location.
  • Travel for all field trips is limited to the mode of vehicular transportation with no more than (2) individuals per vehicle.

The following University travel is not permitted:

  • Conference travel is not permitted. If conference travel is paid for through personal finances, reimbursement will not be provided to the employee and personal travel guidelines are to be employed.
  • All Study Abroad travel is canceled through the summer of 2021.
  • Organization or Club Sport team travel.
  • Any travel which involves attending a meeting, workshop, or event with attendance beyond that outlined in the Restore Illinois current phase or in effect as instituted by the University.

If essential business travel is approved, the following guidelines are expected to be followed:

Travel within the United States:
  • Individuals should avoid traveling by public or mass transit (air, train, bus, subway, ride share services, etc.) to the best of their abilities.
  • Individuals utilizing air transportation are advised to work from home for a period of 7 days upon return and to get tested 3-5 days following travel. If a test is not completed, individuals should stay home for a period of 10 days following travel.
  • Individuals are expected not to carpool or share vehicular transportation beyond (2) individuals per car.
  • Individuals must acknowledge and follow the CDC guidelines for domestic travel.
  • Individuals will be responsible for complying with all procedures and protocols instituted by the state/municipality/location to which they are traveling.
International Travel:
  • Individuals must follow the CDC guidelines for international travel.
  • Individuals returning from international travel are required to quarantine for 10 days before returning to campus classrooms and activities.

 

Personal Travel

Personal travel is defined as travel not funded by the University.

  • In conjunction with the Protect the ‘Necks Pledge, individuals should limit non-essential personal travel in order to protect the University community.
  • WIU encourages employees and students to review the travel chart below to best decide how they should travel and/or guidance on the necessary precautions they should take while on their trip and the best way to return to campus following their travel.
  • Individuals utilizing air transportation should quarantine for a period of 7 days upon return and to get tested 3-5 days following travel. If a test is not completed, individuals should stay home for a period of 10 days following air travel.
  • Individual travel that involves international travel are required to quarantine for 10 days before returning to campus classes and activities.
  • Individuals are encouraged to follow domestic travel   guidelines provided by the CDC .
  • The University strongly encourages individuals traveling to avoid public and mass transit such as air, train, bus, subway, rideshare services, etc.).
  • The University encourages students, faculty, and staff to consult travel advisories issued by the CDC and US. Department of State when traveling.

Commuting to Campus When Living Outside of Illinois

Members of the University Community whose permanent residence is outside of Illinois are expected to follow the Travel Policy with the following considerations:

It is the expectation of the University that when employees and students are performing personal activities such as dining, shopping, running errands, etc. that they at all times follow Illinois guidelines, as it relates to health and safety until the State of Illinois safely enters Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan. Such measures include the wearing of a face covering, maintaining appropriate social distance, etc. even if the business is located outside of the state of Illinois.

Student Travel

In conjunction with the Protect the ‘Necks Pledge and in the best effort to protect members of the WIU community, it will be recommended that student travel outside of Macomb and the nearby surrounding communities be kept to an absolute minimum and only be done when absolutely essential.

Activities and programs are being planned throughout the semester during weekend periods in an effort to keep students on campus. Traveling “home” for visits, work, and other activities is discouraged.

Travel Guidance and Resources

The intent of the COVID-19 related travel policy is to limit business travel to only essential business of the University as well as provide guidance and to work with those who decide to travel for personal reasons to ensure they are doing so in a safe manner to help protect others of the WIU campus community. Individuals will not be told that they cannot travel, but rather are encouraged to review the following chart and the  CDC  for guidance on the safest way to travel.

Travel Method Required Quarantine Recommended University Guidance

Air Transportation
Yes

Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. It is recommended that if possible, direct flights are booked and that you follow all protocols instituted by the airline that you are flying with and exercise caution during your trip. Upon return, individuals should take a COVID-19 test between days 3-5 and if the test is negative, quarantine for 7 days. If no test is completed, individuals should quarantine for 10 days before returning to campus.


Bus Transportation
No

Traveling on buses for any length of time can involve sitting or standing within 6 feet of others, which may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. It is recommended that that you follow the protocols instituted by the bus service you are traveling with. You should avoid direct contact with other passengers, such as handshaking. If you are within 6ft of others on the bus, it is recommended that you wear your face covering at all times and monitor for symptoms as you return to campus.


Train Transportation
No

Traveling on trains and subways for any length of time can involve sitting or standing within 6 feet of others, which may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. It is recommended that that you follow the protocols instituted by the train service you are traveling with. You should avoid direct contact with other passengers, such as handshaking, high-fiving, etc.. Individuals should avoid unnecessary trips to the restrooms or café cars during the trip. Remember to wear your face covering at all times and monitor for symptoms as you return to campus.


Vehicular Transportation
No

If you are going to travel off-campus and out of the area, personal vehicular transportation is recommended. Individuals should travel with those only considered in their “family unit” during trips. Making stops along the way for gas, food, or bathroom breaks can put you and your traveling companions in close contact with other people and frequently-touched surfaces, so it is recommended that you only stop when essential. It is recommended that you disinfect your vehicle frequently, especially if there are other passengers. Upon return to campus, individuals should monitor for symptoms.


Cruise Ship Transportation
Yes

It is recommended that all people defer travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide. Individuals who do decide to go utilize a cruise ship should follow all protocols instituted by the cruise line you are traveling with. Upon return, individuals should monitor for symptoms and quarantine for 10 days before returning to campus.


Ride Share Transportation
No

Just like public transportation, ridesharing can increase your chances of being exposed to the virus. It is important that your driver takes the necessary precautions to keep all passengers safe. You should avoid sharing with multiple individuals, other than those considered part of your “family unit”. When you are dropped off, you should disinfect or wash your hands immediately. Remember to wear your face covering at all times and monitor for symptoms as you return to campus.

Am I... Recommended University Guidance

Am I or those I will be traveling with be within 6 feet of others during or after the trip?

Social distancing has been found to be one of the best things that an individual can practice to mitigate their chances of COVID-19 infection and spread. At all times you should keep at least 6ft from other individuals you are interacting with. Avoid direct contact such as handshaking, hugging, etc… when you are interacting with others. Individuals should know that if they are within 6ft of another individual for more than 15 minutes, they could be considered a direct or close contact and required to quarantine for 10 days. Before returning to campus you should review whether or not you are able to properly social distance during your trip and if you were not able to do so, you should quarantine for 10 days.

Am I traveling to or coming from a location where I will be in groups of people of more than 50?

It’s important to remember that the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Individuals should use caution when going to events and if applicable, inquire about what COVID-19 safety precautions are in place. Try to limit your time at the event and avoid direct contact such as handshaking, hugging, etc… It’s important that you wear your face covering, wash or disinfect your hands frequently, and social distance. A COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool is also available to review and determine the risk level of attending an event, given the event size and location. It’s strongly recommended that before returning to campus, you review carefully the event you attended and if you felt that there were not enough precautions enacted that you quarantine for 10 days.

Am I traveling to a location that has seen an increase in COVID-19 related cases over the last 7 days?

Individuals should be aware of the current COVID-19 case count in the location they are traveling to. Caseloads rise and fall each day based on the number of positive cases in a given location. Utilizing the Global Harvard Health Institute mapping system, it is recommended that you review this system to determine the severity of COVID-19 cases in location you are traveling to. The CDC also offers a travel planner guide to assist in travel decisions. Other metrics such as modality of travel, what activities you will be doing when there, the number of individuals you will be around, etc… should all contribute to your decision as to whether or not you should quarantine upon return to campus.

Am I traveling Internationally?

Individuals should avoid non-essential travel internationally. If travel is deemed essential, travelers should reference their international location via the CDC website for further information and guidance. It’s important that during your travel you take necessary precautions such as wearing a face covering at all times, frequent hand washing/disinfecting, and keeping socially distanced. Upon return, individuals will be required to quarantine for 10 days before coming to campus.

Vaccination Status:  

We understand that as the semester progresses individuals from the campus community may have the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available. Individuals who are vaccinated must continue to follow the protocols and policies outlined by Western Illinois University until further notice.

Failure to Comply

Failure to comply with the protocols may result in disciplinary action through Human Resources or conduct processes. Disclosure of personal travel is voluntary, however, it is the expectation of Western Illinois University that all members of the University community will use safe and sound judgement when making travel related decisions.