Human Resources

COVID-19 Coronavirus Info for Employees


Updated: May 16, 2022 11:50am

Keeping our employees and entire Western Illinois University community safe is a top priority.

Updates will be posted to WIU’s Coronavirus webpage at: wiu.edu/coronavirus.


Individuals with questions can email covid-19@wiu.edu.

With information changing at a rapid pace, it is recommended that you visit www.cdc.gov or www.dph.illinois.gov for more information and FAQs related to the coronavirus COVID-19.


Resources and Links

Frequently Asked Questions

What will be expected of employees when working on campus?

  • Adhere to safety protocols: wear face coverings in common/public spaces, wash hands frequently for no less than 20 seconds, maintain social distance, etc.
  • Clean areas and equipment as noted under safety precautions.
  • Avoid using other employee’s phones or equipment and sharing items that are not easily cleansed, sanitized or disinfected.
  • Close public and/or common areas such as breakrooms and conference rooms to minimize contact by multiple people.
  • Hold meetings virtually.
  • Pay attention to your health. If you are sick or believe you may have been exposed, stay home and follow your doctor’s instructions. Employees who suspect they have or been diagnosed with COVID-19 should not report to work and follow instructions from health officials.

What if I need additional reasonable accommodations due to underlying conditions outlined by the CDC?

Western Illinois University EOA and Human Resources Offices will work with employees who need additional accommodations to the best of their abilities. Employees should fill the following form to begin this process: https://bit.ly/WIUCovidAccommodations.

What should an employee do if they do not feel well?

As with any illness, WIU recommends that employees who do not feel well stay home and, as needed, seek medical attention. Employees should notify their supervisor of their absence due to illness and follow their department’s normal time off protocols in accordance with University policy.

If you believe you have been exposed to coronavirus, you should follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Can supervisors send home employees who appear ill?

Supervisors can suggest that an employee go home or seek medical treatment. If the employee chooses to go home, they should report time away from work in accordance with University policy. Employees who exhibit symptoms of acute respiratory illness symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, sneezing, sore throat, or fever of 100.4 degrees or greater) at work during a pandemic should leave the workplace.

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) restricts inquiries a supervisor/employer can make regarding an employee’s medical status. Supervisors should not ask for personal medical information from employees.

What should supervisors do if an employee does not show up to work or report their absence?

Supervisors should follow their normal departmental protocol for an employee that fails to appear for work without properly reporting it.

What should an employee do if they are diagnosed with or come into contact with someone who has a confirmed or presumptive positive case of COVID-19?

Employees with a confirmed or possible case of COVID-19 should follow the latest guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, with the below exception.*

Employees who have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 should follow the latest guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, with the below exception.*

*At WIU, employees are cleared to return to campus at the conclusion of 10 days past the exposure date or date of positive test.

Proof of the need to quarantine or isolate should be provided to the supervisor.

Employees who are able to work remotely on a temporary basis due to quarantine or isolation, or the quarantine or isolation of a dependent, may do so with their supervisor’s approval. Human Resources does not need to be notified of these temporary arrangements.

Employees whose positions do not support remote work, or are too ill to work, should report any absences from work on their time card as sick or vacation leave per University guidelines.

Please contact Human Resources at 298-1971 with questions about specific circumstances.

If employees or supervisors have a concern about exposure in the workplace, please contact Human Resources. The University will maintain confidentiality and work with WIU Risk Management to determine exposure to other members of the WIU community.

Why hasn't the University adapted isolation and quarantine times of 5 days as outlined by the CDC?

At this time, the University is remaining with a 10 day quarantine and isolation period for several reasons.

First, as the University expects thousands of individuals to return to campus all at once during the first few weeks of the spring semester, it is imperative that the health and safety of the campus community remains the top priority. By adhering to the 10 day protocol, we are better ensuring that those who are infected or who may be asymptomatic are completing a thorough quarantine and isolation period that provides better protections on a college campus where congregate living and face-to-face activities occur each day.

Secondly, as part of the 5 day guidance, individuals are expected to take an antigen test following their 5 days of isolation or quarantine. At this time, the University, like many others, does not have access to antigen testing supplies. We are working diligently to locate these supplies, as well as develop the reporting process for the results. As the University completes Gateway testing for the first 3 weeks and reestablishes a new "baseline" where we know all individuals have been tested and/or screened, we will reevaluate the status of the University and make any necessary changes.

Are there resources available to employees that feel anxious and show signs of stress due to the infectious disease outbreak?

Yes. Information on coping with stress during infectious disease outbreaks is available at: http://www.wiu.edu/human_resources/coping_stress.php. WIU’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), ComPsych, will provide support to employees experiencing anxiety and stress. Employees can speak with a clinical professional 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All services are free and confidential. More information is available at ComPsych (member web ID code: Stateofillinois)

What can employees do to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus for themselves and the campus community?

All employees should be implementing routine preventative actions: wiu.edu/coronavirus (What can I do for prevention against COVID-19?). Supervisors should consider what steps or practices they could take or implement to keep the workplace as healthy as possible.

Can the University require an employee to self-quarantine?

Yes. To protect the health and safety of our employees and students, the University can require an employee to self-quarantine as needed.

Will employees be allowed to use their accrued sick and/or vacation leave during the pandemic?

Yes. Employees should request time off from their supervisor and report any absences from work on their timecard as sick or vacation leave per University guidelines. It remains the supervisor’s responsibility to confirm accurate time reporting.

How do employees find out their available leave balances?

Employees can view their sick and vacation leave balances by logging on to the WIUP system and clicking the TIME: Time Reporting button, followed by the Sick/Vacation button.

Can employees that are concerned about being exposed to COVID-19 not come to work?

Employees are encouraged to utilize available methods of University leave. If employees wish to request time off from work, they must follow existing departmental policy by requesting time off from their supervisor. Requests for time off are subject to supervisory approval based on operational needs.