Risk Management and Emergency Preparedness

COVID-19/Coronavirus Information

The U.S. national emergency to the COVID-19 pandemic ended April 10, 2023, when President Biden signed a bipartisan congressional resolution, and a separate public health emergency expired on May 11, 2023. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an end to the global health emergency on May 5, 2023.

The CDC, McDonough County Health Department, and the Rock Island County Health Department continue to be a sources of health information for COVID-19 for our campus communities.


There is no testing requirement for Western Illinois University students, staff, or faculty.

The University encourages individuals to test if they experience any COVID symptoms. Home testing kits are widely available a local pharmacies and grocery stores. The CDC also offers a no-cost COVID-19 Testing website at https://testinglocator.cdc.gov/. At this time, Western Illinois University has discontinued offering free COVID-19 test kits at on-campus locations.

Members of the campus community are also encouraged to visit local Health Department websites as testing and vaccination information is frequently shared.

Health and Illness

  • CDC Exposure Guidelines: If you have been exposed to COVID, follow the current CDC guidelines

    CDC updated Respiratory Virus Guidance recommends that people stay home and away from others until at least 24 hours after both their symptoms are getting better overall, and they have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication). Note that depending on the length of symptoms, this period could be shorter, the same, or longer than the previous guidance for COVID-19.

    Please visit the updated Respiratory Virus Guidance website for additional information.

  • If you need professors/instructors notified that your absences are illness related, please email SDSC@wiu.edu.

  • Notify your supervisor (NOTE: The COVID-19 Paid Leave Program that was previously offered to eligible employees in accordance with the Illinois Public Act 102-0697 ended on May 11, 2023. Employees will need to use their own accrued sick leave or other appropriate paid leave or unpaid leave for missed work time due to illness. 
Health Resources
  • If you have a health emergency, please contact 911.
  • If you are a student and have a non-emergency health question, please contact Beu Health Center.
  • If you are a faculty or staff member and have a non-emergency health question, please contact your primary care physician.
Leatherneck Care Referral

Western Illinois University is committed to the emotional and physical well-being of all students, as well as their academic success. The Division of Student Success offers an easy-to-use tool to share non-emergency related concerns about student behaviors and potential barriers to success. In conjunction with this system, if an individual learns that a person made need assistance due to illness, they can submit a Leatherneck Care Referral. To learn more information or to submit a Leatherneck Care Referral, please reference the Retention Initiatives website.

Mental Health Resources

Now, more than ever, mental health is an important part of your overall wellness. The Pandemic had a direct impact on many people, and there are many resources available to you to help.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health or substance crisis, Dial 988 for 24/7 connection to confidential Crisis Support. You may also text 988 to connect with a trained crisis counselor who can help.  If it is an emergency situation, please dial 911 for emergency services. 


There is no COVID-19 vaccination requirement for Western Illinois University students, staff, or faculty.

Members of the campus community interested in learning more about COVID-19 vaccinations can visit the CDC vaccination website for additional information.

Members of the campus community are encouraged to visit local Health Department websites as vaccination information is frequently shared.

Face Coverings

Please remember that members of our WIU community who prefer wearing a face covering are welcomed and encouraged to do so. As a campus community we should respect others choice to wear a face covering and make every effort to help others feel comfortable on campus.

Campus Precautions

Western Illinois University continues to adjust protocols and procedures on campus to create a safe environment for the campus community.

Ventilation Systems
  • The University’s buildings are equipped with a variety of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Most recirculating air systems are equipped with MERV 8 filters, with some buildings accommodating higher efficiency filters. WIU Mechanical Maintenance continues to replace filters in building systems that accommodate MERV13 filter ratings.
  • Facilities Maintenance continues to replace HEPA rated filters that according to space square footage have been placed in classroom settings where MERV13 filtration is not available. Facilities Management personnel will assess the need for such devices in campus locations.
  • When possible, maintenance personnel will recalibrate and adjust systems to maximize outside air flow in all buildings, while at the same time continuing to control temperatures to ensure comfort. It is recommended that windows are not opened in classroom spaces, so that buildings can be properly and efficiently climate-controlled.
  • If desired, faculty can request a podium shield by sending a request to Facilities Management through their respective building representative.
  • Instructors may determine if they require face coverings in their classrooms and must communicate accordingly. It is recommended that this expectation is included within their class syllabus.
  • In places where there is a reception or transaction location, a plastic shield is optional. To request a shield, offices should send a request to Facilities Management through their respective building representative.
  • Carry out food options are available in each of the dining facilities on campus.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout both campuses in common area locations.
  • Public area cleaning and disinfection is performed every normal business day.
  • Areas needing guidance on cleaning should contact Building Services at (309) 298-1834 or facilities@wiu.edu.