Fall 2020 Instruction FAQ

After considerable thought, careful evaluation of possible scenarios and broad consultation, we have decided that we will resume on-campus instruction for the Fall 2020 semester in a manner modified to address the ongoing pandemic concerns. This semester will consist of a blend of in-person and remote instruction.

Along with a successful transition of our region of Illinois into Phase IV of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan, resuming on-campus instruction is predicated upon our ability to provide adequate COVID-19 testing for our entire community, of faculty, staff and students, coupled with a comprehensive plan that looks after the vulnerable, and aims at mitigating and containing any outbreaks. 

We don’t have all of the answers at this point, but we will update this resource throughout the summer as more details are finalized.

General Questions

Will the campus be returning to in-person and residential operations this fall?

Fall 2020 will be an on-campus semester with as much in-person instruction and residential occupancy as restrictions of space, health and safety allow. We will maximize in-person classes as much as possible, especially for courses such as labs and performance-based courses.

When will the fall semester take place?

The dates of the fall semester have not changed. View the dates of instruction through the Office of the Registrar.

Why are you choosing to offer in-person instruction instead of continuing to deliver all courses remotely?

As a public, land-grant university, our mission is to promote accessible and equitable research, creative expression and educational experiences for people from across the state and around the globe. These are enhanced by the opportunities, rich experiences and dialogue that happen on-campus.

 Is the university limiting the number of students on campus?

The level of in-person instruction and residential occupancy will be determined as restrictions of space, health and safety allow.

Will the university be ending in-person classes after Thanksgiving break?

We are still weighing different options and approaches to maximize the health and safety of our community. No decision about in-person instruction after Thanksgiving break has been made at this time.


Academics

How will instruction be offered to students who cannot or choose not to physically return to campus? Will I have the choice between online or in-person for each of my courses?

We will have online options for students who are not able or who prefer not to participate in face-to-face or on-campus instruction. We are working diligently to provide as many online options as possible for students who are unable to come to campus in the fall semester. We will be in touch with more information about course scheduling.

How many classes/class sections will be offered in-person?

We will maximize in-person classes as much as possible, especially for courses that require hands-on, active and peer-to-peer interactions such as labs, performance-based courses and discussions. Face-to-face instruction will be supplemented by online instruction. The level of in-person instruction and residential occupancy will be determined as restrictions of space, health and safety allow.

When and how will I find out if the courses I registered to take in the fall will be offered, or if I have to make changes to my schedule?

Your schedule, reflective of the modifications made by departments, will be viewable in Student Self-Service and myIllini starting on August 1. At that time, you should plan to review your schedule and to view your time ticket, which is the first time at which you can make schedule adjustments. You’ll want to look carefully to make note of any adjusted times, locations, and/or delivery modes. Course Explorer will be viewable to search updated course offerings beginning August 1. You’re encouraged to review your degree audit to ensure the requirements you intended to fill are being filled. Undergraduates with questions or concerns should consult with their academic advisors or college office, and graduate students should consult with their advisors or the Graduate College.

If I already registered for fall, do I have to re-register in August?

You may not need to make any further schedule changes; however, you should still review your schedule carefully in Student Self-Service or myIllini starting on August 1 to make note of any changes to time, location and/or delivery mode. These changes may necessitate a change in what you register for, or you may decide you wish to look for a different class.

How will I be able to tell if my classes moved online?

In reviewing your schedule in Student Self-Service or myIllini on or after August 1, courses will be identified as ‘online’ and they also will have no meeting location. You won’t be able to access the “Add/Drop” or “Register for Classes” menu options until your time ticket opens again, but you can see your schedule through Student Schedule-Detail or Concise or View Class Schedules menu options. 

How will August time tickets be assigned?

Time ticket assignments are based on the number of hours completed (including current enrolled U. of I. hours) and special group identification, according to campus policy as they are in the fall and spring. Your time ticket, the first point at which you can modify your fall schedule, will be viewable in Student Self-Service under Enhanced Registration/Prepare to Register.

What happens if I can’t get the courses I need this semester and my academic progress is slowed?

We continue to work with the colleges to make classes available to students. Your academic advisor can help you in case a scheduling conflict arises. We will also be paying careful attention as issues arise and can work with students in the spring semester to compensate for any challenging situations.

I am an incoming student and haven’t participated in a New Student Registration program. What happens?

New Student Registration programming has been shifted. Any colleges/departments with programs on the books during this time frame will be working with those students who signed up to move to another date whenever possible; if impossible, they’ll set up a day that works for you after the registration system opens again in August.

With social distancing requirements limiting maximum section sizes, how will you offer enough course options for everyone?

Classes that meet in-person will be in spaces that allow adequate social distancing between students and faculty. As an added precaution, for the health and safety of all, face coverings will be required in all campus spaces, including classrooms. Scheduling classes during traditionally under-utilized days and times will also offer more in-person capacity. We will be in touch with more information about course scheduling.

Where/how will large lecture/large classes be held?

Most large classes are likely to be online or incorporate online components, in accordance with the Restore Illinois plan guidelines on gatherings. Under Phase IV, gatherings with 50 people or fewer will be permitted.

Will facilities other than normal classrooms be used for learning environments?

One of the biggest challenges for fall instruction with social distancing is classroom space. As a consequence, we are looking at “nonstandard” spaces for class sections. An example of a nonstandard classroom space would be the Illini Rooms in the Illini Union. If we do use any nonstandard classroom spaces, it will be done only if the space is conducive to instruction and is accessible to students, faculty and staff with disabilities. We will not use spaces that are far from campus or inaccessible.

How late will classes end?

As with our current schedule, some class sessions, for example laboratories, might go as late as 10 p.m. on weeknights. We note that students will be able to build their schedule to avoid late sections if preferred. Students can also build time for meals into their schedule. Safety remains our highest priority. SafeWalks will continue to be available for students uncomfortable with walking on campus at night.

Will there be classes, discussion sections or labs after sunset on Friday? During the weekend? If there are, will there be religious accommodations?

We are working to provide maximum flexibility for students while simultaneously providing as many face-to-face instructional opportunities as we can. We are aware of religious concerns with Friday evening and Saturday course sections and are working to minimize these issues. In the rare cases where they arise, we will try to provide students with options that allow them to avoid class meeting times that are problematic.

Will the temporary grading and credit options put in place for the second half of the spring semester (credit/no credit, pass-fail conversion, etc…) be implemented again for the fall semester?

No. Special grading policies were put into place in the Spring 2020 semester in response to our very rapid transition to remote learning. We do not anticipate continuing any of these special policies in the Fall 2020 semester.


Tuition and Fees

If a student is unable to come to campus, will they still pay the same tuition and fees?

We have several fees that are dedicated to campus infrastructure and maintenance that are not tied to specific services and periods of use. These fees support permanent improvements that serve the entire university community such as classroom renovations, deferred maintenance for student-used facilities, debt service, bike paths and student scholarships.  As a consequence, some fees are associated with being on-campus, while other fees will be assessed whether students are on-campus or off.  We will clarify the fee schedule very soon.

We are dedicated to maximizing our desired learning outcomes regardless of course delivery. There will be no tuition adjustments for courses.

I am unable to come to campus. Will it be possible for me to enroll in two or three classes?

Yes. We recognize that it might be difficult for students to maintain a full-time class schedule with all online courses. We will provide the option for students who are  unable to return to campus to register as part-time. More information on this will be available soon.

Will there be additional funding available for students via the CARES Act, Dean’s Fund and/or Financial Aid? What if my financial situation has changed?

The Illinois Cares Student Assistance Fund has already provided more than $10M in aid for students with need arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will continue to administer this fund in the Fall 2020 semester. Please note that regardless of CARES Act funding, students who have had a change in financial need (for example, a parent lost their job) do have the opportunity to file a “Special Circumstance” request through the Office of Student Financial Aid to re-evaluate their need-based financial aid eligibility.


Health and Safety

What overall/new safety measures are in place for the students?

The university charged seven committees with establishing an extensive, campus-wide planning and implementation framework to maximize a safe, careful and deliberate transition back to on-campus operations. The SHIELD team is contributing to this comprehensive approach with scalable capacity for testing up to 10,000 individuals per day via convenient saliva-based sampling.

The committee has also developed a risk-weighted randomized testing algorithm to maximize the positive impact of this testing capacity; a hybrid strategy for manual and digital exposure notifications in partnership with CUPHD and Rokwire, respectively, to maximize speed and coverage to control outbreaks; and a personalized healthcare support in partnership with OSF Healthcare and the Pandemic Health Worker Program.

With these tools in place, it will be critical that individuals participate in the testing and notification programs and make personal choices that follow the guidance of public health professionals—including wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding large gatherings and staying six feet apart when possible. 

Will there be testing sites on campus for those who may want or feel they need a COVID-19 test?

There will be as many as 20 testing stations conveniently located across campus where individuals can submit saliva samples. Individuals will receive secure notifications through the Illinois app when it is their turn to be tested, and clear guidance will be provided if additional actions are necessary.

Saliva sample testing will be part of the standard entry and orientation for students returning to campus. Starting in July, there will be opportunities for faculty and staff to be tested and retested, as well. It is important for everyone to do their part to stay safe.

Will on-campus COVID-19 testing be free for students, faculty and staff?

Yes.

Was the saliva test developed by the university? Is FDA approval necessary?

Yes, the specific saliva test we will be using was developed by a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It builds on a strong and growing body of evidence also showing that saliva-based testing is both sensitive and accurate for COVID-19. We plan to pursue FDA approval for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s saliva-based test through the Emergency Use Authorization mechanism. This is not necessary for our lab’s utilization of this test at the discretion of our CLIA-certified Lab Director, but it will assist our efforts to enable more widespread utilization by other labs.

Will testing and the app available to people outside the university community?

The public is invited to download and use the free Illinois App for exposure notifications. We anticipate that University-based testing will be available to individuals outside the University community through a healthcare partner. Moreover, the State of Illinois, in partnership with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, is offering free COVID-19 testing at Market Place Shopping Center, 2000 N. Neil St., Champaign. More information here.

Will the university provide masks to students?

Yes, each on-campus student will receive two fabric masks. We also encourage students to supply their own masks. Everyone will be expected to wear face coverings when they are in public spaces and unable to maintain a safe social distance from other people.

Will there be extra hand-sanitizing stations on campus?

Facilities and Services is ordering and fabricating hand sanitizer stations that will be located at building entrances. Many units are also ordering extra hand sanitizer to share with their employees, students and visitors.

If someone on-campus tests positive for COVID-19, what plans are there for isolation and for contact tracing?

While Champaign-Urbana Public Health District will have oversight for all contact tracing efforts, the university will continue to partner with Champaign-Urbana Public Health District as we have whenever we have faced infectious diseases on campus. University Housing is reserving space in its facilities for any student living in University Housing who needs to isolate. Students who do not live in University Housing will be expected to isolate at their place of residence. Faculty and Staff will be expected to isolate at their personal residence using their sick leave benefits, as well as expanded leave benefits under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) available for employees to maintain pay status. Additionally, for those faculty and staff who can work remotely, if they are able to work during their isolation period, they certainly can continue to do so.

How will face covering requirements and social distancing guidelines be enforced? Will there be consequences for non-compliance?

Based on the governor’s Executive Order 2020-32 and advice from our local public health officials, the university has implemented requirements related to use of face coverings and social distancing in campus facilities and on other university property in response to health and safety concerns. More detailed information can be found here.

Will I be asked to leave a class or building if I choose not to wear a face covering?

Yes. Students, employees and visitors within University-owned or leased spaces and on university property may be asked to leave if they do not adhere to any required health and safety rules we have established. If you have a medical condition or disability that prevents you from safely wearing a cloth face covering, you will not be required to wear one and alternative arrangements will be made.

How will classrooms and instructional spaces be adequately disinfected and cleaned throughout the day?

We are committed to cleaning and sanitizing all university spaces to minimize the ability of the virus to spread. Our Facilities & Services team has developed rigorous sanitation procedures and processes.

What happens if there is a “second-wave” of COVID-19 during the fall semester?

We will continue to closely monitor conditions locally and regionally. A resurgence of COVID-19 at any time between now and through the fall semester may cause a change to any of these plans.


Support Resources

Will there be extra counseling and support services available to help students adjust whether they are on campus or remote?

Yes. The rapid and unplanned transition from normal operations to fully remote learning instruction last spring reinforced our resiliency and taught us how to support students with very little time to prepare. Our late spring and summer have been fully devoted to preparing to guide and support our students in the safest way possible in the coming academic year. This includes making counseling and medical services available in a telehealth and tele-counseling environment and adjusting the physical environment of facilities to promote social distancing and protective equipment. Units across Student Affairs are prepared to offer the same quality services to assist our students while promoting safety and reducing risk.

Social distancing and masks make it difficult for people with hearing impairments to hear. Will faculty be using microphones and amplification during in-person classes?

Technology Services is working with the Facilities and Services teams to assess the system infrastructure needs for each room identified for instruction. Infrastructure needs include the ability to do lecture capture and live Zoom meetings. Another approach would allow for students not being in the room, but still have a live class online. Additionally, “Classrooms in a Box” (technology packages) will be available, with the intention of offering equipment and  instructions for a quick implementation. Teams are working to gain an understanding of how many non-traditional spaces will need accommodation and how many traditional spaces still have technology needs. Small classrooms that would not accommodate in-person classes with social distancing may be used for recording rooms, or studio spaces, for lecture capture or recording.

Clear face shields are available as an alternative to cloth or paper face coverings that hide the speaker’s lips, making it difficult for people who rely on reading the speaker’s lips as an adjunct to communication. These shields are available from Central Stores. Units can work with the Facilities and Services Consulting Team to determine if a clear plexiglass shield placed in front of the instructor’s lectern is an option.


Housing

Will any students live in doubles? If single rooms, will the university have options in surrounding apartments?

University Housing has a first year live-on requirement and therefore, provides space in University Housing and Private Certified Housing. University Housing hall locations are offering singles, doubles and suites for Fall 2020. Doubles will make up the majority of our inventory, with singles sprinkled in to help de-densify floor populations.

What is the timeline for move in and what precautions will be taken during this period to maximize safety?

Our typical Move-In Week schedule and process has been modified to maximize the health and safety of our residents, families and staff. To provide a socially distanced and efficient Move-In experience, residents will be required to sign up for a Move-In date and time beginning August 16.

To help with social distancing efforts, residents who are able to are encouraged to take advantage of our Early Drop Off option. By appointment only, residents will be able to deliver personal belongings to their room and return during Move-In Week. Residents who choose this option will not be allowed to yet check-in or live in their room. Options will be available as early as August 3. 

Learn more about Move-In Week.

What are the arrangements for Private Certified Housing?

There are a variety of living options with Private Certified Housing similar to University Housing including singles, doubles and suites. Bathrooms also vary from private to community bathrooms. The Private Certified Housing facilities work in close collaboration with the Housing Information Office (HIO) in University Housing but are operated independently. The standards for Private Certified Housing are monitored by HIO, and therefore, all of the Certified Housing entities are in close communication and follow appropriate protocols and safety measures. These conversations have become more frequent during our response and preparation for COVID-19. See https://certified.housing.illinois.edu to contact a specific Private Certified Housing unit.

Can freshmen live off campus for safety reasons?

There are approved exemptions to the live-on requirement, such as commuting from home within a 40-mile radius, and medical accommodations. Students will need to review the University Housing website to learn of the guidelines and information expectations for approved exemptions. (The Freshman Waiver Request can be found here.) Students requiring an accommodation for safety related to COVID-19 will need to provide medical documentation to support this request, which will be reviewed by McKinley Health Center.

What will be the Dining Hall situation – how many can eat at a time, have the tables been moved 6’ apart, etc.?

All University Housing dining halls will provide carryout dining at the beginning of the semester. Dining staff, wearing approved PPE, will serve food. A limited number of spaces will be available for dine-in and in accordance with CDC, CUPHD and Licensed Environmental Health Practitioner (LEHP) guidelines. We also will have a limited number of satellite serving locations where residents can pick up boxed meals outside of our traditional dining halls. Dining hall hours will be extended to allow for greater social distancing. Retail locations will also enforce social distancing guidelines.

If a student completed the housing contract, and for safety reasons/high-risk reasons chooses to do online courses only, will the contract be canceled and the student not charged?

Students who wish to do all online learning in the fall semester away from campus will need to provide documentation of this plan to the HIO for review. This is not an automatic process and so arrangements and approval will need to be made in advance. If approved, the Housing contract will be cancelled without penalty.

Will students who are concerned about possible contraction of the virus be permitted to start on-campus coursework in the spring semester instead of fall?

Yes. Students who choose to come in the spring instead of the fall can complete a Spring Housing Contract.

Will fraternities and sororities be open? Will all of the parties happen with fewer than 50 people? Will they all wear masks and keep their distance? How can the university monitor/police this?

Fraternity and Sorority houses are all self-governed organizations that are owned and operated independent of the University. It is anticipated that most will open with some level of operation in compliance with safety guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. All registered student organizations will be provided information on safety guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and the campus. University staff will work with registered student organizations to plan their events in compliance with the guidelines.


International Students

If international students take only online courses, will they still pay fees related to on-campus?

The fee structure will be modified for students who are unable to come to campus during the fall semester. Additional information will come soon.

I’m an international student and I won’t be able to get a visa in time to be on campus for the fall semester.  What do I need to do?

You have a number of options. You may be able to start your program online, and join on-campus at a future date. You should work with your academic advisor to select the courses that are best for you. Permission to join a graduate program late is granted at the department level. Please contact your academic department to see if this is an option offered for your specific program. Undergraduate programs cannot be joined late—if you will not be able to start the Fall semester on time, you should contact Undergraduate Admissions (admissions@illinois.edu) to discuss options for starting your on-campus program at a later semester. Regardless of whether you join your program late or defer your attendance, your I-20 or DS-2019 will need to be updated to reflect the date you will enter the US, and this will be done by Undergraduate Admissions or the Graduate College.

For international students who take online classes, will there be flexibility in when they can take these courses, so they don’t have to take classes in the middle of the night?

We are working diligently to provide as many online options as possible for students who are unable to come to campus in the fall semester.  We are also keenly aware of the challenges associated with time zones.  While we can’t guarantee that every class section will be asynchronous, we are working with faculty to maximize flexibility for students enrolled in online classes from around the world.


Operations and Activities on Campus

What will Welcome Week programming look like?

We are reviewing the various events, including Quad Day, that traditionally happen during Welcome Week. We will share more information in mid-July.

Will the ARC and CRCE be open? If so, what policies are in place for safe use of recreation facilities on campus? Will intramural and club sports still be an option?

Campus Recreation plans to reopen in the fall. The hours, activities and facilities we are able to open are contingent on many evolving factors, including those related to staff safety. Campus Recreation will implement a variety of new safety measures, including but not limited to: 

  • Emphasizing cleaning/sanitization of high touch areas; 
  • Removing/closing machines and limiting activities to comply with social distancing guidelines in our free exercise areas;
  • Limiting activities and programs to those that comply with safety rules (gatherings of 50 or fewer);
  • Closing off spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained (e.g. free weight room, locker room);
  • Postponing services that require shared equipment (e.g. towels, sports equipment);
  • Increasing ventilation rates and better HVAC air filtration;
  • COVID barriers and single entry/exit points to help protect employees and customers at our service stations.

Intramurals and Club Sports offering will be contingent on the nature of the activity and the ability to adhere to the standards above. For some activities, we expect that will not be possible for the fall term.

How will student programming be affected?

Student Affairs staff members are working on fall programming initiatives, making adjustments to traditional programs to comply with safety guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and the campus. For in-person programs, we will comply with social distancing guidelines (six-foot distance) and will require participants to wear a face covering. We also will offer online programs where appropriate when unable to host in-person programs. 

How will the university monitor gatherings by student organizations?

Registered student organizations are independent of the University. However, there are expectations when using University resources (i.e. space for meeting/events, funding).  All registered student organizations will be provided information on safety guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and the campus. University staff will work with registered student organizations to plan their events in compliance with the guidelines.

Will students still be allowed to attend B1G athletic events on campus?

At this time, the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) is creating a social distancing plan for attendance at NCAA sporting events. DIA will abide by state of Illinois and medical guidelines when determining attendance numbers for each event/venue. Illinois students get free admission into soccer, volleyball, women’s basketball, swimming and diving, gymnastics, tennis, softball, baseball, wrestling, track and field/cross country and golf events. Tickets must be purchased for football and men’s basketball.

How will this affect live performance events—State Farm Center, Krannert Center—both visiting professional artists and academic-unit performances?

We are still working to determine how large-scale, indoor events will be handled when the prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people is lifted.

What will the rules be for common spaces—for example, can students hang out at the Illini Union, Krannert Center’s lobby and Ikenberry Commons? 

Furniture in the spaces will be arranged to accommodate social distancing; areas will be clearly marked for appropriated spacing and pedestrian traffic flow.

Will the Marching Illini be allowed to perform? 

DIA is working with the Marching Illini and Big Ten Conference for best practices on game day traditions, including the marching bands at sporting events. The health and safety of our band members, student-athletes, staff and event attendees is our top priority and will be used to guide all decisions at Fighting Illini sporting events.


Faculty and Staff

Will the university require instructional faculty to teach in person?

The university is allowing each college and department to determine the appropriate modality for each of course, depending on the nature of the course, curricular requirements and faculty availability.  We recognize that faculty and graduate instructors may have health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic that may prevent them from returning to face-to-face instruction and we want to provide them an opportunity to engage with students remotely.  

Will the university provide me with assistance creating or transferring a course to an online or remote format?

Instructors should consider the Online Teaching Academy, which will be offered in July and again in August, to learn more about preparing to deliver their courses in alternative modalities. Additionally the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) is a central campus resource that is available throughout the year.

What about individuals who are not able to safely/comfortably return to on-campus work this fall?

Faculty and graduate students who are unable to return to campus for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic will still have opportunities to teach and engage students remotely. Employees in special categories (health or childcare-related challenges) will be given flexibility to continue working remotely.

Can I ask individuals to leave my class/lab/building who are not complying with the required health and safety rules the campus establishes (e.g., wearing masks and social-distancing)?

Yes. Students, employees and visitors within University-owned or leased spaces and on university property may be asked to leave if they do not adhere to any required health and safety rules we have established.

Based on the governor’s Executive Orders and advice from our local public health officials, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has implemented requirements related to use of face coverings and social distancing in campus facilities and on other university property in response to health and safety concerns. More detailed information can be found here.

On what date will final decisions be made on course assignments, meeting formats, meeting times and locations?

The Office of the Registrar is currently working to modify the course schedule. The university is working closely with academic units to make sure academic experiences are prioritized. The course schedule, reflective of the modifications made by departments, will be viewable to students starting on August 1.

For staff not involved in student-facing roles, does the return of students in the fall mean we should continue to work from home to help maintain social distancing?

As we continue to evaluate the use of space and the space required to maintain social distancing, units can continue to work from home as one way to accomplish social distancing where appropriate for the job duties. Approaches may include rotating staff, so that there is an on-campus presence at all times but not all staff are required to be present each day. Some jobs have duties that can be performed only on campus.

When will I know if the courses I teach/offer will be in-person or online or some combination and who makes that determination?

Based upon space limitations, faculty availability and curriculum requirements, units will determine which classes will be online and which will be in-person. We encourage colleges to be creative with space, time and modality to create opportunities for students to have in-person class time.

How will courses be handled if an instructor becomes ill?

The safety of our faculty, students, staff and community is our highest priority. If a faculty member becomes ill and is unable to teach, a substitute instructor will be put in place.

What will be expected of staff/faculty who have childcare challenges in returning to work on campus? 

The first expectation for all staff and faculty is to communicate with their units early and often. If childcare cannot be secured because of COVID-19, units are encouraged to consider all available flexibility such as scheduling changes or continuing the remote work, if the work can still be completed remotely. However, it is important to note that many positions, such as student facing positions, have duties that limit the ability to be performed remotely. In these instances, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides for leave specifically to care for children. Each situation can present unique challenges and units are encouraged to consult with the Labor and Employee Relations staff in Illinois Human Resources for guidance in evaluating the most appropriate options available for employees who cannot continue to work remotely.

What is the potential for layoffs for staff who will not be able to continue to do their jobs because of departmental or operational limitations or other circumstances that would make work unavailable on campus?

While we cannot guarantee layoffs will not happen, the campus is committed to avoiding them where possible. Also, we may be able to work with employees to identify alternative employment temporarily.

Will cleaning/sanitizing supplies and training be provided for areas that need to be wiped down between visitors (i.e. more frequently than cleaning provided by Facilities and Services)? What if an employee feels uncomfortable taking on that role?

Units will determine what supplies they need to provide. No special training is required, but employees and students should take the Division of Research Safety’s COVID-19 safety training and should wipe down high-touch surfaces before touching them as part of their individual safety responsibility.


If you still have questions, you may visit the university’s main COVID-19 FAQ or send your questions via email to covid19@illinois.edu.