Basic Personal Actions

There is no single, 100% effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Instead, we need everyone who is part of the University of Illinois community to follow a few personal actions in order to help protect the health and safety of our Illinois family.

If you want to do your part to maintain the well-being of your family, friends and the University of Illinois community, take the Illinois Community Pledge.

Monitor your health

All members of our community are strongly encouraged to practice self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms on a daily basis. Symptoms you should be checking for every day are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

All members of our community are also strongly encouraged to monitor the health of individuals in their households.

If you or someone in your household are experiencing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider and continue to practice social distancing as much as possible.

Wear a face covering

To help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 infection, all University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students, employees and visitors must wear a face covering in any university building, facility and classroom unless they are physically isolated in a private space or room.

Face coverings also must be worn in all public places and settings on campus where social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained. This includes outdoor spaces on campus and situations such as traveling to and from classes or events. 

If you’re not sure what is considered a face covering or need more detailed information, please visit our face coverings page.

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. Employees should notify the appropriate unit/college human resources official to begin the accommodation/exemption process.

Wash your hands

One of the most effective ways of fighting the spread of COVID-19 is to thoroughly wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds). All University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students, employees and visitors are encouraged to practice frequent hand washing or to use hand sanitizer when a hand-washing station is not available.

Practice social distancing

All University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students, employees and visitors must practice social distancing to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 infection. This includes maintaining a distance from others of at least six feet, as well as staying home as much as possible.

Get your flu shot

Flu shots are available to students, state employees and retirees through McKinley Health Center. View dates and locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we have to wear face coverings and practice social distancing?

The “novel” in novel coronavirus means this is an entirely new disease at global scale. Without immunity and a scientifically validated understanding of the protection conferred by a previous COVID-19 infection, everyone risks being infected by any exposure to COVID-19 and transmitting the infection. Requiring face coverings and practicing social distancing are reasonable requirements for individuals working and/or being on campus.

While we wait for an effective COVID-19 vaccine to be developed, we must be vigilant in taking validated measures known to be effective in guarding against infection, such as wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, washing our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as often as possible and self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms. While none of these protective mechanisms is 100% effective in stopping the spread of the virus alone, combining them maximizes our protection.

What precautions should I take when handling mail or packages?

The likelihood of contracting a coronavirus from touching a surface is unlikely, and the risk of contracting it from a letter or package is no greater than any other surface you encounter outside of your home. There is no need to quarantine or disinfect packages. Wash your hands after handling a parcel or envelope.

What precautions should I take when using shared office equipment, like a copier, fax machine, or paper shredder?

The likelihood of contracting a coronavirus from touching a surface is unlikely, and the risk of contracting it from shared office machines are no greater than any other surface you encounter outside of your home. 

Washing your hands after using shared office equipment, or any other surface outside of your private office, is a good practice in general to further reduce any risk. Additionally, machines should be turned off and wiped down daily following the manufacturer’s guidance.

Additional Resources

  • Facilities and Services Health and Safety Response Teams are available by appointment to consult with departments and units on questions regarding social distancing space considerations. Requests for assistance should be directed to

Personal Actions updates