Fall 2020 COVID-19 policies

The following policies for Fall 2020 academic semester have been implemented by the University of Illinois System in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will guide operations at its universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. 

A system-wide coordination committee assisted groups at each of the three universities that have worked over the past few weeks to develop detailed plans for reopening. Each university will provide details of their unique, campus-based plans, including starting dates and calendars for their fall semesters. The summary below outlines elements that will be common to all. A massmail was sent June 18, 2020 to all students, faculty and staff with this information. 

Instruction

  • Classes will be a mixture of in-person and remote instruction to provide the physical distancing that inhibits spread of the virus.
  • In-person courses and classroom schedules will be adjusted appropriately to ensure physical distancing and safer traffic flow.
  • Accommodations will be made where possible for students and faculty in vulnerable and at-risk groups, and for students who cannot come to campus due to travel restrictions or other considerations.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • Reusable, washable masks will be provided to all students and required in all classrooms, and hand sanitizer will be widely available in all buildings.
  • Training for faculty and instructors is being provided over the summer to sustain high-quality online and distance instruction with state-of-the-art technologies and virtual modalities.

University housing/dining

  • Residence hall occupancy will be limited to two students per room.
  • Outside visitors will not be allowed in residence halls.
  • Quarantine areas will be created to accommodate students who test positive for COVID-19 or display symptoms.
  • Dining halls will largely provide packaged meals for carryout, and in-person dining will be limited.
  • Common areas will be cleaned and disinfected regularly, and hand sanitizer will be available.
  • Use of these common areas will be limited, and physical distancing will be observed.

Campus life

  • The size of gatherings will be based on standards under the state reopening guidelines in force this fall and beyond.
  • Use of auxiliary facilities such as recreational centers will be limited to preserve safety.
  • Outside visitors to campus will be asked to follow physical distancing and wear masks in public places.

Research

  • Research activities will continue a ramp-up that began over the summer.
  • As in classrooms, masks will be required and other safety measures will be followed.
  • Research will continue to support treatments, vaccines and other measures related to COVID-19.

Employees

  • Most faculty and staff will continue a phased-in return to work that began in June and will be completed by the start of the fall semester, though some will continue to work from home to reduce campus density.
  • Flexible work-from-home guidelines will be developed for the benefit of vulnerable employees and those with family-related considerations.
  • Work areas will be cleaned regularly, and hand sanitizer will be provided.
  • Masks will be required in publicly shared spaces and reusable masks will be provided to all employees.
  • We will continue engagement with our labor unions to discuss the impact of these plans.

Testing and notification

  • Our scientists are piloting cutting-edge testing procedures for the COVID-19 virus that are accurate, cost-effective and scalable to the whole university community and provide same-day results. 
  • We are partnering closely with local public health authorities to notify individuals at risk for infection and mitigate spread, through a combination of manual and rapid app-based approaches.
  • All app-based software will protect individual privacy so that positive test results are shared only with the user, and no location data will be required, collected or shared with third parties. Local public health departments will be provided test results based on required local, state and federal regulations.

General safety

  • Training will be required for all students and employees to ensure compliance with physical distancing and other COVID-related safety measures.
  • Hand sanitizer or disposable wipes will be available at building entrances, elevator lobbies and in common and high-traffic areas.
  • High-touch surfaces such as door handles and elevator buttons will be disinfected multiple times daily.
  • Flu shots will be strongly encouraged for all students, faculty and staff to lessen the possibility of dual outbreaks when traditional flu season begins.

For more specific details on policies and procedures, please visit the COVID-19 pages of each respective university:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Springfield