COVID-19 Employee FAQ

Aug. 6 Webinar for Faculty and Staff –  Watch Recording  or  View Presentation Slides

Q:  What safety measures are in place?

A:  We take your safety very seriously. We care deeply about the IWU community.  

  • Our custodial staff will clean and disinfect restrooms, classrooms and high-touch areas each morning.  
  • “Porters” are assigned to disinfect high-touch surfaces two additional times throughout the day.  
  • Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer will be available throughout campus.
  • Plexiglass has been made available for high-traffic areas.
  • You are not responsible for cleaning spaces. But if there are high-touch surfaces that you would like to wipe down before you use them, wipes and hand sanitizer are available to you.
  • Titan Pledge

Q: Do I have to wear a mask? 

A: Yes, masks are required inside university facilities, unless you are alone in a private space. Wearing a face covering and staying 6 feet away during prolonged interactions is an effective way of reducing the spread of COVID-19. Proper face coverings should cover both the mouth and the nose. If you have medical reasons for not wearing a mask, an exemption request should be submitted to Human Resources.  

Chart showing how masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19

Q: Why can’t everybody work from home?

A: Decisions about alternative work arrangements or telecommuting are made with consultation between the employee, the supervisor, the VP and HR. Consideration given to a request includes:

  • The business needs of the University
  • Whether the employee’s work can be fully performed under the request
  • What reasonable changes can be made to the work setting to meet the needs or concerns of the employee

Generally a fear of the pandemic or concerns about COVID in the work setting is not a reason for telecommuting; we are trusting in the science about safety precautions including masks, social distancing, and frequent disinfection and hand washing. These discussions should be interactive between all concerned parties. We may not be able to meet your full request, but we are going to work together to identify possibilities and find common ground  

Q: What are the University policies about travel?

A: We are following guidelines from the CDC Travel and IDPH Travel Guidance .  

  • We are not mandating that anyone who travels outside of the state self-quarantine; we are asking every employee who travels to self-identify risky behavior 
  • We are not mandating that anyone who travels gets a COVID test
  • We are not mandating that anyone who travels self-quarantine for two weeks
  • If travel involves high interaction (interaction at less than 6 feet for 15 minutes or more without a mask) with others from risky areas without properly masking, we ask you to take proper precautions to protect yourself and your colleagues. This may include a decision to self-isolate or a decision to get a COVID test.
  • Work with your supervisor/HR if you think you should self-quarantine
  • Human Resources and Arnold Health Services are available resources to help guide you in these decisions.

Q: Why aren’t faculty and staff being required to get a COVID test?

A: The following assumptions have guided this decision:

  • Many of us have already been on campus working
  • Most of us are not traveling to get to campus after living in another community
  • It is our expectation that employees are aware of and will abide by the Titan Pledge and community recommendations related to COVID.
  • We expect that employees are not engaged in risky behavior.

Q: If I want to be COVID tested, where can I go?

A: Please check the McLean County Health Department website for information about testing at the Interstate Center or consult with your healthcare provider.  IWU Blue Cross/Blue Shield will cover the cost of testing for covered employees.

Q: Can I report to work if I’m waiting for results of a COVID “surveillance” test?

A: As long as you are asymptomatic and without a known exposure incident, you can report to work.  

Q: What if I’ve been exposed to COVID?

A: Keep in mind, this is about direct exposure to a COVID-positive individual for 15 minutes or greater and within 6 feet.  Sharing the same building or floor without direct interaction will generally not be considered an “exposure incident”.

  • Report the details of the incident to your supervisor.  The supervisor and human resources will consult regarding next steps to take.
  • Consult with your healthcare provider
  • Consult with Human Resources 
  • Stay home until 14 days after last exposure
    • If you are asymptomatic, discuss with your supervisor and/or HR whether telecommuting is an option
    • You will have access to accrued sick/personal/vacation time

Note: No additional action is needed following known exposure to a COVID-positive patient from IWU employees who serve as healthcare providers and IWU healthcare students who adhere to the PPE requirements of the agency in which care was provided.

Q: What if I test positive for COVID?

A: We care deeply about the individuals within our community and want them to be well.  If you test positive:

  • All individuals should first consult a physician.  
  • Please keep Human Resources and your supervisor aware of your work situation.  
  • If you are symptomatic, you are to stay home and get well
  • If you are asymptomatic, you are to stay home. You can discuss with your supervisor and/or HR whether telecommuting is an option.
  • You must have a negative test result or a release from a physician in order to return to work.
  • Normal sick/personal/vacation time is applicable.

Q: What factors are the University using to make a decision about moving to all virtual instruction?

A:  There are factors that could impact our ability to deliver in-person instruction to our students. At this time we have intentionally not set specific numerical triggers but these are the items that we are evaluating:

  • State and local requirements
  • Numbers of positive cases (on campus and in surrounding area)
  • Numbers in isolation
  • Amount of quarantine space available to the University

If it is determined that a pivot to all-online instruction is necessary, a separate decision will be made regarding the closure of the campus and remote work by employees.