Fall 2020 FAQs

General

On-campus classes will resume this fall. The University will prioritize health and safety of students , faculty, staff, visitors and community members.

Fall 2020 classes will start, as scheduled, on Monday, August 24 and end on December 12, 2020. The beginning and ending dates for the Fall 2020 semester remain unchanged. UIS will pivot to remote instruction for all courses on Wednesday, Nov.25, and will continue via remote delivery through the end of the Fall semester.

Phase 4 will limit gatherings to no more than 50 people until the Central Region enters Phase 5. This limitation will affect most campus activities, events and performances, particularly in locations such as the Student Union, TRAC, Brookens Library, Sangamon Auditorium and the Studio Theatre. Campus events scheduled for fall 2020 may be held as planned within the parameters of public health guidelines; delivered in a blended fashion; delivered entirely online; or postponed until a later date.

University staff in Student Life and Student Affairs will work with registered student organizations to help plan their events and comply with health and safety guidelines.

Athletic events, including fan attendance, will be conducted in accordance with the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II (NCAA D2) and the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) guidelines. Utilization of TRAC will be limited to prioritize safety.

During Phase 4, spaces in TRAC will be limited to 50 percent capacity to support physical distancing. Guidelines for recreational activities and use of facilities will be provided through the restore Illinois plan as well as NIRSA (National Intramural and Recreation Sports Association). Intramural sports will be limited to individual sports and e-sports. Fitness equipment will be spread out to accommodate the required distancing. Group Fitness classes will not share equipment and will make use of the outdoors and the arena. Students will be encouraged to use Rec park and abide by the guidelines. Outdoor adventure trips will be limited to nearby locations. Events held at the Field Station will not provide transportation. Instead, bikes will be set aside for students who do not have cars or choose not to walk. Students will be encouraged to drive themselves to canoe trips and hiking trips within 30 minutes and Campus Rec will allow three students to ride in the van, wearing their mask with only one per row.

Yes, each student and employee will receive two cloth face coverings. We encourage that you also bring your own face covering.

Yes. In the absence of a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19, testing, isolation and tracing are our best actions to prioritize safety on campus. Therefore, UIS is partnering with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to implement COVID-19 SHIELD testing at UIS this fall. The UIS process for testing was created in consultation with the Sangamon County Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

For more details on the testing and tracing, please go to https://www.uis.edu/covid-19/covid-19-shield-testing/

If a student living on campus can’t go home to isolate, Residence Life has reserved space in its facilities for them to isolate. Employees who test positive must notify the university and are not to report to the workplace. If a supervisor becomes aware that an employee has tested positive, they must consult with their Division Head and Human Resources to determine the risk of exposure and what additional safety measures may need to be taken. All employees must cooperate with contact tracing efforts by campus and public health officials.

Food service options will be modified, and carry-out options will be encouraged. No self-service will be available. Seating in designated dining areas will be arranged in accordance with public health guidelines, including physical distancing and availability of hand sanitizer. Additional barriers will be placed between diners and staff members. Arrangements will be made to provide meals to residential students who are quarantined or isolated. All Food Services employees are required to wear masks and gloves when interacting with patrons. All diners should wear face coverings when selecting their food and moving around the dining area.

Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not visit campus. Potential guests/visitors should schedule appointments with intended campus personnel well in advance.

Guests and visitors to the UIS campus are required to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose and to follow appropriate physical distancing protocols. Guests and visitors will be encouraged to wash/sanitize their hands as they enter and depart destinations on campus. Guests will not be permitted in residential living spaces of the residence halls. Students, faculty and employees are encouraged to meet food-delivery employees outside or to opt for contactless delivery.

UIS will provide education and training to all students, faculty and staff regarding necessary safety and accountability measures while on campus. Prior to the start of the semester, the university will provide clear guidelines on how our community should work together to hold one another accountable to our safety standards; this will include how to report a concern about a student, faculty or staff member who is not complying with expected health and safety behaviors.

UIS continuously monitors the operation of the campus’ mechanical systems and associated equipment. Maintenance personnel have and will continue to inspect and conduct the reoccurring maintenance required to ensure the campus’ ventilation systems are operating properly and in accordance with manufacture specifications to deliver filtered air to each building space. All ventilation system air filters have been cleaned and/or replaced as appropriate to ensure they are within service life and are providing the proper filtration of dust and contaminates.

Where feasible, the University has increased ventilation rates and are keeping the HVAC systems running to ensure the air exchanges in each space is continuous. Depending upon environmental conditions inside and outside the building, the university will continue to bring in as much fresh air into the building as possible.

As of Aug. 6, UIS is reporting one new on-campus COVID-19 case and two new off-campus cases within the past week. Since late June, UIS is aware of seven total confirmed cases (three on-campus, four off-campus). UIS updates its weekly Campus Health Statistics with the UIS community every Thursday.

The UIS Bookstore website is www.shopuis.com. Students are asked to utilize the website for Fall 2020 book orders. The store will be offering curbside pickup from August 10-September 4. Hours will be posted on the bookstore website -  www.shopuis.com. There will be pickup at our online order sales window and outside the lower level of the Public Affairs Center in the tear drop area.

The UIS Bookstore requires a face covering and social distancing. A maximum capacity of 10 customers will be allowed in the store at one time. All book orders will be picked and filled by Bookstore employees to minimize book contamination. The only in-store shopping will be for clothing, gifts, accessories, and supplies.

Academics

Courses will begin and end according to the dates posted on the existing academic calendar for Fall 2020. (Begin on Aug. 24 and Finals Week is Dec. 7-12)

Fall Break will be canceled and classes will be held on Friday, Oct. 16. Illinois has identified Tuesday, Nov. 3, as a state-wide voting holiday in Illinois; there will be no classes on that date. All classes will be offered remotely beginning on Wednesday, November 25, and will continue via remote delivery through the end of the Fall semester. UIS is examining the time and locations of on-campus Fall classes to ensure that instruction is delivered in spaces that support physical distancing and minimize crowding in hallways between classes. Faculty will be surveyed in July to ascertain the need for any changes to their courses.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented circumstances for University of Illinois Springfield’s students, faculty, and staff. In recognition of these challenges, UIS leadership (in consultation with the Campus Senate Executive Committee) has decided to extend grading options for students by allowing credit/no credit grading for Fall 2020 Semester. The deadline for students to change their grading to the Credit/No Credit option is Nov. 27.

Yes. All students, employees and visitors must wear a face covering in any university building, facility or classroom unless they are physically isolated in a private space or room.

Students who are not medically able to tolerate a face covering need to contact the Office of Disability Services.

Non-compliance will result in the student being asked by the instructor to obtain a disposable mask from a designated office in the building and return to class. In the extreme or unlikely event that someone refuses to leave the class immediately when instructed to do so, the entire class will be dismissed using appropriate physical distancing guidelines. The UIS Dean of Students will be informed and student disciplinary action will follow.

Face coverings should be worn in all public spaces and settings on campus where physical distancing of six feet cannot be maintained. This includes the outdoors and traveling to and from classes or events.

UIS is examining the time and locations of on-campus fall classes to ensure that instruction is delivered in safe spaces that support physical distancing and minimizes crowding in hallways between classes. The University has assessed the occupancy capacity of each instructional space to comply with physical distancing recommendations from the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health.

Yes. Following consultations with local and system health experts, and in collaboration with stakeholders, it was determined that the blended course delivery would permit the University to safely deliver instruction to students living both on- and off-campus. The proposed blended approach allows for the option for instruction to occur remotely for part of the semester to limit in-person contact.

UIS has adopted technology to convert highly interactive experiences to virtual experiences while preserving the quality of learning where possible. UIS has incorporated additional safety measures to protect students and faculty who are in labs, studios and music practice rooms. UIS has set occupancy limits in each specialized space based on physical distancing recommendations set forth in Restore Illinois.

UIS, through the Research Board, will establish plans and criteria to resume research under Restore Illinois guidelines. This includes determining when research involving human subjects and field research may be resumed or authorized.

UIS will encourage virtual office hours for faculty to minimize face-to-face contact with students. The University has made adjustments to allow faculty to hold 1:1 meetings with students in outside areas or in common spaces, empty classrooms or conference rooms to allow adequate physical distancing.

All academic enrichment programming (e.g. ECCE Speaker Series, Study Away programs, Model UN, etc.) may be restructured or offered remotely, postponed or canceled for the Fall 2020 semester.

UIS will provide training and support to faculty through COLRS (Center for Online Learning, Research and Service) to ensure all students have an equitable opportunity to achieve course learning objectives regardless of modality. UIS will appropriately orient students to all online services and resources during the Fall 2020 semester regardless of online, in-person or remote teaching modality. UIS will continue to provide full academic support services with remote access to academic advisors and student success specialists.

Tables and furniture have been moved to support physical distancing. There will be a reservation system for computers and study spaces, with spaces saved for a few walk-ins. Hand sanitizer will be available, and tables, computers and materials will be sanitized. Some materials will be isolated before allowing for circulation.

The Library has developed customer service protocols that align with the phases outlined in Restore Illinois (e.g., limited staff only, limited staff and by-appointment, moderate staff and limited patrons, etc.) The Library has established logistical and safety procedures to enable remote ordering of and returning materials. A grab-and-go service has been established to allow patrons to pick up materials without staff contact. Service points have been evaluated, and solutions such as sneeze guards have been implemented. Self-checkout stations and open hold shelf services are being evaluated for implementation to further promote health and safety of staff and patrons.

Cleaning

The cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, conference rooms, common and high-trafficked areas and workspaces will be done daily. The University will clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in common areas/public spaces multiple times throughout the workday.

Building service workers (BSW) are using hospital grade (not over the counter) disinfectant. All chemical sprays and wipes that are used are registered with the EPA and CDC approved for COVID-19. Inquire with the UIS Environmental Health and Safety Officer with specific questions: Ravneet Chhokar, rchho@uis.edu, 217-206-8062.

High-touch areas such as elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, and entryways are being cleaned. BSWs will try and clean high-touch areas 2-4 times per day.

BSWs will wipe down anything that could be touched as well as paper towel machines.

BSW will not clean inside personal office spaces like computer keyboards, phones, tops of desks or anything where personal items would have to be moved. Door handles, removing trash and recycling, and vacuuming will occur as needed.

Classrooms and labs will be cleaned and disinfected daily in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Disinfecting products will be provided in the classrooms and labs for individuals to use and proactively disinfect their individual work space before and after they use the work space (e.g. desk/table, chair, computer station, etc.). UIS has created cleaning and disinfecting protocols for each instructional space. These protocols will be posted in each classroom.

Gloves are necessary when handling chemical disinfectants on a regular basis, but not on a temporary basis.

This is for two reasons. It will keep people from sitting too close together and also, soft furniture is much more difficult to clean and sanitize.

 

Housing

Yes. The number of move-in days will be increased to lighten congestion and to follow guidelines for physical distancing. The specific plan for move-in day for students will be released soon. Contact Residence Life for questions.

We are asking that each resident only bring a total of 2 family members with them for move-in. The 2 family members will be allowed to assist with unloading personal items and getting their student settled in their living space. We are also asking the 2 family members to head home within 3 hours of arriving to campus. Facial coverings, physical distancing and hand sanitization will be required during the move-in process.

Occupancy will consist of double and single bedroom spaces, with the option to purchase a single residence hall space. Should you wish to purchase a single residence hall space, please contact reslife@uis.edu.

Students will be required to wear facial coverings in common areas within residential facilities.

Guests will not be permitted in residential areas of the residence halls, nor in individual residential living spaces.

Students will be responsible for cleaning inside their assigned living space. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of community spaces, high-traffic areas and public restrooms within residential communities will be in place Mondays through Fridays.