Update from Human Resources – Phase 4 of Restore Illinois

June 22, 2020

Good afternoon,

In preparation for the possibility that Illinois may enter Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan in the near future, the following communication highlights the changes that will affect UIS employees.

Most significantly, Phase 4 allows higher education institutions to resume on-site instruction under guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Regardless of when Illinois enters Phase 4, UIS colleges, departments and units shall continue to follow the Return to On-Site Work Procedure through July 31. During this time, remote work remains an appropriate option for employees who can effectively perform their job duties to the satisfaction of their supervisors while working remotely.

The Return to On-Site Work Procedure has been amended to extend through July 31. The amended procedure addresses gatherings under Phase 4, updates on workplace safety measures and two locations where employees can obtain free COVID-19 testing.

Units operating under an existing approved Return to On-Site Work plan should continue to do so through July 31. Any amendments or changes that need to be made to the plan should be routed through supervisory channels and submitted to the unit’s Division Head for approval. Should employees desire a work environment accommodation, they should work through their supervisory chain.

UIS is finalizing its preparations and plans for the Fall semester. Additional guidance and expectations for working in August and beyond will be forthcoming.

For employees who have returned or will be returning to working on-site, it is essential that you continue to maintain six feet of physical distancing and wear a face covering that covers both the nose and the mouth when six feet of physical distancing is not possible. This is the most effective way to keep yourself and your co-workers safe.

Over the past several weeks, HR has received a few isolated reports of employees not wearing face coverings on campus. Although employees do not need to wear a face covering if they are able to maintain six feet of physical distancing, maintaining appropriate distancing can be difficult in hallways, bathrooms, stairwells, conference rooms and other common areas where others may unexpectedly be present. Employees should always be prepared to wear their face coverings when other employees are or may be present. The requirements for physical distancing and the wearing of face coverings will remain when Illinois enters Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.

Human Resources is grateful to the entire campus community for its adherence to the Return to On-Site Work Procedure. Keeping our campus community safe during this ongoing pandemic requires a community-wide effort. HR will continue to monitor campus compliance as well as guidance from a variety of public health and other resources and will amend our procedure as necessary. Please reach out to Human Resources at uishr@uis.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Melissa Mlynski
Senior Director of Human Resources