HR Guidance During COVID-19

The health and safety of the UIS community is top priority. Colleges and other units on campus are encouraged to be as creative as possible in determining a work arrangement that accomplishes the work of the unit while promoting the health and safety of employees.

Face Coverings and Physical Distancing

  • Face coverings that cover the nose and mouth must be worn when inside university facilities in all common areas (hallways, lobbies, elevators, break rooms, etc.), including classrooms. When on university property outside of buildings, face coverings must be worn when a six-foot physical distance from others is not possible. If an employee is medically unable to wear a face covering, they should contact Human Resources.
  • If it is necessary to have a face-to-face meeting, a face covering must be worn.
  • Employees (faculty and staff) can wear their own face coverings or one provided by the University. UIS has provided two cloth facemasks for each employee, including Extra Help, as well as student workers and graduate assistants. Masks are distributed by Human Resources upon request.
  • Employees are provided appropriate PPE when work circumstances require.
  • If an employee does not comply with these safety standards, the concern should be reported to the employee’s immediate supervisor.

Testing & Contact Tracing

  • All students, faculty and staff working, living or learning on the UIS campus must participate in the weekly COVID-19 testing program and cooperate with contact tracing and directives to isolate or quarantine.
  • Individuals who test positive will be directed to isolate for approximately 10 days by the UIS Testing Team, the appropriate public health department or their medical care provider.
  • Individuals deemed a close contact will be directed to quarantine for up to 14 days by the UIS Testing Team, the appropriate public health department or their medical care provider.
  • Employees who have been directed to quarantine or isolate should immediately inform their supervisor about their absence and contact Human Resources.


Employee Meetings and Gatherings

  • In-person gatherings shall not exceed the limits imposed by the State of Illinois and will vary depending on which Phase of the Restore Illinois Plan is applicable as well as whether our region is subject to mitigation strategies. Before planning any type of gathering on campus, employees should consult the Regional Metrics on the Illinois Department of Public Health website and submit a Campus Gathering Request Form.
  • Face-to-face meetings are discouraged. If possible, meetings should be conducted via phone, Skype or Zoom, even for employees who are working on site.

Employee Travel

  • University-sponsored travel will align with current UI System directives and comply with Illinois Department of Public Health and CDC guidelines.
  • Employees shall avoid non-essential work-related travel when feasible.

Workspace Safety

  • Many workspaces on the UIS campus are set up to accommodate physical distancing. If additional measures need to be taken, Facilities and Services will work closely with supervisors to help ensure requirements are met and that practical, cost-effective and safe solutions are implemented and/or installed.
  • Employees who have questions or concerns related to their workspace should raise those concerns with their direct supervisor.

Education and Training for Employees

  • All employees are encouraged to read and view the education and training materials on the COVID-19 Resources page . It is the responsibility of the unit head to make each employee aware of these resources and to encourage employees to become familiar with the safety precautions contained in these resources.
  • All employees should take the COVID 19 Safety Training, which is available in Ability LMS.
  • Unit heads are expected to provide supplemental education and training opportunities as necessary for the unit’s specific work site or working conditions.

Protocol for Employees with COVID-19 Symptoms

  • Employees need to monitor themselves for the presence of COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Employees must stay home or leave the workplace if symptoms develop and notify their supervisor if they are unable to work.
  • Employees are encouraged to call a health-care provider to seek guidance if feeling ill and should not report to on-site work until it is determined they do not need to quarantine or be tested for COVID-19. If directed to quarantine by the UIS Testing Team, public health officials or the employee’s health-care provider, the employee should alert Human Resources and complete the full quarantine period before returning to work. (Note: Please confer with Human Resources on the university’s preferred quarantine duration, as guidance from state and federal health entities may differ.)
  • Employees should not visit the UIS on-campus saliva testing site if they have symptoms or a known exposure to an individual who is positive for COVID-19.

Protocol for Employees Who Test Positive for COVID-19

  • Employees (faculty, staff and student workers) who test positive for COVID-19:
    • are not to report to the workplace and should immediately notify their supervisor regarding their absence.
    • should immediately contact Human Resources for information on available leave options and instructions for returning to work.
    • must follow the most recent public health and CDC guidelines available at the time. Medical certification may be required before an employee can return to work.
  • The UIS Testing Team will conduct contact tracing and alert individual employees if anyone on campus is considered a close contact of the affected individual. Directives to quarantine or isolate will come from the UIS Testing Team.
  • If a supervisor becomes aware that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, they should immediately alert Human Resources ( For privacy reasons, the identity of an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19 must remain confidential.
  • Employees who need to isolate or quarantine but feel well enough to work remotely can do so.
  • All employees must cooperate with contact tracing efforts by the UIS Testing Team and public health officials.
  • Employees should not break quarantine to visit the UIS campus, including for testing.

Leave Options for COVID-19 Related Absences

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides up to two weeks of Emergency Paid Sick Leave and expands the Family Medical Leave Act for COVID-19 related absences.
  • Additional information, forms applicable to these specific leave types, and additional guidance are offered on the UI System HR Families First Coronavirus Response Act resource web page.
  • UIS employees seeking to take one of these leaves need to call Human Resources at 217-206-7237.