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Reducing the risk of COVID-19 on campus

Eastern Illinois University has adopted best practices for returning to on-campus duties to protect health, ensure academic success and excellence, and support EIU’s distinguished tradition and history. These best practices align with guidelines and actions advocated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Governor’s Office, and will likely be amended occasionally to reflect evolving guidance as it applies to higher education institutions.

All on-campus employees are expected to fully comply with these best practices as well as EIU’s COVID-19-related policies.  

Symptom Monitoring Requirements

Employees should conduct daily, self-administered symptom monitoring before reporting to work. Employees must be free of ANY CDC-recognized symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work. Employees experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should notify their supervisor(s), stay home, and contact their medical provider. Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor(s) and follow CDC-recommended precautions.

Some offices and departments may require employees to participate in daily in-person health checks to ensure no staff members are sick. When health checks are conducted at work, individual employees will self-conduct wellness checks, and those demonstrating any symptoms will report them to their supervisor(s) before being sent home.

Guidelines for Reducing Your COVID-19 Risk When Returning to Campus


Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. When handwashing is not an option, clean hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol, covering all surfaces of hands and rubbing hands for at least 30 seconds.


Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues into no-touch trash cans and immediately wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.



Along with masking, creating social distance of at least 6 feet between on-campus individuals is one of the strongest prevention actions one can take to slow the transmission of COVID-19. Staff returning to campus must follow these social distancing practices:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ lengths) from other people as often as possible.
  • If employees must be within a 6-foot range of others, they should minimize interaction times, preferably to less than 15 minutes, and appropriately use a face covering or mask.
  • If groups need to meet indoors, do not gather in groups of 50 or more or exceed 50% of room capacity. Multiple groups of 50 may meet outdoors as long as they are separated by 30 feet.


Appropriate use of face coverings or masks is critical in minimizing risks to others. Face coverings or masks will continue to be required, consistent with EIU guidelines and guided by State of Illinois directives, for students, staff, faculty, and visitors all over campus (both inside and out). Review EIU’s Mask and Social Distancing Policies here.


Elevator use should be limited to avoid close proximity with others in a confined space. Those using elevators are required to appropriately use face coverings or masks regardless of traveling alone or with others.


Physical meetings are discouraged when other options are available. Virtual meetings (Teams, Zoom), as well as phone meetings are strongly recommended. When videoconferencing or teleconferencing is not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces continuing to maintain a distance of 6 feet apart and appropriately use face coverings or masks. If groups need to meet indoors, do not gather in groups of 50 or more or exceed 50% of room capacity. Multiple groups of 50 may meet outdoors as long as they are separated by 30 feet.


Before and after eating, employees should wash their hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. When others are present, social distancing should be maintained.


Building Service Worker teams will clean office and work spaces based on CDC guidelines for disinfection and Environmental Health and Safety protocols. Those returning to campus should: 

  • Wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with disinfectants/wipes supplied by EIU.
  • Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs, including shared-space locations or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, door knobs, etc.).


Any employee who appears to have associated symptoms upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day should be immediately separated from other employees, students, and visitors, and sent home.

Your cooperation in complying and carrying out these best practices is instrumental in helping create the safest and most healthy campus community possible for our students, faculty, staff, guests, and visitors. 

Best Practices PDF. 

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Eastern Illinois University Human Services Building
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-3013

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