Public Health Emergency Response Policy


To maximize the safety and health of the campus community during a pandemic or other public health emergency.


This policy applies to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (“university”) community, including students, faculty, staff and visitors.


The Office of the Chancellor is responsible for maintaining and implementing this policy. Pursuant to the University of Illinois Statutes and The General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure, the Chancellor is the chief executive officer for the campus and is responsible for safety of personnel and property on the campus.

Additionally, the Student Code (specifically § 2-701) provides the Chancellor with the authority to put “into effect regulations, procedures or measures deemed necessary or appropriate to meet an emergency, to safeguard persons and property, and to maintain educational activities.”


It is the duty of all members of the university community as well as all visitors to the campus to take necessary health and safety precautions to help protect one another during a pandemic or other public health emergency. During such a public health emergency, the campus will employ a number of strategies and resources as part of a public health campaign. This campaign may include imposing restrictions on certain behaviors or requiring individuals to take specific actions.


“COVID-19” means the disease caused by the novel coronavirus of 2019 or the SARS-CoV2 virus. ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease.

“Face covering” means a form-fitted mask or layer that helps prevent the spread of infections.

“Face shield” is a protective visor that must be large enough to provide complete coverage of the face, extend to below the chin, wrap around the head to the ears, and have no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s face piece.

“Pandemic” means an outbreak of a disease across a country or the world

“Public health emergency” means (as defined by 20 ILCS 3305) an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition that:

(a) is believed to be caused by any of the following:

a. bioterrorism;

b. the appearance of a novel or previously controlled or eradicated infectious agent or biological toxin;

c. a natural disaster;

d. a chemical attack or accidental release; or

e. a nuclear attack or accident; and

(b) poses a high probability of any of the following harms:

a. a large number of deaths in the affected population;

b. a large number of serious or long-term disabilities in the affected population; or

c. widespread exposure to an infectious or toxic agent that poses a significant risk or substantial future harm to a large number of people in the affected population.

“Social Distancing” means changes in behavior that allow maintaining at least six-feet distance from other individuals, as well as reducing physical contact in a variety of ways such as not greeting others by hugging or shaking hands.

Processes / Procedures / Guidelines

The university will work with local, state, national and global health officials as needed in responding to a public health emergency. As each emergency presents a different set of risks and responses, the university’s actions, procedures and guidelines may vary. In all cases, the university’s primary goal in adopting and implementing procedures and guidelines and in taking action in response to a public health emergency will be to maximize the safety of the university community.

Specific Procedures in Response to COVID-19

The university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is based on guidance from public health officials or current research. As guidance or research changes, the university community may be asked to follow processes and procedures not specified in this policy. New or amended procedures will be broadly shared with the university community at

Complete Training

The university may require students, faculty, and staff to complete training on safety and hygiene practices to limit transmission of the COVID-19 infection. Specifically, for the Fall 2020 semester, all students, faculty, and staff must complete the Division of Research Safety’s COVID-19 online training.

Wear Face Coverings

To reduce the transmission of COVID-19 infection, all university students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear a face covering in any university facility unless they are physically isolated in a private space or room. Face shields are not substitutes for face coverings but may be worn in conjunction with appropriate extension of social distancing, including maintaining a distance of six feet.

Face coverings also must be worn in all public places and settings on campus where social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained, including outdoor spaces and situations such as traveling to and from classes and events.

Get Tested

Testing is a vital part of the university’s and the Champaign-Urbana community’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The university may require viral testing of all students, faculty and staff who are participating in on-campus activities, which includes attending in-person classes and working in university facilities as well as for students, residing on-campus and in the campus area. The exact nature and frequency of the testing may change based on the latest public health guidance and available testing resources.

Students, faculty and staff who participate in on-campus activities, including attending in-person classes and working in university facilities, must notify the university when they test positive for COVID-19 if they are tested somewhere other than an on-campus testing facility. An individual is not required to notify the university of positive results from tests performed on campus.

Participate in contact tracing
When there are cases of COVID-19 on campus, effective and rapid contact tracing helps to minimize transmission. The university and local public health organizations have specific processes in place for contact tracing. All students, faculty and staff who are participating in on-campus activities, which includes attending in-person classes and working in university facilities, must cooperate with contact tracing processes.

Use the university’s app
The university has developed an app with a number of features related to COVID-19. It is recommended that all students, faculty and staff who are participating in on-campus activities, which includes attending in-person classes and working in university facilities, use the app to help facilitate on-campus testing and digital exposure notification procedures, as well as a method to verify testing requirements in order to enter buildings on the Urbana campus.

Practice Social Distancing

Following guidance by public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (“CDC”) and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (“CUPHD”), members of the university community must practice social distancing whenever possible.

Follow Restrictions on In-Person Meetings and Events

As part of its COVID-19 response, the university is following the state’s Restore Illinois plan. The plan’s restrictions on in-person meetings and events change based on the different phases of the Restore Illinois plan. The university will update its on-campus meeting and event guidelines based on the current phase of the plan.

Whenever possible, event and meeting organizers should use remote or online options in place of in-person meetings.


The university seeks to achieve compliance with its safety and health measures through educational efforts; however, failure of individuals to follow safety and health requirements may result in disciplinary action according to relevant student or employment policies and procedures.


Disabilities and medical conditions

Individuals with a medical condition or disability that prevents them from complying with any practices required by this policy or related guidance, including but not limited to safely wearing a face covering, may seek a reasonable accommodation. Students needing an accommodation should contact the division of Disability Resources & Educational Services, and employees (including student employees) needing workplace accommodations should contact the ADA Division of the Office for Access and Equity.

Additional Exceptions

Any exceptions to this policy must be approved in writing by the Office of the Chancellor.


The Office of the Chancellor.