*Face coverings are required in all common spaces indoors and when 6 foot physical distancing can't be maintained outside
For more information about COVID-19 and Illinois State’s response, please visit Illinoisstate.edu/coronavirus .
This procedure applies to all employees, students, and visitors.
A face covering is a mask or cloth covering consistent with CDC recommendations that is well secured and covers your nose and mouth. The face covering should allow for breathing without restriction. There is no requirement to wear a hospital grade mask or other specific type or brand of face covering. You may wear a homemade face covering, provided that it fits closely and covers your nose and mouth. Face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks, respirators, or other medical personal protective equipment.
Physical distancing means staying 6 feet away (about 2 arms' length) from other individuals not in your household, as much as reasonably possible. Physical distancing is one of the key practices to control the spread of COVID-19; so, if physical distancing is not possible, keep interaction under 15 minutes even with a face covering.
All members of the University community are strongly encouraged to embrace a culture of community responsibility. An educational/communication campaign will disseminate messages encouraging everyone to "Do your part" or "Redbirds take care of each other" in multiple formats and media (e.g., posters, online videos, leadership communication, web-based FAQs and similar resources, social media influencers, Student Government Association communications, etc.).
Communicating a clear and consistent message that face coverings and physical distancing are basic expectations will facilitate compliance and create a context in which compliance efforts will be normalized, reducing the risk of conflicts over face coverings.
Consistent with IBHE guidance, training will be developed for all faculty, staff, and students. Any of the following methods will be used to deliver such training:
Partners in such an effort would include the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT); Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW); Department of Health Sciences (HSC): Internal Auditing, Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN); Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (OEOA); Student Health Services (SHS); and the Office of Technology Solutions.
Resources for educational and compliance efforts will be available online.
Per the requirements included in the Governor's Restore Illinois Plan and guidance provided by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), as well as recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and American College Health Association (ACHA) the University has the following requirements regarding face coverings and physical distancing.
Instructors may opt to use a face shield, rather than a mask or cloth covering, in the interest of maximizing their students' understanding of the course material they are delivering, with the following caveats:
Additional resources for instructors will be available online.
Upon approach by others, the employee at such a work station is responsible for donning a face covering or mask promptly and appropriately.
In order to protect the health and safety of others, the University can generally prohibit you from entering the building if you do not have a face covering. If you have a medical condition, disability, or religious reason that prevents you from wearing a face covering, you cannot be required to wear one. However, if you cannot wear a face covering, you will need to request a reasonable accommodation or alternative method of services before you enter the building.
The process for requesting an accommodation varies depending upon whether you are an employee, student or visitor. Please follow the applicable process below.
Contact Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at (309) 438-338 or Equalopportunity@IllinoisState.edu. Please make sure you make this request at least 10 days before returning to work.
For immediate needs to access specific services, please contact the office or individual providing those services to set up an alternative method that does not required you to enter the building or otherwise allows you to safely receive the services needed.
Students seeking a reasonable accommodation for ongoing needs, should request as soon as they become aware of the need, preferably by contacting Student Access and Accommodation Services (SAAS) at (309) 438-5853 or AbleISU@IllinoisState.edu.For further information on accommodation request process please visit https://studentaccess.illinoisstate.edu/.
As a place of public accommodation, the University reserves the right to refuse service to visitors unable to comply with the requirement to wear a face covering. The University is required to provide a reasonable accommodation or alternative method of service if it does not cause an undue hardship for the University and/or create safety issues for others. Please contact the office or individual providing those services to set up an alternative method that does not required you to enter the building or otherwise allows you to safely receive the services needed.
Based on the important public health and safety purpose of face coverings, the University will facilitate compliance with these requirements using the following approach.
The successful implementation of these requirements will depend primarily on the cooperation of all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. To support this cooperation, the University will undertake to inform all members of the University community and our visitors of this procedure via multiple channels. University community members are urged to comply with this policy and to encourage others to comply in a collegial manner, in order to promote a safe and healthy environment where we can take care of ourselves and each other.
If a member of the campus community observes an individual violating the University face covering procedure, that member may request that the individual stop and inform the individual of the requirements. Any employee, student, or visitor who does not comply with the University procedure may also be subject to possible disciplinary or other corrective actions as appropriate
We recommend a four-phase approach to facilitating compliance:
Explain and Listen: When an individual appears to be non-compliant with University requirements for face coverings, the first phase is to understand their reasons for not doing so and educate them about the public health benefits for properly wearing a face covering. One such educational resource is the poster that presents the "ELO" (Explain-Listen-Options) acronym and sample scripts for likely scenarios.
The Work Group also suggests adoption and dissemination of the language similar to the following (quoted from Texas State University):
"We understand some people may disapprove of wearing a mask. While the university respects those individual opinions, research has shown that wearing a face mask is the most important, and a potentially life-saving tool to slow the spread of COVID-19. We did not take the decision to require face coverings lightly. In the interest of public health, however, we are committed to this practice for the greater good of the community.
Some people who disagree with the concept of requiring face coverings have called it "unconstitutional." However, to be unconstitutional, a restriction must infringe a fundamental right such as freedom of speech or invasion of privacy or otherwise treat people unequally. Requiring students to wear a face covering on campus when it's not possible to practice physical distancing is a narrowly tailored and minimally intrusive mechanism, which is justified by the significance of the university's interest in helping to stop the spread of a highly contagious and deadly virus for the safety of the campus community."
Offer Options: Once the person's reasons for initial non-compliance are understood, providing alternatives that can help them receive the service they need while maintaining compliance and public safety can be offered.
Departure: If alternatives are not possible or are unacceptable, and compliance is therefore not likely, appropriate guidelines for ending the interaction respectfully and safely should be followed. This would be the final option to be offered in the situation.
Corrective Action: Repeated non-compliance, or repeated failure to seek out/use alternatives may result in referral to the applicable disciplinary process or other corrective actions as appropriate. Other behaviors exhibited with respect to these requirements that violate other University policies, procedures, or guidelines may also result in disciplinary or other corrective actions as appropriate. (Consider listing appropriate contacts for different populations, e.g., DoS for students.).
Please note that disciplinary processes provide a delayed response to non-compliance. Therefore, the focus of compliance efforts in actual situations should be on providing options for individuals that speak to their reasons for not wearing a face covering, culminating with asking non-compliant individuals to leave the situation.