Response to COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: Please see campus’ COVID-19 Information Page, which also contains pertinent information and FAQs.

Social Distancing
What are the basic social distancing protocols?

Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least 6 feet, or about two arm lengths, away from other people reduces the chances of catching COVID-19. This can be accomplished through a variety of means, including limiting occupancy loads, establishing visual cues, creating barriers and partitions, and controlling traffic flows. When those controls are ineffective or infeasible, a mask should be worn.

You can learn more at the COVID-19 Campus Safety Information site.

What are my basic responsibilities regarding social distancing?

  • Be aware of and respect other people’s personal space.
  • Avoid direct physical contact with other people. Do not shake hands, high-five, or engage in other person-to-person contact unless necessary (e.g., medical emergency).
  • Frequently practice proper hand hygiene.
  • Lead by example and kindly remind others of expectations and their responsibilities.
  • Employees are encouraged to stay home if they feel ill or if a family member is ill to avoid transmission in the workplace.

Who should I contact if I have concerns with my office work area meeting social distancing guidelines?

First, discuss the situation with your supervisor to determine modifications that can be made. If it is determined that a plexiglass shield or other furniture modification is needed, email It may be necessary to adjust schedules if workspaces cannot be properly distanced in an area.

When should I wear a mask?

Employees will be provided two washable, reusable masks to wear when on campus and unable to social distance. To reduce the transmission of COVID-19 infection, all University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students, employees, and visitors who are medically able to do so must wear a face covering in any university building, facility, or classroom unless they are physically isolated in a private space or room. The assumption is that meetings will continue to be held online. Employees are responsible for washing their own masks. Information can be found here on proper mask washing. Gies guests and visitors should also follow face covering guidelines. Please ask your guest(s) to wear a mask when visiting. If your guest(s) forgets a face covering, disposable masks will be available in limited quantities in the Welcome Center.

I am not comfortable wearing a mask. Is it required?

For the safety of everyone, all employees and guests must wear a mask unless they have a medical diagnosis that prohibits them from doing so.

Workplace Safety
What measures are being taken to ensure employee safety on campus?
  • Supplies: The Facilities team has secured the initial COVID-19 safety supplies for the departments. Items will be sorted and delivered to the departments prior to a return campus. If faculty or staff are in need of supplies, please check with your unit administrator or staff member who maintains supplies.
    NOTE FOR UNIT STAFF: Disinfectant wipes are in very high demand and short supply. You may order additional supplies when needed from F&S Stores.
  • Shields: Plexiglass shields are being installed in locations where face-to-face encounters occur (most often in suites with a reception-style furniture setup). Most desktop versions are being installed the week of June 1. The more labor-intensive shields and/or those requested later in the process will be installed this summer as they become available.
  • Desk furniture: Sit-to-stand desks should not be used in the “stand” position if the top of the user’s head extends above the top of a partition or barrier – if the partition or barrier is used in lieu of social distancing (100 square feet).
  • Staff breakrooms: Use of the 3025 BIF kitchenette and the 370 WH kitchenette (along with internal suite break/workrooms) should be limited to one individual at a time. The user must disinfect all surfaces when finished using the microwave, refrigerator, countertop, etc. This space should only be used for collecting and heating up your lunch; an alternative location will need to be used to eat your lunch so others can utilize the space safely.
  • Gies employee cleaning: Gies employees will need to assist in maintaining clean personal office and suite spaces. 
Where do I park if I am on campus?

Parking will be flexible during summer term. Any employee that currently holds a campus parking permit will have the flexibility to park in any campus designated lots. NOTE: This is for summer only and starting August 31, permits will again be valid only in their designated lots.

Starting July 1, all meters/pay spaces in E24 (ARC), E3 (Library), and D10/D11/Circle Drive (Illini Union) lots will be enforced and need to be paid Mon. - Sat. from 6 am - 1 am. The C7 and C10 parking structures will be available for hourly paid parking from 6 pm - 1 am (Mon. - Sat.), using the MobileMeter app. There will be no parking allowed in the structures from 1 am - 6 am. Click here for more details.

Gies Facilities
What are the safety procedures within Gies Business buildings?
  • Building entrance doors: External doors will be signed with “enter only” and “exit only” signage. Where there is only one set of doors, one door will be designated for entering and the opposite door will be for exiting (using the right side when approaching the door). This usage will help to keep the flow moving. Please be mindful of those with ADA needs, who may need to use a door with an ADA push bar.
  • Elevators: Individuals are encouraged to use the stairs when possible. Elevator use should be limited to 1-2 riders to maintain social distance, and riders must wear a face covering. While waiting, please stand 6 feet away from the elevator doors so that passengers may safely exit the elevator. After using the elevator and pressing the call buttons, users should wash or use hand sanitizer. F&S has installed signage and floor markings as a social distancing reminder.
  • Stairwells: Users must wear a face covering and follow posted signage to keep traffic flow moving in the same direction (stay to the right). Individuals are encouraged to wash or sanitize hands after touching stair railings.
  • Hallways: Direction flow will be indicated on hallway floors (stay to the right). As a reminder, users must wear a face covering and maintain social distancing in hallways.
  • Conference and breakout rooms: Continue to utilize virtual meetings whenever possible to maintain social distancing. If meeting in person, individuals should maintain social distancing at all times. It is the reserving group’s responsibility to wipe down all surfaces when finished with the space. Supplies will be provided in each room. If supplies need to be restocked, please send an email to
  • Classrooms: Sanitizing wipes will be provided in each classroom. Upon arrival, users should wipe down the table and chairs and use the hand sanitizer after disposing of the wipes. For instructors who would like to use them, plastic keyboard covers will be provided in the cabinet. Please place the cover over the keyboard and remove/dispose when you are finished with it (e.g., at the end of each class). Classrooms with two doors will have an “enter only” door and an “exit only” door to maintain traffic flow. For classrooms with one door, faculty should dismiss students slowly to maintain distancing. The next group of users will enter after all previous users have exited (fall semester if applicable). If supplies need to be restocked, please send an email to
    Depending on classroom needs and further guidelines yet to be confirmed, some classrooms may be unavailable for use. This will be evaluated as more direction becomes available over the summer and into the fall semester.
  • Restrooms: Users must wear a face covering and follow social distancing as much as possible. As a reminder, handwashing for at least 20 seconds is required after using the restroom.
  • Atrium usage: A reduced number of tables and chairs will be available in the atrium in BIF due to follow social distancing guidelines. Per these guidelines, one chair is available for the small tables, and two chairs are available for the large tables. Users should be mindful to social distance when using this space and are encouraged to keep furniture as arranged to meet safety requirements. Cleaning wipes will also be available for wiping down surfaces.
  • Collaboration tables: One chair is available to maintain social distancing.
  • Lounge furniture and benches: Furniture, including tables and benches, around BIF and in lounges have been removed to help increase traffic flow as well as to reduce large group gatherings.
  • Building hours: Gies facilities (along with many other campus facilities) remain closed at this time. Additional communication will provided as buildings open to the public. Up-to-date information can be found on the Daily Events/Building Hours schedule.
  • Signage: Signage in common spaces is being provided by F&S and/or Gies facilities. If a unit has a need for additional signage, the following Box folder is provided for printing. The Box folder also contains templates for floor graphics to promote social distancing in hallways, along with instructions for measuring out social distancing signs. These non-slip adhesive floor decals can be ordered through Document Services by filling out a PDF form (also available in the Box folder). If you have questions about campus COVID-19 signage, please contact
What cleaning procedures will be done by campus Facilities & Services, and what will need to be done by faculty, staff, and students?

Campus F&S Responsibilities

  • Resumption of routine cleaning with changes to prioritize CoVID-19 related cleaning and disinfection activities
  • Increase frequency (twice daily) or restroom cleaning
  • Disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces
  • Private offices will not be entered unless specifically requested
  • Trash left outside doors will be collected

Faculty, staff, and student responsibilities

  • Disinfect conference rooms before and after meetings, including partitions or sneeze guards
  • Disinfect vehicles before and after use
  • Personal workspace: flat surfaces, phones, keyboard/mouse, door handles, light switches, frequently touched surfaces
  • Clean shared workspace, collaboration spaces, break rooms, kitchenettes, coffee stations; this includes lobby chairs, shared copier/printers, shared microwaves/refrigerators, shared files, cabinet handles, door handles, light switches, frequently touched surfaces
  • Wipe down reception areas after visitor/student interactions; disinfecting countertops
  • Refill hand sanitizer containers in work areas
What new regulations are in place regarding Gies Business events?

Regulations for on-campus events are still to be determined at this time. Once university administration announces further direction, Gies reservations will follow-up as well. Currently the university guidance is for no in-person university sponsored events through July 31.

When will decisions be made regarding additional regulations for Gies Business events?

The university has adopted the following phased approach to decisions about the status of events after July 31 through the rest of the summer and into the fall semester.

  • July 1: University guidance will be announced for events between Aug. 1-Aug. 15.
  • July 15: University guidance will be announced for events between Aug. 16-Aug. 31.
  • August 1: University guidance will be announced for events between Sept. 1-Sept. 30.
Personal/family concerns
I am in an at-risk category. What do I need to do?

If you are in an at-risk category, please self-identify to campus HR and discuss your particular needs with your direct supervisor.

I feel sick, what should I do?

If you are sick, do not come to work. You may use your available sick leave or FMLA. Please discuss your particular situation with your direct supervisor.

My family does not have available childcare this summer. What do I need to do?

If you do not have available childcare, you should self-identify this need to campus HR and discuss your particular needs with your direct supervisor. Through the summer, employees may need to work remotely to the extent possible, or revise their work schedule to accommodate childcare needs.

COVID-19 Communications

This is an archive of internal communications sent to Gies faculty and staff. Please visit campus' excellent COVID-19 website for a comprehensive collection of Massmails distributed at the University level.

COVID-19 Related Webinars

Larry DeBrock - The Economic Impact of Coronavirus

Carlos Torelli - Consumer Behavior in the Global Marketplace in the Time of Coronavirus

Patricia Werhane - Ethics in Global Commerce

Douglas Laney - Data is Your Best Defense in a Downturn