Campus Safety Protocols and Guidelines

In addition to completing training and daily self-monitoring before returning to work on campus, all employees should review the following protocols and guidelines that will be put into place for safety while on campus. Also see Expectations of a Huskie.

PPE Requirements and Distribution

Face mask policy
  • With the exception of private offices or personal workspaces where physical distancing can be maintained, employees, students, vendors and visitors to campus must wear face masks when indoors. If an employee is not alone (e.g., in their office, a conference room), face masks must be worn even if physical distancing is possible.
  • Employees, students, vendors and visitors to campus will not be required to wear face masks outdoors unless physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Any vendors, visitors or others conducting business on university property will be required to follow the university’s face mask policy.
  • Employees who cannot wear face masks because of underlying medical conditions should notify their supervisors immediately and continue working from home until they are given further instructions. See more details at the FAQ page on the NIU Keep Working website.
    • Any employees who cannot wear face masks because of underlying medical conditions must contact, or be referred to, the Office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Education (AAEOE) for assistance. AAEOE will engage in an interactive process with those employees and their departments/units to determine any reasonable accommodations that might be necessary to assist the employees in performing their jobs.
      • Employees and supervisors are expected to practice patience, be reasonable and work together to resolve issues or concerns with the use of face masks.
      • Supervisors are expected to work with their employees on attempting to find a suitable solution to their employees’ issues or concerns with the use of face masks. If an employee is represented by a union, supervisors must consult with Labor Relations in Human Resource Services before implementing any resolutions to employee concerns/issues.  In the event that a resolution with an employee cannot be reached, supervisors/managers must consult with other appropriate offices, such as Human Resource Services and/or the Office of General Counsel, before making any final decisions.


Requesting face masks and other PPE
  • For those who need or want them, the university will provide each employee with two (2) reusable, washable face masks.
  • The university will provide face masks, hand sanitizer and some disinfecting products (e.g., spray bottle with disinfectant and paper towels) for self-cleaning work areas.
    • Requests for PPE and disinfecting products should follow standard processes for requesting supplies for offices/units.  We ask that people do not request disinfecting products for individual offices or workspaces, but for areas as a whole.  For example, each employee in the Office of the General Counsel should not request disinfecting products, but the office as a whole can do so. 
    • These common PPE and disinfecting products will be provided at no cost for General Revenue units/operations.  Auxiliary operations should continue to purchase products to allow for appropriate accounting between the separate financial systems.
    • For a list of products that the university carries (e.g., gloves) as well as instructions for how to obtain them, visit Facilities Management and Campus Services/Central Stores website. Typically, the person normally responsible for ordering supplies for an office area or operation is familiar with the process of ordering items through Central Stores.
    • For those units that might need products beyond what the university carries, units should procure items as they normally would.

Cleaning and Sanitation

General cleaning

All buildings will be cleaned daily using CDC guidelines regarding appropriate cleaning supplies.  Daily cleaning will primarily focus on common spaces and will include wiping down high-touch areas, including door knobs, sinks, water fountains and elevator buttons.

  • Employees should be sure to wipe down their workspaces on a regular basis. Request disinfecting products for office areas. 
  • Office trash collection can also be centralized where feasible to minimize the need to enter office areas and provide more time for common area sanitizing efforts.  More details will be coordinated with office areas as plans are developed.

Classrooms will be cleaned daily and will be augmented with disinfection efforts between classes, as feasible. While the objective is to disinfect between each class, there could be periods of peak classroom demand which might not make this possible.  As an alternative and additional option, disinfection wipes will be available in classrooms to allow individuals the opportunity to sanitize personal work surfaces.

All restrooms will be cleaned daily. Where possible, restroom doors should remain open and employees should wash their hands thoroughly. Restrooms without air dryers will have a trash can placed by the entrance/exit door. When it’s not possible to leave a door open, employees should open the door with a paper towel, and place the paper towel in the trash can upon exiting. Brushing teeth and shaving is prohibited.
Hand sanitizer stations

Hand sanitizer stations have been placed near the entrances to all buildings. Offices can order bottled hand sanitizer as noted above.

Disinfectant spray

Disinfectant spray will be provided in all computer labs and other high-touch/high-traffic offices and spaces. Offices overseeing these areas can order disinfectant spray as noted above.

Building Spaces and Access

Workspace areas, including conference rooms, offices, reception areas, lounges and kitchens
  • With the exception of private offices or workspaces where physical distancing is possible, face masks must be worn at all times in these areas.
    • Although employees will not be required to wear face masks in their private offices or workspaces where physical distancing is possible, they should be sure to clean any surfaces (e.g., tables) before employees visit the offices or workspaces.
    • If an employee is not alone (e.g., in their office, a conference room), face masks must be worn even if physical distancing is possible.
  • All meeting and conference rooms must be configured to comply with physical distancing.
    • Meeting and conference rooms should be used sparingly. Employees are encouraged to continue using Microsoft Teams when holding meetings. 
  • All reception areas or offices where lines might form must put tape on the floor at a distance that complies with physical distancing and physical distancing signage must be posted. 
  • High-touch items, such as pens or magazines, must be removed from waiting areas.
  • Food consumption should take place in a person’s individual workspace or outdoors in a manner compliant with physical distancing.
    • Employees should always wash their hands before and after eating.
  • Disposable utensils must be used in kitchens. Reusable items (e.g., flatware, dishes, cups) should not be used. 
  • The use of communal microwaves, coffee pots and toasters is discouraged.
  • Food and drink in refrigerators should be clearly marked with the person’s name and removed at the end of each day.
    • Employees should not share food, including condiments and creamer.
Elevators and stairwells
  • No more than four (4) people should enter an elevator at any one time.
    • Residence halls will have different guidelines.
  • Each person should stand in one of the four corners of the elevator without leaning against the walls.
  • Employees should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as possible after exiting the elevator.
  • Face masks must be worn in the elevator.
  • Please use the stairs if possible and avoid touching handrails.
    • If handrails must be used, employees should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as possible after exiting the stairwell.
  • Where possible, signage should be placed on each floor next to stairwells designating it as “up” or “down.”
    • Building representatives will take the lead on designating the directional flow of stairwells.

Meetings, Interactions and Events

Please inform any vendors or contractors you work with about our guidelines for visiting campus. Be sure to share the information regularly to help them maintain awareness while they're on site. We appreciate your diligence in following and sharing our guidelines.

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