Members of the NIU community are encouraged to make informed, cautious and flexible decisions when it comes any type of personal and professional travel during the pandemic and, especially, to avoid areas that are considered “hot spots” for COVID-19 outbreaks. State- and local-based quarantine orders are likely to evolve over the next few months, and you will be required to follow any regulations or orders that pertain to you. The university will continue to closely monitor changes in public health guidance and will communicate with our community about the effect of those changes.
Personal and University Travel Quarantine Guidance
As of July 6, the Chicago Department of Public Health issued an Emergency Travel Order that directs travelers arriving in Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine for 14 days. The intent is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Chicago as a result of people entering Chicago from high-incidence states.
All employees and students who have traveled to the states identified by the Chicago Department of Public Health as experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases should quarantine for 14 days and not return to any of the NIU campuses before the quarantine period is completed.
Although NIU is not technically located in the area affected by the travel order, many of our employees and students live in or near the Chicago area. We expect members of the NIU community to follow local, state and federal guidelines that pertain to them, and we will support them in doing so.
All non-essential, university-sponsored domestic and international travel for faculty, staff and employed students is limited and/or restricted through December 31, 2020.
Travel can be approved by a supervisor if it meets one of the following conditions:
Required by an employee’s job (examples: admissions counselor visits to high schools; travel to Springfield for state relations; travel for athletic functions; necessary site visits to clinical agencies, etc.);
Essential to the progression of an employee’s professional development or research, scholarship or artistry (examples: participation in a professional workshop or service position; participation in a conference; delivery of a presentation; examination of documents at remote archives; collection of data; performances by a musician, etc.); or
An obligated activity associated with grants and contracts (examples: delivery of clinical services; data collection, etc.).
Approval should be provided by an employee’s immediate supervisor using standard travel procedures. This policy does not address funding for travel, which should be identified by the traveler separately from approval. Those who believe that they have reasons to travel outside of these three conditions can request waivers through the Office of the Provost.