Protocols, Testing and Prevention

Campus Safety Protocols and Guidelines

To protect our community, all students, faculty, staff, visitors and guests are expected to follow the guidelines for each of these health protocols.

Face Masks

Face masks are required indoors
  • With the exception of personal residential or work space where physical distancing can be maintained, employees, students, vendors and visitors to campus must wear face masks when indoors. 
  • 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.
  • 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.


Health Monitoring and Reporting

Reporting Infections or Exposure

Students, faculty and staff who meet any of the following criteria must complete the COVID-19 Screening Checklist:

  • You have COVID-19.
  • You are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • You are NOT fully vaccinated* and have been exposed to someone who is positive or presumed positive with COVID-19.
  • You have received the COVID-19 vaccine and you have side effects that began or lasted beyond 4 days following the vaccination.
  • You are NOT fully vaccinated* and you have returned from international travel in the last 14 days.

*A fully vaccinated individual is defined is defined as someone who is now past the two (2) weeks following their second injection (Pfizer or Moderna) or single injection (Johnson & Johnson).

What to do if...

Faculty/Instructor Notification of Student Quarantine or Isolation

Faculty/instructors with in-person classes should be aware of the notification protocols based the following scenarios:

  • If the university learns that one of your students has been instructed to quarantine or isolate because of COVID-19
  • In the event students disclose to you that they have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive with the virus
  • If a faculty member or instructor is diagnosed with COVID-19
  • If you are showing symptoms or have been exposed to someone with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19



During Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan:

  • There are no capacity requirements for indoor or outdoor events.
  • Outdoor gatherings on NIU property require university permission.
  • Food and beverage is permissible at both indoor and outdoor events.
  • Student organizations that wish to host an event should use the event-registration process in HuskieLink.
  • The university continues to encourage the use of outdoor spaces whenever possible.

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.

  • Hand sanitizer stations have been placed near the entrances to all buildings. 
  • Employees should be sure to wipe down their workspaces on a regular basis. Request disinfecting products for office areas. 
  • Office trash collection has been centralized, as coordinated with building representatives and office contacts, to minimize the need to enter office/individual work areas and provide more time for common area cleaning/sanitizing efforts. Daily collection will continue from containers identified with a "Centralized Waste Station" sticker. Contact Building Services if central collection points may need to change locations.

The following guidelines help keep classrooms clean and safe:

  • Classrooms have been scheduled at 75% or less of normal capacity.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in classrooms.
  • Classrooms are thoroughly cleaned daily.
  • Disinfecting wipes are available in classrooms for individual use. 
Residence Halls
The safety and well-being of our residents is a top priority. NIU will continue with our increased sanitizing and disinfecting of high touch surface areas in the common areas including doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, countertops at all front desks, light switches, entry glass and door push plates. Restrooms and public spaces will continue to be cleaned and disinfected at least daily, often more frequently. Each hall has hand sanitizer stations, and the disinfectants being used are from an EPA-approved list of cleaners.
All restrooms are cleaned daily. Where possible, restroom doors should remain open and everyone 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.
Computer labs

Disinfectant spray will be provided in all computer labs and other high-touch/high-traffic offices and spaces.

Requesting disinfecting products for campus offices and departments
  • 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. 
    • 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.
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