COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

The following answers to questions related to our covid-19 protocols are up-to-date as of 9/2/21. If guidance and/or protocols change, this information will be updated on our website.

What are you doing to prevent the spread of Covid-19?

Our procedures and protocols are similar to what the schools are doing. For example, we have increased sanitizing of high touch surfaces and closed drinking fountains and/or replaced them with water bottle filling stations. We have installed hand sanitizer stations around campus and will encourage participants to wash their hands frequently or make use of the hand sanitizer available. We require masking for all staff and participants while indoors. Continue reading for more information.

Are your staff vaccinated?

Per the governor’s order 2021-20, all higher education employees must be vaccinated or submit to weekly covid testing. As an outreach campus of Northern Illinois University, our employees are subject to this mandate.

What is your masking policy?

At this time, per the state mandate and NIU policy, everyone, regardless of vaccination status, is required to wear a face covering (that covers the mouth and nose) while indoors or outdoors if engaged in activities that require close contact. During outdoor activities, students will be able to participate unmasked most of the time. However, they may need to mask during certain activities, especially in team building. Of course, if a school has stricter masking policies (requiring students to mask outdoors, for example), we will enforce their policy. However, if a school’s masking policy is less strict (mask optional, for example), students, teachers, and chaperones must follow our policy while on campus.

Do participants need to wear a mask while they sleep?

Participants should not wear a mask while sleeping. However, they should be masked while moving about the dorm.

Will the kids sleep close together?

We will provide as much space for the participants to spread out as possible. We recommend that participants sharing a bunk bed sleep head to feet, although this is not required.

How will meals be handled?

Participants must wear a mask while in the dining hall, except while seated and eating. ISBE recommends students in schools remain 3 feet apart while eating, and we will accommodate this restriction. This means that 4 people would be allowed at a table instead of 8. If we are unable to seat the entire group in the dining hall due to this guideline, the schedule can be arranged to allow for 2 mealtimes.

What happens if someone becomes ill while at Taft?

If a student becomes ill with symptoms that could indicate a covid-19 infection, their parent/guardian will be called to come to Taft to pick them up, and they will need to isolate while waiting. We have identified a room for this purpose. An adult from the school will need to chaperone the waiting student, outside of the room, unless the adult is vaccinated.

Contact Information

NIU Lorado Taft Field Campus
PO Box 299, Oregon, IL 61061
815-732-2111
www.niu.edu/taft
Melanie Costello, Campus Director, melcostello@niu.edu