Protect the ‘Necks Plan: New Policies, Procedures in Place for Fall 2020

Western Illinois University is committed to creating a campus environment focused on the academic success and health of all students, faculty and staff. The Protect the ‘Necks Plan is a comprehensive plan that has been put into place to keep the University community safe by mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Several committees have worked to develop procedures, tools and protocols necessary to ensure the successful and safe return of students, faculty, staff and campus activities. As procedures and guidelines are updated, the information will be shared with the University community and available at

All members of the WIU community must complete the Protect the ‘Necks training by Monday, Aug. 24. The training is live on Western Online (Fall 2020 section). The training is designed to raise awareness about COVID-19; provide the latest safety guidelines; and inform the University community on guidelines, protocols and procedures. Once the training is completed, individuals will be asked to sign Protect the ‘Necks Pledge.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to get tested if possible before returning to the Macomb and/or Quad Cities campuses and communities.

The Illinois Department of Public Health anticipates being on the Macomb campus during the week of Aug. 17 to conduct COVID-19 testing for all members of the University community. Beginning Monday, Aug. 24, sample populations will be tested each week throughout the fall semester. More information will be forthcoming as details are finalized, including testing for Quad Cities campus faculty, staff and students.

WIU will resume on-campus activities and face-to-face classes Monday, Aug. 24 at its Macomb and Quad Cities campuses. New student move-in begins Wednesday, Aug. 19.

“As the health and safety and physical and emotional well-being of all members of our WIU community are our highest priority we have created an in-depth Protect the ‘Necks plan. We know that we can provide an excellent educational experience for all of our students, but our ability to do so safely will require cooperation and support from everyone, both on and off campus,” said WIU Interim President Martin Abraham. “This will be an unusual semester for all of us as we continue to adapt to the practices that are needed to provide the safe educational environment we all want to achieve. Our goal is to have a safe and successful semester.”

The following policies are in place until further notice:

COVID-19 Safety

Educated by the latest science, public health guidance and ideas from our campus community, WIU has implemented a flexible, in-person experience designed to keep the University community safe, ensure access and quality for students, faculty and staff, and move the campus community forward. The measures described in this policy are critical in protecting both the campus as a whole and individuals at higher risk from COVID-19.

A key requirement for reducing the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission involves significantly reducing the number of close ‘people-to-people’ and ‘people-to-infected-surface’ encounters. These reductions are achieved through measures described in this policy including: social distancing and campus density reductions; the use of appropriate personal protective equipment and aggressive cleaning protocols; and personal hygiene discipline (click on the link above for the complete policy).

Face Coverings

To help ensure the health and safety of the WIU campus communities and the public, face coverings are required to be worn at both the WIU Macomb and WIU Quad-Cities campuses (click on the link above for the complete policy).

• Face coverings must be worn in all campus indoor settings, including classrooms, dining centers, elevators, conference rooms, computer labs, laundry rooms and other common areas.
• Face coverings must be worn in outdoor spaces except when seated and maintaining social distancing of no less than 6 feet.
• When in a private office or workstation that has proper distance from others or alone in a space, face coverings do not need to be worn.
• Students do not need to wear their face coverings when inside their residence hall rooms.
• Face coverings do not need to be worn while eating or drinking in a University dining facility. Compliance with appropriate physical distancing must be observed.

This requirement is in accordance with local public health directives.


The purpose of this policy is to provide temporary guidance related to official University travel for the reasons of business, academic and all other purposes, as well as personal travel, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy does not supersede existing approval protocols related to travel. Prior approval must be obtained through appropriate channels for business-related and financial reasons. This policy is in effect immediately and will remain in effect until the State of Illinois reaches Phase V of the Restore Illinois Plan or University administration determines that travel restrictions are no longer required (click on the link above for the complete policy).

COVID-19 Guidance: Event/Meeting Scheduling and Guidelines

Western Illinois University is committed to the health and wellness of the campus community. In an effort to keep students, faculty and staff safe, new guidelines for meetings and events occurring during the fall semester will be implemented. In addition to these guidelines, a centralized scheduling process will be implemented for any room request that is not directly associated with the scheduled meeting time of a particular course section, regardless of the facility. This process has been established in order to effectively communicate health and safety guidelines and implement attendance tracking via the centralized University attendance tracking system (click on the link above for the complete policy).

Classroom protocols

Health & Hygiene

From hand hygiene to daily health checks and more, visit for protocols and procedures related to health and hygiene.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations

Leave a Reply