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Coronavirus

Coronavirus Information

SIU Carbondale is committed to protecting our community as we approach the future with cautious optimism. In compliance with the governor’s Restore Illinois plan, we are preparing to offer fall classes in person and do so safely.

Offices are open Monday through Friday. Please do your part protect the health and safety of the Saluki community.

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Student Resources | Faculty/Staff Resources

The following FAQs address SIU Carbondale’s response to COVID. Information is subject to change. Please revisit this site regularly. Submit additional questions to pandemicinfo@siu.edu. (updated 6-11-21)

General Information

On June 10, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Illinois entered Phase 5. The most noticeable component of this phase is the lifting of restrictions for how many people can get together in one place. We are reverting to limitations in place before the pandemic, such as the capacity of a room or venue.

We are reverting to limitations in place before the pandemic, such as the capacity of a room or venue.

Effective March 29, 2021, the Jackson County Health Department is accepting vaccination appointments from any Illinois resident age 16 and older, regardless of health condition or occupation. This includes SIU students from Illinois and outside our state. You can find out more on the Jackson County Health Department website.

We are strongly encouraging our faculty, staff and students to become vaccinated. At this time, however, we are not requiring vaccines.

Parents can visit this website regularly. To be added to an email list for updates and other information, send your email address to  pandemicinfo@siu.edu or sign up here.

Consistent with the Restore Illinois plan, we are reverting to limitations in place before the pandemic, such as the capacity of a room or venue.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

See Saluki Safety for a comprehensive look at safety measures across campus, including classrooms, residence halls and more.

Please see Saluki Safety for details on safety initiatives.

Individuals who are fully vaccinated: Face coverings and physical distancing will not be required indoors or outdoors for fully vaccinated individuals. Exceptions to this guidance include health care settings and public transportation, such as the SIU Student Health Center and Saluki Express. Additionally, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are encouraged to wear masks when they feel the situation warrants, such as indoors with a large gathering of people.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated: Any individual who is not fully vaccinated and who is over age 2 and able to medically tolerate a face covering (a mask or cloth face covering) shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. This requirement applies whether in an indoor space, such as a store, or in a public outdoor space where maintaining a six-foot social distance is not always possible. Consistent with federal and state guidance, adherence to these requirements is a personal responsibility.

Yes. SIU has had cases with residential students as well as employees. We work closely with the Jackson County Health Department, which is responsible for tracing cases of COVID-19 and recommending quarantine or isolation of ill or exposed individuals. Faculty, staff or students who have been exposed to COVID-19 are notified directly by the health department.  Information about current active cases is posted

The university encourages self-monitoring for all symptoms of COVID-19, including fever above 100.4 degrees. The university has not mandated temperature checks at entries to buildings or rooms; leaders at the SIU School of Medicine have indicated that temperature checks have not been shown to decrease the transmission of COVID-19, do not detect asymptomatic cases, and may have the unintended consequences of reducing social distancing and causing those with normal temperatures to pay less attention to effective measures of prevention, such as face coverings.

The university works closely with the Jackson County Health Department, which is responsible for managing the county’s COVID-19 response. The health department notifies us when cases have been identified and directs decisions related to isolation or quarantining individuals who have been infected or exposed. We assist the department as needed to trace individuals who may have been exposed. If the health department directs isolation or quarantine, employees and students who live off campus would isolate and quarantine at their residences. We have established a location for students who live on campus; the students are provided food and support. All students have access to Student Health Services.

If you are aware that someone who has recently been in your facility has tested positive for COVID-19, fill out the facility exposure notification form and provide details about the potential exposure risk. The Emergency Operations Center and Plant and Service Operations use the report to review and provide services as necessary. Meanwhile, do not go into the office or workspace of the individual.

If you are not contacted by a contact tracer, you may continue to participate in in-person classes.

The Student Health Center provides tests for students who are symptomatic. Students with symptoms should self-quarantine and contact the health center at 618-453-3311 or shcinfo@siu.edu. It is important to call ahead before going to the health center.

The Student Health Center will continue to monitor the situation with this virus and is in contact with the Jackson County Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for regular updates.

The health center has protocols in place, in concordance with CDC guidelines, for the evaluation of patients who may be at risk for contracting COVID-19. The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to detect new cases quickly and prevent community spread of COVID-19.

ACADEMICS

The office is accepting study abroad applications for fall 2020, winter intersession 2021, spring 2021, spring break 2021 and summer 2021. If a program is canceled due to COVID-19 before the start date, SIU will refund all payments or students may defer their application to the next term.

For students seeking an international experience that does not require travel, Study Abroad Programs has joined with partner institutions around the world to offer a Virtual International Internship Program during the 2020-21 school year. Virtual internships are available in most career fields and areas of study. Please email studyabr@siu.edu for more information.

International student enrollment (current students in the U.S.): The U.S. government has waived the maximum online hours rule for schools that have switched to online delivery during the summer session due to the coronavirus. Visa status will remain active so long as students enroll in the appropriate courses to be full-time. A decision by the U.S. government regarding the fall 2020 semester is expected in the coming days. Immigration updates can be found on the Center for International Education website.

International student enrollment (new and current students abroad): Most American Embassies and consular offices are not currently issuing student visas due to the coronavirus. Newly admitted students who are currently outside the U.S., as well as current students who returned home over the summer, may not be able to travel to the U.S. in time for the start of the fall 2020 semester. To the extent possible, the university will work to accommodate these students via online instruction. Students are encouraged to contact their academic units to determine if online courses are available. 

University international travel: The university will continue to monitor recommendations from health agencies and adapt plans as necessary. Please see the updated travel restrictions, some of which apply to students, in the faculty/staff section.

STUDENTS

We know that many students and families are facing financial challenges due to the pandemic and our shared efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19. Our goal is to minimize the impact of these challenges on your ability to continue your education.

We have increased the amount you can carry on your bursar account in order to be able to register for fall 2021 classes. Previously, if you owed more than $200 on your account you would not be able to register. Continuing a temporary change made for current fall semester, we have raised that amount to $1,500 to minimize barriers to registration for spring. In other words, as long as you owe no more than $1,500 on your account, you will be able to register for spring 2020 classes. This is a temporary measure in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances caused by the pandemic. Please email the bursar’s office at bursar@siu.edu or call 618-453-2221 with questions.

Students with disabilities and students who request course accommodations because they are at high risk for serious complications from COVID-19 should contact Disability Support Services at disabilityservices@siu.edu or 618-453-5738. Disability Support Services staff will work directly with instructors on necessary accommodations.

You might consider calling Counseling and Psychological Services, where counselors are available to help students with mental health concerns or coach students with who are dealing with anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. CAPS staff will be available by phone at 618-453-5371 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Treatment and coaching options have been expanded to accommodate students remotely and now include telehealth appointments, skills coaching or referrals to other providers in your area. All students are advised to call CAPS at 618-453-5371 to determine the treatment options that would best meet their needs.

The following websites offer strategies for people who feel anxiety related to the coronavirus and suggestions on how to take care of your mental health: Coping with Stress During the COVID-19 Outbreak and Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks.

United Healthcare is taking action to ensure health plan members and patients affected by COVID-19 have the support and resources they need. United Healthcare has an informative FAQ sheet, and students can ask specific follow-up questions at 1-866-948-8472. It is important to note that laboratory testing for COVID-19 will be covered, and cost sharing will be waived, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles, at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines. Please call the number above if you have concerns regarding approved locations. If you are an SIU Carbondale student in the Carbondale area, please remember that Student Health Services is open and capable of testing for COVID-19. If you have symptoms and/or a possible exposure to COVID-19, please call the Student Health Center to schedule an appointment at 618-453-4458. If you are at home, please visit www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount to find a network provider near you.

You can contact Gallagher Student Health at 1-888-538-0602 to request a form to petition to add student health insurance due to a qualifying event. The rates will be prorated for the semester.

Students and family members can call the Office of the Dean of Students 618-453-4846 or 1-877-725-0006 between 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday. Questions can also be sent to the pandemicinfo@siu.edu email address at any time, including evenings and weekends.

Because recommendations change daily, please contact Student Health Services at 618-453-3311 or shcinfo@siu.edu.The State of Illinois is currently not requiring quarantine of people who come from other states.

The federal CARES Act provides emergency funding to help students cover some expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Funds can be used toward the cost of attendance, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care or similar expenses directly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. CARES Act funding available to students in the spring has been distributed.

FACULTY AND STAFF

Please see Saluki Safety for information about health and safety protocols.

Mail will be delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and FedEx and UPS deliveries will be possible Monday through Friday.

Please contact Disability Support Services at 618-615-4492 for private, confidential assistance with requests for accommodation.

Talk with your supervisor about options for alternative or flexible work schedules. If an alternative schedule is not possible, you will need to take vacation or unpaid leave.

The university’s sick leave policies allow you to use leave to care for immediate family members when they are ill. Employees who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should consult with a medical professional and their supervisors before returning to work.

The university will be taking a number of steps to protect the safety of employees and encourages staff to take precautions at all times, whether or not they are at work. If you are required and able to work and choose not to do so, please contact Labor and Employee Relations to discuss your options.

Employees who are directed by a health official to quarantine or isolate are required to comply with the order. If you are quarantined or isolated and unable to work because you are ill, you will need to take leave.

Yes, employees exhibiting symptoms will be sent home. The employee's continued presence must pose no risk to the health of the employee, other employees and students in order to remain at work.

Infected employees pose a threat to other employees and students and could spread the virus. If a supervisor believes an employee has COVID-19 symptoms, including a fever, the supervisor will consult with his/her director. Based on that and any other necessary consultation, an employee who is suspected to have COVID-19 will be ordered to go home to protect the campus community. If the employee refuses the directive to go home, that employee may be disciplined for insubordination in accordance with applicable policies, rules, and/or collective bargaining agreements.

Temporary illnesses, such as the flu, are not typically considered a work-related injury under the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act. However, the university encourages employees to consult with Human Resources in order to verify whether the employee's particular situation may be covered.

FMLA may be available with regard to the employee's own serious health condition or for the care of a family member with a serious health condition. Contact Human Resources for more information.

Start with your supervisor with questions related to your status or office. Supervisors will consult with directors and deans as appropriate. Questions may also be sent to pandemicinfo@siu.edu by any employee.

INSTRUCTORS

Tell the student to self-isolate and call the Student Health Center at 618-453-3311 for further instruction. If the student shows up in class and expresses concern about his or her health or seems to be ill health, ask them to leave, self-isolate and contact the Student Health Center for further instruction.

The Jackson County Health Department is responsible for tracing and notifying individuals who may have had contact with someone exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19. You may be contacted for your seating chart, but the health department has the responsibility for notifying individuals who may have been exposed. The health status of an individual student is confidential. Decisions related to future classes should be made in consultation with the dean or director based on information provided by the Jackson County Health Department.

If you believe you have been exposed to or may have COVID-19, do not come to campus and follow the instructions of your health care provider or the Jackson County Health Department. You may also call the SIH COVID-19 hotline at 844-988-7800 for guidance. Follow the usual protocols for notifying your department or school of your absence. Do not return to work unless you have a negative test result or have been cleared by a medical professional.

Please contact ADA Coordinator's Office at 618-453-5738 for private, confidential assistance with requests for accommodation related to elevated risk for COVID-19.

Please contact Disability Support Services at 618-615-4492 for private, confidential assistance with requests for accommodation.