FAQ on COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unique circumstances and working conditions. Here are answers to frequently asked questions related to the Beckman Institute. This page will be updated frequently. View the campus COVID-19 website to stay up-to-date on campuswide issues.
This page was last updated at 1:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021.
Am I required to be vaccinated for COVID-19?
For the Fall 2021 semester, campus is requiring that all students, faculty, and staff who are able to do so will be fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days after the final dose) with a university-accepted vaccine.
All up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccines is being posted on the campus webpage.
What is the campus testing policy?
All university COVID-19 testing requirements are still in place, except for those with a university-verified Vaccination Record Card. Please note that even individuals who have a verified Vaccination Record Card on file will still have full access to the COVID-19 testing program and may continue testing. See campus' full testing policy for more details.
Do I need a face covering?
Beckman follows the campus policy on face coverings. As of July 30, campus requires all faculty, staff, students and visitors to wear a face covering inside university facilities.
What safety measures are in place for people working at Beckman?
- Beckman distributed reusable masks and cleaning supplies directly to each lab. Each person working at Beckman receives two. If your lab needs more masks, please email Beckman Operations.
- Our building has the same air handling concerns as most campus buildings. Most non-wet lab air is recirculated and we cannot guarantee a pristine environment in your individual office. Please follow all campus mask guidelines within the building.
- Hand sanitizer stations are located at each building entrance and elevator lobby.
- Beckman operations staff will frequently disinfect commonly touched surfaces, like elevator buttons, light switches, and bathroom faucets.
- If you develop symptoms like fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please remove yourself immediately from proximity to anyone else, notify your supervisor, and go home.
- Labs should keep records logging the dates, times, and room numbers of who is at Beckman. This information will be used for contact tracing if necessary.
- If your desk is located in a common working area, please work with your neighbors to maintain proper social distance.
- Anyone working at Beckman should disinfect their work area at the end of the day. Need more supplies? Email Beckman Operations.
What happens if I test positive?
If you or someone you work with tests positive for COVID-19, please follow campus' instructions. These include following the instructions from your local health department to isolate yourself, and notifying Illinois Human Resources by calling 217-300-9005. Illinois Human Resources will provide information about paid leave options, as well as collect information that will help ensure we take any necessary cleaning or sanitation steps. You must inform your supervisor of your absence, but you do not need to share specific health information. If you are doing remote work, you may continue to work if you are able.
Is the air handling system safe at Beckman?
- The majority of the Beckman Institute, except for the Division of Animal Resources area in the basement, is served by an air handler that has filters rated higher than the minimum levels suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
- The air handling system at Beckman Institute introduces filtered, fresh outside air at all times. The building automation system trend data for this air handling system indicates that more than 50% of the volume of air supplied from this unit is fresh, outside air.
- All campus HVAC systems, including the Beckman Institute's, are being physically inspected for proper operation before classes start.
What if I must host a visitor at Beckman?
A hosted visitor is someone who has been invited by a host to participate in a campus event or specific function. This includes contractors and deliveries. Hosts must receive permission for these visits and will take responsibility for their on-site visitors.
Proposed visits should be evaluated according to their benefit to the university’s mission. Where practical, visits should be delayed or postponed. Visits should also involve the minimum number of individuals possible. Hosts of campus events and programs must provide education and support for visitors. Hosts must also be held accountable for the behavior of the visitors they host. Hosted visitors may be invited to meet their host at another pre-arranged facility entrance to be granted access to facilities for these limited and scheduled programs and events.
On-site visitor expectations:
- Pre-arrange their visit to campus with their host
- Share contact information
- Wear a face covering
- Practice social distancing and follow signs
- Practice appropriate hygiene (wash hands, sanitizer, etc.)
- Participate in any subsequent contact tracing
Visitors are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test before coming on to campus.
- Meet and escort their visitors in any university facility
- Collect contact information from visitors
- Identify when and where (date, time) the visitor is visiting
- Make safety training available, such as anything specific to your lab or facility
- Make safety equipment available (face coverings, sanitizer)
- Maintain a record of the visit for at least 30 days
- Obtain permission from Beckman's director or associate directors to host the visitor in advance of the visit
For more information, please see campus' visitor web page.
What Beckman departments are working on campus?
All Beckman departments now have an in-person presence at the institute.
Shipping and Receiving is back to normal hours, and Facilities and Operations staff members are working on-site.
The ITS Help Desk is physically staffed, but please email or call 217-244-2904 as your default contact method
The Beckman Café is open for online ordering and contactless pickup , as well as safe in-person ordering and take.out.
The Business Office's staff members have hybrid working arrangements. and you can continue to work with them to submit grant proposals, get financial reports, and more. You can find more information about sponsor information on the Sponsored Program Administration's website. In addition to contacting staff members directly, you can also reach the grants and finance teams using their general email accounts.
All Human Resource functions are still available. Please use the general HR email address to contact that office.
Communications Office staff members all have hybrid working arrangements. You can still email about websites, social media, news releases, and more.
Will Beckman allow space reservations?
The auditorium, atrium, rooms 1005, 1003, 1227, 5602, and the tower rooms are open and available for use.
Based on CDC guidance, campus requires face coverings within university spaces indoors, as well as outdoors when you cannot practice social distancing. Each room will contain cleaning solution. Please wipe down the tables before and after your use of the room.
See the Beckman conference room capacity page for more details about each space.
What if I need a work-related supply to be delivered to my home?
In extraordinary circumstances where items are necessary to satisfy a business need for the Beckman community on Beckman funds, items can be shipped to employee homes. However, the following guidelines must be followed.
In all cases regardless of the purchasing mechanism, all shipments to employees’ homes must be pre-approved by the Beckman’s administration. Please request approval by emailing Director of Budget and Resource Planning Kelli Wendt. You’ll need to provide proof of approval with your standard P-Card transaction documentation.
Purchases must continue to comply with the Illinois Procurement Code and System policies including, but not limited to, property accounting, payment of sales tax, and risk management.
If a delivery to a university address is not possible, P-Card holders may authorize purchases to an alternative address in one of the following ways. These purchases should only be made to ensure continuity for business operations. Purchases must
comply with the P-Card program (see prohibited and restricted purchases):
By P-Card directly with other vendors.
The following requirements must be met:
- Purchases must be for a legitimate University of Illinois business need.
- A P-Card holder should not purchase items for their own business needs that will be sent to their residence. Instead, they should work with the business office to identify another card holder who can complete the purchase on their behalf, which allows for independent review and approval.
- The comments field in the P-card log should include a statement that the purchase was shipped to a non-university address due to COVID-19.
- Documentation of departmental approval must be submitted along with the standard P-Card transaction documentation.
- Each individual is responsible for returning the item(s) to the appropriate university business location once normal operations resume.
- Equipment requiring a system-issued property tag must be tagged in accordance with system policy, in addition to completion of the Equipment Loan to Faculty, Staff or Student Employees form. Questions related to inventory should be directed to Beckman Shipping and Receiving.
- Employees making a purchase in compliance with the reimbursement policies for system business purposes should present the system’s sales tax exemption certificate when making a purchase.
- The notes field in the expense report should include a statement that the purchase was shipped to a non-university address due to COVID-19.
- Documentation of departmental approval must be submitted along with the standard TEM transaction documentation.
- Each individual is responsible for returning the item(s) to the appropriate university business location once normal operations resume.
- COVID. Use for internal expenses including but not limited to travel related expenses such as flight change fees, cancelled flights, cancelled registration fees and hotel fees and penalties; hardware and software to allow employees to work remotely; additional cleaning services; unexpected or premium shipping
- COVIDR. Use for research and outreach activities for external audiences. This includes but isn’t limited to expenses associated with developing technologies, algorithms, testing procedures, and educational outreach activities related to COVID, please tag the expenditures with the COVIDR activity code.(Note that these expenses would not include base-salary labor costs related to the time being spent.) For all future expense related to COVID-19, please add the appropriate activity code to the CFOP in the iBuy or P-Card systems. Because the activity codes are not tied to any one fund, org, or program, they can be included with any CFOP.
- The Beckman Personnel Database
- All other databases
- Files located on the file server
- EMS administrative access
- Using Remote Desktop to access your campus desktop computer
- Keep your Zoom client updated to the most current version
- Require attendees to join using their NetID and password when possible. All Zoom meetings now require a password by default. Meeting organizers and course instructors will need to share passwords with attendees ahead of Zoom meetings.
- Report interruptions and uninvited access to the Security Office.
- The Graduate College has posted information about COVID-19 emergency grants for graduate students.
- The Center for Social & Behavioral Science has developed a comprehensive guide to social and behavioral issues raised by the pandemic, including local information and broader research-based resources.
- The Department of Psychology is maintaining a page devoted to mental health resources.
- Research on COVID-19 continues around campus, and all over the University of Illinois System, faculty and staff members are sharing their expertise. The Grainger College of Engineering and Carle Health have demonstrated a working prototype of emergency ventilator for COVID-19 patients. Several Beckman faculty members are involved.
- The University of Illinois Extension has a website sharing resources for families and community leaders preparing for and coping with COVID-19.
- Learn more about local resources with the Champaign County Resource Guide.
By employee reimbursement
University Payables will continue to process employee reimbursements in accordance with Section 8 Payments and Reimbursements of the Business and Financial Policies and Procedures Manual.
How is Beckman and campus tracking work expenses related to COVID-19?
Campus is requiring the use of two new activity codes on all COVID-19 related expenses. This will allow the university to track expenses related to COVID-19 across all colleges and across the university. The codes are:
For previously processed expenses related to COVID-19 that did not include the appropriate activity code, please email Kelli Wendt, director of budget and resource planning. Please include as much information as possible in your email including the type of transaction (iBuy, P-Card, TEM), the transaction number, the vendor, the amount of the purchase, and the CFOP, the business office will complete a transaction in the financial system to add the appropriate activity code.
How do I document my P-card and T-card purchases when I’m working remotely?
Note that these temporary instructions are specific to the Beckman Institute:
If the transaction includes an original receipt (examples would be Fed-Ex or the local hardware store), card holders can create a PDF with a log and a scan of the original receipt, then email it to Beckman’s finance team using the LN# from your log as the email’s subject. The card holder should maintain the original receipts and submit all required documentation hard copies to the business office by the end of the month in which the purchase occurred.
This paperwork can be deposited in the tray located in the west door into the business office suite or in the drop boxes just inside each door of the business office suite. (This will minimize the number of persons in the cubicle area of the business office.) Business office staff will collect these documents periodically. Please be sure to include a copy of the log along with the original receipt to allow for ease of identifying the transaction.
If the transaction does not include an original receipt after making a purchase from an online vendor, the card holder may choose to send a single email including a PDF copy of the log, the (non-original) receipt, and any appropriate back-up documentation to for reconciliation. The documentation should be sent to Beckman’s finance team. Please include the LN# from your log in the subject line of your email. Your email with the attached PDF will eliminate the need for you to bring any paperwork to the business office for this transaction scenario.
If the transaction includes an original receipt (for example, a gas or car rental receipt or a restaurant receipt for business meals):
Once the transaction is submitted and approved by the submitter’s supervisor, the expense report will route to the Beckman business office for review and approval. The transaction will be reviewed using the ER attachments. The expense report submitter, along with the traveler, will be responsible to retain original receipts until they can be provided to the business office. As soon as is possible or upon the submitter’s return to the office, they will provide a cover page, the original receipts, and any back-up documentation for each expense report to the business office. This paperwork can be deposited in the tray located in the west door into the business office suite or in the drop boxes just inside each door of the business office suite. (This will minimize the number of persons in the cubicle area of the business office.) Business office staff will collect these documents periodically.
If you are unable to bring any original receipts to the building, please contact the Beckman Finance Team to identify a solution based on your needs. Please be sure to include a copy of the expense report cover page along with the original receipt to allow for ease of identifying the transaction.
If the transaction does not include an original receipt (examples would be an airline ticket whose receipt is emailed to the purchaser):
Once the transaction is submitted and approved by the submitter’s supervisor, the expense report will route to the Beckman business office for review and approval. The transaction will be reviewed using the ER attachments. Your inclusion of the required documentation in the TEM system will eliminate the need for you to bring any paperwork to the business office for this transaction scenario.
What should I do if I have problems with the Beckman queue on the campus cluster?
If you have trouble accessing or using the Beckman queue on the Campus Cluster, please contact the Campus Cluster Helpdesk.
Can I connect to resources from home?
Likely, yes. Some resources do require you to connect through the campus virtual private network service, but most do not. This Tech Services page includes links to, and information about, most of the commonly used campus services. If you need help installing the VPN client, read the Knowledgebase article or contact the Help Desk. The VPN service may become slow, so please use it only if you need to.
All Beckman web applications are available without connecting to the VPN. The following Beckman resources do require connecting through the VPN:
Access to various research group resources are dependent on how those resources were configured. Please contact the IT person who maintains them.
What can I do if I don’t have an internet connection at home, or if my internet connection is unreliable?
You need a reliable internet connection. This Tech Services page offers a list of possible resources.
How do I keep Zoom secure?
Because of issues with uninvited guests joining and sharing inappropriate content in Zoom meetings, Zoom has disabled its file-sharing capability.
To keep Zoom secure, you're encouraged to:
How can I continue my professional development during this time?
The University of Illinois System Human Resources Services has provided a comprehensive guide to improving remote work and professional development.
Campus has licenses for several online learning and professional tools available free of charge to members of the Illinois community. LinkedIn Learning offers thousands of video tutorials on business and technology tools. Thousands of Coursera classes are also available. Learn more about how to log in.