FAQ on COVID-19 

FAQ on COVID-19 

Here are answers to frequently asked questions related to the Beckman Institute and COVID-19. This page will be updated frequently. View the campus COVID-19 website to stay up-to-date on campuswide issues.

An image of the COVID-19 virus

This page was last updated at 11 a.m. Friday, July 8, 2022.

Am I required to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

All students, faculty, and staff who are able to do so will be fully vaccinated and boosted 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. Face coverings are currently not required inside non-instructional university facilities.

What safety measures are in place for people working at Beckman?

  • Beckman distributed cleaning supplies directly to each lab. Each person working at Beckman receives two. If your lab needs more, 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.
  • 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.

On-site visitor expectations:

  • Pre-arrange their visit to campus with their host
  • Share contact information
  • 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.

Host expectations:

  • 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
  • Maintain a record of the visit for at least 30 days

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 in-person ordering and dining.

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.

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. 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.


      If this doesn't address your need for supplies or equipment, please contact the Beckman business office (either the grants or finance teams) for assistance.

      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:

      • 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.

      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?

      P-Card, T-Card, and expense reimbursements

      Cardholders should log their charges in Chrome River as early as possible.

      If your transaction included a hard copy of an original receipt, please provide immediately along with a copy of the Chrome River cover page from the transaction to the Business Office.

      Documentation can be deposited in the trays located by either door of the Director's Suite or the business office cubicle area. Please note, your transaction will not be approved until the required original receipts have been received by the Business Office.

      If there is no original receipt, the Business Office does not need further documentation beyond what was submitted via Chrome River.


      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:

      • 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

      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: