Champaign-Urbana Public Health District

COVID-19 information for employers

Best Practices to Promote Workplace Health and Safety

Encourage sick employees to stay home

  • Employees who have COVID like symptoms should notify their supervisor and stay home
  • Employees should be instructed to stay home when sick and to follow the guidance of public health authorities if they have been exposed to or in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Testing is recommended for persons experiencing symptoms—you should stay home until your test results come back
  • We encourage implementation of flexible, non-punitive paid sick leave and supportive policies and practices as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent and reduce transmission. Employers should clearly explain paid leave policies and make employees aware they may be eligible for benefits if they are sick or live in the same household as someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19.


  • COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at protecting people from getting severely sick even if they do get infected with COVID-19. Booster doses are recommended to combat waning immunity and the Omicron variant. Everyone ages 5+ is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. More information on COVID-19 vaccines can be found here

Face coverings

  • On September 3, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed Executive Order 21-22 which requires all individuals over the age of 2 and who can medically tolerate a face covering to wear a face covering when in indoor public places.
  • In order to promote their use, employers should make face coverings and other protective equipment available at no charge to employees.

Social distancing

  • If possible, set up your work areas to allow for 6 feet between employees
  • Encourage employees to keep their distance from co-workers, clients, customers, etc whenever possible
  • Ensure common areas like breakrooms or conference rooms are set up to maintain social distancing

Basic hygiene

  • Employees should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Employees should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Encourage them to their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze or use the inside of their elbow. They should throw used tissues into no-touch trash cans and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs.
  • Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. Clean and disinfect them before and after use.

If An Employee Has to Isolate or Quarantine

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, they should isolate. If an employee is exposed to someone with COVID-19, they may need to quarantine depending on their vaccination status. It is important to note that anyone with COVID like symptoms should either stay home or get tested. Public Health guidelines for Isolation and Quarantine can be found here.

The guidance above applies to the general public. There are more specific Isolation and Quarantine guidelines for higher-risk settings such as healthcare facilities, congregate living facilities and schools.

What Mask Should I Wear

Along with getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing a well-fitting mask over your mouth and nose in indoor public settings or crowds is crucial to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Experts recommend you upgrade your mask to a high filtration respirator if you want optimal protection.

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Quick Links

Champaign County Safe
FAQ On Face Covering & Vaccination Requirements 9/3/2021
IDPH Guidance for Employers & Employees on Workers’ Rights & Safety
Workplace COVID-19 Complaints
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity