COVID-19, Facilities & Services Strategy During Difficult Times

Mar 19, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

The direction from the university is to keep all units operational and also to encourage and support remote work. As part of the university’s continuing response to the COVID-19 outbreak, F&S is following the recommendations from Chancellor Jones and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for implementing social distancing and virus-prevention strategies, where practical, to guard against community spread of the disease.

F&S will continue to support the campus by ensuring every department and division within F&S remains operational. Our commitment to the safety and well-being of our employees, as well as customer service and satisfaction, remains a priority.

  • Remote work arrangements will be made for all staff who can perform their job functions from home. Services are expected to remain at their current levels with the remote work arrangements.
  • Building Services will continue to perform cleaning services, limiting direct interaction with faculty and staff following the social distancing guidelines of the CDC.
  • All F&S Crafts & Trades will continue to actively respond to service calls, fulfill work orders, and perform general repairs and preventive maintenance on systems. Crafts & Trades will also limit direct interaction with faculty and staff following the social distancing guidelines of the CDC.
  • Transportation, Garage, and Car Pool will remain operational. In response to COVID-19, staff will take the necessary precautions by ensuring each vehicle is cleaned and sanitized upon receipt and delivery.
    • UI Ride service is currently canceled. This service will be reevaluated on or after March 31.
  • Construction Operations and Capital Projects will continue as scheduled. Project managers and coordinators will be performing their administrative work remotely and limiting their interaction with faculty and staff to electronic means.
  • Engineering Design and Quality Assurance will be delivered through a combination of remote and on-site work.
  • Abbott Power Plant and utilities production and distribution will continue operating; however, all visits and academic and research activities will be suspended.
  • Financial Operations, Information Technology Services, Service Office, and Stores and Receiving will continue operating.
  • All areas within Safety and Compliance will remain operational, including Environmental Compliance and Occupational Safety & Health.

Here are some of the service adjustments the organization has already implemented to make a safer work environment on campus:

  • Disinfecting high-touch surfaces (e.g., tables, doorknobs, light switches, handrails, desks) in public areas, such as classrooms, restrooms, hallways, stairs, and conference rooms.
  • Transitioning from routine cleaning to disinfecting activities twice daily: approximately between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. and again between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.
  • Acquiring inventory for cleaning and health/safety products in iStores
  • Establishing remote work arrangements across divisions/departments, where appropriate, to reduce staff density in facilities.
  • Adjusting Building Maintenance start times and assignments to limit external contact on projects and service work.
  • Restricting nonessential visitors to critical utilities buildings and locations.

During this period, F&S will continue to respond to service requests and urgent situations through a combination of both on-site staff and remote workforce support. To report an urgent issue, please call the F&S Service Office, 333-0340. In all other instances, use the my.FS Portal

As the unit entrusted to provide all physical plant, operational, and critical services for the campus, F&S will maintain the appropriate on-site shop and departmental staffing levels to support the educational and research missions of the university 24/7. Your cooperation is appreciated as we work together to protect the safety and well-being of the Urbana campus during this unprecedented public health crisis. As the situation changes, we will keep you updated on our efforts.


Dr. Mohamed Attalla, MBA, P.Eng.
Executive Director, Facilities & Services