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All visitors are required to bring and wear a mask. Click here for a complete list of COVID-19 resources, protocols and procedures.
FAQs - Faculty & Staff Return to Campus

What if I feel I am unable to return to campus because of an underlying medical condition?
If you have an underlying condition or are in a situation where you do not feel comfortable or safe in returning to work on campus, you must notify your supervisor and begin the reasonable accommodation process with HR; supporting documentation will be required for approval. If it is determined that your work cannot be completed remotely, HR will provide you with alternative options.

Do I need to get tested prior to returning to campus?
Not at this time. However, employees also can work directly with their health care provider if they feel they need a COVID-19 test. If you are on a University health plan, and have a doctor’s prescription, testing is covered at no cost through in network providers. Additionally, state sponsored drive through testing locations are free of cost.

What are the current symptoms of COVID-19?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. This list does not include all possible symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will continue to update the symptom list as more is learned about COVID-19. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
Additionally, a self-checking service from the CDC is found below the symptom list on the link above.

What should I do if I’m feeling sick before arriving on campus for work?
We ask that you take your temperature at home daily before reporting to work. If you have a fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher), you need to stay home, and notify your supervisor. If you have one or more of the other COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your doctor and notify your supervisor and Human Resources.

What should I do if I start feeling sick during the day, while I’m on campus for work?
If you start to feel sick with any of the COVID-19 symptoms while you are on campus for your work shift, please notify your supervisor and Human Resources immediately, while observing proper social distancing and face covering guidelines. You will be advised to go home and contact your health care provider if you are displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

What can I do to assess my health on a regular basis?
All employees should monitor their health daily using the COVID-19 Self-Screening Instruction Sheet, remain home if not feeling well, and report symptoms to your health care providers. If you test positive for COVID-19, you need to alert the Office of Human Resources.

Does my University health insurance coverage cover the cost of COVID-19 testing?
COVID-19 testing is covered at no cost to employees/members who are covered under STU medical plans as long as you have a prescription from your doctor. Additionally, drive through, state sponsored testing sites are free of cost.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive for COVID-19, you must notify the Office of Human Resources by sending an email to Nadine Lewis nlewis-sevilla@stu.edu or Bettina Romanat bromanat@stu.edu and completing the Symptom Self-Report Form. We will respect your privacy to the extent possible. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 must remain at home and self-isolate according to current CDC guidelines.

What are my options regarding Paid Time Off if I test positive for COVID-19?
Please contact the Office of Human Resources to discuss your situation.

What if one of my family members displays symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19?
Individuals who are confirmed to have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person must self-isolate. Third party contact does not require self-isolation. If you are unsure, please contact HR.

What if someone I interacted with on campus tests positive for COVID-19?
If an employee tests positive, we will speak with them to determine with whom they came into contact, so we can assess potential exposures.
If an employee has been exposed to, or has come in contact with, an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, either at work or elsewhere, that employee must self-isolate at home.
The identity of employees and students who test positive will not be disclosed beyond a need-to-know basis; however, contact tracing and the need for exposed individuals to self-isolate may result in revealing their identity to some individuals.

What if someone I interacted with has symptoms of COVID-19, but has not tested positive?
You should self-isolate until the person’s COVID-19 test comes back negative or you have undergone 72 hours without symptoms while taking no fever reducing medication or have had your own COVID-19 test after the interaction and the results were negative.

Do I need to take sick time if I am self-isolating?
If you are able to work remotely and have been approved by your supervisor and HR, you do not need to take sick time if you are self-isolating. If you are unable to work remotely, you will need to take sick time.

If I am in self-isolation is that information kept confidential?
An employee’s self-isolation status is kept confidential, except on a need to know basis (e.g. supervisor).

What personal protective equipment (PPE) will employees be required to wear on campus?
Everyone must wear a face covering in public spaces, including meeting rooms, where they interact with others. STU will provide one cloth face mask to every employee. The STU Bookstore has additional face masks available for purchase.

If I see someone who is not wearing a mask, what should I do?
Please be respectful because the person may have an underlying health condition, but you may kindly remind them they should be wearing a mask. If they don’t have one, please let them know face masks are available for purchase in the bookstore. If they have a mask and refuse to comply, inform their supervisor and HR.

Do I have to social distance while on campus?
Yes, everyone must adhere to at least 6 feet of social distancing or the current best practices when around others.

Will employees be required to submit to daily temperature tests?
Yes, we are asking you to submit to temperature testing before being allowed on campus as part of our health protocols and policies.

What measures are being taken by the University to ensure workplace safety?
STU is engaging in several measures to ensure workplace safety, including but not limited to, contact tracing, new signage and health information displayed around our campus, a detailed Facilities review of all workspaces, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

What type of signage is the University displaying related to COVID-19?
We are in the process of creating a variety of signage that comply with CDC guidelines and that will be displayed across our campus with important information and reminders on topics such as: social distancing (min. 6-feet apart) guidelines, the requirement to wear face coverings, personal health monitoring, staying home when feeling sick, one-way traffic designations in certain areas, wiping down surfaces such as door knobs, keyboards, etc., and to frequently wash hands.

What kind of cleaning and disinfectant protocols will the University employ?
Our Facilities team will be engaging in more frequent and robust cleaning protocols, including commonly used areas at least twice daily. In addition, we ask you to augment those efforts by routinely cleaning and disinfecting your workspaces and wiping keyboards, phones, and doorknobs, if applicable, at least once a day. We also will have processes in place to perform enhanced, deep cleanings of a workspace if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. Each office suite and classroom will have bleach solution with paper towels that may be used for supplemental cleaning of surfaces at each employees discretion.

Where will I be able to eat my lunch or take breaks?
Our University cafeteria will be closed until students return. You are welcome to eat in your designated workstations or break rooms while being mindful of social distancing guidelines (staggered lunch breaks may be needed). Microwaves and coffee machines may be used; however, employees are required to properly clean them after each use. Employees ordering food for delivery must arrange for a contact-free delivery.

How will meetings be handled when we return to campus?
While the University recognizes that we are used to in-person meetings, it is vital that other means of communication, such as the phone and Zoom, are used whenever possible.

Do I still have to share an office with my colleague? We won’t be able to socially distance.
Our Facilities team is reviewing all workspaces across campus to determine where physical adjustments may be necessary, such as installation of plastic shields, spacing out workspaces, assessing one-way traffic patterns, and other accommodations. These adjustments will be made in advance of each department’s return to work. If you have questions about your workspace needs, please contact your supervisor.

What if I travel out-of-state? Out-of-country?
STU advises faculty and staff to avoid unnecessary travel domestically and internationally. Employees who travel out of state or internationally for personal reasons, may be asked to inform STU of your travel plans in the event contact tracing is needed to alert you or others about possible exposure. Potential quarantine may be required based upon the location of travel.
Until further guidance is provided, employees will not be permitted to travel for work purposes. Any exception to this policy requires approval from the Compliance Office: mattroche@stu.edu or 305-628-6648.

How do I report bias incidents related to COVID-19?
For employee-related incidents, please contact the Office of Human Resources. Student-related incidents should be reported to Student Affairs: rmcnab@stu.edu.

What is considered a potential exposure to COVID-19?

A potential exposure to COVID-19 can occur through a household contact or having a close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. This potential exposure begins 48 hours prior to the infected individual has begun to show symptoms.

What is considered a close contact to COVID-19?

A close contact to COVID-19 is considered contact with an individual who has tested positive or who has symptoms of COVID-19. This contact must be within 6 feet for a least 15 consecutive minutes. Any contact within 48 hours prior to the individual showing any symptoms until the individual self-isolated could be considered a close contact.

Human Resources Guidelines

Through our Bobcat Go! protocols, the university is striving to keep our community as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is imperative all members of the STU community take necessary health and safety precautions to assist in mitigating the risk of exposure. If you feel that you are not able to return to campus for work because of a medical condition or other personal circumstances, complete the short term telecommunicating agreement and coordinate with your supervisor and HR to receive approval. We have developed guidelines and protocols consistent with CDC recommendations to best aid all employees upon their return to campus. Our facility and maintenance team has worked diligently to disinfect and sanitize campus. Individual offices will be supplied with hand sanitizer and a disinfectant solution. Failure to adhere to all university COVID-19-related guidelines, including wearing face masks, will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. The Fall semester courses are planned to begin on-ground, August 24th.

Employee Protocols

If you are sick or are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 you should not be on campus. Please notify your supervisor if you have any symptoms. Please reference the Employee FAQs relating to close contact exposure to determine if you should request the ability to work from home. All employees must bring and wear a face mask. While on campus, the following guidelines are to be strictly followed, including but not limited to CDC recommendations https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when in common spaces or communicating with others in person. While in your personal office alone, this is not required.
  • Honor social distancing requirements by keeping at least 6 feet apart.
  • Do not shake hands. Instead our greeting will be the Bobcat claw.
  • All meetings are expected to take place virtually, unless physically unable to do so.
  • Limit gatherings on campus to no more than 10 individuals.
  • Wash your hands regularly, for 20 seconds.
  • Avoid hand contact with your face.
  • Disinfect highly contacted surfaces on a regular basis.
  • Lunch breaks must be taken either outdoors employing social distancing guidelines, or alone in your individual office.

Failure to adhere to employee protocols may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Workplace Mask Policy

The health and safety of employees is our highest priority. All employees are required to wear a mask or cloth face-covering that covers his or her mouth and nose at all times* while in the workplace. We encourage you to bring your own mask, but if you need a mask, please contact Human Resources and you will receive one. *Please note the following exceptions:

  • Employees who work in their own personal enclosed space (e.g. their own office) are permitted to remove their mask if they are seated at least six feet from the doorway. However, they must wear their mask or face covering at all other times.
  • Employees who wish to eat or drink may remove their mask to do so, provided they are situated six feet away from others, perform the necessary hygiene and replace the mask when they are done.

Please note this policy is an addition to our previous communications regarding preventing the spread of COVID-19. All University advice on social distancing remains in place. Please continue to practice social distancing even when wearing a mask. These policies are in effect to protect all members of the STU community. Individuals who simply decline to wear face coverings, but do not raise a medical or otherwise protected objection, will not be permitted to work, and will be disciplined for not following work requirements. For a first violation of this policy, you will receive a verbal warning that is documented by your supervisor, any additional violation will result in disciplinary action up to termination.

Related forms:

Temperature Screening

As of Monday, June 1st, any person entering St. Thomas University’s campus will undergo an infrared temperature screening. Public Safety staff will operate a screening station after the entrance from NW 37th Street. In alignment with CDC recommendations, anyone reading higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit will not be permitted on campus. The existing COVID-19 guidelines that have been in place including the required use of face masks and increased sanitation will remain in place. Upon reading higher than the allowed temperature, public safety will notify HR and the employee should notify their direct supervisor. The employee must work from home (or take sick time if too ill to work) until symptoms subside or they receive the medical clearance from a treating medical professional. If symptoms persist, employees are encouraged to obtain a Covid-19 test. The CDC guidelines outlined below will be followed by the University to determine if it is safe for an employee to be on campus:

Return to Work Considerations

Employee was symptomatic but was not tested for COVID-19 Employee tested positive for COVID-19
The employee may return to work if:

  • They have not had a fever for at least 72 hours and have not used fever-reducing medication during that time.
  • Coughs and other symptoms have improved.
  • Seven days have passed since they first experienced symptoms.
The employee may return to work if:

  • They no longer have a fever
  • Coughs and other symptoms have improved.
  • They have received two negative COVID-19 tests in a row.

As a reminder, any employee that tests positive for COVID-19 must inform their supervisor and Human Resources.

Travel Restrictions

  • All university-sponsored travel to, from, and through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Warning Level 3 travel notice countries is prohibited. CDC Warning Level 3 travel notice areas currently include China, Schengen Region of Europe, Iran, Brazil, and The United Kingdom. The CDC also recommends that all travelers returning from Level 2 travel notice areas also follow the 14-day self-quarantine.
  • Staff who have arrived or will be returning from a CDC Warning Level 2 or 3 travel notice area are required to self-quarantine in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Travelers returning from Level 2 or 3 travel notice areas must not return to campus until they can demonstrate that they show no symptoms associated with COVID-19 — cough, fever, shortness of breath — for a period of 14 days from the date of entering/reentering the United States.

COVID-19 Symptoms to look out for

  • According to the CDC, symptoms may occur 2 -14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

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