Information and university updates about COVID-19 and CARES Act Funds.

Achatz Hall of Science at sunrise

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for Employees

How are we protecting employees while on-campus?

  • Employees are required to complete a daily assessment for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to work.
  • Housekeeping
    • Increased disinfecting of high-touch surfaces such as door handles, rails, restrooms, breakrooms, work surfaces, etc.
    • Disinfecting supplies have been provided to all departments and encouraged to disinfect high-touch items in their areas such as phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, copy machines, credit card readers, etc.
    • Clean On The Go Super HDQL10 will be used for disinfecting.
  • Hand sanitizer units have been installed outside every main public restroom and large student gathering areas such as lobbies, lounges, and cafeterias. Facilities Department will refill units on a regular basis.
  • Social Distancing
    • Social distancing is encouraged in the workplace when possible.
    • We will adhere to social distancing requirements as established by the Allen County Department of Health.

Am I required to wear a face covering?

Beginning, May 3, 2021, USF will not require individuals inside university facilities to wear face coverings. Face coverings may still be worn, and individuals should respect the wishes of those who prefer continued use of face coverings.

What if I see someone not adhering to USF safety guidelines with regards to preventing exposure to COVID-19?

If the behavior is personally affecting your safety, politely address the situation with the individual. If you see others not adhering to the USF safety guidelines and it is not personally affecting your safety, please respect the unique dignity of each individual and their personal choices.

I am afraid to return to work and being exposed to COVID-19, what do I do? What options do I have?

Understandably, employees may have concerns of being exposed to COVID-19. We are all responsible for using best practices now and in the future to avoid exposure of any type of virus. Work with your supervisor to alleviate your fears. Share ideas you may have to reduce exposure. The university’s Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) is available to you for counseling on fears related to COVID-19 or other concerns. PTO is available if scheduled and approved by your supervisor. If PTO is not available nor possible because of office responsibilities, you are expected to be on campus and fulfill your duties.

I have a health condition that places me more at risk if I am exposed to COVID-19, how do I return to work?

Share your concerns with your immediate supervisor. Some flexibility may be possible in certain circumstances.

Also note: Accrued Paid Time Off (PTO) is available for use; please refer to the PTO Policy located in the USF Employee Handbook.

An employee may be entitled to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in certain circumstances. Some instances of COVID-19 may qualify as a “serious health condition.” Please see information below and in the USF Employee Handbook about FMLA and other Leave of Absences and consult with Human Resources.

Leaves of Absences and/or FMLA entitles employees to job-protected leave when they have a serious health condition or when they need leave to care for covered family members who have a serious health condition. Leave for the purpose of avoiding exposure to the COVID-19 is not protected under the FMLA.

I have a family member in the household that is at risk if exposed to COVID-19, how do I protect them if I return to work?

Share your concerns with your immediate supervisor. Some flexibility may be possible in certain circumstances.

Also note: Accrued Paid Time Off (PTO) is available for use; please refer to the PTO Policy located in the USF Employee Handbook.

An employee may be entitled to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in certain circumstances. Some instances of COVID-19 may qualify as a “serious health condition.” Please see information below and in the USF Employee Handbook about FMLA and other Leave of Absences and consult with Human Resources.

Leaves of Absences and/or FMLA entitles employees to job-protected leave when they have a serious health condition or when they need leave to care for covered family members who have a serious health condition. Leave for the purpose of avoiding exposure to the COVID-19 is not protected under the FMLA.

I have children under age 14 and my child’s school/childcare is on e-learning or not open, how do I return to work?

Share your concerns with your immediate supervisor. Some flexibility may be possible in certain circumstances.

Also note: Accrued Paid Time Off (PTO) is available for use; please refer to the PTO Policy located in the USF Employee Handbook.

I don’t feel well. What do I do? What if I am sick and need to see a doctor?

Employees who are ill are encouraged to stay home. Employees should notify their immediate supervisor and stay home if they are sick. Employees should refer to Indiana Department of Health Isolation and Quarantine recommendations if they have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive

Employees are advised to contact a medical professional.

What steps should be taken if an employee becomes ill with fever, cough or other concerning symptoms?

Supervisors should recommend that employees who are sick remain off duty until symptoms resolve, and that they seek medical assistance, as appropriate. If an employee declines to take leave, supervisors should consult with Human Resources. Employees and supervisors should refer to the Indiana Department of Health Isolation and Quarantine recommendations if displaying COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. A COVID-19 Notification form must be completed by the employee or supervisor if an illness or positive test has occurred.

May USF prohibit an employee from coming to work if the employee is known to be sick, with fever and/or have contracted COVID-19 themselves?

Yes. USF is obligated to provide a safe workplace and may take necessary and reasonable steps to minimize health risks for its employees. Employees should stay home if sick and should go home immediately if they become sick while at work. A COVID-19 Notification form must be completed by the employee or supervisor if an illness or positive test has occurred. Before returning to work, employees must complete an Employee Illness Self-Certification to Return to Work form.

Should I notify HR if I or one of my direct reports called in sick or went home with symptoms of COVID-19?

Yes, employees and supervisors should refer to Indiana Department of Health Isolation and Quarantine recommendations for further guidance for employees who display symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. A COVID-19 Notification form must be completed by the employee or supervisor if an illness has occurred. An Employee Self-Certification to Return to Work form must be completed by the employee before return to work is permitted. For further questions or to provide additional information, please email the HR Team at [email protected]. For tracking purposes and quicker response, do not email a member of the HR Team directly. This is to monitor cases at the university level, support departments with ongoing staffing needs and support employees who are absent with benefits.

When can I return to work if I have had influenza or another contagious illness?

Employees and supervisors should refer to the Indiana Department of Health Isolation and Quarantine recommendations unless a written alternate diagnosis is provided by a medical professional. Always follow the instruction of a medical professional. A COVID-19 Notification form must be completed by the employee or supervisor if an illness has occurred. Before returning to work, employees must complete an Employee Illness Self-Certification to Return to Work Form.

Is a note from a healthcare provider required by HR of an employee who is out sick?

Any employee with a COVID-19 positive test result, should attach a copy of their test results to their COVID-19 Notification form. Employees are required to complete the Employee Illness Self-Certification to Return to Work Form prior to returning to work. To be covered under any eligible leaves, and to use the Sick Leave Reserve (SLR) benefit, employees must provide HR documentation from a healthcare provider. If no note is provided, employee will be required to use accrued PTO.  If no accrued PTO is available, time off work will be unpaid.

What if I have to self-quarantine due to potential exposure of COVID-19? How will I be paid?

As of February 25, 2022, employees who are exposed to COVID-19 and are asymptomatic are not required to quarantine. If the employee is displaying symptoms, they are required to quarantine based upon Indiana Department of Health Isolation and Quarantine recommendations. Share your concerns with your immediate supervisor. Some flexibility in work hours or location may be possible in certain circumstances.

Also note: Accrued Paid Time Off (PTO) is available for use; please refer to the PTO Policy located in the USF Employee Handbook.

Please contact Human Resources at [email protected] with questions or for further assistance.

What if I must stay home due to an illness (including COVID-19)? How will I be paid?​​​​​​​

Accrued Paid Time Off (PTO) is available for use; please refer to the PTO Policy located in the USF Employee Handbook.

An employee who is sick may be entitled to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in certain circumstances. Some instances of COVID-19 may qualify as a “serious health condition.” Please see information below and in the USF Employee Handbook about FMLA and other Leave of Absences and consult with Human Resources.

Leaves of Absences and/or FMLA entitles employees to job-protected leave when they have a serious health condition or when they need leave to care for covered family members who have a serious health condition. Leave for the purpose of avoiding exposure to the COVID-19 is not protected under the FMLA.

How is campus notified of any changes?

Updated information will be available via the University News Page and on MCC.

Students, faculty, and staff should check these sites regularly in the coming days for updates and additional guidance. Email and MCC announcements will also be utilized as needed to get information out in a timely manner.

What if I use a “home” COVID-19 test kit?

A “home” COVID-19 test cannot be used to verify a positive or negative COVID status unless it is a digitally read test.

From OSHA:

A digitally-read test, which produces a date and time stamped result (e.g., results available through an app, QR code, RFID), is not considered to be “self-read” under the ETS and therefore would not require observation by an employer or an

authorized telehealth proctor in order to satisfy the requirements of the ETS. Tests that are digitally read in this way reduce the potential for falsified results by ensuring a new test result is generated each week and each test is used only once.

This information is directly from the Allen County Department of Health website:

What if a person reports a positive test conducted in the home? There are several home rapid test kits that can be purchased over the counter. These home tests are not reported to the health department like laboratory tests, and cannot be verified as far as technique nor how they were administered like in a testing facility, and are therefore not included in the daily or overall case numbers in the state of Indiana. Since there is no way to verify the validity of the test, our recommendation is not to accept these as confirmed cases in the school or work environment at this time. If someone does utilize a home test kits and tests positive, our recommendation is to keep the person home and encourage testing at an official testing facility for confirmation. Once the official report of a positive test is available, then all appropriate contact tracing will be done at that time. Negative results from home test kits also should not be used to allow someone to return from quarantine early.”

Please consider getting a PCR  or digitally-read test for accuracy.