UR Ready for Employees

COVID-19 Preparedness

UR Ready, Employees

 

We're all in this together.

 

As a University community, we strive to provide an engaging and personalized education for our students. To that end, we each have a responsibility for doing everything we can to keep each other safe.

COVID-19 FAQ for Employees

UNIVERSITY-WIDE MEASURES

What is the University doing to take general precautions?

The University continues to follow the latest guidelines offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health and Marin County Health and Human Services Office regarding the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19:

  • The University's response is currently led by the COVID Task Force, chaired by Vice President for Administration Michelle Rogers.
  • The University and its COVID Task Force are working with specific liaisons at the County level, as well as following CDC and state guidance to provide up-to-date information and recommendations as they are released.

Are face coverings required on campus?

Yes. As we transition back to in-person living and learning, we will take extra precautions to keep our community safe.  Therefore, at this time, we require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear face coverings, regardless of their vaccination status, while indoors on all U of R campuses. This change begins Monday, Aug. 2, and will remain in effect until further notice.

If you are unable to wear a face-covering due to a documented medical condition, you must wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape attached at the bottom. Face shields are only sufficient covering when they include a drape attached to the bottom edge.

What can I do to prevent getting the virus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent the virus,get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can, if you haven’t already done so. Learn more about vaccination from the CDC.

Other ways to stop the spread of the virus include to: 

What should I do if I believe I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?

If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member/administrator who is showing COVID-19 symptoms, has been exposed to the virus, or received positive COVID-19 test results, please complete the University's reporting form. After the form is submitted, a member of the University's response team will follow up with you to review the information and advise you of next steps.

Remember to call ahead to any health care provider to advise them of your concern before seeking treatment. Notice to the provider allows them to be prepared for your arrival, thus minimizing exposure of others, should your condition warrant such preventative planning. 

Where can I find out more information about this virus and the disease it causes?

For more information on the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, see the FAQ from the CDC.

ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

Will the University of Redlands reopen for in-person classes in fall 2021?

Yes, U of R has announced plans to return to in-person instruction in the fall.

GENERAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

What can I do to protect the health and safety of the U of R community?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect your health and the health of others, get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can, if you haven’t already done so. Learn more about vaccination from the CDC.

Other ways to stop the spread of the virus include to: 

In addition, employees who are sick should stay home (or leave work immediately), notifying their supervisor; before returning to work, employees should call their health care provider for instructions regarding return to work if they have been ill.

For more information on prevention and safety protocols, see the CDC website.

Are vaccinated individuals encouraged to engage in routine COVID-19 testing?

Yes. With the emergence of the Delta variant, we encourage vaccinated individuals to engage in voluntary surveillance testing for COVID-19, even though they are not mandated to do so by the University’s current policies. Vaccinated individuals are especially encouraged to test for COVID-19 three to five days after travel or if they have other reason to believe they might be at risk.

Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

A testing location run by San Bernardino County is located on the main Redlands campus in University Hall. Appointments can be made through the San Bernardino County Testing Sites web page or through the Redlands App (UR Ready>Testing Appointments); walk-ins are also accepted, but may experience a longer wait time. Those at other campuses can find a testing site through the State of California’s Testing page. Additional information is available on the UR Ready Getting Tested web page.

I may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. What should I do?

Please fill out COVID-19 Symptoms, Exposure, or Positive Test Reporting Form providing as much detail as possible. A University case manager will contact you to review what you have submitted in the context of CDC guidance, both of which inform next steps.

What are procedures for someone who is vaccinated and asymptomatic, but who has been exposed to COVID-19?

After the exposed individual fills out the reporting form, a University case manager will be in touch and go over next steps. For those who are asymptomatic and vaccinated, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines advise, and University policy requires, that the individual:

  • Wear a face covering at all times indoors around other people and outdoors within six feet of another person;
  • Test for COVID-19 three to five days after exposure; and
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

Under these specific circumstances, quarantine is not necessary.

I received an automated notification from my state or other organization that I might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. What should I do?

Some states and organizations have been sending such messages to large groups of people within the general vicinity of a reported COVID-infected person. Such a message does not necessarily mean you meet the criteria for having been in close contact with an infected person. However, if the message causes you concern, please fill out a reporting form to receive guidance from a case manager before taking any action.

I am a faculty member, and a student in my class has tested positive for COVID-19. All students were properly masked. Do I need to take action?

The student should have reported the case via the University’s reporting form, which will initiate the University’s contact tracing process and put the student in touch with a case manager to support the student in next steps. (Please encourage the student to fill out the form if it has not yet been completed.) If you are not contacted as part of the contact tracing process, you may continue your regular activities. Of course, as with any other student illness, you will want to help the student keep pace with the work in your class during the time when the student cannot attend in person. You should continue to follow all health and safety protocols in your classroom.

Can my supervisor send me home if I’m showing symptoms of COVID-19?

Yes. The University has a duty to protect all of its employees, including you.

What do the colors on the University of Redlands app mean?

Gold (which indicates a “golden ticket”) means you have full access to Redlands facilities because you have provided proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Green means you have provisional full access to Redlands facilities because you have uploaded proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the past seven days and have reported no COVID-19 symptoms on your required Daily Health Assessment. Red means you have not provided proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the past seven days and/or have not completed your required Daily Health Assessment; therefore, access has been restricted. If you have symptoms that could indicate COVID-19, please fill out a reporting form so a case manager can help you determine next steps.

Where can I find further information about U of R health and safety policies during this time?

Information can be found in the Employee Vaccination Policy and the Interim COVID-19 Policies for All Employees. If necessary, please consult with your supervisor about your individual situation.

If I see someone wearing a face covering incorrectly (or not at all) indoors and on-campus what should I do?

All university community members are required to wear face coverings in indoor spaces on campus, including classrooms, and covering their mouths and noses, except when eating or drinking. Most community members are responsive to this requirement, but some do need reminders, so please remind each other gently as needed. In the case you are met with lack of compliance with COVID-19 safety procedures, or a general safety concern, please connect with Public Safety by calling 909-748-8888 or ext. 8888 on campus phones. You may also use BULLDOG TIPS, a safety alert system, to send an anonymous tip via text message; text TIP UOFR to 888777.

How can I report violations of the University’s health and safety policies?

If a situation that poses inappropriate or excessive risk occurs, take action by addressing it directly with the individual or work through the individual’s leadership chain. Employees can also report issues via this link, or contact Public Safety by phone at 909-748-8888 or by texting the keyword TIP UOFR to 888777.

Is business travel permitted?

University business travel (domestic and international) is at the discretion of each employee’s supervisor as long as CDC travel restrictions are followed and prior approval is received from the respective Cabinet member. CDC travel guidelines.

VACCINATION

What is the University’s vaccination policy for employees?

Requiring vaccines is an important aspect of our return to campus and is critical to reducing the spread of the virus.  Vaccinations offer an added measure of safety, especially in office spaces, residential communities, and classroom settings where members of our community congregate. 

Therefore, the University requires a full course of COVID-19 vaccination for all faculty and staff who come onto a U of R campus, with certain pathways for exemptions. Those who meet exemption criteria will continue to be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing requirements and strict health and safety protocols. For more information, see the Employee Vaccination Policy.

If I am vaccinated, do I need to continue to test for COVID-19 weekly and fill out the Daily Health Assessment on the Redlands app?

Employees who have completed a full course of vaccination are excused from testing and daily health assessment requirements.

What are the additional actions that unvaccinated individuals must take to protect the health of the community?

Unvaccinated employees must continue to engage in:

  • Weekly COVID-19 testing (see Getting Tested for more information) and recording of the results using the UR Ready app and sharing proof of the results to the employee’s supervisor
  • Completion of daily health check on the Redlands app
  • Physical distancing

How do I apply for a medical exemption or for a religious or disability accommodation?

If you believe you need an accommodation regarding this policy, you are responsible for requesting a reasonable accommodation by submitting an exemption/declination form.

Can my supervisor ask me if I am vaccinated?

Yes. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of the employees within their area and the campus community members they meet. Employees who receive an exemption from vaccination have different guidelines to follow and a supervisor is performing due diligence by asking if you have been vaccinated. Your supervisor also needs to know if you travel (business or personal) because a quarantine period and COVID test are required for unvaccinated individuals.

Can my supervisor ask me if I have received an exemption from being vaccinated?

Yes. Your supervisor can ask if you have received an exemption. You do not have to disclose what the exemption was for or why, but you do need to answer the question so the supervisor can provide you with any necessary information and additional protocols that coincide with an exemption.

Can the University change the terms of my employment by requiring a vaccine?

Yes. Employment in California is at-will and the University can update and establish new working conditions, with some restrictions, to better ensure the health and safety of employees and the workspace. Those restrictions generally are tied to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If you have a medical reason or sincerely held religious belief that might prevent you from taking a coronavirus vaccine, please contact Human Resources to engage in the process of finding reasonable accommodations.

Is asking or requiring an employee to show proof of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination a disability-related inquiry?

No. There are many reasons that may explain why an employee has not been vaccinated, which may or may not be disability-related. Simply requesting proof of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination is not likely to elicit information about a disability, and, therefore, is not a disability-related inquiry. You are not required to disclose any medical information as part of the proof. Employee vaccination records will be stored in compliance with state and HIPAA guidelines.

How will I know if my co-workers are unvaccinated?

The University will not disclose the vaccine status of individual employees to their coworkers; however, proof of vaccination may be required to engage in certain activities or to attend certain events as indicated.

Does this policy apply to University contractors? Volunteers?

Contractors and their employees who work side-by-side with personnel onsite daily (e.g., Harvest Table, Barnes & Noble, Konica Minolta) will be asked to participate in University policies. Independent contractors, vendors, visitors, volunteers, and guests will be asked to follow the University’s health and safety guidelines associated with their level of interaction on our campuses.

If I had a previous exemption from weekly testing, do I need to get tested weekly if I am unvaccinated?

Yes. No matter your prior exemption from testing (e.g., tested positive for antibodies, had COVID), if you are not vaccinated, you will need to complete a weekly COVID-19 test and report your test date via the Redlands UR Ready App.

What if I am in a high-risk group for COVID-19? Will remote work options remain available for employees?

A continued temporary remote work arrangement through September 1 or an earlier date may be granted with approval from the respective Cabinet member. The Cabinet is evaluating a new remote work policy for post-pandemic use for release later this year.

If you are in a high-risk group and need to discuss a reasonable accommodation, please contact Human Resources. However, there is no guarantee you will be able to continue remote work even with a reasonable accommodation. Any remote work arrangements as a reasonable accommodation must go through an ADA interactive process conducted by Human Resources.

Will employees who refuse the vaccine be terminated or laid off?

Not if they have an approved exemption. However, failure to get tested weekly or any violations of the interim COVID-19 polices, may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. This applies to student employees as well.

What will be the process for reporting weekly test results for employees who are not vaccinated and how will the requirement be enforced?

Weekly test results will need to be recorded using the UR Ready app and results of each weekly test must be shared with the employee’s supervisor. Because we have exemptions from the vaccination policy and we must protect the health and safety of our entire community, we are adding this step in addition to self-reporting. Failure to comply with the weekly testing requirement and/or falsely reporting a test taken will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

What are facial covering and other expectations for vaccinated and unvaccinated employees?

The following table outlines policy mitigation strategies based on an individual’s vaccination status. All employees are required to adhere to these guidelines until further notice.

Based on recent guidance from the CDC, face coverings are required indoors at all times and in vehicles, no matter what an individual’s vaccination status. Exceptions are:

  • When alone in a room/workspace or vehicle.
  • When eating and drinking (adhere to physical distancing).
  • When an accommodation is required.
  • When job duties make a face covering infeasible or hazardous.
Fully Vaccinated Not Fully Vaccinated/Unvaccinated
No face covering required outdoors. Face coverings are not required outdoors but are recommended for unvaccinated persons outdoors when six feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained.
No weekly surveillance testing requirement. Weekly surveillance testing required (reported via the UR Ready app; proof of negative test must be provided to supervisor).
No daily health assessment requirement. Daily health assessment required (using the UR Ready app).
No quarantine required following an exposure (unless symptomatic); however, testing following an exposure is still recommended. Quarantine required after exposure.

TELECOMMUTING

What is the status of telecommuting for U of R employees?

A continued temporary remote work arrangement through September 1 or an earlier date may be granted with approval from the respective Cabinet member. A new remote work policy for post-pandemic use will be released later this year.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

What has the University done to help the local community during this crisis?

In early 2021, the University partnered with Redlands Community Hospital to open a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on the main campus.

In November 2020, the University partnered with San Bernardino County to offer a COVID-19 testing site on the Redlands campus.

In August 2020, the Food Pantry was relocated to the Harrison Room of Orton Center to continue to be accessible to local students who are food insecure.  While the University is open, the food pantry is located on the second floor of Hunsaker Center.

The University partnered with Loma Linda University to offer walk-in medical services for the homeless during a period that closed many private shelters offering homeless services.

In April 2020, the University donated 10,000 pounds of food to Family Services Association of Redlands and 3,000 pounds of food to Inland Harvest to replenish stocks that have been depleted due to the growing need to combat hunger within the region.

The University’s athletic training staff also donated personal protection equipment from their existing supplies to Redlands Community Hospital.

I am a U of R employee experiencing financial hardship. Are there resources available for me?

Yes, the Employee Emergency Fund provides financial support for employees whose households face urgent, unanticipated needs. These one-time emergency grants do not need to be paid back.

To submit an application, please complete a short questionnaire, which is also available from the Employee Emergency Fund web page.

Applications will be reviewed by a four-person committee, composed of a representative from the faculty, Finance, Human Resources, and University of Redlands Staff and Administrators Assembly (URSAA). All requests will remain confidential. Awards relating to the current COVID-19 pandemic (and other national states of emergency) are exempt from taxes, while other grants are taxable.