Dear UVM Faculty and Staff,
As we prepare for Thanksgiving break, I am writing to provide several updates.
Given the rising incidence of the virus, all faculty and staff who are coming to campus are urged in the strongest possible terms to test weekly. Testing for faculty, staff and students will be available at the COIVD-19 Information and Service Center located in the Davis Center during December and January. Students living on campus will be required to complete testing every 7 days. Continue to schedule your test using CoVerified. The hours of the Testing Center have been adjusted and are available here.
UVM will continue to be open for business; however, the number of students, faculty and staff on campus will be greatly reduced and remote work is highly encouraged whenever possible. As a result of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Vermont, and specifically in Chittenden County, we are encouraging departments to transition to remote operations Saturday, November 28 rather than December 12. Additional information is available here.
With fewer people on campus, please make every effort to take safety precautions. Lock doors, turn off lights, secure valuable items, stay alert if you are on campus and contact UVM Police Services at 656-3473 if you notice anything unusual.
Several questions have come up about contact tracing and what defines a close contact. You are considered to be a close contact if you were within 6 feet of someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period while that person was contagious. The Center for Health and Wellbeing coordinates contact tracing for positive results from the campus testing center. In some instances, they work directly with the Vermont Department of Health on specific cases, especially when the situation impacts the local community. (More information about close contacts and contact tracing is available on the Vermont Department of Health website.)
If you are determined to be a close contact of a person who tests positive for COVID-19, you will be notified about quarantine requirements and testing. Using the definition above, if you have not yet been contacted by either the Center for Health and Wellbeing or by the Vermont Department of Health, but you are certain that you are a close contact of a person recently diagnosed with COVID-19 and your job allows you to work remotely, you should discuss the remote work option with your supervisor. Supervisors should err on the side of caution and allow remote work. If your job is not one that can be performed remotely, you should follow departmental leave procedures, and ask your supervisor to excuse your absence.
Employees have a variety of time-off options available, including paid time under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). More information is available here.
Supervisors, please remember that we want employees to be safe rather than sorry. Show grace, remind employees about available resources, including our Employee Assistance Program, and when in doubt, email email@example.com with questions.
Computer Keyboard and Mouse Covers
The university has a supply of computer keyboard and mouse covers that are available to faculty and staff. The covers provide additional protection in situations where this equipment is shared, such as in a classroom. Department safety officers and logistics coordinators can order the covers from the university’s central warehouse of essential COVID-19 safety and supplies.
Campus mail service will discontinue after December 11, 2020, with the exception of deliveries to Residential Life, Given, Physical Plant, Custodial Services, and the Davis Center. All other offices will need to pick up their mail by appointment in Williston from Monday, December 14 through Monday, January 18. Please call (802) 399-2509 to let them know what time you will be arriving; they will have your mail ready for pick up at the front door to the Williston facility. The address is:
223 Avenue D
Williston, VT 05495
Thank you all for your support and dedication over the past several months, it is greatly appreciated. I hope that everyone has a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving.
Vice President for Operations and Public Safety
The University of Vermont