University of Houston-Victoria

COVID-19

Employee Frequently Asked Questions

The following resource was developed for UHV employees to answer questions they may have about COVID-19 cases or suspected cases in the workplace and how they should be handled. Please visit this page frequently, as we will be providing relevant updates to the list of FAQs.

RETURN TO WORK ON CAMPUS

Q: I am part of a high-risk population according to CDC guidelines for COVID-19. What should I do?
A: If an employee thinks he is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, telework should be considered and used if possible, and the employee should contact his supervisor to pursue this work arrangement. If telework is not possible, then the employee should contact his supervisor. A leave request under these conditions may be determined necessary if other work arrangements are not feasible.

Q: What should I do if an employee under my supervision contacts me because he is part of a high-risk population according to CDC guidelines for COVID-19?
A: Managers should take a flexible approach when an employee voluntarily discloses that he has a specific medical condition or disability that puts him at increased risk of COVID-19-related complications. Although managers should not ask about the specific medical condition, the manager may ask him to describe the type of assistance he thinks will be needed to perform the essential functions of the job (e.g., telework or leave for a medical appointment). The manager must keep this information confidential. On a long-term basis, the employee should follow the process to request telework as a reasonable workplace accommodation, if possible. If there are concerns about the validity of the requests by the employee or if the employee cannot telework, then the manager should consult with UHV Human Resources.

Q: I am afraid of contracting COVID-19 if I show up for work. Can I stay at home or otherwise take time off?
A: If an employee is concerned about being in the workplace due to possible exposure to COVID-19, then telework should be considered and used if possible, and the employee should contact his supervisor to pursue this work arrangement. If telework is not possible, then the employee should contact his supervisor. A leave request under these conditions may be determined necessary if other work arrangements are not feasible.

Q: What should I do if an employee under my supervision is afraid of contracting COVID-19 if he shows up for work?
A: Managers should take a flexible approach when an employee expresses concerns about being in the workplace due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Managers should listen to employee concerns and implement a telework arrangement if operationally feasible. On a long-term basis, the employee should follow the process to request telework as a reasonable workplace accommodation, if possible. If the employee cannot telework, then the manager should consult with UHV Human Resources.

Q: A member of my household is part of a high-risk population according to CDC guidelines for COVID-19. What should I do?
A: If a member of an employee’s household thinks he is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, telework should be considered for the employee and used if possible, and the employee should contact his supervisor to pursue this work arrangement. If telework is not possible, then the employee should contact his supervisor. A leave request under these conditions may be determined necessary if other work arrangements are not feasible.

Q: What should I do if an employee under my supervision contacts me because a member of the employee’s household is part of a high-risk population according to CDC guidelines for COVID-19?
A: Managers should take a flexible approach when an employee expresses concerns about being in the workplace due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Managers should listen to employee concerns and implement a telework arrangement if operationally feasible. If the employee cannot telework, then the manager should consult with UHV Human Resources.

Q: How can I return to work when I need to take care of my school-aged child?
A: If an employee needs to take care of his school-aged child due to COVID-19-related school closures or unavailability of child care, telework should be considered for the employee and used if possible, and the employee should contact his supervisor to pursue this work arrangement. If telework is not possible, then the employee should contact his supervisor. A leave request under these conditions may be determined necessary if other work arrangements are not feasible.

Q: What should I do if an employee under my supervision contacts me because he needs to take care of his school-aged child?
A: Managers should take a flexible approach when an employee expresses the need to take care of his school-aged child due to COVID-19-related school closures or unavailability of child care. Managers should listen to employee concerns and implement a telework arrangement if operationally feasible. If the employee cannot telework, then the manager should consult with UHV Human Resources.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE AND DIAGNOSIS

Q: What should I do if an employee under my supervision is diagnosed with COVID-19, showing symptoms of COVID-19, or is suspected or presumed to have COVID-19?
A: You should follow the Protocols for an Employee with COVID-19 Diagnosis or Symptoms. Remember that the employee will appreciate hearing your support while he recovers from the illness.

Q: An employee of ours has tested positive for COVID-19 or is suspected/presumed positive for COVID-19. What can I tell other employees? What actions should we take with their coworkers?
A:You can anticipate that other employees may have heard about, or suspect that, someone is out sick with the COVID-19-related illness and may be concerned about it. You should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and acknowledge that there is an individual in the unit who has tested positive for COVID-19, without identifying the individual. You also may inform employees that an assessment will be undertaken to determine if there is indication for quarantine or further notifications as a precautionary measure.

In the meantime, you should send home any potentially exposed employees (as described in Potential Exposure to Coronavirus) and instruct them to complete the Potential Exposure Reporting form and to follow the Self-Quarantine protocols. Inform them that they will need to submit a Request to Return to Campus form and be approved before they can return to campus as detailed in Completion of Self-Quarantine/Isolation. See Protocols for an Employee with COVID-19 Diagnosis/Symptoms for a list of steps to follow.

Q: One of our employees has a suspected but unconfirmed case of COVID-19. What should we do?
A: A suspected but unconfirmed case of COVID-19 should be treated the same as a confirmed case. You should follow the Protocols for an Employee with COVID-19 Diagnosis/Symptoms.

Q: One of my employees contacted me to notify me that in doing his health self-assessment in the morning before coming to work, he realized that he has a fever of 101 degrees. What should I advise him to do?
A: Since a fever above 100.0 degrees is a possible coronavirus symptom, you should advise the employee to stay home and follow the guidance in What to Do If I’m Sick. The employee should also submit the Diagnosis or Symptoms Reporting form and commence the Self-Quarantine/Isolation protocols. See Protocols for an Employee with COVID-19 Diagnosis or Symptoms for a list of steps to follow.

The EEOC has confirmed that a supervisor can inquire about an employee’s symptoms, even if such questions are disability-related, as you would be considered to have a “reasonable belief based on objective evidence that the severe form of pandemic influenza poses a direct threat.” Inquiries into an employee’s symptoms should attempt to distinguish the symptoms of COVID-19 from the common cold and the seasonal flu.

It is important to remember that you must maintain all information about employee illness as a confidential medical record.

Q: What should I do if I find out that a co-worker was diagnosed with COVID-19?
A: You may be contacted by a contact tracer who will work with the infected individual to identify and directly notify people who have been in close contact with the person testing positive.

You do not need to undergo self-quarantine unless notified that you potentially were exposed, but you should continue to perform a daily health assessment to be aware if any coronavirus symptoms develop and, if so, follow the guidance on What to Do if I’m Sick. You also should continue to follow the general prevention and workplace prevention measures, such as social distancing, frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

Q: When can I return to work if I have symptoms of COVID-19?
A: If you have been in self-quarantine or self-isolation, you will not be allowed to return to work until you receive written approval following your submission of the Request to Return to Campus form. To be considered, at least three days (72 hours) must have passed since recovery (defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications) and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. See Completion of Self-Quarantine/Isolation for further information.

Q: Will I be told the identity of an employee under my supervision or co-worker who is diagnosed with COVID-19?
A: No, individuals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 will not be identified in order to maintain confidentiality.