Fordham Forward FAQs for Employees
When can I return to campus?
The restart of Fordham University conforms with the Governor’s plan to restart New York. To monitor and regulate the phased reopening process of the State, Gov. Cuomo has established regional “control rooms.” The plan to fully restart Fordham is designed around four phases. When authorized by our Regional Control Room to move to the next phase, Fordham will cautiously proceed.
We are currently in Phase Two of reopening which means that essential employees have returned and select administrative staff who have been pre-screened may return to campus while maintaining the campus’ density at less than 50%.
What is the prescreening and daily monitoring process for employees?
Fordham employees will utilize the VitalCheck telehealth program for both an initial prescreening and daily monitoring.
VitalCheck begins with an initial 15-minute appointment over the phone with a physician; the physician can provide clearance, or when appropriate, give a referral to University Health Services or a medical care provider. All members of the Fordham community will need to receive VitalCheck clearance before they are allowed access to campus through security perimeter posts. This clearance will be sent to the Fordham community member via text and/or email.
Ongoing screening will require each Fordham community member to respond daily to a series of questions on the VitalCheck app, or by email if one doesn’t have access to a smartphone. This self-certification process must be performed prior to arriving on campus or leaving the residence hall.
If you are not immediately cleared by the VitalCheck team for your arrival back on campus or during the daily screening process, you will receive a communication advising you of the next steps to follow which may include a recommendation to test you for COVID-19 at an authorized location or to quarantine for a period of time.
Will offices be staffed at normal levels?
In order to lessen campus density, we will seek to reduce the number of staff members on campus at any given time. To achieve this, managers will be asked to determine which jobs under their supervision can only be done on campus guided by these principles:
Tasks that can effectively be done remotely may be permitted to continue to be done remotely with manager approval
Tasks that can only be fully and effectively done on campus will require in-person activity. (Staff may be rotated or staggered shifts may be scheduled.)
If I am in a high-risk category or I care for someone that is in a high-risk category, do I have to return to campus?
According to the CDC Guidelines, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for serious illness from a COVID-19 infection. Those conditions may include:
- Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
- People with HIV
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Chronic lung disease
- Serious heart conditions
- Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
- Severe obesity
- Being immunocompromised
Those members of the University community in a high-risk category, with household/family members in a high-risk category, or who have other personal circumstances may request an accommodation.
What if I share an office?
The University will limit faculty and staff offices to single occupancy (without the option of holding face-to-face office hours or advising meetings) if offices are unable to accommodate a 6-foot social distancing standard. If employees are required to be on campus, they should stagger days/hours with officemates and/or work with departments to find alternative office space, such as converted conference rooms.
What guidelines should be followed in offices to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19?
Measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the workplace include:
- If more than one person is in a room, face coverings should be worn at all times
- Wipe down your work area at the beginning and end of your shift
- Use hand sanitizer before or after touching common surfaces ---- better yet, wash your hands when possible
- Office sharing is prohibited unless the required minimum 6 ft. of distance can be maintained
- Appointments with students or employees from other departments should be held in a designated well-ventilated meeting room, so personal workspaces are protected
- Replace in-person appointments with tele-appointments to the extent possible
- Encourage a “clear desk” policy - all supplies, files, documents, and personal items should be kept in drawers and/or cabinets
- Continue holding virtual meetings via Zoom or other similar method in order to reduce density and so that employees who are working remotely can attend
If I have not been asked to return to campus, what are my responsibilities in continuing to work from home?
If an employee’s physical presence on campus is not essential, the individual will be expected to fulfill their job responsibilities remotely unless instructed otherwise. Remote employees are encouraged to engage appropriate technologies to collaborate with their colleagues. University personnel will be informed by their managers whether they are required to work from home or report to campus.
The Office of Human Resources Management has published guidance on pay and working from home for employees.
I don’t have a good computer set-up at home. If I need to continue to work from home, how can I access appropriate equipment? What if I don’t have access to the internet from home?
If you do not have access to a computer, please discuss with IT Customer Care whether Fordham can loan you a laptop for a period of time.
If you do not have access to the internet from home, the University can arrange for you to borrow a portable hotspot on a temporary basis.
While I do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, the rapid spread of the virus has been a source of great stress and concern. Does Fordham offer resources or services to address these challenges?
We recognize that many individuals are understandably feeling overwhelmed and anxious during this challenging period. Your overall well-being is of great concern to us. Fordham’s Employee Assistance Program offers short-term counseling and related services and referrals for employees feeling anxious. You may also choose to ask United Healthcare for referrals to in-network mental health professionals. Please view the Office of Human Resources Management’s Self Care website to learn more about these programs.
Will my Fordham-sponsored healthcare plan cover medical expenses associated with testing for and treatment of COVID-19?
Yes, you will have the same coverage that is currently available for any emergency or non-emergency illness, subject to the normal deductible, copay, or out-of-pocket amounts associated with your medical plan.
UnitedHealthcare Plan Members
If your medical coverage is through UnitedHealthcare (UHC) and you meet the CDC Guidelines, and testing is requested by your doctor, UHC will waive costs for COVID-19 testing, testing related services, and treatment through July 24, 2020. If you have additional coverage questions related to COVID-19, please call the number on your UHC health plan ID card.
If you're an eligible UHC and OptumRx member and need help to obtain an early refill due to COVID-19, please call the number on your health plan ID card for assistance.
For those who do not have UHC coverage, please contact your medical providers for COVID-19 related coverage questions.