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Fordham Forward FAQs for Employees

Are employees required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus for the spring semester?
All faculty and staff must be tested within 7 days prior to the University’s February 1 reopening. Faculty and staff who are working on campus over the break and/or returning to in-person campus activities on February 1 should remain on VitalCheck over the break. The rule of thumb is, if you are on VitalCheck now, please remain on it over the break.

As during the fall semester, all students, faculty, and staff accessing campus will be required to obtain a test once a month throughout the spring semester. The deadlines for mandatory testing are February 26, March 26, April 23, May 14.

The University is offering testing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays only, excluding University holidays. You can find information and sign up for testing at the University Health Services page.

Is the vaccine available at Fordham?

Fordham has been approved to provide the vaccine by the NYC Department of Health to eligible Fordham community members, but we have no vaccines on hand. We will inform the University community when that changes. 

I am traveling from another state or country to return to Fordham in the spring. Will I have to quarantine upon my arrival?
Students, faculty, and staff that are traveling from states that are NOT contiguous to New York (including if outside of the United States) are encouraged to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in New York or a contiguous state, per New York state guidelines, but they can now “test-out” of quarantine by taking the following steps:

  • They must have negative test results of a FDA EUA authorized PCR saliva or nasal swab test administered within three days prior to your departure;
  • Quarantine for three days upon arrival in New York or a contiguous state (quarantine cannot be done in University housing);
  • On day 4, obtain another COVID test either on or off campus;
  • If the pre-departure test AND this second test come back negative, they may exit quarantine upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test;

In order to access campus, they must upload both test results.

How do I get tested?

The University is offering testing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays only, excluding University holidays. You can find information and sign up for testing at the University Health Services page.

Employees may also obtain a test on their own.  If an employee decides to take the COVID-19 test elsewhere, please note that it may be at their own expense. In addition, the test results may not be dated more than fourteen (14) days prior to the employee’s return to campus.

New York Testing Sites
New Jersey Testing Sites
Connecticut Testing Sites
National Testing Sites

In addition, laboratories offering testing from home include:

Labcorp
Quest
Vault

Please email your results to covidresults@getvitalcheck.com

Be sure to send your results via your Fordham email, and visit Fordham’s Email Encryption website to follow the steps in order to safeguard your information.

Who is getting my test results?

Employee testing protocols through the Broad Institute will be administered through VitalCheck who will have access to your test results.  Departments will only be able to see if you are “cleared or not cleared” to return to campus and will not have access to your test results. Positive testing information will be available to designated HR personnel and Public Safety and used solely for contact tracing as required by law.

Employees whose test results are negative will receive an email notification directly from the Broad Institute (the lab who is performing the tests).  However, if your test results are positive, VitalCheck will contact you with guidance about self-care and isolation requirements, and will require medical clearance to return to campus. You will also be contacted by Public Safety as part of mandated contact tracing.

What do I need to gain access to campus after I have submitted my test results?

Employees who are working on campus regularly should use their VitalCheck daily screening pass to gain access to campus. Employees who do not have a pass will be required to undergo a screening process by Public Safety before entering  campus.

What is the prescreening and daily monitoring process for employees?
The University is partnering with VitalCheck, a screening program, to perform health screening of all employees and students returning to campus, as required by the New York State Reopening Guidelines

Learn more about the VitalCheck screening program.

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.)

Learn more about reducing density in the workplace.

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?
Employees whose age or health condition falls within one of the CDC High Risk Categories and People Who Need to Take Extra Precautions or who have other personal circumstances may seek a workplace adjustment through the COVID-19 Temporary Accommodation process. 

Learn about requesting accommodations.

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

Learn more about reducing density in the workplace.

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.

Contact IT Customer Care with your technology-related questions. You may call 718-817-3999 or email facultyhotline@fordham.edu or helpit@fordham.edu.

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.

UHC is also waiving all costs for Virtual Visits through September 30, 2020, which also applies to telehealth services through your choice of network physicians.

For additional coverage details, visit the Benefits Web Page or contact UHC.

For those who do not have UHC coverage, please contact your medical providers for COVID-19 related coverage questions.