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. Administrators, faculty, and staff may return to campus (up to revised capacity with appropriate social distancing) in Phase Four of New York State's plan. New York City entered Phase Four of reopening on July 20.
In order to maintain appropriate social distancing, administrators and staff who can work remotely shall continue to do so, at least until the spring semester. Faculty may teach in-person, online, or a hybrid of the two. Faculty will indicate their preferences, and chairs and program directors will work with deans to determine which courses should be prioritized for in-person teaching in order to best serve our students.
Are employees required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus?
Faculty and staff who plan to regularly work on campus should be tested for COVID-19 no more than 14 days prior to their first day back on campus and again within 14 days of their first test. Faculty and staff assigned to work mostly remotely, who need to access their offices once a week or less and are not teaching on ground nor having meetings or other group activities do not need to be tested but should continue to use the Vitalchek screening application.
How do I get tested?
Faculty and staff coming from abroad or from states on the New York state travel advisory list will be tested at the end of their mandatory 14-day quarantine. The list of restricted states can be found here.
These employees should check in with HR and Public Safety regarding their travel and quarantine, so they can be monitored.
Employees can sign up for on-campus testing which begins on August 15. (See below)
In the alternative, employees may 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.
Please email your results to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Please note that many commercial labs are currently experiencing a backlog of 7-10 days, and we recommend that employees take advantage of on-campus testing since our labs have committed to a 2-3 day turnaround time.
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.
How do I schedule a test on campus?
Testing for employees, through Broad Institute, is available at both the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses. Employees have the option to sign up between 9:15 and 10:45 a.m. when students will not be in the testing sites. Employees may also choose to schedule an appointment later in the day, however students will be in the area being tested as well.
The testing site at Rose Hill is a tent on the O’Hare Hall lawn.
The testing site at Lincoln Center is in McMahon Hall rooms 204 & 205.
Employees may sign up for testing on either campus regardless of where they work using the below links:
What is the plan for on-going surveillance testing?
According to the CDC, universities may consider testing some or all asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff who have no known exposure to identify outbreaks and inform control measures.
Fordham University will conduct random, surveillance testing of members of the community who are on campus throughout the semester. Every member of the community may not be selected for this on-going testing.
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.
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?
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.
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.