Faculty and Staff FAQ
We all have many questions right now. We have put together this list library of Frequently Asked Questions to help bring more clarity during this confusing time. Browse our FAQs below. If you have any remaining questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Resuming Normal Operations
What should I expect as the University returns to normal operations?
All employees are expected to return to work on campus unless they have a formal remote working agreement in place pursuant to University TAP No. 54, or have an approved disability accommodation pursuant to University TAP No. 56 that provides for working remotely.
Employees will be required to follow protocols and other practices to optimize safety as more fully described in TAP 60: Employee Rules Related to Working on Campus During COVID-19 Pandemic. In addition, the University strongly urges every University employee - faculty and staff alike - to acquire the COVID-19 vaccine.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated will be subject to ongoing requirements, such as following all CDC guidance, continuing to social distance and wearing masks indoors. All associated costs arising out of or relating to COVID-19 exposure or infection, such as for testing, quarantine and/or isolation and medical treatment, will be the employee's sole responsibility, unless such costs are a part of a disability accommodation. Employees who do not get vaccinated assume all risk and responsibility for any harm or damages to themselves or others incurred from contracting COVID-19.
Are campus facilities prepared for normal operations?
Yes. Facilities Management will continue to clean and sanitize University buildings to provide a safe work environment for students, faculty and staff.
Are there any training requirements?
All employees should review University TAP No. 60 as well as these FAQs.
What are COVID-19 vaccine myths and facts?
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Information continues to evolve as scientists learn more about the virus and vaccines. However, the spread of misinformation, especially on social media, often makes it difficult to separate myths from facts. It is critical that people get the most current and accurate information available from trusted sources such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Is there any incentive for me to become vaccinated?
Yes. As a measure to encourage vaccination and recognize those who already have become fully vaccinated, the University will provide every full-time non-unionized employee an extra paid day off upon receipt of proof of vaccination to be used before June 30, 2022. The vaccination must be complete by Sept. 30, 2021. Details for how to upload proof of vaccination.
What if I have allergies?
Persons should not receive the vaccine if they have severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, to any component of the vaccine, other vaccine or injectable therapy. Please consult your primary care physician or allergist to determine if it is safe for you to receive. Persons with a history of allergic reactions (any severity) not related to vaccines, injectable therapies, components of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, or polysorbates, such as latex, food (including eggs or gelatin), pet, venom, environmental allergies or oral medications may receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
I am currently in isolation or quarantine.
Persons currently isolated with COVID-19 or quarantined following exposure should wait until cleared from isolation or quarantine to receive vaccination. It is safe to receive the vaccine after recovering from COVID-19.
I already had COVID-19.
Persons who have recovered following COVID-19 are encouraged to receive the vaccine for additional protection against possible reinfection in the future. Persons who received monoclonal antibody infusion or convalescent plasma therapy as part of their treatment must defer vaccination until 90 days after receiving the treatment.
What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Pregnant or breastfeeding women will be offered the vaccine. However, DU recommends making an informed decision after reviewing the risk and benefit of receiving the vaccine with your physician.
I participated in a COVID-19 clinical trial.
Persons who participated in a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial may not be candidates to receive the vaccine from DU. Contact the study coordinator to learn if you received vaccine or placebo and if the study trial will be offering vaccine to placebo recipients. If the study will not be offering vaccine to placebo recipients, DU will provide you with a vaccine. Do not receive a vaccine from DU if you received active vaccine as part of a clinical trial.
What about my family?
We understand your desire to vaccinate members of your family. Due to limited availability, Duquesne University vaccine distribution is currently limited to faculty, staff and students. All eligible persons are encouraged to seek vaccination by visiting: https://www.pa.gov/guides/get-vaccinated/.
How do I become vaccinated?
COVID-19 vaccinations are now readily available for adults; please consult with your health care provider. More information can be found here: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Vaccine/Pages/Vaccine.aspx
How can I be tested for COVID-19?
If you need or desire to be tested, you must contact your health care provider.
Health, Safety and Prevention
Will I be required to wear a face covering on campus?
Effective Friday, August 13, and until further notice, all faculty and staff members, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face covering when indoors, both in public spaces and when they are in groups. Fully vaccinated employees who are alone and not in a public or shared space may unmask. When dining in shared spaces, all employees should remain masked until they begin to eat or drink, and put masks back on when they are finished with their meals. Those who fail to comply with these requirements will be subject to disciplinary action.
Masks are not required outdoors.
Will the University supply me with a face covering?
Yes, the University has provided a supply of non-medical masks to each department, to be worn by employees as required while on campus. Employees are encouraged, however, to wear their own re-usable cloth masks, in order to preserve supplies for others.
What if I have a medical condition that precludes me from wearing a face covering?
If you have a medical condition that affects your ability to wear a mask or other face covering and you wish to request an accommodation, you must contact the University's Office of Disability Services, email@example.com, extension 6658.
Will I be required to take my temperature daily or perform other self-screening before reporting to campus?
Yes. Employees will be required to conduct a daily health screen each morning prior to leaving their residence. The Daily Health Screen questions are available on the University App and in Dori for all employees to access. The screening will include taking one's own temperature. The screening questions will be provided to employees: Employees who participate in any higher-risk environments (e.g. faculty participating in clinical rotations) may have additional monitoring and assessment requirements imposed through their program or Department.
What if I have symptoms of COVID-19?
An employee who answers "yes" to any of the symptoms on the daily health screen should contact their primary care physician/health care provider for consultation and follow the advice that is provided, and also contact their supervisor. Telemedicine is highly recommended for this purpose. If not fully vaccinated, they should not report to work unless and until they have a negative COVID-19 test result and are approved to do so by their health care provider.
What if I have a family member with symptoms of COVID-19 or I become aware that I've been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
"Close contact" means you have been less than six feet away from the person for 15 minutes or longer within two days of the confirmed positive test. Any employee who becomes aware that they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should follow the guidance provided below for a confirmed "close contact."
Will I be notified if I have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
When HR is notified that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, HR will gather a list of individuals who have been in "close contact" with the employee who has tested positive. "Close contact" means someone who was less than six feet away, for 15 minutes or longer, from someone who tested positive, during the two days prior to the test. If you are identified as having been in "close contact" with an employee who has tested positive, HR will contact you and provide you with additional directives regarding symptom monitoring and when to contact your healthcare provider. The identity of the individual who tested positive will not be disclosed.
What do I do if I am confirmed as a "close contact" to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
If you are fully vaccinated, as a confirmed "close contact" you should monitor your symptoms daily, and if you remain symptom-free you are report to work as usual. If you develop symptoms you should follow the guidance provided above.
If you are not fully vaccinated, as a confirmed "close contact" you must immediately quarantine and contact your healthcare provider and follow their instructions, as well as contacting your supervisor. After 5 days, you are to be tested for COVID-19. If you test negative between 5 and 7 days of quarantine, you are released from quarantine as of day 8 and may return to work on campus.
Who should I notify if I have to miss work based on guidance from my primary care physician/health care provider?
Employees are responsible for keeping their supervisor aware of any health-related absences they may have. So long as it is consistent with any medical restrictions, employees are to discuss with their supervisors whether they are to work remotely while away from campus. Faculty must notify their program director, department chair and/or dean of potential absences to ensure that courses can be covered and students can be notified. Faculty should not cancel classes without notifying their department chair and/or dean of their absence.
How can I protect myself and others?
Employees can protect themselves and others through taking the following measures:
- Practice social distancing: maintain at least a six-foot distance from others, stay away from those who are sick, limit movement and avoid public spaces and large, crowded gatherings. Social distancing is critical to protecting everyone.
- Practice good, basic hygiene: wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth; cough/sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve; avoid close contact with those who are sick; and stay home when you are sick.
- Know when and how to wash hands and use sanitizer.
- Wear a cloth mask or appropriate face covering in public settings.
- Take steps to lower risk at meetings and events, including holding video- or tele-conference meetings, modifying in-person interactions and maintaining a 6-foot distance.
What if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, be sure to follow all instructions provided by your testing/health care provider, and immediately contact your supervisor as well as the Office of Human Resources. If you have no symptoms, you may not return to campus until 10 days have passed since you took the test. If you have symptoms, you may not return to campus until you are symptom-free, at least 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared, and you have had no fever without using fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours. Employees must follow TAP policies referenced in TAP No. 15 and TAP No. 23 and obtain medical clearance before returning to on campus work. Contact tracing will be conducted by the proper government health authorities. In addition, the Office of Human Resources will contact you to find out if any co-workers are considered to be "close contacts," defined as someone who was less than 6 feet from a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more within the past 2 days.
What if I test negative for COVID-19?
If you have tested negative for COVID-19, be sure to continue to conduct a daily health screen each morning prior to leaving your residence. If you develop symptoms on a later date or answer "yes" to any of the symptoms on the daily health screen, you should contact your primary care physician/health care provider for consultation and follow the advice that is provided.
What should I do if I see a potential violation of TAP No. 60, for example, someone not wearing a face covering in my work space?
You should alert your supervisor or Department Head to any potential violation of TAP No. 60. If that is not feasible or appropriate, you can contact the Office of Human Resources.
What resources are available to assist me?
Wellbeing: Recreation Services
The Power Recreation Center is committed to enhancing faculty and staff wellbeing. This Fall, group fitness classes will be livestreamed and offered in person, free of charge. To facilitate mental and physical wellbeing, the recreation center will offer yoga and meditation, as well as classes promoting cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Many courses will be recorded, allowing faculty and staff to access these classes at their convenience. All of the safety measures will be in place per University, CDC, and Pennsylvania guidelines to ensure patron safety. The full course schedule is available at www.duq.edu/life-at-duquesne/health-recreation-and-wellbeing/recreation-services/fitness/group-fitness. Direct questions to Power Center Director, Dan McCarthy.
Inter-Divisional Wellbeing Committee
The inter-divisional wellbeing team offers many services and programs to address faculty and staff needs. The following services will be available, free of charge, in Fall 2020:
- Faculty and Staff Support Group, facilitated by Wellbeing Counseling Services. Contact: Ian Edwards, Assistant Vice President for Student Wellbeing.
- Weekly Wellbeing Check-In (Individual Sessions) with Campus Ministry. Director: Fr. Bill Christy, C.S.Sp., Director of Campus Ministry and University Chaplain.
- Pastoral Counseling Check-In Sessions with Fr. Bill Christy, C.S.Sp., Director of Campus Ministry and University Chaplain ; Fr. Bill Cleary, C.S.Sp., Assistant Director of Spiritan Studies ; and Ray French, C.S.Sp., Vice-President of Mission and Identity
- Weekly Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Student Meditation with Dr. Will Adams, Associate Professor of Psychology
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides support for staff experiencing economic hardships. Call EAP 24 hours a day, every day at 1.800.EAP.7272 (1.800.327.7272).
- Duquesne Employee Emergency Program (DEEP), housed in the Division of Mission and Identity, offers limited financial assistance to staff for short-term financial needs. Contact: Melanie Eberhardt.
- Libermann Luncheons are open to faculty, staff, and administration. These virtual gatherings take place monthly, at noon, for prayer and "food for the soul." Dates TBA.
- Counseling Services created a series of wellness videos highlighting the topic of resilience. These videos, part of "Wellbeing Wednesdays," have been posted to the Counseling Services Facebook and Twitter page. Contact: Dr. Ian Edwards, Assistant Vice President for Student Wellbeing & Director of Counseling Services.
What if I have further questions?
If you have additional questions, please direct them to the resources identified below.
Questions regarding the ability to work remotely as a disability accommodation under TAP No. 56, or questions regarding face mask exemptions: Andrew Logan-Graf, Director, Disability Services, x6658
Questions regarding use of PPE: Paula Sweitzer, Director, Environmental Health & Safety, x4763
Questions/concerns regarding potential violations of TAP No. 60 (if it is not possible/appropriate to first contact immediate Department Head): Office of Human Resources Questions regarding remote working agreements under TAP No. 54: Office of Human Resources
On-Campus Meeting and Event Guidance
What is the status of on-campus events?
All employees and visitors must follow any room/seating capacity restrictions established by the University, and any person who is not fully vaccinated must wear a face covering throughout the duration of the event.
How should meetings be conducted on campus?
To the fullest extent possible, employees should continue to use Zoom and/or conference call technology. If necessary to conduct in-person meetings, meeting participants must maintain a safe physical distance from each other and wear masks or other appropriate face coverings if not fully vaccinated.
Will I be permitted to travel for University-related business needs?
All University travel for the fall semester is cancelled, except as deemed essential by the vice president in charge of each division. All employees must receive prior approval from their vice president before traveling for University-related business.
Are there any restrictions for personal domestic travel?
Personal travel is discouraged at this time.
Will visitors be permitted on campus?
Visitors to campus are strongly discouraged. Visits by individuals such as contractors, vendors, guest speakers, etc., must be approved by the relevant dean, director, or department head. Visitors will be expected to follow the same safety guidelines that employees are required to follow, including the requirement to wear a face covering while indoors if not fully vaccinated. The University has developed procedures for visits by prospective students and their families, which will be managed by the University Enrollment Management Group, and for families of current students, which will be managed by Residence Life.