Returning to Campus Amid COVID-19
To help ensure everyone has the necessary information, UNT’s Guide for Returning to Campus was created to pull together necessary resources and information for personal safety practices and guidelines for faculty, staff and students such as the mask requirement.
UNT is purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) and materials related to COVID-19 safety to provide for faculty and staff, as needed.
If there is specific equipment needed, please inform your supervisor or department leader. Unit leaders should reach out to Risk Management Services at AskRMS@unt.edu with questions and to request resources. And please note that while the university will provide staff and faculty with a limited number of CDC-recommended cloth face coverings, the university is encouraging faculty and staff members to secure their own reusable cloth face coverings to wear on campus.
Several vendors trying to sell protective items like face masks (some of which may be considered inferior products) are contacting UNT leaders, faculty and staff across campus. Please do NOT purchase items on your own for your departments for university use.
Providing a healthy and safe workplace and learning environment is important at any time for UNT, and is of paramount concern during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are committed to providing updates on the latest developments and how they impact our community.
UNT faculty and academic staff are working together to ensure the safe and effective continuation of instruction and support services for all UNT students.
Latest campus updates
- Slow the spread of COVID-19 – COVID Update Video from the President — Friday, Oct. 9, 2020
- Remain vigilant in following COVID-19 safety procedures – An Official Notice from the President — Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020
- President Smatresk’s Reopening Update Town Hall – Video and Transcript Posted — Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020
- Thank you for the hard work as we move toward fall – A Message from the President — Thursday, July 22, 2020
- Supporting faculty and staff in the return to campus work – An Official Notice from the President — Thursday, July 9, 2020
- Reopening campus with safety guidelines in place – An Official Notice from the President — Wednesday, July 1, 2020
- Requiring masks to help keep our community safe – An Official Notice from the President — Thursday, June 25, 2020
- President’s Reopening and Safety Town Hall – Video and Transcript Posted — Monday, June 22, 2020
- Changes to Fall 2020 course schedules — An Official Notice from the President — Thursday, June 4, 2020
If you test POSITIVE for COVID-19: Follow your healthcare provider and county health department guidance and self-isolate at home.
- DO NOT come on-site if you have ANY potential COVID-19 symptoms.
- Call the COVID Hotline at 844-366-5892 or email COVID@unt.edu to report symptoms.
- Notify your immediate supervisor of your absence through normal department reporting channels.
- Contact HR to discuss your medical situation, sick leave, and the return-to-work process. HR may be reached at 940-565-2281 and via email at AskHR@untsystem.edu.
- Once you have been approved to return to work by your healthcare provider, contact HR by phone or email before going back to work. You will need to provide a copy of your return-to-work release to HR prior to returning to work.
Directions for Time Reporting
Faculty members engaged in research need to track their time, but other non-tenure track and tenured/tenure-track faculty do not need to keep an hourly record of their time but are expected to complete all work responsibilities. If you have questions related to the timekeeping guidelines, please contact your unit administrator or Human Resources.
Guidelines for Sharing Information While Staying HIPAA Compliant
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a series of national standards that organizations must have in place to safeguard the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI).
- PHI is any individually identifiable information that could reveal the identity of an individual or their medical history. Some examples include name, address, email address, photographic images, health history, etc.
- Make a reasonable effort to ensure that the sharing of PHI is limited to the minimum information necessary.
- Limit the number of people you share PHI with and only include those that need to know about a possible concern.
- Take care to consider how you would want your personal health information handled or shared.
- If you are sending PHI through email, utilize the secure email function in Outlook. To compose a secure email type #secure in the subject line, then press space before typing your subject.
Should faculty who show any sign of illness (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath) self-isolate?
Yes, please see Symptom Monitoring Requirements in UNT’s Guide for Returning to Campus. If you are feeling unwell and/or showing signs of illness, you may utilize accrued sick leave.
What should I do if I have been notified that I have been exposed to COVID-19?
What should I do if I believe a coworker may have symptoms or exposure to COVID-19?
Community members may ask questions through UNT’s COVID Hotline at 844-366-5892 or email COVID@unt.edu.
What should I do if I believe that I am in a higher risk category, or a family member is at higher risk?
In order to determine whether you are considered to be at higher risk, please consider the CDC’s criteria for the high-risk groups as identified by the CDC and/or consult your healthcare provider. If you are advised by your health authority not to come to work, please provide notification to Human Resources at 940-565-2281 or AskHR@untsystem.edu. In addition, you should contact your manager directly to inquire about telecommuting opportunities.
In situations where the nature of the work can temporarily be performed from home or at an alternate location, managers are encouraged to work with employees to identify these instances and consider telecommuting during this time of uncertainty. All telecommuting requests require approval by the Provost through normal reporting channels. In the event that your job responsibilities are not conducive to telecommuting, you may utilize appropriate accrued leave and take time off from work.
I’m worried about exposure to COVID-19 at work. Will employees in my department be notified if a colleague is in self-quarantine?
Due to privacy considerations, this information will not be shared other than in a situation where it is believed that other employees may also need to self-quarantine.
If my child’s daycare or school is closed, may I work from home?
Yes, if your job responsibilities are compatible with working from home, you may request to work from home by contacting your department/division chair. All telecommuting requests require approval by the Provost through normal reporting channels. Working remotely is not intended to serve as a substitute for child or adult care. However, working remotely could be a valuable tool to individuals with caregiving responsibilities, provided that their productivity or quality of work is not compromised. Depending on the age of your child or specific situation, you may not be able to effectively work from home due to caregiving responsibilities. In this case, you may request a faculty leave of absence.
What are my child care options as an essential worker?
You can find information on child care options for Texas' frontline workers fighting to stop the spread of COVID-19.
How can I ensure my Zoom meeting is safe and will not be disrupted by unwanted or unauthorized individuals?
To find “Simple Security Tips for Zoom,” visit Teach Anywhere.
Do I need to wear a mask at work or other personal protective equipment (PPE)?
The CDC has updated its guidelines and recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Below are additional standard everyday actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory virus:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
How are you keeping employees who cannot telecommute safe?
Given the wide variety of services that faculty and staff provide to the UNT community, we recognize many functions do not lend themselves to being performed from home. In those situations, we encourage employees to adhere to previously issued preventative hygiene and social distancing guidance. When these measures are practiced with diligence, they are an effective means for minimizing the spread of the disease. In addition, employees should consult with their manager for specific protocols that may be in place for certain jobs.
What extra precautions are being taken to deep clean UNT buildings and facilities?
As UNT prepares to transition students, faculty and staff back to campus this summer, every effort is being made to keep our Mean Green family safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition to installing signage to remind the UNT community about measures they should take to meet all safety precautions, Facilities Custodial Services is also taking steps to deep clean and maintain thorough cleaning procedures within buildings.
I use public transportation to get to work, but with COVID-19, I don’t feel comfortable. Can I work from home to avoid commuting on public transit?
In situations where work can temporarily be performed from home or an alternate location, we encourage managers to work with employees to identify those instances, and consider telecommuting during this time of uncertainty. Employees should contact their manager directly regarding telecommuting opportunities. All telecommuting requests require approval by the Provost through normal reporting channels.
A key consideration for managers is whether or not telecommuting is compatible with the employee’s job responsibilities.
Managers should provide a list of employee names to HR who are engaging in a temporary telecommuting arrangement in response to the current health situation. The list should be submitted to HRAdministration@untsystem.edu. HR will email telecommuting information to each employee. Please note:
- Employees who currently telecommute and wish to increase their number of telecommute days in light of the current health situation should contact their manager regarding a temporary telecommuting arrangement which supersedes the current telecommuting agreement.
- Employees who do not currently telecommute and wish to engage in a temporary telecommuting agreement should discuss telecommuting opportunities with their manager.
- Managers retain the ability to terminate a temporary telecommuting arrangement.
- Managers must ensure that employees work their scheduled hours, report hours worked, and that departmental operating and service needs are met.
- Before requesting to engage in a temporary telecommuting arrangement, employees and managers should be familiar with remote working expectations and resources. Specific information regarding temporary telecommuting arrangements is located on WorkAnywhere.unt.edu.
Can sick leave be used if an employee is asked to be quarantined?
Yes, an employee can utilize accrued sick leave, where applicable.
How do I report my time if I'm asked to work on tasks related to the COVID-19 response?
Faculty members engaged in research need to track their time, but other non-tenure track and tenured/tenure-track faculty do not need to keep an hourly record of their time but are expected to complete all work responsibilities.If you have questions related to the timekeeping guidelines, please contact your unit administrator or Human Resources.
For more teaching-related FAQs related to COVID-19, see the UNT Teach Anywhere website.
Summary of Resources
Emergency Notification Information:
- Learn more about Eagle Alert emergency notifications.
- Maintain your phone number to receive Eagle Alert notifications through the employee portal in my.unt.edu.
Employee Assistance Program:
We recognize that the COVID-19 situation can be stressful. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free, confidential service available to help employees with family, legal or financial issues, substance abuse, or other stressful events. EAP programs are available to retirement-eligible employees, retirees, household members, and dependents. In addition, the EAP has developed resources specific to COVID-19.