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questions and answers are available

I have been deemed an essential employee but a member of my household has COVID-19. Should I go to work?

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Employees who are well, but who have an ill household member at home with COVID-19, should not work. Employees should consult first with their healthcare provider and also notify their supervisor that a household member has COVID-19. (Note: If your school (e.g., TUSDM’s COVID-19 response team) has an exposure response team, please make sure to report any exposure/illness to that response team and follow the protocol of your school.) These situations typically require self-quarantine for members of your household. Please refer to the Q&As regarding self-quarantine.

If you test negative for COVID-19, but live in a household with someone who tests positive, it would be recommended that you quarantine for 14 days following your last close contact with the person who is positive. If household members are not able to avoid close contact with one another, the exposed person will need to quarantine for 14 days after the sick person is cleared by their health care professional.

Last update: Thursday, Aug 20, 2020 - 10:43am

My health-care provider has advised me to self-quarantine. What should I do?

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Self-quarantine is recommended for individuals who may have been directly exposed to COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms. Follow the guidance of your health-care provider, and notify your supervisor that you cannot physically come to work.

If your work can be performed at home, you will be expected to work as directed and approved by your supervisor as long as you are asymptomatic during the self-quarantine, and you will receive your regular pay. Nonexempt staff must be sure to record and report their hours worked and should not work unauthorized overtime.

If you are unable to do your work from home, speak to your supervisor about alternative work options so that you can continue work at home. If no work is possible, you will receive your base pay for the self-quarantine period (two weeks). During the self-quarantine period please keep in touch with your supervisor regarding on-line training, professional development or other duties that you may be able to perform from home.

Last update: Thursday, Aug 20, 2020 - 10:44am

Are there other benefits and resources available for child care needs?

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Subsidized backup care through Care.com now includes some of the displaced childcare workers as care providers with an emphasis on emergency workers and children with special needs. Care.com requires its care providers to adhere to the CDC-recommended best practices related to COVID-19. 

Other elements of our Care.com benefit, such as the personal care network, continue as does the marketplace to find childcare or elder care providers as well as other services.  

Access Care.com’s Coronavirus Resource Guide for Parents and Caregivers for articles and podcasts on hiring and employing caregivers during COVID-19, parenting during a pandemic, staying safe as stay-at-home orders lift, and more. 

Tufts’ Employee Assistance Program, KGA, has tips for finding alternative caregivers, and you can contact them for help in your search. They also provide information and support on COVID-19 issues and for a multitude of other topics.

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 2:08pm

Do I have to bring a physician’s note clearing me to return if I have COVID-19?

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Medical clearance is necessary to return to work if you have had confirmed COVID-19. According to the CDC, “the decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with health-care providers and state and local health departments.” If your department has additional return-to-work requirements, please adhere to those as well.

Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 11:06am

What if faculty or staff need technology (software, laptops, etc.) to enable work from home?

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Please review the Working Remotely page and contact IT for any laptop or other technology needs: https://it.tufts.edu/working-remotely.

Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 10:57am

What resources are available to assist faculty and staff?

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Our goal is to prioritize health and safety by developing policies that will permit employees the flexibility and resources they need to put their health first. Specific information is available at the links above, and your supervisor should be able to help with any particular need that arises during this emergency.

We have created resources specific to the needs of staff employees, including supervisors, which are available here:

Tufts Technology Resources has put together the following materials to support staff and faculty members with technology needs.

Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 10:13am

What resources can the Tufts Employee Assistance Plan offer?

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KGA, our employee assistance plan (EAP) provider, has counselors available 24/7 to provide confidential virtual counseling via phone, video, or live chat. KGA also has a COVID-19 Response Page with resources to support you and your family, such as videos to address worry and anxiety, daily meditation sessions, live stretch breaks, and tips on caring for children and elderly family members. They’ll have more videos soon on working remotely. Visit My.KGALifeServices.com for updates.

Contact KGA 24/7 at 800-648-9557, or download and contact them through the KGA Mobile app.

Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 11:07am

What if I have questions about how to handle a work-related issue involving COVID-19 that is not addressed here? 

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The university is regularly posting updates to its guidelines, procedures, and approach to COVID-19. If you have questions, you may also contact your Human Resources Business Partner.

Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 10:53am

My employee who handles time entry is out sick. What should I do?

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Standard best practice is to have several staff in your department trained as timekeepers. In the event of an emergency when none of your trained timekeepers is able to enter time, Tufts Support Services can help you with timekeeps of 20 staff or fewer. Contact Tufts Support Services at 617-627-7000 for guidance.

Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 10:21am

Can my staff work more than their normally scheduled work hours if needed?

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The short answer is yes. Keep in mind that you will need to pay overtime for non-exempt staff who work over 40 hours per week. Exempt staff are not eligible for overtime, but may be asked to work more than their normally scheduled work hours.

Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 10:20am

Can I temporarily assign my staff to work in short-staffed departments?

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Yes, as a manager you may be able to re-assign your staff to help in short-staffed departments, but please consult with your Human Resources Business Partner and relevant collective bargaining agreements. Temporary re-assignments may be necessary to ensure continued service to the Tufts community. Please note that unionized staff are subject to collective bargaining agreements that may limit re-assignment and/or provide for additional pay or other requirements following re-assignment.

Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 10:18am

What are my options if my department is short-staffed because of COVID-19?

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Please consult with your supervisor/manager and EAD or VP.

Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 10:17am

These FAQs are subject to change. Please check back here for the latest guidance. If you do not  find the information you are looking for, please send an email to COVID19@tufts.edu.