Information for Staff
In addition to the summary information provided on this site, Employees should refer to the complete Human Resources Plan. For additional information on policies and procedures, please visit the Human Resources Reentry Expectations and Guidelines website.
Employees with specific concerns or questions about COVID-19 should contact the Office
of Human Resources at PandemicHRCampus@SouthAlabama.
Employees should be prepared to return to work when notified by their supervisors and/or Human Resources. A four-phased approach to returning employees will be utilized. This plan focuses on protecting the physical and emotional well-being of our employees and creates an approach to return that enables the business continuity of the University. The four phases are defined as:
- Phase 1: Current situation with all non-essential employees off campus.
- Phase 2: Gradual return of employees to campus as determined by need and health/safety concerns. It is anticipated that Phase 2 will likely require staggered work schedules as necessary for proper social distancing and based on specific unit safety considerations. During this phase, remote work may continue to be the primary mode for many campus units. All units should be prepared to return to remote work (Phase 1) if conditions warrant.
- Phase 3: Full return of employees to campus with exceptions for those in high-risk categories or those caring for persons in high-risk categories as identified in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. During this phase, all units should be prepared to return to remote work if conditions warrant .
- Phase 4: All restrictions lifted and campus returns to normal operations. During this phase, all units should be prepared to return to remote work if conditions warrant.
Employees will be required to complete training regarding various issues related to COVID-19 and workplace safety. Such training will be electronic, where possible, but alternative methods will be established for employees who do not have access to computers. This training will include hygiene, social distancing, and other infection-control issues. Training must be completed within a reasonable time of returning to campus in order for the employee to remain on campus.
All faculty and staff are required to complete a health screening form before returning to campus, and may be referred for testing if the screening indicates issues or concerns.
Employees who submit forms with concerning answers or who become symptomatic will be evaluated and tested by USA Health staff at the Mobile Civic Center drive-thru testing center. After return to work, employees will be required to report any symptoms or new risk factors associated with COVID-19.
If an employee becomes symptomatic at any time, he or she must not report to work. In addition, the employee should contact Human Resources to be referred for COVID-19 testing to the USA Health drive-through testing center.
If an employee lives in a household in which anyone in the house has tested positive for COViD-19, he or she will be required to remain home and self-quarantine for 14 days.
As part of USA’s ongoing efforts to provide the safest possible environment, the University is making available two new tools that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The first of these tools is the GuideSafe™ Jag Healthcheck, a simple health screening tool that must be completed daily by all USA general division employees (not USA Health employees) and all USA students, except those who are fully remote (i.e. not coming to campus for any classes or activities). This daily health screening will take only a few minutes to complete, and will help identify possible cases of COVID-19 in our community. Jag Healthcheck is required to maintain your ability to come to campus.
Our second new tool is the GuideSafe™ Exposure Notification App, an anonymous system which, if you test positive for COVID-19, will allow the Alabama Department of Public Health to notify those you do not know — or cannot remember coming into contact with — that they may have been exposed. Users of the app exchange anonymous codes among their phones using Bluetooth — no location data is ever stored or exchanged, and your personal information is never shared. This tool is strongly encouraged for all members of the University community.
Both of these tools can be accessed through the GuideSafe App, which is available for Apple and Android devices. Please search for GuideSafe in the app store or for more information and to download the app, please visit the GuideSafe website.
In addition, Jag Healthcheck can be accessed directly from any device by going to the website jaghealthcheck.southalabama.edu.
Through Jag Healthcheck, employees and students report whether or not they have had symptoms or exposure to anyone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19. If symptoms or exposures are reported, this information will be shared with Student Health or Employee Health (Human Resources). Based on responses, Jag Healthcheck assigns users one of three categories: Green/Least Risk, Yellow/May be at Risk, or Red/Greater Risk — each with its own instructions on how to proceed to campus or work. Regardless of the results, a secure compliance report will be sent to Student Health or Human Resources.
Students and employees may be asked to display their dated “Clear”/Green result prior to entering areas of USA’s campus or participating in activities.
Jag Healthcheck is not a substitution for self-monitoring of symptoms. If an employee experiences any COVID-19 related symptoms, the employee should not report to work and should report the absence in accordance with the department’s call-in procedure, even if working remotely.
Jag Healthcheck, a COVID-19 assessment tool, informs public health and University officials about emerging symptom hot spots. It also helps University health officials prioritize participants who might need COVID-19 testing.
Students and employees are encouraged to complete Jag Healthcheck daily, but completion is required at least every three days. Reminders can be set up though Jag Healthcheck. New COVID-19 symptoms or exposures are to be reported immediately in Jag Healthcheck.
Jag Healthcheck is compliant with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is a tool for you to report COVID-19 symptoms and any exposure. University of South Alabama Student Health, Employee Health and Human Resources receive the information to ensure those coming on campus are not showing symptoms.
Your responses are linked to your identity, and the University of South Alabama Student Health, Employee Health and Human Resources will receive your information submitted with Jag Healthcheck. The information is to ensure compliance and to identify employees or students who may need to be tested to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.
There will be an option for you to receive reminders to report how you are feeling.
You will be instructed to call Student Health (251-460-7151) or Employee Health and Wellness (251-461-1521) to assess the need for testing or medical evaluation.
Students should complete the Jag Healthcheck assessment daily. After three days of non-compliance, students will be notified with an email and a text message regarding non-compliance. On the fourth day of non-compliance, the student will receive a contact from the University reminding them that non-compliance with Jag Healthcheck may result in a negative impact on their good standing with the University.
Employees should complete the Jag Healthcheck assessment daily. After three days of non-compliance, employees will be notified with an email and a text message regarding non-compliance. The Employee Health & Wellness Coordinator (EHWC), using the Jag Healthcheck report, will monitor employees completion of the survey to identify employees who have failed to complete Jag Healthcheck at least every three business days. The EHWC will refer non-compliant employees to their immediate supervisor for appropriate action. Non-compliant employees will be addressed in accordance with the University’s disciplinary guidelines.
You should not report to work if you have symptoms like fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle, body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and/or diarrhea. For information on how to report your absence, please see the Human Resources website.
Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and notify Human Resources at (251) 460-1521.
Any supervisor notified by a faculty/staff member testing positive for COVID-19 must send an email to email@example.com and notify Human Resources at (251) 460-1521.
Any USA faculty/staff notified by a student that he/she has tested/is positive for COVID-19 must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional instructions and information on these requirements, please visit the Human Resources website.
- Protocols will be developed for the deep cleaning and disinfecting of public spaces and common areas in buildings. This will be implemented prior to the return of all employees in coordination with the University’s Facilities Management department.
- Employees will be required to wear their identification badges at all times.
- Offices with reception desks will be required to implement social distancing measures such as floor distancing markings and limits on capacity.
- Common areas (vending, break rooms, kitchens) will remain closed during the duration of Phase 2 unless social distancing can be ensured. In such cases, break rooms will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.
- Limited in-person gatherings and Zoom meetings are encouraged.
- Staggered work times/work from home may be necessary.
Procedures for University Employees to address COVID-19 for
Non-University Employees on Campus
Non-University employees (hereinafter, “Vendors”) are expected to abide by the same procedures and requirements as members of the University community. Offices and departments working with Vendors on campus are required to communicate the University requirements to the non-University employee. Vendors on campus who test positive for COVID-19 are expected to participate in any surveillance or contact tracing process designed to decrease the risk of infection in the University.
Departments working with non-University employees on campus should ask for copies of the vendor’s corporate COVID policies prior to their arrival/return to campus.
If corporate policies do not exist and/or do not include similar University screening guidelines below, those departments working with non-University employees on campus will review University guidelines with the Vendors. If a non-University employee answers “Yes” to any question below, the University department will ask the non-University employee to leave campus immediately.
Have you had any new symptoms in the last 14 days that are out of the ordinary for you (shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, fever, severe headache, chills, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell)?
In the past 14 days have you been in close contact with any person who has tested positive for COVID-19? The CDC defines “close contact” as being within approximately 6 feet of an individual who is positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer.
In the past 14 days have you been in close contact with any person who is being evaluated for COVID-19 due to possible COVID-19 symptoms? The CDC defines “close contact” as being within approximately 6 feet of an individual who is positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer.
If a non-University employee tests positive for COVID-19, they should immediately notify their University contact. University departments working with Vendors who answers yes to questions above will submit the non-University employee contact name and information to the University Contact Tracing Team for additional follow up.
In order to return to campus, non-University employees who test positive for COVID-19 will follow the same guidelines as University employees.
Remote working possibilities will be dependent on the specific position and department needs. The duration of any remote working arrangements is at your supervisor’s discretion. You will need to submit a written request to your immediate supervisor for review. Final approval is at the discretion of the supervisor and the division head.
However, employees who have special medical circumstances or needs, or are caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons and are unable to telework, or need a workplace accommodation will have to be referred to Human Resources for review. To request a workplace accommodation, please contact the HR Benefits Department at email@example.com.
Absences due to illness or injury of an employee related to COVID-19, when the employee is unable to telework, should be treated as sick leave. Use of Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) may also be a possibility. If your leave is COVID-19 related and you will remain out of work for more than three business days you must complete this form. The form must be signed by your supervisor and then forwarded, along with any supporting documentation, to the email address indicated on the form for review and approval.
Each individual’s situation will be different, so employees should first consult the Human Resources FAQs for Employees for details about accommodations for various situations. If the FAQs do not address your situation, please contact Human Resources for additional assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (251) 460-6133.
Only those student workers who are essential to operations should return to work prior
to the opening of the school year on August 17. These students will only be permitted
to return to work upon the written approval of the Vice President of the division
or Dean of the school or college.
All student workers will be permitted to return to work without prior approval after the school year opens on August 17.
Before returning to work, all student workers must complete the health screening form required of all employees and will need to complete employee training as directed by the Office of Human Resources.
In most cases, meetings should be conducted virtually by Zoom or other remote means.