Frequently asked Questions

September 8, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

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Coronavirus

What are the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 symptoms are generally flu-like and include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing. Symptoms are thought to appear within 2-14 days after exposure and a person can be contagious but not symptomatic. Like seasonal flu, COVID-19 infection in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. When severe, pneumonia, respiratory failure and even death are possible.

What should I do if I develop symptoms?

If you become ill with flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, runny nose, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, contact your primary care physician (or Student Health Services, if you are a student) who will determine whether testing or treatment is needed. Avoid contact with other people and avoid social gatherings as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.

What does it mean to self-quarantine?

It means staying home and avoiding all contact with other people. Those who self-quarantine at home must monitor and record their temperature twice a day (a.m. and p.m.). Anyone being considered for self-quarantine should follow these minimum standards:

  • Accommodations
    • One bathroom designated for use by the person in self-quarantine
  • Actions and resources for the self-quarantined person
    • Do not go to work, school or public areas, and do not use public transportation, ride-apps (e.g. Uber) or taxis
    • Separate yourself from other people in your home.
    • Take and document your temperature twice a day (a.m. and p.m.)
    • If you develop a fever and/or flu-like symptoms, call your health care provider and explain your contact history and your signs and symptoms (include temperature readings)
    • Other symptoms and signs to look for include coughing and shortness of breath, chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting and runny nose
    • Obtain food and necessary items using an internet provider/delivery service or from others in the household – do not go out and about into society
    • Stay six feet away from other family members inside the home
    • Avoid sharing household items: you should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home; after using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water
    • Wash laundry thoroughly; in general, wash and dry with the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label
    • Practice hand and respiratory hygiene
    • Work/study from home using modern technology
Are there any precautions I can take to stay healthy?

Yes. This is the time to redouble your hand hygiene efforts, observe good coughing etiquette, keep your distance from anyone who is ill (at least six feet) and clean your work area.

For more details on how you can help prevent the spread of disease, please review these tips from the CDC. If you haven't already, please get a flu shot. It will not protect you from coronavirus, but it will help keep you from getting sick with the flu.

If you are sick, please stay home and consult a medical professional.

I have heard a lot of mixed information on social media, the news, and from others in the FAU community. How do I know what to believe and how can I stay safe?

The latest information on COVID-19 can be found on the FAU coronavirus website which includes links to the leading authorities on the virus, the risks, and how to protect yourself. Check back to the site often for updates. The best defense from COVID-19 is proper hand hygiene, keeping hands away from your face, keeping distance from others who are sick, and staying home when sick. Practicing these protective measures will significantly decrease the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Is there anything else I should be doing?

Much like we do to prepare for hurricane season, preparations related to coronavirus should include contingencies and supplies you and your family will need should you have to isolate at home for a minimum of 14 days. Make sure you have enough food and medication for every member of your family, including pets.

The most important step every member of the FAU community can take right now is to stay informed and make sure that all friends, family and colleagues are aware and following the guidelines outlined by the CDC and related FAU protocols.

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Students

I am in a location without a sink or hand sanitizer, how do I clean my hands?

This will be common. It is always a good idea to carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you. In the event you find yourself unable to wash or sanitize your hands, keep them away from your face. Wash or sanitize your hands at your next opportunity.

One of my classmates is showing signs of a flu-like illness (cough, fever, etc.) and he/she refuses to seek medical attention. What should I do?

Contact Student Health Services and ask for information on how to proceed.

I feel like I have a fever and a cough, but I don't want to make a big deal out of nothing. What do I do?

Your health is very important. Do not be afraid to seek help if you feel ill. Contact Student Health Services at 561-297-3512. They can evaluate you over the phone and provide you instructions on what to do next.

What can I expect if I go to FAU Student Health Services with respiratory symptoms?

If you are feeling ill, it is important that you see a doctor right away. Whether you want to see a doctor at FAU Student Health Services or your own personal physician, please call ahead and let the doctor’s office know the symptoms you are having. Be sure to stay away from others, cover your cough and wash your hands frequently.

As soon as possible, make notes about where you have been in the past two weeks and the people you have been in contact with. Should you be diagnosed with coronavirus, doctors will need these notes to trade the virus and help keep others healthy.

If you choose to go to a FAU health facility, you will be evaluated and possibly tested for the regular flu. If the doctor determines that further testing is needed your clinician will talk with the local Department of Health for guidance.

I am struggling with remote learning. How can I access more tools and information?
Visit FAU’s Keep Learning website. The site contains key tips and resources to help you make the shift to online learning.

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Faculty and Staff

I've become aware of a student who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic. What do I do?

Consistent with the university’s re-opening plan, should a student disclose such information, advise the student to contact Student Health Services (SHS). Faculty/Staff are also asked to email the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@fau.edu. Emails should contain the student’s full name and Z number if known. The Dean of Students will assist to make sure cases are documented with SHS.

The restroom in my area needs more paper towels. How do I get it restocked?

Click here to enter a work order. You can also find the link to the FAMIS Work order system on the main FAU Coronavirus web page.

Students are very concerned about COVID-19. How can I put them at ease?

The best defense from COVID-19 is proper hand hygiene, keeping hands away from your face, keeping distance from others who are sick, and staying at home when sick. Practicing these protective measures will significantly decrease the risk of contracting COVID-19.

One of the employees in my work area is exhibiting signs of illness but keeps coming to work. How can I protect myself?

Maintain a distance of at least six feet from anyone who is visibly sick and notify your supervisor.

I feel sick and feel like I need to stay home. What should I do?

Notify your supervisor of your need to stay home while ill. Keep in touch with anticipated dates of return to work.

I feel like I have a fever and cough, but I don’t want to make a big deal out of nothing. What do I do?

Your health is very important. Do not be afraid to seek help if you feel ill. Call your primary care physician or other service provider and provide them with your symptoms. They can evaluate you over the phone and provide you instructions on what to do next. If you need to be away from work, notify your supervisor.

I was told to self-quarantine. What am I required to do?

Any employee who has traveled internationally or on a cruise, or has been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, should follow these steps:

  • Faculty and staff returning from a foreign country or cruise must self-quarantine for 14 days even if no symptoms of illness are present. Those individuals must contact the Department of Human Resources at 561-297-3072 to ensure proper designation of leave and receive important information about work arrangements. Please also notify your supervisor.
  • Employees who traveled internationally (excluding U.S. territories) for official university business will be placed on paid administrative leave during the 14-day self-quarantine period.
  • Employees who traveled internationally or on a cruise for personal reasons, or who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, must use sick or annual leave during the 14-day self-quarantine period.
  • If a healthcare provider determines an employee has contracted COVID-19, the employee may become eligible for FMLA leave and any accrued leave may be used concurrently with the FMLA leave. Any employee should notify Human Resources so that leave time is properly designated. 

At the end of the 14-day quarantine, faculty and staff who are free of symptoms and have followed quarantine procedures should make an appointment with their doctor to be cleared to return to campus or the general FAU population. Please call ahead and let the healthcare provider’s office know you have been in quarantine. Please send your return to work documentation via fax (561-297-4220) or email (gzaidman@fau.edu) to Human Resources for review and determination of when you may come back to work.

As an employee is there anything else I should be doing?

Much like we do to prepare for hurricane season, preparations related to coronavirus should include contingencies and supplies you and your family will need should you have to isolate at home for a minimum of 14 days. Make sure you have enough food and medication for every member of your family, including pets.

The most important step every member of the FAU community can take right now is to stay informed and make sure that all friends, family and colleagues are aware and following the guidelines outlined by the CDC and related FAU protocols.

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Remote Work

What does it mean to work remotely?

When working remotely, an employee’s regular duties and responsibilities are performed from home or another off-site location. Employees are to remain connected to secure systems during working hours and follow all university policies, regulations and procedures related to access, data security and data confidentiality.

I have OPS, hourly, and student employees on my team. Are they able to work remotely?

Some of those employees perform work that can be done remotely, as approved by the supervisor and depending on the needs of the departmentPlease remember hourly employees must input their worked hours in Workday in order to get paid. If they are not able to enter their hours themselves, they need to contact their department’s timekeeper for assistance. Additional hours involving overtime must be approved in advance by the supervisor.

As a supervisor, how can I make sure I manage remote employees effectively?

Remote work arrangements work best when employees and supervisors communicate clearly about expectations. A set schedule and communication plan should be identified. Supervisors should tell employees how often to send updates and what those updates should include. Supervisors should also communicate how quickly they expect employees to respond and the best ways for employees to contact the supervisor while working remotely. Current performance standards are expected to be maintained by all employees.

What are the expectations of an employee working remotely?
Employees are expected to be readily available by phone or email during working hours and follow the work schedule identified in the COVID-19 Alternative Work Arrangement Form. Employees are expected to participate in telephone or WebEx meetings and perform their job duties.
Where do I find the COVID-19 Alternative Work Arrangement form?
The form is found in Workday. In your search bar type "create request." In the next search box type "COVID" to locate the form titled COVID-19 Alternate Work Arrangement-Self Report.
What if the employee is not able to log into Workday to complete the COVID-19 Alternative Work Arrangement form?
Contact Human Resources at 561-297-3072 or gzaidman@fau.edu for assistance.
If I already completed the paper form, do I also need to complete the COVID-19 Alternative Work Arrangement form in Workday?

No, your paper form will be loaded into Workday so there is no requirement to complete it again.

Can my supervisor assign me additional duties while working remotely?

Yes, supervisors must make sure employees are fully engaged during the hours they will be working remotely. If it is determined that an employee’s regular duties will not be sufficient for the period of time they will be telecommuting, special projects can be assigned as needed.

If the duties change, do I need to submit a new COVID-19 Alternative Work Arrangement form in Workday?
No, that information should be kept at the supervisor level and only sent to Human Resources if requested. This is a fluid situation and your duties are subject to change along the way.
Are there any best practices for working remotely?

 Yes.

  • Develop a work plan/arrangement to include day-to-day activities, special projects and priorities.
  • Identify collaboration methods to utilize for teamwork.
  • Perform regular assessment of the work plan/arrangement and work with remote-working employee to revise, as needed.
  • Set meeting schedules and utilize remote working tools, such as WebEx, MS Teams, telephone, etc.

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General

What is the status of Commencement?

The State University System of Florida Board of Governors has directed all universities to develop alternate plans for summer commencement ceremonies. Plans are in development and information will be communicated when it’s available.

What is the status of the university’s research activities?

Research activities and restrictions may be affected due to the fact that most students are not currently on campus and there are necessary limitations on community-based research. The Division of Research recommends that all principal investigators implement emergency operation plans for their individual labs and research initiatives. Please email fau.research@fau.edu for guidance, if needed.

For now, normal research administration operations continue. However, staff members from each Division of Research unit are preparing to work remotely, if the need arises, to support all faculty research programs. Steps are being taken to ensure that pre-award, post-ward, financial operations, compliance matters and animal use and care activities continue uninterrupted as much as possible. The division is also developing cross-training plans for worst-case scenarios, such as if multiple staff members in a single unit fall ill.

Visit the Division of Research’s FAQ webpage. As changes occur, the division will update the pages and send out announcements as warranted. Email fau.research@fau.edu with additional questions.

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