COVID-19 Interim Policies

Updated July 17, 2020

The following policies have been modified effective as of March 26, 2020 and will remain in effect until further notice. These policies are subject to change at any time as conditions warrant and will be communicated to the University community.


University Modified Operating Status

  • This is an extraordinary time and the University is grateful to the members of the University community for their dedication and flexibility as we move to remote instruction while supporting students who remain on campus and our academic and operational needs.
  • The University remains in a modified operational status in which employees are asked to work remotely, to the fullest extent possible, until further notice. Divisions and department leaders should plan for a move to remote work for as many employees as possible. All plans must ensure robust support for the continued operation of the University with particular emphasis on the students who remain on campus, faculty engaged in remote instruction, and staff whose job responsibilities require them to be physically present on campus.
  • Individual division and department leaders will determine how offices will be staffed and responsibilities fulfilled. University departments may implement modified work schedules for those employees who have responsibilities that cannot be accomplished on a remote basis.
  • All departments should review and prepare for implementation of their continuity of operations plans. Meetings should be held via conference call or Zoom, where possible. Social distancing techniques should be used if in-person meetings are held.
  • The University has implemented interim Human Resources policies to assist employees during this period of time.
  • The University is following applicable health guidelines to ensure the safety and cleanliness of all buildings on campus.
  • The health and safety of University students, faculty, and staff remain our priority. The University will continue to closely monitor the status of COVID-19 in Virginia and will make adjustments in operating status as necessary.


Interim Human Resources Policies

Hiring Freeze

Effective immediately and as announced to the University of Richmond employee community on April 9, 2020, the University has implemented a hiring freeze for currently unfilled faculty and staff positions. This includes any regular full- and part-time positions that become vacant during the year and requests for temporary or limited term positions. If a job offer has been extended and/or accepted prior to April 9, 2020, the University will honor those job offers.

Recognizing that it may be important for the University to fill certain open positions during the hiring freeze, the respective Vice President or Academic Dean may petition for an exemption to the hiring freeze by completing the Staff Hiring Freeze Exemption Request or the Faculty Hiring Freeze Exemption Request.

Positions that directly impact the University’s educational commitment to students or directly augment campus community health and safety will be given priority.

In consultation with respective Vice Presidents, Academic Deans and the Senior Associate Vice President for Human Resources, the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer and the Executive Vice President & Provost will review all petitions and make recommendations to the President.

Salary Freeze

There will not be a merit salary pool increase for employees in FY21 as the University will implement a salary freeze for all faculty and staff for next year. We fully recognize the impact of this measure on our faculty and staff and their families, and we regret that it is necessary. It is especially painful as so many members of our community have worked so tirelessly and effectively this spring in response to the extraordinary challenges COVID-19 presented to our academic mission.

Pay for Non-Exempt Employees

Many of our non-exempt, hourly employees have experienced a reduction in the number of hours worked. As a result, the University will continue to pay regular full, part-time, and limited term non-exempt, hourly employees through the end of the fiscal year (June 30) based on their regularly scheduled hours, even if their work hours are reduced as a result of the move to a modified work schedule. This policy ended on 8/29/2020.

Temporary COVID Work Arrangements for Fall 2020

While the health, safety, and contributions of all staff members are equally valued, the reality is that not all work can be performed remotely. Certain jobs or aspects of a job must be performed on campus. Other jobs or aspects of jobs can be performed remotely with a laptop and the necessary access. Individual supervisors and departments will work with employees to determine who will perform their jobs remotely and who will be required to be on campus. No forms need to be completed until your return to work date on campus has been established by your supervisor.

Learn more here.

Request for Disability Accommodations

Employees who have health conditions that may require accommodation should contact Human Resources following the procedure set forth here.

COVID Leave (Paid)

Full and part-time benefit eligible employees may receive up to 15 days of COVID paid leave to be used for COVID-19 related situations like illness, quarantine, isolation or family care need. This is a one-time allowance of additional paid leave in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Employees who experience other circumstances that prevent them from maintaining a normal work schedule should contact their supervisor. The University will be as flexible as possible in addressing these situations consistent with our academic and operational needs.

8/13/20 update: Staff COVID leave balances were refreshed on August 1st for a new balance of 15 days.


Access to Campus

  • Students, faculty and staff who have symptoms of respiratory illness should stay home and not come to campus until they are free of fever (100° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 72 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
  • The University requires anyone coming from CDC Warning Level 3 countries or those who know that they potentially have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.
  • The University is following the CDC’s recommendation of a 14 day quarantine for anyone returning from international travel (regardless of nationality) to the United States.
  • Any faculty, staff, or student who has been to a location with a COVID-19 outbreak who experiences fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days after leaving such location should do the following:
    • The Student Health Center is open to patient care on a reduced schedule. Please call 804-289-8064 if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment as we are not accepting walk-ins and self-scheduling through the patient portal is suspended. For medical emergencies on campus, please call the University of Richmond Police Department at 804-289-8911.
    • Faculty and staff should call their physician’s office for advice and tell them about recent travel and symptoms.
    • Faculty, staff, and students should self-quarantine if their health care provider suspects or tests for COVID-19. The period of self-quarantine or isolation should be determined by the treating health care provider in consultation with the local health department.
    • Faculty, staff, and students who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for the period of time determined by their health care provider in consultation with the local department of health.
  • Any student, faculty, or staff member required to self-quarantine or self-isolate should follow the directions of their health care provider and the CDC’s self-isolation recommendations.
  • Students residing on campus who are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine should call the Student Health Center at 804-289-8700 regarding on-campus housing options for self-isolation.
  • Students who are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine should contact their dean of students and faculty by email for other support and resources.
  • Faculty who are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine should contact their dean or department chair to discuss how to handle teaching responsibilities.
  • Staff who are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine should contact their supervisor.


University Students Abroad Spring 2020

  • All University of Richmond students currently studying abroad have been advised of the latest travel warnings from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • All students currently abroad who wish to remain in their study abroad programs, regardless of location, are required to petition to remain in such countries by following the process set forth in University’s Policy on International Travel to Countries Presenting Increased Risk.
  • Students who are in countries designated by the U.S. State Department as having a Level 4 Travel Advisory will not be permitted to petition to remain for study abroad in such countries.
  • Student petitions to remain in countries designated by the U.S. State Department as having a Level 3 advisory or designated Level 3 Health Alert by the CDC will be granted only in very limited circumstances, as determined by the Office of International Education.
  • Students who have symptoms of respiratory illness should stay home until they are free of fever (100° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 72 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
  • The Office of International Education will remain in close contact with all University students currently abroad to provide any needed support and guidance. 


University-Sponsored Travel – Spring Semester

  • The University of Richmond is cancelling all non-essential, University-sponsored international and domestic travel, regardless of location, until further notice.
  • This policy applies to faculty, staff, and students.
  • The University strongly discourages personal international travel and domestic travel at this time. All faculty, staff, and students residing on campus who are planning personal travel to any destination, foreign or domestic, must register that travel using the University’s travel reporting form.


Student Housing

  • All students, including those who were on campus for spring break, must return to, or remain at home, unless granted permission to remain on campus.
  • Any student who has previously been granted permission to stay on campus must make a second request. The only circumstances under which a student may request permission to remain on campus are:
    • International students whose home country has closed its borders, and who do not have an alternate place to stay – please contact OIE at international@richmond.edu.
    • Any students who experience food insecurity or other similarly serious circumstances, and who do not have an alternate place to stay – please email CollegeDeans@richmond.edu.
  • Students who need financial assistance to travel home, should complete this form.
  • Students who need academic materials or medication may request to have those items sent home by completing this form.  
  • Students should not return to campus to retrieve their belongings at this time. The University will provide information in the coming weeks about collecting or storing student belongings.


Events on Campus

Priorities for Use of University Meeting and Event Space
As the University continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to plan for the 2020-2021 academic year, it must limit the use of its event and meeting space as set forth in this interim policy. The following uses shall be given priority, per the order set forth below, in the reservation and assignment of meeting and event space:

  1. Classroom use, including those spaces not traditionally used as classrooms;
  2. Other academic uses;
  3. University administrative and operational uses, excluding routine meetings; and
  4. Student support uses.

Camps and Conferences Summer 2020
The University is cancelling all camps and conferences scheduled to be held on campus during the summer of 2020, including athletic overnight and day camps and Little Scholars camps for children of faculty and staff. The University is also cancelling all in-person events, including third-party events, at the Modlin Center.

Third-Party Events Summer and Fall 2020
Except as noted below, the University will not host any third-party events on campus during the summer or fall of 2020. For purposes of this interim policy, a third-party event is an event organized and/or sponsored by any organization other than the University of Richmond or any individual who is not a current student, faculty, or staff member of the University of Richmond.

After review by the Director of the Events Office and consultation with the Director of Emergency Management and other campus officials, the University may approve the following third-party events, provided they can be conducted in a manner consistent with the University’s physical distancing and other health protocols:

  • Use of the Jepson Alumni Center as a polling location for local, state, and national elections;
  • Inurnments in the University Columbarium;
  • Memorial/Funeral Services in the University Chapel;
  • Weddings in the University Chapel (but not receptions); and
  • Other events that that are held outdoors and/or require minimal use of University resources.

Internal Meetings and Events Fall 2020
For purposes of this interim policy, an internal event is an event or meeting organized and conducted by a current Richmond student, faculty member, staff member, department, division, or student organization. 

All requests to reserve meeting or event space must be made through the EMS system, regardless of the location of the space.  All requests for meeting and event space will be evaluated by the Events Office in light of the priority uses set forth in this interim policy and the consistency of the planned meeting or event with the University’s physical distancing and other health protocols.

All requests to reserve meeting or event space will be given a new event status in EMS. This status will be called “Pending COVID19 Policies.”  All new requests will be submitted as an online request, and then shifted to the new status Pending COVID19 Policies as event schedulers review the requests. Schedulers will work to align the event with the University’s physical distancing and other health protocols.  Requests for meetings and events will be approved only if they can be arranged in a manner that meets the University’s physical distancing and other health protocols. 

Unless an exception is granted by the Events Office, all food service or catering for approved meetings and events must be provided by the University of Richmond Dining Services and outside caters or food service providers will not be permitted to serve food on campus.

Modlin Center Events Fall 2020
The University is cancelling all of the Modlin Center Presents events for the fall of 2020. The Modlin Center is exploring virtual programming options with artists and will support curriculum and classroom learning.

Athletic Events Spring 2021
The University of Richmond is in consultation with the NCAA and its athletic conferences regarding the status of intercollegiate athletic events during the spring of 2021. This policy will be updated once decisions have been made regarding the status of those events.


University Events Held Off-Campus

All off-campus events have been postponed or cancelled until further notice.


Summer Study Abroad

The University has cancelled all summer study abroad.


Summer Classes

  • All classes for Summer Session I and II will beconducted remotely. University of Richmond courses for Summer 2020 that are approved for general education credit will count toward general education requirements regardless of the format of delivery (i.e., in-person or online).
  • The University remains in modified operating status with employees working remotely to the fullest extent possible. The Commonwealth has only just entered Phase One of the Governor’s Forward Virginia plan of reopening, and the City of Richmond has delayed implementing Phase One. These conditions—and the status of the pandemic that inform these conditions—unfortunately do not allow the University to offer students summer residency for Summer Session II.


Summer Research with Students

  • The current situation raises a number of challenges for faculty-mentored summer research for undergraduate students planned for this summer. Summer research is an important opportunity in a University of Richmond education, but we must prioritize the health and care of our community. 
  • We realize that the decision to be fully remote for the summer affects the planned research projects of many students and faculty that are so important in our education and scholarship. We regret that in-person research opportunities will not be possible this summer. 
  • Students who were planning to participate in faculty-mentored research on campus after June 15 should consult with their faculty research advisor about the possibility of deferring their award to summer 2021. Students who have begun their research remotely and had planned to be on campus for research later in the summer should consult with their faculty research advisor to determine if the project will conclude or remain online.


University-Sponsored Summer Internships

  • Students who are interested in pursuing University-sponsored internships with external employers and organizations may apply for a UR Summer Fellowship by Monday, June 1 at 5 p.m.
  • Remote internships may begin as soon as the fellowship is awarded.
  • In-person internships are permitted to begin as early as June 15, contingent on compliance with local public health guidance and the availability of opportunities with external employers and organizations.
  • Students may only pursue a University-sponsored in-person internship in their home community or in Richmond.
  • For Richmond-based internships, on-campus housing will not be available.
  • Please direct questions to ursf@richmond.edu.


Faculty Tenure Clock

From April 3, 2020 University Faculty Senate meeting: Tenure-track faculty members [at the University of Richmond] have the opportunity to extend the tenure-clock and the associated third-year review by one year due to the disruption from COVID-19. The timetable for requesting this extension will be set by the Deans.

Faculty who are scheduled to stand for tenure in AY 2020-2021 and those whose third-year review is scheduled for AY 2020-2021 should be given at least until April 15, 2020 to decide if they wish to extend their clock by one year. All other tenure-track faculty whose third-year review is scheduled for AY 2021-2022 or after, or who are scheduled to stand for tenure in AY 2021-2022 or after (and were employed at the university as of April 3rd, 2020), should be given at least until January 15, 2021, to decide if they wish to extend their clock by one year.

Faculty opting for an extension in their tenure-clock under this policy will still remain eligible for “stop-the-clock” requests as outlined in the Faculty Handbook and may extend the tenure-clock by one-year due to COVID19 so that the maximum pre-tenure period will be a total of eight (8) years. The University Faculty Senate shall revisit this extension at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year to discuss further extensions should the current pandemic continue to affect the ability of faculty to complete the academic work expected for review and tenure.


Face Coverings on Campus 

  • Effective June 3, 2020 and until further notice, individuals inside of University buildings, classrooms, or in common areas of University residence halls are required to wear a face covering that covers both the nose and mouth at all times.
  • In classrooms, students and the faculty teaching the class will be required to wear a face covering, however, the University will explore alternative options for faculty teaching a class.
  • Face coverings are required on campus even in outdoor settings where you are not or cannot maintain six feet of distance between you and others, especially when traversing busy walkways and corridors.
  • This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors on University property.
  • Employees working alone in their individual enclosed offices, with the door closed, do not need to wear a face covering. Employees working in offices with open floor plans will need to wear a cloth face covering.
  • Unless instructed otherwise, residents of campus housing are not required to wear a face covering while in their own room or apartment, but face coverings should be worn in all common areas of University residence halls, such as hallways, laundry rooms, and lounges.
  • A cloth face covering should:
    • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    • completely cover the nose and mouth
    • have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
  • According to the CDC, do not chose a face covering:
    • made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe (for example, vinyl)
    • with exhalation valves or vents, which allow virus particles to escape
  • Face coverings, physical distancing, hand-washing and good personal hygiene are all critical to helping prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This face covering policy is meant to supplement hand-washing and the physical distancing protocol, which requires maintaining a six-foot distance from others whenever possible. Face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing or hand-washing.
  • For more information on how to properly use face coverings, see our tips on how to wear a face covering.
  • The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to the following:
    • While eating or drinking
    • Individuals exercising outdoors with appropriate physical distance
    • Any person seeking to communicate with the hearing impaired and for which the mouth needs to be visible
    • When temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to secure medical services
    • Persons with health conditions that prohibit wearing a face covering

 

Interim Health and Temperature Screening Policy

Purpose and Scope

University of Richmond students, faculty, and staff have an important role in protecting the health and wellbeing of the campus community.  In an effort to reduce potential transmission of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the University will require all faculty and staff to conduct a daily health screening each day.   There will be a separate policy and procedure requiring daily health screening for students. As described in this policy, certain employees will also be required to undergo a daily temperature screening.

Effective immediately, all employees that work on-campus are responsible for following this policy. Employees required to obtain a temperature screening prior to reporting for work, will not be authorized to work until a temperature screening is completed.

Policy Statement

Procedures

This health and temperature screening will only occur for employees responding on-site for work. The health check and temperature screening will be non-invasive, non-contact in nature, and will determine if an employee is symptomatic, been in close contact with an individual with COVID-19 or their temperature exceeds an established threshold. Information collected during the screenings will be treated as confidential and reviewed only by Human Resources for compliance with this policy.  


Health Screenings

All employees, will complete a health screening. Employees will complete the web-based screening using a provided link. If an employee has experienced any of the symptoms listed on the screening form, that cannot be attributed to another health condition, has a fever of 100 or higher, or has been in close contact with an individual with COVID-19, the employee should not report to work and contact their supervisor or department chair. A representative from Human Resources will contact the employee and supervisor with information about returning to work on campus.

Temperature Screenings

Temperature screenings, in addition to health screenings, will be required for employees that work in Dining, Retail, Facilities, Student Health Center, the University of Richmond Police Department, and Athletic Coaches, Trainers, and Equipment Managers. The list of employee’s subject to temperature screening may be changed from time to time.

Each department subject to temperature screenings will identify and train one or more employees to serve as health screeners to conduct the health and temperature screening for employees in the department. 

Employees required to complete a temperature screening will first report to the designated health screener before beginning their assigned responsibilities. The health and temperature screening will occur once, at the beginning of the employee’s shift.

Procedure for Testing

The arriving employee is responsible for contacting the health screener prior to beginning their shift.

Only one person shall enter the screening area at a time. Those waiting to be screened shall remain at least six (6) feet apart. Upon completion of their screening, the employee will leave the screening area and begin the normal course of their schedule.

The employee will provide the screener with their arrival time and will be paid both for time spent waiting to be screened and screening time. The employee’s arrival time will be entered in Time-pro Reporting System by the Payroll/Personnel Assistant. If the health screener is not present at the designated screening location, the employee must wait at the designated screening area until they have been screened and are permitted to work.

The health screener will first ask if an employee is or has experienced any of the following symptoms over the past 24 hours that cannot be attributed to another health condition:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath of difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat

If yes, the employee should be sent home and encouraged to speak with a health care professional.

The Health Screener will then ask the employee if they have been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. For COVID-19, a close contact is defined by CDC as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 10 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

If yes, the employee should be sent home and encouraged to speak with a health care professional.

If no, the health screener will use a non-contact electronic temperature reading device to evaluate if an employee is fit for duty/work by comparing the temperature reading to the established temperature threshold.

Upon receiving a temperature reading, if the individual’s temperature is:

  • 99.9. degrees Fahrenheit or below: the employee will be permitted to start work.
  • 100. degrees Fahrenheit or higher: the personnel will not be permitted to work and should return home and/or see a physician for self-care.

If the employees reading is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, a second temperature screening test may be conducted to verify the reading.

Personnel Conducting Health and Temperature Screening

Health screeners must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) with the minimum being latex/nitrile gloves and a cloth face covering while conducting the test. Health screeners must attempt to minimize contact with all employees as best as possible while conducting the screening test. Employee temperature screening results will not to be recorded, documented, or shared with any other personnel. The results will only be used to determine whether an employee will be authorized to work on-site for the day.

During the opening of a shift, the prior health screener, where needed or as applicable, will assist in conducting employee temperature screenings of the on-coming shift.

If an employee is not authorized to work on-site, the employee’s direct supervisor is responsible for applying the correct classification of leave in the TimePro Reporting System. The health screener is responsible for notifying their chain of command of any employees who were not authorized to work due to the health and temperature screening.

Consequences for failing or refusing to complete a daily healthy check and temperature screening will be handled on a case-by-case basis and may result in disciplinary action.