COVID-19 Vaccine Questions
When did TWU begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to the university community?
On Jan. 5, 2021, the university started inoculations for the virus following state health guidelines.
How much will it cost?
There are no out-of-pocket costs to receive the vaccine. However, the federal government now permits TWU Student Health Services to submit a medical insurance claim for the administrative costs associated with providing the vaccine. Individuals who have medical insurance will be asked to bring their insurance information to the SECOND vaccine appointment. For individuals who do not have insurance, TWU will submit administrative costs to a federal CARES Act fund for reimbursement.
Who is eligible to receive the vaccine at TWU?
TWU faculty, staff, current and incoming students who are age 18 and older.
How many doses of the vaccine have been administered to date?
This information changes daily as we continue to administer our initial allotment of 2,100 doses. TWU reports its status to the Department of State Health Services daily. Please check the state’s dashboard for more information, but note there is a delay in the dashboard updates.
Are these vaccines available for the general public, not associated with TWU?
Not at this time.
All COVID-19 Questions
Why is TWU requiring a 14-day quarantine when CDC guidelines provided a 7-10 day optional timeframe?
We have been following the guidelines of the CDC and our local governments and health departments. The CDC still recommends a 14 day quarantine, although they did provide the option for local health authorities to adopt the shorter guidelines based on local COVID-19 circumstances. The local health authorities in all three of our campus areas have not yet adopted the newly lowered CDC guidelines. However, we continue to monitor their guidelines and will modify ours as appropriate.
Why has on-campus testing been discontinued?
The testing company was undertaking this on-campus COVID testing as a trial, which they decided to discontinue. However, we are proposing some different options to continue their work, for their consideration. In the meantime, we encourage individuals to check out gogettested.com for alternative locations. We will notify the members of our community if anything changes.
What happens if there is a positive COVID-19 case on campus?
TWU requires all faculty, staff, and students to report suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 via a confidential online form. This enables us to take quick, decisive actions to protect the TWU community, often prior to receiving notice from public health officials.
Individuals who become ill are immediately sent home or for medical treatment as appropriate. Individuals who live on campus will be placed in an isolation room, and will not be permitted to leave the room unless medical treatment is required.
Potentially contaminated spaces occupied by the ill person will be closed off until enhanced disinfection, in accordance with CDC guidelines, is completed.
Concurrently, Risk Management conducts its own “contact tracing” to supplement that done by public health authorities, allowing for a faster and more thorough response. Contact tracing is the process of identifying individuals who may have been in close, prolonged contact with an infected individual. Those who had close, prolonged contact are then notified, and required to complete a 14-day quarantine while monitoring themselves for symptoms. The goal is to stop the spread of COVID-19 by quickly finding and isolating potential cases. Risk Management staff members are certified by Johns Hopkins University for COVID-19 contact tracing, and have the ability to obtain or provide training for others if the need arises.
Individuals who are confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19, as well as those who were exposed to individuals with COVID-19, are prohibited from returning to campus until cleared by Risk Management in accordance with CDC guidelines. For further details on self-isolation and return to campus requirements, see the COVID-19 Self-Screening document.
Performing a rapid, thorough response to a potential case of COVID-19 on campus requires detailed information from individuals regarding the places they have been and individuals they have contacted. In order to help with this process, consider these tips:
- Maintain a detailed, accurate calendar or daily planner
- Keep meeting and class attendance/rosters
- Always maintain 6-foot separation from others, and make note of individuals who you could not adequately distance from
What's the difference between quarantine and isolation?
You will need to go into quarantine if you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or someone who is suspected of having COVID-19 and is awaiting test results. Quarantine is meant to keep you away from people in case you start to develop symptoms, which can take up to 14 days. Close contact is defined as being less than six feet away from someone for more than 10 minutes. While you may never experience the COVID-19 symptoms, you must keep yourself separate from others and not leave the space where you are staying. Quarantine periods last 14 days from the date of last exposure to a positive case.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms and are awaiting test results, you need to be in isolation to keep yourself separate from others for 10 days from the day you first started feeling symptoms or 10 days from the date you were tested if you are asymptomatic. People who are in isolation can go back to normal life after 10 days have passed, their symptoms have improved, and they have had no fever without fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours.
If you are in isolation or quarantine, you should not leave your residence except to seek medical care.
All TWU affiliated individuals in quarantine or isolation must receive written clearance from Risk Management prior to returning to campus or leaving their residential quarantine or isolation space.
Are the Dallas & Houston campuses included in university announcements?
Yes, at this point, all guidance is for all three campuses, as well as the Collin Higher Education Center.
Can student employees continue to work on campus?
Student employees can continue to support projects remotely, based on direction from supervisors. Students who are on work study will receive the amount awarded to them though their financial aid.
If you are a student housing employee (i.e., resident assistant) who works on campus, you are asked to provide appropriate notice to your supervisor should you opt to return home. There will be no financial penalties incurred if you leave your current position.
How can I make tuition payments?
For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Bursar’s Office website.
Does my Academic HealthPlans insurance policy through TWU cover COVID 19?
Yes. Students who have purchased health insurance through Academic HealthPlans do have coverage for care related to contracting the coronavirus. Your health insurance coverage is valid at any in-network health care provider who accepts United Healthcare Choice Plus PPO. There are providers nationwide. Here is the link to the provider finder: https://connect.werally.com/medicalProvider/root
All of my classes are now online. Am I still compliant with my F-1 visa?
Yes. The Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) has provided a mechanism for TWU to notify them of the course delivery changes TWU has made in an effort to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. International Affairs has reported these changes to SEVP and you will remain in compliance with F-1 regulations while finishing the semester online. Contact email@example.com if you have additional questions.
Can I return to my home country and continue my studies online?
Yes. The Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) is committed to remaining flexible in allowing TWU to make temporary procedural adaptations for international students. For the remainder of the spring semester, you may engage in online learning from either within the United States or outside the country. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions.
If I go to my home country to continue studies, can I return to the U.S.?
International students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for re-entry into the United States. Always carry the following documents:
- A valid passport or travel document, unless exempt from the passport requirement.
- A valid F-1 visa (unless exempt from visa requirements)
- A Form I-20 properly endorsed for travel by the Designated School Official (DSO)
- Evidence of financial resources
- Evidence of student status (recent tuition receipts, transcripts)
- Name and contact information for the school's Designated School Official (DSO)
In addition, due to the changing array of travel restrictions, international students should refer to their local embassy’s website and the U.S. Department of State for any F-1 visa and travel restriction updates. The Center for Disease Control is also a helpful resource for information about travel restrictions. Contact email@example.com if you have additional questions.
I’m working from home remotely. What do I need to do?
If you are telecommuting, you are encouraged to make necessary preparations to do so by:
- Determining the equipment, software and supplies needed to work remotely. Employees must seek approval from their supervisor prior to taking any equipment and supplies from their office to their telecommuting work-site.
- Understanding how to connect to necessary network resources as applicable, verifying connecting and logging in capabilities, and ensuring that all protective software and other firewall technology are installed and used on all equipment at the remote location.
- Discussing with your supervisor call-in procedures and your work schedule.
- Establishing with your supervisor expected communication and collaboration procedures using TWU email, phone calls, and virtual tools.
- Determining if any alternate work assignments or tasks are necessary.
Refer to the Telecommuting Policy for additional items to consider regarding telecommuting.
Relevant worksheets to be used during telecommuting:
Telecommuting Task Log (MSWord) (for employee and supervisor use)
Approved Telecommuting Employee List (MSExcel) (for supervisor use only)
How will new employees go through on-boarding this semester?
To ensure the safety of the TWU community, all new employee orientations (NEO) will be online until further notice. NEO will be modified to comply with CDC recommendations, and further updates will be given via email and through the HR website. The new NEO presentations are available online (https://servicecenter.twu.edu/TDClient/1956/Portal/KB/ArticleDet?ID=32031). NEO should be completed by new employees within two weeks of hire.
What if I am feeling sick or think that I have COVID-19?
If you become ill, regardless of if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or not, please stay home. Contact your health care provider and seek medical attention, as needed.
If any of the following COVID-19 conditions are present, you MUST stay home and notify TWU by completing the COVID-19 Reporting Form. Follow CDC guidelines, as they may evolve, to self-isolate for 14 days.
- You, someone you live with, or someone you have been in close, prolonged contact with is sick and exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (can include cough, fever, shortness of breath)
- You, someone you live with, or someone you have been in close, prolonged contact with is considered a Person Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
- You, someone you live with, or someone you have been in close, prolonged contact has tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID-19
- You, someone you live with, or someone you have been in close, prolonged contact has been instructed by public health officials to self-isolate due to COVID-19
Close is generally defined as within 6 feet, and prolonged is any exposure greater than a few minutes, according to the CDC. If any of the situations described above apply to you, complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form. For further information, contact TWU Risk Management.
To assist with self-screening and provide more information for residential students, please read the COVID-19 Self-Screening document.
What can I do if I have a medical issue but cannot see my PCP?
If you can't see your primary care physician (PCP) a 24-hour nurse line is available through all medical plans plus virtual visits through HealthSelect and Consumer Directed HealthSelect. Their number is 1-800-252-8039.
What can I do if I can’t see my PCP but need urgent care without an ER?
Contact the customer service number on your medical card or the number of your plan listed above to locate urgent care facilities. Network providers can also be located by logging on to BCBS of Texas webpage. Network urgent care facilities located anywhere in Texas can treat you at a $50 copay for HealthSelect and 20% after meeting your deductible through Consumer Directed HealthSelect.
If an emergency occurs and I am not near primary care facilities, how can I receive emergency care?
Emergency care received at a non-network hospital is covered at the network level, until your physician determines that it is medically appropriate to transfer you to a network hospital.
How do I fill a prescription if I am away from the main pharmacy I use?
If you are able to reach your primary care physician, s/he can call a prescription into any network pharmacy. If you are unable to reach your physician and need a new prescription you may need to see a physician.
If I lost my medical and/or prescription card, how can I get a new card?
Visit your plan’s website and print a temporary card or call the customer service number. If you are at a provider’s office or pharmacy and need coverage verified, provide your plan customer service number, group number and social security number to your provider or pharmacy. The provider can contact the plan administrator for coverage details.
What resources are available for employees for non-medical situations?
All benefits-eligible staff and faculty have access to the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) services at no cost to the employee, employee’s spouse and dependent children. Licensed clinicians are available 24/7, 365 days a year to help with any type of situation. All guidance counseling is confidential. EAP: 1-800-343-3822 or visit their website at awpnow.com.
Is telecommuting available for faculty and staff employees?
With the approval of their immediate supervisors, faculty and staff members may request to work from home if their job functions support doing so. A formal telecommuting arrangement will need to be made through the supervisor and maintained at the department level.
Staff members should refer to the telecommuting policy for additional guidance.
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring employees are effectively performing the functions of their position while working in any telecommuting arrangement. Supervisors may also modify employee duties based on the current operational needs of the department. Supervisors may request reports of work duties/tasks performed to be submitted by employees.
Telecommuting arrangements may be modified or discontinued any time at the supervisor’s discretion.
How do I submit a request to remove a university asset for telecommuting purposes?
1. Complete the Equipment Loan or Transfer to Out-of-Office Location Form, which requires signature by the Department Head/Director (or a designee).
3. For a seamless transition to work-from-home, IT Solutions (ITS) is ready to assist you! Most of this assistance can be done remotely; however, desktop iMacs and some desktop Windows devices have to be adjusted on campus prior to removal.
a. Please refer to this site for more info about working from home.
b. To access the internet on a TWU desktop PC at home, you will need to connect an ethernet (internet) cable from the PC to your home router.
c. VPN (CiscoAnyConnect) will be required to be installed on the machine to access the following: Colleague UI, Oracle E-Business (Phoenix), Internal Websites, SQL Reports, X-Drive (Map on Windows) (Map on Mac), and OnBase Web Client & GMedia. VPN requires the use of the DUO mobile app which must be installed on a mobile device.
d. If you take your desktop home, you won’t need to use Remote Desktop.
e. After ITS adjusts the computer prior to removal, they will be able to assist with usual issues and requests through the Service Desk, which is and will be fully operational. Elevated rights should not be needed for users.
I traveled and have some symptoms of COVID-19, should I come to work?
If you or anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or has similar symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), it is recommended that you and all those living with you stay at home (avoiding work, school, social activities) to prevent the spread of illness. Within the home, the person who is sick should stay away from others in the home as much as possible. Seek advice from your medical provider and follow CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of coronavirus. You should report your travel to Risk Management.
Employees should telecommute as appropriate. If your duties do not allow you to telecommute as determined by your supervisor, you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please refer to the Time Reporting During COVID-19 Flowchart. More information about telecommuting can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees?
Can I return to work after testing positive or caring for a member of my household with confirmed COVID-19?
Essential personnel in this situation may return to work if your supervisor deems it necessary for your duties and if you meet the following three qualifications:
- You must provide a medical release from your medical provider to Risk Management;
- You have documented and completed the steps from the CDC on how to discontinue home isolation; and
- You must be asymptomatic before returning to work.
Telecommuting employees should talk with their supervisors for guidance for returning to work.
If my medical provider deems I need to be out for more than three days, what do I do?
For staff, as provided in URP: V.14.d Staff Attendance Vacation and Sick Leave Policy, absences due to illness continuing for three work shifts or more will require a doctor’s certificate showing the cause and nature of the illness or some other written statement of the facts concerning the illness which is acceptable to the supervisor. Employees should telecommute as appropriate and more information about telecommuting can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees?
Where can I find out how much leave I have available?
For all leave eligible employees:
- Log in to Pioneer Portal, choose My Info, Payslip Information. Your accrual balance can be found under “Accruals” on your payslip. Note – accruals on the payslip are as of the time payslips were posted. Example – payslips are posted late April for the May 1 pay date and will not yet reflect usage for the month of April.
For staff who complete Oracle timecards:
- Log in to Oracle, TWU Employee Self-Service, Timecard Entry, choose the update icon on your timecard, click “Show Accrual Balances” link in the upper left corner.
If I become sick at work, can my supervisor make me leave work?
Yes. You are required to leave. Due to the contagious nature of COVID-19, maintaining safety is of the upmost importance.
Do I have to work if I am fearful of becoming infected by COVID-19?
Yes. However, employees should telecommute (unless designated as essential personnel) and more info can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees?. Flex time, approved vacation, overtime and compensatory time usage may be used as appropriate. However, supervisors will continue to make decisions based on the business operational needs of the department.
What do I do if I have underlying medical condition(s) and am afraid to work?
Employees should telecommute as appropriate (unless designated as essential personnel) and more info can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees? Additionally, seek medical advice from your medical provider. If your medical provider determines you should not work because of your health condition, you are eligible to use your sick leave. If your medical provider determines you are able to work yet you don’t want to, you are eligible to request to use other approved leave such as vacation leave, overtime and compensatory time.
What is TWU doing for those students in the Educator Preparation Program?
If you are in TWU's Educator Preparation Program, the College of Professional Education has compiled a list of frequently asked questions just for you. Check it out at: https://twu.edu/epp/epp-coronavirus-faq/
How do I track my employee’s work if they are telecommuting?
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring employees are effectively performing the functions of their position while working in a temporary telecommuting arrangement. Supervisors may also modify employee duties based on the current operational needs of the department. Reports of work duties/tasks performed are expected to be submitted by employees to their supervisors on a scheduled basis as determined by the supervisor. Please click the following to download optional attachments with documents you and your employees are welcome to use:
Can I ask employees to work hours and days that they are not normally scheduled to work?
Yes. Work schedules, assignments, tasks and duties may be modified during this period. Supervisors are responsible to ensure that time is reported accurately. Non-exempt employees working over 40 hours per week are eligible for overtime.
What if an employee refuses to come to work during this period?
Supervisors are encouraged to allow for telecommuting as appropriate, flex time, and approve vacation, overtime and compensatory time usage. If the supervisor does not approve leave and the employee still refuses to come to work, employees would be subject to the progressive disciplinary process. However, supervisors will continue to make decisions based on the business operational needs of the department.
Under what circumstances could a supervisor cancel vacation or other non-sick leave requests that were already approved?
Supervisors are responsible to continue the business operations of the department. Therefore, supervisors may cancel requests for time off especially in circumstances of serious staff shortages to continue operations.
For Work Study Students only
We know work study impacts many students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “For students enrolled and performing Federal Work Study (FWS) at a campus that must close due to COVID-19, or for a FWS student who is employed by an employer that closes as a result of COVID-19, the institution may continue paying the student Federal Work Study wages during that closure if it occurred after the beginning of the term, if the institution is continuing to pay its other employees (including faculty/staff), and the institution continues to meet its institutional wage share requirement.”
Supervisors are encouraged to allow work study students to telecommute where work is available and the tasks/duties may be performed remotely. Supervisors are responsible to ensure student employees working in a temporary telecommuting arrangement are effectively performing the functions of their position. Duties may be modified as determined by the supervisor based on the current operational needs of the department. Daily reports of work duties/tasks performed are expected to be submitted by student employees to their supervisors. Reports are subject to verification upon request by departments or Human Resources.
Temporary telecommuting arrangements may be modified or discontinued at any time at the department head’s discretion. Telecommuting approvals are to be maintained at the department level.
All Non-Work Study Student Employees
At the current time, student employees may continue to work on campus in departments where work is available and is appropriately supervised.
Student employees may utilize telecommuting, upon the approval of their supervisor, where work is available and the tasks/duties may be performed remotely. Supervisors are responsible to ensure student employees working in a temporary telecommuting arrangement are effectively performing the functions of their position. Duties may be modified as determined by the supervisor based on the current operational needs of the department. Daily reports of work duties/tasks performed are expected to be submitted by student employees to their supervisors. Reports are subject to verification upon request by departments or Human Resources.
Temporary telecommuting arrangements may be modified or discontinued at any time at the department head’s discretion. Telecommuting approvals are to be maintained at the department level.
Student work may only continue to be compensated when work is available and meets the operational needs of the department. There will be circumstances, as determined by the department, when student work is no longer available on campus and/or work is not appropriate for telecommuting. Student employees will not continue to be compensated under these circumstances.
Have more questions?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have, and we will track down the answer for you.
Return to Campus Guidelines for Employees
What do I need to do to familiarize myself with the university’s guidance for returning to the workplace?
All employees will be required to take the online Reboarding Training that covers new procedures and guidelines, as well as community expectations, necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (TWU “Reboarding” Training (English), TWU “Reboarding” Training (Spanish)).
Additionally, employees should familiarize themselves with the university’s COVID-19 Self-Screening Form.
The university will continually update the Reboarding Training as federal, state and other guidance is updated and make it available on TWU’s Coronavirus website. We encourage everyone to check back and refresh themselves on current guidance as we continue to navigate the “new normal.”
What if I am fearful of returning to the workplace because of COVID-19?
Discuss with your supervisor the specific reasons causing you to be fearful to return to the workplace. Have your concerns been previously addressed through university guidance? Refer to the question “What do I need to do to familiarize myself with the university’s guidance for returning to the workplace?”
Discuss any additional concerns and possible resolutions with your supervisor. Depending upon the operational needs of the department, an alternative work arrangement and/or the use of accrued overtime, comp time or vacation time may be an option for consideration.
What if I have a high-risk medical condition per CDC or other disability that could be exacerbated by COVID-19?
What if I or a household member are in a high-risk group and am fearful to return to the workplace because of COVID-19?
What if I am in a high-risk group (i.e. employees 65 and older, pregnancy, household member in a high-risk group) and am fearful to return to the workplace because of COVID-19?
If you are 65 and older without a high-risk medical condition per the CDC or other disability that could be exacerbated by COVID-19, please refer to the question “What if I am fearful of returning to the workplace because of COVID-19?”
If you are pregnant but are fearful to return to the workplace because of COVID-19, please refer to the question “What if I am fearful of returning to the workplace because of COVID-19?” If a high-risk medical condition results from your pregnancy, see the question “What if I have a high-risk medical condition per CDC or other disability that could be exacerbated by COVID-19?”
If you have a household member in a high-risk group per the CDC, an alternative work arrangement and/or the use of accrued overtime, comp time or vacation time may be an option for consideration, depending upon the operational needs of the department.
What if I have childcare needs because of day care/school closures due to COVID-19?
Discuss your scheduling needs with your supervisor. Depending upon the operational needs of the department, an alternative work arrangement may be an option.
What if I or someone in my household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms?
If you or someone in your household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of whether you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or not, please stay home and contact your health care provider to seek medical attention, as needed. Notify TWU Risk Management.
What if I want to extend my current telecommuting and/or flexible scheduling arrangement for non COVID-19 reasons?
What if I want to extend my current telecommuting and/or flexible scheduling arrangement for productivity/work life balance or other non COVID-19 reasons?
Discuss your request with your supervisor. Supervisors are required to follow the directed guidance of the divisional leadership regarding alternate work arrangements. Therefore, your request may or may not be considered. Depending upon the guidance, your supervisor will review factors such as the operational needs of the department, if the request is fair and equitable to other employees, etc. Refer to the Telecommuting policy and the Flex Work policy.
Page last updated 4:17 PM, September 7, 2021