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Back to Working through COVID-19 Overview

The well-being of our community remains a top priority, and we are committed to maintaining a safe workplace for everyone. We can all contribute to the health and safety of our workplace by following the basic guidelines outlined below.


Vaccines

Getting your COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the COVID-19 virus. For information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the Carolina Together website.

Vaccine Sites
Faculty and staff can receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Campus Health Pharmacy in the Student Stores for free. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are welcome. Faculty and staff can find other vaccine sites around the state on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.

Booster
The CDC has recommended a third dose for people with moderate to severely compromised immune systems. According to CDC guidance, if you recently tested positive for the omicron variant of COVID-19, you can get your booster as soon as you are not infectious and have completed isolation, which is usually 5-10 days after an infection for a healthy person and up to 20 days for an immunocompromised person or hospitalized patient. In addition, immunocompromised patients are eligible for a fourth dose of the vaccine five months after their third dose.

Employees can attest to receiving their booster on the COVID-19 Vaccine Certification form.

For more information, faculty and staff should visit the Orange County Health department COVID-19 vaccine page.

Leave
Paid work time and paid administrative leave are available for employees to get a vaccination and/or if they experience an adverse reaction to their vaccination. If you have questions about available leave, please contact leave@unc.edu. For questions about a specific circumstance, please contact your assigned Classification & Compensation, EHRA Non-Faculty HR or APO representative as appropriate. More information about COVID-19-related leave can be found on the COVID-19 Leave Information page of the HR at UNC website.

Vaccine Requirement
President Biden’s Executive Order 14042 and guidance issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force requires “covered employees of federal contractors” to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Because UNC-Chapel Hill receives $160 million in federal contract funding in support of cutting-edge research, educational programs, and other initiatives, University employees are subject to this requirement. The requirement applies to full-time, part-time and temporary employees, as well as those working remotely or under flexible work arrangements. Postdoctoral scholars and graduate students are also subject to the requirement. Subject to further federal guidance, however, the federal vaccine requirement does not apply broadly to all categories of student workers.

Employees should update their vaccination status by completing the Vaccination Certification form and uploading documentation of their vaccination status to Carolina’s secure system. Employees who would like to request a medical or religious exemption can find information and instructions on the Vaccination Certification form.

The University is aware that a federal district court has stayed the enforcement of the executive order requiring the vaccine. Accordingly, the University is pausing its enforcement of the vaccine requirement for employees while we wait for the appellate courts to rule on the issue. We are continuing to process exemption requests so that, should the courts uphold the executive order, and the University must resume enforcement of the vaccine requirements, employees who seek exemptions will have them in place.

For more information about the federal employee vaccine requirement, visit the Carolina Together website.


COVID-19 Community Standards

The University’s COVID-19 Community Standards are regularly reviewed and updated. For more information, visit the Carolina Together COVID-19 Community Standards page.


Testing

For up-to-date information about testing, visit the Carolina Together Testing Program page. Employees who develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should immediately self-isolate and contact their primary care provider or obtain COVID-19 testing at a community testing location.

At-home tests
The federal government has made at-home tests available, so you can sign up for delivery to your household. In addition, the North Carolina State Health Plan will cover the cost of an at-home test kit if you show your State Health Plan ID card at the pharmacy and the cost of at-home tests purchased at other stores or online will be reimbursed for plan holders.

While at-home COVID tests can be a valuable tool, it is important to follow the instructions provided in the test exactly to get a credible result. UNC Health has provided helpful tips on how to best choose and use an at-home test.


Personal Health Assessment

Employees should complete a daily personal health assessment before coming to campus. Employees should visit the Carolina Together Health Monitoring page for daily self-screening questions and details about COVID-19 symptoms.


Employee Health Guidelines

Employees who are symptomatic, being tested for COVID-19, have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are asymptomatic with a household member who has tested positive for COVID-19 should review and follow the employee health guidelines on the University’s Environment, Health and Safety webpage before returning to campus. If the guidelines indicate that you should not come to campus:

  • Refer to the benefits and leave information page to review leave options.
  • Notify your supervisor.
  • If you are feeling well enough to work, you may also arrange with your supervisor to work remotely, at your supervisor’s discretion.

Contact Tracing at UNC-Chapel Hill

In line with employee privacy laws and public health practices, only those who need to know about confirmed COVID-19 cases for their own personal health and safety will be notified. For information about contact tracing, go to the Carolina Together Contact Tracing page.


Facilities and Cleaning

With the exception of older, naturally ventilated buildings, building HVAC systems bring in outside air, which dilutes any potential concentration of infectious aerosols. HVAC systems also provide air filtration, which will capture a portion of any circulating particles, including viruses. To learn more about what the University is doing to improve air quality in indoor spaces, visit UNC Facilities Services.

Housekeeping Services has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces in public spaces, including but not limited to: building entrances, door handles, lobby furniture, stair handrails, ADA door controls, elevator buttons, light switches, time clocks, and restroom surfaces and fixtures. These surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times daily. Visit Enhanced Cleaning Frequencies for a detailed list.

For more information about COVID-19 Operations and protocol, visit the Facilities and Services FAQ page and read this story about building readiness from The Well.