Coronavirus Faculty and Staff Frequently Asked Questions

Until further notice, only mandatory employees who need to report to work on campus should do so. All non-mandatory employees – including temporary employees and student workers – will continue to be assigned work and will be expected to work remotely to the fullest extent possible. This is effective through March 31 and will be revisited as the situation evolves.

For more for faculty and staff information, including mandatory status and leave, visit Carolina’s Human Resources website.

Frequently asked questions

What are guidelines for staff?

Until further notice, only mandatory employees who need to report to work on campus should do so. All non-mandatory employees — including temporary employees and student workers — will continue to be assigned work and will be expected to work remotely to the fullest extent possible. This is effective through April 30, 2020, and will be revisited as the situation evolves. For more information, read the March 27 memo that outlined the new faculty and staff work and leave provisions for the time period between April 1 and April 30.

Additionally, HR is maintaining a list of FAQs on the Human Resources website.  We encourage you to work with your supervisor for specific questions.

Will I be able to access my building now that campus is running on reduced operations?

As of March 18, all building access card readers that require a UNC One Card will remain locked until further notice. Anyone with access on their One Card will still be able to enter the buildings. Residence halls and School of Medicine are on a separate card reader system.

I am a mandatory employee and I need to park on campus to get to work instead of taking transit. Is there parking available?

Beginning March 18, on-campus parking is available in parking lots throughout campus for mandatory employees and students reporting to work. To ensure access in the event of an emergency and to maintain specific campus services, parking is not available in fire lanes or in accessibility and reserved spaces without the appropriate credential. The Dogwood Deck and Ambulatory Care Center Lots are expressly reserved for patients and visitors only. Check the Parking and Transportation website for more information.

I am a mandatory employee. How will I be compensated for reporting to campus and working on-site?

SHRA and EHRA mandatory permanent employees will receive added compensation for hours required to be at work at a designated University worksite other than their personal residence, and only for those specific dates and times that such on‐site work is required. Off‐site (teleworking) hours will not be subject to these added special compensation provisions. Specific provision details are shared in the March 27 memo that outlined the new faculty and staff work and leave provisions for the time period between April 1 and April 30.

Who is at higher risk for contracting COVID-19? What should I do if I’m at higher risk?

The CDC continues to update their list of higher-risk populations as they learn more about COVID-19. For the most recent list, visit the CDC website.

As a community, we understand there are diverse needs of students, faculty and staff. Individuals with chronic medical conditions may have concerns about their health during this time of uncertainty. Please contact your primary care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your particular situation. Besides taking the usual hand/respiratory hygiene precautions and social distancing, the CDC has additional advice to help keep you healthy and safe. See more information on the CDC’s website.

How can I best protect myself?

The CDC recommends following the same guidelines as flu prevention:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What should I do if I'm sick?

Anyone who is sick with fever and a cough, or is having difficulty breathing, should seek medical care immediately and call ahead to the doctor’s office to inform them of symptoms.

Immediately call the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic at 919-966-9119 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or your health care provider. There is an employee policy regarding Flexible Work Arrangements: employees may work with their manager to arrange to work remotely until the 14-day incubation period from the time of potential exposure expires or if they are experiencing coronavirus symptoms.

How can I find help?

It is understandable to feel uncertain or anxious during a public health crisis. It is important to remember to not make assumptions about others’ perceived symptoms, travel history or identity. For students struggling with anxiety, they can reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services: 919-966-3658 (24/7). For employees who are looking for support, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a resource available to help employees through stressful situations and events.

As a community, we understand there are diverse needs of students, faculty and staff. Individuals with chronic medical conditions may have concerns about their health during this time of uncertainty. Please contact your primary care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your particular situation. Besides taking the usual hand/respiratory hygiene precautions and social distancing, the CDC has additional advice to help keep you healthy and safe.

How can I report an anonymous health and safety concern to the University?

Anyone who has concerns about their immediate health or safety should call 911. Anyone who and is sick with fever and a cough, or is having difficulty breathing, should seek medical care immediately and call ahead to the doctor’s office to inform them of recent travel and symptoms.

Other incidents or concerns can be reported using the Carolina Ethics Line at 866-294-8688.

What should I do if I witness or experience harassment or discrimination due to the coronavirus?

Carolina committed to fostering an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion. While the spread of disease may cause fear and uncertainty, we reject xenophobia and any speech or action that would be discriminatory toward any member of our campus community. It is wrong to assume that because of someone’s perceived country or region of origin that they have come in contact with or have contracted the new coronavirus. If you or someone you know has experienced discrimination or harassment, contact the University’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office.

How are we cleaning and disinfecting campus?

All shifts of Housekeeping Services staff are wiping all surfaces with disinfectants that are effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria and are virucidal. These products have been used previously on campus for other viruses including coronavirus and are EPA registered.

Our housekeeping staff are provided with training regarding the appropriate and effective use of these disinfectant products. Staff are also provided with PPE (gloves, eye protection) as appropriate for their job duties and products used.

How are we protecting our frontline staff?

As precautionary measures, all shifts of Housekeeping Services staff are wiping all surfaces with disinfectants that are effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria and are virucidal. These products have been used previously on campus for other viruses including coronavirus and are EPA registered.

Our housekeeping staff are provided with training regarding the appropriate and effective use of these disinfectant products. Staff are also provided with PPE (gloves, eye protection) as appropriate for their job duties and products used.

In the event that a quarantine area (i.e. rooms for isolation) should be implemented on campus, we will utilize an off-campus third-party vendor to manage the disinfection and cleaning of those rooms.

I am a student or employee at the School of Medicine, Pharmacy or Dentistry. What does this mean for me?

These schools may have different operating schedules or class requirements. Refer back to any communication you have received from the school, or work with your professor or dean for information.

Will I be reimbursed for work-related travel canceled due to COVID-19?

For those traveling on University business, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy 1504 on Transportation Expenses and Mileage Rates allows for reimbursement of cancellation and change fees if the “cancellation or change is made at the direction of and for the convenience of the department.” The policy goes on to say: “However, in the event of … critical circumstances beyond the control of the employee, the department will be obligated to pay the penalties and charges.”  The current coronavirus outbreak meets these requirements. Visit the Finance and Operations travel website for more information.

How can I get a refund for my parking permit if I’m an employee?

Employee parking costs for registered permit holders are suspended effective the first day after students were told to leave residence halls. Employees will have their payroll deduction suspended. More information is available about parking at https://move.unc.edu/news/covid-19/.