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COVID-19 Update: Guidance for Virginia Tech faculty and staff

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From: Human Resources

The increasing impact of COVID-19 is resulting in an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation for our campus and we understand that employees have many questions about these changes. Virginia Tech is committed to you and your safety just as you are committed to keeping our university operating during this difficult time.

How work will be done

All employees whose jobs can be done remotely should telework. This will help us accomplish the social distancing recommended by state and federal guidelines.

Please note that some employees may have to report to work in person because the functions that they perform have been identified as critical to maintaining our operations. University vice presidents, vice provosts, and deans are responsible for identifying the functions in each of their units that need on-site staffing.  Our goal is to minimize the number of employees who are called upon to work on-site.

In some instances, a supervisor may decide that a function is not critical for continued operations while we focus our attention on managing COVID-19. Should such a determination be made, employees currently assigned to perform that function will be notified by their supervisor whether they should participate in training, be assigned to other duties, or remain at home on-call until further notice. Employees who are asked to remain on-call must be available unless they are using approved annual or sick leave. 

Units and colleges are responsible for communicating directly with their employees to inform them of the status of their assigned duties. If you have questions about your job expectations, please speak with your supervisor. Please be flexible and support university leaders as we recalibrate work assignments to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 while maintaining our capacity to return to normal operations as soon as possible.

What to do if you are sick

If you experience fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, or you come into contact with someone else who has these symptoms, it is important that you contact your physician, self-quarantine, and notify your supervisor as soon as possible. This is especially important for an employee who has been asked to report to work to perform a critical on-site function.

Please be aware that the New River Health District COVID-19 hotline at 540-267-8240 is available to address your health concerns and provide guidance.

Leave options for employees

Supervisors and employees are encouraged to work together to explore alternate work options; however, in some instances, employees may still need to use leave.

Benefitted faculty and staff have annual, sick, and family/personal leave plans that they can use to accommodate time-off requests.

One of the options that all employees have – including benefitted faculty and staff as well as non-student and student wage – is the Public Health and Emergency Leave (PHEL) that Governor Northam activated. This one-time leave bank provides up to 80 hours of time, prorated based on the average hours an employee works, in the event an employee becomes sick with COVID-19, must self-quarantine, or take care of a family member who becomes sick with COVID-19. While this leave bank does not replenish, it can be used in conjunction with other leave available to an employee.

Contacts for questions

  • If employees have questions about their assigned duties, they should contact their supervisors.
  • If employees or supervisors have questions about available leave options, their unit-based HR professional or the HR Leave Team at hrleave@vt.edu should be contacted.
  • If employees or supervisors have other HR-related questions, they should contact the HR Service Center at hrservicecenter@vt.edu.

Helpful Resources