Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Federal Government COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

All employees working on, or in connection with, covered federal contracts and subcontracts or in such workplaces must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, 2021, unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption. Because UNH has many government contracts, we are subject to the workplace safety protocols and directives, which include a vaccination requirement for “covered contractor employees.” This page will be updated as additional information becomes available.
 

Who is covered by this requirement?
All employees, including all student employees, who work on the Durham campus.

Does the requirement apply to part-time employees?
Yes.

Does the requirement violate privacy laws or HIPAA?
No. Neither HIPAA nor New Hampshire law on privacy of medical records apply to vaccination records requested from employees. Recent guidance from the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services made clear that the privacy rule does not prohibit current or prospective employers from requiring or requesting each employee to provide documentation of their COVID-19 vaccination. Documentation of vaccination will be kept confidential and stored separately from the employee’s personnel files.

When are employees expected to be fully vaccinated?
Employees must be fully vaccinated and upload proof by Dec. 8 . Visit the main COVID site and look for the ‘upload proof of vaccination’ button. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine must be received in the next two weeks and the second dose received by Nov. 24. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine must be received by Nov. 24.

If I already uploaded proof of vaccination do I have to do anything else?
No. And thank you for sharing proof of vaccination.

Why is the vaccination deadline Nov. 24 if proof of vaccination is not required until Dec. 8?
The Nov. 24 deadline takes into account the two-week period to be considered fully vaccinated.

Do I need to provide proof of a COVID booster?
No.

Do I have to get the vaccine if I work fully remotely and not on campus?
Yes, the requirement applies to all employees.

Do I have to get the vaccine if I work entirely outdoors?
Yes, the requirement applies to all employees.

Do I have to get the vaccine if I don’t interact with any federal contracts?
Yes, the requirement applies to all employees because the federal requirement applies to anyone who works on federal contracts, supports federal contracts or comes into contact with those who do.

If I promise to wear a mask at all times do I have to get the vaccine?
Yes, the requirement applies to all employees.

I am a student but I don’t have a job on campus. Do I have to get the vaccine?
No.

I work on the Manchester campus, at the law school or at an extension site in the state. Do I have to get the vaccine?
We are still closely assessing compliance for employees and student workers at these sites. More information will be shared soon.

I am already vaccinated but haven’t reported it to UNH. How do I do this?
Visit the 
main COVID site and look for the ‘upload proof of vaccination’ button.

If I am not vaccinated, but want to get vaccinated now, what should I do?
The vaccine is available locally at the Durham Rite Aid and at hospitals, urgent care centers, doctor’s offices and pharmacies. Providers can be located at 
Vaccines.gov

What kind of exemptions will be accepted?
The only exemptions will be for religious or medical reasons.

How do I apply for an exemption?
Complete the appropriate form, found here.

Who will review my exemption request? If it is denied is there an appeal process?
Requests for religious exemptions are reviewed by the Affirmative Action and Equity Office (AA&EO). Requests for medical exemptions are reviewed by UNH Health & Wellness. While there is no appeal process, individuals do have the opportunity to re-submit with additional information if more information is needed to approve the request.

What happens if I don’t get vaccinated or have an exemption by Dec. 8, 2021?
The university will take appropriate action on a case-by-case basis, consistent with our employment policies and collective bargaining agreements. It is important that our community works together to ensure it is in compliance so that the important work and funding for hundreds of our colleagues at UNH and across the state is not interrupted.

If I am fully vaccinated do I have to continue COVID-19 testing?
Yes.

If I don’t want to get vaccinated can I just continue to test?
No. The federal vaccine requirement cannot be avoided through testing.

I heard there was a state law that prevented UNH from requiring vaccination. Is that true?
UNH is complying with a federal requirement. The federal guidance is clear that it supersedes any contrary state or local law or ordinance. HB220, enacted in 2021 and as codified as RSA 141-C:1-a, prohibits the state from requiring vaccines as a condition of accessing a public benefit, but does not apply to public employment.

Who needs to be tested?
All Durham undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and contractors living in campus housing or planning to be on the Durham campus. If you are a member of the Manchester or Law School community, follow the testing schedule you have been provided.

How often do I need to be tested?

Testing for September:

  • If you have not uploaded a vaccine card: same frequency as last year, two times a week for students, once a week for employees and contractors
  • If you have uploaded your vaccine card and it is approved: once every other week or more frequently on a voluntary basis

What if I won’t be on campus at all?
If you are not going to be on campus or in the Durham community at all, you may request to fully opt out of testing. If approved, your WCP will be in deny status.

What if I need to be away from campus unexpectedly for a period of time?
If you are going to be away from campus and unable to test on your schedule, please fill out the Testing Exemption Form at least 72 hours prior (or as soon as possible in the event of an emergency). Please note this does not guarantee your request will be approved. Each submission will be reviewed on an individual basis. You will receive a follow-up email once your request has been reviewed.

What if I’m not getting regular testing but I need to come to campus?
Go to MUB 213, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Do I still need to test if I get the vaccine?
Yes. You must continue with your regular testing schedule to have a valid Wildcat Pass to be on campus.

I missed a test drop off. How do I clear my Wildcat Pass?
First, drop off a sample as soon as possible. If your Wildcat Pass went invalid because you are 24 hours or more past your sample drop-off window and it is the first time you missed a test, then your Wildcat Pass will clear automatically when your sample is received by the COVID lab. If it is the second time your Wildcat Pass went invalid because you are 24 hours or more past your sample drop-off window, then your Wildcat Pass will not automatically reset. Check your email for instructions.

What if I am an employee but only going to be on campus intermittently?
Go to MUB 213, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

What happens if the test tube leaks when I flip it over to check the seal?
You need to complete a new testing sample. 

What is the absorbent pad for?
The absorbent pad is included to soak up spilled liquid in the event a sample leaks. This helps protects lab workers and prevents the contamination of other samples.

Where do I drop off my test kit?

  • H&W inside main entrance
  • Hamel Rec Center
  • A Lot Tunnel
  • West Edge Hut
  • Kingsbury (Albert’s Café Lobby)
  • Philbrook
  • Dimond Library
  • Holloway Commons
  • MUB 213 COVID Office
  • Stillings: locks Friday at noon

Look for the gray sample drop box and large flag at the following locations. Do not give your test kit to anyone else to handle.

  • Boxes will open by 9 a.m. Monday and be closed Fridays at 4 p.m.
  • Anything left in the box (Monday-Thursday) after 4 p.m. will be processed the following day
  • Any samples left on top of or around a locked box (Friday 4 p.m.-Monday 9 a.m.) will be taken to the lab and immediately rejected.
  • The lab and drop boxes will be closed on university holidays. All boxes will reopen by 9 a.m. the next morning.

What if I miss a test?
Please adjust your plans to ensure that you deposit your test on the expected day and in the expected time window. This is critical to managing workflow in the lab, and disruptions jeopardize the ability to return test information in a timely manner. If you are late, you will receive a text and email reminder to turn in your test within 24 hours.

What if I sabotage my test kit?
Any intentional attempts to jeopardize testing accuracy or processes (e.g. submitting someone else’s nasal swab as your own or providing invalid specimens) will result in severe disciplinary action.

How will I get more test kits? What if I run out? What if I lose my labels?
If you run out prior to the next testing kit distribution or lose your labels go to MUB 213.

What if I am unable to perform a self-swab due to a disability?
Faculty, staff and students with disabilities in need of assistance should contact UNH Health & Wellness at (603) 862-9355. UNH Health & Wellness can assist in arranging an appointment for testing/swabbing. 

Will Wildcat Pass tell me if I miss a test?
Click on “more info” to see the last submitted test on record as well as when your next test is due. 

What if I had COVID within the past 90 days?
A positive test exempts you from additional testing for 90 days from your time of illness unless you become ill. You do not, and should not, attempt to try to test negative after a positive. Please fax your positive test result to Dr. Peter Degnan, medical director at Health & Wellness, at (603) 862-4259 if you haven’t already done so.

How will I get my test results?
See above for instructions on how to access your test results. Results will be sent to you via your UNH email. Please update your contact information to ensure you receive your results.

What will happen after I test positive, or if someone close to me tests positive?
If your test indicates that you may be positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by UNH Health & Wellness for further evaluation.

Health & Wellness may request an additional sample for confirmatory testing. Meanwhile, you will be required, per the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, to enter into self-isolation for at least 10 days to avoid passing the infection on to others. If you are unable to isolate in your current residence or permanent home, you may be eligible for on-campus isolation housing.

You will also be asked about roommates and other close contacts with whom you live. Health & Wellness will begin the close contact notifications of UNH community members. A close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for at least 10-15 minutes, regardless of mask use. The N.H. Department of Health and Human Services will also be notified. Close contacts require 10 days of self-quarantine. Self-quarantine is recommended to be completed at your local address or permanent home if the situation allows, but there will be limited quarantine housing available on campus.

During isolation or quarantine, you will maintain regular contact with Health & Wellness. If your health allows, you are encouraged to work with your instructors to determine how to continue to make progress in your courses. You do NOT need to tell your instructor anything about your medical condition. Your instructor will be notified, per normal processes, that you will be unable to participate in classroom or laboratory activities for non-academic reasons and that they should help you continue to make progress toward class completion. As always, it is your responsibility to stay on track with course requirements.

If I am required to stay in an isolation hall how will I eat?
UNH Dining will prepare boxed meals and deliver them to your door. They will take into consideration dietary needs. 

What are active cases?
Active cases are those individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently in isolation. Active case data is provided by UNH Health & Wellness in conjunction with the State of New Hampshire.

What does isolation mean?
Isolation is the separation of people who are ill or have tested positive from those who are not. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of their positive COVID-19 test. Once that 10 days is reached, the individual must be fever free for 24 hours with other symptoms improving to end isolation. The end date/time of isolation is determined by representatives of N.H. Department of Health and Human Services for each individual case.

What does quarantine mean?
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of anyone who is a close contact of someone with COVID-19. Close contacts are quarantined to see if they become sick during the 14 days after they were last exposed to someone with COVID-19.

A close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10-15 minutes during the infectious period, which begins two days before illness onset or two days prior to positive test collection and extends for at least 10 days from illness onset or a positive test. An individual who is in quarantine must continue to quarantine even if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result.

What does the Positive Daily Tests chart show?
This chart shows the number of daily positive COVID-19 tests for the most recent seven days based on the date of the COVID-19 test (when the specimen was collected). It is useful for seeing and comparing the number of new positives for COVID-19 tests that took place in the last seven days.

What does Average Daily Total Tests Conducted mean?
Average Daily Total Tests shows the average number of tests performed in the past seven-day period. All tests conducted are included in the calculation including those with positive, negative, inconclusive and no results. This data element is provided to show the average number of tests taking place per day within the UNH testing program.

What is the purpose of the Past 7 Days section on the dashboard?
This section is designed to provide insight into activity for the past seven days. This section shows the total number of negative and positive tests performed in the seven-day timeframe. This information is provided by population type and campus location. A positivity rate and prevalence rate of COVID-19 are also provided.

How is the positivity rate calculated?
The positivity rate is the number of positive tests divided by the sum of the positive and negative tests. Due to UNH’s testing protocol, which includes routine testing of individuals, the number of tests performed exceeds the number of individuals who are tested.

What is prevalence and how is it calculated?
Prevalence shows the occurrence of COVID-19 within the population that was tested. It is calculated by taking the number of positive tests divided by the number of people tested. 

What does People Tested show?
The People Tested data point shows the number of individuals tested.  It is available in two places on the dashboard and shows the number of people tested in the last 7 days as well as the number of individuals who have been tested since the start of the UNH testing program. 

The Positive Weekly Tests numbers look wrong. Why don’t the counts match other data on the dashboard?
The Positive Weekly Tests shows the number of new positive tests by week based on the date of the COVID-19 test. Weeks are defined as Monday through Sunday. The weeks presented in this chart differ from the Past 7 Days section which is based on a rolling week and shows the last seven days of activity. Counts for the most recent weeks may be incomplete and will be updated as results are available. 

The most up-to-date coronavirus health and safety information from UNH Health & Wellness

Policies for Isolation and Quarantine

Updated Facilities COVID Policies and Practices can be found here

COVID-19 Vaccination at UNH

For more information about the different COVID-19 vaccines, their efficacy and possible side effects visit the CDC website.

Who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at UNH? All UNH faculty, staff and students from all three campuses. 

What if I don’t want to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Do I have to get one? No, the COVID-19 vaccine is not currently required by the university but we encourage every eligible member of our community to be vaccinated. The more vaccinated people, the sooner the university can consider changes to its testing schedule and open more opportunities on its campuses.

Once I get both vaccines, do I still have to be in the university’s COVID testing program? Yes, you must continue to test as scheduled.

Do I have to continue testing? If I got the vaccine, won’t I test positive? Yes, you must continue to test as scheduled. Receiving the vaccine will not impact your test results as there is no live virus in the vaccine. The vaccine is not 100% effective; it is possible you can still contract and/or spread COVID-19 even after you have received the vaccine.

What if I already got my COVID-19 vaccine? Great, and thank you! Once you have completed your vaccine series, please upload proof of vaccination to MyHealth&WellnessLearn how here.

Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine

For more information about the different COVID-19 vaccines, their efficacy and possible side effects visit the CDC website.

How do I prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine?  Wear clothing that allows the clinician to easily access your upper arm. Consider wearing a short-sleeved shirt or wear a short-sleeved shirt under a sweater or jacket that can be easily removed.  

What happens right after I get the vaccine?  You will be asked to wait 15-30 minutes in an observation area to monitor for any reactions.  

What are common side effects after vaccination?  Common side effects from vaccination include pain, swelling or redness where the shot was given, a mild fever, chills, fatigue, headache, and muscle and joint aches.

Can I take pain medicine (e.g. acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) to manage the side effects of COVID-19 vaccination? The CDC has stated that patients can take pain medication after their vaccination if they feel side effects (e.g. pain, headache or fever that cannot be tolerated). It is not recommended for individuals to take pain medication in anticipation of potential side effects prior to their vaccine.

Can people who have had COVID-19 receive the COVID-19 vaccine? Yes. Vaccination is offered to all individuals, regardless of their history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, if you are at least 10 days from your diagnosis, have completed your isolation and no longer have a fever. 

Are there reasons to not get the vaccine?  

1.     If you were exposed to COVID-19, wait 14 days from your exposure. If you haven’t developed symptoms after 14 days, you may get the vaccine.

2.     Wait 90 days if you have received convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19.

3.     If you have already received a vaccine other than COVID-19, you should wait 14 days before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

4.     If you are due to receive a vaccine other than a COVID-19 vaccine, you should wait 14 days to get the other vaccine.

5.     For more information related to the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine please visit the Centers for Disease Control.

 

What is Wildcat Pass?

The university created the Wildcat Pass tool to help members of its community keep track of their ongoing compliance status. If you are compliant, your Wildcat Pass will show a colorful symbol that fits the full screen of your mobile phone, computer or other electronic device. If you are not in compliance, you will receive a small text message instead of a full-screen symbol. That message lets you know what you need to do to become compliant. 

How do I access Wildcat Pass?

You can access Wildcat Pass at  https://covid-19.unh.edu/wildcatpass, via the UNH Mobile app or by selecting it as a task at https://my.unh.edu/

How do I keep my Wildcat Pass valid?

  • Must not be in Isolation or Quarantine
  • Must have signed the Community Pledge (students only)
  • Must have updated MyProfile
  • Must have signed the consent form
  • Must complete scheduled testing

What if I am going out of town and will not be able to drop off a sample?

Request an exemption.

I did what the Wildcat Pass said, and it still shows invalid. What now?

Follow the instructions provided on your pass.

If you need to pick up more kits or labels, go to MUB 213 or email covid@unh.edu if you have questions regarding test kit pick-up.

If you are missing the update my profile form Update your profile now.

If you are missing the Wildcat Pledge compete the form now.

It may take up to two hours for your pass to clear after submitting these forms. Please plan accordingly.

My Wildcat Pass says that I am not in compliance with updating My Profile. What do I do?

Update your profile. Note that it may take up to two hours for an updated profile to be registered with the Wildcat Pass.

My Wildcat Pass says that I am not in compliance with the Wildcat Pledge. What do I do?

Read and sign the Wildcat Pledge. Note that it will take up to two hours for an updated pledge to be registered with the Wildcat Pass.

Employee and student travel is an integral part of fulfilling the university’s educational, research and service mission. Considering changes in health and safety related to COVID and changes in our financial budget projections, we are prepared to expand travel for Fall 2021, though not to levels prior to 2020. When making plans for travel, we encourage everyone to consider the importance of the travel, the health and safety risk, the expense, and the viability of remote options. Keep in mind that the health and safety of our community is paramount. Stricter travel guidance may be forthcoming if COVID conditions in or beyond our community warrant.

As of Aug. 30, 2021:

  • Employee day-trip travel and return by car without an overnight stay or use of any public transportation is not subject to additional restrictions.
  • For travel related to research and professional development, it is highly recommended to discuss a COVID plan with your supervisor, and, if appropriate, gain funding approval. Travel supported by research and gift funds will be prioritized over travel supported by our limited operational funds.
  • Domestic student travel related to education may continue and will require a Travel and COVID plan that is approved by the dean’s offices for curricular activity and the Memorial Union Building & Student Activities Office for Durham-based co-curricular activities (e.g., clubs).
  • International study abroad travel is limited to pre-approved locations or by petition.
  • Athletic travel will follow the stricter NCAA and Northeast Conference guidelines, as well as require testing upon return to campus.
  • Travel related to all other business operations will require funding approval and a brief COVID plan discussion with the supervisor is recommended.
  • A COVID test is recommended after any overnight travel. A COVID test and quarantine may be required as part of the Travel and COVID plan for student groups.

All travel must include compliance with UNH COVID Guidance and COVID requirements of the travel destination. All state and federal travel rules must be followed. Supervisors are asked to prioritize gift funding for travel expenditures that are not grant funded. 

Any questions on the feasibility of specific COVID plans should be directed to your supervisor.

COVID plan for Educational and Student Travel