COVID-19 update information (March 15, 2020)

March 15, 2020

COMMUNITY RESPONSE                                                                                                                                                              

Where can I find the latest information about COVID-19 and how UNH is preparing and responding?

Up-to-date information on COVID-19 can be found here:

What is UNH doing to keep the university community informed?

UNH is using multiple communication channels to keep the university community across campuses informed. This includes:

  • Creation of a comprehensive, website, coming soon.
  • Posting information on MyUNH
  • Publishing information in UNHToday
  • Emailing the university community at large
  • Main university social media channels

How will UNH notify the university community if there is a case of COVID-19 at UNH?

If there is a confirmed or presumptive positive case of COVID-19 illness identified in a UNH student, staff or faculty member, the UNH Emergency Management in collaboration with Health & Wellness will be informed with details and recommendations. In the more likely instance of a UNH community member coming in close contact with a person who is later diagnosed with COVID-19 infection we will follow the latest CDC guidelines.

Is UNH coordinating with health agencies?

Yes. UNH Emergency Management in collaboration with Health & Wellness is coordinating closely with state health authorities on these and other measures, as well as following the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is UNH doing to make sure it is preparing and responding appropriately?

UNH Emergency Management in collaboration with senior leadership of the university has created committees and working groups—representing all major areas of the university—to prepare to respond in the event that cases of COVID-19 become more widespread and directly impact the university.

 

OPERATIONS                                                                                                                                                                                     

I’m hosting an event/meeting/activity on campus. Should I cancel it?

All external events on all three campuses have been cancelled through Sunday, April 5. This includes admitted student visit days.

Have there been any changes to UNH’s commencement?

UNH is reviewing contingency plans for university events and activities with health and safety as the top priority. Currently, there are no plans to change or cancel commencement activities.

What services will be provided to students who remain on our campuses through April 5?

UNH remains open, and university operations will continue without disruption. Residential students in Durham who are unable to go home or travel due to concern for their safety can access spring break housing by calling Housing at 862-2120. Residential students in Manchester should contact Lisa Enright (lisa.enright@unh.edu) or Josh Felch (joshua.felch@unh.edu). If you are not staying in UNH housing for spring break do not return until the residence halls reopen Sunday, April 5, at 9 a.m.

The law school building will be open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m.-2p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The library will be open during these hours. It is the only part of the building that will be open to students.

Why is the university still open?

In order to meet the needs of our overall teaching, research and service mission.

Are there any changes to business or financial services and functions?

At this time UNH is open and fully functioning. This is being assessed on a daily basis.

EMPLOYEES                                                                                                                                                                                       

What should I do if I feel ill at work or need to call in sick?

If you feel ill at work, please notify your supervisor and take steps to ensure your safety and well-being. If you plan to seek out medical care with your PCP or Health & Wellness, please telephone them ahead of time to provide advance notice of your arrival.

If you are unable to work because you have symptoms associated with a cold or flu, stay home and use accrued sick leave (if available) to replace salary. If you need to stay home to care for a family member with cold or flu symptoms, use accrued Family Care (ability to use up to 25 sick time days) or Family Leave (ability to use up to 10 sick leave days as specified in CBAs) to replace salary, if available. If you have any additional concerns or questions, please consult with Human Resources.

My child’s school closed, and I need to be home to care for them - what should I do?

Reach out to your supervisor to discuss options to accomplish your work. If working remotely is an option, follow the guidelines to gain approval from your supervisor. If working remotely is not an option or possible, discuss with your supervisor and human resources as needed whether a modified work schedule will work or there are other options.

Can I work remotely?

The university remains open and we continue to need staffing levels across the university in the coming weeks. Not all our work can be accomplished remotely but for where this is a potential option:

  • Think about if and how your work can be successfully completed remotely
  • Request to work remotely in writing to your supervisor
  • The written approval of your supervisor is necessary. In some cases, supervisors will need higher level approval to ensure coverage
  • Supervisors need to ensure there is adequate on-campus coverage and support to meet the university’s mission
  • This approval process will be in effect through April 3, 2020

What if I can’t work remotely and changing my schedule will not work because of any of the following? I am sick; I have to self-quarantine; I have a family member who must self-quarantine; my child’s school is closed, and I have no childcare options.

Talk with your supervisor to explore how the work will be accomplished. If it is determined that no options will work in your situation, non-exempt (hourly paid) staff should enter COVID on their web time entry and paid leave will not be charged. Exempt staff will continue to be paid but again, must explore with the supervisor how work will be accomplished. This approval/pay practice process will be in effect through April 3, 2020.

I am afraid of getting infected and do not want to come to work. I feel safer staying at home. What are my options?

If you are nervous about coming to work at UNH, follow the recent guidance that was issued about flexible work arrangements and talk to your supervisor and Human Resources.

If I am sick with the coronavirus, will short-term disability and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) apply?

Yes, standard rules regarding short-term disability and FMLA will apply.

If I have to self-quarantine, but am not sick, does short-term disability and FMLA apply?

Short-term disability would not apply. FMLA leave may apply if you are also caring for an ailing household member.

What do I do if I feel unsafe at work because I fear I might be exposed to COVID-19 by coworkers or students who have traveled to an area with widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission?

Talk with your supervisor and Human Resources to discuss potential work options.

I meet with students (employees, patients, etc.) frequently as part of my job responsibilities. What should I do if I encounter someone who is obviously sick?

In addition, we encourage you to minimize face-to-face contact when possible and leverage technology to conduct everyday business.

Follow universal health precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home and avoid public places when sick (i.e. social distancing).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid being within 6 feet (close contact) of a person who is sick.
  • Avoid sharing drinks, smoking/vaping devices, or other utensils or objects that may transmit saliva.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What assistance is available to help me cope with the emotional impact of this COVID-19 issue?

UNH provides resources to help full-time academic, staff and adjunct employees and eligible dependents deal with these types of life events through its Employee Assistance Program Hotline (EAP). The EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the employee.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides guidance on mental health and coping.

ACADEMICS AND INSTRUCTION                                                                                                                                                

Will classes resume April 6, 2020?

Decisions on class resumption will be made at the appropriate time. Further guidance will be forthcoming. The law school is moving to non-face-to-face instruction starting Monday, March 16. The Durham campus is moving to non-face-to-face instruction after spring break through Friday, April 3.

Face-to-face instruction is currently scheduled to resume Monday, April 6.

What support is being offered to faculty/staff to ensure academic continuity?

Support for faculty and staff in developing non-face-to-face instruction includes many different formats including on-line tutorials, workshops, and one-on-one support from a team of 50 instructional designers and experienced faculty and staff. See the latest resources.

 

How and when will I hear from my professors?

The method of non-face-to-face instruction will be determined by the faculty member teaching the course. Instructors will notify their students how to access course content depending on the timeline for each campus. For the law school, this will be the week of March 16. For the Durham campus, it will be by Monday, March 23. Faculty are doing everything they can to continue an engaged and positive educational experience in these exceptional circumstances.

What is the status of UNH’s study abroad programs?

All students studying abroad have been told to return to the United States. Please contact Kerryellen.Vroman@unh.edu or Beth.Kilinc@unh.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

Is UNH still holding admissions events?

All public events have been cancelled through Sunday, April 5. The admissions office is developing new ways to interact virtually with prospective students in order to answer their questions and showcase the university. Students and parents with questions about admissions, tours, or events should contact admissions@unh.edu or (603) 862-1360. For the Manchester campus contact unhm.admissions@unh.edu or (603) 641-4150 and for the Law School admissions@law.unh.edu or (603) 513-5300.

What contingency plans does UNH have in place to ensure research continuity?

During this period, the university is open and research labs are available. Please see the Research Office guidance regarding support for research and available resources.

How does this impact interns working off-campus?

Decisions about internships are being made at the college level. Please coordinate with your college advisor or internship coordinator with questions.

Law students in a legal residency this semester should work with Director of Legal Residencies Courtney Brooks. She can be reached at Courtney.brooks@law.unh.edu or (603) 513-5233.

Will student employees be able to continue working?

Students on TA/GA/RA appointments and post-doctoral scholars will continue to be paid. Please coordinate with your faculty/department supervisor on how you continue your work either on campus after March 23 or remotely depending on your individual circumstance.

Student employees who have work-study jobs will continue to be paid. Please contact your supervisor to explore if remote work is available.

HEALTH AND SAFETY   

What is the current risk of COVID-19 to people in the United States?

COVID-19 illness remains a potential threat to the health and well-being of individuals in our communities. The risk appears greatest in those over 60 years old, and those with underling immune compromise. Review the CDC's risk assessment for the latest information.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other viral illnesses. Learn more about the symptoms associated with COVID-19, which may include severe symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19.

How is UNH ensuring health on campus?

UNH Emergency Management in collaboration with Health & Wellness is coordinating with state health authorities to implement numerous measures including the evaluation of students who report possible symptoms or recent travel to areas impacted by COVID-19.

What can I do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Please continue to follow all recommended health precautions.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home and avoid public places when sick (i.e. social distancing).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid being within 6 feet (close contact) of a person who is sick.
  • Avoid sharing drinks, smoking/vaping devices, or other utensils or objects that may transmit saliva.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What should I do if I see someone who may be ill?

Do not make judgments regarding a fellow student or colleague’s health. If you see someone who is clearly ill, encourage them to contact their family physician or Health & Wellness.

What if a student or employee reports symptoms of COVID-19?

UNH will continue to follow all recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). If there is a confirmed or presumptive positive case of COVID-19 illness identified in a UNH student, staff or faculty member, the campus will be informed with details and recommendations based on guidance from state health officials.

TRAVEL                                                                                                                                                                                                

Travel can increase the risk of exposure to you and the community. Government restrictions and public health measures are changing fast. If you travel, those changes may make it hard for you to return and resume activities. We will continue to update guidance as needed. While these restrictions are more stringent than current CDC guidelines, they are consistent with those imposed by many college and universities, corporations and state and local governments.

Should I cancel my personal travel plans?

CDC provides recommendations on postponing or canceling travel via travel notices. A list of destinations with travel notices is available on the CDC website.

At this time, can I travel for business?

In the interest of your health and safety, for the next 30 days international business travel is prohibited and all personal international travel is strongly discouraged. We want to avoid employees being stuck overseas if additional travel and re-entry restrictions are put in place. This will be reassessed within 30 days. Faculty and staff should avoid or postpone domestic travel to geographic areas where COVID-19 community transmission is present based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) risk assessment/travel advisory guidelines.

If I return from travel from an area designated by the CDC as having widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission, am I required to stay at home?

If you recently traveled to any region with a “Level 3” Travel Health Notice from the CDC, you are asked to stay at home for 14 days beginning the day you return to the United States. Please do not return to your campus office for any reason until the 14 days have elapsed. Please contact your supervisor immediately to discuss options to accomplish your work.

If I return from travel from an area that has not been designated by the CDC as having widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission but where there have been identified cases of COVID-19, and I have no symptoms of COVID-19, am I required to stay home?

No.

If I do not have COVID-19 symptoms, am I expected to disclose whether I have a medical condition that the CDC says could make me especially vulnerable?

No. You are not required to disclose whether you have a medical condition that might place you at higher risk. The laws prohibiting discrimination based on disability prohibit UNH from requiring medical examinations of employees without symptoms.

What options are available for faculty and staff who've incurred expenses for upcoming business travel?

Please work with your manager to cancel your travel commitments and request refunds or credits to use on future university travel. If you are unable to secure refunded expenses or travel credit for future use, there will be no financial impact to you; we will cover cancellation costs.

CAMPUS LIFE IN DURHAM                                                                                                                                                          

Can I stay in the residence hall or apartment if I am unable to return home?

During the two-week period of non-face-to-face instruction for the Durham campus, on-campus housing will be available on a restricted basis. Please call Housing at (603) 862-2120. Residence halls are currently scheduled to reopen Sunday, April 5, at 9 a.m. We will keep you informed if this changes.

Law students renting apartments from the law school may remain in their apartments during the three- week period of non-face-to-face instruction at the law school.

What are the hours of the Hamel Rec Center through Sunday, April 5?

Hamel Rec will be open reduced hours, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. and weekends from noon until 5 p.m. The Swasey Pool and Bouldering Wall are closed. Group exercise classes, outdoor trips, swim lessons and youth programs are cancelled.

What are my dining options through Sunday, April 5?

Stillings Dining Hall is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. including weekends through Saturday, April 4. Holloway Commons and Philbrook Hall are closed. Additional information can be found on the dining site.

Is Dimond Library open?

Yes. The library is open and following its spring break schedule.

Is the MUB open?

Yes. The MUB (including Granite Station mail and shipping) will be open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Will spring sports continue?

All sporting events and practices are cancelled for the spring semester.

 

UNH Manchester Hours

Monday March 16 – Friday March 20: 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday March 21: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sunday March 22: CLOSED

Monday March 23 – Friday March 27: 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Saturday March 28 – Sunday March 29: CLOSED

Monday March 30 – Friday April 3: 7:30 AM – 9:30 PM