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July 16, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

From the onset of this pandemic, our lives have been dramatically altered. Our teams are working diligently to prepare for an on-campus fall semester and our healthcare workers are valiantly caring for an increased number of COVID-19 patients. As referenced in the latest University memo, there are rigorous safety guidelines and a phased approach for reopening in the fall.

To reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of the coronavirus, leaders are encouraged to continue to support work at home arrangements for staff whose functions can be effectively performed from home.

COVID-19 Return to Onsite Work Policy

To protect the public health of the University, all members of the community are required to adhere to safety standards established for the campuses and the workplace. The COVID-19 Return to Onsite Work Policy has been developed to establish expectations for effective and appropriate workplace standards related to COVID-19. 

Procedures for return to the workplace are guided by the four pillars: 1) testing, tracing, tracking; 2) cleaning and disinfecting; 3) protecting personal space; and 4) vaccinating. 

Highlights of this policy are summarized below.

1) Testing, Tracing, and Tracking
  • All members of the University community will be expected to complete a special community online training module that will be available virtually at the end of July.
  • All faculty and staff are required to complete an online COVID-19 screening tool prior to returning to our campuses. This screening tool will be sent to all employees who have been approved to return to work and the tool must be submitted three (3) days prior to the scheduled return date.
  • Employee Health will confidentially review affirmative information submitted on the questionnaire; a return to work clearance or specific instructions requesting additional information will be provided to employees prior to the scheduled return date.
  • Once cleared to return to work, employees will receive a personal safety kit that includes a cloth face covering, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, a thermometer, and information cards upon their return to campus.
  • All members of the University community are required to participate in contact tracing if notified by Employee Health that there has been potential exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • Employees may also be required to undergo COVID-19 testing, be instructed to quarantine, or participate in symptom monitoring as required.
2) Cleaning and Disinfecting
  • Hand-sanitizer and disinfecting-wipe stations will be located throughout our campuses. Signage is also being installed to remind individuals to wash their hands frequently and clean personal items, such as keyboards, desks, and phones, before and after each use and not to share equipment with colleagues.

3) Protecting Personal Space

  • All members of the University community are required to wear a mask or face covering while in public areas, or when six feet of separation between individuals is not possible.
  • The University has implemented additional safety and physical distancing requirements and signage and other protective equipment have been installed as appropriate.

4) Influenza Vaccination

  • Faculty and staff on all campuses will be required to receive the seasonal flu vaccine, as already required for clinical employees on our medical campus. We will grant exemptions for documented health and religious reasons. Additional information will follow as we enter flu season.

The following temporary COVID-19 policies remain in effect for staff until further notice:

Staff Illness or Underlying Medical Conditions

Staff who are symptomatic, diagnosed with COVID-19 related illness, or who are unable to work from home and fall into one of the high-risk groups as identified by the CDC and Miami-Dade County, State of Florida, are eligible to use accrued sick time/EIB in addition to vacation/PTO or floating holidays so that they may self-isolate at home to reduce risk. If sick/EIB/vacation/PTO time are exhausted, staff in these categories may be eligible to borrow up to 21 days from their future sick/EIB bank if appropriate medical certification is received by a University leave coordinator. If all available time is exhausted, staff employees may request a personal leave of absence as outlined in the University policy manual.

Required Quarantine

Staff who have been instructed by Employee Health to quarantine and who are unable to work remotely are eligible for up to a total of 14 days of emergency administrative time.

Temporary and Per Diem Staff

Staff not typically eligible for paid sick leave are eligible for up to 2 weeks of their regularly scheduled workweek if ill or otherwise instructed to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure. 


Our success will depend largely on the extent to which we act responsibly and hold each other accountable for adhering to these safety standards. We can respectfully encourage our colleagues to follow guidelines if we observe violations of the policy. We appreciate all that you’re doing to keep yourself, your families, and our University and local communities safe during these times.

For additional assistance, please reach out to your manager or HR partner or Faculty Affairs.

Thank you.



Mary Harper Hagan

Guillermo (Willy) Prado, PhD

Vice President

Human Resources


Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs

Dean, Graduate School

Professor, School Nursing and Health Studies