Loyola University Maryland

Coronavirus Updates

Employee FAQ

Masking

When do I need to wear a mask? Do I need to wear my mask when I’m alone in my office? What if the door is open?

Faculty, staff, and administrators are required to wear a mask in all Loyola buildings except when eating or drinking in designated spaces or when in a closed office alone. A face shield or transparent physical barrier is not a substitute for a mask.  Please be sensible and considerate of others and their health and safety.

Do I have to wear a mask if I work in Timonium, Columbia, Belvedere Square, the Loyola Retreat Center, or other Loyola properties?

Yes, everyone who is indoors on any of Loyola’s campuses or properties must wear a mask.

I’m a faculty member. Can I remove my mask while lecturing?

No. Masks are to be worn at all times in all indoor spaces by all members of the community, including all faculty and students during classes. The only exceptions are while eating and drinking in designated dining areas or when in private spaces.

What are acceptable types of masks to wear on campus? Some types of masks minimally prevent the spread, while others are highly effective, is there a minimum?

We are asking our community to wear a surgical mask or other two-ply cloth face covering that comfortably fits over the mouth and nose. Gaiter or bandana type face coverings are not recommended in preventing the spread of COVID-19. A recent study from Duke University confirmed these recommendations. N95 masks should be reserved for healthcare and other high-risk workers such as drivers for public transportation.

Can we agree as a department to remove our masks in our space together or in meetings?

No, the indoor mask mandate applies whenever members of the Loyola community are sharing spaces.

Vaccines

Can I find out which of my students and colleagues aren’t vaccinated?

No, this is protected information per federal regulations.

Will I be required to get COVID-19 booster shots?

We continue to monitor the updates related to the guidelines for COVID-19 booster shots. We look forward to sharing more information about whether they will be required and whether Loyola will offer a booster vaccination clinic.

Will I be required to get the flu vaccine this fall?

You are strongly encouraged to get the flu vaccine this fall. All students are required to get the flu vaccine this semester and provide proof to healthservices@loyola.edu by Nov. 12, 2021. We will be offering two flu shot clinics on campus through Giant Pharmacy on Sep. 22 and Oct 12. These will be open to all faculty, staff, administrators, and students, and Giant will process this directly through your insurance. Stay tuned for times and locations.

If I’m vaccinated, will I still have to participate in surveillance testing? What about vaccinated students?

The Rapid Response Team and Policy Group are continuing to monitor the path of the delta variant. We will be including a small percentage of faculty, staff, administrators, and students who have been vaccinated to the weekly surveillance testing pool. As the semester moves forward, we will make adjustments to this approach and continue to follow the advice and recommendations of our medical experts.

Contact Tracing/Information

Will I still have to respond to the GetVitalCheck symptom tracker every day?

Yes, with the exception of those approved for 100% remote work, faculty, staff, and administrators will continue to use the GetVitalCheck daily symptom tracker to report symptoms and possible COVID exposure. This is the most efficient way to support our employees and help promote the health of our community by helping to identify individuals who might need to quarantine, isolate, or receive treatment for COVID-19. Employees who are approved to work 100% remotely are expected to report their vaccine status on the GetVitalCheck platform before Sept. 13, 2021, unless they have an approved waiver on file in human resources.

Is the University still doing contact tracing this semester?

Yes, Loyola will continue to do contact tracing to let members of the community know that they have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

If I am vaccinated and am identified as a close contact, do I need to quarantine?

Faculty, staff, and administrators who are vaccinated and are named as a close contact of a positive case of COVID are asked to mask in all areas, including their living space, when not eating or sleeping. At this point in time, vaccinated persons named as close contacts do not need to quarantine so long as they don’t have symptoms of COVID present. They should report through GetVitalCheck if they are symptomatic, tested positive, or if they have been in close contact with someone with a positive case of COVID. Employees should then follow the instructions given to them through the GetVitalCheck process.

Will I be contacted if one of my students or colleagues tests positive?

You will be contacted only if you are identified as a close contact.

Will I be contacted if any of my students need to be isolated or quarantined?

Undergraduate faculty will receive general absence-from-class notices from the office of the dean of undergraduate studies. With respect to graduate students, that office will send notices to the director of program operations for the relevant program. In accordance with federal guidelines, the notices will not specify the particulars of the situation.

If I have students who must miss multiple classes for medical reasons, how should I ensure that they are able to keep up with their course work?

Faculty should make sure that all course materials, including syllabi, assignments, videos, recorded lectures, etc., are on your Moodle site(s) and are organized in a manner that allows students to easily locate them. Additionally, please make use of all of the technology available to you to support students, as is feasible and appropriate. Please also respond to course-related student queries in a timely fashion, ideally within one business day.

What if a large number of students in one of my classes are absent at the same time?

Talk to your department chair who, in conversation with your dean’s office, will determine if students will learn better if the class is temporarily moved online.

How does the CDC define a close contact?

Close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more within two days prior to illness onset, regardless of whether the contact was wearing a mask.

Will there be a dashboard this semester?

We will publish information about the path of COVID-19 in our community on the Loyola dashboard beginning Aug. 30, 2021.

Meetings/Events

Review full event guidelines.

What steps are being put into place to accommodate hybrid meetings to make it possible to minimize travel between campuses and allow employees to work remotely?

Technology services has been working with departments to get technology for remote meetings. The conference rooms in the College Center have technology for remote meetings. Technology services has also received approval to install multiple cameras, microphones, and speakers in Cohn 133. All meeting rooms in the Fernandez Center are outfitted with cameras, microphones, speakers, and projectors/TVs. Technology services is working to have additional technology installed in the Timonium Graduate Center. Many of the meeting rooms in Timonium already have technology to support remote participation.

Facilities

Where did the trash cans go? Can I get mine back?

In order to support a shift in operations and reduce the number of touchpoints in offices and classrooms across campus, waste and recycling collection has been centralized. You can learn more about the recycling program and view the full list of locations on the Loyola Recycles webpage.

What has been done to improve ventilation and air filtration in Loyola buildings?

Where possible, the University has modified building operating systems to increase both the amount of outside air and the number of air changes to the extent the building system allows. Where feasible, the University has installed Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) Devices in air handling units, ductwork, upper room (near ceiling) and portable units. These devices may help disinfect contaminants caused by coronavirus and other infectious diseases. The University has many buildings with other types of systems. In these areas, other alternatives such as high-efficiency air filtration, portable air purifiers, and other standalone units for air purification have been provided. More frequent filter changes and preventive maintenance are planned for all buildings.

Remote Work/Taking Leave

I am a staff member or administrator. What if my child must quarantine or is ill and not allowed back at school until a COVID test can be completed? Is there a process for me to work from home or do we just notify our supervisor? If I’m not able to work from home—either because I need to care for my child or cannot do my job from home—is there COVID leave I can take?

Employees who experience issues related to a minor child who, under physician or official school orders, who is prohibited from attending school due to COVID-19 quarantine, should discuss the possibility of working remotely for the temporary period of quarantine. In addition, each eligible staff member and administrator will be allotted up to ten (10) COVID-19 leave days, total, during the period of Sept. 7, 2021, through December 31, 2021. The COVID-19 leave is to be used if the employee is required to work on-site or is unable to perform their work remotely, and:

  1. Is under physician order to quarantine due to close contact with someone with COVID-19; or
  2. Is under physician orders to quarantine due to symptoms of COVID-19; or
  3. Has tested positive for COVID-19, with or without symptoms, and is under physician orders to quarantine; or
  4. The employee’s minor child is under physician orders or official school orders to quarantine due to close contact with someone with COVID-19 or due to symptoms of COVID-19

Employees approved for 100% remote work who are under physician care and are too ill to work remotely due to testing positive or having symptoms of COVID-19 may also use the COVID-19 leave.

Employees may use sick, personal, and/or vacation time as appropriate or go unpaid if they have exhausted their paid time off, including their COVID-19 leave. Employees should work with their supervisors to figure out what work responsibilities they can complete remotely when possible, rather than using leave.

I am a faculty member who teaches in-person classes. What do I do if I must miss class because my child or I must quarantine or isolate?

Should you need to be absent from class, under physician’s order, in order to quarantine or isolate for COVID-19, or to care for a sick or quarantining child under physician’s order or official school order for COVID-19 related reasons, please consult with your department chair immediately to determine whether it’s best for you and your students to temporarily move in-person class sessions online (this may be the case if you feel well enough to teach), OR whether it’s necessary for your chair to find someone to cover your classes temporarily. Department chairs should alert their dean’s office to any extended faculty absences and how they will be handled.

Compliance

What do I do if I see that my colleagues aren’t complying with the University’s COVID-19 guidelines?

Reach out to your HR partner for advice.

What do I do if I see students who aren’t complying with the University’s COVID-19 guidelines?

If comfortable doing so, please remind the student of University COVID protocols. Incidents of non-compliance should be directed to the office of student conduct.

Support

I’m having a hard time with this stage in the pandemic. Where can I turn for help?

Employees may contact the University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-800-765-0770, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Information can also be found at www.EAPHelplink.com. Please use the company code "LOYOLA".

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