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Return to Campus Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19): The latest updates about USciences return to campus: The full plan for a phased return of employees and students:

Employee Guidelines - COVID-19 Return to Campus 

Faculty, Staff, and Student Worker Safety Trainings & Attestation

Ensuring the health of our campus community remains our top priority.  All faculty, staff, and student workers are required to complete safety-related training and a COVID-19 Individual Responsibility Statement and Attestation before returning to campus after the Winter Break.


All full-time benefits-eligible faculty and staff are to complete training through BizLibrary prior to coming on-site, via or by going to Just enter BizLibrary into the search bar and click on the heart to make it a favorite. There are two video lessons posted in your queues (“The Basics of Covid-19” and “Safe Re-entry during COVID-19 for employees”), that will take no longer than 30 minutes to complete. Thank you to everyone who has already completed the training.

All adjunct staff, student workers, or other part-time staff are to access the training through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP)  via as follows: 

  • Go to the top of the page and click on “Employees and Families.”
  • Create a username and password.
  • Click on "Trainings" which will bring you to the BizLibrary Training Center.
  • Enter "Re-Entry During Covid-19 for Employees" - this is the only training that needs to be completed.
  • Keep a copy of your certificate (see note below).

Student workers will receive an additional notification from Student Affairs. New GSIs/GRAs will also receive a notification from their leaders with some special instructions as well.

COVID-19 Individual Responsibility Statement and Attestation

All individuals must complete the COVID-19 Pandemic Individual Responsibility Statement and Attestation found here in advance of coming to campus. This process should take you no more than 10 minutes to complete and confirms your commitment to our safety and health priorities. Students will also receive this link from Student Affairs.

Notes on Compliance/Tracking

Human Resources has posted a master list documenting completion of required training and attestations for all full-time faculty and staff on the home page of the HR Google drive, updated daily. Supervisors/department leaders should check the list to ensure that those who plan to be on campus have completed these items.

Student workers should show or provide copies of both their training certificate of completion and confirmation of the attestation to their supervisors prior to their first on-site shift.

Adjunct Staff and TAs with on-site assignments should provide the same materials to the following representatives in each college: 

Samson - Deb Zayon (
PCP - Kiara Cam (
Misher - Sarah Robinson (

The Task Force and the entire University Community thank you for your cooperation and attention to these matters. Again, ensuring the health of our campus community must remain our top priority and it will require our commitment to these items to be a reality.  

Remote Versus On-campus Work

Employees who are able to fulfill their roles remotely should continue to work remotely.  Department heads and supervisors should identify those individuals who are able to continue to work remotely.  For employees who must return to campus, supervisors will be responsible for identifying a) operational need for on-campus work, b) schedules for on-campus work that limits person-to-person contact (e.g., staggered days/weeks or staggered hours.  Supervisors should target no more than 25% of the workforce on site at one time – less if possible.  Return to work should be based on nondiscriminatory factors and should also take into account those individuals who are more willing to return vs. those who may be hesitant to do so.

On-campus Workspaces

For departments or divisions that must have a presence on campus, department heads or supervisors should identify and publicize hours of availability on campus, and assure appropriate staffing to meet the needs of stakeholders.  As campus operations fluctuate during this crisis, updates to hours of operation should be made.  Operational hours are posted on the Campus Operations site.

If multiple employees in a single area must be present at the same time, workstations should be located at least 6 feet apart, with physical barriers preferred (e.g., plexiglass shielding or cubicle walls).

Shared, high touch items such as magazines, common pens, etc., should be removed from all work, reception, and/or public areas and disposed of appropriately. 

Reusable kitchen items (serving spoons, knives, etc.) should be removed/eliminated and replaced with single use items.

Shared coffee makers or other appliances requiring handling should be removed and replaced, if possible, with no-touch options.  Water dispensers should be wiped down after each use with sanitizing wipes or alternatives.

University-sponsored and Personal Travel

For the foreseeable future, no University-sponsored travel will be permitted.  Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in virtual conferences and other online activities for personal and professional development.

Employees should limit personal travel, including international travel, aligned with federal guidance. As travel restrictions are lifted, employees should consider the risks and benefits of travel, including the risk of spreading coronavirus to the USciences campus community. 

Currently, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recommends self-quarantine at home after travel to high-prevalence areas (current listing here).

In-person Campus Events

As the University resumes modified on-campus operations, departments, programs, and student groups may desire to plan on-campus events.  All events will be reviewed and approved by the divisional Vice President prior to any planning.  The following guidelines should be followed:

  • Local guidance from the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must be followed with regards to gathering size. In the case of conflicting guidance from these two entities, the more stringent guidance must apply.
  • All participants must wear a face covering
  • Physical distancing of 6 feet should be maintained, with a target of no more than 5 people per 1000 sq feet
  • Food must be limited to pre-packaged catering options, with no self-service items
  • Four (4) attendees are permitted per 6-foot round table
  • At-risk attendees should be warned of risks and provided guidance
  • Risk assessment for each event should be completed by planners, including assessment of the following: interactions among attendees, attendee demographic, and location layout
  • Thorough cleaning post-event should be conducted
  • Event modifications to be considered include:
    • holding outdoors, if possible
    • Handwashing/sanitization stands
    • Regulating the flow and density of people entering, attending, and departing the event (e.g. staggering arrivals, registering attendees, numbering entries, designating seating, marking the floor)

Accommodations for Employees

USciences understands that some employees may have personal or medical concerns that need consideration if asked to return to campus. We recognize that COVID-19 has raised new concerns for some of you that include both health and personal matters. If you are required to come to work and have such concerns, you should notify your supervisor and/or a Human Resources Representative. If you are at high-risk for COVID-19 (65 years and older, those with chronic lung disease, serious heart conditions, immunocompromised state, diabetes, liver disease, or severe obesity) and/or need to seek a reasonable accommodation, please contact Human Resources directly.

Sick Employees

Employees who are ill must remain at home; those who are able to work remotely may do so.  Employees who become ill at work should leave as promptly as they are able, minimizing contact with any others and contacting their primary caregiver.  Employees who are unable to immediately depart the campus will be isolated in a designated isolation facility while awaiting transportation home. Supervisors must be notified immediately and should notify the HR Director and/or SHAC of the ill employee.  As appropriate, custodial services will disinfect the ill employee’s workspace promptly, with deep cleaning provided if the employee had symptoms consistent with COVID-19. See the relevant above sections regarding return to work protocols.

Before an employee returns to work after having any cold or flu-like illness, or if the employee suspects they may have been infected with COVID-19 or exposed to someone with known COVID-19, the following must be considered.  Based on current CDC recommendations,  those directly exposed to known COVID-19 positive individuals (having had close/direct contact less than 6 feet for greater than a cumulative 15 minutes within a 24 hour period) must self-quarantine at home with the following options:

  • If the individual tests positive for COVID-19
    • If no symptoms develop, isolation may be stopped after 10 days.
    • If mild to moderate symptoms develop, isolation may be ended after 10 days if at least 24 hours have passed without a fever of 100.4 or greater (without use of fever-reducing medications), and other symptoms are improving
    • If severe illness occurs, isolation should continue until symptoms have improved and up to 20 days
  • If the individual tests negative for COVID-19
    • If no symptoms develop, quarantine should be continued for 7 days
    • After stopping quarantine, individuals should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure
    • If symptoms develop, the individual should immediately self-isolate and contact their healthcare provider
  • If the individual was not tested for COVID-19
    • If no symptoms develop, quarantine should be continued for 10 days
    • After stopping quarantine, individuals should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure
    • If symptoms develop, the individual should immediately self-isolate and contact their healthcare provider

The CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days after exposure; the Philadelphia Department of Public Health permits the shorter quarantine as an option in order to reduce the economic and other impact to affected individuals.

Employee Support Services for Mental Health and Wellness

The University continues to provide EAP services for all employees:

Telephone:  1.800.252.4555

In addition, the USciences Office of Health and Wellness provides a wide variety of information on various wellness topics, including stress management, staying fit, and healthy eating.  Virtual fitness classes and meditation sessions are also available to employees.