A thank you to state employees from Governor Ned Lamont:
2020-03-17 | UConn Health’s Child Care
We recognize that this is an extremely difficult time for our employees and we truly appreciate the first-class care that each one of you provide to our patients. It is our understanding that due to the closing of all Connecticut public schools and many daycares in the area you may be experiencing the need for temporary childcare.
The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) is working with all Connecticut based hospitals to establish capacity across the state to support the needs of our healthcare workers. United Way, 211 Child Care, has set up a hotline for childcare to help anyone in the state. The direct number is 860-756-0864.
The Creative Childcare Center, the onsite childcare center at UConn Health is working to increase capacity and provide temporary care for children 3 months to 12 years old. Our center is located at located at 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington. Hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The Creative Childcare Center is working within the CDC guidelines and taking extra precautions to keep all children in attendance safe.
If you currently have a need for childcare, please complete the Enrollment Request form, along with the Health Immunization form and submit them to email@example.com for consideration. Please note that priority will be given to children to UConn Health employees with direct patient contact on a first come first serve basis.
2020-03-16 | Telecommuting Guidance
Message from Christopher Delello, Chief Human Resources Officer
The University is reviewing telecommuting and COVID-19 guidance released by the State Of Connecticut late on Friday afternoon for certain segments in the workplace, but not all, across Connecticut. As a result, more information will be forthcoming in areas where the University is remaining open and where certain buildings have been closed to all operations (not just when the building is locked).
In the interim, our students, patients and each other, as colleagues, will continue to need our support. Some operations will change, now and in the days ahead, and we are all working to understand, without criticism, what those needs will be and how we can best support them.
Many managers are finalizing what their remote work plans will be and must be implemented, if not already, on an informal basis. The manager’s decision is in place until otherwise communicated - in other words, guidance from managers may evolve over the weeks ahead as more becomes known. However, we ask all managers to work with their employees to understand needs, how their work will change, how work can transition to remote work, if at all, and explore creative work from home arrangements and even flex time at home based on family needs. Again, more guidance is being issued by the state to inform UConn and UConn Health how to navigate and make our own decisions regarding secondary contact, childcare issues and employees in the workplace navigating new exposures.
First and foremost, UConn and UConn Health managers are directly responsible for determining who is eligible to telecommute and who is unable to telecommute and must provide for a continuity of operation during these difficult and urgent times. This communication outlines, in summary format, key considerations and processes that may be different than previous situations where telecommuting was considered and with prior knowledge of the policies at UConn, UConn Health and the state’s Telework program applicable to employees who are members of classified unions.
We know and understand that suddenly switching employees to remote work in a day or two notice without advance communication and processes in place is challenging and stressful for managers and employees alike. We ask for all of us to respect one another, rely on managers’ guidance and decisions and employee input and work through these difficult moments together as colleagues and with flexibility. During these moments before and after remote work implementation (or not where it is not possible), consider what was learned and whether remote work can be leveraged on an ongoing basis in new and creative ways working with the University and with the partnership of our unions now and in the future.
During these unprecedented times, we ask all of us to take care of our students, our patients, our family and loved ones and each other with patience and flexibility. There is much we do not yet know about this public health situation and many actions to date have been taken out of an abundance of caution or are needed to address the current continuity plans. Please know your managers, departments and the University is doing its best to support you and we know many questions are still unanswered. So many of you are showing the persistency and respect for one another that makes UConn a stronger place – thank you.
1. Informality – Until further notice, all telecommuting forms and guidelines previously known to us are not in use. Effective immediately, no telecommuting forms are required and HR approval of telecommuting or alternate work arrangements are not required with the caveat that 1) the total number of hours required from the role are worked in a work week and continuity of operations are continuing without a decrease in performance requirements AND 2) a manager and business unit must be in agreement with all telecommuting approvals at the department and organizational level before they begin.
2. Telecommuting Letters – HR has crafted telecommuting letters for Storrs/Regional employees and UConn Health employees. We ask all managers to complete a letter for every employee with whom you have developed a remote work arrangement – even if the arrangement is underway. No telecommuting forms are required and no HR approval is necessary, regardless of any previous communications, to the effect a remote work arrangement at this time and until further notice.
3. Key Considerations – When determining if work can be done remotely now and in the days ahead:
- Evaluate department and team priorities.
- Consider collaborator or consultant impact.
- You, as a manger, are responsible for your own remote work plan and duties of your staff.
- Review ITS’s guidance for technology and internet connectivity.
- Identify the team member’s need for equipment and internet capabilities – for example, will they need a scanner, printer or other technology to carry out primary functions of their job?
- Compile the cell phone, home numbers and addresses and how and with whom this information will be shared to maintain privacy.
- Determine how schedules and availability will be known to colleagues and constituents.
- Determine the preferred group communication method and collaboration tools your employees need.
- Determine how frequently you as a supervisor will connect with your team members – trust works both ways.
- Discuss how time and performance will be managed once remote work begins. Focus first on output and completion of deliverables when evaluating performance.
- Can you include alternating or rotating schedules so that team members can share on-site responsibilities, even when all members would not have to be on site each day.
- Experiment with different schedules – if it does not work one week, try something different the following week.
- Everyone should be clear on duration, agreed upon schedules, work deliverables, communication approach and expectations.-
More FAQs about telecommuting will continue in the days ahead and will be placed on the University’s Coronavirus website. In addition, Payroll and Student Employment FAQs have been added to the existing HR FAQs, which were updated and re-organized today.
2020-03-12 | Large Group Meetings
Large Group Meetings
Effective immediately, no events larger than 100 people will be permitted at any UConn Health site. This includes all events and meetings. If possible, alternatives such as teleconference or virtual conferencing methods should be used to hold large events; otherwise they should be cancelled or postponed. In addition, UConn Health strongly recommends the postponement or cancellation of any non-essential live gatherings and meetings of large groups, even those smaller than 100 people.
2020-03-30 | Campus Shuttle Update
Campus Shuttle Update Effective Monday, March 30
As a result of significant changes in ridership the following changes will be made to the campus shuttle services beginning on Monday, March 30.
- Route 1 (night shuttle) and Route 4 will temporarily be suspended.
- Route 2 will continue service as scheduled.
- Route 3 will continue service as scheduled.
- Route 5 will continue service with extended hours from 6:15 a.m. through 7:50 p.m.
Please refer to our online shuttle timetables for the most current schedule information.
Parking, Transportation and Event Services
firstname.lastname@example.org or x4248
2020-03-26 | UConn Health Employee Access
ACCESS TO 195 FARMINGTON AVENUE: Entry into 195 Farmington Avenue will be by badge and/or code access only. Those with badge and/or codes will continue to have access to the building 24/7.
The Academic Entrance will be closed (even to employees with badges) on Saturday and Sunday.
The main entrance and the primary entrance to the University Tower will be closed to visitors beginning at 8 p.m. Staff will continue to have 24 access to the building through the main entrance and University Tower main entrance.
The UConn Procedures Center will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.
No changes to access to the ED.
In the continuing effort to keep our staff, patients, students and visitors safe, we will commence COVID-19 screening at the 400 Farmington Avenue facility Monday, March 23, 2020. Screening will take place from 8 to 10 a.m.
Consistent with other buildings, all access will be through a central point going forward which will be the main entrance. All other entrances will be locked for entry.
Employees at Munson Road facility will be temperature screened beginning, Monday, March 23, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.
In addition, effective immediately and continuing for the foreseeable future all entrances except the Main Entrance on the 4th floor will be locked and no employee should enter through any entrance other than the one on the 4th floor Main Lobby
All patients, visitors, and vendors will receive a brief health screening and temperature screen before entry. If screeners determine that a visitor is a potential health risk, that person will not be allowed to visit and will be asked to consult their doctor for further guidance. Screening will be conducted from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.
We want to ensure a healthy and safe environment for our patients and staff during the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Employee access to the hospital will be limited and all employees will be temperature screened and require their employee badge.
Employee Access and screening locations and hours include:
UT Main entrance – 5:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Main entrance – 6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
UT Sub-basement/Garage 2 – 6 – 8:30 a.m., 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., 10:30 – 11:30 p.m.
CT Procedure Center – 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. will be locked at 4 p.m.
West Dock – 6 am – 6 p.m.
Academic Entrance – 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.
ED – 24 hour coverage
MSI – 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
ASB – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
OPP – 1st and 3rd Floor – 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
All offsite locations – 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
PLEASE NOTE: Access Closures
All other entrances to the hospital will be closed.
MSI - Employee Entrance next to loading dock is closed
ASB - First floor by loading dock closest to MSI is closed
Loading Dock OPPV - Closed to Routine Ambulances
Back Employee OPPV - Entrance across from lot 3 will be closed
All patients, visitors, and vendors will receive a brief health screening and temperature screen before entry. If screeners determine that a visitor is a potential health risk, that person will not be allowed to visit and will be asked to consult their doctor for further guidance.
2020-03-25 | Munson Cafe Temporarily Closing
MUNSON CAFÉ TEMPORARILY CLOSING: Please be aware that Munson Café will be temporally closing on Friday, March 27, at 2 p.m. until further notice.
The following will still remain open:
The Food Court in the Main Building
Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m. and 11 p.m.-1 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Outpatient Pavilion 5th Floor
Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
2020-03-18 | Parking Lot 3 Closing
Parking Lot 3 Closing
Effective today Wednesday, March 18 parking Lot L3 will temporarily be closed. While the lot is closed, people who typically park in Lot L3 may use any other available Area 3 locations, or the level 6, rooftop entrance of Garage 1. They may also park on the upper levels 4, 5 or 6. If the gate is in the down position please use the ‘call for assistance’ button to have the gate raised. Employees should also use the level 6, rooftop exit when leaving the garage. Here is a staff parking map https://health.uconn.edu/park/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2019/02/staff-parking-map.pdf
2020-03-30 | Updated Protocols
I am writing to inform you that we currently have 15 COVID-19 positive patients in our hospital representing a significant increase from 3 patients a week ago. We also have 8 “rule/out” COVID-19 patients. I want to thank the amazing employees and providers who are taking care of these patients during this difficult time.
UConn Health strictly follows and in some cases goes beyond the precautions recommended by the CDC to protect our staff, visitors, patients, and learners. However two of the 15 patients were admitted to our hospital for unrelated diagnoses before it became apparent they were also suffering from COVID-19. As such a number of our employees interacted with the patients before the patients were masked and placed in isolation. Fortunately, due to our recent universal masking policy for healthcare workers, most employees were wearing masks when they encountered the patients. Given specific issues pertaining to the recent exposures we are customizing the approach to quarantine for these employees so as to err on the side of caution. However today we are also announcing two new protocols below to ensure to the extent possible that should we have similar exposures in future they would fall into the “Low Risk” category not requiring quarantine as per CDC guidelines.
New Masking Protocols (effective 03/31/20)
- Patient Masking: All UConn Health inpatients and outpatients to the extent practical will now be required to wear a surgical or procedure mask.
- Employee Masking Now Non-Voluntary: UConn Health employees involved in patient care or supporting those involved in patient care are expected to wear a surgical or procedure mask at all times in the patient care areas.
NB: Home-Made Masks: Although UConn Health does not endorse the effectiveness of, nor promote the use of home-made masks such masks are now allowable as long as a standard procedure mask or surgical mask is worn at the same time.
For information on the protocol for low-medium and high risk exposures please see the attached “Guidelines for the Asymptomatic Healthcare Worker with Exposure to an Individual with COVID-19 with Prolonged Contact in the Healthcare or Community Setting” compiled by Dr. David Banach, UConn Health’s Hospital Epidemiologist and Head of Infection Prevention.
Again I would personally like to thank all the providers and staff who are working on the frontlines of this pandemic. We will continually evolve our guidelines to keep everyone as safe as possible while delivering much needed care. If you have questions or want to report a case of suspected employee exposure please call the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199.
We will get through this together.
Andrew Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A.
Chief Executive Officer, UConn Health
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs
2020-03-30 | Guidelines for the Asymptomatic Healthcare Worker with Exposure to an Individual with COVID-19 with Prolonged Contact in the Healthcare or Community Setting
Individuals with prolonged, close contact with an individual with COVID-19 may be at increased risk for infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. For the purpose of this evaluation, exposed prolonged contact is defined as being within 6 feet of the infected individual for > 15 minutes.
Several factors, including the type of exposure as well as the use of any personal protective equipment dictate the overall risk to the exposed healthcare worker.
The following categories meet the criteria of a High-Risk Exposure
- A Healthcare Worker not wearing a facemask or respirator is exposed to a patient with COVID-19 who is not wearing a facemask.
- A Healthcare Worker not wearing a mask or respirator is exposed to a patient with COVID-19 and one of the following has occurred:
- The Healthcare Worker had extensive body contact with the patient or
- The Healthcare Worker was present during an aerosol generating procedure such as intubation/extubation, bronchoscopy or sputum induction without wearing a respirator
- Living in the same household as or providing direct care for a person with symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection without using the recommended precautions.
Individuals with High-Risk Exposure should contact the COVID-19 Call Center and report their exposure to Employee Health. If the criteria are met a 14-day quarantine will be recommended.
Low-Medium Risk Exposure
All other scenarios not classified as High-Risk Exposure generally meet the criteria for Low-Medium Risk Exposure.
These may include but are not limited to:
- A Healthcare Worker who was in prolonged close contact with a patient with COVID-19 while wearing a facemask at all times even though the patient was not wearing a mask.
- A Healthcare Worker who was in prolonged close contact with a patient with COVID-19 while the patient was wearing a mask at all times.
- A Healthcare Worker who has recently traveled to a country with widespread community COVID-19 transmission.
- Close contact with an individual with symptomatic COVID-19 infection outside a healthcare setting that does not meet criteria for High-Risk Exposure.
A healthcare worker who has had Low Risk exposure may continue to work, provided he/she remains asymptomatic, following the guidance below. A healthcare worker who has had Medium Risk exposure may continue to work, if he/she remains asymptomatic, if staffing needs reach critical levels, under the guidance of Employee Health and/or an Employee Health designee. In doing so, he/she must adhere to the following requirements:
- A procedure or surgical mask must be worn at all times in all settings for 14 days from the date of exposure.
- The healthcare worker must take his/her temperature twice daily and record this value on a temperature log and check in with their supervisor daily. If the healthcare worker has a temperature > 100 F he/she must notify Employee Health through the COVID-19 Call Center immediately.
- If the healthcare worker develops any new onset of cough, shortness of breath, subjective fever, chills, body aches he/she must notify Employee Health through the COVID-19 Call Center immediately.
Please call the COVID-19 Call Center if there are any questions about a potential COVID-19 exposure.
2020-03-27 | Universal Masking for Clinical Areas
As a follow up to the message below, please understand that our Logistics Department is stocking all clinical areas with an increased amount of masks to satisfy the needs associated with this new broadened surgical/procedure mask protocol. We expect all areas to be adequately stocked by end of day tomorrow. In the meantime please continue to use handwashing and other infection control safeguards as usual. I would also like to clarify that the 5-7 days noted in the letter is only a guideline aimed at conserving the supply of masks; if masks are soiled or damaged before then they will of course be replaced. Thank you for your patience.
The safety of our providers and employees is always our top priority. As you may be aware on March 25th Partners Healthcare in Boston implemented a new surgical mask protocol based on the community transmission of Covid-19. Specifically they announced that their employees would begin to wear face masks (Surgical or procedural) at all times. As such, over the last two days, UConn Health’s leadership team has been considering whether to implement a similar practice. Our main considerations have been whether we have enough surgical and procedure masks to implement such a policy and which categories of healthcare employees would it pertain to in order to ensure a combination of employee safety and adequacy of supplies.
I am therefore announcing that after much consideration and in an abundance of caution we have decided that we will also provide surgical or procedure masks to our employees in clinical areas to wear at all times. This would include doctors, other providers, nurses, front desk workers, Clinical Office Assistants, Medical Assistants, housekeepers, maintenance workers, and other employees who come in contact with patients or who enter clinical areas to support healthcare workers. Please note this new expanded masking practice pertains to the provision of surgical masks and procedure masks not to N-95 respirator masks. N-95 masks are reserved for interactions with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 positive patients and other specified clinical interactions.
To conserve surgical and procedure masks, each mask should be worn for 5-7 days or as long as they remain intact and are not visibly soiled. Please mark your mask with your name and store the mask in an envelope or paper bag in a secure place at work when you leave for home. Employees should request a mask from their supervisor for replacement if the existing mask becomes soiled or damaged.
Thank you for your wonderful work and we will continually review this policy based on the utilization of masks as well as the evolution of national guidelines.
Andrew Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A.
Chief Executive Officer, UConn Health
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs
2020-03-24 | Medical Students Offer Child and Pet Care Services
Dear UConn Health Community,
During these unprecedented times dealing with COVID-19, we know that there has been an increased strain on the employees of UConn Health and their families. We strive to personally help those in need as they continue to deliver patient care. We understand that there has been an increased need in childcare and pet care services.
Currently, we have over 50 students willing to aide families in need of childcare and/or pet care services. See below two forms that you can fill out in order for us to connect you directly with someone that can help with your specific needs. Unfortunately, we have a limited number of individuals that can help so please understand our limitations. However, we will try our best to help as many families as possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us directly at email@example.com.
Please Be Aware:
- Students are providing assistance on their own personal capacity, not as their roles as students
- These services are not connected to a UConn Health initiative
- We are not providing advice, training or supervision by UConn Health, UConn School of Medicine, or UConn School of Dental Medicine
- UConn Health and UConn School of Medicine are not endorsing these services, but are providing this information as a public service
Pet Care Services
-Michael, Sam, Kate L., Alex, Zach, Nick, Taylor and Kate T.
2020-03-19 | Guidance Regarding Reassignment Requests from Individual at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19
As per the Guidelines for Individuals Who May Be at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19, published via email on March 18, 2020, individuals who may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease who would like to request to be re-assigned, should reach out to their Director/Manager, Service Chief or Department Chair and Employee Health to request a re-assignment. As noted in #2 below, Employee Health will make the evaluation and certify eligibility for re-assignment, but will not provide the specific reason for the certification.
To process such requests in the appropriate manner, it is very important that you observe the following steps:
Step #1: Employee (“requestor”) communicates to his/her Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair that he/she meets one of the criteria listed in the March 18, 2020 email. It is extremely important that the Director/Manager does not request or solicit any information from the requestor as to which specific condition the requestor has or what specific medication the requestor takes. Please avoid soliciting medical information from the requestor.
Step #2: Upon notice from the requestor, his/her Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair will direct the employee to contact Employee Health, which will confirm that the requestor meets one of the criteria for reassignment. As part of the confirmation process, Employee Health may require a medical certificate or other evidence that the employee meets the high-risk criteria. The requestor shall inform Employee Health of the name and contact information of his/her Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair. Employee Health will promptly notify the Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair whether the requestor in fact meets the criteria to be reassigned. Employee Health will not share specific medical circumstances with the Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair.
Step #3: Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair will determine and, where appropriate, will work with eligible requestors on where they will be reassigned. The Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair will then provide notice to Human Resources at HRfirstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Name of Provider/Staff
- Job Title and department
- Approval for re-assignment
- New assignment and its duration
Note: UConn Health reserves the right to change or to end the reassignment as circumstances warrant.
2020-03-18 | Guidelines for Individuals Who May Be at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19
n order to address concerns regarding the groups of individuals who may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease, we are providing the following clarifying guidance and are specific to this circumstance.
If you meet one or more of the risk factors for higher risk individuals identified below, are concerned about the potential exposure to COVID-19, and you would like to request to be re-assigned, you should reach out to your Director/Manager, Service Chief or Department Chair and Employee Health to request a re-assignment.
For this guidance, we are utilizing the CDC guidance for the definition of severe immunocompromised based on medical conditions and medications, which may be found at:
- AGE: If you are age 65 or older, you may be considered for re-assignment.
- PREGNANCY: If you are pregnant, you may ask for an assignment that would limit your exposure to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients during higher risk procedures, e.g., aerosol generating procedures.
- UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS: If you have any of the following medical conditions, you may be considered “severely immunocompromised”:
- Active leukemia or lymphoma
- Generalized malignancy
- Aplastic anemia
- Graft-versus-host disease
- Congenital immunodeficiency
- Recent radiation therapy or checkpoint inhibitor treatment
- Solid-organ transplant recipients and who are on active immunosuppression
- CAR-T cell transplant recipients within 2 years of transplantation or still taking immunosuppressive drugs
- Hematopoietic stem cell within 2 years of transplantation or still taking immunosuppressive drugs
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection and a CD4 count < 200 cells/mm3
- MEDICATIONS: If you are taking any of the medications listed below, you may be considered “severely immunocompromised.”
If you meet any of the above criteria you may request to be voluntarily re-assigned.
If you have any questions please work with Director/Manager, Service Chief or Department Chair and Employee Health. Any re-assignments should include a notice to Human Resources at HRemail@example.com with the following information:
Name of Provider, position and department, reason for re-assignment and new assignment, duration of assignment.
List of Medications that Constitute Severe Immunocompromise
- High-dose corticosteroids
o defined as a dose of either >2 mg/kg of body weight or ≥20 mg per day of prednisone or equivalent in people who weigh >10 kg, when administered for ≥2 weeks
- Alkylating agents(such as cyclophosphamide)
- Antimetabolites(such as azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, methotrexate).
- Transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs(such as cyclosporine, tacrolimus, sirolimus, everolimus, azathioprine, and mycophenolate mofetil)
- Cancer chemotherapeutic agents
- Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers(e.g. etanercept, adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, golimumab, and infliximab)
- Lymphocyte-depleting agents (thymoglobulin or alemtuzumab)
- Other biologic agentsthat are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory including the following:
GENERIC NAME TRADE NAME
Certolizumab pegol Cimzia
Dimethyl fumarate Tecfidera
Glatiramer acetate Copaxone
Ibritumomab tiuxetan Zevalin
Imatinib mesylate Gleevec, STI 571
GENERIC NAME TRADE NAME
Interferon alfa Pegasys, PegIntron
Interferon beta-1a Avonex, Rebif
Interferon beta-1b Betaseron
Sunitinib malate Sutent