COVID-19: Vaccine Program | TestingVisitor Guidelines | Information for Employees

MONKEYPOX: UConn Health is NOT currently offering the monkeypox vaccine. Please visit the CT DPH website for more information or contact your health provider directly.

Mandatory Vaccination

Second-Dose Deadline: October 15, 2021

Updated 6/1/2022 | Effective 6/3/2022

COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy

As announced on August 18, 2021, all UConn Health employees, volunteers, medical staff members, and badged contractors (“Workforce Members”) are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This requirement applies to Workforce Members regardless of whether they work on-site or remotely, unless the individual qualifies for an exemption or a deferral as provided by the policy and procedures.

All new UConn Health Workforce Members are also expected to be in compliance with this policy before reporting to work at UConn Health.

In early 2022, Governor Lamont issued an executive order requiring that our new and existing Workforce Members not only receive their primary COVID-19 vaccine series, but that they also receive a COVID-19 booster, if eligible. Shortly after this executive order was issued, the Connecticut legislature voted this mandatory booster requirement into statute. As a result, UConn Health modified its Mandatory Vaccination Policy to include the legal requirement that all Workforce Members also receive boosters if eligible, effective March 7, 2022.

This COVID-19 booster requirement, however, lapsed in mid-April 2022. While there remains a legal requirement that all Workforce Members receive a primary COVID-19 vaccine series, there is no longer any legal mandate to receive a COVID-19 booster. UConn Health’s policy has therefore been updated once again to reflect this change in the law. At this time, all Workforce Members are required to receive a primary vaccine series, and booster shots are strongly recommended for those eligible but are not mandated. Please note that this policy is subject to change based on new data and on evolving federal and state guidance.

Complying With the Vaccine Requirement

UConn Health employees who have received their COVID-19 vaccine shots must upload proof in the UConn Health Employee Vaccine Registry. Others who have UConn Health-issued badges to work and learn at UConn Health but are not UConn Health employees must follow the instructions below under Non-Employee Workforce Members to register their vaccine status.

For help uploading, review the instructions on how to upload your vaccine card using a home computer or a networked UConn Health computer.

Vaccines may be scheduled through MyChart or by calling the UConn Health Vaccine Call Center, 860-679-5589.

COVID-19 Vaccine Registry

Exemption Request Forms

Information on Exemption and Deferral Types

This is a reminder that UConn Health is only granting exemption requests on the basis of a sincerely-held religious belief or medical reason. Please review the UConn Health Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Procedures for more examples and guidance on types of requests that will be considered.

If you have any additional questions, contact VAXquestion@uchc.edu. If you need IT assistance in uploading your forms, call 860-679-4400.

Non-Employee Workforce Members

All UConn Health workforce members including non-employees such as badged contractors, learners, students, residents, and volunteers must be vaccinated for COVID-19 with the primary series vaccination. 

To ensure your compliance with our policy and federal CDC reporting needs:

  1. Visit the online badged Non-Employee Vaccine Registry to enter your vaccine status.
    Note: To access the website, you must be logged into the UConn Health network.
  2. Enter the required information into the online registry including:
    • The first 5 digits on the back of your UConn Health ID badge
    • Your role at UConn Health
    • Your COVID-19 vaccine information (including manufacturer and doses)
    • Your COVID-19 booster information.
  3. Revisit the registry to update your status as needed, or if vaccine requirements change.

Anyone, however, whether an employee or not, is welcome to schedule COVID-19 vaccine shots through MyChart or by calling the UConn Health Vaccine Call Center at 860-679-5589.

Being fully-vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 is the most effective means of preventing the most serious impacts of this virus, and controls infection and subsequent transmission to our patients and fellow employees. Thank you, as always, for your commitment to health and safety and for your support of these important requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Why is UConn Health mandating COVID-19 vaccinations?

UConn Health is committed to protecting our patients, staff, learners, and the community from COVID-19. In our continued effort to protect our UConn Health community, and in consideration of guidance released by the Connecticut Hospital Association, the state of Connecticut, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and a variety of public health authorities and professional organizations, UConn Health is joining many other health systems in the country to mandate vaccination for its workforce. These organizations believe, and we agree, that the COVID-19 vaccines that are available are safe and effective, and that being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to prevent sickness, infection, and subsequent transmission of the virus. With the emergence of the Delta variant, a highly contagious version of COVID-19, we feel strongly that widespread vaccination, now more than ever, is a critical tool in slowing or stopping the pandemic and in protecting our community.

I am a UConn Storrs/Regional Employee. Am I subject to the UConn Health policy?

No. While our policies and procedures are similar with UConn Storrs/Regional, they do vary slightly due to our clinical, patient, and medical center responsibilities here at UConn Health. UConn-Storrs employees who work in UConn Health facilities should follow the policies and procedures established for UConn Storrs/Regional employees regarding required COVID-19 vaccines. For information on the UConn Storrs/Regional policy, please go to their website.

Q: Who is included in this mandatory vaccination policy?

A: The COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy applies to all UConn Health employees, volunteers, medical staff, and any contracted individual receiving a UConn Health-issued badge (referred to as Workforce Members throughout). Please note, Workforce Members represented by bargaining units under the jurisdiction of the State’s Office of Labor Relations (OLR-OPM) are not currently subject to mandatory vaccination requirements of this policy until negotiations have concluded. They are subject to the mandatory reporting, testing and health and safety requirements if unvaccinated.

I work fully remote or in a non-clinical environment. Do I need to comply with this policy?

Yes. This policy applies to all of our workforce, regardless of whether they work on-site or remotely.

Are there any exemptions to this policy?

Yes. For more information on exemptions, please review our policy guidance and procedures or scroll to the Exemptions section of the FAQ.

When are the deadlines for vaccination(s)?

A: All Workforce Members must receive their first dose of the vaccine (and upload proof of vaccination) no later than September 10, 2021 and any applicable second dose (and upload proof of vaccination) no later than October 15, 2021. Workforce Members will not be considered to have met these deadlines without uploading proof of vaccination.

Do I have until October 15 if I choose to receive the single dose vaccine?

No. Proof of vaccination (whether that be a first dose or a single dose vaccine) must be provided by September 10, 2021.

Where can I schedule a COVID-19 vaccination?

Appointments can be scheduled in a variety of ways, including:

Through UConn Health myChart

By calling the Vaccine Call Center at 860-679-5589

By visiting the Outpatient Pavilion 1st floor (walk-ins welcome for first doses only)

  • Hours of operation:
    • Monday: 1:00 PM-3:30 PM
    • Tuesday: 1:00 PM-3:30 PM
    • Wednesday: 7:00 AM-12:00 PM
    • Thursday: 1:00 PM-3:30 PM
    • Friday: 1:30 PM-4:00 PM
    • Saturday: 7:30 AM-10:30 AM
    • Sunday: Closed
  • Through your own medical provider if you are not a UConn Health patient
  • By scheduling through another provider identified through the state’s vaccination portal.

Will getting the vaccine cost me money?

No. There are no out-of-pocket expenses to individuals who receive their COVID-19 vaccine at UConn Health. Insurance will be billed for administration of the vaccine, but copays or additional expenses to the patient are never charged.

Do I have to receive my vaccination at UConn Health?

No. Workforce Members are not required to receive vaccination at UConn Health, but are encouraged to do so.

Which vaccines are being accepted through this policy?

Workforce Members will meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement if they have been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that has either been authorized for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or been authorized for use outside of the United States by the World Health Organization (WHO). Workforce Members who have received a COVID-19 vaccine that does not meet the above criteria will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

If I feel sick after my vaccination, will UConn Health provide me with paid leave?

Workforce members feeling sick after the vaccination should request sick time off in accordance with their regular call-out procedures.

I recently received and accepted an offer of employment at UConn Health. Does this policy apply to me?

Yes. New hires at UConn Health are required to have at least one dose of an authorized vaccine or have an approved exemption by their first day of employment.

I work on the evening or night shift in the hospital. Will I be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine during my shift?

At this time, no. We are continuing to evaluate ways to make the vaccine more accessible to evening or night shift Workforce Members and will communicate with more information as it becomes available. However, vaccines are widely available in Connecticut by scheduling through another provider identified through the state’s vaccination portal.

Where can I get more information on the COVID-19 vaccines?

UConn Health has a separate FAQ for general vaccine-related questions located here. We continue to update our FAQs in accordance with changing guidance.

Will UConn Health require COVID-19 vaccine booster shots?

We are currently monitoring recommendations for booster doses for the general public in the coming weeks and months. We will communicate any subsequent information or decisions as they become available. For more information on third doses, please review our third dose FAQ.

I got my vaccine at UConn Health. Do I still need to provide proof of vaccination?

Yes. Regardless of where you received your vaccination, we ask that you upload proof of vaccination in accordance with our policy.

What types of proof of vaccination is UConn Health accepting?

 

Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include your COVID-19 Vaccination Card or by taking a screenshot of your MyChart vaccination record, making sure to include the dates and type of vaccine. Please ensure that your MyChart vaccination record does not include any additional medical information.

Q: What if I lost my COVID-19 Vaccination Card? How do I obtain proof of vaccination?

A: If you have lost your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, did not receive your vaccination through MyChart, and are unable to get an additional copy from your provider, you may call the Department of Public Health (DPH) at (860) 509-7929 to request your Official Immunization Certificate from the CT Immunization Information System (CT WiZ) at the Department of Public Health. You can also get your official immunization record directly through the CT WiZ Public Portal, maintained by DPH. For more information on how to use this secure portal, visit DPH’s information about the CONNECTICUT IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM.

I work at UConn Health, but I am a contractor. How do I provide proof of vaccination or request an exemption?

Contractors not directly employed by UConn Health will not follow the same process to demonstrate their vaccination status. Instead, UConn Health will require the companies with whom we contract to enforce the mandatory vaccination policy with their employees working in or on UConn Health facilities or properties. Contracted companies will be required to attest to such compliance in accordance with our policy.

Will UConn Health accept proof of vaccination obtained in another country?

Yes. Though UConn Health encourages its workforce to receive FDA-approved vaccinations, we will accept proof of vaccinations that have been authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO). International Workforce Members must present proof of vaccination in the form of a copy of the WHO Certificate of Vaccination (WHO Vaccine Booklet) or documentation to include a statement signed by a healthcare provider/organization authorized to administer the vaccination attesting to the dates and name of COVID-19 vaccination given. All documentation must be submitted in English or accompanied by a certified translation at the Workforce Member’s expense. Please contact Human Resources at VAXQuestion@uchc.edu for further information on submitting and uploading your proof of vaccination.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Why is UConn Health mandating COVID-19 vaccinations?

UConn Health is committed to protecting our patients, staff, learners, and the community from COVID-19. In our continued effort to protect our UConn Health community, and in consideration of guidance released by the Connecticut Hospital Association, the state of Connecticut, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and a variety of public health authorities and professional organizations, UConn Health is joining many other health systems in the country to mandate vaccination for its workforce. These organizations believe, and we agree, that the COVID-19 vaccines that are available are safe and effective, and that being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to prevent sickness, infection, and subsequent transmission of the virus. With the emergence of the Delta variant, a highly contagious version of COVID-19, we feel strongly that widespread vaccination, now more than ever, is a critical tool in slowing or stopping the pandemic and in protecting our community.

I am a UConn Storrs/Regional Employee. Am I subject to the UConn Health policy?

No. While our policies and procedures are similar with UConn Storrs/Regional, they do vary slightly due to our clinical, patient, and medical center responsibilities here at UConn Health. UConn-Storrs employees who work in UConn Health facilities should follow the policies and procedures established for UConn Storrs/Regional employees regarding required COVID-19 vaccines. For information on the UConn Storrs/Regional policy, please go to their website.

Who is included in this mandatory vaccination policy?

The COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy applies to all UConn Health employees, volunteers, medical staff, and any contracted individual receiving a UConn Health-issued badge (referred to as Workforce Members throughout). Please note, Workforce Members represented by bargaining units under the jurisdiction of the State’s Office of Labor Relations (OLR-OPM) are not currently subject to mandatory vaccination requirements of this policy until negotiations have concluded. They are subject to the mandatory reporting, testing and health and safety requirements if unvaccinated.

I work fully remote or in a non-clinical environment. Do I need to comply with this policy?

Yes. This policy applies to all of our workforce, regardless of whether they work on-site or remotely.

Are there any exemptions to this policy?

Yes. For more information on exemptions, please review our policy guidance and procedures or see the Exemptions FAQ.

When are the deadlines for vaccination(s)?

All Workforce Members must receive their first dose of the vaccine (and upload proof of vaccination) no later than September 10, 2021 and any applicable second dose (and upload proof of vaccination) no later than October 15, 2021. Workforce Members will not be considered to have met these deadlines without uploading proof of vaccination.

Do I have until October 15 if I choose to receive the single dose vaccine?

No. Proof of vaccination (whether that be a first dose or a single dose vaccine) must be provided by September 10, 2021.

Where can I schedule a COVID-19 vaccination?

Appointments can be scheduled in a variety of ways, including:

  • Through UConn Health MyChart.
  • By calling the Vaccine Call Center at 860-679-5589.
  • By visiting the Outpatient Pavilion, 1st Floor (walk-ins welcome for first doses only).
    • Hours of Operation:
      • Monday: 1-3:30 p.m.
      • Tuesday: 1-3:30 p.m.
      • Wednesday: 7 a.m.-12 p.m.
      • Thursday: 1-3:30 p.m.
      • Friday: 1:30-4 p.m.
      • Saturday: 7:30-10:30 a.m.
      • Sunday: Closed
  • Through your own medical provider if you are not a UConn Health patient.
  • By scheduling through another provider identified through the state’s vaccination portal.

Will getting the vaccine cost me money?

No. There are no out-of-pocket expenses to individuals who receive their COVID-19 vaccine at UConn Health. Insurance will be billed for administration of the vaccine, but copays or additional expenses to the patient are never charged.

Do I have to receive my vaccination at UConn Health?

No. There are no out-of-pocket expenses to individuals who receive their COVID-19 vaccine at UConn Health. Insurance will be billed for administration of the vaccine, but copays or additional expenses to the patient are never charged.

Questions or concerns about Human Resources?
Contact HR-EmployeeResource@uchc.edu

Communications Archive

2/15/2022: COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy

As announced on August 18, 2021, all UConn Health employees, volunteers, medical staff members, and badged contractors (“Workforce Members”) are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This requirement applies to Workforce Members regardless of whether they work on-site or remotely, unless the individual qualifies for an exemption or a deferral as provided by the policy and procedures.

The Connecticut legislature voted into law the Governor’s Executive Order that requires our workforce receive COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, and to extend the deadline to receive a COVID-19 booster, if eligible, to March 7, 2022.

By March 7, UConn Health employees, volunteers, medical staff members, and others who have UConn Health badges to work in our facilities (“Workforce Members”) who are eligible under CDC guidelines for a COVID-19 booster are required to receive a booster. Also, for those who are UConn Health employees, you must update your booster status on the UConn Health Employee Vaccine Registry by March 7.

Complying With the Booster Requirement

Employees who have received their COVID-19 booster shots can upload proof in the UConn Health Employee Vaccine Registry.

For help uploading, review the instructions on how to upload your vaccine card using a home computer or a networked UConn Health computer.

To comply with the governor’s order, we ask all UConn Health employees eligible to receive a COVID booster shot to upload this information as soon as possible.

If you haven’t received your booster yet, please schedule your booster through MyChart or by calling the UConn Health Vaccine Call Center, 860-679-5589.

It is the responsibility of each employee to understand when he or she is eligible for a booster consistent with CDC guidelines. Visit COVID-19 Boosters and Third Doses for more on eligibility guidelines. We will continue to provide updates through broadcast messages should these booster eligibility guidelines change.

Please note: Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 are eligible for a booster shot as soon as their symptoms subside, unless otherwise directed by a physician.

Exemptions and Deferrals

If UConn Health has already approved you for an exemption or deferral from COVID-19 vaccination, you do not need to take any action to comply with this new booster requirement. Existing exemptions will carry over to this new booster requirement.

If you are a fully-vaccinated employee who now seeks a deferral or exemption from the booster requirement, the UConn Health Mandatory Vaccination policy allows for exemptions or deferrals on the basis of a sincere religious belief or medical condition. Employees may request a new medical or religious exemption or deferral for the COVID-19 booster by logging into the COVID-19 Vaccine Registry and uploading their signed and completed exemption or deferral request form. Employees will have an additional 30 days to provide any supporting medical documentation for a medical exemption or deferral request.

COVID-19 Vaccine Registry

Exemption Request Forms

Information on Exemption and Deferral Types

This a reminder that UConn Health is only granting requests on the basis of a sincerely-held religious belief or medical reason. Please review the UConn Health Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Procedures for more examples and guidance on types of requests that will be considered.

If you have any additional questions, contact VAXquestion@uchc.edu. If you need IT assistance in uploading your forms, call 860-679-4400.

Contracted Workforce Members

Medical providers and others who provide services to UConn Health under contract must also comply with Governor Lamont’s executive order requiring COVID-19 boosters by March 7 (if eligible). However, these individuals are not able to use the Employee Vaccine Registry to demonstrate compliance. In the coming weeks, all badged contractors will be required to verify their booster status at WellScreen devices when entering UConn Health facilities.

Our contracted workforce colleagues, however, are welcome to schedule their booster shots through MyChart or by calling the UConn Health Vaccine Call Center at 860-679-5589. We also invite our contracted staff to make use of our special employee-only booster clinics as they are offered.

Being fully-vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 is the most effective means of preventing the most serious impacts of this virus, and controls infection and subsequent transmission to our patients and fellow employees. Thank you, as always, for your commitment to health and safety and for your support of these important requirements.

1/11/2022: COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy

As announced on August 18, 2021, all UConn Health employees, volunteers, medical staff members, and badged contractors (“Workforce Members”) are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This requirement applies to Workforce Members regardless of whether they work on-site or remotely, unless the individual qualifies for an exemption or a deferral as provided by the policy and procedures.

On January 6, 2022, Governor Lamont signed Executive Order No. 14C, requiring state hospital employees to receive COVID-19 booster shots if eligible. UConn Health supports this decision, as boosters have been shown to be highly effective in preventing the most serious effects of COVID-19. We are currently taking the necessary steps to implement this Executive Order, and more details will be provided shortly.

Scheduling Your Booster

If you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster, and you have not yet received one, please visit MyChart or call the UConn Health Vaccine Call Center at 860-679-5589 to schedule your booster.

Demonstrating Proof of Vaccination

  • Timing. Workforce Members were required to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated or have received at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine no later than September 10, 2021, and (for those who received or will be receiving the 2-dose mRNA vaccines, e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) that they received their second dose no later than October 15, 2021. New Workforce Members must be vaccinated upon beginning to work at UConn Health.

Workforce Members who are NOT UConn Health employees or volunteers, but who work onsite at UConn Health under contract, are required to provide proof of vaccination to their employers. Contractors who provide their employees to work regularly onsite at UConn Health are required to maintain this documentation on their employees’ vaccination status, for purposes of audit.

Follow these instructions step-by-step to upload your proof of vaccination:

  1. Use your ‘personal or work’ phone or a scanner to take a picture of the COVID vaccination record card.
  2. You are only required to take a picture of the front side of the COVID vaccination record card.
  3. Send the picture or scanned image to your work email.
  4. Once you receive the email, proceed to save the image to a location on your PC.
    1. Double click to open the image attachment.
    2. Once the file is opened, Press CTRL+S or select File Save As.
    3. Choose a location where you would like to save the file. Remember the location where you saved your file. You will need this location when you upload the form on the UConn Health COVID vaccine registry website.
    4. You must enter a name for the file if you are saving it for the first time.
  5. Go to the UConn Health COVID vaccine registry website. Note: You must be logged into the UConn Health network and you must use a desktop computer.
  6. Sign in using your UConn Health username and password (your username and password is the same as your network ID and password).
  7. Complete the questions on the website and upload your image as an attachment.

Submitting a Request for an Exemption or Deferral

Workforce members who believe they have a medical condition that prevents them from receiving or that necessitates a delay in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine may request a medical exemption or deferral. Additionally, those who have a sincerely held religious belief that prohibits them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine may request a religious exemption. Personal deferrals may also be requested and will be approved under very limited circumstances such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, or if a Workforce Member is on approved block leave time.

Please note that individuals who are approved for an exemption or deferral will need to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and take heightened protective measures against COVID-19.

UConn Health employees and volunteers must submit requests for an Exemption or Deferral to UConn Health. Workforce Members who work for contractors must submit such requests to their employers.  Contractors are required to maintain documentation of these requests by their employees who regularly work onsite at UConn Health, assess them in accordance with UConn Health’s Mandatory Vaccination policy and procedures, and ensure that any employee approved for an exemption or deferral is tested weekly for COVID-19. Any employee who tests positive shall not be permitted onsite at UConn Health.

  • How to Upload Exemption/Deferral Forms
    1. Download the appropriate Exemption/Deferral form: Medical Exemption, Medical Deferral, or Personal Deferral or Religious Exemption.
    2. Print the Exemption/Deferral form by choosing the network printer that is connected to your PC.
    3. Fill out all the necessary information.
    4. Email or scan the form as an attachment to your work email.
    5. Once you receive the email, save the Exemption/Deferral form to a location on your PC.
      1. Double click to open the attachment.
      2. Once the file is opened, Press CTRL+S or select File Save As.
      3. Choose a location where you would like to save the file on your PC. Remember the location where you saved your file. You will need this location when you upload the form on the UConn Health COVID vaccine registry website.
      4. You must enter a name for the file if you are saving it for the first time.
    6. Go to the UConn Health COVID vaccine registry website. Note: You must be logged into the UConn Health network.
    7. Sign in using your UConn Health username and password (your username and password is the same as your network ID and password).
    8. Complete all the questions on the website and upload your form as an attachment.

7/16/2020: COVID – Voluntary Schedule Reduction Program (VSRP)

The Voluntary Schedule Reduction Program (VSRP) enables employees to temporarily reduce their work schedules with unpaid leave, without affecting most of their other State benefits. This program is authorized by the State of Connecticut in Section of 5-248c of the General Statutes and is administered at UConn by Human Resources at Storrs and Farmington. All employees with at least 6 months of service who work an FTE of at least 50% are eligible, and employees may apply for sporadic days off, work schedule reductions, or a leave of absence.

Your participation in this program is entirely voluntary and the University understands that each of your situations are different.

We are encouraging employees to consider this program and managers to approve those requests that do not result in overtime costs or have a significant impact on critical services. VSRP requests may be approved or declined by management based on the need of the department or division. Storrs and Regional employees may apply and review FAQs through the Storrs/Regionals HR website. UConn Health employees may apply and review FAQs through the UConn Health HR website.

7/16/2020: COVID – Voluntary Schedule Reduction Program (VSRP)

To All UConn and UConn Health Colleagues:

As noted by President Katsouleas and UConn Health CEO Andy Agwunobi, our educational, research and healthcare organizations are facing a difficult FY21. I know each of you are working hard to fulfill the missions of this University and your efforts are inspiring. Still, we are taking steps to reduce the projected deficits.

I have been asked to reach out to you to encourage the use of the Voluntary Schedule Reduction Program (VSRP) that enables employees to temporarily reduce their work schedules with unpaid leave, without affecting most of their other State benefits. This program is authorized by the State of Connecticut in Section of 5-248c of the General Statutes and is administered at UConn by Human Resources at Storrs and Farmington. All employees with at least 6 months of service who work an FTE of at least 50% are eligible, and employees may apply for sporadic days off, work schedule reductions, or a leave of absence.

Your participation in this program is entirely voluntary and the University understands that each of your situations are different.

We are encouraging employees to consider this program and managers to approve those requests that do not result in overtime costs or have a significant impact on critical services. VSRP requests may be approved or declined by management based on the need of the department or division. Storrs and Regional employees may apply and review FAQs through the Storrs/Regionals HR website. UConn Health employees may apply and review FAQs through the UConn Health HR website.

These are difficult economic and personal times for each of us, our families, friends, colleagues, and the University, State of Connecticut, nation, and world. On behalf of President Katsouleas and Dr. Agwunobi, thank you for considering the VSRP program.

Sincerely,

Christopher Delello

4/9/2020: Timecard Guidance

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employee timecards must track the categories of time shown in the PDF below.

Please understand the grid may not have captured every particular situation. If you cannot make a determination with the aid of the grid, please contact the Employee Resource Center for assistance. Please also understand that in addition to what you record on the timecard, you may be required to provide medical and/or leave documentation to the Leave Management unit. You may also contact the Employee Resource Center for Leave team questions.

Faculty timecards are due this pay period. Faculty continue to only record vacation usage.

Updates to the guidance will be provided as appropriate. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through the evolving time reporting requirements related to COVID-19.

View the timecard guidance chart.

4/6/2020: Frequently Asked Questions for Clinical Employees Regarding COVID-19 Exposure, Quarantine, and Testing

Please note that FAQs relating to a host of other human resources questions, and FAQs for non-clinical employees may be found here. Please feel free to reach out to Human Resources with any questions you may have at HR-EmployeeResource@uchc.edu

Q.1 I am a clinical staff person and I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, what should I do?

A.1 If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, dry cough, body aches, loss of smell or taste, headache) you should immediately call the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199 and contact your manager. The staff at the call center can order and schedule a COVID-19 test for you at UConn Health. If you are experiencing symptoms, you should not report to work unless cleared by Employee Health to do so or until at least 1 week has passed since the onset of symptoms, symptoms have improved and you have been free of fever without any fever-reducing medications for at least 72 hours. Prior to reporting back to work, you should notify (1) the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199 for clearance, (2) your manager and (3) human resources through email at HR-EmployeeResources@uchc.edu.

Q.2 I have tested positive for COVID-19, what should I do?

A.2 If you have received a positive test result, either through the COVID-19 Call Center process or through your personal physician and/or testing from another institution, you should immediately notify the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199. You should notify your manager and Human Resources through email at HR-EmployeeResources@uchc.edu. You should follow the instructions of the COVID-19 Call Center and not return to work until at least 1 week has passed since the onset of symptoms, overall symptoms have improved and you have been free of fever without any fever-reducing medications for at least 72 hours. 

Q.3 What should I do if I have been exposed to someone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19? Does it matter if this exposure was outside of work, with a co-worker, or with a patient?

A.3 Each of the scenarios noted above is addressed below in order:

a) If you have been exposed outside of work to a COVID-19 symptomatic or positive individual, you should call the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199. You may be instructed, depending on the date of last known contact or length and circumstances of the contact, to self-isolate and self-monitor for a recommended period of time up to 14 calendar days from the date of exposure. If you were determined to be at low risk, you may be instructed to self-monitor and can report to work as normal. If you are recommended to be quarantined/self-isolate you should contact Human Resources at HR-EmployeeResource@uchc.edu.  If during this period you develop new symptoms, you should notify the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199 or your personal physician.

b) If you have been exposed to a co-worker who is positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by the COVID-19 Call Center or your manager who will conduct a tracer and risk assessment as to whether you were a prolonged, close contact to such individual and may be required to be excluded from the workplace for a period of up to 14 calendar days for quarantine/self-isolation. If the symptomatic co-worker is discovered to not have COVID-19, you will be notified to return to work immediately. You will be instructed to contact the COVID-19 Call Center and your manager at the end of the recommended isolation period and prior to your return to work. If during this period you develop new symptoms, you should contact your personal physician and notify the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199.

If you were not a prolonged close contact and are considered to be an individual who is at low risk for exposure, you may be eligible to continue working. A close contact is defined as an individual who has been within 6 feet for a pro-longed period of time, i.e. for longer than 15 minutes, or someone who has had direct contact with the infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case, for example being coughed on while not wearing any PPE. Close contact does not include a brief or passing interaction with an individual.

As with all potential exposures, the time period of quarantine/self-isolation is from the date of exposure to COVID-19. If you have been cleared to return to work you should also contact Human Resources at HR-EmployeeResources@uchc.edu.

c) If you have been exposed to a patient who is positive for COVID-19 and you were in close contact with the patient or the patient’s secretions and you were not wearing a mask or other PPE, you will be notified by the COVID-19 Call Center, other medical staff or your manager that you have been exposed. Depending on the exposure you may be required to be excluded from the work place for a period of up to 14 calendar days for quarantine/self-isolation from the date of exposure. You will be instructed to contact the COVID-19 Call Center and your manager at the end of the recommended isolation period and prior to your return to work.

If you have any concern about a potential exposure to an individual with COVID-19, please contact the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199 to discuss the nature of the exposure. As with all potential exposures the time period of quarantine/self-isolation is from the date of exposure to COVID-19. If you have been cleared to return to work you should also contact Human Resources at HR-EmployeeResources@uchc.edu.

Q.4 Will I receive pay if I have been quarantined/self-isolated, have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with COVID-19?

A.4 If you meet the above criteria with regard to exposure to, suspected or diagnosed COVID-19 positive you will be eligible for up to 14 calendar days (typically 10 work days) of administrative leave that will not come out of your leave benefits, i.e., sick, vacation or personal leave. If you are sick beyond the period noted above you will have to utilize your accrued leave benefits.

Any other illness will require the use of your leave benefits in accordance with normal process and procedures. If you are asking for administrative leave for COVID-19 symptoms you must provide documentation of that fact and may only be provided administrative leave if testing is not available to you through the COVID-19 Call Center process.

Q.5 As a frontline clinical staff person am I limited to a single 14-day administrative leave if I have been exposed, quarantined and returned to work only to be notified I have again been exposed?

A.5 If UConn Health has excluded you from work for the safety of you, your co-workers and/or patients, you can be placed on paid administrative leave for quarantine/self-isolation or monitoring on more than one occasion.

Q.6 What do I do if I am in contact with someone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive or is confirmed positive for COVID-19?

A.6 Close contacts of someone who has been in contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 (i.e., "contacts of contacts") do not warrant quarantine or any special management.

Further, it should be noted that the now mandatory policy of UConn Health to mask all employees while working should result in the need for fewer circumstances where quarantine/self-isolation are warranted.

Q.7 I am a manager and I have been told that I have an employee who has been told to be out of work for quarantine/self-isolation, what are my responsibilities?

A.7 If your employee or Employee Health has contacted you because an employee has been recommended to be out for a period of time, you need to ensure that the following has been done (1) confirm with the employee (if that employee is notifying you directly) that the COVID-19 Call Center has been contacted, and (2) that Human Resources has been notified through email at HR-EmployeeResources@uchc.edu.

Q.8 I am experiencing child care issues and want to know what I can do?

A.8 Employees should first turn to trusted friends and family for assistance during this period of time to seek childcare help.  Also we are directing individuals to call 211 and in particular the dedicated healthcare employee childcare line at 860-756-0864. We also recommend you contact UConn Health’s own Childcare Center. We have been working with the State’s Office of Early Childhood to increase the capacity at our Childcare Center and can work with employees to accommodate the need during this time.

If you are non-clinical staff and/or telecommuting you should review the questions and responses to the FAQ provided on the Human Resources website where these topics are specifically addressed.

The following information may be helpful to you as you contact the COVID-19 Call Center in understanding and addressing issues:

Close Contact: (1) Being within approximately 6 feet of an individual who is COVID-19 positive for a prolonged period of time; examples include living with, working in close proximity with, caring for or visiting; OR (2) direct contact with the infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case, for example being coughed on while not wearing any PPE.

Self-monitoring: Taking your temperature 2x per day and remaining alert for respiratory symptoms, body aches or a loss of a sense of smell or taste.  If experiencing these symptoms, call the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199.

Active monitoring: Regular communication with public health authority, occupational health or infection control, and the potentially exposed healthcare provider to assess the presence of fever or respiratory symptoms. If you have been exposed without the proper precautions or without wearing PPE, this should occur at least 1x per day.

4/2/2020: Emotional Support Resources for Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an emotional time for all. To provide you with support during this unprecedented time we are sharing the following resources on our HR webpage.

In addition to these resources currently available, next week we will be announcing a new program, “Taking Care of our Own,” which will enable our employees to schedule telehealth private sessions and work team debriefings with UConn Health EAP and Department of Psychiatry clinicians.

Seek emotional support when you need it. Email or call 860-679-2877. Same day, confidential appointments are available now with the Employee Assistance Program. Just provide a number for them to call you, and a time you prefer to be contacted.

#FirstRespondersFirst an initiative to support and sustain the health and well-being of frontline workers amidst COVID-19 conceived by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Thrive Global.

Toolkit for Emotional Coping for Healthcare Staff developed by the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress.

Secondary Traumatic Stress for Healthcare Professionals developed by the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress.

Sustaining the Well-Being of Healthcare Personnel during coronavirus and other Infectious Disease Outbreak, CSTS.

Self-care Tips to Reduce Anxiety as COVID-19 cases increase, watch tips on what you can do to strengthen yourself.

Managing Stress

Coping With COVID? Mastering Social (But Not Emotional) Distancing Dr. Julian Ford shares his thoughts and recommendations on ways to handle the stress.

Download 5-, 10- and 20-minute meditations from our Department of Psychiatry to help you with enhancing immune functioning, sleep and overall stress management.

Livestream Guided Meditation recordings offered by the Copper Beech Institute.

Listen to the Labyrinth Podcast, mindfulness teachings, talks and discussions as well as helpful meditations offered by the Copper Beech Institute.

The meditation app Headspace has announced that it is making its premium tier free for all U.S. healthcare professionals who work in public health settings.

Ten Percent Happier is also offering free access to their app to all frontline health workers.

3/19/2020: 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 HR-employeeresource@uchc.edu 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.

3/18/2020: Guidelines for Individuals Who May Be at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19

In 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.

  1. Age: If you are age 65 or older, you may be considered for re-assignment.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  1. 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 HR-employeeresource@uchc.edu 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 agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory including the following:

Generic Name               Trade Name

Abatacept                           Orencia

Adalimumab                      Humira

Alemtuzumab                   Campath

Anakinra                              Kineret

Atezolizumab                    Tecentriq

Avelumab                           Bavencio

Basiliximab                        Simulect

Belatacept                          Nulojix

Bevacizumab                     Avastin

Certolizumab pegol         Cimzia

Cetuximab                          Erbitux

Dasatinib                            Sprycel

Dimethyl fumarate          Tecfidera

Etanercept                          Enbrel

Fingolimod                         Gilenya

Glatiramer acetate           Copaxone

Golimumab                        Simponi

Ibritumomab tiuxetan    Zevalin

Ibrutinib                               Imbruvica

Imatinib mesylate            Gleevec, STI 571

Infliximab                            Remicade

Interferon alfa                   Pegasys, PegIntron

Interferon beta-1a          Avonex, Rebif

Interferon beta-1b          Betaseron

Natalizumab                       Tsabri

Nivolumab                          Opdivo

Ofatumumab                     Arzerra

Panitumumab                   Vectibix

Pembrolizumab                Keytruda

Lenalidomide                     Revlimid

Rilonacept                           Arcalyst

Rituximab                            Rituxan

Sarilumab                            Kevzara

Secukinumab                     Cosentyx

Sunitinib malate               Sutent

Tocilizumab                        Actemra

Tofacitinib                           Xeljanz

Trastuzumab                      Herceptin

Ustekinumab                     Stelara

Vedolizumab                     Entyvio

Human Resources
HR-employeeresource@uchc.edu