University Update to COVID-19

3/21/2020

To the UConn Community:

As you may be aware, Governor Lamont today ordered that all non-essential businesses in Connecticut must temporarily close and non-essential workers should remain at home until further notice.

As the governor made clear, a variety of businesses would remain open as usual including grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, banks and credit unions, and restaurants can continue to provide take-out service. Offices, malls, clothing stores and other non-essential retail will be closed. The order takes effect at 8 a.m. Monday, March 23.

The governor’s order is meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the best interests of public health. We at UConn must do all we can to support that effort for the health of our own community, and the state as a whole.

Students currently housed on campus who intended to leave following spring break may move out as planned. Residential Life will be in contact with students who are currently away from campus regarding when you may return to retrieve your belongings.

Students who are living in UConn housing and have received permission from Residential Life to remain here after spring break concludes may stay on campus as planned, and we will continue to provide essential services, including take-out dining and student health.

What the governor’s order means for UConn’s workforce:

· All employees who have been told to telecommute must continue to do so, except in those instances when they need to travel to campus to address an urgent matter that is critical to the function of the university at the direction of, or with the permission of, their manager. In these instances, managers and employees must practice social distancing.

· Employees who have been told by their manager that they are not eligible to telecommute will continue to be expected to be available for work and will be assigned work on an equitable, rotating basis with similarly situated employees who have direct and immediate responsibility for keeping critical operations going at the University, as determined by their manager. Managers may also assign mission-critical employees to telecommute.

· All managers are being asked with this announcement to make the determination of who is immediately critical under these circumstances. Any questions about this should be directed to hr@uconn.edu.

Effective Monday, March 23, no UConn employee at the Storrs campus, regional campuses, or law school should be in the workplace until further notice unless their work is deemed to be critical by their manager as described above.

More information will be provided in the coming days as managers and department leaders work on schedules to operationalize this change.

For information regarding critical research personnel and activities, please go to ovpr.uconn.edu.

There will be no public access to campus buildings during this time.

Please note that this message does NOT apply to UConn Health. We appreciate all that our colleagues at UConn Health are doing for our state and its residents during this public health crisis, and they will receive a separate message from Dr. Agwunobi and his senior leadership team.

Continuing the critical operations of the University at Storrs, the regional campuses, and law school will require all of us to work together as a team more than ever before. These are extraordinary times, and we need to support one another and be as cautious as we can be.

3/19/2020

To the University Community:

PASS/FAIL OPTION FOR CLASSES: UConn is providing flexibility for students and its schools and colleges at the Storrs and regional campuses regarding taking spring 2020 undergraduate courses on a pass/fail basis. Students may now elect pass/fail grading or drop a course at any time by the last day of classes, but should consult with their advisers first. The Provost’s Office notified faculty and academic administrators of details in a letter Thursday.

RESEARCHERS’ CHECKLIST: UConn’s Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) provides a checklist for researchers at UConn and UConn Health to safely prepare for curtailed activities in their labs. Additional information, resources, FAQs and messages are available on the OVPR’s COVID-19 Research Guidance page.

ADMITTED STUDENT EVENTS CANCELED: Given current health and safety concerns, UConn is canceling its admitted student events across all campuses and throughout the U.S. for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. The university will provide those admitted applicants with information in coming days on virtual programming and alternative visit options.

3/18/2020

To the University Community:

PRESIDENT’S VIRTUAL TOWN HALL: President Katsouleas and others participated today in an online virtual town hall meeting, where they answered a wide range of questions from students and employees. The event was livestreamed and can be watched anytime on UConn’s YouTube channel.

COVID-19 CALL CENTER: UConn Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center to address questions and concerns related to coronavirus. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and is available to UConn employees, patients, students, and the community. Questions and concerns can be directed to 860-679-3199.

DETAILED RESEARCH GUIDANCE: In addition to the research link on the main coronavirus information page, the university also has more detailed guidance for the researcher community and others on a page created by the Office for the Vice President for Research.

INFORMATION ON RENTED TEXTS, GRADUATION REGALIA: The UConn Bookstore is sharing information to help answer questions about returning rented texts and seeking refunds for regalia they purchased for May’s commencement ceremony, which has been canceled.

ISSS SERVICES UPDATE: With the office of International Student and Scholar Services now providing almost all of its services remotely, additional information is being provided on ways to get remote advising, seek processing for applications, and other services.

REMINDER – HELPFUL RESOURCES:

– Human Resources FAQ
– IT Guide to Telecommuting
– FAQ on Suspension of Institutional Travel (UPDATED TODAY)
– Approaches to Teaching Remotely
– Form to Report International Travel
– President’s Virtual Town Hall on Friday, March 12
– Coronavirus FAQ from Student Health and Wellness

3/17/2020

To the University Community:

Below, please find the university’s daily update on UConn’s preparations and response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The information is current as of this writing, but continue to check UConn’s main coronavirus information page for updates and additional details.

Please review the items below carefully as there may be information you must know or actions you need to take.

SPRING CLASSES TO REMAIN ONLINE; COMMENCEMENT CANCELED: In light of state and federal guidance limiting crowd sizes, President Katsouleas announced today that coursework at UConn will be delivered online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, including final exams, and that there will be no May commencement exercises this year. His letter to the community also includes important information on student housing, telecommuting, research and other issues.

WEDNESDAY ‘TOWN HALL’: Please join President Katsouleas at 11 a.m. Wednesday for another Virtual Town Hall, in which he will provide updates and the chance for students and employees to have their questions answered in real time. More details can be found here about accessing the event online and submitting questions in advance.

RESEARCH RAMPING DOWN: To maintain social distancing in accordance with CDC guidance, UConn is directing researchers to immediately start ramping down activities including laboratory, animal and non-therapeutic human subject research. When possible, research that can be done remotely will continue. Critical activities such as maintaining animals, unique reagents, and essential equipment can continue with appropriate planning.

COMPENSATION FOR STUDENT WORKERS: Due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 situation and the financial hardship that the lack of ability to work places on students, UConn notified supervisors this week that they can continue to pay students their regularly scheduled hours from Saturday, March 14 until Sunday, April 5. This is consistent with the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance on paying Federal Work Study participants for the same reasons. In light of today’s announcement about spring semester operations remaining online, supervisors will receive updated guidance on this topic in the near future.

UCONN BOOKSTORES, DAIRY BAR CLOSING: In the interest of employees and the entire UConn community, all locations of the UConn Bookstore have closed. In addition, the UConn Dairy Bar will close starting Thursday, March 19, until further notice.

ISSS GUIDANCE REGARDING ONLINE LEARNING: Given today’s announcement that spring courses will move to an all-online format for the rest of the semester, important new information is being provided for international students, scholars and OPT/CPT students.

HOSTING ACADEMIC EXCHANGE VISITORS: Necessary changes to the university’s J-1 program administration will affect academic departments hosting new visiting professors, research scholars and research students from other countries. Incoming postdoctoral fellows and other temporary staff coming to the U.S. on a J-1 visa may also be impacted. Please review these important changes in form processing, program start dates, and other procedures.

REMINDER – HELPFUL RESOURCES:

– Human Resources FAQ
– IT Guide to Telecommuting
– FAQ on Suspension of Institutional Travel
– Approaches to Teaching Remotely
– Form to Report International Travel
– President’s Virtual Town Hall on Friday, March 12
– Coronavirus FAQ from Student Health and Wellness

3/16/2020

To the University Community:

Below, please find the university’s daily update on UConn’s preparations and response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The information is current as of this writing, but continue to check UConn’s main coronavirus information page for updates and additional details.

Please review the items below carefully as there may be information you must know or actions you need to take.

EMPLOYEE FAQs and HR GUIDANCE TO SUPERVISORS: Human Resources continues to update UConn employees on evolving work conditions based on the coronavirus threat, and today released an updated list of frequently asked questions. Guidance is also available for managers and employees to help determine telecommuting considerations and procedures.

SPRING ATHLETICS CANCELED: All UConn Athletics sports and competitions are canceled for the remainder of the spring season. Monday’s decision was made by UConn Athletics in conjunction with guidance from public health experts and UConn leadership. The NCAA is granting an extra year of eligibility to spring sport athletes nationwide.

UCONN HEALTH ELECTIVE SURGERIES POSTPONED: UConn Health will postpone elective, non-urgent surgeries where appropriate as it responds to the coronavirus pandemic and considers patient care, staff health, resource utilization and public health considerations. UConn Health also said today that physicians will assess cases to ensure patient health and safety, and emergency cases will proceed as usual without delay.

SUMMER 2020 EDUCATION ABROAD CANCELED: UConn notified students today that it has decided to cancel all summer 2020 Education Abroad programs and refund their application fees. Students do not need to take any further action to withdraw their applications.

EXCHANGE STUDENTS ON CAMPUS: UConn today reached out to international academic partners whose students are visiting the university as part of exchange programs. The university’s letter updates the partner institutions on changes in campus operations and coursework due to the coronavirus pandemic, among other information.
____

REMINDER – HELPFUL RESOURCES:

– Human Resources FAQ
– IT Guide to Telecommuting
– FAQ on Suspension of Institutional Travel (Updated Today)
– Approaches to Teaching Remotely
– Form to Report International Travel
– President’s Virtual Town Hall on Friday, March 12
– Coronavirus FAQ from Student Health and Wellness

3/15/2020

To the University Community:

Below, please find the university’s daily update on UConn’s preparations and response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The information is current as of this writing, but continue to check UConn’s main coronavirus information page for updates and additional details.

Please review the items below carefully as there may be information you must know or actions you need to take.

UCONN HEALTH PATIENT: UConn Health had its first COVID-19 positive patient, a Hartford man who was discharged late Saturday and is recovering under quarantine at home. All CDC-recommended precautions were followed to protect staff, visitors, patients and learners. UConn Health officials answered questions Sunday during an event that was recorded and can be viewed here.

(In the interest of expediting its publication, this version of the video does not yet have accurate closed captions. An updated version of the closed captions will be published soon).

ISSS FUNCTIONS AVAILABLE REMOTELY: UConn’s office of International Student and Scholar Services is moving its functions to remote services for advising, processing and other assistance starting Monday. ISSS contacted those students Sunday with relevant details.

REMINDER – HELPFUL RESOURCES:

– Human Resources FAQ
– IT Guide to Telecommuting
– Approaches to Teaching Remotely
– Form to Report International Travel
– President’s Virtual Town Hall on Friday, March 12
– Coronavirus FAQ from Student Health and Wellness

3/14/2020

To the University Community:

Below, please find the university’s daily update on UConn’s preparations and response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The information is current as of this writing, but continue to check UConn’s main coronavirus information page for updates and additional details.

Please review the items below carefully as there may be information you must know or actions you need to take.

TRAVEL GUIDELINES FAQ: Travel guidelines are evolving as circumstances change locally and globally. This FAQ represents the most current guidelines available about restrictions on institutionally sponsored travel, and the university will continue to update it as needed.

CODING CORONAVIRUS-RELATED EXPENSES: It is important that all of the university’s coronavirus-related expenses are properly coded in Concur, Husky Buy and Kuali Financial Systems. Here is detailed guidance on how to correctly record those expenses.

EDUCATION ABROAD’S OUTREACH TO PARTNER PROGRAMS: The UConn Education Abroad office has contacted its international partner institutions and programs to work with them to ensure that UConn students who returned to the U.S. have opportunities to complete their academic requirements.

3/13/2-020

To the University Community:

Below, please find the university’s daily update on UConn’s preparations and response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The information is current as of this writing, but continue to check UConn’s main coronavirus information page for updates and additional details.

Please review the items below carefully as there may be information you must know or actions you need to take.

TELECOMMUTING AND TECH ASSISTANCE: Information Technology Services has provided a wide range of resources, including an IT Guide to Telecommuting, to help facilitate the transition to working online. Other assistance and information about ITS support hours is also available.

UCONN STORRS BUILDING ACCESS: During the next three weeks, UConn Storrs buildings will not be unlocked during their regularly scheduled hours. If you need to access a building during this time, please call the Operations Center at (860) 486-3113.

JORGENSEN CANCELS SEASON’S REMAINING EVENTS: The Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is canceling all remaining events for the spring season in compliance with the governor’s executive order restricting crowd sizes to minimize spread of the virus. Please refer to this letter from the Jorgensen Center for specifics on refund procedures.

UCONN BOOKSTORE SCHEDULES: Effective Saturday, March 14, through April 6, several changes are being made in the operating hours of most UConn Bookstores locations.

GUIDANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS & SCHOLARS: UConn’s International Student and Scholar Services office is providing detailed assistance in this letter about topics such as visa rules, residency reporting requirements, taxes and other information.

UCONN ALUMNI EVENTS CANCELED: All UConn Alumni events will be canceled through April 6, 2020, in keeping with state and university guidance to help protect the health and safety of participants and avoid potential transmission of the illness.

Thank you again for your cooperation and support of the university during these unusual and ever-changing circumstances.

March 12, 2020

To the University Community:

In an effort to centralize communications on coronavirus-related topics, the university is providing a daily update to the UConn community. The following information is current as of this writing, but continue to check the university’s main coronavirus information page for updates and additional details.

Please review the items below carefully as there may be information you must know or actions you need to take.

CURRENT STATUS: As communicated in the president’s message last night, UConn classes on the Storrs and regional campuses and the School of Law will move to online formats beginning March 23, the first day after spring break. He also provided important guidance on telecommuting, limiting crowd sizes, student housing, and other topics.

VIRTUAL TOWN HALL: President Katsouleas hosted a virtual town hall meeting today, March 12, to answer questions about the university’s preparedness and response planning. The event is available for viewing on video; a fully closed-captioned version is also being created and will soon be available as well.

STAMFORD CAMPUS CLOSURE: UConn Stamford is closed effective tomorrow, Friday, March 12. This decision is made in light of the spread of COVID-19 cases in the region, including one in the city of Stamford, as well as its proximity to New York State, where there are a growing number of coronavirus cases. Accommodations will be made for students who must remain at UConn residential housing in Stamford.

GUIDANCE TO MANAGERS AND EMPLOYEES FROM HR: Many questions about specific workplace and family issues are addressed on this Human Resources FAQ. Please also see this message from UConn Human Resources (scroll below the FAQs) for details on telecommuting, illness in the workplace, pay practices and other details.

GUIDANCE ON RESEARCH CONTINUITY: Please see this message from the Office of the Vice President for Research regarding research continuity on our campuses.

ALL EDUCATION ABROAD STUDENTS RECALLED TO U.S.: UConn today notified its approximately 215 students still participating in Education Abroad that those programs are being canceled in response to escalating concerns over the spread of the virus. Information was provided in a letter to the students about travel issues, the potential for partial airfare reimbursement, and other details.

ACCESS TO UCONN LIBRARY SERVICES: Many UConn Library services continue to be available remotely. Details about requesting course reserves, electronic materials and other resources were announced today.

JORGENSEN CANCELS FIVE EVENTS, POSTPONES TWO OTHERS: The Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is canceling five events and postponing two others starting March 14 through April 6 in compliance with crowd size restrictions. Please refer to this letter from the Jorgensen Center for specifics on performances and refund requests.

BALLARD TO CLOSE, CANCEL EVENTS THROUGH APRIL 6: The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will be closed and all performances, forums, space rentals, workshops, and tours will be canceled from March 14 through April 6. The institute announced today that refund checks and gift certificates will be automatically mailed to the address they have on file for each ticketholder.

University update to COVID-19 response as of 3/9/2020:

To the UConn Community:

Earlier today, Governor Lamont sent executive branch agency heads a directive designed to help prevent and delay COVID-19 in Connecticut, including freezing employee travel on state business.

University-Sponsored Travel Outside of Connecticut is Suspended: Though not an executive branch agency, UConn wishes to act in keeping with the governor’s goals. Effective immediately, all domestic and international, university-sponsored travel outside of the state by faculty and staff is suspended until further notice. Any exception needs to be approved by university leadership.

Requests for Travel Exceptions: If you believe an exception should be made for your planned travel, please make a request in writing to the appropriate operational leadership office to whom you report, meaning the President (for units that report directly to the President’s office), Provost, Executive Vice President for Administration/CFO, or the CEO of UConn Health. Each request will be evaluated and a response will be provided.
Travel Updates: In consultation with the Governor’s office, the university may determine what is or is not essential employee travel and will provide you with any updates.
Campus Events: Organizers of events on any of our campuses being attended by out-of-state travelers must continue to consult with the Provost’s office (if the event as academic in nature, including the regional campuses and the schools in Farmington) or the EVP for Administration’s office (if the event is non-academic in nature) to determine if any modifications are needed. This requirement applies to all events sponsored by the University, including schools, colleges, departments as well as employee-sponsored or student-sponsored events.

On-campus activities such as athletic events and fine arts performances can continue as scheduled. If anything changes or if modifications are needed, new guidance will be shared immediately.

Please also continue to consult UConn’s coronavirus information page for resources and guidance on these issues and related topics.

Share
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

You may also like...