Before you Return to Campus
2. Schedule your COVID-19 diagnostic test. Employees are strongly encouraged to obtain a COVID-19 test before returning to work. The initial test is available through Student Health Services and the cost of the test will be charged to your insurance. Employees who do not have insurance will also be able to obtain the test at no cost. Additional information is available through Student Health Services.
3. Coordinate with your supervisor regarding any changes that have been made to your work schedule or workspace. You should have received a return to work letter indicating the date you were authorized to return to campus.
4. Discuss any concerns you have about returning to work on campus with your supervisor.
Returning to Campus
1. Follow the safety guidelines. The most important thing you can do keep yourself and others safe is to follow the safety guidelines. This includes:
- monitoring yourself for symptoms every day
- staying home if you are sick
- wearing your face covering
- washing your hands frequently
- maintaining a distance of six feet from others
- disinfecting surfaces and maintaining a clean workspace
2. Get the facts about COVID-19. Know the symptoms and what you can do to reduce your risk.
3. Take the pledge. Show your commitment to the University of South Carolina and the City of Columbia by pledging to do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
4. Set a good example. When you do your part to keep the campus safe and healthy it makes it easier for others to do theirs. Wear a face covering and keep your distance to let others know how important those actions are.
5. Communicate with your supervisor. Let your supervisor know about any issues or concerns so that you can address them together.
6. Connect with your colleagues. Reach out to colleagues who are working different schedules or who are continuing to work remotely to coordinate your efforts and reduce feelings of isolation.
7. Seek help if you are experiencing stress or anxiety. Employees have 24/7 access to counseling services through the Employee Assistance Program.
8. Know what you should do if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for or is experiencing symptoms of COVID -19.
9. Follow guidance if you are required to quarantine.
- To self-quarantine you are to stay home for 14 days. You must also avoid physical contact with other people and not share household items. Be alert for symptoms of COVID-19.
- If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, chills, cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, headache, or sore throat, call UofSC’s 24/7 Coronavirus Phone Bank at 803-576-8511, or contact your health care provider. The hotline will walk you through the isolation protocol and initiate contact tracing.
10. Take action if you experience symptoms of COVID-19.
- If you are sick, notify your supervisor and stay home or return home.
- If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, chills, cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, headache, or sore throat, call UofSC’s Coronavirus 24/7 Phone Bank at 803-576-8511, or contact your health care provider. The Phone Bank will walk you through the isolation protocol and initiate contact tracing.
- Notify Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) at 803-528-8191 so EHS can investigate and determine if this potential illness meets the OSHA’s reporting requirements for a workplace illness.
The university requires face coverings to be worn at all times inside all campus buildings – except when alone in a private office or when eating. All individuals on campus in outdoor areas are expected to wear a face covering whenever physical distancing (six feet or more) is difficult or the risk of infection is high.
If you have a health condition that makes wearing a face covering difficult you are encouraged to talk with your direct supervisor about accommodations. Your supervisor may ask you for documentation from your heath care provider. The documentation does not need to provide specific information about your health condition, but will need to confirm that there is a medical reason you cannot safely wear a face covering.
Balancing Childcare and Work
During the fall semester many K-12 schools will be operating on modified schedules, after school programs may be limited, and day-care providers will be operating under stricter guidelines. We know that this will create additional challenges for our employees who have school age or pre-school children. The following information is provided to assist employees who need to balance childcare and work.
Discuss your situation with your supervisor. Your supervisor may be able to provide you with additional flexibility in your work hours or location. Please be aware that your supervisor must also take into consideration the needs of the university and the requirements of your job. They may not be able to approve every request.
In order to accommodate your childcare responsibilities you may want to consider the following options and review them with your supervisor who will need to approve any changes to your work schedule or requests for leave.
- Modify your work schedule, either by adjusting your hours or working for some or all of your time from home.
- Use available leave; with supervisor approval employees may use accrued time off for related absences (compensatory time, annual leave, or sick leave, as applicable) to cover time during which they are unable to work.
- Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Emergency Family and Medical Leave which provide leave for employees who are unable to work, including work-from-home, as a result of having to care for a minor child due to a COVID- 19 related closure of a school or childcare center.
- If other options have been exhausted you may need to consider going on leave without pay.
- SC Child Care provides information about local child care providers and the SC Voucher Program
- Child Care Resource and Referral provides information to families such as child care locator, childcare voucher and tax credit information, child development information, home activities, household budget & planning calculator, and other resources.
- Palmetto Pre-K- One-stop shop for finding free or subsidized educational pre-k programs in South Carolina.
- Child Care Handbook [pdf] breaks down the different types of childcare and reviews the pros and cons of each.
Resources are available to assist employees who continue to work remotely.
Your supervisor is available to assist you as you transition back into the workplace or continue to work remotely and answer your questions. If you have additional concerns, your department or division HR Contact is also able to answer questions and help resolve problems.