COVID-19 Information and Reminders
February 3, 2021
As we approach the February 8 return of students for in-person classes for the Spring Semester, following are a few COVID-related new items and reminders to be aware of:
Work arrangements after February 8 return of in-person classes
On Monday, February 8, the University will welcome those students with in-person classes back to campus as we transition to originally scheduled class modalities. As campus becomes more populated and students and faculty return to classrooms, dining areas and housing, it will be important for some employees with student/public-facing roles to return to campus to provide necessary services and support.
However, it is also important that we continue to protect the health and safety of the campus community. Those who do not have roles that require being on campus should work with their supervisors to continue remote work arrangements, as we did in the Fall Semester, that helped reduce the density on campus.
Employee guidance from Human Resources
Human Resources continues to offer guidance to employees on a number of topics including childcare, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act EPSL and EFMLA (available till March 31, 2021), COVID testing and alternative work arrangements among others. Resources for Employees can be found on the Human Resources website.
COVID relief funds
The Student Financial Assistance Office has received preliminary information regarding Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF II) authorized by the Department of Education through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act 2021 (CRRSAA).
The University is expected to receive $2,945,141 to allocate over the next 12 months. These funds are reserved to provide students with financial aid grants, which may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care, mental health care or childcare. The Act requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need in awarding financial aid grants to students. Receipt of prior CARES Act funds will not make a student ineligible for the new HEERF II funds.
Student Financial Assistance is designing an application which will address eligibility requirements and is anticipated to be launched in the coming weeks. Eligible students will be informed, through their USI email, of the steps necessary to apply for funding and information will be posted on the Student Financial Assistance website.
HEERF II funds are not associated with prior CARES Act/HEERF funds. Receipt of prior CARES Act/HEERF funds should not make a student ineligible for the new HEERF II funds.
Questions can be directed to the Student Financial Assistance Office.
The University will continue to waive the members' cost share, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles, for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19 through March 31 for those employees covered on the USI Anthem Health Insurance Plan. Information on testing in Indiana and surrounding states can be found at USI.edu/covid-19/covid-19-testing/.
All employees and students are strongly encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available to them. The vaccine will be covered at no member cost share for employees covered on the USI Anthem Health Insurance Plan. As of this email, vaccinations in Indiana were available to those age 65 or older, as well those in several other early vaccination groups. For the latest COVID-19 vaccine distribution information for Indiana as well as surrounding states, visit the COVID-19 Vaccination page on the USI website.
Mask up—even if you’ve been vaccinated
As more of our community receives vaccines, it is important to remember that masks should still be worn, even after a full round of vaccinations, to protect oneself and others. Regardless of vaccinations, masks are required in all University buildings and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible, and physical distancing and proper hand hygiene should still be maintained.
New employees and student COVID-19 training
The COVID-19 training presentation, which was distributed to all students and employees last Fall, has been updated with the latest information from the CDC and the most recent University policies. All new employees and students new for the Spring Semester are required to complete the training and will be notified through Human Resources or the Dean of Students Office. To watch the slides again, you may download it now. You may also get a refresher of the information on the COVID-19 resource page.
International travel protocols
In accordance with the CDC and Indiana Department of Health, all students and employees arriving to campus after international travel should adhere to the following requirements:
• Delay travel if you are waiting for test results.
• Get tested 1-3 days before your flight to the US.
• If the result is positive, postpone your return to the US.
• Quarantine for 7 days once returning to the US. Then get tested 3-5 days after travel.
• Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
• If you don’t get tested, stay in quarantine for 10 days after travel.
• Travelers with a known exposure to COVID-19 should delay travel, quarantine themselves from other people, get tested and monitor their health.
• Always follow state and local and USI recommendations or requirements related to travel.