End-of-Year Guidance for Employees
November 23, 2020
As we anticipate the upcoming Thanksgiving break and our students move to virtual learning for the remainder of the Fall Semester, I’d like to share some important information about the end of the year and our efforts to keep our campus safe.
I’d first like to thank you for your patience and for the work you have done thus far to make safety the highest priority. I recognize this semester has not been without challenge and hardship. You have been asked to pivot, and pivot again, and you have done so with grace. I respect and appreciate the time and effort that has gone into making this happen, and I thank you for your willingness to see it through. I also know we have more work ahead to get through the end of this year.
I hope you are able to enjoy some much-needed downtime over the Thanksgiving break, even though this too will be a change from our norms. Please continue to be safe as you celebrate and give thanks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has offered helpful guidance on holiday gatherings.
Please take a minute to familiarize yourself with some additional end-of-year information that follows. Take care of yourself—take care of each other.
Ronald S. Rochon, PhD
As we wind down the year and enter our winter recess, it is important you continue to use the Self-Reporting Form. How individual cases are handled over the break may differ based on exposure, but it is still important to report.
If you are exposed or test positive, you should also contact your local healthcare provider immediately for guidance on next steps to protect yourself and others. The University Health Center will remain open until Wednesday, December 22. The Center will open 8 a.m. to noon on November 25; will be closed November 26 and 27 for the Thanksgiving holiday; and will have special hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 21 and 22. The University Health Center will reopen Monday, January 4 with normal hours.
Human Resources will continue to provide contact tracing. New questions added to the Self-Reporting Form will determine if contact tracing is necessary based on exposure to campus, especially during times of reduced campus density and over the winter recess.
COVID-19 Screening Testing
The University of Southern Indiana is receiving Abbott BinaxNOW rapid-result COVID-19 testing kits through the Indiana State Department of Health. These screening tests, along with PPE, including gloves, gowns and face shields, are being made available at no charge to all Indiana institutions of higher education. BinaxNOW is a less invasive antigen test that swabs only the inside tip of the nostril and produces presumptive positive/negative results within 15 to 30 minutes.
Tests have arrived on the USI campus and will first be offered to student-athletes, students remaining on campus through the end of the Fall Semester, first responders and other employees and students by request beginning December 1. Tests will be administered through the University Health Center by appointment.
The Indiana State Department of Health has advised anyone testing presumptive positive with the rapid screening test to contact their healthcare provider for direction on next steps. Employees should also complete the University’s Self-Reporting Form. The UHC also will continue to offer its regular COVID-19 testing by appointment. The UHC will remain open until Wednesday, December 22. The Center will open 8 a.m. to noon on November 25; will be closed November 26 and 27 for the Thanksgiving holiday; and will have special hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 21 and 22. The University Health Center will reopen Monday, January 4 with normal hours.
Additionally, testing is available off-campus and information by state is included below.
The Indiana State Department of Health COVID-19 Testing site includes a list of testing sites by county. Click on the county desired to see a list of testing locations. Currently there are five testing locations in Vanderburgh County. Each location includes detailed information about hours, criteria for testing, scheduling and results. Please do not visit these locations without first reviewing this information.
The Kentucky Public Health COVID-19 Testing site lets you choose testing locations by county and find other details such as scheduling, who can test and cost.
The Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 Testing site offers locations and contact information for testing.
All employees should continue to work with their supervisors to determine specific work arrangements. Employees and supervisors should work to reduce campus density to the lowest numbers possible until further notice. As always, we should place priority on maintaining in-person arrangements for those providing in-person services to our students and campus community.
Following the Thanksgiving break, all University offices will remain open from November 30 through December 22 and will reopen on January 4. During the periods of online learning in the Fall and Spring Semesters, some offices may hold virtual appointments only. Please call ahead when visiting other departments.
Child Care, Telemedicine and Employee Cost Share
The University continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and to put policies in place to support faculty and staff during these challenging times. A list of COVID-19 information for employees can be found on the Human Resources website.
Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center
For a list of offerings and hours visit the RFWC website.