It continues to be imperative that all community members understand and adhere to requests for self-reporting COVID-19-related information and expectations of administrators for notifying University officials when a student or employee shares COVID-19 related information. As previously communicated to campus, instructions are outlined below for notifying university officials of absences or travel associated with COVID-19.
Managing COVID-19-Related Absences
If a UTC student or employee reports:
(1) having been asked to self-observe, self-monitor, or actively monitor symptoms compatible with COVID-19;
(2) having been in close contact with someone with COVID-19;
(3) having had direct contact with someone infected with COVID-19; or
(4) having symptoms compatible with COVID-19,
- then students should officially notify the university by submitting the online COVID-19 Absence/Travel Form. Upon notification, Student Affairs will collaborate with University Health Services and Emergency Services to determine appropriate next steps.
- then employees should officially notify the university of the COVID-19-related absence by informing their immediate supervisor of the need for leave in accordance with departmental communication expectations. The supervisor of the employee should then notify their next level of administration and submit a formal notification to the UTC Office of Human Resources via the online COVID-19 Absence/Travel Form. Upon notification, Human Resources will make contact with the supervisor to confirm appropriate next steps and notify UTC Emergency Services of confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses or suspected case/exposure when applicable.
As a general rule, employees should not report to campus while they are ill. According to CDC guidelines, individuals who are diagnosed with, are suspected to have been exposed to, or having symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus should follow steps to self-quarantine. Recommendations regarding effective self-quarantine practices can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html.
If an individual is unsure if their situation or symptoms may necessitate self-quarantine, then they are encouraged to phone the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 423-209-8383 or their personal health care provider to seek guidance.
International and Domestic Work-Related Travel Restrictions
In addition to prior restrictions on international travel, the University is suspending indefinitely all non-essential, domestic, University-related business travel for faculty and staff. Such travel might include conferences, research, recruiting, and other business-related travel. We highly recommend using ZOOM and other technology-based group communications platforms. If an employee wishes to continue with planned domestic business travel, they must seek an exception through their appropriate Vice Chancellor. The campus Chief Business Officer, Dr. Richard Brown, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Emergency Services, Robie Robinson, will review and evaluate all exception requests.
Faculty or staff who have traveled within the past 14 days or plan to do so in the near future to an area with ongoing community transmission that is not your current permanent residence must follow the steps for reporting such travel outlined below. Please review the area which you may have travelled or plan to travel at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html#travel-1. Travel alerts should include any location on a cruise ship. Steps for reporting are as follows:
(1) The employee shall “self-report” the travel and location to their immediate supervisor prior to the event for upcoming travel plans, or prior to returning to the campus and remain in a “Self-Quarantine” status until further notification.
(2) The supervisor should notify Human Resources of the travel notice via the online COVID-19 Absence/Travel Form.
(3) HR, University Health Services and Emergency Services shall review the matter and advise accordingly, which may include requiring the employee to complete a 2-week self-quarantine period. The employee shall be on paid administrative leave status during any 2-week self-quarantine/isolation period required by the university upon review and recommendation by Human resources.
Please contact Laure Pou with the UTC Office of Human Resources if you have any questions regarding instructions for notifying the university of employee-related COVID-19 matters at this time.