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What are Vassar’s current COVID-19 policies?

View President Bradley’s latest update here.

How can I learn more about the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Visit the CDC website for information and questions about the COVID-19 vaccination.

Am I required to be vaccinated?

Employees hired before June 1, 2023 are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, unless you file a medical or religious exemption with Human Resources. Vassar Vaccination Policy

Where can I get vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at pharmacies, local health departments, clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers and other locations. Contact your local pharmacy or healthcare provider for an appointment. You may also visit New York State’s vaccination website or Vaccines.gov to find appointments near you.

I have a COVID-19 vaccination or booster appointment during work hours. How will I be compensated for this leave?

On March 12, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed a new law that allows employees to take up to 4 hours off from work, with pay, to get vaccinated for COVID-19, this includes appointments for booster shots.

Inform your supervisor of your need to take time off as soon as your appointment is scheduled. In Workday, your supervisor will submit your time-off request using the “COVID-19 Leave” code and selecting “Vaccination” as the time-off reason.

This law will remain in effect until December 31, 2023.

I had an adverse reaction to the vaccination or booster and I was unable to work. How will I be paid for this leave?

If you need to be absent from work due to a vaccination or booster adverse reaction, you may be eligible to be paid for the illness. This paid leave is available starting on March 12, 2021, and is only available within 2 days of your vaccination or booster appointment. You may be paid for up to two days of your scheduled hours. (For example, an employee scheduled to work 8 hours per day can be paid up to 16 hours for the illness. If the absence extends beyond 16 hours, the employee will use their sick accruals.) In Workday, your supervisor will submit your time-off request using the “COVID-19 Leave” code.

Contact Zachary Britton in Human Resources for more information regarding this benefit.

This leave will remain in effect until December 31, 2023.

I tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14-days. What should I do?

Regardless of your vaccination status, you will be required to isolate and must be cleared by Health Services and possibly your physician before returning to work on campus.

Refer to “If I am required to quarantine or isolate, how will I be paid?

A household member tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days. What should I do?

Contact Health Services immediately, (845) 437-5800, to confirm your quarantine requirements. Inform your supervisor that you will not be reporting to work on campus and you’re in contact with Health Services for further guidance. You must be cleared by Health Services before returning to work on campus.

I was exposed to COVID-19. What should I do?

Contact Health Services immediately, (845) 437-5800, to confirm your quarantine requirements. Inform your supervisor that you will not be reporting to work on campus and you’re in contact with Health Services for further guidance.

To determine how long you need to quarantine or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19, visit the CDC website.

You must be cleared by Health Services before returning to work on campus.

What is considered a close contact of COVID-19?

Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset, or 2 days prior to test collection date if asymptomatic, until the time the infected person is isolated.

I have experienced the following symptoms in the last 14 days: fever of 100F or higher, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell and/or new rash or skin change. What should I do?

If you typically have some of the above symptoms from a known pre-existing condition, and your symptoms are not worse than usual and you have no reason to believe the symptoms are COVID related, you can report to work on campus.

If this is not the case, stay home, contact Health Services at (845) 437-5800, seek testing, and monitor your symptoms. Inform your supervisor that you will not be reporting to work on campus and you’re in contact with Health Services. Do not return to campus until you are symptom-free or have tested negative for COVID, and have been cleared by Health Services and possibly your physician.

If you’re out of work for 3 days or more, submit a medical note to Zachary Britton in Human Resources.

Does Health Services perform Contact Tracing?

Yes. Contact tracing is performed regardless of employees’ vaccination status. Employee identification is confidential and will not be shared with others during the contact tracing process.

If I am required to quarantine or isolate, how will I be paid?

If you’re ineligible to work remotely, you will be paid up to 14 days of paid leave (at your regular rate of pay) and have job protection for the duration of the quarantine/isolation period.

If you are eligible to work remotely, then you will work off-campus during the quarantine period. You will be paid for working. If you test positive for COVID-19 and are too ill to work remotely, then you will be paid up to 14 days of paid leave (at your regular rate of pay) and have job protection for the duration of the isolation period.

The order of quarantine/isolation must be issued by:

  • the state of New York,
  • the Department of Health,
  • local board of health,
  • any government entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19,
  • or a licensed medical provider including a nurse from Vassar College’s Health Services.

To receive the paid leave benefit, all related medical documentation and orders of quarantine or isolation must be provided to Zachary Britton in Human Resources.

I was not approved for the Vassar Telework Program. Do I still work remotely during quarantine or isolation?

Yes. If you can temporarily perform most or all of your job responsibilities off-campus, then you will work remotely during the quarantine period. You will be paid for working. If you test positive for COVID-19 and are too ill to work remotely, then you will be paid up to 14 days of paid leave (at your regular rate of pay) and have job protection for the duration of the isolation period.

Please refer to the question: “If I am required to quarantine or isolate, how will I be paid?

I traveled outside of New York. Do I need to quarantine before returning to campus?

You are not required to quarantine after domestic or international travel. Although you won’t be required to quarantine, you must:

  • Continue daily symptom monitoring;
  • Continue strict adherence to all non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene, social distancing, and the use of face coverings;
  • Immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop, seek testing, and contact Health Services for further guidance. If you are symptomatic, you must be cleared by Health Services and possibly your physician before returning to campus. All related medical documentation must be provided to Zachary Britton in Human Resources.

You’re encouraged to review the NYS travel guidance and testing information.

Where can I get tested for COVID?

Testing for COVID-19 is widely available at pharmacies, walk-in clinics, physician offices, and other locations. Contact your local pharmacy or healthcare provider for an appointment. Find testing sites near you.

Rapid antigen tests or over-the-counter self-test kits deliver quick results and are available at many local pharmacies.

What type of test should I get to be cleared to return to campus?

It’s encouraged that you get results from a molecular PCR test in order to be cleared to return to campus. Results from a rapid antigen test may also be accepted.

I’m able to work from home but I’m under an order of quarantine. Am I eligible for the paid leave benefit?

No, if you are not showing symptoms and are physically able to work remotely, you are not eligible to receive 14 days of paid leave.

What if I independently decide to quarantine, can I receive the paid leave benefit?

No. The NYS law provides benefits in cases where an individual is under an order of quarantine. Entities that may issue an “order” include the State of New York, New York State Department of Health, local Board of Health, any government entity authorized to issue such an order or a licensed medical provider including a nurse from Vassar College’s Health Services.

What if my minor dependent child is subject to a quarantine or isolation order?

Inform your supervisor that you will not be reporting to work on campus and contact Zachary Britton in Human Resources regarding your absence to care for your child.

Your minor dependent child must be under an order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the Department of Health, local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19.

If you’re ineligible to work remotely, you will be paid up to 14 days of paid leave (at your regular rate of pay). If you are eligible to work remotely, then you will work off-campus during the quarantine period. You will be paid for working.

To receive the benefit, all related orders of quarantine or isolation for your dependent must be provided to Zachary Britton in Human Resources.

What if I need to take time off to care for a family member who contracts COVID-19?

Your family member must be under an order of isolation issued by the state of New York, the Department of Health, local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such an order due to COVID-19.

If you’re ineligible to work remotely, you will be paid up to 14 days of paid leave (at your regular rate of pay). If you are eligible to work remotely, then you will work off-campus during the quarantine period. You will be paid for working.

To receive the benefit, all related orders of isolation for your family member must be provided to Zachary Britton in Human Resources.

A member of my household has been notified of a possible exposure (i.e. child gets an exposure letter from the school, spouse gets an exposure letter from their workplace). Should I report to work on campus?

Yes, you can continue to report to work on campus. If your household member develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, then you should refer to the “A household member tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days. What should I do?” response.

What if I don’t submit medical documentation to Human Resources?

You will not receive the 14-day paid leave benefit, and you will use your own sick accruals to cover your quarantine leave, followed by your personal or vacation accruals. Human Resources will require medical clearance for your return (in accordance with the “sick leave” section in your collective bargaining agreement or employee handbook).

Can my employer require me to use my existing accruals for a Quarantine Order?

No, provided that the necessary documentation is provided to Human Resources. The 14 days of paid leave is separate from any of your accruals.