Georgia Southern moves to online instruction for all courses for the remainder of the semester. 
Visit our COVID-19 response page for full information.

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COVID-19 FAQ For Faculty and Staff

On March 12, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp’s office issued a memo regarding State Workforce Readiness for COVID-19 to reduce the number of employees on-site at any one time.  The memo provides guidance for state agencies to take immediate action to implement telework options for staff who can telework without interruption to their duties. For those employees who are not able to telework, the guidance advises agencies to increase work schedule flexibility.

Telework – Telework options should be allowed for employees that can conduct their job duties remotely without interruption. 

Flexible Schedule – Supervisors should implement schedules that will reduce the number of employees physically on campus to the minimal level required at any given time to sustain service, safety, and compliance. 

Virtual Meetings/Gatherings – Transition required in-person meetings to an electronic format or reschedule for a later date in time. 

All non-essential travel should be suspended. This includes travel to conferences (particularly those held out-of-state), training, site visits, and any non-essential activities. 

The Shelter in Place order from the Governor and the Executive Orders issued by our local municipalities provide exemptions for essential services and government buildings.  Georgia Southern is excluded due to both of these exemptions. Therefore, we will continue to operate our essential services which may require the presence of some individuals on campus. If you are considered at-risk, work with your supervisor to utilize your accumulated leave to stay home. If you do not have enough leave, you may be on leave without pay.

Out of an abundance of caution, all persons reporting that they have been self-isolating with respiratory illnesses will need to follow the CDC guidelines below before returning to work. 

People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can stop home isolation under the following conditions:

If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
  • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

If you will be tested to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:

  • You no longer have a fever (without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
  • You received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow CDC guidelines.

For any other fever illness, we recommend that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (except to get medical care or other necessities). Your fever should be gone without the need to use fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®. Until then, you should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.

For gastrointestinal illnesses you can return to work after 24 hours with no vomiting and no diarrhea, unless you work in a food service, child care, or health care setting in which case the recommendation is 48 hours with no vomiting and no diarrhea.  

For employees who are subject to high-risk of illness or exposure to COVID-19 or who may be caring for an ill member of their household, institutions should allow for flexible utilization of leave. 

  • All available leave will be allowed for COVID-19 illness or to minimize exposure for those that are high-risk and unable to telework.
  • At the point that all accumulated leave has been exhausted, the institutional shared sick leave pool is available to employees who are members of the program.
  • Employees who exhaust their paid leave options will be able to request “authorized leave without pay” in order to take care of themselves and our community without negatively impacting their continued participation in their USG insurance plan. FMLA leave will be available to eligible employees who contract COVID-19 or are caring for a qualified family member that has contracted COVID-19. 

If an employee appears to be exhibiting symptoms associated with coronavirus while at work, a manager should excuse the employee from work and advise them to seek care from a healthcare provider. Regular benefits-eligible employees have leave available to them to cover absences. 

Please submit a ticket to MyHelp. Tickets will be monitored regularly during regular business hours.

Institutional student employees who still want to work during this time period but their department is unable to accommodate them should submit a request to be temporarily assigned to another department by completing the Student Work Request Form. Every effort will be made to accommodate student employees in other departments. Managers of Federal Work-Study students have been emailed by the Office of Financial Aid directly about working with them.

Departments in need of temporary student work during this period can complete the Department Request Form to be assigned a student from another department who cannot accommodate them. HR will work to reassign students requesting work. Please note: The student must already be employed on campus.

Employees should not come to work when they are sick. Employees should stay home and use appropriate leave. Regular benefits-eligible employees have leave available to them to cover absences. Employees should follow standard request and approval procedures. The employee will be expected to use appropriate leave to cover the time away and may be expected to provide a release from a healthcare provider to return to work.

It depends… If you are eligible for FMLA and you have tested positive for COVID-19, then yes FMLA will be available to you. If employees have only been exposed to the virus, FMLA is not applicable. However, they may still need to be quarantined, and applicable non-FMLA leave (to include sick leave) could be an option subject to standard request and approval procedures. Employees may also telework during a period of self-quarantine. 

Yes, FMLA allows an eligible employee to take FMLA leave if either the employee or an immediate family member, defined as spouse, child or parent, contracts the virus. 

Since the University is not closed, business and services must continue. This may mean that you will be required to come into work, depending on the needs of the unit. While efforts should be made to permit those who can work remotely to do so, some individuals may need to report to campus to perform their work.

If you have work that can be completed remotely by a student, then you can allow them to do so. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to make sure the tasks are completed and that the employee accurately records the time on their timecard.

The University is open for business and will, therefore, run payroll normally. You will be paid for the hours you work and/or any leave you’ve requested and has been approved. For student employees who are unable to work in their departments and need hours, they can submit information through the Student Work Request Form and HR will work to place them temporarily in a department that allows them to still work.

Please work with your supervisors to ensure that you can perform work that permits you to receive your expected pay. These times may allow for more unconventional types of work, such as building out continuity of operations plans or specialized professional development.

Work with your manager to determine a possible alternate schedule. There are two goals during this period: limit the number of people in a given space at the same time and trying to ensure you work enough hours to get your expected pay.

Your manager should work with you to ensure that you can perform work that permits you to receive your expected pay each pay period.  

University leadership has determined essential services that must be offered, which determines employees who may be required to be present on campus. We have a commitment to our students and each other to provide these essential services during this period of time.

If you have someone in your office who is displaying symptoms of COVID 19 (fever, cough, and difficulty breathing), advise them to stay home/go home and work remotely if they feel well enough to do so. It is also important to understand that everyone who sneezes or coughs is not infected with coronavirus. It is peak time for seasonal allergies as well. We should all practice good hygiene by covering our nose/mouth when sneezing or coughing with a tissue or inside of your elbow, washing hands frequently and wiping down frequently touched surfaces (keyboards, doorknobs/handles, phones, etc.). 

According to the USG policy on Teleworking/Flextime, as an employee approved for telecommuting, you will be expected to be accessible by telephone and thus will maintain a telephone line that can be used for phone calls at your own expense. This does not have to be your personal mobile phone, but you are expected to provide a number where your supervisor can reach you during normal business hours. 

For more, updated, information about HR processes such as hiring and onboarding, view the Temporary HR Process Changes here.