COVID-19 information for staff

Updated March 18, 2020, at 1:58 p.m.

NEW: Mandatory telework policy

NEW: All School of Pharmacy employees are classified as “non-designated” employees. Therefore, effective March 23, 2020, all SoP employees are not to work in campus facilities unless specific arrangements are made. Details are below.

Only staff or faculty specifically designated as needing to be on site will be permitted to work in campus offices. A process for this is detailed below.

Staff must coordinate with supervisors to determine work assignments and ensure that essential on-site functions are continued. Be aware that some tasks in each unit require an on-site presence; you may be designated as needed for these functions. 

NEW: Mandatory telework form

NEW: In compliance with guidance shared March 17 by the Office of the President, all SoP staff and faculty must complete a Telework Agreement Form in coordination with their managers or supervisors.

Step 1 – Complete the Telework Agreement form

This form is located at:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfYDt027mgU0n0y-CeAVaCUIbmDWyw3U9P2K0OIrqbLcwuoew/viewform

The system only allows you to submit the form once, so be sure you and your supervisor agree on the details before you complete the form!  

It is important that you and your supervisor can agree on the duties to be completed remotely, and how often you will check in with your manager.

Once you have completed and submitted the form, you will receive an e-mail with a copy of your responses.

Step 2 – Forward the response e-mail to your supervisor to document completion of the Telework Agreement. Your supervisor does not automatically receive a copy of your responses. 

Please note:  This is a new university requirement, and supersedes prior guidance that no teleworking agreement is needed for this current situation.

Mandatory telework policy

Non-designated employees (see above) who feel they have a compelling reason to work on-campus should discuss their designation with their managers. A procedure for approving/disapproving and documenting such work is below.

Personnel with clinical responsibilities should fulfill those responsibilities as needed by their clinical locations.

All staff are expected to work normal work hours.

Faculty also should work remotely. Dr. Kirkwood has sent faculty members guidance regarding remote delivery of lectures.

If you need leave time because of COVID-19 related illness or to care for a family member you may use up to 10 consecutive days of Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL).  Please see the VCU “Leave” web site for more information (https://hr.vcu.edu/covid-19/). 

Contact your supervisor or Avian Goldsmith with our HR department with questions.

Additional information is available from VCU Human Resources on this dedicated page for questions related to COVID-19.

NEW: Procedure to be allowed to work on campus

Some personnel may be required to fulfill essential research functions. The office of the Vice President for Research describes essential research functions as:

Ongoing research that would suffer a major impact if temporarily discontinued, such as loss of years of effort, data, or a major investment. Maintenance of essential equipment, safe standby mode in labs, essential samples, and animal populations also meets the criteria for essential operations. Examples of essential operations for projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining: liquid nitrogen levels in storage tanks; ongoing animal experiments where stopping the experiment would compromise the project; critical cell cultures
  • Feeding and caring for animals
  • Processing specimens for those clinical trials that will remain open during this period

If you feel that you must be in one of our buildings next week or beyond please follow the procedure below:

REQUEST: Each person who requests to work on site must submit an email request to their supervisor that includes the items below (blanket requests for more than one person will not be approved):

  1. Name, position (faculty staff, post-doc, student), and room numbers to be occupied
  2. Expected times work will be conducted and duration 
  3. Nature of the on-site essential work
  4. Reason that the work must be continued on site and negative consequences of stopping the activity 
  5. Describe measures that will be taken to minimize risk of COVID_19 transmission (distancing, hand washing, surface cleaning, etc)

APPROVAL/DISAPPROVAL: Your supervisor should either approve or disapprove the request by email and send the request to the Dean and Assistant Dean Savoy. The Dean will then approve or disapprove the request and notify the requestor and supervisor by email. This procedure also applies to students who request to work on site. 
DOCUMENTATION: For approved requests a list of the approved essential personnel must be posted on the hallway side of the outer room door. 
Note that beginning Monday, March 23, SoP personnel and students who do not have approval to be on site will be required to leave.  


Zoom remote-meeting resources

NEW: Expanded Zoom accounts have been arranged for all VCU students, faculty and staff. The expanded accounts do not have time restrictions for meetings and can be used for meetings of up to 300 participants.

To provision your account, log out of Zoom (browser and/or app) and log in again at vcu.zoom.us using your VCU credentials.

It is not necessary to submit a ticket to Phartech or Technology Services for an account as all users are automatically being enrolled using these steps.

NEW: Mail procedures

  • Mail Service: Twice a week (Wednesdays and Fridays) mail will be delivered and retrieved from MCV mail services. Mail will still be sorted and distributed to the appropriate department mail boxes in the Dean’s Suite. If department admins are working remotely, they will need to ensure mail is distributed within their department upon return to the office.
  • Package Delivery: Due to differing needs and hours of operation across research labs, the first floor loading dock cage will remain open. This will enable lab personnel to access packages for their lab each day. 
  • NOTE: These procedures are expected to change following VCU’s mandatory telework policies effective March 23.

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