On Aug. 24, Susquehanna resumed face-to-face, in-person instruction for the fall 2020 semester. The university offers courses in a variety of ways during the 2020–21 academic year to ensure a safe and engaging learning environment. On Oct. 16, the university announced the spring 2021 semester will be held on campus under a revised schedule. Visit our schedule changes, safety measures, resources and COVID-19 dashboard for more information.
Updated October 16, 2020

On-Campus Expectations

  1. Perform daily well-being self-checks to monitor yourself for symptoms, this includes taking your temperature at home before you come to work. If you feel unwell or have symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, or shortness of breath, you should not come to work. Employees may contact Facilities Management to request a thermometer if needed.
  2. Maintain physical distancing of six feet. Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
  3. Wear a face mask in public spaces. Employees and visitors to campus are required to wear a mask. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public spaces where other social-distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common workspaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, residence hall common areas, hallways, doorways, restrooms, sidewalks), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Wearing a cloth face covering, however, does not replace the need to practice social distancing. Those who are medically or developmentally unable to wear a mask should contact Human Resources to request an accommodation.
  4. Clean as you go, using the cleaning supplies provided by Facilities Management to keep your workspace clean.
  5. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Shared Responsibilities 

Susquehanna University has implemented many safety protocols to promote a safe work environment and it is the shared responsibility of faculty, staff and students to follow them. Click here to review safety protocols for faculty and staff and an outline of potential consequences of noncompliance. If you observe noncompliance, first politely remind the person. Further concerns about noncompliance may be reported to supervisors, department heads, the COVID-19 coordinator Dave RichardHuman Resources or through the LiveSafe App.

Additionally, if faculty or staff report to work with COVID-19 symptoms, supervisors and department heads will send the employee home immediately and then report the issue to Human Resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the cleaning protocols for campus?

To minimize the risk of surface transfer, a cleaning system that uses an atomized spray unit to deliver an EPA/FDA-approved surface disinfectant highly effective in neutralizing coronaviruses and other pathogens will be used by Facilities Management in the regular cleaning on campus. All high- touch areas, such as hallways, bathrooms, entrances and water fountains, will be cleaned daily and disinfected twice a day. All other spaces will be cleaned on the normal cleaning cycle and disinfected every weekday.

Facilities has delivered a large supply of disinfecting wipes for all areas of campus. Faculty and staff will be responsible for cleaning their own desk, keyboards, doorknobs and other work surfaces between daily treatments. Sanitation stations will also provide supplemental hand sanitizer and disposable face masks.

Will everyone wear a mask when we return to campus?

Employees and visitors to campus (see below) will be required to wear a mask. Employees isolated in their personal office space, when unshared with other colleagues, do not need to wear a mask. However, when employees leave their individual office or have invited a colleague into their office, they must wear a mask. This includes walking in hallways. Employees are not required to wear mask while outside, or while eating and drinking. However, at those times, social distancing should be applied. 

If I don’t have a mask, will one be provided?

The University has masks available to those who do not have one. To request a mask, please contact Facilities Management at facilities@susqu.edu.

Should departments order cleaning supplies and masks?

Cleaning supplies and masks are ordered through Facilities Management. Please contact facilities@susqu.edu for supply requests.

Will the University require temperature checks to enter campus?

The University is requesting that everyone perform a daily, well-being self-check before you come to work. If you feel unwell or have symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches or shortness of breath, you should not come to work on campus. Employees may contact Facilities to request a thermometer if needed.

Is it too late to change my work schedule?

Schedule changes may still occur and may include a hybrid approach with supervisor approval – teleworking some days and on campus other days.

Guidance for Working Remotely

There are faculty and staff who are working remotely or with a hybrid schedule that includes remote and on campus. During this time, it is important to stay connected with colleagues and students, forward your phone so it is always answered, and indicate working hours through your Outlook Calendar or in your email signature to indicate availability.

Child Care

As K-12 students return or are planning to return to school, we understand there may be a need for faculty and staff to modify their schedules. Faculty and staff are encouraged to discuss their needs with their supervisor. Human Resources is also available for consultation when modified work schedules are requested.

What if a faculty or staff member is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or other symptoms. If faculty or staff experience COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, notify your supervisor or department head and stay home. Supervisor and department heads will notify Human Resources by completing this form. Human Resources will then follow up with employees. Employees should stay home (i.e., telework if possible or take leave), and follow care instructions from their healthcare provider and local health department, CDC Guidelines. Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information. Supervisors and department heads will send faculty or staff home if employees are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Absence And Quarantine Tracking

Absenteeism is a potential warning sign of the spread of COVIDSupervisors and department heads are being asked to report daily absences of faculty and staff using this form.The purpose of the form is to capture the number of absences of all faculty and staff (on campus and remote), which will then filter into the university’s COVID-19 rubric (our internal dashboard) to help monitor staffing levels across campus. This form will also be used by Human Resources to follow up on leave requests and begin contact tracing if necessary.

Also, the form should be completed if faculty or staff need to quarantine or have COVID-19 symptoms – this includes employees working on campus and remotely.

An employee with COVID-19 symptoms must isolate for at least 10 days after onset of symptoms, and only return to work if symptoms have improved with no fever without the use of medicines for at least 24 hours.

If an employee has had close contact (being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine for 14 days and may only then return to work if they are not exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms and have completed the return to work form.

Is Susquehanna University conducting contact tracing?

Human Resources will be conducting contact tracing on campus for faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19. Our intent is to expedite the notification and cleaning process on campus. Note: Employees may be contacted again by a contact tracer with the Department of Health or medical provider.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a close contact as being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated. One should stay home, maintain social distancing, and self-monitor until 14 days from the last date of exposure.

If I must stay home because I have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, will I continue to be paid?

All faculty and staff members are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid time for their own illness or to care for a family member(s) who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19; the employee’s supervisor must notify Human Resources by completing this form.

For time off exceeding 80 hours, staff must use sick time and may accrue a negative balance to continue pay. Faculty should refer to section 5.2 of the Faculty Handbook.

COVID-19 leave is not permitted for quarantine requirements upon return from personal travel.

Am I required to share any underlying health conditions that put me at high risk?

Employees are not required to share underlying health conditions with their supervisors. If an employee would like to request an accommodation because of an underlying health condition, they can work directly with Human Resources or complete this form.

What are the guidelines for faculty and staff travel?

All non-essential University-sponsored travel – with the exception of some GO Programs* – is suspended indefinitely. Non-essential travel includes already booked business trips, travel for conferences or professional development, and includes regional, national and international travel. Any additional University-sponsored travel must be cleared through the Office of Risk Management, x4315, riskmanagement@susqu.edu.

*Certain fall and winter GO programs are provisionally approved with final determination to be made case-by-case dependent on Department of State and CDC guidelines.

Is the cafeteria on campus open?

Effective Oct. 6, 2020, Dining Services is open to serve faculty and staff this semester at the following locations:

  • Evert Dining Room (take-out only) features all-you-are-to-eat options at 8 stations. 
  • Bento Sushi (take-out only) offers Asian favorites like poke, ramen, donburi, udon, spring rolls, bento boxes and sushi.
  • Scholarly Grounds (take-out only) offers locally sourced coffee and espresso beverages, by Fresh Roasted Coffee LCC, in addition to an assortment of grab-n-go items and made-to-order smoothies and yogurt bowls.
  • Starbucks (take-out only) offers high-quality coffees, hand-crafted espresso beverages, teas, smoothies as well as a variety of pastries, pre-packaged snacks, and breakfast sandwiches.

Due to high volume, the Hawk's Nest and Ele's are still open for students only. 

Faculty and staff also can bring food from home or order delivery from off-campus restaurants to eat in offices or other available outdoor spaces.

What counseling and support resources are available at SU?

We understand some Susquehanna community members may feel anxious during this time. Any faculty and staff, regardless of health plan, can choose to contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program or the recently added “New Directions” EAP for support and assistance.

Please also visit cdc.gov for helpful tips to manage stress and anxiety. If you are struggling emotionally, you can also reach out for assistance by calling the local emergency hotline for mental health-related issues at 1-800-222-9016.

How will IT be operating?

To adhere to safe practices, the Office of Information Technology will be open by appointment only and cannot accept walk-ins. As you return to campus, reach out to the Help Desk for assistance Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 570-372-4502 or helpdesk@susqu.edu. There is also an Outdoor Help Desk for in-person assistance and is located near Seibert, next to the stairs that descend to the regular help desk location. The outdoor location will be open during normal business hours throughout the semester with weather permitting.

Are visitors to campus allowed?

Visitors, including contractors and vendors, may be on campus so long as they adhere to the same return-to-work guidance for SU employees. Individual prospective student and family visit criteria has been developed by the Office of Admission, in accordance with public health expert advice.

Are student workers permitted to work on campus?

Students who are approved to live on campus may work on campus and must adhere to the return-to-work guidance for SU employees.

Will common areas on campus be open?

At this time, Degenstein Campus Center is open.

Garrett Sports Complex reopened Monday, August 24. 

  • ONLY FACULTY, STAFF, AND STUDENTS will be allowed access to the Garrett Sports Complex. Spouses and dependents will not be allowed to work out in the Garrett Sports Complex and the Jacobs Fitness Center at this time due to Susquehanna's COVID-19 testing protocols.
  • EVERYONE WILL NEED TO PRESENT THEIR SU-ISSUED IDs to enter the Garrett Sports Complex and Jacobs Fitness Center. Please check in at the Front Desk upon arrival.
  • EVERYONE WILL NEED TO WEAR A MASK while exercising and follow SU protocols for health monitoring, social distancing, sanitation and handwashing. Please wipe down each piece of equipment after each use. 
  • The Cardio Floor will be open but it's strongly encouraged that you conduct your cardiovascular exercising outside at this time.
  • The maximum capacity per floor in the Jacobs Fitness Center is eight (8) people at a time. Please stay on the floor that you sign up for. Everyone will be required to reserve a time slot for working out. Please click HERE to sign up for a time slot. Faculty and staff are encouraged to use the facilities, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., but are allowed to exercise during any available time slot if they choose.
  • The Garrett Natatorium, racquetball courts, and locker rooms will remain closed until further notice.

    Garrett Sports Complex Hours (Hours are subject to change based on worker availability):

    Monday-Friday 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.


Other common areas are working on a phased reopening with more information to follow.

What about meetings and on-campus gatherings?

The most ideal way to meet one on one is to do so via video conferencing. You can also meet one on one outside while continuing to observe mask and social-distancing guidelines. Some larger offices on campus may allow for an in-person meeting, but some in older buildings may not have sufficient ventilation to make it safe. If you must meet indoors in-person, masks are required for both parties, you must be further than 6 feet apart and it may help to open windows to let fresh air into the space. Please use good judgment when you decide to meet one on one in your office.

If you have additional questions that were not covered here, please talk with your supervisor or contact Human Resources at humanresources@susqu.edu.

Latest Post-Travel Information

In accordance with the recent guidance from Governor Wolf and the PA Department of Health, if faculty or staff members have traveled or plan to travel to an area — inside or outside the state — with high amounts of COVID-19 cases, it is required that you stay at home (i.e., telework if possible or take leave).  Please see the list here for the states with a 14-day quarantine requirement. As a reminder, COVID-19 leave is not permitted for quarantine requirements upon return from personal travel. 

For more information, see this CDC fact sheet.

What happens when the university discovers that a member of the SU community (or vendor/visitor) has tested positive for COVID-19?

As with any potentially threatening virus, if someone who has been on campus within 14 days, or has been on a recent study abroad trip, tests positive for COVID-19, the university has standard procedures to keep the SU community safe and well.

SU will immediately inform campus community members with possible direct exposure. Concurrently, our responsibility is to protect the identity of the impacted individual(s). Federal privacy laws limit what SU is allowed to disclose; furthermore, it is everyone’s responsibility to respect privacy.

Upon receiving notification of virus confirmations of individual(s) who recently have been on campus, our process includes:

  • Impacted individual(s) will be isolated in their home and Facilities will be notified to clean potential contaminated areas with materials designated to eliminate COVID-19.
  • Human Resources will work with the employee to conduct contact tracing on campus, additional contact tracing off-campus will be done externally through the department of health or employee’s medical provider.

If I came into contact with someone with COVID-19, what should I do?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines indicate that persons who have possible exposure to a person with the COVID-19 illness should remain home for 14 days with self-observation.  

Self-observation means you should remain alert for symptoms of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If you feel feverish or develop a cough or difficulty breathing during the self-observation period, you should take your temperature, self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed. 

As much as possible, stay away from other people in your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Follow everyday preventive steps that are recommended by the CDC to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water are the best option, if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands as described above. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
  • High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables should be cleaned with disinfectant.
  • Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good air flow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.
  • Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.
  • Prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.

For more information, see this CDC fact sheet.

If I must stay home because I have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, will I continue to be paid?

All faculty and staff members are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid time for their own illness or to care for a family member(s) who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms  or have reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19; the employee must notify Human Resources by completing this form.

For time off exceeding 80 hours, staff must use sick time and may accrue a negative balance to continue pay. Faculty should refer to section 5.2 of the Faculty Handbook.

What counseling and support resources are available at SU?

We understand some Susquehanna community members may feel anxious during this time. Faculty and staff may contact the The Standard Employee Assistance Program or the recently added New Directions Employee Assistance Program for support and assistance.

Please also visit cdc.gov for helpful tips to manage stress and anxiety. If you are struggling emotionally, you can also reach out for assistance by calling the local emergency hotline for mental health-related issues at 1-800-222-9016.

Telework / Working from Home

Faculty and Staff Accommodations and Work Flexibility

Accommodation Requests

The university has a process in place for persons with disabilities to request accommodations (which may include those with serious health conditions that put them at greater risk from COVID-19). The request may be granted if the accommodation allows the person to accomplish all the essential functions of the job. Requests may be submitted to Human Resources by completing this form.

Flexible Work Options

Faculty and staff may request to work remotely (independent of any approved disability accommodations) where essential functions of the jobs are fulfilled and the student experience is not compromised. Requests may be submitted to Human Resources by completing this form.

Additionally, faculty and staff may also work with their supervisor or department head to create alternative work schedules so long as essential functions of the job are completed.

To request an accommodation or to work from home, please complete this form

If there are additional questions, please  Human Resources at humanresources@susqu.edu or call 570-372-4024 to schedule an appointment.

How should I fill out my timesheet?

Staff should complete timesheets based on hours worked. If staff do not have enough work to maintain their regularly scheduled hours, please enter unworked hours as paid, non-working hours. Any employee who is quarantined or has requested COVID-19 leave will receive instructions from Human Resources on how to complete their timesheet.

Am I required to work my regular work schedule while working from home?

The expectation is that you will be working the same amount of hours, but we recognize that some faculty and staff may need to alter their regular work schedule. Flexible work schedules are encouraged and require approval by your supervisor. It is important for faculty and staff working remotely to stay connected with their colleagues and students, forward office phones so there is always someone there to answer and indicated working hours through Outlook.

Should I put an out of office message on my email?

Out of office messages should only be used if you are on vacation or are sick and unable to respond to emails. Otherwise, we encourage prompt responses to all email and voicemail inquiries.

On days I am scheduled to work from home, what should I do with phone calls coming into my office?

Each department should have a plan for phone coverage. University phones may be forwarded to cell phones and landlines.

What if I have technology needs to work from home?

Faculty and staff who have received approval to work from home are responsible to ensure they have the space and necessary equipment to perform the work. Please refer to the Telework Policy for additional information. If there is a financial need, employees are encouraged to contact Human Resources.  

Additional Work from Home Resources:

Are there any resources available for faculty and staff who may need financial assistance during this time?

Yes, please contact Human Resources for assistance.

My spouse was recently laid off from work and no longer eligible for health insurance. Can I add them to my insurance plan?

If your spouse loses their employer-sponsored health insurance due to a layoff or loss of employment, this is considered a life-status event and you are eligible to enroll them on your Susquehanna University health insurance plan until they again have access to health insurance through their employer or Medicare. 

If you need to make a change to your benefits election due to a life-status event, please contact Brenda Balonis at balonis@susqu.edu or call 570-372-4054.

How does the CARES Act affect my Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account?

Recent changes to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) include:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and menstrual care products are included to the list of eligible FSA and HSA expenses without a doctor’s prescription. This is a permanent change and reimbursement can be retroactive to January 1, 2020.
  • Members can update their dependent care FSA election if there is a change in the childcare provider or cost of coverage as long as the update is consistent with the change. For example, if a daycare provider stopped services due to COVID-19 or you no longer needed daycare services due to remote work, the election can be reduced or eliminated.

If you need to make a change to your dependent care FSA election for 2020, visit the online benefits enrollment site at https://susqu.benelogic.com and enter a life status change. Questions may be directed to Brenda Balonis at balonis@susqu.edu.

Can I make mid-year adjustment to my flexible spending?

In response to the pandemic, the IRS is allowing pre-tax health insurance cafeteria plans to offer additional flexibility. You may make any type of prospective mid-year flexible spending  election change without a qualifying life event until Dec. 31, 2020. You may decrease your health FSA or DCA election to no less than the amount you have already been reimbursed by the plan. Changing your election does not allow you to receive a refund of the amounts you have already contributed. Incur claims have been extended until March 15, 2021. For assistance, contact Brenda Balonis.