Responding to the critical need to support statewide mitigation efforts to reduce the transmission of coronavirus, Susquehanna is conducting classes and continuing its operations remotely. The university intends to revert to its normal face-to-face, in-person instructional mode at the end of the pandemic.
While all in-person visits to campus are suspended, our virtual tour and admission counselors are available to help future students connect to the Susquehanna community.
If you have questions that are not addressed in the FAQs or resources below, feel free to reach out to the contact listed within each FAQ. We’d love to hear from you.
Updated May 19, 2020
Coming to Campus
Is the campus closed?
Yes. Governor Wolf issued an order to close all non-life-sustaining business beginning at 8 p.m. on March 19, 2020. This includes closing college campuses. There are many unanswered questions that we are working through in consultation with counsel and our professional organizations.
Please know that students currently living on campus may continue to do so. Dining Services, the Health Center, and the Counseling Center remain available as indicated earlier.
Effective immediately, all current plans to visit campus are cancelled. Students are not permitted to travel to campus in order to pick up belongings.
Beginning March 23, instruction will be online for the remainder of spring 2020 semester.
A best guess as to when we’ll be able to return to campus?
The current extension from Governor Wolf has the campus closed through May 7. We will continue to follow federal and state social distancing guidelines and commit to updating the campus community when changes occur. We will provide faculty and staff with a 7 day notice period before returning to campus to ensure folks can prepare and readjust.
What if I need to come to campus?
Only staff members who are approved by their supervisor and the Vice President for Human Resources to be on campus should work on site. Faculty should get approval from the Provost.
Are vendors still permitted on campus?
No. Due to the Governor’s order on 3/19/20, access to campus is restricted until further notice.
For deliveries and other building access please call 570-372-4147: only urgent repairs and service calls will be considered at this time.
I am a staff member that lives on campus, is anything changing for me?
Staff members that live on campus are permitted to stay and are encouraged to continue to work from their campus home as possible. Mail services will continue and Public Safety will continue to patrol campus for safety.
Faculty and Staff Travel
Should faculty and staff who are currently traveling return to campus?
Faculty and staff who are returning from international travel or U.S. travel with a large number of COVID-19 cases are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
What are the guidelines for faculty and staff travel?
All non-essential University-sponsored travel is canceled for the Spring 2020 semester. Non-essential travel includes already booked business trips, conferences, professional development and includes regional, national and international travel. Any additional University-sponsored travel must be cleared through the Office of Risk Management, x4315, email@example.com.
All domestic and international travel for students, faculty and staff should be registered through the links below.
Health and Wellness
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:
- Work with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to immediately isolate infected individual(s) from the general university population. Impacted individual(s) will be isolated in their family home when possible, or in a university-designated quarantine space(s). If a student is isolated on campus, the university will continue to provide food, supplies, medical advice and assessment, and counseling, as well as our caring support.
- Clean potential contaminated areas with materials designated to eliminate COVID-19.
For SU students not on campus, our health center and counseling center remain available remotely.
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.
What if a faculty or staff member is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?
Faculty and staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should stay home, notify Human Resources by completing this form and follow CDC Guidelines regarding self-monitoring, isolation, quarantine, or any other restrictions or required actions. Supervisors and department heads may send faculty or staff home if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
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 about this evolving public health situation. Faculty and staff may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Please also visit cdc.gov for helpful tips to manage stress and anxiety.
Copay Waivers and Mental Health Services
Employees enrolled one of the University’s Highmark Blue Shield insurance plans can talk to a therapist about behavioral health issues through Amwell’s telemedicine option. In addition to non-emergency medical care, Amwell offers appointments with a therapist seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. If you are a Highmark member, you can contact Amwell for bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder (ADD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression.
Copays are being waived through June 13 by telemedicine providers for the following coverages:
Highmark Blue Shield members:
- Amwell (American Well) – non-emergency medical care, such as pink eye, flu and sinusitis, as well as behavioral health and dermatology services
- Doctors on Demand – non-emergency medical care, such as pink eye, flu and sinusitis
- Bright Heart Health – treatment for opioid use disorder
Geisinger Health Plan members:
- Teledoc – adult and pediatric general medical care, addressing both physical and mental health needs
If you are struggling emotionally you can reach out for assistance by calling the local emergency hotline for mental health-related issues at 800-222-9016.
For members of the Highmark plans
- Keeping yourself safe (English Version) (Spanish Version)
- Highmark COVID-19 site
- What to do if you think you have Coronavirus?
- Amwell Telemedicine
- Doctors on Demand
For members of the Geisinger plan
Telehealth services will be offered to members of Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) with no cost-sharing through June 15, as a special provision of the COVID-19 pandemic. This benefit is not limited to coronavirus/COVID-19 related cases. Members may use Teladoc for any routine medical need such as cold, flu, allergy, rash, sinus infection and much more. Members can get care through Teladoc in two convenient ways:
- Online: Visit Teladoc.com to download the Teladoc smartphone app. Use the app to create an account, fill out a short medical history questionnaire and schedule an online doctor visit. Teladoc will provide an estimate of when a doctor will contact the member. This is the fastest way to get in touch with a doctor.
- By phone: Call 800-Teladoc to request a call from a doctor. Teladoc will provide an estimate of when a doctor will contact the member.
Please note: As the coronavirus outbreak evolves, the need for telehealth care has never been greater. As a result, members may experience extended wait times. Doctors are working to provide the highest-quality care and will connect as quickly as they can. The fastest way to connect with a doctor is to use the app or web page.
Learn more about this service at GeisingerHealthPlan.com/Teladoc. Cost sharing will also be waived through June 15 for telehealth services received from any network provider.
Members who are concerned about possible exposure to coronavirus or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 can consult with Teladoc doctors to evaluate risk and learn about next steps before visiting their regular doctor or a hospital.
Financial & Benefits Information
Will I get paid on time?
Yes, there is a cross-trained payroll team that can run payroll on or off campus. Payroll will continue to run on schedule.
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, you must do so within 30 days of the event. In addition you will need to provide documentation stating the reason for the loss of insurance and the last day of coverage.
The last step is to go to the online benefits enrollment site at https://susqu.benelogic.com and enter a life status change. If you have any questions, please contact Brenda Balonis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570-372-4054.
What are the current dollar amounts associated with the crisis, specifically the room and board refunds?
Room and Board refunds totaled about $6 million. The CARES Act should provide about $2.2 million of relief to SU and our students (some funds track to the institution and some tracks through the students).
Telework / Working from Home
If I am not exhibiting symptoms or have not been exposed to COVID-19, should I still work from home?
Susquehanna is encouraging social distancing, which can include working from home or holding online classes and meetings. This option is available to faculty and staff in exempt and non-exempt positions and requires prior approval from the supervisor or department head. Supervisors and department heads should be flexible with this option and work with IT for any technology needs.
Can our department still utilize student workers?
Yes, departments are encouraged to engage their student workers with remote work.
How should I fill out my timesheet when working from home?
Please complete your timesheet with your regular work hours to ensure continuity of pay.
The expectation is that you will be working the same amount of hours at home as you did on campus. Overtime must be approved, in advance, by your supervisor.
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.
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.
What should I do with phone calls coming into my office?
Each department should plan to forward all phone calls. University phones may be forwarded to cell phones and landlines.
What if I have technology needs to work from home?
Faculty and staff requesting technology to work from home must have approval from their supervisor prior to contacting the IT Help Desk x4502.
For more information, see Technical Resources
Additional Work from Home Resources:
- 15 Questions about Remote Work Answered
- How to Manage Remote Employees
- How to Build Trust with Remote Employees
- Remote Worker Isolation: Perception vs. Reality
How should we respond to some of the challenges working from home is creating?
Develop rituals and have a disciplined way of managing the day. Schedule a start and an end time. Have a rhythm. Take a shower, get dressed, even if it’s not what you’d usually wear to work, then get started on the day’s activities. If you’re used to moving physically, make sure you build that into your day. If you’re an extrovert and accustomed to a lot of contact and collaboration with others, make sure that still happens. Ask yourself: How will I protect myself from feeling lonely or isolated and stay healthy, productive, and vibrant? Create that for yourself.
As for managers, you have to trust your employees. This is an era and a time in which we have to heed Ernest Hemingway’s advice: “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” You can’t see what people are doing. But equip them in the right ways, give them the tasks, check on them like you’ve always done, and hope they produce in the ways you want them to. You can’t monitor the process, so your review will have to be outcome-based.
The blurring of boundaries between work and home has also suddenly come upon us, so managers have got to develop the skills and policies to support their teams. This might involve being more flexible about the hours in which employees work. You don’t have to eat lunch at 12pm. You might walk your dog at 2pm. Things are much more fluid, and managers just have to trust that employees will do their best to get their work done.
But there’s no reason to believe that, in this new environment, people won’t do the work that they’ve been assigned. Remote work has been around for a very long time. And today we have all of the technologies we need to not only do work but also collaborate. We have enterprise-wide social media tools that allow us to store and capture data, to have one-to-many conversations, to share best practices, and to learn.
Adapted from Harvard Business Review: Neeley, T. (2020, March 25). 15 Questions About Remote Work, Answered. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2020/03/15-questions-about-remote-work-answered
These guidelines only apply to situations directly related to COVID-19 and are subject to change based on evolving circumstances.
Symptoms or Exposure to COVID-19
- Faculty and staff must complete this form and send to Human Resources if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19
- Contact your medical provider if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Susquehanna University will report all necessary information, as required by law, to Snyder County and/or the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Every effort will be made to ensure confidentiality of information received as part of this process and to protect the privacy of all parties involved.
- Applies to faculty and staff for their own illness or to care for a family member(s).
- Faculty may have up to two weeks of paid absence as outlined in section 5.2.1 of the Faculty Handbook.
- Susquehanna University will provide up to 80 hours of paid absence for those staff members who have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Time off during this period will be counted as an excused absence ( form must be completed) and not subject to disciplinary action.
- Faculty and staff returning to work should no longer be exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, free of fever, signs of a fever, and other symptoms for 24 hours, and must complete the Return to Work form.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accommodations
- Faculty and staff requesting ADA accommodations should contact Human Resources at 570-372-4024.
Faculty and Staff Recruitment
- All University-sponsored events are suspended, which includes restricting non-employee visitors to campus during this period.
- Search committee chairs with active searches and planned campus interviews, will be contacted by Holly Flowers, employment coordinator, to discuss remote interviewing options.
If you did not find answers to your questions or how to reach the office with the answers, you can contact Human Resources at 570-372-4024 or call the Susquehanna COVID-19 Information Center during regular business hours at 570-372-3333.