Communications to Employees

Email to Employees on March 15, 2020

Dear USU Employees and Supervisors: 

Given the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, we strongly encourage supervisors and employees to work together to identify flexible and creative solutions to ensure the continued operation of the University.

This is even more necessary as events outside the university, such as the closure of the local school districts, place additional burden on our employees. There are a number of options you may consider, including but not limited to flexible schedules, temporary task assignments, working remotely, etc. Please refer to the Employee FAQs for answers to specific situations. These FAQs will be updated often so please check the link frequently. If you would like assistance, please contact Human Resources as you work through these issues. You can reach Human Resources at 435-797-0122 (during regular business hours) or hr@usu.edu.

We appreciate your commitment to USU and the important work that we must keep going.

For more information about how USU is addressing COVID-19, please visit https://dps.usu.edu/emergency/covid-19/index.

Sincerely,

David T. Cowley
Vice President for Business and Finance


Email to Employees on March 4, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

We are writing to you today to make you aware of what Utah State University is doing to address the threat of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus). As of today, March 4, 2020, there are no cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Utah. However, this situation is rapidly evolving, and it is important we all take steps to protect the health and safety of our campus communities across the state.

USU has created an interdisciplinary task force to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the university is taking appropriate steps. We are tracking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department and working with our local health departments, particularly Bear River Health Department in Logan.

If COVID-19 is discovered in Utah, local county health departments would work with the Utah Department of Health to take the lead on tracking patients, recommending isolation or quarantine, and investigating who patients have come into contact with to help prevent the spread of the virus.

USU has a webpage dedicated to providing up-to-date information about COVID-19 at www.usu.edu/COVID-19.

Travel

USU is following CDC guidance, and when applicable, passing this guidance along to international travelers and others in our campus community. The university has restricted all travel to countries with a level three or four travel health notices from the CDC, including at this time China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. All students who were studying in these areas have returned to the U.S. and have been asked to isolate themselves for 14 days to ensure they do not develop symptoms.

We have asked those who are traveling internationally on university-related studies or business to evaluate the risks of staying where they are or consider returning home. For those planning upcoming university-related travel, either international or domestic, we ask they carefully consider risks and the cost of potentially cancelling trips. Anyone already planning university-related international travel, must register with USU’s international travel registry so they are covered by International SOS insurance. 

Whether you are planning a trip or already travelling, you may reach out to USU Risk Management if you are concerned: risk@usu.edu | 435-797-1844.

Staying Healthy
You can protect yourself from all diseases, including COVID-19, by following everyday best practices to avoid the spread of germs. Learn more from the CDC.

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

USU is rolling out a social marketing campaign aimed at preventing the spread of any disease on campus that encourages community members to stay home when they are sick and follow best practices to prevent the spread of germs. We appreciate cooperation with these guidelines from everyone, including supervisors and professors who may have to accommodate ill employees and students.

If You Are Ill

If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and have travelled to impacted areas, or have close contacts who have travelled to impacted areas, please seek care at your local emergency department or health care provider. Call the hospital or your provider ahead of time to let them know you are coming.

As new information emerges, please remember that the risk of COVID-19 is not connected with race, ethnicity or nationality. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin, and be sure to maintain confidentiality of those who may be tested for or have confirmed coronavirus infection. Sharing accurate information from only reliable sources is the best thing community members can do to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading. 

Thank you for helping to keep our campus community healthy and safe.

Sincerely,
Noelle E. Cockett