Preventing the Spread of Illness at Work

Due to the COVID-19 situation, employees are encouraged to do the following:

I meet with students (customers, employees, patients, etc.) frequently as part of my job responsibilities. What should I do if I encounter someone who is obviously sick?

For contagious illnesses, maintaining a reasonable distance from the person is a starting point. 

  • Do not shake hands or make other physical contact. 
  • Offer the individual a tissue and ask the person to cover their mouth and nose if they should need to cough or sneeze. 
  • Use a sanitary wipe after the person has left to wipe those areas of your work station that the person has touched. 

There may be situations in which a meeting can be rescheduled to a time when the person is feeling better or the business can be conducted by phone or e-mail. Do not hesitate to offer this suggestion if it is appropriate.

Last updated March 17, 2020

Can employees be sent home if they appear to be ill?

Yes. To prevent potential exposure of others, an employee may be asked to go home if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, or shortness of breath. The decision to send an employee home who is exhibiting these symptoms is to be made on a case-by-case basis. If possible, consult with the campus Human Resources office before sending an employee home.

In addition, advise employees of basic preventative measures (practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, covering your nose and mouth with your sleeve if you cough or sneeze, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands) and post related flyers throughout your work areas.

Last updated March 9, 2020

Can employees returning from travel come back to work?

Employees returning from travel are to adhere to the CDC’s guidance for travelers, as well as university guidance for travelers. At this time, there are no university issued restrictions on domestic travel within the US. Employees returning from domestic travel are still encouraged to protect the IU community by quarantining if they have symptoms or believe they were exposed, telecommute if at all possible, or discuss alternate arrangements with their supervisor.

Last updated March 19, 2020

I think I might be sick. What do I do? updated 4/3

Call your doctor or health care provider if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has full details on its website, including the importance of avoiding public transportation if you are feeling ill and staying away from others, even within your own household.

Last updated April 3, 2020

Do On-Campus Essential (OCE) employees have to maintain social distancing while on campus? updated 4/3

Yes. When at all possible, social distancing and infection prevention practices are to be followed. If you have concerns about this, please contact your supervisor or your HR representative.

Last updated April 3, 2020

I have been designated as OCE. Can I be paid if I choose not to work in order to avoid exposure? updated 4/7

Employees designated as OCE are expected to continue performing their work on campus. If you feel you cannot complete your assigned work on campus,  discuss the reasons why with your supervisor. If the reason falls under an approved COVID-19 reason to be away from work (see the Pay, Time Off, & Leave FAQ “What are the reasons I can use COVID-19 related time off?”), you may be off using COVID-19 pay.

If you need to be away from work for a non-COVID-19 reason, contact your HR representative to discuss the situation.

Last updated April 7, 2020