Coronavirus FAQ

Updated July 8, 2020

 

Virtual Town Halls

Virtual town halls are planned for the week of July 6 with university administrators. Sessions will be offered for:

  • Faculty
    • Tuesday, July 7, 2020 [Completed]
    • Hosts: Dr. Richard Carvajal, president, and Dr. Robert Smith, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
    • To watch the recording, faculty members should check Blazeview's VSU 1101 shell for a secure link to the virtual town hall. 
  • Staff
    • TBD :: Details coming soon
  • Students and families:
    • Tuesday, July 28, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
    • View on Facebook or YouTube
    • Focus: Updates on the Return to Campus Plan “Taking Your Questions”

Return to Campus FAQs

  • Health Services

    Will the Health Center be open?

    Student Health Services and the Counseling Center will be open with the following procedures:

    • Guests entering the facility must be wearing a mask. (If they do not have a personal one, a disposable one with be provided by a sanitation kiosk at the front door.)
    • Only guests receiving services from Health Services, Counseling, or Wellness should enter the building. Friends or family of clients should not enter.
    • Health Services patients showing symptoms common with COVID-19 should call 229-333-5886 to speak with a Health Service representative and be escorted inside.
    • Counseling and Wellness guests with symptoms of COVID-19 should not enter the facility. Instead call to schedule tele-counseling or virtual wellness visit.
      • Counseling Center: 229-333-5940
      • Wellness: 229-219-3191
    • The general waiting area furniture has been arranged to promote social distancing.
    • Pharmacy will offer curb-side pick-up of pharmaceuticals with routine medication refills, and over-the-counter medications can be requested by phone.
    • Temperatures will be taken when patient enters Health Services area.
    • A separate entrance and waiting area will be established for guests with fever and/or respiratory symptoms common with COVID-19.

    Will the university be providing testing for staff and faculty?

    The CDC does not recommend testing everyone for COVID-19. However, if you are a VSU employee who is sick or becomes sick with COVID-19 symptoms, you will be required to either provide a physician’s note in order to return to work from any illness related absence or meet all of the following criteria:

    • fever free for period of 3 days without the use of antipyretics (fever reducing medication),
    • improved symptoms, and
    • there have been at least 10 days since the onset of symptoms.

    Employees should communicate any changes in their work status and their ability to perform their job duties to their direct supervisor to determine needed documentation for a return to campus.

    Will the university be conducting screening of staff and faculty before individuals come to work each day?

    We are encouraging all faculty and staff to self-monitor and log their temperature before coming to work each day, as well as monitor for symptoms and report those to their immediate supervisor. Student Health Services will not conduct screenings daily for staff and/or faculty.

    Will the university be providing masks or face coverings to staff who come to work?

    Yes. Although it is encouraged that employees bring their own masks for use on campus. Each employee will be provided with a washable, reusable cloth masks with a space to insert a disposable or washable filter. If you have returned to campus and have not been provided a mask by your supervisor, please contact Shauna Branch in Student Success (slmorris@valdosta.edu).

    What should I do if an employee or colleague comes to work with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath)?

    All employee and human resources FAQs can be found in the Employee Return to Work Guide.

    What should I do if I find out several days later, after a staff member or colleague worked, that they were diagnosed with COVID-19?

    All employee and human resources FAQs can be found in the Employee Return to Work Guide.

    How do staff who interact with other university staff/stakeholders/vendors stay safe?

    Practice social-distancing where possible, wear a mask, practice handwashing hygiene, self-monitor for symptoms, and refrain from touching your face. These are best practices for staying safe while interacting with others.

    How can I help protect staff/colleagues who may be at higher risk for severe illness?

    Be alert for symptoms. Self-monitor for signs of illness, stay home when you are sick, wear facial coverings, clean surfaces that you touch, maintain 6 feet of distance from others, and practice recommended techniques, handwashing to protect others, especially our vulnerable population.

    Do staff need to wear cloth face coverings or personal protective equipment (PPE) (such as N95 respirators, gloves) to protect themselves while working?

    Face coverings help minimize the spread of viruses and bacteria. Staff are encouraged to wear them outside of their office and personal spaces. Your supervisor will provide guidance on what Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be required for your area of work.

    How often should staff wash their hands while at work?

    Handwashing is vital to help slow and stop the spread of illnesses. It should be conducted whenever you come in contact with someone new, before you eat, after using the restroom, if you cough or sneeze, and after touching objects outside of your personal space.

    What can I tell staff or colleagues about reducing the spread of COVID-19 at work?

    Stay home if you are sick, wear facial coverings when in public, encourage coworkers to stay home when sick, and wash your hands frequently. Other employee and human resources FAQs can be found in the Employee Return to Work Guide.

    Should the university be screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms (such as temperature checks)? What is the best way to do that?

    Staff, faculty, and students will be encouraged to use thermometers before coming to campus to aid in self-monitoring, in addition to handwashing and facial coverings to help prevent the spread of illness.

    What is social distancing and how can my workplace do that?

    Social distancing is staying at least six feet apart from others. Your supervisor will determine how to do that best within your department. Additional resources can be found in the Employee Return to Work Guide.

     

    See the full plan here.

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19

    Students who test positive for COVID-19 should immediately notify the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at 229-333-5941. If after office hours then the student should call campus police at 229-333-7816 to be transferred to the on-call Dean.

    If the student lives on campus

    Students living on campus will be asked if leaving campus and returning to their primary home residence (preferred) is an option.

    • If yes:
      • The student will be asked to gather their academic materials and clothing needed for two weeks and immediately leave campus for home.
      • The student’s roommate(s) will be contacted and asked to self-isolate in their residence hall and await further instruction from a Student Health Services staff person.
    • If no:
      • The student will be asked to gather their academic materials, clothing, towels and wash cloths needed for two weeks and will be provided access to an isolation suite in Georgia Hall.
      • The student’s roommate(s) will be contacted and asked to self-isolate in their residence hall and await further instruction from a Student Health Services staff person.


    A designated Health Services staff member will contact the COVID-19-positive student’s roommates to discuss testing options, cleaning and disinfecting recommendations, and guidance on self-isolation as appropriate.

    A designated Health Services staff member will contact the COVID-19-positive student and begin the Contact Tracing protocol. (More information will be shared soon).

    Notifying faculty and managing absences

    The VPSA/DOS office will use the current absence notification process to make professors aware that the student will not be able to attend class due to medical reasons and should work with students to provide online access to course assignments and offered flexibility in meeting deadlines. Students are encouraged to email their professors also to ask for missed work.

    Returning to campus for housing and/or classes

    Following GDPH guidance on discontinuing self-isolation, students must meet the following:

    • IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS: You must remain under self-isolation precautions until:
      • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
        AND
      • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
        AND
      • at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared
    • IF YOU DO NOT HAVE SYMPTOMS: You must remain under self-isolation precaution until:
      • 10 days have passed since the date of your first positive COVID-19
        AND
      • You have had no subsequent illness.

    Note: asymptomatic persons who test positive and later develop symptoms should follow the guidance for symptomatic persons above.

    When students have met the requirements for discontinuing self-isolation, students should do the following:

    • Contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at 229-333-5941.
      • A message will be sent to professors to notify them the student will be returning to class via the current absence notification portal.
    • The student should wear a facemask or proper face covering and maintain social distancing at all times when returning to campus.
    • Students should adhere to proper hygiene etiquette.
    • Students should self-monitor for symptoms and seek re-evaluation from Student Health Services should respiratory symptoms recur.
  • Facilities

    Will the university be cleaning copiers, doors, elevators, computers?

    Custodial Services will clean high-touch areas such as doors, elevators, electrical switches, etc on a regular schedule, which can be found in our Return to Work guide. Departments will clean their own high-touch equipment such as copiers, computers, phones, etc. Contact Facilities at facilities@valdosta.edu or at 229-249-4860 for information on cleaning supplies distribution for your department. 

    Will the university provide cleaning and sanitation supplies for self-cleaning in my department and my workspace?

    Yes, Plant Operations will provide cleaning and sanitation supplies.

    In addition to cleaning, what else can be done to decrease the spread of disease in my workplace?

    We should continue to stress proper hand hygiene, telework and alternate work schedules, social distancing (whenever possible), and the use of facial coverings. You can also download signage for your workspace here.

     

    See the full plan here.

  • Dining

    Are the restrictions currently in place for dine-in restaurant service applicable to the dining services on campus?

    Although the restaurant restrictions shared in the governor’s executive orders are not directly applicable to university food service operations, we intend to follow these guidelines. 

    Are dining services typically available to staff on campus going to be open?

    Yes, we will open dining facilities following most current governmental guidelines regarding sanitation and social distancing with limited service hours and very limited seating. Faculty and staff may dine in any of these locations. Operating schedules and locations can be found at Blazer Dining's website. 

    What precautions are being taken for COVID-19?

    All recommended and required precautions are being implemented, including but not limited to:

    • Disposable items will be used whenever feasible such as paper products, cutlery, cleaning towels, etc.
    • All food will be served by dining staff.
    • Counters and equipment will be modified to accommodate dining staff serving items that are typically self-serve such as salad, ice cream, etc.
    • Meal periods will be specified for breakfast, lunch and dinner allowing time to disinfect high touch surfaces and restroom spaces in dining facilities between meal periods.
    • Take out options will be highly encouraged and marketed
    • Social distancing guidelines/reminders will be marketed on signage
    • Entrance doors into dining locations will be staffed to control occupancy of food service areas.
    • Online ordering (GrubHub) will be expanded to all retail dining options and more menu options and will be highly encouraged and marketed for utilizing retail options for dining.
    • In addition, a ticketing system will be used to accommodate Starbucks orders, with no one standing inside of the closed in glassed space waiting on an order.

    See the full plan here

  • Human Resources

    DCOVID-19 SYMPTOMS/TESTING DECISION TREES

    In an effort to help employees and managers determine next steps due to COVID-19 symptoms or testing, we have provided the attached decision trees.  We will post these trees to HR’s webpage and will update them as new information arises.  Please view them as they may address questions that you have as well as help guide you better in providing important information to HR and allow managers to respond more quickly. Please note that employees must notify either HR or their supervisor and managers must contact HR as they are notified about potential exposure, symptoms, decisions to test, and final results.

    If you print a COVID-19 decision tree, please make sure you continue to frequently check our page to ensure you have the most current information available. Please contact Catherine Wills at croark@valdosta.edu or Marley Holcomb at mmburke@valdosta.edu with any questions.

    All employee and human resources FAQs can be found in the Employee Return to Work Guide.

    See the full plan here.

  • Campus Events

    Will campus events still happen?

    Valdosta State University will follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) to make public health-informed decisions affecting the status of any of our campus’s activities. We will also follow instructions and/or guidelines issued from the Governor’s office and University System of Georgia (USG).

    Every effort will be made to continue to provide the traditional student experience by connecting students to our institution through activities, programming, events, recruitment, and meetings. This includes public service events, outreach events (Homecoming, Family Weekend, Fall Explosion) or any other activities hosted by our university departments and student organizations.

    What resources are available to meet virtually?

    VSU offices will work with student organizations to support their efforts in continuing to provide alternate activities, meetings, and events that incorporate social distancing and usage of on-line methods if deemed necessary.

    Will the university still hold Greek Life recruitment?

    Student organization recruitment activities must adhere to the current social distancing requirement in place. If an organization cannot ensure social distancing, the organization should consider deferring recruitment to the spring semester.

    • All councils are encouraged to host virtual recruitment events throughout the summer and fall to increase engagement and interest in their groups.
      • Sorority Recruitment – takes place prior to Fall classes beginning when campus is less occupied. (CPC)
        • Developed based on recommendations from national NPC Recruitment Contingency Task Force
        • A fully structured recruitment (FSR) hosted with social distancing guidelines in place (a hybrid model of virtual and in-person). Students are back on campus but with limitations on the size of gatherings. The College Panhellenic uses a fully structured recruitment with a combination of events conducted virtually in the early rounds and in-person during later rounds in compliance with local health and safety recommendations. The College Panhellenic coordinates recruitment registration, schedule, and Bid Day.
        • Bids and Chapter reveal activities will be virtual.
      • Fraternity Recruitment – takes place in September (IFC)
        • Men will complete rounds 1-3 virtually and plan to complete the final round in person depending on the size of each round determined at the start of recruitment week.
        • If the rounds are determined to be larger than the allotted number by the CDC for gatherings, the final round will be virtual as well.
      • MGC/NPHC
        • If a chapter is required or deems it necessary to postpone intake to the spring, that chapter will need to provide documentation and a plan for spring intake.
        • All chapters are encouraged to complete intake in the fall if that was the original plan.
        • Interest meetings, Rush meetings and interviews will be held virtually through teams.

    See the full plan here.

  • Athletics

    Will VSU Athletics resume in the Fall?

    Valdosta State University plans to participate in intercollegiate athletic competition during the 2020-2021 academic year. Our projected start date is July 1, 2020, beginning with a return of student-athletes for voluntary summer workouts.

    What protections are in place for student athletes?

    The Valdosta State University Athletic Department is using the NCAA Sport Science Institute’s “Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport” along with guidance from local and state officials in the creation of our plan. These procedures and plans will be communicated to student athletes by their coaches and athletic department officials.

    How will we encounter social distancing as spectators?

    The Athletic Department will have a plan in place for athletic competitions that will allow for regular attendance and a separate plan for competitions that will have reduced or no attendance. Plans have been implemented for social distancing by closing off seats, spacing out spectator areas, and increasing the use of hand sanitizer stations, cleaning schedules, PPE, and other CDC-recommended practices.

    See the full plan here.

  • Requirements for Face Coverings

    Effective July 15, 2020, all USG institutions, including Valdosta State, will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities and buildings. Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.

    How to Select and Wear a Face Covering

    According to the CDC, "COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice (e.g., while shouting, chanting, or singing). These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms (are “asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (are “pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. 

    "To reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. A cloth face covering may not protect the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others.” (Source).

    Full time faculty and staff will be provided with a cloth face mask as part of the Summer 2020 Return to Work Plan. If you have returned to campus and have not received your mask, please let us know.

    Selecting a face covering:

    • It is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings, according the the CDC website (Source).
    • Cloth face coverings are NOT surgical masks or N95 respirators. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
    • Cloth face coverings can be made at home from bandanas, old t-shirts, or other fabric, with or without a sewing machine.

    How to wear your cloth face covering 

    • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering.
    • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
    • Don’t put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead.
    • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
    • Make sure you can breathe easily.
    • (Source)

    Don’t have a face mask yet? The US Surgeon General will show you how to make your own. This video is also available in ASL

    Private areas and outdoors

    Face coverings are not required in one’s own residence hall room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met. When leaving these private areas, individuals should wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities and buildings on campus or outdoors on campus when social distancing of six feet or more isn’t possible.

    How the use of face coverings will be monitored and regulated

    Face coverings will be required in all campus facilities and buildings beginning July 15, 2020. Anyone not using a face covering when required to do so will be asked to wear one or they must leave the area. 

    Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff, or students.

Students

  • Academics

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    How can I be successful in learning online?

    Each of you will be getting your own concierge coach. This person is your single point of contact for any challenge you may experience for the remainder of the term. They are “your person!” Your coach will reach out to you directly after the start of your course term.

    Will there be tutoring or supplemental instruction?

    All of your online courses will include a link that can connect you directly to the resources you need for academic support. We will also be offering easily accessible tutoring in one-on-one and/or group sessions online via video chat in every course where tutoring has traditionally been provided. Supplemental Instruction will continue to be available in the same courses in which it was previously available, and this assistance will be easy to access in your course materials in Blazeview.

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, which includes plans for tutoring, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    How will my tests be given, and do I now need to pay an additional fee for a test proctor service?

    Faculty are currently working to develop secure ways to offer and proctor tests in an online format that will not require you to pay additional fees. Specific information regarding testing will be available in your course materials on Blazeview.

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, which includes testing plans, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    How do I contact my advisor?

    Academic Advisors are actively connecting with students through VSU email. If you need to send an email to your advisor, a list of the academic advisors and their contact information is available here. If you're not sure who your assigned advisor is, the information is available in the VSU Success Portal. Feel free to send us an email at UAST@valdosta.edu and we will make the connection for you.

    How can I get technology assistance? Is the IT Solution Center available?

    The IT Solutions Center will continue to be available, and all staff will maintain established hours. Solutions Center management will be monitoring the number of requests closely and will be able to add additional resources to meet any increased call volumes. The IT Solutions Center can be reached at 229-245-4357.   

     

    What about my clinical placement, internship, student teaching, laboratories, and studios?

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for clinicals, field experiences, labs, and internships, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    What impact does this have on Study Abroad?

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for Study Abroad, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

  • Fall 2020

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for clinicals, field experiences, labs, and internships, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return.
  • Summer 2020

    Valdosta State University and the University System of Georgia’s 26 institutions will continue to deliver instruction remotely (online-only) during May and summer semesters, with only limited exceptions.

    USG institutions are tentatively planning to return to normal on-campus operations for the fall semester, should guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health allow it.

  • Services

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for hours of operations and available services, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    What services are available?  

    Additional campus services remain available with adjusted hours. This includes Odum Library Academic Support Center, Student Health Center, Counseling Center, Career Opportunities, advising centers, and many more. For a list of campus services, hours of operation, and contact information visit our campus operations page.

  • Student Employment

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including a Return to Work plan for student employees, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    Are Student Employees permitted to work?

    On-Campus student employees may continue to work if their supervisor has provided adjusted job responsibilities or a telework option. With the change to online instruction and limited campus services, student job duties may no longer be needed. Students that rely on campus student employment for financial stability should contact Career Opportunities at 229-333-5942 or careerops@valdosta.edu. On-campus jobs are available in custodial services, building maintenance, and grounds.

    Work study is a form of federal financial aid, and students on Work Study will continue to be paid for their hours when offices are no longer working in the normal capacity. You no longer need to work. Please contact Payroll if you do not continue to receive your payment this semester.

  • Fall 2020 Graduation

    Has Fall semester graduation in December been canceled?

    At this time, we expect to hold our Fall 2020 Commencement Exercises on the Valdosta Campus in December 2020.

    Spring 2020 graduates who were unable to walk due to COVID-19 cancelations in May 2020 may participate in the following celebrations:

    • Spring 2020 graduate recognition event - Homecoming, October 2020
    • Fall 2020 Commencement - Walk the stage and celebrate in December 2020

     

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for commencement, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

  • Housing

    Please see the "return to campus" FAQ section at the top of this page.

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for housing and residence life, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

  • What if I get sick?

    Please see the "return to campus" FAQ section at the top of this page for detailed procedures applying to students who have tested positive for COVID-19.

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for housing and residence life, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

Employees

  • Precautions

    What action is the University System/VSU taking to protect students, faculty and staff from COVID-19?

    We continue to monitor COVID-19 and to take safety actions as warranted. We are operating in conjunction with our local, state, and national health agencies to include regular updates with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).  VSU has established a task force composed of leaders from across campus who are working to continually assess the institution’s readiness plans and execute protocols related to medical health and safety, business continuity, emergency preparedness and travel.

    For a full Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, please visit www.valdosta.edu/return

    What else can I do to minimize the possibility of exposure?

    Continue to follow current CDC guidelines regarding prevention, including frequent washing of hands with soap and water throughout the day, avoidance of touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and limiting avoidable contacts in areas that are highly populated. For those who need to schedule meetings, try to use conference calls rather than in person meetings when appropriate.

    What guidance is available for home quarantine and isolation?

    The CDC has guidance on this topic found at the website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/.

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return

  • Symptoms and Sickness

    What should I do if I am sick?

    The CDC also offers valuable resources for individuals who are feeling sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return

    What if I do have symptoms of COVID-19?  

    The CDC also offers valuable resources for individuals who are feeling sick or demonstrating symptoms: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return

    What if I have been exposed but am not showing any symptoms? 

    Employees who believe they have been directly exposed to COVID-19, but are not showing symptoms, should self-quarantine consistent with DPH and CDC guidelines. Employees must contact their supervisor if they are unable to come to work or need to make a telework arrangement or can no longer telework. Employees should contact their healthcare provider if they become sick and remain home.   

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return

    What if I have been exposed and am showing symptoms, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19?  

    Employees who believe they have been directly exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms should seek care from a healthcare provider and may be required to self-quarantine. Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 must inform their manager, and they should not come to work.

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return

    DCOVID-19 SYMPTOMS/TESTING DECISION TREES

    In an effort to help employees and managers determine next steps due to COVID-19 symptoms or testing, we have provided the attached decision trees.  We will post these trees to HR’s webpage and will update them as new information arises.  Please view them as they may address questions that you have as well as help guide you better in providing important information to HR and allow managers to respond more quickly. Please note that employees must notify either HR or their supervisor and managers must contact HR as they are notified about potential exposure, symptoms, decisions to test, and final results.

    If you print a COVID-19 decision tree, please make sure you continue to frequently check our page to ensure you have the most current information available. Please contact Catherine Wills at croark@valdosta.edu or Marley Holcomb at mmburke@valdosta.edu with any questions.

  • Travel

    All non-essential business travel is suspended in order to comply with government regulations. Managers have the authority to rescind prior travel approval. Required face-to-face meetings should be transitioned to an electronic format or rescheduled.

    A full plan for university-related travel is available at www.valdosta.edu/return.  

    What if I am planning personal travel or have traveled out of the state or country?

    Employees should use their best judgment regarding travel plans to destinations other than CDC Level 3 or higher countries. Anyone planning to travel, either domestically or internationally, is encouraged to stay up-to-date with current travel alerts from the CDC.  

    Currently, CDC recommends travelers should avoid nonessential travel to any country at a Warning Level 3 or higher. Employees who have traveled to or plan to travel to CDC Level 3 or higher locations must not return to any USG campus or facility for 14 days following their return. In addition, employees returning from a Level 3 or higher country are required to self-quarantine in accordance with the DPH and CDC guidelines.

  • Leave Options

     

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees and supervisors, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return.

    Not sure if you are high-risk or not? Check the CDC’s guidance here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html.

  • Student Assistants and Graduate Assistants

     

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return.

    What if my student employee does not want to return to work?

    The student employee can make the decision to resume work or not during this period. We ask that all supervisors be respectful of that decision and contact Career Opportunities at 229-333-5942 or careerops@valdosta.edu if there is a need to temporarily backfill that position with another student employee.

     

  • University Hours, Services, and Public Access

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return.

    Will the VSU campus be open?

    Yes, the campus remains open. That said, to reduce social interactions, VSU is limiting public access to campus to certain hours and offices. 

    Select areas will be open and staffed Monday through Thursday from 10:00am-2:00pm.  Contact information including phone numbers and email addresses may be found at www.valdosta.edu/health-advisory/campus-operations.php.  If you reach out to these areas during times other than what is published below, please know that every attempt will be made to respond to all emails and voicemail messages within one business day.

    • Students in need of food or hygiene items may contact the Drop-N-Shop program for assistance by email at slvs@valdosta.edu.

     

Faculty

  • General Academic Questions

    A full Return to Campus plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

     

    Will faculty members have assistance as they redesign delivery of course materials?

    Yes. eLearning has put a wealth of information on the web.

    Will there be any one-on-one support for faculty?

    Yes. eLearning and CELT staff are available for one-on-one faculty assistance. 

    Who should faculty contact with questions about externally funded proposals and awards?

    Questions should be addressed to OSPRA at: grants@valdosta.edu. 

    Do I need a special license to access Zoom for video and audio conferencing?

    VSU does not have a license for Zoom. However, we continue to maintain a license for Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Microsoft Teams is also available for video conferencing. Details are available here. 

    What plans are in place for my individual College?

    All academic colleges are working to ensure that all classes are successfully transitioned to online delivery. For specific questions, please contact your department head or dean’s office.

    A full Return to Campus plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    How can I support students I work with on an individual basis?

    You may use any of the many tools available from eLearning to help you to continue your one-on-one student work. Students will also be assigned a personal Academic Coach, and advisors, tutors, and supplemental instruction remain available to all online learners.

    Do I still need to hold office hours?

    Yes. Although face-to-face office hours will not continue, faculty should continue to make themselves available to students for one-on-one assistance. This may be done through specific times where they are available by phone or video chat, or through any other means that the faculty member determines will allow for suitable interaction. 

    Can I require my class to be held synchronously (in the actual class time, but virtually)?

    Yes. The way your class meets is entirely up to you. Some faculty will convert face-to-face classes to synchronous meetings, while others will choose to convert classes to asynchronous meetings. The only restriction is that, if your class will be meeting synchronously, it should be held in the same time block as it was originally scheduled to avoid creating conflicts.  

    What kind of IT/tech support is available for me on evenings and weekends?

    eLearning will support faculty in converting their courses to online delivery and will assist faculty with any problems they may encounter. eLearning staff be available in Odum Library from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Monday through Thursday and by phone or email during normal business hours. Faculty can also call the D2L Help Center 24-hours a day for troubleshooting (1-855-772-0423).

  • Technology Support

    A full Return to Campus plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

     

    Can our technology infrastructure support a large influx of users?

    Yes, it can.  There are many connection avenues that faculty, staff and students use for needed system access.  Each will be monitored by IT staff to ensure system resources remain available based upon load.  If additional resources are needed based upon load, the IT department has contingencies to continue delivering services that meet our users’ needs. We have been assured that all of our systems, including BlazeView, will be able to handle the additional demands placed on them.  

     

Staff

  • Telework Options

    A full Return to Work plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return.

    Can a manager consider telework or flex schedules for employees?

    Supervisors are strongly encouraged to maximize telework and flex schedule opportunities for their employees, and increased flexibility to approve alternative work schedules now exists in line with the Governor’s directive to reduce the number of employees on-site at any given time.

    Authorized managers can waive the requirement to complete the usual telework agreement and may use email to confirm approval to telework.  

    Do we have to complete telework during normal business hours, or can we complete work hours during other times?

    Employees are permitted to work hours outside the traditional 8:00 am – 5:00 pm work week with supervisor support. A standard workweek is Sunday through Saturday.

    Full-time employees should work 40 hours a week, unless leave has been taken.

    Non-exempt employees should record time in OneUSG for the hours worked on the days worked (including weekends).

    Can I earn comp time or overtime?

    Neither comp time nor overtime should be earned during this period. Cabinet-level approval will be required for requests to exceed 40 work hours per week.   

    Can I come to campus outside of 10am-2pm if I need to do something in my office?

    Yes. Keep in mind that buildings will be locked to the public and will only be accessible via card swipe. Temperatures in buildings will be adjusted to maximize energy savings.  University Police will continue to patrol campus to ensure that all facilities are secure.

    Can I still take annual leave while teleworking if I wish to not work certain days?

    Yes. Leave would work in the same way it does as if you were physically on campus.   

    How do I enter hours while teleworking?

    When entering hours on your time sheet, employees should use the drop-down box and choose “telework”. Call or email Payroll at payroll@valdosta.edu, if assistance is needed.

    How would we record time if we usually use a time clock?

    Employees should submit time to their Supervisor. Supervisors will enter time worked for these employees.

    Do monthly employees have to keep a telework log, or is this only for hourly employees?

    Although a monthly log is not required, monthly employees must obtain approval for the work and tasks they will be performing and must maintain proof of completion.   

    If I am injured working at home, do I file worker’s compensation?

    Employees are required to designate a work area in their home.

    If there are any injuries while working, the workers’ compensation coverage will be limited to occurrences in the designated workspace (or during work-related travel). Please see the BOR telework policy at https://www.usg.edu/hr/manual/teleworking_flextime_policy#:~:text= for more information in this regard.   

    Can I telework from a location other than my home?

    The requirement that “employees should only telework from the designated work area established in their home” suggests that hours should be worked in the employee’s place of residence.   

    How long will this telework arrangement last?

    A full Return to Work plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return.

    Employees began transitioning back to campus work spaces in a phased plan on July 15. 

    We will continue to provide updates at that page.

    Can we continue to hire new employees and have them telework?

    While we can continue to post for jobs and hire new employees in the OneUSG system, interviews must be conducted virtually, not face-to-face. This could make hiring logistically challenging. 

    Can I telework with a child or family member at home?

    Yes. Employees may telework with a child or family member at home. However, there must be no interruption in duties. 

    Can I be scheduled for hours I do not normally work?

    Telework opportunities will allow for a good deal of flexibility to work alternate hours. However, hours worked on campus should continue to be worked within the normal workday schedule.

     

  • Concierge Coaching

    What is Concierge Coaching?

    Concierge Coaching is an innovative approach VSU is implementing to help students successfully transition to online-only coursework. All employees charged with being Concierge Coaches will be assigned their own group of students. Coaches will be their students’ single point of contact for any challenge they may experience for the remainder of the term. You are “their person!” All staff charged with being Concierge Coaches will undergo detailed training the week of March 23-27.

    If I have been assigned duties as an Concierge Coach, how will I contact students?

    Concierge coaches may contact students through phone, e-mail, or a messaging service. Furthermore, Student Success and IT are in the process of developing other options that will be shared at the upcoming training for coaches.  

    Do my responsibilities as a manager change when my employees are teleworking through the division of student success as concierge coaches?  

    The Division of Student Success will perform the standard supervisory functions for the employees assisting in this effort. Managers will only be contacted if additional support is needed.    

    If an employee doesn’t have a personal cell phone, will they be required to purchase one for concierge coaching?

    Student Success is working with IT to allow employees who are serving as Concierge Coaches to use Jabber through their computer. The number that will be displayed to students will be the desk phone assigned through the university’s IT system. Each coach will be given an online link to start the process.  IT will need to know the type of device being set up (iPhone or Android).

Other Questions

  • Other Questions

    Why aren’t we just closing the university?

    A closure decision rests with the University System of Georgia for all institutions, consistent with the guidance from the Department of Public Health, and the CDC.

    What do I do if I have other questions?

    We remain committed to keeping you informed via email and via Valdosta State’s coronavirus webpage.

    A full Return to Campus plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    You should also feel free to contact the Office of Human Resources whenever needed at 229-333-5709 or hrstaff@valdosta.edu .

REPORT HEALTH CONCERNS

Key term: Close Contact - this is defined as being within six (6) feet of an individual for more than 15 minutes regardless of whether a face covering is worn.  

EMPLOYEES DO NOT come on campus if you believe you have been in close contact with a person having COVID or yourself having symptoms or receiving a positive diagnosis. Instead, notify your supervisor of your absence, seek medical services from your primary care provider, and self-report your information by completing the online form or contacting HR directly at 229-333-5709. 

STUDENTS DO NOT come on campus nor go directly to the Student Health Center if you believe you have been exposed to COVID. Instead, call the Health Services at 229-333-5886 to speak with a triage nurse over the phone. Additional guidance will be provided on how to access the health center facility. The health center remains open for walk-in patients with non-COVID medical needs. 

Members of the campus community should report all instances of close contact with a person having COVID or themselves receiving a positive diagnosis of COVID.  To assist with reporting, a COVID Self Reporting link has been added within MyVSU.  

 

covid-self-reporting.png 

 

If you have been instructed to self-isolate or quarantine, you should do so at your permanent home for the period given unless it should be extended due to remaining symptoms. 

Report a Social Distance Concern