Supportive Work Environment for Higher Risk Employees
UIC Faculty and Staff:
As the COVID-19 spreads, we encourage all members of our UIC family to exercise good judgment and social distancing. We continue under the Governor’s Stay-at-Home Executive Order until April 30, 2020. We remind you to stay home if you are ill, and do not come to work. CMS health insurers are covering COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 examinations, including Telehealth visits: https://www.hr.uillinois.edu/UserFiles/Servers/Server_4208/File/Benefits/CMS COVID-19 health plan coverage.pdf
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revised its list of conditions which put individuals at high-risk for severe illness with COVID-19. They expanded the list of underlying medical conditions and included all people 65 years and older. As such we are revising our recommendations from the March 15th Human Resource communication.
Groups at Higher Risk for Severe Illness with COVID-19
- People 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or a long-term care facility
- People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised
- Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medication.
- People with severe obesity (body mass index, or BMI, of 40 or higher)
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- People with liver disease
For Employees Who Must Work on Campus
We continue to encourage supervisors to be flexible and creative in determining ways to meet critical and essential campus work requirements while complying with the Governor’s Stay-at-Home Executive Order. It is particularly important to evaluate and utilize alternative work measures for higher-risk employees as defined above for employees who must remain on-site for critical operations. If alternate measures have not already been considered, these employees, effective immediately, should work with their supervisors to make revised work plans and document absences. To the greatest extent possible, higher-risk employees shall be directed to work remotely. Exceptions must be explicitly approved by vice chancellors or deans.
If the employee believes they have a medical condition that qualifies them for a higher risk for severe illness, they must provide medical documentation to that effect to their department/college Human Resources contacts.
University Health Services will verify the information in consideration of return to work with restriction, accommodation or considered leave. The employee’s supervisor will be notified once verification is complete.
Hospital/clinic employees should provide information to Hospital LOA Office (firstname.lastname@example.org). Hospital employees should refer to the “COVID-19 BENEFIT TIME GUIDELINES” that were published to the Hospital intranet COVID-19 Resources Tile: http://intranet.uimcc.uic.edu/COVID-19/Policies and HR Updates/Benefit Time%Employees may also be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave and/or Expanded Family and Medical Leave. These two leave types were created effective April 1, 2020 by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). More information about these leaves can be found at https://hr.uic.edu/news-stories/families-first-coronavirus-response-act-2/20Guidelines.pdf
Feel free to direct leave related questions for employees outside of the Hospital and Clinics to UIC Human Resources at email@example.com.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
David C. Marder, MD, MPH
Director, University Health Services