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COVID-19 Information for Employees

Frequently Asked Questions


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends following ways to slow the spread of the virus:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others who don’t live in your household.
  • Get vaccinated.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Wash your hands often.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect.
  • Monitor your health daily.

SWOSU has implemented a hiring freeze on non-student positions. Departments requesting to post a non-student position, must complete the Hiring Freeze Form located on Etrieve before initiating.

Departments are encouraged to schedule remote interviews through applications such as Zoom.

With the return to normal operations, remote work opportunities are available to individuals under the Americans with Disability Act as Amended (ADAA). For additional information, contact Human Resources.


  • If you are not vaccinated, you should not report to work until cleared by HR.
  • You should notify your supervisor in a timely manner. Supervisors should notify HR.
  • HR will be in contact to ensure CDC procedures are being followed.

People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. CDC does recommend that fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after an exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative.

If you are vaccinated it is not necessary to notify your Supervisor or HR of a potential exposure. However, individuals should continue to monitor their symptoms.

You should not report to work if you are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms regardless of your vaccination status.

  • You should notify your supervisor in a timely manner. Supervisors should notify HR.
  • Contact your doctor or medical provider for guidance regarding testing.
  • HR will be in contact to ensure CDC procedures are being followed.

SWOSU recognizes that certain areas have experienced higher case numbers than others. Individuals who recently traveled to these areas should take precautionary action to avoid spreading the virus further such as following CDC’s recommended steps for slowing the virus.

SWOSU expects employees experiencing flu-like symptoms to stay home. While only a medical professional can diagnose an illness and provide care instructions, supervisors may advise an employee to stay home if they appear to have flu-like symptoms.

Supervisors should not pressure anyone who is ill to come to work.

Supervisors should communicate with HR directly in the event of a positive COVID-19 test. Departments should maintain the confidentiality of the student or employee; this includes discussing with colleagues. HR will coordinate the employee’s return date and notify supervisor via email.


Employees should continue tracking leave either through Self-Service or the university Excel timesheet. Individuals unable to report on campus due to a COVID exposure, should use accrued sick leave, annual leave or comp time to cover their absence. Additionally, upon Budget Unit Head’s approval, remote work may be available.


Individuals enrolled in SWOSU’s BCBS health insurance have a $0 out of pocket cost for COVID-19 testing.

BCBS offers a 24/7 Nurseline service (1-800-581-0407) available to employees and their dependents.

Employees should also review other benefits they elected during open enrollment, such as Short-Term Disability and MetLife Plans (accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity).  Employees can review their benefit enrollment at TBX.  User name is employee ID or SSN.  Password is last 4 digits of SSN and last 2 digits of birth year.  (do not use dashes or spaces).

Telemedicine is available for benefit eligible employees. Virtual visits allow you to consult a doctor for non-emergency situations by phone, mobile app, or online video anytime, anywhere.  Information on this program can be found at BCBS and MDLIVE.

Possibly. Changes in current benefits can be made based on an applicable qualifying event. The request for a change of benefits must be made within 31 days of the applicable qualifying event. 

A qualifying event includes: a birth or adoption; marriage, divorce or legal separation; death; child loses eligibility because of age; employee’s spouse gains or loses coverage through employment; significant change in the financial terms of health benefits provided through a spouse’s employer or another carrier.

Contact with any questions or request for a qualifying event.

SWOSU offers an Employee Assistance Program for employees and their dependents. Contact Jamie Collins (x3246) for more information.

SWOSU offers BetterHelp services for students, staff, faculty and administration. BetterHelp is the largest online counseling platform worldwide, providing convenient, discreet and affordable access to a licensed therapist. BetterHelp makes professional counseling available anytime, anywhere, through a computer, tablet, or smartphone. For more information about this service, please contact the Center for Health and Well-Being.

SWOSU also offers in-person counseling sessions through an Employee Assistance Program for employees and their dependents. Individuals wanting to speak with a counselor in person are welcome to contact Jamie Collins (x3246) for assistance setting up an appointment for counseling.