Faculty & Staff

Information for faculty and staff on COVID-19 planning and preparedness.
In this Section

The health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students is our foremost concern. Please refer to measures highlighted on the Campus Health & Safety portal that we must all take to ensure a safe campus environment as we continue to address COVID-19.

Effective June 1, 2021, campus guidance has been updated to reflect CDC, DHS, and local public health guidance relaxing face covering and physical distancing requirements for fully vaccinated individuals. The CDC chart on masking recommendations is available online. Campus signage will be updated to reflect these changes. Existing signs will remain in place until replacement signage is available. A detailed signage replacement plan will be communicated in the near future.

Travel for university business reasons continues to be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be essential to an employee’s job responsibilities. More information on travel requirements will be released throughout summer and as part of the Return to Fall 2021 plan. The CDC guidelines for personal travel for vaccinated individuals have recently been updated. The updated CDC guidelines can be found online.

All faculty, staff, and students are strongly encouraged to receive the vaccine.

Unvaccinated protocols

  • Masks are required indoors.
  • Masks are required outdoors where physical distancing is not possible. 
  • COVID-19 testing is required once a week for students in university housing, and every other week for all other students, staff, and faculty.
  • Continue to monitor for symptoms.

Vaccinated protocols

  • Individuals may continue to wear face coverings should they choose to do so, but they are not required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors.
  • Individuals, who have provided proof of vaccination, do not need to continue testing unless they become symptomatic.
  • Continue to monitor for symptoms.

Protocols for all faculty and staff (whether vaccinated or not):

  • Continue to monitor for symptoms.
  • Seek testing, and do not come to campus, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Notify your supervisor if you are feeling ill and are unable to report to work.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact of an individual that tests positive for COVID-19, notify your supervisor or Human Resources.
  • Follow your medical provider and public health department instructions regarding isolation or quarantine protocols.
  • Masks must be worn in all testing and vaccination sites.

Please note that due to separate UW System COVID-19 safety requirements for youth programming, masks will still be required outdoors for participants of our youth camps and clinics programs.  

Please remember that there are many reasons why someone may choose to wear a face covering.  Wearing a face covering is not an indication that the person is not vaccinated. Faculty, staff, and supervisors are prohibited from discriminating against individuals regarding the use of face masks.

Faculty and staff who have concerns regarding face covering compliance are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their supervisor or the Human Resources office.

Supervisors Update 5-27-2021

A communication was sent out earlier today to all faculty and staff regarding changes in our COVID-19 protocols effective June 1. The information below is additional guidance for supervisors as they address questions about COVID-19 summer operations and manage protocol changes in their departments and units.

Mask/Face Covering Compliance

The CDC has recently determined that it is safe for vaccinated individuals to be indoors without wearing face coverings. Therefore, vaccinated individuals may continue to wear face coverings, but are not required to do so indoors or outdoors.

All unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear face coverings indoors, as well as outdoors where physical distancing is not possible. This applies to all areas of the UW-Stout campus, regardless of the physical distance between individuals or the number of people present.

Supervisor Guidance for Mask/Face Covering Compliance

We recognize that there will be questions about managing employee compliance with the revised procedures. Please review the following guidance and contact the Human Resources office with any questions.

  • Verification of vaccine status (e.g., showing a vaccination card) will not be required for faculty and staff to go without a face covering indoors.
  • If supervisors believe a faculty or staff member is misrepresenting their vaccination status, the supervisor may work with Human Resources on the review of the vaccination status on record and for additional guidance.
  • Unvaccinated faculty and staff who are unable to wear face coverings due to physical or mental health conditions or a disability should notify their supervisor or human resources representative for assistance in requesting medical accommodations.

Faculty and staff who have concerns regarding face covering compliance are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their supervisor or the Human Resources office. Faculty, staff, and supervisors are prohibited from discriminating against individuals regarding the use of face masks. Please remember that there are many reasons why someone may choose to wear a face covering and wearing a face covering is not an indication that someone is not vaccinated.

Physical and Social Distancing

Faculty and staff should continue to abide by the approved safety plans where operationally feasible during the summer. These guidelines will continue to be evaluated and any changes will be addressed in the Return to Fall 2021 plan.

Return to Fall 2021 Plan

Stout will enter its Phase 4 of operations in August (information regarding Phase 4 operations is available on page 22 of the Return to Spring plan). On August 1, employees who have been on a temporary COVID-19 telecommuting arrangement due to an accommodation, childcare needs, or a Return to Work plan will begin returning to campus, with our on-campus employee population fully returning by the start of the academic year, August 23.  Departments may determine the schedule of their employees’ return based on operational need, as long as the August 23 deadline is met. Employees with existing medical accommodations due to COVID, who feel the accommodation may need to be extended, should discuss their request with their supervisor and the Human Resources office. Our telecommuting policy that existed prior to COVID will also resume August 23. 

COVID-19 Summer Testing Information

  • Employees, including student employees, who have been fully vaccinated may upload proof of vaccination to be exempted from the testing process. Please note that anyone exempt from required testing may still opt to be tested as needed/desired.  
  • Testing for employees, students, and community members has transitioned to eTrueNorth (ETN), the agency that has been providing the community surge testing since last fall.  
  • Testing this summer is a self-administered, Binax Now, nasal swab under the supervision of ETN medical staff.  
  • Employees may sign up for their COVID-19 testing time with ETN. Please be sure to select UW-Stout Sports & Fitness Center, Employee/Student Employee, when registering for the test.  
  • All testing this summer will occur in the West Gym (where community surge testing has been occurring) in the Sports & Fitness Center.  
  • Supervisors will continue to receive testing compliance biweekly reports for all employees, including student employees. The list will include individuals who provide vaccination status, but will indicate that they are not due for testing.
  • Community members may continue to test at the testing center as often as they would like.
  • Masks must be worn in all testing and vaccination sites.

Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should seek testing, whether vaccinated or not. Additionally, the following guidance should be followed if a faculty or staff member has tested positive or had close contact with someone positive for COVID-19.

  • Positive Test (with or without symptoms)

    • An individual who tests positive and has COVID-19 symptoms will stay home until the following is met (based on the direction of a health care provider or public health): at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND at least 24 hours have passed with no fever without fever-reducing medication AND symptoms have improved.
    • An individual who tests positive and has no COVID-19 symptoms can return, based on the direction of their health care provider, once 10 days have passed since the positive test.
    • Additional information on the timing of close contact with an individual who tested positive can be found on CDC Public Health Recommendations.
  • Unvaccinated faculty and staff who have been exposed to COVID-19

    • Faculty and staff who have had close contact with someone positive for COVID-19 will quarantine at home. Please visit the CDC website for guidance on isolation and quarantine.
    • Additional information on the timing of close contact with an individual who tested positive can be found on CDC Public Health Recommendations.
  • Vaccinated faculty and staff who have been exposed to COVID-19

    • Vaccinated faculty and staff who have had close contact with someone positive for COVID-19 are not required to quarantine with the exception of faculty and staff who provide direct patient care. Vaccinated persons who do not quarantine should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following exposure. If symptoms develop, they should immediately isolate, wear a face covering, contact their health care provider, and get tested.
How to Upload Vaccination Information

To better understand current rates of vaccination for UW-Stout employees, and to be exempted from the testing requirement this summer, employees are asked to consider uploading and submitting their vaccination information.

Your vaccination information is treated as high-risk data under Wisconsin law and UW System policy. The information is submitted using a Microsoft form on a secure server through an encrypted connection. It is also encrypted in storage and is only available to specific individuals on a need-to-know basis.

Additional information regarding the submission process:

  • Employees who submit their fully vaccinated information will be exempt from testing starting the week of May 10th.
  • Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last dose (Pfizer or Moderna) or two weeks after receiving the one-dose (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine.
  • Individuals who are in process of receiving the two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) should not submit their vaccine information until both doses have been successfully completed.
  • Uploaded vaccine information is being securely stored and will only be accessed by appropriate employees for verification of exemption from the testing process.

Employees may upload confirmation of their vaccine status here.

For assistance uploading vaccine information, use this KnowledgeBase article https://kb.uwstout.edu/110220  or call the LIT Helpdesk at 715-232-5000. 

For questions about the vaccine testing exemptions, please contact the Human Resources office at askhr@uwstout.edu or 715-232-2149.

COVID-19 Summer Testing Information

Pursuant to the University of Wisconsin Interim Policy 600- Interim 02, entitled “Summer 2021 COVID-19 Testing Requirements” Tommy G. Thompson, President, UW System is hereby directing mandatory COVID-19 testing for the following populations as defined in SYS 600- Interim 02.

COVID-19 Summer Testing Information

  • The legacy testing program with Weber Health in the Johnson Fieldhouse concluded on May 7.  
  • Employees, including student employees, who have been fully vaccinated may upload proof of vaccination to be exempted from the testing process. Please note that anyone exempt from required testing may still opt to be tested as needed/desired.  
  • Testing for employees, students, and community members will transition to eTrueNorth (ETN), the agency that has been providing the community surge testing since last fall.  
  • Testing this summer is a self-administered, Binax Now, nasal swab under the supervision of ETN medical staff.  

Beginning the week of May 17

There will be a pause for required employee and student testing from now through Friday, May 14. Beginning the week of May 17, employees may sign up for their COVID-19 testing time with ETN.

Please note that this is a new link for employee sign-up

Please be sure to select UW-Stout Sports & Fitness Center, Employee/Student Employee, when registering for the test.  

  • All testing this summer will occur in the West Gym (where community surge testing has been occurring) in the Sports & Fitness Center.  
  • Supervisors will continue to receive testing compliance biweekly reports for all employees, including student employees.  
  • Community members are welcome to continue to test as often as they would like. 
University of Wisconsin Interim Policy 600- Interim 02

Pursuant to the University of Wisconsin Interim Policy 600- Interim 02, entitled “Summer 2021 COVID-19 Testing Requirements,” Tommy G. Thompson, President, UW System is hereby directing mandatory COVID-19 testing for the following populations as defined in SYS 600- Interim 02:

  • On-campus students at a frequency of once a week
  • Off-campus students at a frequency of once every other week
  • Employees at a frequency of once every other week
  • Precollege/youth programs and activities participants dependent on the length of the program, as described below:
    • Single day youth programs and activities- participant should self-quarantine for at least 10 days before coming to campus
    • Multi-day youth programs and activities- participant must either be tested upon their arrival or within three days prior to their arrival to campus. If a youth program or activity lasts longer than seven days, participants must additionally be tested once per week after the initial seven-day period. An exception should be granted to participants who have documentation of a positive PCR test within 90 days of the activity and have completed their isolation period.

UW institutions may exempt individuals from testing and quarantine requirements if all the following requirements are met:

  • If an individual is “fully vaccinated,” which means that it has been two weeks or longer since the individual has completed the vaccine series.
  • The institutions can verify that the individual is fully vaccinated.
  • The individual is asymptomatic.

If a fully vaccinated on-campus student or a precollege/youth programs and activities participant is exposed to an individual with suspected or known COVID-19, the student/participant should be tested for COVID-19.

Additional Faculty & Staff Resources

UW-Stout Memos for Faculty & Staff

Memos are listed in the order they were released.

2020-2021 Employee Testing Archived FAQs

How will required employee testing occur spring semester?

UW System Administration recently developed a policy that establishes COVID-19 testing requirements for students and employees during the 2021 spring semester at UW System institutions. The testing program is part of a comprehensive effort to support the health and safety of the campus and greater community.

Beginning February 1, supervisors will be responsible for monitoring that all faculty, staff, and off-campus students who are campus employees and are on campus at least one day a week comply with the new UW System requirement to be tested once every two weeks.

Testing will be in the Johnson Fieldhouse. Employees will need their campus ID at the time of their test. If an employee does not currently have a campus ID card, they can obtain one through the Campus Card office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Supervisors will receive an automated report by email every week to notify them of their employees’ testing status. Supervisors of student employees who work on campus will need to access a file to review student employee testing status. Additional information about this process is forthcoming. Test results of employees are not shared with supervisors.

Sign up for testing will be available through this website. Residence hall students will continue to test weekly using the same testing process they used during fall 2020.

Employees with commuter permits may park in Lot 29 on the East side of the Sports and Fitness Center building for testing. This lot also has a pay station option for those without a permit. All parking policies are in effect.  

Unlike the previous surge testing offered, this testing is for employees only and is not available for employees’ family members. The surge testing program offered in the west gym is available for community or family members. Community and family members may register for surge testing online.  

Additional details on UW-Stout’s testing program and FAQs related to testing requirements will be available on the portal through the COVID-19 site the week of January 25th.

I'm fully vaccinated, why do I still need to test bi-weekly?

We can understand how the CDC guidance released recently can be confusing. The newly-released guidance refers to fully vaccinated individuals as not having to quarantine or test if they have been identified as a close contact to someone who is a probable or positive case of COVID.  In this case, the CDC is referring to previous recommendations of individuals who were close contacts to test on the 5th and 8th days of their quarantine if they remained asymptomatic. It is not referring to surveillance testing of a community, which is the testing we are doing in the Johnson Field House. Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to quarantine and test, just monitor for symptoms, and if they become symptomatic, then should isolate. Therefore, fully vaccinated employees still need to participate in the every other week surveillance testing offered on campus.

2020-2021 Faculty & Staff Archived FAQs

What type of training for faculty is available for Spring?

COVID-19 training has been developed to help the university community work safely on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The training spans across safety and health in the workplace and flexible instructional delivery formats. All training and professional development opportunities may be accessed by going to the COVID-19 Training SharePoint site.

  • “COVID-19 Prevention in the Workplace” is required for all employees, including student employees. The training covers general preventative measures and strategies for preventing the spread of COVID-19 at home and within the UW-Stout community. This training is available online.
  • Professional development is available for Faculty and Instructional Academic staff to support flexible instructional delivery methods. Additional information is available online.
  • Training focusing on specific campus protocols to respond to COVID-19 and to support a safe and healthy workplace will be available as part of the January Professional Development weeks. The schedule of training is available online.

All training and professional development opportunities may be accessed by
going to the COVID-19 Training SharePoint site.

What are the expectations for course modalty for Spring?

UW-Stout strives to prioritize the health and safety of its employees while balancing the learning environment that fosters student success. With this in mind, every attempt should be made not to alter the instructional schedule after students have registered for courses or during the term. Changes in course offerings directly impact student schedules and could impact their commitments to live and/or work locally. Some students are not comfortable with online learning and this feedback has been received in multiple venues.

Instructors (faculty and instructional academic staff) requesting a medical accommodation to teach remotely should do so via Human Resources.  This should occur as soon as possible in order to assist with course schedule planning in advance of registrations.

If a course modality change is initiated as a result of an approved medical accommodation, the department chair will route that request to the college dean for approval and coordinate implementation via Registration and Records. The chair will coordinate respective student communications regarding this change in consultation with the instructor.

If student attendance concerns due to isolation or quarantine periods impact the learning environment, instructors may reach out to COVID19update@uwstout.edu. The communication will be routed to additional stakeholders (department chair and/or college dean and/or provost) to collaboratively discuss approaches to foster a productive learning environment.

What are the current add/drop and attendence practices?

Add/Drop
Regular session courses can be added via AccessStout during the first seven calendar days of the semester until (1/31/2021) and until (3/22/2021) for 2nd quarter. If a student adds a class after the first day of class, they may miss the instructor’s communication regarding classroom protocols (including cleaning, disinfecting, attendance policy, etc.). Students that add a class after the first day of class should contact the instructor prior to joining the class to understand the classroom protocol requirements.

Attendance
The attendance policy of each instructor is to be submitted in writing to each student at the beginning of the course. As is always the case, students are expected to communicate directly with their faculty member regarding any absence. The suspension of the current requirement for students to submit medical documentation to the Dean of Students office for absences of longer than three days remains in effect for the spring 2021 term. Previously, that documentation was required by university policy before instructors would be notified of the absence.

The Dean of Students office will only notify instructors for absences related to personal or family situations. Students should no longer submit documentation to the Dean of Students office for medical absences and instructors should not request medical verification for absences. This will help ensure compliance with the current guidance that asks individuals demonstrating flu-like illness to contact their clinic or doctor by phone before seeking medical attention. Depending on symptoms, students may be asked to self-isolate until they are symptom-free. Students are expected to follow through on all missed coursework in a timely manner and should return to class as soon as they are symptom-free or have been advised by a medical provider that they may return to class.

 

What are the Instructor/Student communication expectations?

Instructor-Student and Student-Instructor communications remain critical to foster academic success. For in-person course activities, social distancing, required use of masks, cleaning and disinfecting processes, seating arrangements and other safety protocols will create new aspects to the learning environment. A seating chart should be used for every in-person class. This helps assist in any potential contact tracing activities should they be needed. Virtual aspects of course activities will also create new delivery and learning methods for many students and instructors. Check-ins throughout the term are encouraged between students and instructors.

During August Opening week, instructors were provided resources regarding classroom management strategies, including recommended communications to send to students in advance of the first official day of class. Additional COVID-19 training and updates will be provided during January Professional Development weeks. Students should check email the week before classes begin and communicate with instructors, advisors or other mentors as concerns arise.

Instructors should be prepared to provide continuity of instruction for students who are ill, quarantined, or required to isolate. This may involve recording lectures or providing content in some other way. Please contact techdesk@uwstout.edu with any questions regarding the technology available to assist in instructional delivery.

 

Our COVID-19 numbers seem low. Why cancel spring break?

After reviewing feedback from all four governance groups and the Chancellor’s Cabinet, the decision has been made to cancel the 2021 spring break scheduled for March 13-21. Spring semester will begin as scheduled on January 25, 2021, classes will end on April 28, and evaluation week will end on May 5. Commencement will still be held on Saturday, May 8 (whether the ceremony is in-person or virtual will be decided and announced at a later date).

This was not an easy decision to make. However, it is necessary due to the current status of the pandemic, the inability to predict its course through early spring, and our responsibility to keep our university and local community as safe and healthy as possible.

We join UW-Eau Claire, UW-River Falls, and a growing number of other UW institutions in the decision to either cancel or postpone spring break.

We have done an exceptional job at keeping our campus safe and our spread of the virus extremely low. This decision is not a reflection of significant growth in positive cases among our students and employees; rather, it is based on a number of other factors, including the Governor’s recent executive order and the increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Menomonie, Dunn County, and throughout western Wisconsin. Conditions have strained the ability of our health care providers and public health officials to respond to the pandemic.  We believe this decision will help stem the spread of the virus in the region. 

 

What is the WDH Exposure Notification App?

Employees and students are encouraged to use the WI Department of Health Exposure Notification app to slow the spread of COVID-19. The app is available for download for free from the Google Play Store or can be enabled under settings on an iPhone. The app allows for an anonymous exchange of signals with other phones that are near it for at least 15 minutes. If someone who has the app tests positive for COVID-19, they can send an alert using the app to the phones with the signals. This will allow people who are close contacts to quickly receive care and avoid exposing others to the virus. Please visit this website for additional information.

 

Will I be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination?

COVID-19 vaccine is not in supply such that this is a current consideration. When COVID-19 vaccine does become more widely available, UW System will review the applicable CDC, EEOC and other applicable state and federal guidance at that time to make a decision.

 

How is contact tracing being handled?

Contact tracing is part of the process of supporting campus employees and students, providing warning to contacts of exposure, and stopping chains of transmission of COVID-19. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and people with whom they came in contact (contacts) and working with them to interrupt disease spread.

Stout’s operational plan involves safety protocols in alignment with the CDC. However, the campus employs contact tracers to assist in notifying stakeholders should a Stout student test positive for COVID-19. Public Health will conduct contact tracing for employees.

In order to assist with tracing, Stout stakeholders are asked to assist with the following:

1. Instructors will maintain seating charts and take attendance for each in-person class activity. This type of attendance tracking is not for class participation credit or grading purposes. Because students will be encouraged to stay home whenever they are ill, instructors should not penalize students for not attending class in-person when ill, isolated, or quarantined, and should not require medical documentation for absences.

2. Visitors to campus will be recorded as noted in the Vendor/Invited Guest Tracing section below.

Visitor and Vendor Tracing

Due to the need to assist with contact tracing, all vendors/invited guests should be registered daily via the Vendor/Invited Guest Registration Form. Coordination of the registration for the vendor/invited guest should be done by the campus host. Vendors with multiple employees reporting to campus are only required to complete one registration form daily for all employees (the form will request information regarding the quantity of employees on campus). A list of registered vendors/invited guests can be referenced by all campus employees by visiting the Registered Vendor & Invited Guest List on the facilities management website.

A visitor guide has been developed that communicates expectations for visitors. Departments hosting visitors should communicate campus safety protocol expectations and provide visitors with the guide prior to their campus visit.

WI Department of Health Exposure Notification App

Employees and students are encouraged to use the WI Department of Health Exposure Notification app to slow the spread of COVID-19. The app is available for download for free from the Google Play Store or can be enabled under settings on an iPhone. The app allows for an anonymous exchange of signals with other phones that are near it for at least 15 minutes. If someone who has the app tests positive for COVID-19, they can send an alert using the app to the phones with the signals. This will allow people who are close contacts to quickly receive care and avoid exposing others to the virus. Please visit this website for additional information.

 

Do I need to wear a mask in my office area?

The Return to Spring 2021 Plan provides specific information about working in office environments. Please read the plan carefully and take note of social distancing guidelines and mask requirements. In addition to maintaining at least 6 feet distance from co-workers if working in an open office environment, employees should always wear a face mask or face covering while in a shared workspace/room. Masks/face coverings are not required if an employee is alone in their personal office. 

Much more information about wearing masks is available on the Campus Health & Safety portal of the COVID-19 website as well as in the Chancellor's Mask Order.

 

What about Shared Workspaces?

Units that have employee workspaces that make it difficult to maintain social distancing should develop a work plan with their supervisor. For example, meetings can be scheduled to occur virtually or in a different or larger space identified. Plans that alternate employees in these spaces are encouraged. Another technique to help achieve social distance in common office suites is to use breakrooms as “scheduled” workrooms. Often, employees who would normally be in frequent proximity to each other can be scheduled to get “alone” time in a breakroom that will allow them to unmask for a short respite.

 

What kind of accommodations are available if I become ill?

The accommodations will vary dependent on the severity of the illness and type of position. Employees are encouraged to work with their supervisor and Human Resources regarding options available to them. For more information, please visit the HR COVID-19 Employee Resources Stout Cloud site.

Options can include staggered reporting/departing times and alternating days in the office. These arrangements must be approved by the immediate supervisor and requested via the unit’s Return to Work Plan.

Approval for 100% telecommuting can be granted based on a medical accommodation, requested via Human Resources.

On-campus faculty and instructional academic staff should have a campus presence to meet professional obligations of teaching, research and service. Online teaching assignments do not equate to 100% telecommuting approval. In-person activities will abide by safety protocols and can include meeting with students and peers.

Please review the COVID-19 response flow chart on the procedure for a positive test result.

 

What accommodations are available for childcare?

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the delivery methods for some K-12 school districts and may impact daycare operations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, supervisors may approve telecommuting arrangements due to childcare needs on a temporary, limited basis.

Temporary, limited basis is defined as up to two days per week during an identified period (e.g. until school returns to in-person delivery), or more than two days per week at a duration of one month or less. Approval of a temporary, limited telecommuting arrangement due to COVID-19 does not require the submission of a telecommuting application.

Approval of a temporary, limited telecommuting arrangement during the pandemic is at the supervisor’s discretion based on the nature of the work responsibilities and operational need. Support and service to students and employees must be prioritized.

For faculty and instructional academic staff, teaching assignments and responsibilities must be met as scheduled. In all areas, on-site services must continue to be provided to students and campus stakeholders.

Examples of COVID-19 temporary, limited telecommuting arrangements may
include, but are not limited to:

  • An employee telecommutes one day per week until K-12 schools return to in-person classes.
  • An employee telecommutes for 14 days due to the unexpected, temporary closure of a daycare or quarantine requirement.
  • An employee telecommutes five days per week for three weeks due to a temporary shift to virtual K-12 schooling.

Employees requesting to telecommute for situations outside of these guidelines are required to submit a telecommuting application for review and approval by the supervisor, dean/director, and division administrator.

Employees who are unable to telecommute due to the nature of the work responsibilities, operational need, or due to difficulties managing childcare and their work responsibilities, should work with their supervisor and the Human Resources office on available leave options.

 

Where can employees get COVID-19 testing at no cost?

he University of Wisconsin-Stout is currently offering free rapid-result COVID-19 antigen tests to off-campus students, UW-Stout employees, and community members. The tests are being offered through a partnership between the UW System and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help address the current surge in COVID-19 virus in Wisconsin.

The Abbot BinaxNOW antigen tests will provide a result in 15 minutes. The antigen tests are self-administered using a light nasal swab under the supervision of medical professionals. In certain situations, a free follow up polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test will be required to confirm the original result.

In the Menomonie community, the following clinics also offer COVID-19 testing at no charge: 

  • Mayo Clinic Health System Red Cedar: 715-2353-7777 
  • Marshfield Clinic: 844-342-6276 
  • Prevea Health: 715-717-4582 

If you live outside the area, please contact the healthcare facilities in your area for information on COVID-19 testing. 

 

What should an employee do if they test positive?

Please review the COVID-19 response flow chart on the procedure for a positive test result.  The response procedure is also featured on page 10 of the Return to Spring 2021 Plan.

Employees must follow the guidance of their medical provider or Public Health before returning to work. 

 

What information is shared on COVID-19 cases?

The results of students tested on campus for both antigen and PCR tests are reported on our dashboard.

Individuals will be contacted through the contact tracing process if they are identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Our response procedure overview is in the Return to Spring 2021 Plan on page 10.

 

Do we have a threshold for a fully virtual pivot?

We will continue to consult with local health officials, other medical experts, and UW System Administration to determine how to best respond to any changes in the health of our campus. There is no one factor that would compel us to reconsider our plans; rather we are monitoring a range of factors, including campus cases, isolation and quarantine capacity, and community measures.

 

Updated Travel Guidance

Travel increases your chances of being infected and spreading COVID-19; therefore, university-funded travel remains suspended, with limited exceptions for essential travel with Chancellor approval.  

Employees are also asked to limit non-essential, personal travel. If you must travel, employees are encouraged to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and others, including wearing of masks, practicing social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene and avoiding large gatherings.

While all forms of travel are discouraged, certain forms of travel can pose a higher risk. This includes airports, bus stations, train stations, rest stops and any locations where there are high numbers of individuals, lack of PPE, and difficulty maintaining distance from others.  

After all forms of travel, employees shall be diligent with their symptom monitoring in order to protect the UW-Stout community.  If symptoms consistent with COVID-19 develop, employees must stay home from work, notify their supervisor, and contact their medical provider for additional guidance.  

Prior to travel, employees should review current WI Department of Health Services and Centers for Disease Control for travel guidance. As the situation continues to evolve, new guidance and requirements may be issued, including self-quarantine requirements and travel restrictions.

 

2020-2021 Employees & Supervisor Archived FAQs

Faculty, Staff, and Student Employees FAQs

Do I need to be tested? If so, how often?

Employees, including student employees, who work on campus one day a week or more, need to be tested once every two weeks.

Why do I need to be tested?

The testing requirement is due to the UW System Administrative Policy 600-01.  The testing program is part of a comprehensive effort to support the health and safety of the campus and greater community.

What kind of test will I be taking and what is the sample collection process like?

The testing is an antigen test.  An antigen test reveals a current COVID-19 infection.  An antigen test is taken using a nasal swab. A sterile swab is gently inserted into the nostril (approximately one inch into the nostril), the swab is rotated a few times against the nasal wall and then repeated in the other nostril.  The swab is removed from the nostril and placed into a small tube containing the testing reagent.  The specimen is moved to the lab/testing area to run the test and results are usually available within 15-20 minutes.

As of 1/29/2021, if a confirmatory COVID-19 test is required, the test is done by another nasal swab and sent to an offsite lab to process.  The results are typically received within 36 hours.

Do I need to register for my test?

Yes, employees must register in advance online. Walk-ins are not permitted.

Why is the testing sign up only available through March 19, 2021?

Currently, the UW System agreement with Weber Health Logistics is only through that date. We will notify the university when additional dates are available.

What do I need to bring to the testing appointment?

Employees must bring their campus ID card.

Will my supervisor be notified of my test results?

No. Test results will not be shared with supervisors; however, supervisors will be notified if an employee has been tested. Additionally, if an employee receives a positive test result, they must follow the response protocol included in the Return to Spring plan.

How will tracking of testing be conducted?

Tracking will be completed by the tapping or swiping of your campus ID card at the testing site. This information will be collected and provided to your supervisor. Supervisors will maintain records and ensure compliance as there will be circumstances when employees will not be required to be tested (e.g. remote work assignment, recent positive COVID test, testing at an off-site location).

I can’t find my ID card, what should I do?

Please contact the Campus Card office to obtain a new Campus ID card.

If I don’t want to be tested, what are the ramifications?

All employees and students are expected to fully comply with the UW System policy. Failure to do so may result in corrective action. Reasonable efforts will be made to gain voluntary cooperation before engaging in the formal disciplinary process. If reasonable efforts are unsuccessful, the university will follow the disciplinary procedures outlined either in the Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited appointee handbook or the University Staff workplace expectations procedure.

Can my spouse or children be tested as part of this program?

No, this testing program is only available for UW-Stout employees and students.

I was recently tested for COVID-19, do I need to be tested?

If you have been tested in the past two weeks, you are exempt from testing for the week at the campus location. Employees should notify their supervisor of this temporary exception, for tracking purposes, and may need to show proof of testing to their supervisor.

I have already had COVID-19, am I required to be tested?

If you have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you are not required to be tested. Employees must consult with their supervisor to confirm the frequency of their testing.

If I tested positive for COVID-19 or I am awaiting PCR test results and am required to isolate, what leave options are available for me?

Employees may use paid leave for isolation requirements. In some cases, employees may work with their supervisors to determine if remote work is available as an alternative.

What are the testing hours?

Testing will be offered from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Am I required to be tested during my lunch or break times?

No, employees may use work time to be tested, with supervisor approval.

I only work during times when the testing is not offered. Do I need still need to be tested as part of this program?

Employees must comply with the testing requirement. There are several options available for employees, including getting tested elsewhere and providing proof of testing, temporarily adjusting work hours so employees can be tested during the designated testing times, or testing on campus and being compensated for the time of testing outside of your normal work schedule (travel time to and from the testing center is not compensable).

I had a positive test result. Do I need a negative test result before I am able to return to work?

No, employees may return after the completion of their 10-day isolation period. If an employee had symptoms and tested positive, they may return to work after 10 days following when their symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication. Please review the CDC guidelines for additional information.

If I have received the COVID-19 vaccination, do I need to participate in the testing program?

Yes, in alignment with current CDC & DHS guidance, even if students, faculty and staff receive the vaccination (1 or 2 doses) they are still subject to the system-wide testing policy requirements. This may be updated as further study is done on the efficacy of the vaccine against the virus’ transmissibility.  

If I test positive through an antibody test, am I exempt from testing?  

No, individuals who test positive for antibodies must still participate in the testing requirement and follow the CDC & DHS testing, isolation and quarantine guidance. 

 

Supervisors of Faculty & Staff FAQs

What are my responsibilities as a supervisor for the System-mandated policy?

Supervisors are responsible for tracking and ensuring their employees have completed the testing once every two weeks. Supervisors are also responsible for tracking any exceptions to the testing requirement (e.g. remote work assignment, recent positive COVID test, testing at an off-site location).

What resources are available for supervisors to track testing completion?

Supervisors will receive an automated email every week with a report reflecting their direct-report employees that have participated in a test conducted on-site. Due to several variables (e.g. remote work assignment, previous positive test, testing at an off-site location) that may impact the report, supervisors may need to connect with employees to confirm that testing requirements are being fulfilled.

Will supervisors need to provide reports on testing completion to their Dean/Director on a regular basis?

Supervisors should communicate with their Dean/Director as needed about testing updates. Deans and Directors may establish their own expectations regarding if, and how often, testing report updates are provided to them.

I have an employee who works on campus and has stated that they will not participate in the required testing.  What actions do I need to take?

Supervisors should discuss the circumstances with the employee and remind them of the requirement. If an employee refuses to get tested, the supervisor should contact the HR office for additional guidance on the disciplinary process. Reasonable efforts will be made to gain voluntary cooperation before engaging in the formal disciplinary process. If reasonable efforts are unsuccessful, the university will follow the disciplinary procedures outlined either in the Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointee handbook or the University Staff workplace expectations procedure.

Do I need to allow employees paid time away from work to be tested?

Yes, supervisors should work with their employees to ensure compliance with the once every two-week testing requirement by allowing employees to be tested during their work schedule. Supervisors may use discretion regarding when to allow the testing to occur to ensure operational needs are being met.

How long will employees need to be away from work to complete the test?

Supervisors should plan for approximately one-hour for testing. This includes travel to and from the testing site. The length of time required for testing will vary dependent on the appointment schedule.

One of my employees tested positive. Do I need to notify the remainder of the office staff since they are close contacts?

Not necessarily. Employees are only close contacts if they are within 6 ft of an infected individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period starting 2 days before illness onset, or a positive test result for asymptomatic individuals. Please review the CDC guidance on the definition of a close contact for additional information.

Supervisors of Student Employees FAQs

What are my responsibilities as a supervisor of student employees?

Supervisors only need to track their off-campus student employees, since residence hall students are tracked through University Housing. Supervisors are responsible for documenting and ensuring that their student employees are completing their testing requirement once every two weeks, including any exemptions to the testing requirement (e.g. positive COVID-19 test within the last 90 days).  

What resources are available to assist supervisors with this testing requirement?

Supervisors will be able to access a database that will include students who have tested within the past week. Supervisors can search for student employees to ensure that they have complied with the testing requirement. Supervisors will need to keep track of the students who are exempt from testing.

What if a student employee refuses to participate in the testing?

Supervisors should discuss the requirement with the student employee and remind them of the testing requirement. If the student continues to refuse to comply, and appropriate intervention strategies have not resulted in the student testing as requested, termination of employment is appropriate.

Do I have to allow the student to test during their work hours and how long should I allow for them to be gone to test?

In most cases, students should be able to sign up for a test at a time that does not conflict with their work or class schedule. In those rare circumstances where the only time a student employee can test is during their work hours, the supervisor should discuss the situation with their student employee and ensure that the testing requirement is being met.