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COVID-19 workplace safety update and reminders (Sept. 3)

UMass Medical School Communications

September 03, 2020

Travel Policy at UMMS

The Massachusetts Travel Order has been updated to classify additional states as ‘lower risk.’ Three of these states - Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – are deemed lower risk by UMMS. However, per the UMMS Travel Policy, Colorado will remain high risk because it can only be reached by air travel or prolonged stays in other high-risk states.

There are currently three different travel forms at UMMS/UMMHC which are associated with different travel policies. The form you should complete and the policy you should follow depend on the location(s) in which you will work in the 14 days following return from travel to a ‘high risk’ area.

The UMMS Employee Travel Form should be filled out by employees who work in UMMS locations (e.g. medical school, LRB, ASC, Biotech 2, Clinical Research Center) in the 14 days following return. Until the 14-day quarantine period is complete, entry into UMMS restricted research areas (LRB, ASC, Biotech 2) is not permitted and ID badges will be deactivated.

The UMMHC Travel Form should be completed by school employees who will be working in clinical areas (UMMHC sites, Worcester Recovery Center and other healthcare facilities) in the 14 days following return. This includes dually-employed physicians, residents, fellows and other clinical employees. UMass Memorial and other clinical sites follow the Governor’s Travel Orders and permit a negative test within 72 hours of arrival or testing on arrival with quarantine until a negative test is obtained.

The UMMS Student Travel Form should be completed by all SOM, GSN and GSBS students, whether they are in clinical or non-clinical settings.

Please note:

  • Employees who work in clinical and non-clinical settings (e.g. dually-employed physicians, clinical research personnel, or residents/fellows who perform laboratory research or teach in the medical school) should fill out both the UMMS Employee Travel form as well as the UMMHC Travel form. Badges will be deactivated for school sites until the 14-day quarantine period has elapsed without symptoms.

  • All employees and students who return from travel to a ‘high risk’ state must be cleared for return to campus by Employee Health Service or Student Health Services regardless of the form that is used. Clinical educational activities for residents and clinical students may continue only in the medical school building for those cleared to return to work. All employees and students returning from ‘high risk’ areas should refrain from using common medical school areas (e.g. library) or entering the COVID testing site until 14 days have elapsed from return from travel.

Surveillance Testing at UMMS

Our first week at our new surveillance testing site in the Faculty Conference Room has gone extremely well. The new configuration allows for more people to be screened. Beginning next week, testing hours will be expanded, with the first appointment at 8:10 a.m. and the last appointment at 4:40 p.m. daily.

Please note that this is a testing site intended to detect asymptomatic COVID-19. Do not come to campus and do not come to the testing site if you have any symptoms or if you are quarantined due to travel or contact with someone infected with COVID-19. Symptomatic employees or students should call EHS/SHS which can order a COVID-19 test to be performed at the testing tents that are currently located in the garage. You can still get your test – it will simply be performed in another location.

An important clarification: A weekly COVID-19 surveillance test is required for all non-clinical school employees working on campus two or more days each week, as well as all pre-clinical medical students and all GSBS students. UMMS employed physicians, residents or fellows who work only in the clinical setting are not included in the surveillance testing protocol. Any questions about surveillance testing should be directed to Gladys Matos gladys.matos@umassmed.edu or Kristen Maki kristen.maki@umassmed.edu.

Use this link to schedule a weekly test, and remember to blow your nose before arriving for screening.

Health Self-Reporting App/Portal

We continue to see great compliance with our Health Self-Reporting app. As a reminder:

  • All SOM, GSN and GSBS students, whether remote or on campus, are required to report their health status seven days per week.
  • Non-clinical employees who have returned to campus in any capacity are required to log their health status daily, seven days per week, even if they choose to work remotely thereafter.
  • Union employees are required to log in on days they report to work. Reporting on other days is at their discretion.
  • Dually-employed physicians, residents and fellows are required to use the clinical system app to log their health status, and do not need to log their status in the UMMS app.