April 15, 2020, Briefing - Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

Questions submitted for this briefing include these topics:

Emergency Paid Leave

On March 19, the federal government passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which took effect April 1. UT Southwestern policies related to this Act, including eligibility criteria and rates of reimbursement, can be found in UTSW’s policy library, under policy EMP-262, or on the Human Resources intranet (VPN required). If you have additional questions or feel you are eligible, please speak to your supervisor, who will coordinate with Human Resources.

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Flu Activity During COVID-19 this Year

There has been a significant decline in influenza and flu-related deaths. Part of this is because of the season we are now in and what we usually expect to see this time of year, and the other part may be related to COVID-19 – social distancing, school closures, infection prevention measures, and the reduction in overall health care visits. For more data, please see the Texas Health and Human Services Texas Influenza  Surveillance Activity report.

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Mask Sterilization Numbers

UT Southwestern’s mask sterilization process is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is proven to kill 99.9999% (6 logs) of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores. Many medical centers have already adopted this technique and we are in close contact with them to share best practices. To learn more, please visit our Guidelines for Clinicians webpage.

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Parkland and Children’s Numbers

As mentioned by UT Southwestern President Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky during his April 1 weekly briefing, current numbers of COVID-19 cases at Clements University Hospital (CUH) are now included in each day’s EOC message. While we are aware that many of our staff and faculty work on different campuses, we are only able to report CUH patient data. For state and county numbers, please visit the Texas Health and Human Services dashboard.

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Remote Work After We Return to Campus

Our current UT Southwestern telecommuting policy is outlined in policy EMP-162 Telecommuting. At this time, no decisions have been made regarding remote work after we return to campus. Please continue to monitor our COVID-19 website and your email for further information.

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Returning to Work After Testing Positive

Final decisions about an employee’s return to work are based on the individual’s specific case and recommendations from his or her treating physicians in accordance with Occupational Health protocols.

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Screening for Children Under 12

Children’s Health is offering in-person and virtual screenings for children under the age of 12. To learn more about Children’s screening process, please visit the Children’s Health website.

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UT Southwestern leadership is continuously reviewing visitor policies to protect our workforce as the situation continues to change, while at the same time balancing the needs of our patients. Patients who are being screened for COVID-19 or who have already tested positive are not allowed any visitors. For more information, please see our Visitor Policy on our COVID-19 website.

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Listen to the Full Briefing