July 29, 2020, Briefing - Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

Questions submitted for this briefing include these topics:

Clinical Health Care Workers Staffing on Campus

Institutional and department leadership have submitted return-to-campus plans based on operational priorities, safety, and business needs. Employees who can perform their job responsibilities remotely should continue to do so. If you have concerns regarding staffing decisions or return-to-campus plans, please speak with your immediate supervisor.

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Employee Attestation and Screening Procedures

Beginning Monday, July 20, a new screening tool was launched to further protect our campus community from COVID-19. All faculty, staff, and trainees entering Clements University Hospital and Zale Lipshy Pavilion are required to scan their badge each day to acknowledge that they are both symptom-free and have not been knowingly exposed to anyone outside of work who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

The sole purpose of this screening is to protect the health and safety of our employees, patients, and visitors at UT Southwestern.

In addition to the added confidence that employees are coming to work healthy, the enhanced screening ensures that UT Southwestern is meeting regulatory requirements amid the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises – and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) now requires – that health care facilities record employee absence of symptoms.

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First Steps and Callier Day Care Centers

While UT Southwestern does maintain relationships with these child care centers, they are not UT Southwestern owned or operated. Please contact them directly for any questions regarding the number of cases or information on policies and procedures.

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Garage Access for Lot Parking Permits

Allowing employees with lot parking permits to park in garages was done to ensure that everyone could park closer to their destination while working on campus. At this time, there will be no changes to parking fees, but all employees can manage their parking permits on the .net parking services website (VPN required).

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High-Risk Health Care Workers Return to Campus

All high-risk health care employees (those over age 65, in their third trimester of pregnancy, or with underlying health conditions) can voluntarily return to patient care by speaking with their immediate supervisor. If there are concerns or you are advised not to return to campus, please speak with your supervisor to discuss options and coordinate with Human Resources. High-risk faculty should discuss any concerns with their divisional Chief, who can work with them on any additional options.

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Masking Guidelines

An earloop mask is provided each day for clinicians and staff working in hospital and ambulatory settings – including those in direct patient care and those in supporting roles who do not interact directly with patients. Everyone is asked to use the masks provided, as there is no way to validate the effectiveness or cleanliness of masks brought in from outside.

Employees in nonclinical departments are encouraged to bring their own CDC-compliant cloth face coverings or masks from home. Masks with valves are not recommended because while they might filter the air on inhalation, they do not filter exhaled air and therefore someone who is infected with COVID-19 could be exhaling infectious droplets.

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Remote Work Expansion

All managers are encouraged to review the ability of the employee to work remotely. As announced in our July 22 briefing, remote work is a priority project for the months ahead and we will be re-examining our policies and practices.

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Supplemental Pay

Institutional and Health System administrators have reviewed and approved supplemental pay for employees who must work for an extended period of time in PPE and in close proximity to COVID-19 patients or in designated COVID-19 work units. Any new work units or changes in work for employees who meet this criteria will be evaluated and considered for supplemental pay as appropriate.

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Listen to the Full Briefing