Fall Opening Frequently Asked Questions

Student – FAQs

Are all students, faculty, and staff required to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

Yes.  On April 27, 2021, President Mason announced COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all students, faculty and staff effective the fall 2021 semester.

What is the deadline for completing the vaccine?

August 2nd is the deadline to submit verification of vaccination. Please plan ahead. Depending on the type of vaccine you receive, you may have to receive your first dose no later than July 6 in order to get your second dose by August 2.

Where can I obtain a vaccination?

Many vaccination sites have transitioned to walk-in/no appointment needed.  Please visit one of the following links to identify the location that is convenient for you.

DC, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/get-vaccinated

Maryland Residents, https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine

Virginia Residents, https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/

Nationwide, Vaccines.gov

When will I be considered “fully vaccinated”?

Fully vaccinated means you have received all required COVID-19 shots (for example, two shots for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, or one-shot for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

How do I submit verification of my COVID-19 vaccination?

You will need to upload a copy of your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to the UDC Health Portal.  Fully vaccinated individuals will have entries for both 1st and 2nd dose of Pfizer or Modera and only one dose for Johnson & Johnson.

*Students may use their UDC or personal email (new students who have not received their UDC email) to register for the student health portal.

  1. Go to https://udc.studenthealthportal.com/
  2. Click on - Not Registered? Register
  3. Use your N number for ID# (Example: N00112233) and enter Full date of birth (Example: April 6, 1998, enter 04/06/1998)
  4. Once registered, go to the email you used and look for an email from pyramed
  5. Click on the link and create a password using a minimum of 7 characters.
  6. After the password has been created go to udc.studenthealthportal and log in
  7. On the left side of the screen click on Immunization History
  8. Click on COVID-19 Information
  9. Go to the tab and insert the dates of your COVID-19 vaccination
  10. Click submit
  11. Upload a PDF copy of your record or COVID-19 vaccination card. NO CELL PHONE PICTURE UPLOADS PLEASE

*You will receive an email within 24-48 hours after submitting your record informing you the immunization hold has been lifted, however, if there are missing immunization information, you may be asked to provide the information before the hold is removed.

** International students, students in Housing, and students under age 26 must also submit records of University required vaccines. For questions, please contact the University Health Services at 202-274-5030.

Are students who reside in University sponsored housing required to obtain vaccinations?

Yes, all students must be fully vaccinated or/or have provide a medical or religious exemption request.

Are there any medical and/or religious exemptions to the vaccination requirement?

UDC will comply with all federal and state laws in granting appropriate exemptions for medical or religious reasons.  Students may visit https://www.udc.edu/health-services/immunizations/ to complete their medical or religious exemption request.

UDC COVID Vaccine Exemption Form – Medical

UDC COVID Vaccine Exemption Form – Religious

Do I still need to get vaccinated if I have already had COVID and have fully recovered?

Yes, the CDC indicates that you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Evidence suggests that natural immunity may not last as long, and that immunity from vaccines may be more robust and last longer. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible that you could become re-infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after your immunity wanes.

To date, I have not been vaccinated. Will I be able to register for fall classes?

Yes, you may register for classes and we encourage you do so ASAP.  However, you will not be able to attend classes on August 23rd until you have uploaded verification of COVID vaccination.  Additionally, new students under the age of 26 have additional are required to show proof of other required vaccinations https://www.udc.edu/health-services/immunizations/.

I am a new international student. If I am unable to obtain the vaccination in my home country will I be able to receive a vaccination when I arrive in the U.S.?

Yes.  However, you may be required to self-quarantine until you are fully vaccinated.  Vaccinations will be available on campus now or you may find a vaccination site by visiting one of the following sites.

DC, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/get-vaccinated

Maryland Residents, https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine

Virginia Residents, https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/

Nationwide, Vaccines.gov

All of my fall 2021 classes are online. Am I still required to obtain the vaccination?

Yes. There may be instances where students who have online classes, may need to visit the campus (i.e. visit student services office, bookstore, learning pods, library, attend meetings, etc.).

If I do not meet the August 2nd deadline, what will happen to my classes?

All students are strongly encouraged to act immediately to prevent possible interruption of Blackboard access and/or your classes may be dropped.

Will masks be required on campus?

Yes, masks will be required to enter all classrooms, offices and to receive services on campus.

How can I remain informed of all matters regarding the University reopening?

Students are encouraged to regularly monitor their UDC email and the RISE Website, www.udc.edu/rise/ .


Faculty | Staff | Employees – FAQs

For fall 2021, the University of the District of Columbia is looking forward to offering a robust and in-person experience. Extensive planning is underway to ensure that we continue to protect the health and safety of our community as faculty, staff, and students return to campus. We also continue to monitor the fundamental indicators of the pandemic and evolving public health conditions and guidance.

The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) are intended to provide an overview response to multiple questions we have been asked since the announcement was made that the University will reopen for Fall 2021. The list of questions is not intended to be exhaustive but represents a broad range of faculty-centered questions regarding vaccinations, work requirements, and health and safety. These FAQs will be monitored and updated as more information becomes available.

Vaccinations

Where can I obtain a vaccination?

Many vaccination sites have transitioned to walk-in/no appointment needed.  Please visit one of the following links to identify the location that is convenient for you.

DChttps://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/get-vaccinated

Maryland Residents, https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine

Virginia Residentshttps://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/

NationwideVaccines.gov

Will UDC require that faculty and staff be vaccinated this fall?

Yes, UDC will require COVID-19 vaccinations for faculty and staff­. This includes adjunct faculty members, part-time employees, visiting scholars/researchers, affiliates/volunteers, and full-time contract workers.

What vaccines are accepted for the requirement?

All COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA, including those under emergency use authorization, will be accepted by UDC. Currently, those vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

I have been vaccinated for COVID-19. How do I verify?

Employees will be required to upload your verification following the steps provided no later than August 1, 2021.

Once I submit my vaccination information, will my personal health information be protected?

An implementation team for the vaccine requirement will ensure compliance with federal and local laws, including employee confidentiality.

How will the vaccination information I submit be used?

We will collect information, which you voluntarily provide through a secure process, concerning your COVID-19 vaccination. UDC will use this information only as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will not share your information with outside organizations except as needed for public health purposes related to the pandemic, when legally required to do so, at the request of governmental authorities to investigate, to verify compliance with our policies and applicable laws, or to protect against misuse or unauthorized use of your information.

Are there exemptions to the requirement? How do faculty and staff request an exemption?

Exemptions will be considered for medical or religious reasons. Faculty and staff may request an exemption to the vaccine requirement by August 2, 2021. UDC’s medical providers will evaluate requests for medical exemptions and make an appropriate determination. Human Resources will review religious exemption requests in consultation with the Office of General Counsel. In addition, UDC will ensure that this process protects every employees’ confidentiality. Faculty and staff may appeal any decision regarding an exemption to the Office of Human Resources pursuant to university policies.

Can I be exempt from vaccine requirements for other reasons besides medical and religious?

The only other exemption is if you are on leave. Otherwise, no other exemption applies.

Is it legal to require faculty and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19, particularly since the vaccines are not fully approved by the FDA?

The emergency use authorizations (EUAs) currently in effect for the COVID-19 vaccines do not prevent the University from requiring vaccinations. The FDA and CDC have advised that COVID-19 vaccines are generally safe and effective and help to protect the broader community from the worst effects of COVID-19. The EUA accelerates access to the vaccine during the current public health emergency and requires the same clinical studies and standards for safety and effectiveness as full FDA approval. Some COVID-19 vaccines have been submitted for full FDA approval, and others are expected to follow.

If faculty and staff members are vaccinated, do they have to follow the COVID testing protocol?

Once vaccination status is confirmed, faculty and staff will be tested less frequently for COVID-19, but some level of surveillance testing will continue to support overall community health and safety. Employees who receive an exemption will follow other workplace health and safety practices and conditions to support our community. Specific arrangements for these employees will be based on job responsibilities, the primary location of job duties, interaction with other community members, etc. The safety measures may include more frequent required COVID-19 testing, mask-wearing at all times on campus, and adjustments to campus workspaces, among others. Those who are not vaccinated will be advised not to attend large gatherings on campus. The workplace safety arrangements will not automatically lead to a faculty or staff member performing their duties exclusively remotely/online.

How will the requirement be enforced?

To support compliance with vaccine requirements, faculty and staff will provide a vaccine verification process or submit an exemption request by August 2, 2021. Employees who receive an exemption will follow other workplace health and safety practices and conditions to support our community. Specific arrangements for these employees will be based on job responsibilities, the primary location of job duties, interaction with other community members, etc. The safety measures may include more frequent required COVID-19 testing, mask-wearing at all times on campus, and adjustments to campus workspaces, among others. Those who are not vaccinated will be advised not to attend large gatherings on campus. The workplace safety arrangements will not automatically lead to a faculty or staff member performing their duties exclusively remotely/online.

Should an issue arise with compliance, we will use discretion to manage the vaccination requirement. This may include addressing extenuating circumstances beyond the control of faculty and staff that may delay their opportunity to be vaccinated. The University also reserves the right to take further steps, if necessary, for faculty and staff who do not follow the verification process or exemption procedures.

How do I know if my exemption request is approved?

Human Resources will notify you of the results of your exemption request.  However, submission of an exemption does not mean automatic approval.

How long does it take to receive approval of exemption?

Medical exemptions must be reviewed by the University’s insurance provider(s). Religious exemptions are reviewed by the University and will take approximately five days.

If I do not submit the vaccine verification, what happens?

Failure to submit a vaccine verification would be considered a violation of the university policies, leading to disciplinary/corrective action, including termination.

If I have only received my first vaccine dose and am still waiting for my second dose, what should I do?

You should complete the verification listing your first dose and other requested information. Once you complete the second dose, you must complete the verification process again and list both doses for UDC to consider your vaccine verification fully complete.

If I am approved for the exemption from the vaccine requirement, does this mean I will work remotely?

No, an exemption does not automatically lead to remote work. Employees who are not vaccinated will be required to follow additional health and safety protocols, including mask-wearing and regular COVID-19 testing, while in the workplace. Additional guidance will be provided upon approval of an exemption request.

Why are faculty and staff required to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

The COVID-19 vaccines are critical to further reducing or even eliminating the transmission of the virus. The CDC has outlined the many benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, including preventing serious illness even for those who contract the virus; protecting others, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness; and allowing us, once fully vaccinated, to participate in many activities that stopped during the height of the pandemic. For example, by achieving widespread vaccination within our UDC community, we will support the return to in-person classes, in-person instruction, and other campus and community activities in the fall. Additionally, by lowering case counts and transmission through extensive vaccination, we also reduce the potential for new virus variants that may be resistant to the vaccines and could cause future outbreaks.

What categories of employees are covered by the vaccination requirement?

All full and part-time faculty and staff members are required to be vaccinated or request an exemption (medical or religious) to the requirement. This includes adjunct faculty, visiting scholars and researchers, and full-time contractor workers.

Will newly hired employees, particularly those who join the University after the August 2 deadline, have to complete the vaccine verification or an exemption request?

All new hires will complete either the verification process or exemption request within 30 days of their start date.

When will faculty and staff who are returning from an approved leave (sabbatical, research, medical, family) be required to complete the vaccine verification process or exemption request?

All employees returning from an approved leave will complete the verification process or exemption request within 30 days of their anticipated return date.

Will UDC require that students be vaccinated this fall?

Yes. All students who come to campus for any reason in Fall 2021 must be vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes full-time and part-time students, undergraduates and graduate students, and residential and non-residential students. Please see the Student FAQs for more information.

What measures have been adopted to ensure that students, faculty, staff, and visitors are vaccinated if they intend to return to campus?

UDC will require COVID vaccinations for all students, faculty, and staff and must upload proof of vaccination through the established process.  Visitors are not required to show proof of vaccination. Everyone, including visitors, is required to wear a face covering or mask inside all building on campus and outside.

What is the vaccination policy for students returning to campus?

All students must be vaccinated unless an exception has been approved.

What department(s) will be responsible for submission of proof of vaccination?

Selected employees from Student Health Services and the Office of Human Resources will have access to the confidential information to confirm submissions and to address requested exemptions.

Will the University allow employees time off to get vaccinated?

Employees have been granted one (1) hour of administrative leave per vaccination visit.  Employees must notify their supervisors of their request for time off.

Are there any incentives provided to employees who will be getting vaccinated?

Employees who are vaccinated and who acknowledge they are vaccinated in the PeopleSoft system will receive a Time-Off Award of eight (8) hours of paid time off.  Employees are reminded that vaccination confirmation is a two-step process.

Step 1 – Log into PeopleSoft and acknowledge/confirm you have been vaccinated.  This will generate the Time-Off Award.  There is no required upload of documents in the PeopleSoft system.

Step 2 – Upload vaccination documents in the UDC system using the established process.

 

Work Requirements / Alternate Work Program – Telework

Will faculty and academic staff be required to come to campus at all?

The University will reopen for the fall semester. As a result, the vast majority of faculty and academic staff must come to campus minimally three days per week. We anticipate that all academic staff will work in one of two models in the fall – full campus presence or alternate work schedule.

Work schedules for faculty will be determined by the courses/faculty workload. Deans and Department/Division Chairs will monitor faculty work and attendance at required meetings (e.g., department/unit, college/school), instructional hours for in-person and hybrid courses, and office hours to ensure students continue to have the access required for their success.

Human Resources will work with unit leaders on developing Staffing Plans for academic staff returning to work. In addition, Human Resources will share more information on alternate work plans and telework. All approved work schedules will be in place for the duration of the semester.  Job functions and university operations will be used to identify the approach for each staff member. UDC will develop options for work models and support managers to implement those models in their departments. We expect this planning to occur in early summer.

As part of these efforts, we will transition the process for requesting employee work modifications into our reasonable accommodation process. Based on the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, this process ensures that employees with covered health conditions will receive the accommodations they need.

Where do faculty/staff go for more information on telework, benefits, leave, and other issues regarding expanded telework during COVID-19?

Faculty and staff can learn more about our alternate work and telework arrangement policies and procedures on the Human Resources website.

Should faculty continue to have office hours?

Yes. Please communicate to your students about how you will conduct office hours or other opportunities for discussion, questions, etc. In addition, some faculty offer experiential learning components, and students will be seeking information about how those elements will be addressed if the course is offered hybrid or online.

Are faculty expected to come to campus to teach their online courses?

Faculty are encouraged to make arrangements that best facilitate online instruction for our students and enable you to continue progressing your courses. The technology and tools available enable faculty to conduct most courses online or virtually without coming to campus.

What are the telework eligibility requirements?

Your work must be suitable for telework and you must have pre-approval from your manager and Human Resources.  Employees must be in good standing with no disciplinary or corrective actions.  Employees must have a dedicated workspace in your home.  Essential employees are not eligible for telework.

Are the University’s policies and procedures applicable to telework?

Yes, all policies and procedures related to all aspects of employment remain in effect even if you are teleworking

Can I change my work hours while teleworking

No. Once your work schedule is established for the fall semester (telework or alternate work hours, you may not change for the semester. Your manager is required to approve your work schedule based on the needs of your department and services provided.

Can I telework five days a week?

No, telework is available for a maximum of two (2) days per week. The remaining three (3) days must be completed on-site. Once the telework schedule has been approved, you cannot change your approved scheduled telework days.

What equipment will I need to telework?

Upon approval of a telework schedule, you will be provided with the equipment necessary to complete your work, as determined by your manager.

What happens if my University owned equipment ceases to function while I am teleworking?

If your equipment ceases to function you must return to your onsite work location until such time that you are issued functioning equipment.

Can I still telework on from my home outside of the DMV?

No, you cannot telework outside of the DMV. You can only telework from the District, Maryland, or Virginia due to payroll tax regulations.

What happens if I get sick on my scheduled workday, but I can still telework?

Employees who are not feeling well should take sick leave. Telework days established for the Fall semester may not be changed and are not an option for sick leave

 

Health & Safety

Will everyone be required to wear a face-covering while on campus?

Even if you are vaccinated, you must still wear a face-covering inside all buildings on campus and outside. You can only release your mask if you work in a single-person office inside or standing away from people outside. In addition, masks are still required indoors for any classes, events, or large gatherings. We understand this is a greater level of caution than current guidelines, but we continue this safety measure until we reach a high vaccination level across our community.

If you are not yet fully vaccinated, masks will continue to be required indoors and at large outdoor gatherings. Maintain physical distancing if unvaccinated persons are present or if vaccination status is unknown.

What is the policy on physical distancing while on campus?

All members of the UDC community and any authorized contractors or visitors are expected to maintain physical distance while on campus. The University has taken active steps to proactively establish conditions, to facilitate maintaining a physical distance.

Will hand sanitizing stations be placed throughout campus?

Yes, hand sanitizing stations will be placed at all building entrances and elevator lobbies.

If I have additional questions, who can I talk to?

Questions about the vaccine requirement should be sent to Human Resources at 202.274.5380.

How will UDC monitor the entrance to campus facilities to ensure visitors and students are complying with the COVID 19 mandates?

Signage will be posted informing all students, employees, and visitors of University COVID-19 mandates.

Is the cleaning company hired by UDC trained in infectious disease cleaning?

Yes

What measures have UDC taken to ensure that the air ventilation system is equipped to filter and clean the air?

The University has installed MERV HEPA filters. The filters have been replaced according to CDC guidelines.

Does an employee have the right to refuse a person entry into their workspace who either appears to be sick or is not properly wearing a mask?

An employee has the right to refuse entry into their workspace to anyone who does not adhere to our COVID-related policies and appears to be sick. If a person is not properly wearing a mask, the individual will be notified on the proper way to wear a mask. Anyone who has been notified and fails to correctly wear a mask will be denied entry into the University.

 


General Campus Visit FAQs

Will masks be required on campus?

Yes, masks will be required to enter all classrooms, offices and to receive services on campus.

 

LiveSafe Mobile Safety Information

How do I sign up?

LiveSafe is a free mobile safety app made available by The University of the District of Columbia (UDC). It is quick and easy to use! You can download the LiveSafe mobile app in iTunes and Google Play Store.

Select UDC and fill out your user profile.

How does LiveSafe help keep me safe?

LiveSafe provides the ability to easily contact the UDC Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management (OSPEM) – Public Safety Operations Center to report concerns about your own safety, suspicious activity or a crime. It’s the blue light safety phone at your fingertips. Features also include a location sharing option so friends can track your travel between points to ensure your safe arrival.

Who may use the LiveSafe app?

The app is available as a free download for all UDC students, faculty, staff and contractors. In addition, parents may download LiveSafe to receive timely alerts and notifications.

What should I report?

You can report any issues, concerns or questions related to safety and security. This includes suspicious activity, potentially dangerous situations, crime, accidents, assaults or repairs related needed to improve safety.

Who receives my reports and information?

Information submitted is monitored 24-7-365 by the OPSEM Public Safety Operations Center. If they require further information on any report, OPSEM will follow-up with a text or request to live chat with the user.

Does LiveSafe track my location?

Unless a user requests anonymity or changes the app's default setting, yes, OPSEM will be able to track your location when using the app.

What happens if I send a report in the wrong category?

OPSEM can easily re-categorize reports, so users don't need to worry if they select the wrong category. If you are unsure which category the report falls into, select "Other."

Do I have to provide picture or audio evidence?

No. While users are encouraged to provide a picture, audio or video evidence when sending reports, they should only do so if the circumstances are safe.

What if a report I send in turns out to be a mistake?

Users will not be penalized for making claims that turn out to be untrue. So long as reports aren't purposefully and falsely made, people are encouraged to share information with OPSEM.

How does the anonymous feature work?

Users can send in tip reports using the anonymous feature if they are not comfortable with disclosing their identity. OPSEM will not be able to see who the report is coming from if the anonymous report box is selected.

Does LiveSafe replace 911?

No! When faced with an emergency, OPSEM recommends users dial 202.274.5050 or 911. The goal of the LiveSafe app is to provide an additional channel to report non-emergency information and crimes to OPSEM.

If you are in an emergency (on or off campus), LiveSafe has a 911 distress button. When calling 911 using LiveSafe, OPSEM will receive greater information and intelligence in order to help faster. OPSEM will receive the caller's GPS coordinates and emergency contact information; ensuring dispatchers respond more efficiently and quickly.

How could I use LiveSafe in an emergency?

So long as users have the capacity to make voice calls, we encourage anyone in an emergency to always call 202.274.5050 or 911. If, however, a user is unable to make a direct call due to situational or technical issues, or if they must be discrete, then users may “Message UDC Police” and start a live two-way chat with an OPSEM Dispatcher.

What will LiveSafe do with my data?

LiveSafe respects the privacy of individuals and law enforcement agencies. Evidence information belongs solely to the law enforcement agency for which it was designated.