Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions

UPDATED: 11:30 A.M. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2021


SAFETY, CLEANING & SANITATION

TRAVEL

EMPLOYEE RESOURCES

GENERAL INFORMATION ON COVID-19


SAFETY, CLEANING & SANITATION

Will face coverings be required?  

UPDATE (3 p.m. Aug. 9, 2021): Effective Aug. 9, 2021, the Florida Board of Governors and Florida State University expect masks to be worn by all individuals in all FSU facilities. This includes all students, faculty, staff, vendors and visitors. Recent studies and guidance from the CDC state that both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals can transmit the COVID-19 variant to unvaccinated persons. We expect you to help mitigate the spread by wearing a mask. Thank you! #StayHealthyFSU

I have come in contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends self-quarantine or self-isolation only for individuals who were in close contact with a case of COVID-19. The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on). If you were in close contact with a case of COVID-19 or during the next 14 days feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, please seek medical advice and call ahead before going to the doctor’s office or emergency room. Also, please avoid contact with others, do not travel while sick and avoid using public transportation.

If you did not come in close contact with a case of COVID-19, here are some reminders on how to stay healthy.  Please remember to avoid close contact with people who are sick, avoid touching your face, stay home when you are sick, clean frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipes and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Is the university conducting contact tracing on campus? Will I be contacted if I’ve been exposed?

The university’s Secure Assessment for FSU Exposure Response (SAFER) team works with students, faculty, and staff who have been exposed or tested positive for coronavirus. The SAFER Team provides contact assessment for FSU-affiliated cases and makes on-and off-campus referrals for support. The SAFER Team is working closely with the Leon County Health Department, which performs community contact tracing.

If you are exposed while on campus or if you test positive for coronavirus, expect a confidential call from the SAFER Team. Please be prepared to answer SAFER at 644-5555 and the Health Department should they call.

If you are asked to quarantine due to exposure, the SAFER team will help you know when you are approved to return to campus activities.

What is the difference between self-quarantine and self-isolation?

Quarantining in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but are not yet symptomatic from others who have not been exposed to prevent the possible spread of the disease. Self-isolation means the separation of a person or group known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the disease.

How are common areas being maintained in each building?

Building Services is committed to enhancing, providing, and maintaining clean, safe, and sanitary conditions for all academic, administrative and support buildings. Your assistance in helping us maintain these facilities, classrooms, and workspaces is critical in keeping a safe and clean work environment. All cleaning on campus currently follows CDC standards and utilizes EPA registered cleaning agents, including the wiping down of common area tables/chairs, etc. For more information on general cleaning protocols, visit https://www.facilities.fsu.edu/covid/.

Are there any measures being taken regarding the air conditioning system?  

As a precautionary measure, the HVAC air filtration system has been evaluated for all campus buildings. While all systems meet current filtration standards and are deemed extremely low risk for transfer of pathogens, the University has opted to install higher efficiency air filters for additional protection. These high efficiency filters use mechanical and electrostatic filtration and have been demonstrated to protect against water droplets and many aerosol particles released from coughing or sneezing.

Do you have any recommended information on cleaning and disinfection? 

The CDC has provided an easy-to-read printable on workplace, school and home cleaning.


EMPLOYEE RESOURCES

I have some questions for HR. Where should I go?

Visit HR’s COVID-19 Resources page. You can also email your questions to HR-COVID19@fsu.edu.

I am over 65 or have a chronic health condition that puts me at a higher risk of greater illness from COVID-19. What should I do?

All temporary remote work agreements will expire on July 31, 2021. Effective August 1, 2021, the University will return to our standard, pre-pandemic operations, schedules, and staffing levels. Exception requests will be reviewed for approval through normal Central HR processes. Accommodation requests for medical reasons must go through the Reasonable Accommodations process in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) facilitated by HR.

My child has to quarantine for contact tracing, but I am available to work remotely. Is that permissible?

Employees with a child that needs to quarantine/isolate can request to work remotely. This flexibility will continue through October 1, 2021. The employee must provide documentation and obtain supervisor approval. In situations where employees are unable to perform their duties remotely, they may request leave.

What is the status of research operations?

Florida State University’s research endeavors are fully operational.  We continue to follow the guidance of local, state, and federal officials to maintain the health and safety of our campus community while also looking for ways to increase our research capacity. Please consult the Office of Research’s website for more information.

What are some ways I can secure my Zoom meetings?

Here are some scheduling options and in-meeting features you can use to secure your Zoom Meetings and limit unwanted disruptions.


TRAVEL

Are there restrictions on employee personal or university travel? 

Effective July 1, vice president approval will no longer be required for domestic or international travel. Once the University’s travel system (Concur) is back online following year-end activities, it will allow all travel to be processed without an exception.

As a reminder, all air travel must be booked in Concur or over the phone with World Travel Services, Inc. at (855) 967-2818 (M-F, 8 AM-6 PM ET).

For questions, please contact travel@fsu.edu.

Personal Domestic Travel

Personal domestic travel is not prohibited.

  • If employees choose to travel, they should review the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website for guidance on domestic travel recommendations for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
  • FSU does not require a self-quarantine after domestic travel unless the employee presents COVID-19 related symptoms upon return from travel.

Personal International Travel

Personal international travel is not prohibited. However, international travel via cruise ships, including river cruises, is strongly discouraged.

Employees who travel internationally should follow the protocols below:

International Travel for Fully Vaccinated

  • After returning to the United States:
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
    • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

International Travel for Unvaccinated

  • After returning to the United States:
    • Get tested with a viral test 3 to 5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
    • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
    • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.

COVID-19 data by state and county can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. This data is referenced for informational purposes and is not intended to substitute for medical advice or your personal responsibility to evaluate and limit your exposure risk.


GENERAL INFORMATION ON COVID-19

Florida State University is carefully monitoring developments related to the Coronavirus. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will provide updated information and guidance as it becomes available. Our highest priority remains the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

About the Coronavirus

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS. COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

For the latest information on the outbreak, click the link below:

CDC Official Updates

What are the Symptoms?

For confirmed cases, symptoms have ranged from infected people having few to no symptoms to people becoming severely ill. Symptoms appear within 2 through 14 days and can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

What areas are currently affected?

For the latest information on cases in Florida, please visit the Florida Department of Health. 

How is COVID-19 transmitted?

The virus causing COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person, according to the CDC. Someone who is sick with the virus can spread the illness to others. The virus spreads through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes.

What does exposure mean?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure is defined as being within 6 feet (or 2 meters) of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time (such as caring for or visiting a patient) or having unprotected direct contact with a patient, such as being coughed on or touching a used tissue with a bare hand.

How is it prevented?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus. As a reminder, the CDC recommends everyday actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

For more information about handwashing, see CDC’s handwashing site.

What is FSU doing to prevent coronavirus?

Florida State University is taking aggressive steps to prevent the spread of disease, such as COVID-19, by promoting healthy habits and enhancing its existing cleaning and disinfection practices. This cannot be achieved without the help of the entire campus community. First and foremost, this means engaging in healthy habits such as washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds; covering your cough or sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; avoiding those who are sick; and staying home when you are sick. Signage promoting this is posted throughout campus.

University partners including Facilities, Recreation, Housing, and others have reviewed cleaning protocols and products and are taking extra measures to disinfect frequently touched areas like doorknobs, stair rails, elevator buttons and other surfaces (such as exercise equipment and classroom AV equipment). High traffic areas such as student housing, libraries, dining halls, bathrooms, locker rooms, as well as recreation centers also receive more cleanings. Additionally, Star Metro buses are cleaned daily and being deep cleaned weekly.

University units that would like to contribute to the ongoing prevention efforts are able to purchase reasonable supplies for disinfection and sanitizing their areas. 

Will getting the flu shot help?

The flu shot will not prevent coronavirus; however, people with the flu are more susceptible to other illnesses, so a shot is still recommended.