Dear IUSO Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Friends,
With the rapid progression of events related to the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to give you an update of what is happening at IUSO and also to emphasize the importance of following public health directives to reduce the incidence of corona virus cases so as not to overwhelm the health care system.
Shelter in place
You are probably aware of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s directive for Hoosiers to stay at home starting March 25 through April 6 for everyone in non-essential activities. IU President Michael A. McRobbie indicated that in accordance with this directive, IU campuses are only open for essential activities. This was followed up by a directive from IU VP for Research Fred Cate indicating what is essential research activity.
What does that mean for IUSO?
- Clinics will close on Wednesday, March 25 for two weeks. On-call service will be available.
- Researchers should wind down their work this week.
- A designated building manager will be on site to coordinate services, repairs, and for essential deliveries.
- Students are already gone, so no change for them. Instruction online starts next week.
President McRobbie’s message also reassured staff that their jobs and PTO are protected. Here are the key items:
- Employees will be expected to continue working, either remotely or on campus if their supervisor determines their job duties must be performed on campus.
- Compensation will continue as usual. Supervisors will make work assignment changes as necessary to adapt to the evolving situation.
- Employees whose supervisors determine they are truly unable to complete their work remotely or come to campus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue to receive their full normal pay.
- During this time, employees will not be required to use any accrued time off such as sick time, vacation, or PTO.
- Temporary employees will receive pay based on their predetermined schedules through the remainder of the academic year or based on their average pay over the past 6 months if such schedules have not been determined.
- These policies will continue until whichever of the following comes first: Through the end of this academic year (June 30, 2020), until the end of the COVID-19 situation at IU, or until the previously planned end-date of their employment.
Reporting of cases or suspected cases of COVID-19
IU has established an internal notification of covid cases or suspected cases to ensure that the Emergency Operation Center team is aware of any suspected cases that were made known to us by staff or faculty. If you or another faculty, staff, or student case is known to you, please contact me with details (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that I can pass it on to the appropriate reporting person. This will ensure that both the EOC and our EHS Public Health team is aware of all suspected or confirmed cases.
With regard to our community at the school, we have become aware of one person with symptoms who has sought out medical care. They have been told that they will not be tested for COVID-19 as they are young and generally healthy, and so will not be given a confirmation either way. This person has put them self under self-quarantine and has not been in the school since March 13t. This person is expected to fully recover. We are not aware of any other IUSO people with symptoms in these past 10 days and are hoping that this is an isolated illness.
This case highlights our need to take the public health emergency seriously and follow all directives to minimize the spread of the virus. We, therefore, hope that you are adopting the behaviors being recommended currently for this purpose (e.g. https://coronavirus.iu.edu/). With everyone’s cooperation we will get through this crisis.
Joesph Bonanno, OD, PhD
Dean and Professor, IU School of Optometry