Below is a list of FAQs that have been received or are expected. This list has been curated from questions asked however, is not comprehensive in nature. If you have questions and are an employee of AUM, please contact Human Resources at [email protected] Students can request more information and have questions answered by emailing [email protected]
December 7, 2021
Federal court ruling impacts vaccine requirement for AU System employees
Earlier today, a federal judge in Georgia blocked the federal government from enforcing its vaccine mandate for federal contractors, including universities. The decision impacts Auburn University at Montgomery employees. Given the court ruling, the Auburn University System, including AUM, will pause enforcement of its vaccination policy for full-time and part-time employees, including student workers. The Auburn University System announced in October that it would comply with the federal contractor vaccine mandate while also recognizing that the mandate could be challenged in court. We will continue to monitor legal challenges to the most recent court order and will share information on any further modifications in response to legal developments.
Further guidance will be shared once received.
Click here for the AUM COVID-19 Policy.
Earlier today, a federal judge in Georgia blocked the federal government from enforcing its vaccine mandate for federal contractors, including universities. The decision impacts Auburn University at Montgomery employees.
Given the court ruling, the Auburn University System, including AUM, will pause enforcement of its vaccination policy for full-time and part-time employees, including student workers.
The Auburn University System announced in October that it would comply with the federal contractor vaccine mandate while also recognizing that the mandate could be challenged in court. We will continue to monitor legal challenges to the most recent court order and will share information on any further modifications in response to legal developments.
Further guidance will be provided once new information is received.
To apply for a medical/disability or religious-related accommodation, contact [email protected]. The federal guidance does not extend the Dec. 8 compliance deadline for individuals who apply for – but are not granted – a medical or religious exemption. Therefore, any employee wishing to apply for such an exemption is encouraged to submit a request as soon as possible to allow time for full vaccination by the deadline if an exemption is not granted.
Religious Exception Form
Medical Exception Form
Yes. On Sept. 9, President Biden issued Executive Order 14042 on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. Thereafter, on Sept. 24, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued Guidance outlining the broad applicability and scope of required workplace safety protocols.
After reviewing the Executive Order, federal guidance, and the University’s federal contracts, Auburn University has determined that to ensure full compliance with federal requirements, all university employees, including student employees, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 18. This adjustment to Auburn’s vaccine policy applies to all full-time and part-time employees, undergraduate and graduate student employees, and TES employees. The vaccine requirement applies regardless of (1) whether an employee works directly on a federal contract and (2) regardless of work location.
Guidelines detailing specific requirements under the Executive Order. Since that time, the university has been assessing the implications of the federal government’s guidance. As a result, the university instituted a revised vaccine policy as soon as it had all the necessary information.
A variety of remedies are potentially available to federal agencies in the event of non-compliance by a federal contractor, including cost disallowance, contract termination, and debarment. The loss of federal contracts would also negatively impact Auburn’s ability to fulfill its mission and adversely affect citizens in communities across Alabama.
Auburn has determined that the university must have a campus-wide policy applicable to all employees except those granted exemptions to ensure our institution’s compliance with the Executive Order.
The order applies to all graduate and undergraduate students who receive a paycheck through Auburn and students supported on graduate assistantships. The university will contact student employees who have not submitted a vaccination record to notify them of this new requirement. Students who are not employed by the university are not required to be vaccinated.
Per the federal requirements and the university policy, all employees must be fully vaccinated by midnight on Jan. 18. Those employees who are not already fully vaccinated will need to receive doses of the following vaccines by the following dates to be able to achieve full vaccination by the deadline:
Note: Individuals are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, which require four weeks or three weeks between doses, respectively. Jan. 4 is the last day individuals can get their final dose to meet the Jan. 18 deadline.
Yes. All international COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or any governing regulatory body are accepted.
Employees must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 18. Failure to comply with this policy constitutes a Group I offense. Employees who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 18 are subject to termination, in accordance with applicable university policies.
No. An authorized COVID-19 booster shot is not currently required under the university’s policy.
Details regarding verification procedures will be provided as soon as they are available. The federal guidance states that the following will be considered valid forms of verification:
The university’s verification process will not implicate HIPAA.
No. To ensure full compliance with the federal requirements, all university employees must be vaccinated, regardless of work location.
Yes, any individuals employed by the university at the AUM campus and working for ACES or AAES must comply with the requirement to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.
No. This requirement extends only to university employees.
No. However, visitors are required to follow Auburn’s health and safety protocols, including mask wearing requirements.
Yes. All university employees must either be fully vaccinated or receive a medical or religious exemption.
All three authorized COVID-19 vaccines are available at local pharmacies, hospitals, urgent care centers, and physicians’ offices at no charge. Employees can schedule an appointment through the Warhawk Health Services at [email protected] or 334-244-3281 or locate local providers at vaccines.gov.
In accordance with applicable law, exemption and accommodation requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and as part of that process, employees may be required to undergo additional COVID safety protocols.
Failure to comply with this policy constitutes a Group I offense. Employees who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 18 are subject to termination in accordance with applicable university policies.
All vaccination providers must report COVID-19 vaccinations to the state health department’s immunization information system (IIS). Anyone who did not receive a vaccine card or has lost it should first contact their vaccination provider. If you can’t reach your provider, contact the State health department to request a copy of your vaccination card. The process may take one to two weeks.
Yes, all employees, students, and guests must comply with the university’s face covering and safety guidelines.
For questions not answered here, please email [email protected].
COVID Vaccine Religious
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for individuals 12 years of age and older.
We are pleased to announce the new Auburn University COVID-19 Vaccine Policy. In accordance with public health recommendations and Auburn University’s goal of providing and maintaining a safe workplace, we are adopting this policy to safeguard the health of the campus community and the community at large from COVID-19. Auburn University employees are encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
In support of this policy, employees are eligible for one hour of paid leave to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If more than one dose is required for vaccine efficacy, employees are eligible for one hour of paid leave for each vaccine dose.
If you need to schedule a vaccine during work hours, employees need to seek approval from their supervisors to take leave and notify their timekeepers who can enter the Regular Non-Work Hours (RNW) timekeeping code into Kronos for that hour.
If you have any questions about this policy, please contact the AUM Office of Human Resources at [email protected] or 334-244-3641.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, individuals should not receive a vaccine if they meet the following conditions:
If you aren’t able to get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you may still be able to get a different type of COVID-19 vaccine.
Consult with your personal healthcare provider if you have questions about the vaccine. To learn more
The vaccine is administered by intramuscular injection. Individuals receive two doses at 21-day intervals.
According to clinical trial results, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19. While individuals who have been vaccinated can still acquire and transmit COVID-19, hospitalizations and fatalities among fully vaccinated individuals are rare.
Yes, due to the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated even if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have recovered.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends waiting 90 days before getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma.
The CDC recommends that you wait at least 14 days before getting any other vaccine, if you get the COVID-19 vaccine first. If you get another vaccine, then you should wait at least 14 days before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Yes, until more information is available, the CDC recommends that individuals who have received both doses of the COVID-19 continue to wear a mask and observe social distancing.
There is not enough data available yet to know how long the vaccine will protect recipients from COVID-19.
No, the vaccine will not cause you to test positive on a viral test, which are used to test for active infection.
Download the Vaccine Consent Form to expedite your vaccine appointment.
Understand the facts about the Pfizer vaccine you are receiving.
V-Safe is your way to report any side effects you may have through a convenient app.
If feasible, and working with your supervisor, you should begin preparations to work remotely, possibly for an extended period of time, if it becomes necessary.
If a person has questions about being tested for COVID-19, they should call Warhawk Health Services to schedule an appointment for testing at (334) 244-3281 or contact their healthcare provider to make arrangements for testing. According to current CDC guidelines, If you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, then you should wait at least 4 days from day of exposure before you get tested, unless you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
As the university continues contingency planning related to ensuring learning, business, and educational continuity, it is important to remember that the University remains open and operational. The university has established its practices following guidance set by CDC and other health authorities, and everyone on campus is expected to follow the policies and practices to ensure a safe campus. Employees shall follow the operational plans approved for their department. Employees who wish to take leave because they feel uncomfortable coming to campus due to COVID-19 do not qualify for leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL), Expanded FMLA (FMLA+), or Emergency COVID-19 Administrative Leave (ECAL). Such employees will be permitted to use accrued annual leave. Upon exhaustion of all accrued annual leave, employees will be permitted either to use accrued sick leave, accrued comp time, or to enter leave without pay status.If you choose to take leave, you must follow the University’s leave policies and obtain your supervisor’s permission prior to taking leave.
If you are well but have a sick family member at home with COVID-19, you should notify your supervisor and the Office of Human Resources at 334-244-2641 and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of your potential exposure. If you need to take leave to care for an eligible family member due to COVID-19, HR can provide guidance regarding available leave options.
According to the CDC, people with certain preexisting health conditions are at a higher risk to develop complications from a COVID-19 infection. Your health is the top priority, so public health officials may recommend that you stay home if there is concern of community spread. The CDC has developed guidance to help you plan and prepare in the event of needing to limit time in public or if you become sick. Your healthcare practitioner can also help you assess your current medications and conditions to help you think about actions that can minimize risk to you and your household.
Employees are encouraged to work with their supervisor or department head to identify actions or adjustments to the work environment such as room configuration, or the installation of dividers or plexi-glass shields, that can reduce the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. If an employee is ordered by a medical provider to self-quarantine, they should contact HR to discuss leave options available to them. If necessary, the Salary Continuation Program (SCP) may be available for eligible employees who have exhausted their sick leave. Eligible employees can also apply for job protection under the Family Medical Leave Act.
Effective August 17, Auburn will modify Emergency COVID-19 Administrative Leave (ECAL) and extend it through the end of the fall semester for eligible employees.
Please note that from August 17 until the end of the semester:
If the eligible employee is unable to perform their work remotely and has ECAL available, it can be used for the following reasons:
Please note that additional documentation may be required:
Effective January 1, Auburn will modify Emergency COVID-19 Administrative Leave (ECAL) and extend it through the end of the spring semester for eligible employees.
Auburn University is extending Emergency COVID-19 Administrative Leave (ECAL) through the end of the spring 2022 semester for eligible employees.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals are encouraged or even required in some cases to engage in social distancing, especially if it is possible that they may have come in contact with COVID-19.
The website “Calm” is providing free meditations during this time; this may be a great resources to maintain emotional health.
Additional resources include: “Taking Care of Yourself during COVID-19”, which is provided by the Auburn University Department of Psychological Sciences, and “Manage Anxiety & Stress” from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
AUM is committed to fostering an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion. While the spread of disease may cause fear and uncertainty, we reject discrimination and any speech or action that would be biased toward any member of our campus community. If you or someone you know has experienced harassment based on discrimination, contact the Office of Human Resources at 334-244-3641.
-Updated March 24, 2020
Taken from “Mental and Emotional Self-Care during COVID-19”, which is provided by Auburn University Student Affairs.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has been stressful for many people and communities. Fear about the spread of a novel virus can be overwhelming and cause various emotional responses. Auburn University has been actively monitoring the evolving nature of COVID-19 and has implemented guidelines to ensure the safety of the campus environment.
This tip sheet describes feelings and thoughts you may have during and after social distancing and/or self-isolation. It also suggests ways to care for your mental health during these experiences and provides resources for more help. Further, it offers ways to reduce social stigma or discrimination of groups of people in relation to COVID-19.
What to Expect During This Time
Every person may experience their own unique reaction to a stressful situation such as the COVID-19 outbreak. As such, you may feel some combination of what is listed below.
You may feel:
Not-as Typical Reactions (But Can Still Occur)
Some people have pre-existing emotional or psychological conditions that can be exacerbated by a high-stress event, such as the COVID-19 outbreak. This may include:
Faculty should notify the Office of Student Affairs concerning reports of positive COVID-19 test results or close contact information received from students. Contact Student Affairs via email at [email protected] or by phone at 334-244-3106. Student Affairs will conduct contact tracing, provide isolation or quarantine information, provide housing instructions, and offer additional resources to the student. Student Affairs will work with faculty members to provide options for student remote access to courses if they are advised to quarantine or isolate.
It depends. When you contact the Office of Human Resources or the Office of Student Affairs, they will conduct contact tracing, provide isolation or quarantine information, and offer additional resources and guidance based on the set of facts presented.
No. The Office of Student Affairs will notify students and the Office of Human Resources will notify employees, as necessary. We advise against staff and faculty sharing information regarding potential COVID-19 contact with students or other employees, as it can create unnecessary alarm in the absences of full information about the level of exposure and resources regarding next steps. The Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Human Resources are positioned to contact students and employees in a manner that provides all the information they need to take any necessary next steps and can provide additional information regarding available resources and protocol.
Students are required to complete a clearance process before returning to class.
The answer is dependent on the wellness status of the student and if he/she is symptomatic or asymptomatic.
Several tactical approaches have been ongoing to safeguard the AUM community.
AUM prioritizes the health and well-being of its students, faculty, and staff. AUM follows current protocol and guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control should an employee report a positive test:
Faculty and staff testing positive for COVID-19 or reporting close contact should email or call the Office of Human Resources. Contact Human Resources via email at [email protected] Human Resources will contact the faculty or staff member to conduct contact tracing, provide isolation or quarantine information, and offer additional resources. Human Resources will provide assistance with messaging students concerning transitioning to online delivery, isolation or quarantine procedures (if required) and discuss any other protocol and considerations.
According to the CDC, travel can increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. You and your travel companions (including children) may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to family, friends, and community after travel.
If you have a known exposure to COVID-19 you should delay travel, quarantine yourself from other people, get tested, and monitor your health.
Don’t travel if you are sick or test positive for COVID-19. Don’t travel with someone who is sick. Check your state or local health department for information about local quarantine requirements.
Read the Auburn Travel Policy here.
Fully vaccinated faculty, staff and students returning to Auburn from international travel, including international students arriving prior to the start of the Spring Semester, are recommended to do the following:
If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. Read the official policy here.
Your employee should inform you and utilize available personal leave. If outside the United States, sick employees who are covered under the University’s health insurance plan carry their healthcare benefits with them through Blue Cross and Blue Shield Global (https://www.bcbsglobalcore.com/). Contact BCBS Global for assistance in finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services.
Medical Services Coverage
Telehealth services are available to all members. Telehealth allows in-network PPO providers to provide medically necessary services to members that can be appropriately delivered via telephone consultation. This is applicable for members who wish to receive their care remotely and wish to limit their exposure. It can also serve as an initial screening for members who need to be tested for COVID-19.
In addition to office visit consultations, telehealth also includes physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and behavioral health. You may ask your provider if they are equipped to provide telehealth services instead of an onsite office visit. In many cases providers are calling patients and scheduling existing appointments via telehealth.
Telehealth services provided by in-network PPO providers will be covered at 100 percent with no member cost sharing regardless of diagnosis code. Telehealth services provided by out of network non PPO providers will be covered at the out of network benefit level.
In-network diagnostic tests for COVID-19 will be covered at 100 percent with no member cost sharing. Out-of-network diagnostic tests for COVID-19 will be covered at the out-of-network benefit level.
If an in-network office visit, urgent care visit, emergency room visit, behavioral health visit, or telehealth service results in a claim being filed by the in-network PPO provider with a COVID-19 related diagnosis as outlined by the CDC and American Medical Association, that office visit, urgent care visit, emergency room visit, behavioral health visit, or telehealth service will be covered at 100 percent with no member cost sharing. Out-of-network services will be covered at the out-of-network benefit level.
More than one in-network office visit, urgent care visit, emergency room visit, behavioral health visit, or telehealth service for the same member incurred on the same day will be covered if the urgent care visit, emergency room visit, behavioral health visit, or telehealth service is rendered by different in-network PPO providers and the claims are filed with a COVID-19 related diagnosis as outlined by the CDC and American Medical Association.
Inpatient facility deductibles, copays and co-insurance will be waived if a member is admitted to an in-network hospital with a COVID-19 related diagnosis as outlined by the CDC and American Medical Association.
Please be assured that Blue Shield of Alabama/American Behavioral will continue to meet the needs of groups, members and providers. For additional information, please visit AlabamaBlue.com or www.americanbehavioral.com.
Answers for general COVID-19 questions and other resources are available at “AlabamaBlue.com” under Important Information Regarding COVID-19 (https://www.bcbsal.org/web/coronavirus).
Members looking for information on testing sites in their area can visit https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html to access health departments links in all 50 states, 8 U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia.
You should prepare business continuity plans in the event that the University has to implement alternative operational plans. This includes:
You should encourage any employee who has a fever, difficulty in breathing, or other COVID-19 symptom to reach out to their healthcare provider for guidance prior to reporting to campus. It is recommended that they call their office in advance, as they may have protocols in place to minimize risk of exposure to others.
Yes, as with any other illness, good judgment must be used. A decision to send someone home may be based upon the following factors:
Please contact AUM Human Resources at [email protected] if you have any questions.
You should encourage any employee who has been exposed to COVID-19 to call their healthcare provider and confirm arrangements before visiting their office to limit potential exposure.
Our procedures and guidance will evolve as conditions or circumstances with the pandemic change, our current guidance is through January 8, 2021. We encourage all employees to closely monitor university communications for further updates.
Maintaining a 6-foot wingspan through physical distancing and adhering to our Cover Your Beak face covering practices is a key tool in reducing exposure to others who may either have COVID-19 or have come in contact with others who have COVID-19. If you are notified that you have come in contact with someone who had contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, it is important that you self-monitor for fever and symptoms. We can all contribute to a healthy environment and reduce the spread of the virus by consistently practicing healthy actions including:
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