COVID-19 Employee Travel – Storrs and Regionals

Update on UConn COVID-19 Testing and Quarantine Requirements Following Out-of-State Travel

April 13, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

On March 19, Governor Lamont modified Connecticut’s rules that previously required quarantine for travelers into Connecticut from out-of-state or proof of a negative PCR test result within a certain time-frame. The March 19th order made these rules permissive rather than mandatory for the general community. On April 2, the CDC issued new recommendations relating to travel testing and quarantine.  Specifically, the CDC now recommends that fully-vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine or be tested before or after domestic travel, unless their destination requires it.

Based on these recommendations, UConn is updating its Out-of-State Travel Guidance.

Note: Employees traveling outside of their local community should still consider that travel increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 to others, even after vaccination. The CDC, DPH, and UConn continue to discourage any non-essential travel. All employees – including those who are fully vaccinated – should follow DPH and CDC recommendations for traveling safely, including wearing a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth, staying at least 6 feet away from others and avoiding crowds, and washing your hands or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently. After returning from travel, all employees must continue to self-monitor for fever or symptoms of COVID-19 and stay at home and get tested if they experience any symptoms.

These guidelines apply to all domestic and international travel outside of Connecticut for a period longer than 24-hours, whether traveling for business or personal reasons. Employees who have approval to telecommute full-time and, therefore, do not anticipate returning to any UConn facilities for at least two weeks after returning from travel, are not subject to these guidelines.

All University-sponsored travel remains subject to division-level approval.

For the purpose of these guidelines and the table below, the following definitions apply:

“Fully vaccinated” means at least 2 weeks after the 2nd dose for the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or at least 2 weeks after the single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine; and

“Recent history of COVID-19” means testing positive for or being diagnosed with SARS CoV-2 within the past 90 days.

Scenarios Quarantine/Testing Requirement Forms 
Scenario 1 (Domestic and International Travel)

Employee cannot telecommute and is NOT fully vaccinated and does NOT have a recent history of COVID-19

Testing/Quarantine protocols remain in effect (see Scenario 1 Protocols below). Pre-Travel Form is available on the HR Website.

 

Employees must complete a Travel Waiver for work related International travel via Global Affairs.

Scenario 2 (Domestic Travel Only)

Employee cannot telecommute and is EITHER fully vaccinated or has a recent history of COVID-19

None required, if vaccine or recent COVID-19 history is disclosed via Pre-Travel Form. Pre-Travel Form is available on the HR Website.**
Scenario 3 (International Travel Only)

Employee cannot telecommute and is EITHER fully vaccinated or has a recent history of COVID-19

 

Testing required (see Scenario 3 Protocols below), but quarantine is not required, if vaccine or recent COVID-19 history is disclosed to Human Resources prior to departure. Pre-Travel Form is available on the HR Website.

 

Employees must complete a Travel Waiver for work related International travel via Global Affairs.

Scenario 4 (Domestic and International Travel)

Employee is able to telecommute.

None required; employee may return to UConn campus or facility 14 days after returning from travel. Pre-travel form not required.

** Please note: employees traveling in Scenario 2 need only submit a Pre-Travel Form once to provide vaccine disclosure. Subsequent travel, as long as the employee has not lapsed their “recent history of COVID-19” of 90 days if they’re unvaccinated, does not require further notification to HR.

Scenario 1 Protocols: Quarantine and Testing Protocols Remain in Effect (Employee unable to telecommute full time, not fully vaccinated, and no recent history of COVID-19)

  • Such employees will undergo a SARS-CoV-2 RNA PCR test within 48 hours after returning from out-of-state travel (If an employee is unable to undergo testing within 48 hours after return, testing must be performed prior to return to work.)
  • This test will be completed at the employee’s expense, if travel is personal; tests related to travel for University business will be paid for by the University (employees may also choose to arrange a test following business travel at their own cost).
  • The University requires employees to quarantine from work until receiving the result of this first test. Time Reporters must use remaining accrued time (exceptions apply for approved business travel).
  • If this first test is negative, the employee will be able to return to work, and the University will require the employee to undergo retesting 5-7 days following return from travel. The second test will be at the University’s expense via CVS or Vault, regardless if the travel was personal or business. Employees will not be compensated for time or expenses used to undergo testing. Employees may also choose to arrange a test at their own cost.
  • Following the initial return to work after receiving a negative test result, the University requires employees to observe the standard COVID-19 precautions, including wearing a mask at all times while in UConn facilities and self-monitoring for symptoms. In addition, for the first 7 days upon returning to work, employees should observe the heightened precautions of eating alone and away from other employees, and limiting time spent in close proximity with others. Individuals who develop any symptoms should promptly leave work and contact the COVID-19 Call Center (860-679-3199) or their personal physician.
  • Any individual who tests positive during their first or second post-travel test must quarantine in accordance with CDC guidance.

Scenario 3 Protocols: Testing Requirement after International Travel for Vaccinated Employees or those with Recent History of COVID-19

  • Before Returning to the U.S.: All travelers coming from abroad, regardless of vaccination status, may be required to show proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 viral test or documentation of a recent history of and recovery from COVID-19 before returning to the United States.
  • Testing Upon Return to the U.S.: Employees returning from traveling abroad will be required to undergo SARS-CoV-2 RNA PCR testing 3-5 days after return from travel or before returning to a UConn facility. Testing will be at the University’s expense via CVS or Vault. Employees will not be compensated for time or expenses used to undergo testing. Employees may also choose to arrange a test at their own cost.
  • Fully-vaccinated employees who voluntarily provide proof of vaccination and those with a recent history of COVID-19 do not need to self-quarantine while awaiting the results of their test; such employees may return to a UConn campus or facility without delay.

Employees with Impaired Immune Systems

While the COVID-19 vaccines are considered safe for people who are immunocompromised, there is limited data on vaccine protection in some groups of individuals who are immunocompromised. Such employees with immunocompromising conditions should call the UConn Health COVID-19 Call Center (860-679-3199) prior to travel for additional guidance, even if they have been fully vaccinated, to discuss the safest return-to-work plan based on their individual circumstances.

Questions and Answers

Q: Do I need to notify HR when I am going out of state to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York or New Jersey for more than 24 hours?

A: Yes, employees must disclose all out-of-state travel that will be longer than 24 hours, if they intend to return to campus within two weeks of their return to Connecticut.

Q: Do these guidelines apply if I live outside of Connecticut and regularly travel out-of-state for purposes of commuting between work and home?

A: No.

Q: If I am not fully vaccinated but have been approved for business travel by UConn and I am a time reporter, how will my time be coded when I am required to quarantine upon return (pending my first negative test result)? Who pays for the test(s)? What happens if I am not a time reporter?

A: Answers vary, based on past use of COVID-19 leave. Please contact hr@uconn.edu before commencing travel to discuss.

The University will cover the cost of tests for all business travel, but employees may pay for a test on their own, if they wish to do so.

Non-time reporters should follow the appropriate protocols and directions from HR.

Q: How does the University determine vaccination status?

A: “Fully vaccinated” means at least 2 weeks after the 2nd dose for the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or at least 2 weeks after the single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: The University requires that I receive a test after returning from international travel and under certain circumstances for domestic travel. Will the University pay for my test or compensate the hours expended to undergo testing?

A: The University will provide testing for return from international travel, for employees fully vaccinated or with a recent history of COVID-19, and for business travel. Additional, the University will provide the second required test for non-vaccinated employees or employees without a recent history of COVID-19 following personal travel. The University will not approve comp time to undergo testing, even if the University is paying for the test.

Q: What is a recent history of COVID-19?

A: “Recent history of COVID-19” means testing positive for or being diagnosed with SARS CoV-2 within the past 90 days.

Q: What if I’ve been fully vaccinated, per the University’s definition, but I don’t wish to disclose such information to the University?

A: The University will presume you are unvaccinated and will apply full testing and quarantine protocols.

Q: I’m telecommuting full-time, do I need to complete the pre-travel forms?

A: No.

 

9/21/20 – Updated Travel and Return to Work Guidance

Dear Colleagues:

Governor Lamont issued Executive Order 9C that further modifies the requirements associated with individual travel to states and countries that continue to experience high rates of COVID-19 transmission. The University has released updated travel guidance that will apply to all faculty and staff when returning to Storrs and Regional campuses. Separate guidance will be issued to employees at UConn Health. This guidance does not address the University and UConn Health’s policy with respect to the approval process for business travel to high-risk countries.

The updated guidance will implement stricter protocols at the University than those required by Executive Order 9C and the travel and return to work advisory issued by the Department of Public Health. We are taking this step to protect public health and ensure the safety of our faculty, staff, students, and our community.  We are appreciative of the cooperation you have demonstrated and your commitment to the success of the new academic year at UConn.

Sincerely,

Christopher Delello

Chief Human Resources Officer

UPDATED TRAVEL AND RETURN TO WORK GUIDANCE

September 21, 2020

Attn: UConn Storrs & Regional Employees Only

Following the issuance of the Governor’s Executive Order, UConn issues the following updated travel guidance.

This guidance applies to all UConn employees (including Graduate Assistants) at Storrs and the Regional Campuses required to be on campus within two weeks following return from personal or business travel to an Affected State[1] or an Affected Country[2]. This guidance does not apply to employees who spent less than 24 hours in an Affected area.

This guidance does not apply to employees who are telecommuting, unless they are directed to return to campus within 14-days of returning from an Affected State or Country. This guidance does not address the University and UConn Health’s approval process for business travel to high-risk countries. Separate guidance exists for employees at UConn Health.

Domestic Travel to an Affected State

  • Employees must complete the Domestic Travel Form for travel to an Affected State;
  • Employees must schedule a PCR test for COVID-19 as soon as possible following their return to Connecticut and prior to returning to work (Please refer to Q4 in the FAQs for detailed guidance and on timing of your test and required notification procedures.). Employees must self-quarantine upon return to Connecticut and until receiving a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. The COVID-19 PCR test expense will be paid by the employee;
  • Employees must complete the State of Connecticut Travel Form and file their COVID-19 test result with the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health;
  • Upon receipt of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result and notification to the Department of Public Health, employees will be relieved of the state’s quarantine requirement and eligible to return to campus; employees must also alert hr@uconn.edu of a negative test result before returning to work.
  • Employees must adhere to the following on-campus guidance for 14 days following return from an Affected State, even following the report of a negative COVID-19 test: (i) wear a mask at all times while present on UConn campuses, (ii) consume food and beverages in isolation from other employees, staff and visitors, (iii) take your temperature prior to arrival for work, and (iv) self-quarantine while not at work;
  • Within 5-7 days following your return to work (if within 14 days of your last date in an Affected State) you are required to schedule a second COVID-19 PCR test and if the result of the second COVID-19 PCR test is negative you will be permitted to continue working. This test will be at no expense to the employee. Please contact hr@uconn.edu, identify your situation, and you will be instructed on how, when, and where your test will be administered; and
  • Employees will be required to utilize vacation leave for any period of self-quarantine required as a result of travel to an Affected State. If the employee does not have enough vacation leave the employee will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence for the balance of any self-quarantine period.

If an employee has traveled to a state or country that becomes an Affected State while they are present in such state and it is within 14 days of their return to Connecticut, such employee shall be required to notify Human Resources, fill out the Domestic Travel Form, and follow the DPH procedures for travel to an Affected State.

Important Note:

If an individual makes the decision to forgo a COVID-19 PCR test following travel to an Affected State, such employee will be required to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date of their last contact with an Affected State. The employee will be required to utilize personal and vacation leave for the period of self-quarantine. If the employee does not have enough personal or vacation leave, the employee will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence for the balance of any self-quarantine period. All re-entry dates will be coordinated by the employee with HR and the employee’s manager.

International Travel to an Affected Country[3]

  • Employees must schedule a PCR test for COVID-19 as soon as possible following their return to Connecticut and prior to returning to work. Employees must self-quarantine upon return to Connecticut and until receiving a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. The COVID-19 PCR test expense will be paid by the employee;
  • Employees must complete the State of Connecticut Travel Form and file their COVID-19 PCR test result with the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health;
  • Upon receipt of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result and notification to the Department of Public Health, employees will be relieved of the state’s quarantine requirement and eligible to return to campus; employees must also alert hr@uconn.edu of a negative test result.
  • Employees must adhere to the following on-campus guidance for 14 days following return from an Affected Country, even following the report of a negative COVID-19 PCR test: (i) wear a mask at all times while present on UConn campuses, (ii) consume food and beverages in isolation from other employees, staff and visitors, (iii) take your temperature prior to arrival for work, and (iv) self-quarantine while not at work;
  • Within 5-7 days following your return to work (if within 14 days of your last date in an Affected Country) you are required to schedule a second COVID-19 PCR test and if the result of the 2nd COVID-19 PCR test is negative you will be permitted to continue working. This test will be at no expense to the employee. Please contact hr@uconn.edu, identify your situation, and you will be instructed on how, when, and where your test will be administered; and
  • Employees will be required to utilize vacation leave for any period of self-quarantine required as a result of travel to an Affected Country. If the employee does not have enough vacation leave the employee will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence for the balance of any self-quarantine period.

If an employee has traveled out-of-state to a country that becomes an Affected Country while they are present in such country and it is within 14 days of their return to Connecticut, such employee shall be required to notify Human Resources, complete the International Travel Form, and follow the procedures for international travel to an Affected Country.

Important Note:

If an employee makes the decision to forgo a COVID-19 PCR test following travel to an Affected Country, such employee will be required to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date of their last contact with an Affected Country. The employee will be required to utilize personal and vacation leave for the period of self-quarantine. If the employee does not have enough personal or vacation leave, the employee will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence for the balance of any self-quarantine period. All re-entry dates will be coordinated by the employee with HR and the employee’s manager.

TRAVEL FOR WORK OR ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS BY AN ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEE

An Essential Worker[4] is exempt from self-quarantine if they meet the following criteria, but will be required by UConn to comply with the guidance contained herein. To inquire whether an employee is an Essential Worker, by definition herein, please contact HR:

  • Returning to Connecticut from an Affected State or Affected Country when the travel is related to their work; or
  • State, local and federal officials traveling in their official capacity on government business; and
  • Essential Workers traveling for reasons other than work (e.g. vacation or any other personal reason) shall be required to self-quarantine or utilize the testing alternative; and
  • Essential Workers are required to complete the State of Connecticut Travel Health Form required by the Travel Advisory prior to or no later than the day of arrival.

UConn Essential Workers will be required to adhere to the following guidance:

  • Notify Human Resources and fill out UConn’s Domestic Travel Form for out-of-state domestic travel to an Affected State and if to an Affected Country, the International Travel Form, which includes your dates of travel and the date you are scheduled to return to work;
  • Schedule a PCR test for COVID-19 as soon as possible following your return to Connecticut and prior to your return work. Upon notification of your negative test result, you may return to work following coordination with your manager;
  • Within 5-7 days following your return to work (if within 14 days of your last date in an Affected State or Country), schedule a second COVID-19 PCR test through Human Resources; if the result of the second COVID-19 test is negative you will be permitted to continue working; and
  • Where travel by an Essential Employee is related to their UConn work or is an official traveling on government business the tests will be conducted at no expense to the employee.

EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE HAD A PREVIOUS COVID-19 POSITIVE TEST RESULT

Positive Test Result will qualify for an exception if the positive result (nucleic acid COVID-19 test, e.g. an RT-PCR test) was performed within the last 3 months prior to arriving/returning to Connecticut from an Affected State or an Affected Country and the individual has clinically recovered, has been symptom free for a period of 10 days from the onset symptoms or such positive test result if the individuals was asymptomatic. The Affected Traveler must:

An individual who had a positive test result for COVID-19 received more than 3 months prior to arriving in/returning to Connecticut will be required to follow the guidance for travel to Affected States and Affected Countries in accordance with this guidance.

Employees who fail to adhere to this Travel Guidance may be subject to disciplinary action.

[1] An Affected State is a state or territory with a COVID-19 positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or higher than a 10% test positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.  Affected States are listed on the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) website and the list is updated each Tuesday.

[2] An Affected Country is a country for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice. The CDC website lists the countries with a level 3 advisory.

[3] This guidance does not address the University and UConn Health’s policy with respect to approval process for business travel to high-risk countries.

[4] An Essential Worker is an individual who works in critical infrastructure as designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, including students in exempt healthcare professions. An Essential Worker includes any state, local and federal official or employee traveling in their official capacity on government business.  Required military training is considered official travel on government business.

8/12/20 – Updated Travel FAQs re. Governor’s Executive Order

August 12, 2020

Dear UConn and UConn Health Colleagues,

To provide further guidance and clarification on domestic travel requirements for employees, in response to the Governor’s Executive Order, Human Resources has updated several Frequently Asked Questions. Updated or new FAQs are noted as (NEW).

Employees with additional questions may contact hr@uconn.edu.

Thank you,
Human Resources

7/28/20 – Updated Domestic Travel Guidance Communication and FAQs

July 28, 2020

Dear UConn Colleagues,

To provide further guidance and clarification on domestic travel requirements for employees, in response to the Governor’s Executive Order, Human Resources has developed several Frequently Asked Questions.pdf.

Employees with additional questions may contact or hr@uconn.edu.

Thank you,

Human Resources

7/24/20 – Updated Domestic Travel Guidance Communication

Dear UConn Employees,

On July 21st, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order No. 7III instituting a mandatory quarantine for all travelers arriving in or returning to Connecticut from states with high prevalence of COVID-19 (“Affected States”). This Order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 24, 2020.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order updates and clarifies earlier guidance issued on June 24th. The list of Affected States requiring quarantine will be updated weekly by the state’s Department of Public Health.

It is important for employees planning a vacation that involves out-of-state travel to be aware of the state’s list of Affected States and the requirement to quarantine for up to fourteen (14) days upon their return. Most importantly, employees need to be aware of the expectations and the impact to them as a result of the decision to travel to an Affected State.

UConn and UConn Health strongly discourages employees from any non-essential out-of-state travel to Affected States at this time. While we recognize that some instance of travel to Affected States cannot be avoided, all employees and managers need to be aware of the following travel requirements. It is the obligation of employees who are thinking about traveling out of state to know if a state is an Affected State in accordance with Executive Order 7III.Requirements for any employee traveling out of state to an Affected State:

  • Employees are required to fill out a form (which can be found on the Human Resources Website) and notify their manager if they are planning to or have traveled to one of the identified Affected States.
  • If employees are able to perform the functions of their job from home, employees will be permitted to telecommute for the recommended period of quarantine following return from an Affected State.
  • Employees who travel to an Affected State for personal (as opposed to business) reasons, are unable to telecommute and are mandated by Executive Order 7III to quarantine for a period of time beyond the period of their pre-approved leave will be required to utilize any available vacation time to cover the period of their quarantine. If an employee does not have sufficient vacation time to cover the period of quarantine the employee will be placed on unpaid leave for the balance of the quarantine period. If an employee has no available vacation time to cover the period of quarantine, the employee will be placed on unpaid leave for the required period of quarantine.
  • Employees who were traveling from one of the Affected States that was not listed as an Affected State at the time the employee began their travel must notify via email or telephone their manager upon their return to Connecticut. If the employee has not yet had any paid COVID leave and cannot telecommute, such employee will be granted paid COVID leave for any required period of quarantine not to exceed ten (10) workdays.

Please note that, at this time, the state’s mandatory quarantine does not apply if an individual has spent less than twenty-four (24) hours in one or more Affected State(s) prior to arriving in Connecticut.

  • An employee may be permitted to substitute a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to returning to Connecticut for a period of quarantine if UConn or UConn Health determine that the employee is unable to self-quarantine. An employee permitted to substitute the above referenced test, may be allowed to return to work subject to additional conditions by which the employee shall be required to abide.
  • An employee’s out of state travel to an Affected State that is approved, related to their work in Connecticut and such travel is on official business will be required to adhere to the same standards applicable to those unable to quarantine as noted above.

Upon return to Connecticut, employees must provide appropriate documentation (e.g., boarding passes, car rental receipts, hotel invoices, etc.) to support need for leave upon return from travel. The failure to report travel from an Affected State could result in disciplinary action and a civil penalty for failure to comply with the Executive Order 7III requirements.

Questions on domestic travel may be sent to hr-employeeresource@uchc.edu or hr@uconn.

Thank you,
Human Resources

7/2/20 – Original Employee Domestic Travel Guidance

Dear Storrs and Regional Campus Colleagues,

On June 24th, Governor Lamont announced quarantine guidance for all travelers arriving in or returning to Connecticut from several southern and western states. As the situation remains dynamic, it’s important for employees traveling out of state domestically to review the state’s most up to date guidance before departing and returning from travel. Employees should consider the impact of this guidance when considering whether to travel.

At the Storrs and regional campuses, the University has issued the following guidance for employees returning from an identified “quarantine” state:

  • Employees will be required to fill out a form and notify their manager if they are planning to or have traveled to one of the states on the domestic travel list. As the list changes frequently based on state guidance, employees should complete the form for all out-of-state travel;
  • Where possible, employees should be permitted to telecommute for the recommended period of quarantine;
  • For classified employees unable to telecommute, employees who have not previously been granted paid COVID leave will (1) be granted up to fourteen (14) days (10 paid) COVID leave. If an employee has previously been granted paid COVID leave they will be required to use any available vacation time for any period of quarantine and if the employee does not have sufficient vacation time to cover the period of quarantine then the employee will be placed on unpaid leave.;
  • For unclassified employees unable to telecommute, employees will for the period of quarantine be required to use any available vacation time or compensatory time and if an employee does not have sufficient vacation or compensatory time then the employee will be placed on unpaid leave.

To ensure accurate tracking, employees must upon return, provide appropriate documentation (e.g. boarding passes, car rental receipts, hotel invoices, etc.) to support the need to provide leave upon return from travel.

Employees, classified or unclassified, who were traveling from one of the states listed at the time of the Governor’s travel guidance was issued and any updates thereto should notify their manager upon their return to Connecticut and if they have not already had paid COVID leave and cannot telecommute they will be granted paid COVID leave for the period of quarantine up to ten work days.

The failure to report travel from a quarantine identified state could result in disciplinary action.

Employees returning to campus from out of the state for the start of the fall semester should incorporate the potential for a quarantine period into their travel plans.

Questions on domestic travel may be sent to hr-communications@uconn.edu.

Thank you,

Human Resources