Please refer to the University of Incarnate Word website for the latest news and information related to our institutional-wide response. All questions should be submitted through the UIW COVID-19 Question Form.
This webpage will be updated regularly as UIW plans and responds to the evolving COVID-19 situation and its impact on our employees.
Last updated July 19, 2020 .
We are living in unique and uncertain times. None of us can know what the future holds for sure, but at the University of the Incarnate Word, we know this—we are dedicated to providing our students with a full University experience in Spring 2021. We at UIW are working hard and are confident that the academic and non-academic support services and curriculum will be the excellent academic, collegial and productive experience that drew you to UIW, whether delivered live, in a hybrid environment, or entirely remotely.
Out of an abundance of caution for the UIW community and in accordance with Governor Abbott’s executive order GA-18, employers are required to adopt minimum standard health protocols. One such protocol is to train all employees on appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette. All employees are required to complete this training and to acknowledge individual responsibility to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.*
*Employees currently working at a UIW location must complete the training and acknowledgment form by Monday, May 18, 2020.
Por precaución para la comunidad de UIW y de acuerdo con la orden ejecutiva GA-18 del gobernador Abbott, los empleadores deben adoptar protocolos de salud estándar mínimos. Uno de estos protocolos es capacitar a todos los empleados en la limpieza y desinfección adecuadas, la higiene de las manos y la etiqueta respiratoria. Todos los empleados deben revisar la hoja informativa y reconocer la responsabilidad individual para garantizar un lugar de trabajo seguro y saludable. *
* Los empleados que trabajan actualmente en una ubicación de UIW deben completar el formulario de capacitación y reconocimiento antes del lunes 18 de mayo de 2020.
Out of an abundance of caution for members of our community during this pandemic, employees are reminded to stay home if they are sick. Employees have a responsibility to self-report if they have flu-like symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. This directive applies to all employees working on campus or visiting campus periodically.
Please report to Human Resources or your supervisor if you have any of the following new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19:
Self-reporting will allow HR to connect you to resources that can support you, and to help the university access the impacts of the virus in our UIW community. HR is designated to receive these reports. Supervisors receiving reports from employees are directed to report to HR. You may self-report by completing the online reporting illness form, or by contacting the Director of Human Resources, Shannon Root, via email email@example.com or phone (210) 832-2161. Your privacy is important to us; therefore, by completing the form, the report will only be sent directly to the Director of Human Resources.
Again, please stay home if you are sick and do not come to campus if you are experiencing symptoms.
As the University leadership plans and prepares for phases of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Human Resources has developed a guide to assist employees and managers when the time comes to return to the workplace. The guide includes resources and information on COVID-19 including: workplace expectations for social distancing and face masks, symptom monitoring and reporting, operational phases, staffing options, health and safety, a checklist for employees, helpful links and resources, and more. The return to work guide can be found on the HR Communication Regarding Coronavirus webpage. Please be reminded, UIW is currently in Phase 1 which is “stay home and stay safe to mitigate risk.”
In addition to the guide, HR has developed an FAQ for employees on a variety of work related topics and leave as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We hope you find this information helpful. Please contact Human Resources at (210) 829-6019 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or if we can be of assistance.
Over four months ago UIW pulled together a team of campus academic, safety, operations, residence life, and medical experts to monitor the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-March it became apparent that to protect our students, staff and faculty, we needed to shift to online instruction, end our athletic seasons, and close student housing. Faculty worked tireless to prepare to teach their classes online and students returned home after spring break to a new learning environment, and just recently competed their academic year. The University remained open during this time with only essential personnel on campus and many others working from remote locations. This was a huge task for everyone involved in this effort and it demonstrates that good, smart people, working together can accomplish amazing things.
The Incident Command Team has spent the last month focused on the more difficult task of determining how to reopen the campus as safely as possible for the Fall 2020 semester. A key product of this effort was developing a clear plan and criteria that we could use to decide when it would be safe to begin to reopen the University. This plan identifies the phases, aligned to CDC recommendations, that will guide our business continuity efforts to reopen our campuses to students. Click here to view the Continuity of Operations Phased Plan. As the University prepares to move from the Pandemic Phase to Phase I, the work of the Incident Command Team is winding down. A new smaller group will now focus on the business continuity effort of working with teams across the University to reopen our campuses, first to a small number of student athletes in July, and the rest of our students in August. This work also extends to our efforts to have students in our professional schools participate in the clinics and perform other academic efforts. The Business Continuity Planning Team will monitor the COVID-19 situation in our community and provide University Leadership with advice and recommendations on how and when to reopen our campuses. The Phases identified below were created using CDC and Federal Guidelines.
As the University transitions through these Phases, employees will be called back to work as they are needed. Employees should not self-report back to work without supervisor permission. All employees, in whatever capacity, need to complete COVID-19 safety training and all supervising managers need to review the Supervisor’s Guide. Reopening our campuses is a large complex effort and we have quickly learned that is easier to shut down in-person instruction and shift to online instruction then it will be is to reopen for the Fall semester. There are still many questions and that must be addressed before we are e able to welcome everyone back. The Business Continuity Planning Team will use our Phases Plan to guide our efforts and will provide the campus community regular updates about our progress.
As the University has begun the initial steps to prepare to reopen the University to students, our Human Resources team have fielded numerous calls from employees concerned about returning to work. The COVID-19 has impacted us in very different ways, and we know that not everyone will be ready or able to return to work this summer or later in the fall. Based on this concern, earlier this week, Human Resources announced four voluntary programs, two for faculty and two for staff and administrators.
These plans are completely voluntary and are intended to provide staff and faculty the opportunity to step away from the University for a little while, or to leave completely based on their individual needs. Employees must apply for the programs by June 15, and employees will be notified by June 25 if their applications have been accepted. It is important for everyone to know that this is not a precursor to layoffs or unpaid furloughs sometime in the future. Our University is uniquely positioned to withstand the financial and academic impacts of COVID-19. We are financially resilient, have diverse and strong academic programs, small average class sizes, solid fall enrollment forecasts, and since we are a private University, we will not suffer from the inevitable state budget cuts.
On June 3, based on the criteria found within our Phased Plan, the Business Continuity Planning Team recommended to the President’s Cabinet to move from the Pandemic Phase to Phase I having met CDC gating criteria. The President’s Cabinet approved this recommendation on June 4 with the intent to remain in Phase I through the month of June. If the Phase 2 criteria has been met by the end of June, the campus will likely move to Phase 2 in early July.
It is now time to turn our attention to reopening our campuses and preparing for in-person instruction and students living on campus. We have a plan, a carefully designed phased approach based on CDC recommendations and vetted by our own campus medical experts. It will take a lot of work to fine tune and implement this plan. Based on how UIW pulled together to protect others and successfully shift to online instruction this spring, I am confident that we accomplish this task as well. There may be hiccups and other issues that we may need to overcome, but if we wait for perfect, we will never get started.
Please contact Human Resources if you have questions or wish to participate in one of the voluntary employee programs. Please address work specific questions or concerns to your supervising managers.
Thank you for your understanding and patience and as we navigate through this uncertain time.
In our continuing effort to protect members of the UIW community, offices will remain closed until further notice, and employees will continue working remotely. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as appropriate.
Effective Friday, May 1, 2020, there will be a check-in station at all UIW campuses. In accordance with Gov. Abbott’s directives for businesses, before admittance to campus, all employees working or visiting will have their temperatures taken and will need to indicate if they have any of the following new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19:
Please note that admittance to any UIW campuses will not be permitted if you have any COVID-19 symptoms. Employees also have a responsibility to self-report if they have any of the above symptoms directly to HR, their supervisor, or by completing the online reporting illness form. Out of an abundance of caution for members of our community during this pandemic, employees are reminded to stay home if they are sick.
All employees are required to wear a face mask while on any UIW campus. Face masks may only be removed when in a private office space behind a closed door, while eating (6 feet social distancing must be maintained while eating), and as noted in Section F.2 of the COVID-19 Pandemic Return to Campus Requirements and Expectations Policy. For the safety of all employees, please ensure that proper safety precautions are followed. All employees should wash or sanitize their hands upon entering the business and maintain at least 6 feet of separation from other individuals.
Additionally, UIW requires all employees to display their UIW ID when working on and visiting campus.
For more details on the new statewide measures, please read the Governor’s “Texans Helping Texans” report.
All employees received a message on April 23rd to self-report if they have flu like symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. This directive applies to all employees working on campus or visiting campus periodically. As a supervisor, if you receive a report from an employee you must notify HR by contacting the Director of Human Resources, Shannon Root, via email email@example.com or phone 210-832-2161.
Employees should self-report if they have:
By reporting, it will allow HR to connect employees to resources that can support them, and to help the university access the impact of the virus in our UIW community.
Employees participating in remote work should use the recommended safety guidelines to assist in surveying the overall safety and adequacy of their alternate worksite. Employees are encouraged to discuss any safety concerns they have with their managers.
MDLIVE has provided great information about the Coronavirus and what you need to know.
Please feel free to share the FAQ information with friends and family. As a reminder, the MDLIVE services are only available to covered members on the UIW health plans.
If you are working remotely and have not completed the Temporary Remote Work Agreement please do so as soon as possible. The Temporary Remote Work Agreement is available as a Workflow in Adobe Sign. The attached instructions provide detail steps for the employee, supervisor, and department head. Instructions are also available on the HR website under UIW Remote Work Agreement.
UIW realizes the spread of COVID-19 is creating distress and we want to make sure our employees and their families have the care they need. In order to remove any financial barriers, UIW will pay testing and treatment of COVID-19 at 100% (not subject to the deductible) for those enrolled in UIW Bronze, Silver or Cigna plans.
MDLIVE is a network of telehealth doctors and is free for members on the UIW Bronze, Silver or Cigna plans. Members can visit a doctor 24/7 from their home, office or on the go. Their specialties include primary care, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and family medicine. MDLIVE can be reached 1-877-953-4955 or visit the Gilsbar website here.
CHRISTUS Santa Rosa
In partnership with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa, all patient financial responsibility (deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance) for healthcare services received through CHRISTUS facilities for employees and their families enrolled in the UIW Bronze and Silver RBP Plans will be waived. CHRISTUS has locations throughout San Antonio and New Braunfels providing a full spectrum of quality health care services for our members. To view, a list of locations click here.
Life doesn’t always go as planned. And while we can’t always avoid the twists and turns, employees can get help to keep moving forward. The Employee Assistance Program – LifeWorks, can help you and your family, those living at home, get professional support and guidance to make life a little easier. The program offers easy to use educational tools and resources on health, finances, legal guidance, and everyday life. The resources are available online and through a mobile app. There is a chat feature so you can talk with a consultant to guide you to the information you are looking for or help you schedule an appointment with a counselor.
You can call at 1 (888) 319-7819 or log on to LifeWorks today! Username: metlifeeap and password: eap
MDLIVE is a network of telehealth doctors and is free for members on the UIW Bronze, Silver or Cigna plans. Members can visit a doctor 24/7 from their home, office or on the go. Their specialties include primary care, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and family medicine. MDLIVE can be reached at 1 (877) 953-4955 or visit the Gilsbar website.
UIW realizes the spread of COVID-19 is creating distress and we want to make sure our employees and their families have the care they need. In order to remove any barriers to getting testing or treatment, UIW will pay for testing and treatment of COVID-19 for UIW insureds, at 100%, not subject to the deductible or co-pay.