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COVID-19 Etiquette for Faculty and Staff

Last updated March 5, 2024.

PLEASE NOTE: This webpage has been updated to be consistent with new guidance from the CDC

If you are ill:

  • Do not attend class, work, or other social gatherings.
  • If you have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, take an antigen test.
  • If you are feeling particularly ill, contact your primary care provider.

If you test positive and would like to take advantage of the NYS COVID-19 pay:

  • Report your antigen result.
  • Tell other close contacts that you have COVID-19. This will allow others to take proactive steps to monitor their health.
  • Stay home.

Information about Employee’s COVID-19 Status

The employee may self-disclose medical information with anyone of their choosing; however, ADA does not permit employers, regardless of how the information was obtained, to disclose an employee’s medical information to an employee’s colleagues, customers, or vendors. Employers can generally inform colleagues, customers, or vendors that an “employee has tested positive for COVID-19” or that an employee “has been exposed to COVID-19.” The employee(s) should not be identified and identifying information should not be provided.

Employees are not required to tell their supervisor any medical diagnosis. However, if an employee is unable to work, in keeping with current policy, the employee is expected to notify his or her supervisor as soon as possible.

Symptoms and Testing

When experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, employees are encouraged to:

  • Limit contact with others, wear a high-quality mask, and pick up an antigen test as soon as possible.
    • Free antigen tests are available in Cornell Health's 24-hour Self-Care vending machine located just inside the Ho Plaza entrance. 
    • Benefits-eligible employees are covered for eight antigen rapid home tests per 30-day period for each insured individual in the household.

If you test positive:

Recording Time off for COVID-19

If it's not possible to work remotely, inform your supervisor and local HR and record your time in Workday in a timely manner as directed. This action will ensure continued pay. 

  • If you are paid hourly record time that aligns with your normal work schedule, with a reason of “Hours Unable to Work - COVID-19”.
  • Exempt employees should report time that aligns with their normal work schedule, in half or full days using “Time Unable to Work – COVID-19”.

If you are an employee of Cornell Health, please follow this link for further guidance specific to the healthcare setting: Healthcare Worker Return to Work Post COVID 

Accommodations and Leaves

Medical and Disability Accommodations

Faculty and staff who are asked to return to work on-site who have an underlying medical condition, or those who are pregnant, may submit an ADA Reasonable Accommodation request, including accommodation requests for PPE, related to returning to the workplace.

Refer to CDC guidance for the list of People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness.

Employees Caring for Family Members

Employees who regularly care for a family member who is at higher risk for severe complications from COVID-19 may be eligible for time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Further, staff members may be covered by NYS Paid Family Leave.

Voluntary Reduction in Hours

An employee may request a voluntary short-term reduction in hours (appointment) to help them meet their personal needs.

Staff Time Off: If a staff member is not available, or not willing, to work as required, they may use their leave accrual balances in accordance with standard vacation and HAP policies after consultation with their supervisor. A staff member may also request an unpaid leave as permitted by policy/contract if:

  • the employee does not qualify for a workplace accommodation
  • the situation doesn’t qualify for an approved paid leave
  • a remote work arrangement is not feasible

Worker's Compensation

If you get the vaccine and experience side effects, you may be eligible for paid leave you are otherwise entitled to if you are ill and unable to work. If you choose to file a work-related injury claim, the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board will determine whether the claim qualifies for coverage under state law.