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Fall 2020: Health and Safety

 

Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19.

In the face of extreme challenges, our community is resilient. Our students and faculty and staff have stepped up. We adapt. We innovate. We lift each other up. That’s who we are. And we’re not done yet.

Our community and our world need us now more than ever. They need our desire for knowledge. Our tenacity to solve problems. They need our compassion and our care. We are willing to sacrifice for the greater good, to step up and put “we” before “me.” That’s the Vanderbilt Way.

It’s up to each of us to help protect our community. Anchor Down. Step Up. Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19.

YOUR COMMITMENT: MASK UP. BACK UP. WASH UP. CHECK UP.


Find answers to the most asked questions about Return to Campus

For example, type in “move” or “mask” in the search box. The list will filter to show only items that mention those keywords.

Vanderbilt is employing the best practice testing model as recommended by VUMC experts and will continue to evaluate all testing options moving forward recognizing options are continually evolving. At this point in time, antibody tests are not recommended by health experts at VUMC.

All individuals on campus are required to follow posted signage. Signage will communicate important information including, but not limited to:

  • Protocol reminders, e.g., mask-wearing, physical distancing and personal hygiene
  • Building entrance and exit points
  • Circulation guidance, e.g., one-way circulation, both indoors and outdoors
  • Floor decals denoting six feet of distance for wait areas and lines
  • Occupancy limits
  • Occupancy or vacancy of shared spaces, such as restrooms
  • Building-specific instructions, such as for laboratory work

The university will also regularly communicate with campus community members about protocols and other changes through emails, MyVU, website posts and updates to the COVID-19 website FAQs and Return to Campus portal.

Faculty are not expected to monitor symptoms of students. Individuals who have been authorized to return to campus must conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus or leaving their residence hall room. It is the individual’s responsibility to comply. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly.

More details on student symptom monitoring can be found on the Student Symptom Monitoring FAQ. Faculty, staff and post-doc symptom monitoring details can be found on the Faculty, Staff, Post-Doc Symptom Monitoring FAQ.

Specific guidelines for all campus visitors, including parents, are being developed to ensure the safety of our campus community. The situation with COVID-19 is changing rapidly and we want those guidelines to reflect the best practices in place once students have returned to campus.

Public Health Ambassa’Dores will be available to answer questions regarding campus health and safety measures as well as provide masks to those in need of them.

We are also working to develop signage around the perimeters of campus reminding visitors of our university guidelines.

Suppliers must submit the Supplier Return to Campus Acknowledgement prior to being granted permission to be on campus.

Someone who has had COVID-19 stops being contagious approximately 10 days after symptom onset and after at least three days without fever. 

Student testing for undergraduate students and local graduate/professional students will be conducted at a testing center on campus and results will be available to the clinical team providing contact tracing. Vanderbilt will have robust in-house contact tracing capabilities developed as a collaboration with experts at VUMC, VUSN and Metro Public Health to coordinate timely contact tracing between campus and the Nashville community.

Vanderbilt is attempting to minimize and mitigate risk where possible, but we recognize that the university cannot eliminate risk entirely. Faculty who believe that they or their household members may be at heightened risk are encouraged to consider seeking an accommodation, or as appropriate to request paid Medical Leave (Illness or Other Incapacities of Short Duration) available under the Faculty Manual.

Employees can make changes to their LTD plans at any point.  However, if they did not elect LTD during their initial enrollment, they would be required to submit an evidence of insurability form and it would be at Unum discretion to approve the benefit.

We do not have an answer to this question at this time; however, we will update our compliance guidelines as more decisions are made prior to the start of the fall semester.

Regardless of whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Office determines that a reasonable accommodation is medically indicated, Deans are able to consider granting accommodations in light of age and/or other special circumstances (e.g., needs of a household member). Deans also may be able to grant other requests to teach remotely based on the school’s schedule and needs.

Following CDC, ACHA  and VUMC guidance, Vanderbilt is requiring face masks/coverings in all public settings (e.g., common workspaces, public spaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, break-rooms, campus outdoor spaces, restrooms, etc.), as well as physical distancing requirements.  We are closely monitoring CDC and ACHA guidance, and working closely with VUMC, and will adapt practices if necessary in the future.

International students studying abroad in Fall 2020 who initially waived the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) must enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan if they enter the United States at any point during the 2020-2021 academic year or Summer 2021. Specifically, you will be required to email ship@vanderbilt.edu two weeks in advance of your arrival date to the United States and provide your date of entry to the country so that we may enroll you in coverage. Your Student Health Insurance Plan coverage will be effective retroactive to the first day of the month that you arrive in the United States, and your premium will be prorated to reflect your active coverage period. You will be required to pay for your premium through your Student Account on YES.

All symptomatic individuals will be tested through VUMC. Extensive capacity for testing asymptomatic individuals will be established at the VU testing center. This capacity will be maintained throughout the semester and will be expanded if needed.

The university may issue Shelter in Place Orders to small groups of students who are not positive or identified close contacts, and will require those students to temporarily remain at their residence and switch to online learning for all classes.

The university issues Shelter in Place Orders when it finds, based on the advice of public health experts and assessment of University officials, that developing test results and contact tracing suggest a potential cluster among a concentrated group of students that may present a higher risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission.

If a Shelter in Place Order is issued, the Dean of Students will notify impacted students and provide additional details and instructions.

  • Students will be required to sequester in their residence hall room or off-campus residence until the Dean of Students releases them to resume normal activities.
  • Students will transition to remote learning during the period they are subject to Shelter in Place Orders and should inform the professor of any in-person courses in which they are enrolled.
  • Students on campus will be limited to leaving their rooms to use shared bathrooms and to collect food from central drop-off locations; students off campus may not come to campus, and should only leave sequester for essential activities or as directed by the University, such as testing.
  • Students should not invite roommates or others into their room; they should maintain masking even around roommates to prevent potential in-residence spread.

Shelter in Place Orders protect all involved when additional time is needed to complete contact tracing and related analysis to assess the scope of a potential cluster, and are in addition to the isolation and quarantine actions already underway. The university will lift Shelter in Place Orders once the necessary analysis is complete.

 

Each faculty member, staff member, postdoc and student will be provided with one cloth face covering. Disposable masks will be provided, if needed. Individuals and departments can contact their assigned building manager or liaison in their college, school or department to acquire cloth face coverings or disposable masks. More details can be found on the Face Masks/Coverings FAQ.

We are currently exploring ways to make the Vanderbilt logo mask available in retail locations and exploring options for campus departmental ordering.

The university is providing face shields to schools and colleges based on their assessment of which faculty and teaching assistants will  use the face shields under the university’s guidance. https://www.vanderbilt.edu/coronavirus/face-shields-used-by-faculty-in-classrooms/

Under the Faculty Manual, faculty are eligible for up to six months of paid leave when they qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Paid leave includes both salary and benefits. As explained in the Faculty Manual, “When a faculty member must be absent from their/her/his duties because of their own illness or incapacity of short duration (six months or less), other members of the faculty, with knowledge of the department chair or division director and the dean, customarily assume their duties on a temporary basis. If the illness becomes extended so that this is no longer feasible, other arrangements are made by the department chair in consultation with the Dean and the Provost or the Dean of the School of Medicine in the case of Faculty in the School of Medicine Clinical Departments. Like family leave, the period of illness or incapacity runs concurrently with leave under FMLA and Occupational Health must receive a Certification of Health Care Provider form.”  https://www.vanderbilt.edu/faculty-manual/part-vi-faculty-benefits/ch4-leaves-of-absence/

This question was asked multiple times

Each faculty member, staff member, postdoc and student will be provided a cloth face covering. Disposable masks will be provided, if needed. Individuals and departments can contact their assigned facilities officer or liaison in their college, school or department to acquire cloth face coverings or disposable masks. You may also wear homemade cloth face coverings that adhere to CDC and other public health recommendations. More details can be found on the  Face Masks/Coverings FAQ.

A number of classroom protocols are being finalized through careful study and close consultation with experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and our School of Nursing, as well as national, state and local public health officials. Academic leaders, faculty and students are all contributing to those protocols. This includes examining the use of face shields, Plexiglas and more. Deans will share additional details by July 1.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, several changes to benefit offerings have been instituted to support faculty and staff. A detailed list of items is available on the Human Resources website.

Some enhanced health/pharmacy benefits services include:

  • Faculty and Staff on VU health insurance who are tested for COVID-19 have not been charged for the test, the university is subsidizing the cost of the test.
  • For those identified as having COVID-19, Aetna will send a Healing Better COVID-19 kit the member’s home within 1-3 days of Aetna receiving notification of diagnosis. Members diagnosed with COVID-19 will be identified using inpatient hospitalizations and by self-reports. Note: This could change depending upon the numbers of identified members.
  • VUMC has made telehealth visits available for all VUMC clinicians via My Health at Vanderbilt.
  • VUMC also has a dedicated hotline to conduct phone screening for those who think they may be exhibiting symptoms associated with the coronavirus, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. The hotline number is (888) 312-0847.
  • Use of the Vanderbilt Mail Order Pharmacy saves time and keeps you safe during the COVID-19 Safer at Home order. Mail order is an easy way to purchase a 90-day medication supply delivered directly to your door. Prescriptions can also be picked up at the Vanderbilt Pharmacy of your choice.

Student Health Insurance Plan

The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) currently provides access to COVID-19 testing free of charge as long as the test is ordered by a licensed medical provider and FDA authorized. Free access to testing is currently being offered through October 22, 2020. The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) also provides access to COVID-19 treatment free of charge through October 22, 2020. After October 22, 2020, the student’s insurance benefits as outlined in their insurance brochure – including their deductible and copays –  will apply. Students on the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) should reach out to Vanderbilt’s on campus insurance liaison, Kristy Miller, at 615-343-4688 or Kristina.miller@vumc.org with questions.

The Student Care Network typically provides coordinates satellite services for a number of other offices in various spaces across campus. These are strategically placed in locations to provide convenient access for various student populations. Whether we will be providing these in-person or as virtual drop-in opportunities will depend on what phase we are in, what physical distancing and safety protocols are in place, and what spaces are available and can accommodate us in light of those protocols. For example, the University Counseling Center has been holding virtual drop-in hours this spring and summer. More information will be provided about support services as details are finalized.

POSITIVE CASE / CLOSE CONTACT WEBFORM

Members of the Vanderbilt community who have received a COVID-19 positive test result or were informed they are a close contact outside of the VUMC system (e.g. Metro Public Health or another public health entity), should complete the following webform*. The webform goes directly to the Command Center to ensure confidentiality and someone will follow-up with you as soon as possible.

Test results of individuals tested by VUMC (Student Health or Occupational Health) or VU’s periodic on-campus testing program also known as “surveillance” testing) are routed automatically.

Individuals will receive direct communication from the Command Center about their isolation (if they tested positive) or quarantine period (if considered a close contact) and will be instructed to contact Student Health or Occupational Health if they develop symptoms. The Command Center will communicate with the individual throughout their isolation or quarantine period to monitor any symptoms that develop and ensure they are well-supported.

PUBLIC HEALTH CENTRAL COMMAND CENTER

The Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center (Command Center) is a collaboration between the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing, Division of Administration, Office of the Provost, Vanderbilt Student Health Center (SHC) and Vanderbilt Occupational Health Center (OHC). The Command Center provides support and coordination for university testing strategies. As a part of these efforts, the Command Center conducts contact tracing with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Along with contact tracing, the Command Center coordinates with supervisors, mentors, leadership and other community members as positive individuals and close contacts are identified, providing support for the workplace, and living and learning communities.

By launching these robust in-house contact tracing, coordination and support capabilities, Vanderbilt has established an organizational and case management structure to ensure timely coordination to protect and support the health and safety of  the campus and Nashville community.

To read more about how contact tracing works, please visit the contact tracing page. To read more about COVID-19 testing strategies, please visit the undergraduate student testing pagegraduate and professional student testing page, or faculty/staff/post-doc testing page.

 

Campus-wide approaches to safety and the practice of mask wearing and physical distancing are important as individuals can be without symptoms and still be COVID-19 positive. Individuals who have been authorized to return to campus must also conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly. All individuals must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to be on campus or participate in activities on campus.

According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. These symptoms or combinations of symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

A symptom assessment tool has been created within the existing VandySafe app for daily self-monitoring.  You can also access the symptom assessment tool at: http://vu.edu/symptoms. Entering symptoms in the symptom assessment tool is recommended for faculty, staff and post-docs coming to campus (those working remotely do NOT need to enter symptoms in the symptom monitoring tool).

Please note that this symptom assessment tool is to determine if you meet criteria for a medical evaluation for COVID-19.  If you have an underlying medical disease or an ongoing chronic condition that has similar symptoms to COVID-19, then you do not need to record this if your symptoms are unchanged. **Please only record symptoms that are new or worsening in the daily symptom monitoring tool.**

New features of the VandySafe app include:

  • Self-Assessment Tool: users are provided recommended actions based on answers to a series of guided questions
  • Return to Campus Plan
  • Vanderbilt University COVID-19 Updates
  • Report a Concern
  • Support Services

If faculty, staff or postdocs develop new/worsening symptoms, they must call the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Clinic and notify their supervisor/mentor/department chair that they are reviewing their health status prior to the start of any scheduled work period or time on campus; Occupational Health will instruct the individual on appropriate next steps. For staff, time spent in dialogue with Occupational Health is not considered working time.

For those who are in specialized facilities or a higher-risk environment for infection with COVID-19 (e.g., some research facilities, VUPS, dining, child care, etc.), your department may require temperature and symptom screening upon arrival to campus. Your supervisor/mentor/lead researcher will advise you on this requirement prior to your return to campus and on where to report when you arrive for screening. Temperature screening on campus allows the university to know immediately if someone is symptomatic. As with all other absences, the faculty/staff/postdoc/graduate or professional student is responsible for informing their supervisor/mentor/lead researcher and/or associate dean for those in classes/experiential roles. All persons conducting temperature screening will be trained in advance and will be required to wear personal protective equipment as appropriate.

In order to ensure compliance with privacy laws, records of temperature screenings or symptom assessments should not be maintained by the unit conducting the screening/assessments. It may be noted that someone was not able to work because they could not be cleared. Anyone tested for COVID-19 must quarantine until testing results are back. If the results are negative, the person may return to campus without any formal clearance.

 

VandySafe Symptom Monitoring FAQ

How do I login to complete my symptom assessment?

To login to complete your daily symptom assessment, you will use your Vanderbilt email address and password. If you need to reset or change your password, visit the VUIT website for assistance.

Duo multi-factor authentication (MFA) is also required to access the application. Instructions on how to download and enroll in Duo are available on the VUIT website.

What do I do after I log in?

Once on the main menu, tap the ‘hamburger’ icon in the upper left-hand corner and tap ‘Symptom Assessment.’ Then, tap ‘Add Another Assessment’ and follow the prompts.

 

I am receiving a message asking me to “Authenticate.” What do I do?

The following message appears for iPhone users when the application tries to open in Safari:

Go to settings, locate and select Safari, scroll down to Privacy & Security, and toggle off “Private Cross-Site Tracking”. This should allow you to launch the web page.

What do I do if I am experiencing issues with the app?

If you are experiencing technical issues with the application, please email help.backtoschool@vanderbilt.edu between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for assistance.

What if I do not have a cell phone to do the symptom assessment?

You can also access the symptom assessment by going to vu.edu/symptoms from a computer or laptop.

What if I am having issues connecting to the wireless network VUNET?

VUIT updated the wireless networks in early July. Personal smart devices, such as smart phones and tablets or other non-Vanderbilt issued devices, will need to be onboarded to the network by the user. You can onboard your devices by visiting wifi.vanderbilt.edu, clicking “I have a VUnetID,” and selecting “Connect laptop, tablet or smartphone.” It is not required to be on campus to complete this process. For more information about Vanderbilt Wi-Fi networks, visit wifi.vanderbilt.edu.

Why do I have to complete a daily symptom assessment? 

Campus-wide approaches to safety and the practice of mask wearing and physical distancing are important as individuals can be without symptoms and still be COVID-19 positive.  Individuals who have been authorized to return to campus must also conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus. It is the individual’s responsibility to comply. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly.  All individuals must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19  to be on campus or participate in activities on campus.

What should I do if I am experiencing new/worsening symptoms?

If you are faculty, staff, or a postdoc, call Occupational Health .

What if I currently have symptoms from a chronic condition that are similar to COVID-19 symptoms?

This symptom assessment is to determine if you meet criteria for a medical evaluation for COVID-19. If you have an underlying medical disease or an ongoing chronic condition that has similar symptoms to COVID-19, then you do not need to record this if your symptoms are unchanged. Please only record symptoms that are new or worsening in the daily symptom monitoring tool.

What do I do if I accidentally entered symptoms in the app that were incorrect and need the app cleared?  What if I was sick and have talked to Student Health and have been cleared?

Please email help.backtoschool@vanderbilt.edu between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for assistance and they will clear the app for you.

COVID-19 TESTING

Faculty, staff and postdocs who have symptoms related to COVID-19, have received a positive COVID-19 test result outside the VUMC system, or have been officially notified that they are a close contact to a COVID-19 positive person must call the Occupational Health Center (OHC) at 615-936-0955 to receive guidance for their symptoms, possible testing, isolation/quarantine period, and return to campus criteria. If after-hours, OHC should call back within 30 minutes once a message is left. If OHC is not open and the symptoms are severe enough, the individual should go to the VUMC emergency department.

An individual awaiting test results must remain at home off campus in quarantine and keep their department chair/supervisor/mentor/lead researcher informed of their return-to-campus status.

If an individual believes they have contracted COVID-19 after exposure to a known COVID-19 positive person on campus and/or while performing job duties, OHC may direct the individual to complete a First Report of Work Injury or Illness.

Members of the Vanderbilt community that include undergraduate students, graduate and professional students, staff and post docs who are authorized to be on campus, and are engaged in on-campus, in-person activities, will be included in the institution’s COVID-19 periodic on-campus testing program which will begin by Sept.1. The sampling of Vanderbilt community members selected for testing will be based on analysis of COVID-19 test outcomes in segments of the community and other factors that will ensure a representative, meaningful and targeted sample of the VU community. Frequency of the testing during the fall semester will be based on the analysis of the outcome data being surveilled. If you have previously been COVID-19 positive in the last three months, you may be exempt from COVID-19 testing for a period of time.  Please complete the waiver request form and upload relevant documentation, which will go to the Public Health Command Center for review.

Learn more about the Voluntary Faculty COVID-19 Periodic Testing Program.

Those enrolled in VU’s health insurance plan may be aware that our insurance provider, Aetna, is taking significant steps in response to COVID-19. Aetna will waive co-pays and member cost share for COVID-19 testing. This will cover the test kit for patients who meet CDC guidelines for testing, which can be performed in any approved laboratory location.

Learn more on the Aetna website, or contact HR at human.resources@vanderbilt.edu.

ASYMPTOMATIC CLOSE CONTACT (ACC) TESTING

The university has also updated its approach to testing of asymptomatic close contacts. The CDC defines a close contact as any individual who was within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic people who have tested positive, 2 days prior to positive test collection) until the time the person who tested positive is isolated. Asymptomatic close contacts will be tested on day 8 of the required quarantine period. This applies specifically to all faculty, staff, post docs, and students who are authorized to be on campus and are participating in on-campus activities.

How test kits for asymptomatic close contacts are delivered will vary slightly based on the individual’s quarantine location. If an individual identified as a close contact is in on-campus quarantine housing, a pre-paid test kit will be delivered to the person’s quarantine location to be completed on Day 8 of their quarantine period. If an individual identified as a close contact lives off-campus, a weblink will be emailed on Day 5 of their quarantine period to order a pre-paid test kit to be delivered to their off-campus location by Day 8.

Positive Case and RECOVERY

Faculty, staff or postdocs who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home* and follow current CDC guidance. To help determine the risk of potential exposure to co-workers and others on campus, as part of the Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center, Occupational Health will conduct contact tracing with the individual who has tested positive. Those individuals determined to be a potential close contact will be given the name of the individual who tested positive so that their risk can be further assessed. Occupational Health may contact the supervisor/mentor/department chair if further contact tracing information for the COVID-19 positive individual is needed; however, the actual test result (and any other protected health information) will not be disclosed. For more information on contact tracing, please visit the contact tracing page.

Individuals who are defined as a close contact to a COVID-19 positive person are entered into Occupational Health’s symptom monitoring survey that is completed daily. The objective is to closely monitor each individual to ensure that any signs of infection are addressed early.

Vanderbilt is following CDC’s recommended recovery strategy. If an individual had symptoms and a positive COVID-19 test, recovery status (and clearance to return to campus/work) is assigned when: 1) the individual remains fever free without the use of fever reducers for 24 hours, 2) symptoms have improved, and 3) it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared. If the individual tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to return to campus 10 days after the test as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms, then the individual must follow the recovery strategy for those with symptoms. Notification for return to on-campus activities is directed through Occupational Health.

*On-campus residential faculty and staff will receive separate guidance from the Office of Academic Affairs and Residential Faculty. 

COVID-19 Scenarios for faculty

I HAVE SYMPTOMS

  • STAY HOME: Notify Occupational Health Center (OHC) for assessment and testing. Notify department chair and/or lead researcher.
  • PAUSE: Stay off-campus and quarantine while awaiting test result.
  • ALL CLEAR: My test is negative so I can return to campus as long as I am not a close contact.

I HAVE A COVID-19 POSITIVE TEST RESULT

  • STAY AT HOME: Notify OHC and fill out Public Health Central Command Center (PHCCC) webform on the Return to Campus website. Notify department chair and/or lead researcher. Complete contact tracing with OHC as soon as possible.
  • PAUSE: Remain off-campus for isolation period, usually 10 days but length can vary.
  • ALL CLEAR: I completed isolation and can return to campus when released by OHC.

I AM A CLOSE CONTACT

  • STAY AT HOME: Complete PHCCC webform on the Return to Campus website. Notify department chair and/or lead researcher.
  • PAUSE: Remain off campus for quarantine period, usually 14 days after last contact but length can vary.
  • ALL CLEAR: I completed quarantine and can return to campus when released by OHC or PHCCC as applicable.

Campuswide approaches to safety and the practice of physical distancing are important because individuals can be without symptoms and still be COVID-19 positive. Individuals who have been authorized to return to campus must conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus or leaving their residence hall room. Daily symptom monitoring is mandatory for students coming to/living on campus (remote only students do NOT need to enter symptoms in the symptom assessment tool) and it is the individual’s responsibility to comply. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly. A student who does not live in Vanderbilt housing must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to be on campus or participate in activities on campus. A student who lives on campus must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to participate in activities on campus.

According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. These symptoms or combinations of symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

A symptom assessment tool has been created within the existing VandySafe app for daily self-monitoring. You can also access the symptom assessment tool at: http://vu.edu/symptoms. The use of this tool is mandatory for students coming to/living on campus (remote only students do NOT need to enter symptoms in the symptom assessment tool) beginning August 10 to prepare for campus arrival. In the event that symptoms are accidentally entered in the app incorrectly or a student has been cleared by student, or if you are experiencing any technical issues, please email help.backtoschool@vanderbilt.edu between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for assistance.

Please note that this symptom assessment tool is to determine if you meet criteria for a medical evaluation for COVID-19.  If you have an underlying medical disease or an ongoing chronic condition that has similar symptoms to COVID-19, then you do not need to record this if your symptoms are unchanged. **Please only record symptoms that are new or worsening in the daily symptom monitoring tool.**

New features of the VandySafe app include:

  • Self-Assessment Tool: Users are provided recommended actions based on answers to a series of guided questions
  • Return to Campus Plan
  • Vanderbilt University COVID-19 Updates
  • Report a Concern
  • Support Services

A student who has any new or worsening symptoms, including a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, should visit Student Health for assessment. 

If Student Health is closed and you need evaluation for COVID-19, you may call the VUMC COVID-19 hotline at (888) 312-0847 for information about after hours assessment site availability. This number is answered seven days a week from 8 am to 5 pm CT. If additional concerns or questions, the Student Health on-call provider can also be reached after hours.  

Anyone tested for COVID-19 must quarantine until testing results are back as directed by the Dean of Students office. The student is also responsible for contacting their instructors if they are in quarantine (awaiting test or had close contact) or isolation (positive test) to alert them that they will miss in-person classes and will be taking classes remotely. If the results are negative, the person may return without any formal clearance.

VandySafe Symptom Monitoring FAQ

How do I login to complete my symptom assessment?

To login to complete your daily symptom assessment, you will use your Vanderbilt email address and password. If you need to reset or change your password, visit the VUIT website for assistance.

As part of Vanderbilt’s continued efforts to keep applications and data secure, duo multi-factor authentication (MFA) is also required to access the application. You will be required to authenticate via MFA every 30 days.

The MFA application you will need to download to log in to the Daily Symptom Assessment Application is called DUO. Please follow the instructions below to download DUO.

Enroll in Duo:

  1. Go to the MFA website
  2. Under Requesting Service, click “Enroll Now”
  3. Sign in and click “Start setup”
  4. Select Mobile Phone and follow the prompts
  5. Install the Duo Mobile application on your mobile phone
  6. In your phone internet browser, click “I have Duo Mobile installed”
  • Click “Take me to Duo Mobile App”
  • You will receive a code in your DUO app – this verifies the successful installation of Duo
  1. Go back to your browser, click “Dismiss and save your preferences”

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the VUIT support number at 615-343-9999 or submit a help request at help.it.vanderbilt.edu.

What do I do after I log in?

Once on the main menu, Click ‘Click here to select assessment’ and click ‘Symptom Assessment’. Then, click ‘Add another assessment’.

 

I am receiving a message asking me to “Authenticate.” What do I do?

The following message appears for iPhone users when the application tries to open in Safari:

Go to settings, locate and select Safari, scroll down to Privacy & Security, and toggle off “Private Cross-Site Tracking”. This should allow you to launch the web page.

What do I do if I am experiencing issues with the app?

If you are experiencing technical issues with the application, please email help.backtoschool@vanderbilt.edu between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for assistance.

What if I do not have a cell phone to do the symptom assessment?

You can also access the symptom assessment by going to vu.edu/symptoms from a computer or laptop.

What if I am having issues connecting to the wireless network VUNET?

VUIT updated the wireless networks in early July. Personal smart devices, such as smart phones and tablets or other non-Vanderbilt issued devices, will need to be onboarded to the network by the user. You can onboard your devices by visiting wifi.vanderbilt.edu, clicking “I have a VUnetID,” and selecting “Connect laptop, tablet or smartphone.” It is not required to be on campus to complete this process. For more information about Vanderbilt Wi-Fi networks, visit wifi.vanderbilt.edu.

Why do I have to complete a daily symptom assessment? 

Campus-wide approaches to safety and the practice of mask wearing and physical distancing are important as individuals can be without symptoms and still be COVID-19 positive.  Individuals who have been authorized to return to campus must also conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus. It is the individual’s responsibility to comply. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly.  All individuals must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19  to be on campus or participate in activities on campus.

What should I do if I am experiencing new/worsening symptoms?

If you are an undergraduate, graduate or professional student, visit the Student Health Center for assessment.

What if I currently have symptoms from a chronic condition that are similar to COVID-19 symptoms?

This symptom assessment is to determine if you meet criteria for a medical evaluation for COVID-19. If you have an underlying medical disease or an ongoing chronic condition that has similar symptoms to COVID-19, then you do not need to record this if your symptoms are unchanged. Please only record symptoms that are new or worsening in the daily symptom monitoring tool.

What do I do if I report symptoms before arriving on campus?

Students who report symptoms before they come to campus should seek care from their healthcare provider in their own communities.

What do I do if I accidentally entered symptoms in the app that were incorrect and need the app cleared?  What if I was sick and have talked to Student Health and have been cleared?

Please email help.backtoschool@vanderbilt.edu between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for assistance and they will clear the app for you.

COVID-19 TESTING

Vanderbilt University established its COVID-19 safety model by leveraging collaboration and partnership with the world-class Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing to support and protect the Vanderbilt University community as much as possible.

As a core component of our preventive measures, VU has established requirements for COVID-19 safety such as offering on-campus testing, rigorous contact tracing and symptom management. We are partnering closely with the experts at VUMC and our School of Nursing to understand and deploy best practices in these areas. Graduate and professional students who have symptoms related to COVID-19 should visit Student Health. If Student Health is not open and symptoms are severe enough, the student should go to the VUMC emergency department. If symptoms are not severe enough to require the ED, for the safety of others, it is extremely important to avoid all contact with others, wear a face mask/covering, and practice strict hand hygiene while awaiting the Student Health Center to open. Students can also call the VUMC COVID-19 hotline at (888) 312-0847 for information about after-hours assessment site availability. This number is answered seven days a week, 7 am – 7 pm Central time. If there are additional concerns or questions, the Student Health on-call provider can also be reached after hours at 615-322-2427.

Student Health will instruct the individual on appropriate next steps. Should you be identified as a close contact through contact tracing by the Public Health Central Command Center or Health Department, you must quarantine at home as instructed.

Undergraduate students, graduate and professional students, staff and post docs who are authorized to be on campus, and are engaged in on-campus, in-person activities, will be included in the institution’s COVID-19 periodic on-campus  testing program which will begin by Sept.1. The sampling of Vanderbilt community members selected for testing will be based on analysis of COVID-19 test outcomes in segments of the community and other factors that will ensure a representative, meaningful and targeted sample of the VU community. Frequency of the testing during the fall semester will be based on the analysis of the outcome data being surveilled. If you have previously been COVID-19 positive in the last three months, you may be exempt from COVID-19 testing for a period of time.  Please complete the waiver request form and upload relevant documentation, which will go to the Public Health Command Center for review.

ASYMPTOMATIC CLOSE CONTACT (ACC) TESTING

The university has also updated its approach to testing of asymptomatic close contacts. The CDC defines a close contact as any individual who was within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic people who test positive, 2 days prior to positive test collection) until the time the person who tested positive is isolated. Asymptomatic close contacts will be tested on day 8 of the required quarantine period. This applies specifically to all faculty, staff, post docs, and students who are authorized to be on campus and are participating in on-campus activities.

How test kits for asymptomatic close contacts are delivered will vary slightly based on the individual’s quarantine location. If an individual identified as a close contact is in on-campus quarantine housing, a pre-paid test kit will be delivered to the person’s quarantine location to be completed on Day 8 of their quarantine period. If an individual identified as a close contact lives off-campus, a weblink will be emailed on Day 5 of their quarantine period to order a pre-paid test kit to be delivered to their off-campus location by Day 8.

POSITIVE CASE AND RECOVERY

Graduate and professional students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate as directed and until they have been deemed to have recovered. To determine the risk of potential exposure to others on campus, the Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center will conduct contact tracing with any student who has tested positive. For more information on contact tracing, please visit the contact tracing page.

Vanderbilt is following the CDC’s recommended recovery strategy. If an individual had symptoms and a positive COVID-19 test, recovery status is assigned when: 1) the individual remains fever free without the use of fever reducers for 24 hours, 2) symptoms have improved, and 3) it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared. If an individual tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to return to campus 10 days after the test, as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms, then the individual must follow the recovery strategy for those with symptoms.

PRIOR TO CAMPUS ARRIVAL

Before an undergraduate student comes onto campus for the first time this year, they must complete the following:

  • Acknowledgment of Return to Campus requirements in Oracle Learn.
  • COVID-19 test kit that will be mailed to student’s location.

Due to their residential living arrangements and interactions across campus, all undergraduate students are required to complete pre-arrival testing before coming onto campus for the first time. We have partnered with Vault, a national provider of at-home test kits to provide COVID-19 at-home PCR saliva test kits in early August as a convenience to students. This saliva PCR test is the first FDA EUA-authorized solution of its kind and is currently a testing solution for many national companies, as well as sports leagues such as the National Hockey League, the PGA Tour, and Major League Soccer.

While initially our communications suggested a nasal swab test, we have chosen Vault’s saliva test because it is the most convenient and comfortable PCR test available; it can ship to 50 states; and it provides reliable, short turnaround times for test results. The COVID-19 testing landscape across the United States has been constantly evolving, even daily, and we wanted to be sure to provide the best possible solution for all our undergraduate students.

As students complete the Vault test, they will be supervised via Zoom by a medical professional which will allow for a higher degree of service for students and families, while also increasing test efficacy. Our providing this test kit solution for all students also allows consistent methodology across the student body and eliminates the challenge of finding asymptomatic testing options in locations across the U.S. with varying levels of availability.

Students who intend to return to campus this fall must complete a pre-arrival test. Students will receive a message from the university by August 3 with more information and detailed instructions on how to register for a free test kit. Select students who are returning to campus early, including Resident Advisers, will receive instructions earlier. Each student will be provided a unique URL to complete their registration. *Students should order their tests through the link provided them in the YES system in order to not be charged for their test.*

Students must use their unique URL to complete their registration. Important details and dates to remember:

  • Students should place their order (referred to as registering their kit) using their unique URL by 2 p.m. CT on Wednesday, August 5.
  • The kit package will include detailed instructions for how to self-collect the saliva, and how to package and send it back to the vendor for processing. Students should follow the instructions carefully.
  • Students must log in to a Zoom meeting to complete the saliva collection once they receive their test kit. Failure to do the supervised collection will result in their test being invalidated. Students must partake in the supervised collection via Zoom to confirm that they, and not someone else, are completing the test.
  • Zoom meetings are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Sunday through Thursday, and between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Friday and Saturday. No appointments are required. The preference is for students to complete their test via Zoom August 11-12. If there are unique circumstances where a student cannot complete the test August 11-12, please take it as close to those dates as possible.
  • Completed test packages should be dropped off at a UPS Store or brown UPS box by 4 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Aug. 12 or immediately after taking their test if the test was not taken Aug. 11-12. Please check the local pick-up times to ensure timely delivery once the test is taken. Students can locate a drop-off point here. Do not drop off the package at any pharmacy location such as CVS or UPS Access Points as these are not valid drop points for the purpose of test submission.
  • Adhering to this timeline will enable Vault to return results to students before students arrive at Vanderbilt.

Important details about the test:

  • The test kit will be registered to the student, and students should not swap kits with anyone else.
  • Students should not open the test tube packaging until they are ready to do the saliva collection. This will invalidate their sample and will result in needing to order another kit at the student’s expense.
  • Students should have a government ID such as a driver’s license or passport, a student ID or some other form of identification ready for the Zoom session. Expired ID is also acceptable due to government closures during the pandemic. If no ID is available, Vault has a selfie procedure students can use.
  • When students are ready to do the saliva collection, they should log in to the Zoom waiting room using the email and password provided during sign-up. Reminder: Students should not eat, drink, chew or smoke anything for at least 30 minutes before giving the sample.

Vanderbilt will be able to access test results electronically in a streamlined fashion through a dashboard portal, which eliminates the need for students to submit their results themselves.

Students must monitor their health and any symptoms using the VandySafe app starting August 10 to prepare for the August 24 start of classes. Students should contact a local health provider, or visit Student Health when it is open if in the Nashville area, if any COVID-19 symptoms develop.

COMING TO CAMPUS

If a student tests positive from the pre-arrival test kit, that student must remain in isolation at home, away from campus, and start all classes remotely until they have completed the required isolation time period. A member of the Public Health Central Command Center will be in touch with the student upon receiving their positive result.

If a student tested positive for COVID-19 and had symptoms, clearance to come to campus is assigned using CDC’s symptom-based strategy when: 1) the individual remains fever free without the use of fever reducers for 24 hours, 2) symptoms have improved, and 3) it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared, per current CDC guidelines. If a student tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to come to campus 10 days after the test as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms, then the individual must follow the recovery strategy for those with symptoms.

If a student has a negative test result from the pre-arrival test kit, the student can start classes in person.

Students who do not complete a pre-arrival test will not be permitted on campus, including to move in to their residence hall assignment (if applicable), and may be subject to course registration cancellation for the fall 2020 semester, or they may elect remote study.

All Vanderbilt undergraduates attending in-person classes (living on or off campus) will be re-tested after arrival. Undergraduate students moving into on-campus housing will have their test kit waiting in their room. Undergraduate students living off-campus will pick-up their COVID test kit with their health and safety kits at the Sarratt Box Office on August 20 and 22 and the week of August 24-28. Times for pick up at the Sarratt Box Office on Thursday, August 20 are from 10 am to 1:30 pm (Last Names A-L) and 1:30 pm to 5 pm (Last Names M-Z) or on Friday, August 21 from 10 am to 1:30 pm (Last Names M-Z) and 1:30 pm to 5 pm (Last Names A-L). You can also pick up your COVID test kit and the health and safety kit the week of August 24, and pick-up days have again been arranged based on last name.

  • Monday, August 24: Last Names A-E
  • Tuesday, August 25: Last Names F-J
  • Wednesday, August 26: Last Names K-O
  • Thursday, August 27: Last Names P-T
  • Friday, August 28: Last Names U-Z

The kits will be available at the Sarratt Box Office between 10 am and 6 pm each day.

The test should be completed within 48 hours of being picked up, and the instructions will denote where completed tests should be dropped off for processing.

Anyone who tests positive from the arrival test kit must complete their isolation period until they are medically cleared to return to normal campus activities. The Public Health Central Command Center will follow up regarding the process to return to normal campus activities. If you are still in isolation on the first day of class, you will need to start your classes online.

The comprehensive arrival testing program, along with the pre-arrival testing information, will provide data to inform continued decisions for periodic testing throughout the fall. Additional information can be found on the Undergraduate Student Testing on Campus & Recovery page.

The following information outlines how COVID-19 testing and recovery will work while on campus during the fall semester. Earlier information on pre-arrival testing can be found on the Pre-arrival Testing page, and information on arrival testing can be found on the Undergraduate Student Arrival Testing page.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS FALL SEMESTER

Vanderbilt University is establishing its COVID-19 safety model by leveraging collaboration and partnership with the world-class Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing to support and protect the Vanderbilt University community as much as possible. Vanderbilt is employing testing methods in consultation with VUMC experts and will continue to evaluate all testing options and methods moving forward.

Students who have symptoms related to COVID-19 should visit Student Health. If Student Health is not open and symptoms are severe enough, the student should go to the VUMC emergency department. If symptoms are not severe enough to require an emergency visit, for the safety of others, it is extremely important to avoid all contact with others, wear a face mask/covering, and practice strict hand hygiene while awaiting the Student Health Center to open. Alternatively, if Student Health is closed, students may call the VUMC COVID-19 hotline at (888) 312-0847 for information about after hours assessment site availability. This number is answered seven days a week, 8 am – 5 pm Central time. Student Health will instruct the individual on appropriate next steps.

Periodic Testing

The comprehensive arrival testing program, along with the pre-arrival testing information, will provide data to inform continued decisions for periodic testing throughout the fall. In addition, we have expanded our periodic testing program to include weekly, mandatory testing for all undergraduate students who are authorized to be on campus and are engaged in on-campus, in-person activities—whether they live on campus or off campus.

Weekly testing will begin on Monday, August 31. Students should log into YES to register for their COVID-19 Testing Time Block no later than 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1, and enrollment must allow for a test to be taken the week of August 31. This one-hour time block will appear on students’ course schedule in a manner similar to a class with a subject designation (UNIV) and course number (0099). Much like a class, students will report for testing in the same time block every week beginning the week of August 31 through the end of on-campus instruction (November 20). While this registration will appear on students’ schedules in YES, it will not appear on transcripts. Students will have the opportunity to change the time block they have selected up until the Sept. 1 deadline, after which registration will be closed and no additional changes possible. Additional slots will not be added, so students are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible in order to reserve the block most convenient to their schedule. For additional assistance registering, please reference the YES user guide.

Testing will be conducted in the David R. Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., to offer students the greatest flexibility in scheduling their testing block. During the designated time block, students will report to the entrance on the east side of the Recreation and Wellness Center for testing and should follow posted circulation signage and any instructions from staff. Students must bring their Vanderbilt ID and their cell phone to register their test. After arriving, students will be given a test kit at check-in and will be guided by on-site staff to an available testing station. A staff member will supervise the saliva test to ensure it is done properly. Upon completion of the test, students will follow circulation plans within the testing center that guide them to a station where their completed test is dropped off and they scan their VU ID. After dropping off their test and scanning their VU ID, students will follow circulation plans to exit the building through the rear entrance onto Children’s Way. Students will be notified of their test results via email, typically with 48 hours. More details can be found on the On-campus Testing Center page, including maps illustrating entry and exit points.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate as directed until they are deemed to have recovered and are released to return to on-campus activities, including classes. Students should create a checklist of all necessary items they may need in the event they are required to move to on-campus quarantine or isolation housing. This list should include items such as medication, computer, phone, chargers, textbooks and items necessary for schoolwork, adequate clothing, personal hygiene products, their own pillow, etc.

By signing the Return to Campus acknowledgment, students agreed to “submit to regular COVID-19 testing if and when VU requires.” Those who refuse to comply with testing requirements will be referred to the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity.

If you have previously been COVID-19 positive, per CDC guidelines you may be exempt from COVID-19 testing for 90 days following the date of your test. Please complete the testing exemption form and upload relevant documentation, which will go to the medical professionals in the Public Health Command Center for review. Acceptable documentation to upload would be confirmation of a COVID-19 test in the last 90 days that includes your name and test date. Antibody tests are not accepted. Those who tested positive through pre-arrival, arrival and on-campus Vault tests or through testing conducted at Student Health do not need to complete the form as they are already in the university’s system.

Students currently in quarantine or isolation received additional follow-up instructions specific to their current In particular, students who are currently in quarantine should register for a weekly testing time but should not report to weekly testing until their quarantine period is over.

ASYMPTOMATIC CLOSE CONTACT (ACC) TESTING

The university has also updated its approach to testing of asymptomatic close contacts. The CDC defines a close contact as any individual who was within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic people who test positive, 2 days prior to positive test collection) until the time the person who tested positive is isolated. Asymptomatic close contacts will be tested on day 8 of the required quarantine period. This applies specifically to all faculty, staff, post docs, and students who are authorized to be on campus and are participating in on-campus activities.

How test kits for asymptomatic close contacts are delivered will vary slightly based on the individual’s quarantine location. If an individual identified as a close contact is in on-campus quarantine housing, a pre-paid test kit will be delivered to the person’s quarantine location to be completed on Day 8 of their quarantine period. If an individual identified as a close contact lives off-campus, a weblink will be emailed on Day 5 of their quarantine period to order a pre-paid test kit to be delivered to their off-campus location by Day 8.

POSITIVE CASE AND RECOVERY

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate as directed until they have been deemed to have recovered. To determine the risk of potential exposure for others on campus, the Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center will conduct contact tracing with any student who has tested positive. Please visit the Contact Tracing page for more information on contact tracing.

Vanderbilt is following the CDC’s recommended recovery strategy. If an individual had symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19, recovery status is assigned when: 1) the individual remains fever free without the use of fever reducers for 24 hours, 2) symptoms have improved, and 3) it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared. If an individual tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to return to campus 10 days after the test as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms, then the individual must follow the recovery strategy for those with symptoms.

The following information is specific to the on-campus testing center located in the David R. Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center. For additional information on testing, please see the Undergraduate Student Testing on Campus & Recovery page, the Graduate and Professional Students Testing & Recovery page, and the Faculty, Staff and Postdocs Testing & Recovery page.

On-campus testing center

Vanderbilt students participate in COVID testing at the student recreation center.

As part of Vanderbilt University’s periodic on-campus testing program, a testing center has been established in the David R. Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center. Currently, the testing center is open Monday through Saturday by appointment/registration only, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and is used primarily for mandatory, weekly undergraduate testing.

In addition, the university launched an ongoing COVID-19 periodic testing program on August 24 to test select graduate and professional students in various schools, and the periodic testing will continue to expand over the coming weeks to encompass additional on-campus graduate students, professional students, faculty, staff and postdocs. Periodic testing activities may be incorporated into the on-campus testing center operations at a future date, or may be administered through test pick-ups or deliveries. Those selected for periodic testing will be provided instructions on how to complete the testing. We continue to partner with Vault—a national provider of saliva test kits, and the same provider we utilized for pre-arrival and arrival testing of undergraduates—to help us conduct these tests.

Undergraduate weekly testing

Undergraduates will register for a regularly-scheduled testing time block. Though the block covers an hour in time, the test itself should only take approximately 10 minutes to complete, and a student may arrive at any time in the designated hour block for their test. During the designated time block, students will report to the entrance on the northwest side of the Recreation and Wellness Center and should follow posted circulation signage and any instructions from staff. Students must bring their Vanderbilt ID and their cell phone each time to register their test. After arriving, students will be given a test kit at check-in and will be guided by on-site staff to an available testing station. A staff member will supervise the saliva test to ensure it is conducted properly. Upon completion of their test, students will follow circulation plans within the testing center that guide them to a location to drop off their completed test scan their VU ID. After dropping off their test and scanning their VU ID, students will follow circulation plans to exit the building through the rear entrance onto Children’s Way.

Students will be notified of their test results via email, typically with 48 hours. Students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate as directed until they are deemed to have recovered and are released to return to on-campus activities, including classes.

This testing is mandatory for all undergraduate students who are authorized to be on campus and are engaged in on-campus, in person-activities – whether they live on campus or off campus. By signing the Return to Campus acknowledgment, students agreed to “submit to regular COVID-19 testing if and when VU requires.” Those who refuse to comply with testing requirements will be referred to the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity.

To mitigate the risk to others of potential exposure and to protect all on campus as much as possible, a Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center (the Command Center) has been established to manage contact tracing and notifications across VU communities. This Vanderbilt Command Center is a collaboration between the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing, the Vanderbilt Student Health Center (SHC) and the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Center (OHC), and it will conduct contact tracing with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. By launching this robust in-house contact tracing capability, developed in collaboration with experts at VUMC, VUSN and Metro Public Health, Vanderbilt ensures coordinated contact tracing between campus and the Nashville community that is as timely as possible.

Faculty, staff, postdocs and students who live off campus and test positive for COVID-19 must isolate at their home/current residence and follow current CDC guidance as directed until they have recovered. Residential students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate as directed by the dean of students until they have recovered.

Contact tracing generally works as follows:

  • If an individual develops symptoms and is awaiting a COVID-19 test, receives a positive COVID-19 test result, or is identified as a close contact by contact tracers, then the individual stays home (or in the case of residential students, goes to quarantine space as directed by Dean of Students) until released.
  • When a positive COVID-19 test result is identified, a contact tracer will be assigned immediately to the case. The contact tracer will interview the individual and identify all contacts. Close contacts are defined specifically as noted below. Close contacts are entered into a database and notified by phone and email. Information on how to proceed is relayed to each individual who is a close contact, as well as to the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) director.
  • The EHS director will coordinate information among entities and activate support from the Office of the General Counsel, Dean of Students, Human Resources, Facilities/Disinfection, VEHS, and Communications.
  • The contact tracer will relay information about any non-VU close contacts to the Metro Public Health department.

Please note that during this process the name of the index case will be disclosed to possible contacts, but protected health information will not be disclosed.

Per both VU Return to Campus protocol and CDC guidance, a close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive test collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Things to Remember:

  • Incidental exposure such as walking by someone in the hallway, using the same equipment or the same area/room is not close contact.
  • Surface contamination is not a primary pathway of concern per the CDC. Public areas will be frequently disinfected by Facilities/Plant Operations.

Immunity eligibility for students

In the Return to Campus Acknowledgement, students agree to cooperate with Vanderbilt and public health officials’ contact tracing efforts. Students are expected to be forthcoming and honest when providing information to contact tracers. A student who provides information about their prior possession or use of alcohol or other drugs and any resulting intoxication, or prior violation of Vanderbilt’s COVID-19 protocols, during contact tracing will be eligible for immunity from disciplinary action in order to facilitate accurate information reporting. Similarly, a student who provides information in a Title IX investigation about their prior possession or use of alcohol or other drugs and any resulting intoxication or prior violation of Vanderbilt’s COVID-19 protocols, will be eligible for immunity from disciplinary action in order to facilitate accurate information reporting during the investigation. On the other hand, failure to be truthful and forthcoming during contact tracing will result in disciplinary action.

 

The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) currently provides access to COVID-19 testing free of charge as long as the test is ordered by a licensed medical provider and FDA authorized. Free access to testing is currently being offered through October 22, 2020. The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) also provides access to COVID-19 treatment free of charge through October 22, 2020. After October 22, 2020, the student’s insurance benefits as outlined in their insurance brochure – including their deductible and copays – will apply. Students on the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) should reach out to Vanderbilt’s on campus insurance liaison, Kristy Miller, at 615-343-4688 or Kristina.miller@vumc.org with questions.

Vanderbilt University requires onsite temperature screening when children, students, faculty, staff, or post docs are at increased risk for exposure to COVID-19 due to their daily activities resulting in close and/or frequent contact with others. Temperature screenings of individuals facing an increased risk of exposure can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Vanderbilt community.

Departments or schools with identified risk activities are required to implement temperature screening. These include:

  • Vanderbilt University Public Safety
  • Vanderbilt Athletics
  • Vanderbilt Child & Family Center (VCFC)
  • The Susan Gray School
  • Vanderbilt Facilities
  • Vanderbilt Campus Dining
  • Vanderbilt Mail Services

In addition to onsite screening, everyone on campus must perform temperature screening by taking their own temperature prior to work or school each day.

Two primary technologies are being used for on-campus temperature screening: Non-contact infrared handheld thermometers and thermal infrared cameras. The handheld device requires screeners to stand within six feet of the person being tested. The infrared camera, currently being used by Vanderbilt’s Department of Public Safety and Athletics, allows screeners to maintain a distance of six feet or more.

Individuals designated as temperature screeners will also monitor other symptoms. Screeners will evaluate individuals for flushed cheeks, fatigue, difficulty breathing, and cough prior to screening. Anyone that seems sick will be provided information about next steps.

Individuals who have been screened and have a temperature of 100.0 F or higher will be required to follow directions provided by the screener. These include:

  • Wearing a face mask/covering if they are not doing so already
  • Separating from others
  • Faculty, staff and post docs should first notify their supervisors, then contact the Occupational Health Clinic (615-936-0955) for further instructions
  • Students should visit the Student Health
  • Children in childcare or schools should follow the policies set forth by their respective centers

The university is using a streamlined process to evaluate an individual’s concerns about how their personal circumstances surrounding COVID-19 may place them at greater risk. That risk may be the result of their own underlying health condition or age, or it may be due to the health condition of a family member for whom the individual provides care. Vanderbilt is taking every appropriate precaution to protect our entire community as we return to campus and classrooms.

Individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. According to the CDC, people at increased risk include:

Students coming to campus

For on-campus students requesting accommodations for the first time, or for those students requesting a change to an accommodation, please log into the Commodore Access Portal and make the request.

Each student will make the decision, based on their personal circumstances, to either return to campus or study remotely. Students should keep in mind that there will be students on campus this fall who may have underlying conditions rendering them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. It is the responsibility of each community member to fully commit to protecting the Vanderbilt community’s collective health and well-being.

students opting for remote-only instruction

See: Undergraduate Students Not Returning/Opting for Remote-Only

STAFF AND POSTDOC accommodations

Staff and postdocs can submit a request for COVID-related accommodations, and the request will be evaluated based on an individualized assessment of the basis for the request and the requirements of the individual’s professional position. To initiate a request for a COVID-related accommodation, go to the Equal Employment Opportunity homepage on the Vanderbilt University website and select the COVID-19 Accommodation Request image on the right side of the page. Requests should be submitted to EEO as soon as possible to facilitate preparation for fall 2020.

The Roadmap for Reopening Nashville acknowledges higher-risk groups as a specific subpopulation, and Vanderbilt acknowledges that we may need to make special contingency plans for the voluntary return to campus by members of those groups, for example, by allowing members of those groups to continue to work remotely when possible. If members of higher-risk groups return to campus voluntarily even when the Roadmap for Reopening suggests they may be safer at home, we will ask them to acknowledge the risk associated with being on campus.

FACULTY ACCOMMODATIONS

We all share the goal of protecting, as much as possible, the health and safety of our faculty, their families and all members of our community as we prepare for the start of the fall semester. If you are affected by a situation that increases your health risk (or that of a family member) by your returning to campus, you should submit a Reasonable Accommodation Request Form to the Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

Although medical information is routinely and normally required for the accommodations process, for many of us this is a new experience. It might feel uncomfortable to disclose to the EEO Office personal information about our vulnerabilities or those of our family members. Using the EEO accommodations process is the very best way to ensure your medical information stays separate from those that make decisions about your faculty appointment. The EEO policies and process protect your rights.

The medical details of your request for an accommodation are not a part of your employment history, nor will this medical information ever be shared with your dean. The EEO team, and HR as needed, will keep your personal medical information confidential. The information is only used by the EEO team to evaluate your request for an accommodation and to determine the most appropriate and reasonable accommodation to ensure you are as safe as possible. Your rights, both to privacy and to safety in the workplace, are paramount in this process. If you have any questions at all about how to submit a request, how requests are processed or what resources are available to you, you should reach out to EEO Director Anita Jenious or her staff.

To be clear: The provost and the deans will not have access to your confidential personal medical information.

Supporting our students is our utmost priority, and the university is committed to providing options and alternatives that allow all of our students access to a world-renowned education, no matter the instruction mode.

All courses will be prepared to be offered both in person and remotely. This gives us flexibility to adapt to remote instruction only should conditions warrant it.

Vanderbilt University may choose to transition to remote-only learning based on the following:

  • Local, state or national shelter-in-place advisories or restrictions that require remote-only learning
  • Quarantine and isolation capacity for the residential population
  • A surge in cases coupled with increased severity of illness among campus demographic cohorts
  • Contact tracing analysis (a surge in cases tied to an event vs. tied to rampant community spread with severe illness may be treated differently, for example)

The decision to begin the semester enrolled in on-campus instruction will be accompanied by an acceptance of responsibility for full payment of tuition, housing costs and relevant fees. No refunds for these costs will be issued if the need to finish the semester fully online arises.

This includes if a student leaves for personal or disciplinary reasons after being on campus, or if the university has to shift to online-only instruction. If the university has to shift to online-only instruction, we hope to be able to allow students to remain in on-campus housing; however, the university reserves the right to require students to vacate campus housing if necessary, including to comply with any applicable government order.

The university may also decide to “pause” in-person classes on a program by program basis for a period of time and move such to virtual/alternative platforms; for example, to allow undergraduate students living on campus to remain in their residence hall rooms. Such a suspension period would also be focused on additional actions to contain any potential spread. The university may also use this approach with specific populations within the University, such as a specific school or program or course, to allow time for additional contact tracing and testing to be conducted.

We know students had many difficult financial and personal decisions to make for the fall semester. To assist with these decisions, we have given students the option to study remotely if it is a better fit for them during this time. We have also allowed upper-division students to choose off-campus housing instead of living in the university’s residential facilities.

In the event of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases that results in a shift to remote learning, Campus Dining will significantly scale back its campus services to match Vanderbilt’s changing needs. Should a ramp down of residential housing occur prior to the scheduled last day of in-person classes (November 20, 2020), Dining will work with Student Accounts on dining adjustments. Meal plan components eligible for adjustments include:

  • Meal Money – all unused meal money will be credited in full.
  • Meal Plans – Students enrolled in the 21 Plan, 19 Plan, or 14 Plan will receive a credit for the unused portion of their meal plan based on the portion of the term remaining

Facilities staff will follow these protocols when disinfecting a space after a known COVID-19 positive case:

  1. If possible wait 24 to 72 hours before cleaning while increasing ventilation in the space (office, suite, floor[s] or building).
  2. Plant Operations personnel entering the space will use the appropriate protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.).
  3. All personal items (dishes, toothbrush, etc.) will be relocated and contained for later disinfection.
  4. The entire space will be cleaned using EPA-standard approved cleaning products.
  5. High-touch areas will be wiped or sprayed with additional disinfecting products.
  6. The entire space will be fogged using EPA disinfecting products.
  7. Reoccupancy may occur 12 hours after the space has been fogged.
  8. Before occupants are allowed to return, the space will receive a thorough inspection to include (as applicable):
  • Operation of all plumbing fixtures
  • Flushing of the HVAC system
  • Lighting
  • Elevator operation
  • Identification of any nonperforming building systems

Plant Operations, a unit within the Vanderbilt University Facilities Department, will operate in accordance with the increased cleaning and disinfection protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, using Environmental Protection Agency-approved products that are effective against the COVID-19 virus. Throughout the pandemic, Plant Operations has monitored and adopted CDC recommendations.

The CDC’s “Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education,” May 30 updated guidance specifically recommends routine disinfecting and cleaning of surfaces and objects that are frequently touched using the cleaners typically used, according to the directions on the label. The CDC says that most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.

At a minimum, there will be twice daily disinfecting of high-touch areas throughout campus. Classrooms will be disinfected daily during routine cleaning. Disinfecting wipes will be provided in classrooms and other spaces for use by the occupants. Facilities is also implementing zone-based disinfectant teams who will be easily identifiable.

Facilities will follow CDC guidelines for cleaning of outdoor areas, which calls for routine cleaning.

Plant Operations staff received cleaning and disinfection protocols training at the onset of the pandemic and will attend future training sessions on the latest protocols. In accordance with CDC and university guidelines, all staff members will wear the required personal protective equipment including face masks/coverings while on campus.

In addition to normal cleaning routines, custodial staff will also disinfect frequently touched surfaces or high-touch points and objects using EPA approved products. Examples of frequently touched surfaces and objects that will receive the minimal twice-daily disinfection are:

  • Tables in common spaces
  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Door handles
  • Hand railings
  • Bathroom stalls
  • Sink handles
  • Grab bars
  • Water fountains

Cleaning services for public/common spaces such as restrooms, lounges, lobbies, and hallways will be increased. Other duties such as emptying trash, vacuuming/cleaning of floors of private offices once per week will continue. Otherwise, cleaning/disinfecting of private offices and work areas will be the responsibility of occupants.

The following will NOT be cleaned by custodial staff.

  • Desks
  • Keyboards
  • Touch screens
  • Remote controls

Disposable wipes will be made available through each school/college’s and department’s building or facilities officer so that commonly used surfaces and objects can be wiped down before use. For soft surfaces such as carpeted floors or fabric in seating areas, guidance indicates to continue cleaning with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces and disinfecting with appropriate product for the specific surfaces; vacuum carpets as usual.

Hand Sanitizing Products and Touchless Features

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be located at key areas within all campus buildings.
  • Sanitizing products such as hand pumps and wipes will be available at key locations (ingress/egress, elevator lobbies, etc.) and can be obtained through each school/college’s and department’s building or facilities officer.
  • Foot pulls will be installed on doors of high-use areas such as restrooms.
  • Plant Operations will gradually replace hand-operated paper towels and soap dispensers with touchless products in restrooms.

These practices will continue to evolve as the CDC releases new recommendations.

The Vanderbilt University Facilities Department, in alignment with the guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control concerning building system operations to stop the spread of COVID-19, as well as guidance from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, is committed to providing the safest environment for students, faculty, staff and the entire Vanderbilt community.

The guidance from these sources is very similar and falls into three basic categories:

  • Increasing the amount of outside air being delivered to spaces
  • Using high-efficiency filtration in systems that circulate air around large numbers of spaces
  • Maintaining temperature and humidity levels within spaces

The university is implementing strategies to comply with these guidelines. The Facilities Department is also working to implement an overnight cycle during which buildings are flushed with an increased volume of outside air without exceeding the heating and cooling system capacities.

The Facilities Department will continue to adhere to ASHRAE published guidance for safe and healthy buildings, which emphasizes increased fresh-air ventilation and close management of indoor air quality, temperature and humidity.

To keep the Vanderbilt community as healthy as possible, indoor conditions will be maintained at temperatures ranging from 68 to 76 degrees and relative humidity of 45 to 50 percent.

Although the university is implementing these extra safety measures, it is up to each member of the Vanderbilt community to practice physical distancing, washing or sanitizing hands, and using face masks/coverings in all public spaces on campus to limit the spread of COVID-19, as recommended by the CDC.

For individuals in a private setting and not wearing a face mask/covering, the CDC recommends to always cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or using the inside of their elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

FACE MASKS/COVERINGS

Face masks/coverings (e.g., disposable masks or cloth face coverings) must be worn by all individuals on campus at all times in public indoor settings (e.g., common workspaces, public spaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, break-rooms, restrooms, etc.). Faculty may opt to wear face shields in lieu of masks/coverings while teaching and while following other classroom protocols. If physical distancing is possible, individuals working in private offices or laboratory environments that do not otherwise require face masks/coverings may remove their face masks/coverings while in such spaces.

Physical distancing must be maintained at all times when outdoors. Face masks/coverings must be worn at all times when outdoors, with the following limited exceptions:

    1. While engaged in vigorous solo outdoor recreation, such as biking or running, or under the supervision of relevant recreation staff or instructors, such as an outdoor fitness class through the Recreation and Wellness Center
    2. While actively engaged in eating/drinking outdoors, so long as physical distancing is maintained
    3. While outdoors and sitting in one spot, so long as physical distancing is maintained

Appropriate use of face masks/coverings is important in minimizing risks to the wearers and those around them according to both CDC and ACHA guidance. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The face mask/covering is not a substitute for physical distancing. This applies to off-site and leased building space, as well as on the main Vanderbilt campus, both indoors and outdoors.

An individual who is having difficulty wearing a face mask/covering should contact Occupational Health (faculty, staff, postdoc) or Student Health (student) for direction. A faculty member, staff member, or postdoc who cannot wear a face mask/covering because of medical or other reasons should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity office for possible accommodation measures.  Students should contact Student Access Services for possible accommodation measures.

Type and Intended Use of Face Masks/Coverings

Each faculty member, staff member, postdoc and student will be provided with one cloth face covering. Individuals and departments can contact their assigned building manager or liaison in their college, school or department to acquire cloth face coverings.

Disposable masks will be provided, if needed. A disposable mask must not be used for more than one day.

Staff face masks/coverings are work attire. Face masks/coverings must be clean, plain and free of writing, logos or images other than those of Vanderbilt University. Departments may have additional face masks/coverings guidelines. 

Based on CDC guidance and recent updated studies, face masks/coverings need to fit the following criteria:

  • Face masks/coverings must adhere to CDC guidance.
  • Cotton face masks are allowed as long as they have multiple layers.
  • Any face mask/covering with a one-way exhalation valve is prohibited. These masks allow the wearer to directly exhale into the air, and do not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others.
  • Neck gaiters are not recommended.  The fabric used in neck gaiters has demonstrated through various studies as not being effective. Many neck gaiters are stretchy knit, synthetics or fleece. Those are the least tightly woven fabrics which are least likely to provide a high filtration efficiency. A mask should have a tight weave and low porosity. Other studies can be found here, here, here and here.
  • Scarves and bandanas are not recommended, as based on studies they do not provide enough layers to be effective.
TypeCloth Face CoveringDisposable MaskMedical-Grade Surgical MaskN95 Respirator
DescriptionHome-made or commercially manufactured face coverings that are washable and help contain wearer’s respiratory emissionsCommercially manufactured masks help contain wearer’s respiratory emissionsFDA-approved masks to protect the wearer from large droplets and splashes; helps contains wearer’s respiratory emissionsProvide effective respiratory protection from airborne particles and aerosols; helps contain wearer’s respiratory emissions
Intended useRequired for campus community use in all settings (common workspaces, public spaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, breakrooms, campus outdoor spaces, in restrooms, etc.) Not required when working alone and physical distancing is possible.These masks are reserved for healthcare workers and other approved areas with task-specific hazards determined by OESO.

Use and Care of Face Masks/Coverings

Putting on the face mask/covering

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face mask/covering.
  • Ensure the face mask/covering fits over the nose and under the chin.
  • Situate the face mask/covering properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
  • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
  • Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face mask/covering.

Taking off the face mask/covering

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing the face mask/covering.
  • When taking off the face mask/covering, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
  • Wash hands immediately after removing.

Disposal of face masks

  • Keep face mask stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Disposable face masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in a trash receptacle.
  • Dispose of a face mask if it is visibly damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured materials), dirty or visibly contaminated.

Care, storage and laundering of cloth face coverings

  • Keep face covering stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Cloth face coverings may not be used longer than one day at a time and must be washed after use.
  • Disinfecting method: Launder cloth face coverings with regular laundry detergent before first use and after each shift. (Disposable masks are not washable.)
Gloves

Gloves are not necessary for general use and should not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often with soap and water is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks. Please speak with your supervisor to determine if gloves are necessary.

Goggles/Face Shields

Individuals are not required to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus. Good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient for non-health care environments.

The CDC recommends that community members should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after they have been in a public place or used the restroom; after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing; and before and after eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Individuals using hand sanitizer should cover all surfaces of their hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Custodial crews will continue to clean offices and workspaces, classrooms and public spaces based on protocols developed with CDC guidance in mind, and individuals should take additional care to wipe down commonly used surfaces after use. It may not be possible for the university to provide product for personal use, but before you leave any room in which you have been working or eating, it is recommended that you swab down all work or eating areas with EPA-registered disinfectant. This includes a private workspace or any shared-space location or equipment (e.g., computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, copiers, desks and tables, chair arms, light switches, doorknobs, handles, etc.). To the best of your ability, you should clear desk and table surfaces in personal offices and workstations to aid in thorough cleaning. Using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol is also effective after contacting commonly used surfaces.

Maintaining space between you and others is a best practice according to the CDC and is required on the Vanderbilt campus to avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus and slow its spread. Because people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others whenever possible, even if you have no symptoms. Physical distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk. Individuals on campus should follow these physical distancing practices:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Do not gather in groups.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.

In an effort to guide the university community in practicing healthy behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vanderbilt has launched the Public Health AmbassaDore program to address questions regarding campus health and safety measures.

The program has been established as an additional resource for the Vanderbilt community to navigate changes on campus. As identified representatives of the university, the Public Health AmbassaDores will help promote social norms to create a safe working and learning environment for all within the Vanderbilt University community. AmbassaDores will model exemplary adherence to all university protocols, serve as peer models and sources of information for individuals on campus, assist with knowledge dissemination and help communicate across specific sub-communities, and more.

The first AmbassaDores selected for the program are VUPS community service officers, and the program will expand prior to the fall semester to include other individuals (e.g., facility/building managers, volunteers among staff, faculty, students).

The Public Health AmbassaDores will receive training, resources, and support to prepare them for the role.

The expectations of a Community PHA are that you are willing to provide community members with masks, sanitizer, or more information as needed about best health practices on campus. This volunteer position is a way for members of the VU Community to have the best available information to keep themselves and this campus healthy and safe.

CDC Website

Oracle Learn PHA Program Training Link

Vanderbilt Return to Campus website

Becoming a Public Health AmbassaDore

You can submit this form yourself with departmental approval or have your department leader or manager submit on your behalf.

Once a form has been submitted you will receive a link to the Oracle Learn training that is mandatory to become a Community PHA.

After the training and quiz has been completed, you will receive a confirmation email that it has been completed.

Finally, a PHA team lead will reach out to you regarding next steps and how to receive PHA supplies.

Thank you for your interest!

FORMS 

Frequently asked questions

What is a Public Health AmbassaDore?

As identified representatives of the university, the Public Health AmbassaDores will help promote social norms to create a safe working and learning environment for all with the Vanderbilt University community. AmbassaDores will model exemplary adherence to all university protocols, serve as peer models and sources of information for individuals on campus, assist with knowledge dissemination and help communicate across specific sub-communities, and more.

Who is eligible to become an AmbassaDore?

Any Vanderbilt faculty and staff can take the training online. However, officially designated Public Health AmbassaDores should seek approval from the supervisor and/or department leader.

How do I apply to become an AmbassaDore?

Those who are interested in becoming an AmbassaDore should fill out the online form above and you will receive a confirmation email with next steps to become an approved AmbassaDore.

Is there required training to become an AmbassaDore?

Yes. After you or your supervisor/department leader have completed and submitted your information through the form available on the website, you will receive a confirmation email with how to complete the online training through Oracle Learn.

What are the expectations/responsibilities of AmbassaDores?

  • Serving as a source of information to promote the university’s expectations for reopening during COVID-19
  • Assisting with building circulation
  • Encouraging face mask/covering usage
  • Encouraging physical distancing
  • Providing directions to hand sanitizer stations or hand washing locations; and
  • Distributing COVID-19 packets that include masks and hand sanitizer upon request.

Do I need approval to apply?

Yes. To become a designated Public Health AmbassaDore, you will need approval from your supervisor and/or department leader.

Will I be compensated for being and AmbassaDore?

No. This is a voluntary program and AmbassaDores will not receive additional compensation.

How are AmbassaDores identified?

Public Health AmbassaDores will be identifiable with attire and materials made specifically for the program.

What are the time commitments of a Community PHA?

The time commitment as a Community PHA is dependent on your availability and the events of the fall semester. It is important to communicate with your department leader or manager your availability to be able to volunteer as a Community PHA during the week.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

Contact Brittney Whatley at brittney.m.whatley@vanderbilt.edu for more information.

What number can I call to ask protocol questions or report a concern?

The PHA hotline number is operated by dispatch. They are able to answer questions regarding COVID-19 safety protocols, return to campus questions or connect you with a Community PHA to deliver masks, sanitizer or other information to you. The hotline number is 615-343-1352.

During this time of uncertainty,Vanderbilt is committed to supporting the overall health and well-being of the entire campus community through resources that offer support, stress management and strategies for resilience across all demographics. Vanderbilt recognizes that COVID-19 has magnified disparities in a number of areas (e.g., housing, technology, finances, access) among and between various populations of students, which can lead to negative effects on personal wellbeing. 

STUDENT SUPPORT

To address this reality, we are enhancing support for our students’ health and well-being through collaboration with the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing, which will provide counseling for any students who are in quarantine and isolation. We are also providing new tele-health options and additional programming through theStudent Care Network, a holistic network of wellness services and resources available toallVanderbilt students. 

The University Counseling Center provides students with access to professionals who have experience helping specific identity groups. The Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence, through its identity centers and identity initiatives, will also continue its commitment to fostering a safe and welcoming community that is inclusive and respectful of differences. Inclusive Excellence is launching identity initiatives this academic year to support international students as well as first-generation students. 

Parents and students with questions can call a new dedicated hotline at 615-322-4357 for any question related to the fall. Vanderbilt has expanded capacity to take these calls, and, from this line, calls will be routed to the right unit as/if needed.

Student Care Network will:

  • Provide clinical mental health and psychiatric services, well-being and academic coaching, care coordination and follow-up, and other health and wellness services
  • Provide access to counselors with expertise for specific identity groups
  • Enhance staffing and training
  • Increase tele-health/self-directed app options
  • Implement targeted programming
  • Re-formulate “drop-in” services
  • Revise collaborative follow-up models
  • Continue financial assistance
  • Support virtual community-building efforts

ADDITIONAL CAMPUS SUPPORT

HELPLINE

We are also offering a dedicated helpline to help answer your questions at 615-322-4357. The help line will be staffed by counselors between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDT, Monday through Friday.

 

Vanderbilt is committed to supporting your overall health and well-being. Faculty, staff and postdocs should visit the Vanderbilt health and wellness website for more information and resources that offer support, help manage stress and enhance your resilience.

During this time of uncertainty, Vanderbilt is committed to supporting the overall health and well-being of the entire campus community, through resources that offer support, stress management and enhanced resilience across all demographics. Vanderbilt recognizes that COVID-19 has magnified disparities in a number of areas (e.g., housing, technology, finances, access) among and between various populations of students, which compounds the negative effects on well-being.

We are enhancing support for our students’ health and well-being by enhancing Student Health’s ability to best serve the student population through collaboration with the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing. We also are providing new telehealth options, additional programming and more through the Student Care Network, a holistic network of wellness services and resources available to all  Vanderbilt students.

The University Counseling Center provides access to professionals with experience helping specific identity groups. The Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence, through its identity centers and identity initiatives, will continue its commitment to fostering a safe and welcoming community that is inclusive and respectful of differences. The office is launching identity initiatives this academic year to support international students as well as first-generation students.