The University continues to move forward with its Employee Health Vaccination Program. More than 14,000 eligible faculty, staff, and students—the majority in the health care work 1a category—have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and half of them have been fully vaccinated. As predicted by the vaccine clinical trials, we are seeing a larger percentage of faculty and staff taking a sick day after receiving the second dose due to predicted side effects.
To help those who experience side effects and are unable to work after receiving their second dose, the University is now providing a one-time paid vaccine day to all non-exempt, hourly-paid part-time and full-time staff who have paid time off (PTO) or sick banks. This benefit will extend retroactively to those eligible employees who used a day of time from their PTO or sick bank following their second dose on or after January 3, 2021. The paid vaccine day is for one day’s standard work hours to be used no later than the day after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. Sick time for exempt faculty and staff is not affected by this change and exempt employees will use sick time as they typically would. The following documentation must be submitted to qualify for this additional COVID-19 vaccine sick day:
- After receiving your second vaccine dose, if you are scheduled to work, you must complete your Dr. Chat Bot health screening as always.
- If you screen positive for symptoms in Dr. Chat Bot, you will be instructed to stay home until you are contacted by Employee Health or University Health Services (UHS).
- The employee’s manager will be notified by Employee Health or University Health Services that the employee has a vaccine related illness and timekeepers or faculty and staff who record sick time in HRMS will use the following time codes:
- Salaried and hourly-paid employees in exempt classifications will continue to use SIC/SIK
- Hourly-paid full- and part-time staff in non-exempt classifications will use CVE
- Time-As-Reported (TAR) Nursing staff will use NTC for tracking purposes only (TAR staff are not benefit eligible)
All timekeepers and any employees who enter time can use our step-by-step guides for more details, including instructions on how to retroactively record a COVID-19 vaccine sick day for second dose side effects that happened in a previous pay period dating back to January 3, 2021. Frequently asked questions are also available on the HR website.
We urge all faculty and staff to take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible. New York State continues to direct our URMC Employee Health group to focus solely on vaccinating health care workers in the 1A category, which includes persons with direct and indirect patient contact at our University and within our community. Employee Health has been receiving only a few hundred doses of vaccine each week to complete this effort. Now that most of our eligible 1A faculty and staff have been vaccinated, we’ve been directed by the state to send any unused doses to our primary care vaccine centers for patients ages 65 and older.
We await direction from the Monroe County Department of Health on vaccine supply and distribution, including how medical conditions will affect eligibility. Our Government and Community Relations team is also working closely with the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) to advocate for University employees with New York state. For now, however, we are encouraging all eligible non-1A University faculty and staff to look for appointments at other vaccine clinics run by the county or the state or offered by local pharmacies. The Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Hub is the best source of up-to-date information on vaccine providers. We appreciate all of our University faculty and staff and will continue to advocate on their behalf, and will provide updates if circumstances change.