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Temporary Remote Work Authorization

The College of Arts and Science confirms its commitment to employees during the unprecedented situation presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This temporary policy is to provide support to staff who may be exhibiting symptoms with a Remote Work Period instead of PTO during the initial testing/diagnosis with Occupational Health. 


Any regular, staff employee who has been authorized to return to campus. 


Campus-wide approaches to safety and the practice of 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 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. Individuals who do 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. 

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

If a staff member develops any symptoms, they should: 

  1. Call the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Clinic at 615-936-0955.
  2. Notify their supervisor that they are reviewing their health status prior to the start of any scheduled work period or time on campus.
  3. Present to a VUMC COVID-19 assessment site.

Occupational Health will instruct the individual on appropriate next steps (medical appointment, self-isolation, clearance to report, etc.). The college will approve a temporary Remote Work Period for time spent in dialogue with Occupational Health. Depending on the outcome, the staff member should discuss with their supervisor whether the Remote Work Period should continue or if available PTO should be used. 

While a symptom-monitoring app is not mandatory at this time, a symptom-monitoring tool for daily self-monitoring has been created within the existing VandySafe app. 

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 

For those who work in a higher-risk environment for infection with COVID-19, such as research labs, your department may require temperature and symptom screening upon arrival to work. Your supervisor 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 so that they can be directed to the VUMC COVID Hotline at 888-312-0847 for coordination of testing. As with all other absences, the staff member is responsible for informing their supervisor. 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 departments. Departments may note that a staff member was not able to work on a given day(s) because they could not be cleared to work. Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate until testing results are back. If the results are negative, the person may return to campus without any formal clearance. 

Any questions regarding the assessment process can be directed to Occupational Health at 615-936-0955.