COVID-19 Safety and Health Compliance Protocol

Summary for Faculty and Staff

Boston University’s highest priority is providing a safe and healthy campus environment. Protocols and practices have been put in place toward that end, ranging from frequent COVID-19 testing to limiting the density of people in our buildings. These are constantly updated and described in detail at Back2BU.

Faculty and staff members who will be on campus this fall have a critical role to play in minimizing transmission of COVID-19 within the University community.

Mandatory Requirements for all Members of the BU Community

Compliance with Commonwealth of Massachusetts public health requirements (wearing a face covering in public/office spaces; maintaining appropriate physical distancing) and BU’s public health requirements (COVID-19 testing and daily symptom attestations) are mandatory for all members of the BU community.

It is vital that all faculty and staff in the BU community meet the commitments outlined in the BU COVID-19 Health Commitments and Expectations document for Faculty and Staff. Appealing to a common sense of community wellbeing is the first line of defense. Unfortunately, this alone will likely not be sufficient to maintain a safe and healthy campus. Although we do not expect widespread failure to comply with expected health protocols associated with lab testing, performing the daily health screening, and wearing a face covering, we believe it is prudent to establish the following protocol to address those situations involving noncompliance.

COVID-19 Safety and Health Compliance Protocols

The COVID-19 safety and health compliance protocols have been developed to ensure the safety and health of everyone in the BU community and are based on the following General Principles:

  • Common standards and expectations are important for the safety and health of every member of the BU community.
  • Strict compliance with individual lab testing requirements, performing daily health screening, and wearing face coverings is essential.
  • Each employee’s manager and senior manager/department chair and dean/vice president will be accountable to ensure compliance.

Lab Testing Compliance

Lab testing with the frequency associated with your assigned testing category is essential to maintain the safety and health of the BU community. Employee compliance information with testing requirements is provided to managers/deans/vice presidents on a daily basis. Managers will need to take into consideration variable work schedules, vacations, etc. in order to determine whether an employee is compliant or non-compliant.

Given its importance, failure to comply with the required testing frequency will result in corrective actions as follows:

  • First Missed Test – staff and faculty may not remain at work until compliance is achieved and will receive a written warning.
  • Second Missed Test – staff and faculty may not remain at work until compliance is achieved, will have a conversation with their dean/senior level manager and receive a final written warning.
  • Third Missed Test – staff and faculty will be subject to additional consequences up to and including the possibility of suspension or  termination in accordance with the relevant provisions of either the non-represented staff handbook, their respective collective bargaining agreements, or the Faculty Handbook.

Daily Health Screening Compliance

Daily health screening is also essential to help maintain the safety and health of the BU community. Employee compliance information with daily health screening requirements is provided to managers/deans/vice presidents on a daily and weekly basis. Managers will need to take into consideration variable work schedules, vacation, etc. in order to determine compliance or non-compliance.

Given its importance, failure to comply with the daily health screening process will result in corrective actions as follows:

  • First Phase – if staff or faculty fail to perform the required daily health screening a total of 5 times, they may not remain at work until compliance is achieved, and will receive a written warning.
  • Second Phase – if staff or faculty fail to perform the daily health screening one additional time (a total of 6 incidents) they may not remain at work until compliance is achieved, will have a conversation with their dean/senior level manager, and receive a final written warning.
  • Third Phase – if staff or faculty fail to perform the daily health screening one additional time (a total of 7 incidents), they will be subject to additional consequences up to and including the possibility of suspension or termination in accordance with the relevant provisions of the non-represented staff handbook, their respective collective bargaining agreements, or the Faculty Handbook.

Quarantine Compliance

In those instances where staff or faculty fail to comply with quarantine requirements, the corrective actions outlined above for Lab Testing will apply. Staff have 10 COVID Paid Absence Days available for use in the event they are placed in quarantine. Faculty and staff who are required to quarantine should immediately notify their respective Department Chair, Dean and/or manager.

Isolation Compliance

Isolation is required when an individual tests positive. Due to the public health risk of breaking isolation protocols, those instances will be reviewed by senior leadership as soon as possible.

When it is determined that staff or faculty have failed to comply with isolation requirements, the dean/vice president will be notified, and the staff or faculty member will be subject to corrective action up to and including possible termination.

Face Covering Compliance

The most visible way to demonstrate commitment to a safe and healthy BU is to wear a face covering while on campus. Chronic refusal to wear a face covering will be addressed by management. If a staff or faculty member refuses to wear a face covering and does not have an approved accommodation, then the employee will not be permitted into the workplace. The manager/dean/vice president will take appropriate action to be determined in consultation with HR and the Office of the Provost. Refusing to follow the University’s safety and health protocols will not create an exemption that would allow a staff or faculty member to work remotely.

Managers will have a limited supply of face coverings available for employees who forget to bring one to the workplace.

Revised 10/20/20