COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for Employees

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, do not come to campus, isolate, complete the COVID-19 Notification Form and inform your supervisor. Review the COVID-19 Employee Information page for detailed guidance about how long to isolate and when you can end isolation.

In addition, we encourage you to notify anyone with whom you had close contact so that they may take immediate precautions.

Who is considered a close contact?

Close contacts are people you have been around (less than 6 feet away for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) during the two-day period before you started having symptoms, or if you have no symptoms, the two-day period before you took the test that received the positive result.

  • Example: You sit next to a colleague for an hour during a work meeting on October 1. On October 2, you develop symptoms. On October 3, you take a test and receive a positive result immediately. You should notify your colleague from the meeting on October 1 because they are a close contact (they were less than 6 feet away from you for more than 15 minutes during the two-day period before you developed symptoms).
  • Example: You carpool to campus with a colleague on November 15 and the ride takes 20 minutes. On November 17, you take a COVID-19 test. You have no symptoms. On November 18, you receive a positive test result. You should notify the colleague you carpooled with on November 15 because they are a close contact (they were less than 6 feet away from you for more than 15 minutes during the two-day period before you took the test).

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and suspect you may have COVID-19, do not come to campus and isolate until you receive a negative result on a COVID-19 test. Keep your supervisor informed as to whether and when you will be at work.

I have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?

If you were a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you may come to campus, but must wear a well-fitting mask at all times (indoors and outdoors) when around others for 10 days. If symptoms appear, get tested as soon as possible. If you are symptom-free, take a test after five full days (the date of your exposure is considered day zero).

What is day zero?

If you tested positive for COVID-19, day 0 is the day that your symptoms started. Alternatively, if you did not have any symptoms, day 0 is the day you took the test that received a positive result. 

  • Example: You start experiencing COVID-19 symptoms on January 1, take a test on January 2, and get a positive result on January 3, your day 0 is January 1, because that is the day your symptoms started. Day 1 is January 2, day 2 is January 3, and so forth. If you are isolating for 5 days, you can return to campus on day 6, which is January 7.
  • Example: You take a COVID-19 test on February 15 and get a positive result on February 16. You have no COVID-19 symptoms. Your day 0 is February 15, because you have no symptoms and that is the day you took the test that received the positive result. Day 1 is February 16, day 2 is February 17, and so forth. If you are isolating for 5 days, you can return to campus on day 6, which is February 21.

If you are a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, day 0 is the date of your last exposure.

  • Example: You sit next to a colleague for an hour during a work meeting on March 25. The same colleague is out of office on March 26 and March 27. On March 27, the colleague calls you and says that they tested positive for COVID-19 that morning. Your day 0 is March 25, because that is the date of your last exposure. Although you do not need to isolate, you must wear a mask around others at all times for 10 days. On the 11th day, which is April 5, you may stop wearing a mask.

If I am isolating, is that information kept confidential?

We will only disclose that information if there is a legitimate need to disclose it. 

Is time spent in isolation due to COVID-19 deducted from my sick leave balance?

No. Employees are entitled to paid COVID-19 sick leave for the duration of the isolation period that is separate from their normal sick leave. Staff members should indicate “COVID sick leave” on their timesheets to ensure time spent on COVID-19 sick leave is not deducted from their normal sick leave balance. Employees should review Policy 1102 for additional information on COVID-19 paid sick leave.

Paid COVID-19 sick leave is available for up to 3 distinct isolation periods. If you are able to work from home (check with your supervisor) while in isolation, paid COVID-19 sick leave will not apply to you.

If I need to get tested, what kind of COVID-19 test should I use?

For information about what kind of COVID-19 test (e.g., PCR or antigen) to use depending on your situation, visit the CDC website. You will also find information on where to get COVID-19 tests and how to obtain at-home tests.

Which vaccines satisfy the requirement that employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19?

Two doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, two doses of the Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine.

How will I find time to get the vaccine?

Under New York law, you are entitled to up to 4 hours of paid time off for each injection, including boosters (see Policy 1103). Paid time off taken for this purpose is not charged against your sick or vacation time.

How do I provide proof of vaccination?

Employees can upload their vaccination records by following the instructions at www.stjohns.edu/vaccine. Please note: Employees will be directed to upload their proof of vaccination to Medicat, a Student Health Services and Wellness portal. Any information uploaded to Medicat will be kept confidential.

What constitutes fully vaccinated?

Full vaccination status requires receiving two doses of Moderna or Pfizer, or, one dose of Johnson & Johnson, plus a two-week period after the last vaccination.

How do I request an exemption to the vaccination requirement?

Employees may request exemptions to the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. Contact the HR Benefits Department at (718) 990-2363 or sjubenefits@stjohns.edu

What happens if I do not provide proof of vaccination?

For partially vaccinated employees:
Per New York City law, employees who have provided proof that they received only one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines must provide proof of their second dose within 45 days after the date of the first dose. Partially vaccinated employees who do not provide proof of their second dose may be placed on unpaid leave, subject to applicable collective bargaining agreements. Thereafter, continued failure to upload proof of complete vaccination may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

For unvaccinated employees:
Unvaccinated employees who have not been granted a medical or religious exemption to the vaccine requirement are not permitted on campus (except for "in and out" transactions). Employees who do not upload proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine may be placed on unpaid leave, subject to applicable collective bargaining agreements. Thereafter, continued failure to upload proof of vaccination may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.