Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions (Employees, Administration, Staff)


Am I physically supposed to report to work? 

For the spring 2021 semester, all University departments have created a rotational schedule for employees to work on campus, which also allows for appropriate social distancing. Please see your supervisor for details.

Are we going to be sanitizing work spaces differently? 

The Facilities team has continued to use enhanced cleaning efforts and to focus on high-touchpoint areas such as door knobs, handles, railings, elevator buttons and restrooms. The team uses a hospital grade disinfectant to ensure that all surfaces are free from germs upon cleaning.  Additionally, the Facilities team has partnered with several biohazard remediation specialists that can assist with any issues that may arise outside normal capabilities.

What can I do to reduce my risk of exposure?

While on campus at work, we ask that employees wear a mark, practice social distancing and routinely wipe down shared areas before and after use. For additional guidance, please review the CDC guidelines.

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

If you believe you have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please review the CDC website for suggested care: Symptoms of Coronavirus.

If you have symptoms, isolate yourself, and seek medical attention by calling your health care provider. Inform your health care provider of your symptoms and any recent travel or potential exposure before going to the health facility

As with all contagious illnesses, limit the potential for exposure to other people. Take the following actions: 

  • Notify your supervisor that you are ill and will not be able to work.
  • Isolate yourself to keep from potentially exposing other people.
  • If you have been out sick for more than 5 days, contact the Office of Benefits at (718) 990-2363.
    • If you have been instructed to self-isolate do not come to work and please notify us via this form.  If you are not sure if you need to self-isolate, please call your physician for guidance or call your local Department of Health.

I’m afraid I’ve been exposed or a member of my family has been exposed. What should I do?

Please consult with your health care provider or local department of health regarding your exposure risk.  Seek prompt medical evaluation if you have fever equal to or greater than 100.4 F, cough, or shortness of breath. 

I have been designated an essential employee. If I have been in self-isolation for 14 days and do not have symptoms of COVID-19, can I return to work?

Yes, on the fifteenth day. Please consult your health care provider before breaking your self-isolation and returning to work.

Will I get paid while in self-isolation?

Yes.  Employees who do not report to work because of illness or self-isolation will not be charged sick leave during the 14-calendar day period, and will receive regular pay.

If I am in self-isolation, is that information kept confidential?

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

I have been designated an essential employee. What if I’m in a high-risk health category for COVID-19?  Do I have to come in? 

Please contact Benefits at (718) 990-2363. 


How will I receive my paycheck if I don’t have direct deposit?

Employees without direct deposit will have their paycheck mailed to their home address. Please ensure you have informed the Payroll Office of any home address changes. 

How do I submit my timesheet?  Can I complete it online?

Yes, you can complete and submit your timesheet online through the St. John's app: according to the pay schedule. 

How do I contact payroll?

(718) 990-1865 (press 1). 

How do I get approval to work overtime?

Speak to your supervisor. 


Can I take files from the office for use on the days I work remotely?

The University has a responsibility to ensure the confidentiality of protected information.  Please consult with your supervisor before removing any files the office. 

Do I get a lunch break?


Will my hours be the same?

You should expect to work the same hours unless otherwise notified by your supervisor. 

Am I required to have daycare while I’m working from home?

During this public health emergency, you are not required to have daycare while working from home. 

How can I get laptop support?

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions concerning the Laptop Support Center during closures as a result of the Covid-19 CoronaVirus Health Crisis.

How do I connect to the Internet for remote work? 

For assistance, refer to Information Technology’s guide, How do I connect to the Internet?

Some cable and internet providers have special offers and discounts available. Contact your internet service provider for information. For those without consistent Wi-Fi access, Altice has made their Wi-Fi hotspots free to the public and you can access them via these instructions.

Charter continues to assist the community by expanding its original offer to provide free Spectrum broadband and WIFI access for 60 days. To determine whether services are available, please review information in this link and contact Charter directly.

Comcast is offering several new features such as connect speed boosts, two months free to new Internet Essentials customers, creating partnerships to close the digital divide and creating safe spaces for students to connect. For more information, visit Comcast Response to COVID-19 to learn more.


How do I contact Benefits?

You can reach Benefits at (718) 990-2363. 

What if I’m scheduled to return from FMLA leave and the University is closed? 

You will be required to have a return to duty note from your doctor, and Benefits will categorize you as “returned to duty”.  Please consult with your supervisor with respect to how you will work remotely. 

What if I’m scheduled to go out on FMLA leave? 

Your leave will proceed as scheduled.

What if I’m working from home but I need an accommodation?

Contact Benefits at (718) 990-2363 to discuss your specific situation.

My child care needs have changed. Can I adjust my dependent care Flexible Spending Account?

Yes! Log on to the bswift employee benefits portal to make changes. Elect "Dependent Care Cost Changes" under Life Events on the left side of the home page. If you choose to lower the amount of your contribution, your election cannot be less than what you have already contributed to this year. Contact Benefits with any questions at (719) 990-2363.

My transportation needs have changed. Can I adjust my Qualified transportation election?

Yes! To make changes to your QTE at any time during the year, log on to the bswift employee benefits portal and select "change eligible benefits." You can suspend contributions by entering "$0." Do NOT select "waive benefit," as doing so will immediately cancel your QTE benefit and you will no longer be able to use your P&A card. Contact Benefits with any questions at (719) 990-2363.


Are training events going to be conducted?

Training and Development will continue to offer webinars based on the instructor-led workshop content. Please refer to the Training and Development web page for both upcoming training webinars and recordings of previously conducted webinars.

Is online training still available?

Yes, LinkedIn Learning courses are available online. The University required workshops (Active Shooter Preparedness, Emergency Readiness, Title IX and the annual Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Prevention training) will be available in an online format.


How do I report bias incidents related to the coronavirus?

Any bias incidents, whether or not related to the coronavirus, can be reported at  You can also call Equal Opportunity & Compliance at (718) 990-1865 (press 4).