COVID-19 Planning and Information
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Duquesne University Master Plan to Reopen Campus 2020-2021

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Duquesne University COVID-19 Master Planning Team

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Frequently Asked Questions

Updated June 26, 2020

We all have many questions right now. We have put together this list library of Frequently Asked Questions to help bring more clarity during this confusing time. Browse our FAQs below. If you have any remaining questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Employee Return to Work

The University’s primary objective is to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff, while carrying out its mission of serving God by serving students, through delivery of a high quality educational experience. Continuity of operations and flexibility are also key principles that have framed the University’s decision-making.

The University will therefore rely on a four-phase approach to reopening: Preparations to Reopen, Initial Reopening, Sustained Reopening and Return to Normalcy. Each of these phases will involve returning different types and numbers of employees to campus.

After surveying all faculty and/or staff in their department, vice presidents, deans and directors will determine which positions should return to campus based on the nature of their work and any risk factors. They will determine individual work schedules and arrangements that support the University’s mission, protect employees and maintain social distancing. They will also consider arrangements such as continued teleworking, flexible work schedules, staggered work hours and rotations of telework and on-campus work to maintain appropriate physical distancing.

Additionally, before notifying employees of their return date, vice presidents, deans and directors will ensure that work spaces can support appropriate distancing and cleaning protocols and that appropriate protective equipment and cleaning supplies are available.

Employees will receive a communication from their vice president, dean, or director regarding their anticipated date of return to on-campus work, their work schedule, and any other arrangements.

Yes. Prior to returning to campus, all employees are required to complete COVID-19 competencies that reinforce required safety practices for everyone on campus, including the following:

Additional instructional materials may be produced and required for all employees, as circumstances change and additional guidance from government officials is made available. Updates may be provided by Duquesne University Official Communication, the Office of the President, the Office of Human Resources or in the Duquesne University Times.

Campus Operations

Once on campus, all employees will be required to follow social distancing protocols and other practices to optimize safety as more fully described in TAP 60: Employee Rules Related to Returning to Campus During COVID-19 Pandemic.

The University will provide each department with an initial supply of Personal Protective Equipment and sanitizing products to be used by employees. However, all employees should have their own cloth masks or appropriate face coverings, hand sanitizer, and other essential safety materials to preserve the University’s supply of these essential materials. Departments will be responsible for securing additional supplies, as necessary, through the Purchasing Department.

For questions regarding the appropriate use of PPE, including face coverings, contact Paula Sweitzer, Director, Environmental Health and Safety, x4763

Employees should limit movement on campus, use teleconferencing platforms to conduct meetings whenever possible.

Employees should be mindful of social distancing in small spaces such as elevators, hallways, stairwells and restrooms, and adhere to all campus signage.

Employees should eat in locations that allow for appropriate social distancing (e.g., outdoors, in an office with the door closed, etc.). Dining services will not operate prior to the start of the semester, and will operate differently such that employees should consider arrangements for any meals consumed during the work period.

The use of shared refrigerators, coffee pots, water coolers, vending machines, and the like will be eliminated or extremely limited.

Yes. Facilities Management has prepared buildings for re-entry:

  • All building spaces (including offices and classrooms) have been cleaned and sanitized.
  • Each building ventilation system has been inspected and is working at maximum capacity to introduce fresh outside air into the building.
  • All water systems have been flushed.

Signage with general and building specific guidance has been placed in areas such as restrooms, elevators, entryways and exits, stairwells, and hallways. Plexiglas safety barriers have been installed in areas with close in-person interaction.

Maybe. Departments are encouraged to flex work schedules, stagger work hours, and stagger arrival and departure times as much as possible to ensure social distancing. Because these decisions will be made per department, employees will be notified by their vice president, dean, or director of any changes to their work schedule.

Maybe. Facilities Management will work with vice presidents, deans and directors to adjust furniture and office layout as needed to allow for social distancing. Examples include:

  • Arranging desks or furniture to maximize space within offices, office suites, or other work areas and lounges or public spaces.
  • Relocating some employees to alternate spaces or larger spaces, if possible.
  • Using partitions or Plexiglas dividers in areas with high foot traffic, such as customer service or information desks.

Facilities Management will focus on cleaning and disinfecting entryways, restrooms, classrooms, public spaces, lobby and reception areas, and other similar high traffic areas. Specialty cleaning should be scheduled through a FAMIS work request.

Health, Safety and Prevention

Yes. Employees must wear cloth masks or other appropriate face coverings in public spaces and any time they cannot maintain a safe physical distance from others. Masks or other face coverings may only be removed when employees can maintain a safe physical distance from others such as while working alone in an office.

Yes, the University will provide a supply of non-medical masks to each department, to be worn by employees as required while on campus. Employees are encouraged, however, to wear their own re-usable cloth masks, in order to preserve supplies for others. View the simple instructions for masks.

If you have a medical condition that affects your ability to wear a mask or other face covering and you wish to request an accommodation, you must contact the University’s Office of Disability Services,, extension 6658.

Yes. Employees will be required to conduct a daily health screen each morning prior to leaving their residence. The Daily Health Screen questions are available on the University App and in Dori for all employees to access.

The screening will include taking one’s own temperature. The screening questions will be provided to employees:

Chart of screening questions

Employees who participate in any higher-risk environments (e.g. faculty participating in clinical rotations) may have additional monitoring and assessment requirements imposed through their program or Department.

An employee who answers “yes” to any of the symptoms on the daily health screen should contact their primary care physician/health care provider for consultation and follow the advice that is provided. Telemedicine is highly recommended for this purpose. They should not report to work unless and until approved to do so by their health care provider, and should contact their supervisor.

“Close contact” means you have been less than 6 feet away from the person for 15 minutes or longer within 2 days of the confirmed positive test. Any employee who becomes aware that they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should contact their primary care physician/health care provider for consultation and follow the advice that is provided. They should also advise their supervisor of any need to quarantine/isolate.

Employees are responsible for keeping their supervisor aware of any health-realted absences they may have to ensure that their work can be covered by another individual. Faculty must notify their program director, department chair and/or dean of potential absences to ensure that courses can be covered and students can be notified. Faculty should not cancel classes without notifying their department chair and/or dean of their absence.

Employees who are part of a vulnerable population as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and who are concerned about returning to campus should contact their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources, Melody Cook, to discuss any potential work modifications.

Employees can protect themselves and others through taking the following measures:

  • Practice social distancing: maintain at least a six-foot distance from others, stay away from those who are sick, limit movement and avoid public spaces and large, crowded gatherings. Social distancing is critical to protecting everyone.
  • Practice good, basic hygiene: wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth; cough/sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve; avoid close contact with those who are sick; and stay home when you are sick.
  • Know when and how to wash hands and use sanitizer.
  • Wear a cloth mask or appropriate face covering in public settings.
  • Take steps to lower risk at meetings and events, including holding video- or tele-conference meetings, modifying in-person interactions and maintaining a 6-foot distance.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, be sure to follow all instructions provided by your testing/health care provider, and immediately contact your supervisor as well as the Office of Human Resources (

If you have no symptoms, you may not return to campus until 10 days have passed since you took the test. If you have symptoms, you may not return to campus until you are symptom-free, at least 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared, and you have had no fever without using fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours. Employees must follow TAP policies referenced in TAP No. 15 and TAP No. 23 and obtain medical clearance before returning to on campus work.

Contact tracing will be conducted by the proper government health authorities. In addition, the Office of Human Resources will contact you to find out if any co-workers are considered to be "close contacts," defined as someone who was less than 6 feet from a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more within the past 2 days.

If you have tested negative for COVID-19, be sure to continue to conduct a daily health screen each morning prior to leaving your residence. If you develop symptoms on a later date or answer “yes” to any of the symptoms on the daily health screen, you should contact your primary care physician/health care provider for consultation and follow the advice that is provided.

When HR is notified that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, HR will gather a list of individuals who have been in “close contact” with the employee who has tested positive.  “Close contact” means someone who was less than 6 feet away, for 15 minutes or longer, from someone who tested positive, during the two days prior to the test. If you were identified as having been in “close contact” with an employee who has tested positive, HR will contact you and provide you with additional directives regarding symptom monitoring and when to contact your healthcare provider.  The identity of the individual who tested positive will not be disclosed.

As a confirmed “close contact,” you must quarantine and not return to campus for 14 days from the date of the exposure, and if you develop symptoms, you must contact your healthcare provider and follow their instructions.

You should alert your supervisor or Department Head to any potential violation of TAP No. 60. If that is not feasible or appropriate, you can contact the Office of Human Resources.


All University travel for the fall semester is cancelled, except as deemed essential by the vice president in charge of each division. All employees must receive prior approval from their vice president before traveling for University-related business.

CDC recommends that you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential, and practice social distancing especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. Don’t travel if you are sick or travel with someone who is sick.

In particular, the University discourages travel to locations that are considered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to have high amounts of COVID-19 cases. If you do travel to one of these locations, you may not come to campus and should self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return to Pennsylvania, and closely monitor your symptoms. The list of locations should be checked before making any travel arrangements, as the list is subject to change.


Visitors to campus are strongly discouraged. Visits by individuals such as contractors, vendors, guest speakers, etc., must be approved by the relevant dean, director, or department head. Visitors must be identified and approved in advance, and will be required to check in at stations located at the Bluff Street and McAnulty entrances to campus. Visitors will be expected to follow the same safety guidelines that employees are required to follow. The University has developed procedures for visits by prospective students and their families, which will be managed by the University Enrollment Management Group, and for families of current students, which will be managed by Residence Life.

On-Campus Meeting and Event Guidance

The Chapel of the Holy Spirit is performing sacraments with a limit of 40 attendees, in order to achieve de-densification, and attendees must follow protocols which have been established by Campus Ministry. Wedding services will be live-streamed for guests. Large external events such as fundraisers and conferences have either been cancelled or, if possible, postponed. Internal events must be limited so that social distancing measures can be maintined. In general, rooms should not exceed 25% to 40% of the room capacity in order to de-densify. The University will establish appropriate seating capacity for each space on campus.

To the fullest extent possible, employees should continue to use Zoom and/or conference call technology. If necessary to conduct in-person meetings, meeting participants must maintain a safe physical distance from each other and wear masks or other appropriate face coverings.


A wide range of resources are available. Confidential employee assistance services are also available from the University’s employee assistance plan provider, Lytle EAP.

Wellbeing: Recreation Services

The Power Recreation Center is committed to enhancing faculty and staff wellbeing. This Fall, group fitness classes will be livestreamed and offered in person, free of charge. To facilitate mental and physical wellbeing, the recreation center will offer yoga and meditation, as well as classes promoting cardiovascular exercise and strength training.  Many courses will be recorded, allowing faculty and staff to access these classes at their convenience. All of the safety measures will be in place per University, CDC, and Pennsylvania guidelines to ensure patron safety. The full course schedule is available at Direct questions to Power Center Director, Dan McCarthy.

Inter-Divisional Wellbeing Committee

The inter-divisional wellbeing team offers many services and programs to address faculty and staff needs. The following services will be available, free of charge, in Fall 2020:

  • Faculty and Staff Support Group, facilitated by Wellbeing Counseling Services. Contact: Ian Edwards, Assistant Vice President for Student Wellbeing.
  • Weekly Wellbeing Check-In (Individual Sessions) with Campus Ministry. Director: Fr. Bill Christy, C.S.Sp., Director of Campus Ministry and University Chaplain.
  • Pastoral Counseling Check-In Sessions with Fr. Bill Christy, C.S.Sp., Director of Campus Ministry and University Chaplain ; Fr. Bill Cleary, C.S.Sp., Assistant Director of Spiritan Studies ; and Ray French, C.S.Sp., Vice-President of Mission and Identity
  • Weekly Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Student Meditation with Dr. Will Adams, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides support for staff experiencing economic hardships. Call EAP 24 hours a day, every day at 1.800.EAP.7272 (1.800.327.7272).
  • Duquesne Employee Emergency Program (DEEP), housed in the Division of Mission and Identity, offers limited financial assistance to staff for short-term financial needs. Contact: Melanie Eberhardt.
  • Libermann Luncheons are open to faculty, staff, and administration. These virtual gatherings take place monthly, at noon, for prayer and “food for the soul.” Dates TBA.
  • Counseling Services created a series of wellness videos highlighting the topic of resilience. These videos, part of "Wellbeing Wednesdays," have been posted to the Counseling Services Facebook and Twitter page. Contact: Dr. Ian Edwards, Assistant Vice President for Student Wellbeing & Director of Counseling Services.

If you have additional questions, please direct them to the resources identified below.

Questions regarding face mask exemptions: Andrew Logan-Graf, Director, Disability Services, x6658

Questions regarding use of PPE: Paula Sweitzer, Director, Environmental Health & Safety, x4763 

Questions/concerns regarding potential violations of TAP No. 60 (if it is not possible/appropriate to first contact immediate Department Head): Office of Human Resources

Questions regarding the ability to work remotely (if your Supervisor is not in agreement with your request): Office of Human Resources, Melody Cook.