Find answers here to many of the more commonly asked questions. For additional concerns, students can see Contacts for Key Student Resources. Faculty and Staff may refer to the Who to Contact - Quick Reference Guide.

Vaccine

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

  • Pfizer-BioNTech reports that the vaccine is roughly 95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection.
  • You must receive BOTH DOSES of the vaccine in order to achieve this level of protection.

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

  • The vaccine is a new type of vaccine - a mRNA vaccine. Read the CDC’s information on mRNA vaccines for more information.
  • The vaccine does not use a live virus. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

  • The CDC recommends that you should not get and EVMS will not administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine if you:
    • Had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
    • Had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine
  • If you have had an immediate allergic reaction—even if the reaction was not severe—to a vaccine or injectable therapy for another disease, ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated. At this time, EVMS will only offer the COVID-19 vaccine to those with a history of severe allergic reactions with written clearance from your healthcare provider.
  • Read about the CDC’s information on COVID-19 vaccines and allergic reactions.

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

  • You should ask your healthcare provider if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your healthcare provider will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

  • It is not known how long immunity from the COVID-19 vaccine will last.

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

  • Yes. Because re-infection is possible, the CDC and FDA believe people who were sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from the vaccine. Persons with documented acute infection in the preceding 90 days may delay vaccination until near the end of this period, if desired, because current evidence suggests reinfection is uncommon during this time.
  • For more information, read the CDC’s frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination.

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

Vaccine Distribution

Last Updated: 06-09-2021

EVMS expects all employees and students to get vaccinated as soon as possible. We know that many in the EVMS community are fully vaccinated; however, vaccination of all employees and students is critical to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to return to regular, in-person activities.
 
On or before June 18, EVMS will announce its procedures for requiring and documenting COVID-19 vaccination by August 1, 2021 for all students participating in in-person instruction and training activities, and for employees, pending FDA approval of the vaccines and maintaining the usual exemptions for medical and religious reasons. Students who are enrolled in online programs and who are not taking any on-campus courses are exempt from this requirement.

Last Updated: 05-12-2021

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

  • Employees/students will receive the vaccine through the EVMS COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. You must have an appointment before showing up to a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.
  • Employees/students will be provided with information about the vaccine prior to vaccine administration. Please read the information carefully so you are fully informed about what to expect. Click here for the Pfizer vaccine fact sheet.
  • You must set aside 30-60 minutes for your vaccine appointment. There is a mandatory 15-minute monitoring period after vaccine administration.
  • You must receive both doses of the vaccine. Once you receive the first dose, you will be scheduled for your second dose.

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

  • The vaccine is injected into your arm, just like a flu shot.
  • The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses: an initial dose and then repeat vaccination three weeks later.
  • When you receive your first dose, you must schedule an appointment for your second dose.

Last Updated: 01-19-2021

Last Updated: 06-09-2021

With guidance from the Continuity of Operations Task Force,  EVMS is modifying the masking and social distancing protocols, differentiating between those employees and students who are fully vaccinated and those who are only partially vaccinated or unvaccinated. Effective immediately, vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask in non-clinical settings and social distancing is no longer required.

Masks and use of recommended personal protective equipment are still required in all clinical settings where EVMS staff and students encounter patients. EVMS clinical settings will continue to restrict visitors until further notice. As always, EVMS clinical faculty, residents and students must follow the protocols of their host facility when visiting other organizations.

For those fully vaccinated, masks and social distancing are not required in non-clinical areas of EVMS, to include:

  • Research labs
  • Teaching areas (conference rooms, classrooms, lecture halls, study rooms, etc.)
  • Administrative work areas (offices, carrels, conference rooms)
  • Break rooms (including clinical staff breakrooms where patients are not allowed)

Given the intermingling of clinical and non-clinical spaces across the EVMS campus, employees and students should always have a mask with them.

During a group gathering, if any individual asks for everyone to remain masked, all individuals in the meeting should remain masked.

Read more about vaccinations. Learn masking guidelines, including areas on campus where they are still required.

To be free of masking and social distancing requirements, Fully Vaccinated Individuals must have proof of vaccination on file with EVMS Occupational Health.

People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson [J&J]/Janssen).

Individuals who have received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is listed for emergency use by WHO do not need any additional doses with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine. They are:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., COMIRNATY, Tozinameran)
  • AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., Covishield, Vaxzevria)
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
  • Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine
  • Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine)

Effects on EVMS Campus

Last updated: 07-15-2020

The Ramp-Up Task Force has been working on a protocol for gradually re-engaging the community, including some face-to-face activities. Due to increased number of COVID-19 cases in the community on July 15, the Ramp-Up Task Force decided to delay approval for face-to-face community activities for at least one month. We will continue to monitor the evolving pandemic environment and will move forward when we think risk can be appropriately mitigated.

Last updated: 03-31-2020.

There is no risk. EVMS has been accredited to offer online education since the late 1990s. We have provided updates to all accrediting bodies about the increase in on line education and have received approval to proceed for as long as necessary.

Last updated 06-09-2021 

For the fully vaccinated, it is possible to return to in-person meetings, education conferences (Grand Rounds, departmental meetings, etc.) and similar gatherings without masks, restrictions on room capacity, or social distancing.

For those unvaccinated/partially vaccinated, attendance at educational, research or administrative meetings is allowed; however, a mask is required. In addition, individuals should maintain social distance during these activities. Please note: Unvaccinated individuals are at a significantly increased risk for getting serious COVID-19 illness and for spreading COVID-19 to others, including those who are immunocompromised.

Classrooms and conference rooms should allow adequate space for unvaccinated individuals to socially distance. Occupancy in these rooms can increase from the COVID-19 social distancing capacity limits.

Food and drink in settings other than restaurants remain limited to bottles and boxes.

During a group gathering, if any individual asks for everyone to remain masked, all individuals in the meeting should remain masked.

See further guidance on social distancing.

Last Updated 08-10-2020

The Brickell Medical Sciences Library, computer lab, classroom and service desk have returned to pre-COVID hours, and the facility is open 24/7 with some limitations. The most current details are available on the library website. You can contact individual librarians via the email address listed on the library’s staff web page

Exposure and Illness

Last updated 05-17-2021

Symptoms are:

  • 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

Updated information about symptoms can be found on CDC site. The CDC also provides a Self-Checker tool.

Last updated 07-27-2020

Safety is a shared responsibility between individuals and the institution.  As such, self-monitoring is an essential part of the Ramp-Up Plan. 

If you are a student and feel sick: GO HOME (if on campus or at a clinical rotation) or STAY HOME and follow the updated Student Protocol – If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms or Think You Were Exposed for exposed or ill students.

If you are a faculty or staff member and feel sick: Notify your supervisor that you have symptoms then GO HOME (if at work) or STAY HOME. Then follow the updated Employee Protocol – If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms or Think You Were Exposed.

Last updated 07-27-2020

If you think you were exposed to a COVID-19 positive person, a Person Under Investigation (PUI), or have developed symptoms that you think might be consistent with COVID-19 please follow the instructions in the Employee Protocol – If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms or Think You Were Exposed. If you have symptoms: Notify your supervisor that you have symptoms then GO HOME (if at work) or STAY HOME.

You will need to have basic information about the COVID-19 positive person you were exposed to, including the date of the contact/exposure and the date the COVID-19 positive person was tested (if known).

Last updated 07-27-2020

You should send the employee home immediately. Both you, as the supervisor, and the employee need to follow the Employee and Supervisor COVID-19 Protocols and Testing Instructions. Please also refer to the Supervisor Protocol and the EVMS Communicable Disease Policy

If an employee reports to work without approval, please contact Human Resources immediately.

Last updated 07-27-2020

Tell the employee to follow the Employee Protocol – If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms or Think You Were Exposed.  Supervisors should follow the Supervisor Protocol.

If an employee reports to work without approval, please contact Human Resources immediately.

Last updated: 03-31-2020

Contact EVMS Student Affairs at 757.446.5244 or 757.774.6577 immediately.

Last updated: 07-27-2020

Inform your supervisor and direct the employee to the Employee Protocol – If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms or Think You Were Exposed. Symptomatic employees should not report to work and leave work immediately if they are at work.   

Last updated 07-27-2020

The coworker who has come into contact with someone who was sick needs to complete the Employee Protocol – If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms or Think You Were Exposed and follow protocol for communicating this information to the supervisor.

Human Resources & Benefits

Last updated: 03-17-2020

If you have questions or need assistance from Human Resources, please call ahead at 757.446.6043 prior to visiting as staffing is limited. Badging services are available for a limited number of hours.

Last Updated 03-31-2020 5:57 p.m.

EVMS has updated several policies to address multiple leave and related pay scenarios. In addition, new federal regulations are available to assist. Find detailed information regarding COVID-19-related Employee Benefits questions. If employees have questions regarding available leave and related pay issues or any other benefits-related questions, please have them contact Human Resources.

Last updated: 06-16-2020

Employees will be able to opt out through the end of the calendar year, 12/31/2020. The grace period to use funds in the account will run until 9/15/2020. We are not extending further because we have yet to get definitive guidance if this could lead to someone over-contributing, since the EVMS plan year does not coincide with the calendar year. If additional guidance is provided, we may extend the grace period and will notify those enrolled.

Patient Care

Last updated 07-27-2020

Call your primary-care doctor by phone to be screened for symptoms. All practices offer telehealth appointments to address any questions or concerns you might have about an exposure or syptoms of COVID-19.

Last Updated 03-18-2020 12:46 p.m.

Clinical protocols have been established and are available on a special COVID-19 Resources webpage in myPortal. You must use your network log-in credentials to access this information.  

Remote Work

Last Updated 05-12-2021 9:03 a.m.

Richard V. Homan, MD, President and Provost, Dean of the School of Medicine, advised in a March 30, 2020, email that, with the exception of essential personnel, supervisors must require all eligible employees to work remotely.

Essential personnel are employees who are required to report to their designated work location.

A full transition back to working on campus will continue with the expectation that employees working remotely should begin to transition to on-campus activities no later than July 1. Remote work arrangements under the emergency plan (COOP) will end August 2. EVMS policy permits employees to request a telework arrangement through their supervisor. All telework arrangements must be approved by the appropriate supervisor and current telework agreements must be in place by August 2. 

The EVMS telework policy will be evaluated during the transition back to campus to determine if any changes are necessary.

 

Last updated: 06-16-2020

Essential personnel are employees who are required to report to their designated work location because they perform job duties that cannot be performed remotely and are necessary to ensure continued operations of the school and/or EVMS Medical Group, for example, healthcare workers. police and public safety, and housekeeping. Using this definition as a guide, it is the responsibility of the Department Head to designate positions as essential and document that in the job description for essential positions. If an employee has a concern about a decision regarding remote work, they can contact Human Resources to discuss the issue further.

Last Updated 05-21-2021

There is no plan to change the telework policy, which is not the policy we are currently operating under. The remote work policy is in effect as long as the COOP plan is activated, which is currently the case. While operating under the COOP plan, there is no need to change the telework policy. EVMS will consider changes to any policy if a need to do so is identified, but currently that is not the case.

The EVMS telework policy will be evaluated during the transition back to campus to determine if any changes are necessary.

Last updated 06-28-2021

Find a list in the Information Technology Remote Services Guide.

Last Updated 03-18-2020 12:50 p.m.

Before you leave campus, make sure you have established your DUO two-factor authentication to use EVMS webmail remotely. To reach the directions, you will need to log in to myPortal. DUO two-factor authentication is available here.

Last Updated 03-18-2020 12:50 p.m.

You may need a virtual private network, especially if you handle sensitive personnel, medical or student records. If you and your supervisor determine a VPN is needed, you must submit a printed and signed NIC Staff Virtual Private Network (VPN) Request Form. BEFORE DOWNLOADING the form, log in to myPortal, or find the form in the myPortal forms search under “VPN” Please note: the link is in the bold blue type.

Please be aware the network center is handling a historic volume of VPN requests. Your patience is appreciated.

Last updated 03-18-2020

Contact Telecommunications at  telehelp@evms.edu if you need to arrange to have phones forwarded offsite.

Safety Precautions

Last updated: 06-09-2021.

With the guidance of the Continuity of Operations Task Force, EVMS is modifying the masking and social distancing protocols, differentiating between those employees and students who are fully vaccinated and those who are only partially vaccinated or unvaccinated.  Effective immediately, vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask in non-clinical settings and social distancing is no longer required

Masks and use of recommended personal protective equipment are still required in all clinical settings where EVMS staff and students encounter patients. EVMS clinical settings will continue to restrict visitors until further notice. As always, EVMS clinical faculty, residents and students must follow the protocols of their host facility when visiting other organizations.

EVMS is modifying its masking and social distancing requirements by differentiating between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated/partially vaccinated employees and students.

For the fully vaccinated, the implications of these changes are that we can return to in-person meetings, education conferences (Grand Rounds, departmental meetings, etc.) and similar gatherings without masks, restrictions on room capacity, or social distancing. Masks and social distancing are not required in non-clinical areas of EVMS, to include:

  • Research labs
  • Teaching areas (conference rooms, classrooms, lecture halls, study rooms, etc.)
  • Administrative work areas (offices, carrels, conference rooms)
  • Break rooms (including clinical staff breakrooms where patients are not allowed)

Given the intermingling of clinical and non-clinical spaces across the EVMS campus, all employees and students should always have a mask with them.

Unvaccinated/Partially Vaccinated Individuals

Masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed at all times, whether inside or outside of buildings, except when alone and in private spaces such as an office.

For those unvaccinated/partially vaccinated, attendance at educational, research or administrative meetings is allowed; however, a mask is required. In addition, individuals should maintain social distance during these activities. Please note: Unvaccinated individuals are at a significantly increased risk for getting serious COVID-19 illness and for spreading COVID-19 to others, including those who are immunocompromised.

During a group gathering, if any individual asks for everyone to remain masked, all individuals in the meeting should remain masked.

Read more about masking policies.

Last updated 07-27-2020

Tips to prevent the spread of the illness:

  • Adhere to EVMS universal masking and PPE policy.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when in public spaces.
  • Maintain distancing of 6 feet or more.
  • Avoid travel.
  • Avoid social gatherings outside of work.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick except to get medical care.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Last updated: 06-09-2021.

For those who are fully vaccinated, social distancing is not required in non-clinical areas. For those who are unvaccinated or partically vaccinated, social distancing and mask use is required in all areas. Read the latest guidelines.

Last updated: 06-01-2020.

Check with security for a disposable mask. EVMS has limited supplies for incidental use such as this.

Last updated: 06-01-2020.

For Employees: The request needs to be made to your direct supervisor and/or department head, who would then approve and forward the request to Materials Management. 

For Students: You may wear your own cloth mask or contact Student Affairs Mask Distribution Sign Up (757.446.5244) about obtaining a mask from EVMS.

For more information, see the Masking and Hand Hygiene Requirements document.

Last updated: 06-01-2020.

NO. EVMS will not be testing or taking temperatures for the following reasons:

  1. Unlike the emergency room, the ICU, or busy patient care settings, academic settings are a relatively lower risk environment.
  2. Testing supplies continue to be limited and only provide information about the status of infection for one-time period. That status could change in an hour, a day, or a month after the test and so is not useful on an ongoing basis.
  3. Temperature readings in and of themselves are not a reliable indicator of illness. Our approach relies on self-identification of any number of symptoms that, taken together, might indicate illness.
  4. Self-monitoring of illness, wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining social distance have proved effective.

Therefore, based on guidance from the CDC and the EVMS Medical Group, EVMS has chosen to employ an approach that is supported by the data.

Last updated: 06-01-2020.

Contact EVMS Student Affairs at 757.446.5244 or 757.774.6577 immediately.

Last updated: 06-01-2020.

No. We will not be taping off urinals, stalls or sinks.  Our clinical experts indicate that if you wear a mask, you are at low risk in the restroom. Additionally, taping would increase the number of people waiting in line, which could increase risk, and taping off sinks would make it more difficult to practice frequent hand washing.

Last updated: 06-01-2020.

Yes. This assumes that the users of the refrigerator practice common sense cleaning and storage protocols. See this link to the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/newsletter/food-safety-and-Coronavirus.html

Last updated: 06-01-2020. 

Yes. Additional cleaning protocols have been added. For details, see the EVMS Housekeeping Protocols by Mission – COVID 19 document.

 

Last updated: 06-01-2020.

EVMS developed a Ramp-up Plan for employees and students to resume activities on campus. The plan focuses on critical procedures that each employee and student must follow and that are provided in the training modules.

Travel

Last updated: 05-27-2021.

EVMS students with an international travel history within three weeks of being in the learning environment must complete the health screening questionnaire. See the What Do I Do section for the most updated information. Students with positive screens will be referred to EVMS Student Health. Domestic travel is currently exempt from this requirement, but that could change based on changes in the pandemic environment. There are restrictions on international travel

Last Updated 03-20-2020 1:35 p.m.

EVMS is strongly recommending all personal travel be postponed due to COVID-19. This guidance applies to all employees, including faculty, staff and residents. Read more about specific travel policies on the Travel page.

Last updated: 05-12-2021.

National and international business travel will be permitted after July 1, 2021, subject to the EVMS travel policies and COVID protocols as well as any additional guidance that may be issued by the CDC or VDH. For international destinations, please see updated guidance.

Last updated 04-29-2021

EVMS is limiting all travel to both domestic and international conferences.  If your travel was canceled, please request a refund directly from the airline or other vendors as soon as possible. Find additional information on the Travel page.

Visitors

Last updated: 07-01-2020.

That is correct. There is no further guidance at this time.

Last updated: 07-01-2020.

See requirements for visitors