On Thursday morning, Chancellor Donde Plowman sent an email to UT faculty and staff with information about the university’s three-phase plan for the return of faculty and staff to campus.
Phase One is scheduled to begin May 11. At that point, faculty and staff will gradually begin returning to campus. The university will prioritize the return of positions which are essential to reopening or cannot effectively be completed from home and are necessary for university operations.
Phase One will include the return of employees from the Bursar’s Office, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Emergency Operations Center, the Department of Environmental Health and Safety , Facilities Services, Fleet Management, Mail Service, the Office of Information Technology, Printing Services, research labs, University Housing and the UT Police Department.
Supervisors are permitted to request an exception for certain employees to return to campus. Exceptions will be processed in five business days.
During Phase One, common areas on campus will remain closed. Employees will be required to wear face masks, provided by the university. They will also be required to stay home if they have a fever exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and must report everyday to their supervisor that they have not had close contact with anyone with COVID-19 nor do they have COVID-19 symptoms themselves.
Employees who are self-isolating should fill out the online reporting form.
On-campus employees will continue to practice social distancing. In accordance with Gov. Bill Lee’s Executive Order 30, this phase will not end before May 29.
During Phase Two, the university will work to slowly bring in additional faculty and staff, while employing increased hygienic and social distancing tactics. Although a specific date is not yet set, this phase will not begin before May 30. During this period, university gatherings will not exceed 50 people. Daily symptom and temperature assessment will continue.
Phase Three involves the return to a new normal as all faculty and staff return to campus. However, the university will still increase efforts to limit contact through telework, strategic scheduling and other social distancing measures. UT hopes to enter this phase on August 11.
Common areas will be opened during this phase, and gatherings will be limited to 100 people. Daily symptom and temperature assessment will continue.
Throughout all three phases, the university will be working to increase permanent hygiene efforts, monitor the health of the UT community and implement innovative ways of problem solving.
You can read the complete return to work plan online.
Additionally, the Re-Imagining Fall Task Force is currently working on further plans with the hopes of re-opening campus in the fall.