Daily campus update for COVID-19 operations
Information about COVID-19 guidelines and protocols at Brandeis has changed frequently as public health guidance has changed; please be aware that the information in this letter may be outdated. For the latest information, please visit the COVID-19 Response website.
March 19, 2020
Here are today's updates for our campus community.
Pay for student workers
Please see the following guidance from Student Financial Services on how students can be paid for work during this time:
- Students who receive Federal Work-Study/University Employment as part of their need-based financial aid package who have been actively working during this semester (and have not yet earned the full amount of their allotment) will be paid for six weeks of work. Pay will be based on their average spring weekly hours and individual rates of pay, up to the amount of their allotment. This amount will be paid to students directly by the University; supervisors will NOT need to enter any hours in Workday.
- Students with university jobs outside of the Federal Work-Study program will continue to be paid if they are able to continue to work as determined by their supervisor. If these students are unable to continue to work, they may request emergency funds for specific expenses with which they need assistance via email@example.com.
- Supervisors should not enter, or approve, any hours in Workday that were not actually worked by students.
Student Emergency Funds still available
Students who are experiencing financial difficulty around the transition to online learning can continue to apply for assistance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to our warm and caring community that has so far donated nearly $135,000! Contributions are still being accepted and 100 percent of donations will go directly to students in need.
Access free or discounted internet/data during COVID-19 period
The Federal Communications Commission’s “Keep America Connected” (pdf) initiative pledges to suspend common penalties and expand internet access across the U.S. Several internet and telecom service providers are committed to offering free access to the internet (via WiFi hotspot), discounted internet service and/or increased data allowances to ensure people can get online during this unprecedented time. To learn more, review offerings from the service providers below.
Questions about community member testing positive
It’s understandable that individuals have questions about the community member who has tested positive for COVID-19. It was determined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (Mass DPH) that this individual had no contact with other members of the Brandeis community and there is no known risk to the campus community from this particular case. When the Brandeis Health Center was notified that a member of the Brandeis community tested positive, the university collaborated with Mass DPH and the Waltham Board of Health to conduct a case contact tracing. This process involves reviewing an individual’s interactions during a determined period in which they could have possibly infected people. The university supports and actively participated in this important best practice. Anyone identified as a potential close contact would have been notified directly by the Waltham Board of Health or the Brandeis Health Center. That will be the process with any positive tests of community members in the future, and we will keep track of the number of cases reported to us on the Health Center website.
Information on the Brandeis Counseling Center
The Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC) remains available to provide care to our students, on or off campus. Until further notice, all appointments including urgent care will be over the phone or via a HIPAA compliant platform. To reach the BCC, please call our 24/7 answering service at 781-736-3785.
- The BCC remains available to provide urgent consultations by phone.
- Telehealth may be provided to students who are located in Massachusetts and are currently active in individual care.
- The BCC will not begin new counseling relationships with students until further notice; if you are seeking ongoing care please contact us. We will provide individualized resources and referrals.
- Psychotherapy groups are suspended until further notice.