COVID-19 Information for Employees

Updated 2/21/23

This page contains information for employees about working from home, paid time off options for COVID-related scenarios, resources to support your mental, emotional and physical health, guidance for supervisors, updates to benefit plans, and more. More information can be found on the U-M Health Response site.

Face Covering Policy

Masks are optional in most indoor spaces, including offices, instructional areas, residence halls and athletic events, on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. Recommendations for face coverings are aligned with the CDC’s COVID-19 community level for Washtenaw County, which can change depending on the number of infections. Community guidance is also reflected on the university’s COVID-19 Dashboard. To assess personal risk, faculty and staff are encouraged to check the page often. 

Masks continue to be required in patient care areas (Michigan Medicine, University Health Service and the Dental School clinical areas), and at U-M COVID-19 testing sites as noted in the U-M Face Covering Policy.

Health Plans Cover At-Home COVID-19 Tests

Employees, dependents and retirees covered by the U-M Prescription Drug Plan can get over-the-counter COVID-19 antigen (rapid) tests at retail pharmacies due to a federal mandate created to fight the surge of omicron-related infections. Each member can purchase up to eight FDA-approved antigen tests each month per covered individual. 

The federal mandate requires pharmacies to cover the tests at no cost to the member or dependents. Most pharmacies are now complying with this mandate. If you encounter a pharmacy that requires you to submit a copay at the point of purchase, you can file for reimbursement by completing a claim form and forwarding the form and your original receipt to Magellan Rx. 

Read more about how to purchase tests and information about submitting reimbursement claims. Also find FAQs at the bottom of this page. 

Paid Time Off Options

The university's COVID paid time off program remains in place for eligible employees. COVID-19 PTO is available to full- and part-time faculty and staff, including temporary staff, student employees, graduate student employees (GSIs, GSSAs, GSRAs) and postdoctoral research fellows hired before June 7, 2020. Employees should follow their normal process of reporting absence and requesting time off.

Read more about temporary paid time off programs in place to support employees who cannot work due to various scenarios related to COVID-19. Some of these scenarios include personal illness, family care needs (including illness and school closure) and temporary lack of work. 

COVID-19 Vaccine

Effective Feb. 20, 2023, COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all students, faculty and staff working in the following areas: Michigan Medicine, including the Medical School, Dental School, University Health Service and the Mary A. Rackham Institute. This includes those working remotely and temporary workers, as well as bargained-for employees in these units.

Employees with questions should confirm specific requirements with their supervisor or local human resources department. Any bargained-for employee who is uncertain of what is required should consult with their union representative for further information.

The university is providing limited exemptions to the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for medical or religious reasons.

For additional information, including how to record your vaccination and where to get vaccinated, visit the U-M Health Response site.

Flexible Workplace and Remote Work

Find resources, including remote and flexible workplace agreement templates, in the Future of Work Resource Center.   

Supporting Child and Dependent Care

When possible, departments are encouraged to allow employees to work remotely and be flexible with arrangements. There are a number of resources available to help faculty and staff with child and dependent care needs. The university recently announced two additional resources to help with dependent care needs. 

If remote work is not possible, employees may be eligible to use paid time off programs. Read more about paid time off programs and uses for COVID-19-related scenarios.

Well-being Resources

Information and resources to support personal mental, emotional and physical well-being are available. Resources include guided meditation and relaxation videos, virtual support groups, mobile apps and online programs, and more. 

FEMA Assistance for Funeral-Related Expenses

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020. More information is available on the FEMA website > COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. Watch this informational video or call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 1 (844) 684-6333 for help.