COVID 19 Information for Employees

Updated 9/12/22

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 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

All students, faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor (including Michigan Medicine), Dearborn and Flint campuses are required to be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations, and to submit their vaccination information. Record proof of vaccination, using Vax Viewer the form found in Wolverine Access.  Read more about the policy and accountability measures

Bargained-for University of Michigan employees who work for Michigan Medicine or for a healthcare facility must comply with a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate.  Some bargained-for employees have additional requirements pertaining to the booster; 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 information on where to get vaccinated, visit the U-M Health Response site.  Information on paid time off for vaccination is in the Access to Paid Release Time for Vaccination section of this page.  

Additional information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the U-M Health Response site.

Flexible Workplace and Remote Work

Find resources, including remote and flexible workplace agreement templates, on 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-related scenarios.

Well-being Resources

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

FEMA Assistance for Funeral-Related Expenses

FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 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.