Dear Georgetown Staff and AAPs,
I begin this note with deep appreciation for all of your work, both on campus and in telework status, over the past days. You are exhibiting the true spirit of Georgetown’s community. Thank you.
As you know, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Mayor’s Order 2020-053: Closure of Non-Essential Businesses and Prohibition on Large Gatherings During Public Health Emergency for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), effective 10 p.m. today. This requires temporary closure of the on-site operation of all non-essential businesses and prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people. Most of Georgetown’s current operations are considered essential businesses under the order.
We write today to share how Georgetown University will be affected by this order and the steps we are taking to ensure the health, safety and security of our community.
While the university transitioned to a virtual learning environment on March 16, we are still caring for approximately 200 undergraduate students and 110 law students who have been approved to stay on campus due to extenuating personal circumstances. Ensuring that our students receive the food, housing, safety and support services they need to be successful does require that a portion of our workforce continue to be physically present on campus, as provided for under the Mayor’s Order.
We are incredibly grateful to all members of our community, and express additional gratitude towards our frontline workers who ensure the health, safety and security of our community.
For Employees Who Are Providing On-Campus, In-Person Services
We recognize the challenges facing employees who are on campus each day and are working to ensure their health, safety and security. We have committed to ensuring that all employees on campus have appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), as needed; we are eliminating parking fees to ensure that employees who have access to a car and must work on campus can practice social distancing by driving to work; and we are providing free take-out meals for these employees. We are requesting anyone who is 65 years of age or older to stay home, and have established a process for employees working on campus to self-identify as being in another higher risk category, as designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These employees may request an accommodation (paper copy available by request) through the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action (IDEAA) to not work on campus.
For All Staff and AAP Members
In order to care for our staff and AAP employees, we are creating a new category of leave, which will provide paid time off for reasons attributable to COVID-19 (“COVID-19 PTO”). Full-time staff and AAP employees will be provided with 80 hours (10 days) of COVID-19 PTO, and part-time staff and AAP employees will be provided with a prorated amount based on their average number of hours worked per week in February 2020. This COVID-19 PTO is immediately available to be used if an employee cannot work (or telework) for reasons attributable to COVID-19, as described in the COVID-19 Paid Time Off policy.
In addition, we recognize that many employees are balancing telework with childcare obligations, as schools and daycares are closed across the region. We are encouraging managers to be flexible with schedules for working hours to ensure that caregivers can meet their work obligations and their familial responsibilities.
Furthermore, we recently announced an expansion of GUCares, our emergency fund to assist full-time faculty, AAPs and staff who are experiencing financial hardship. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the university has temporarily expanded this program to include all faculty, AAPs, staff and temporary employees, regardless of their roles or time with the university. Further, Georgetown has committed significant additional funds to support members of our community who may be facing financial distress as a direct result of the current pandemic, including unforeseen childcare costs. You can learn more on the GUCares website.
For On-Campus Contract Workers
As you may know, there are many individuals on our campus who serve our community but who are not directly employed by Georgetown University. These include service workers at our dining, hotel and bookstore facilities, and some contracted cleaning and security workers. We are grateful for their constant contributions. We are working to ensure that these workers also continue to be cared for in accordance with our values.
As a reminder, you can subscribe to a daily email with all new COVID-19 communications from Georgetown’s Main Campus, visit our COVID-19 Resource Center or call the university helpline 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EDT Monday to Friday at 202-784-3510 for more information.
During these challenging times, we’ve seen the best of Georgetown’s community. We are deeply grateful for the extraordinary service and contributions of our staff, AAPs and contract workers. Thank you for all that you do for Georgetown.
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer