COVID-19: What the safer-at-home orders mean, self-disclosure form and signing up for direct deposit

Faculty, staff and students are asked to read these operational updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

State and city safer-at-home orders
Both the State of Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee issued safer-at-home orders today. The City of Milwaukee’s order exempts colleges and universities for the purposes of facilitating distance learning, doing critical research or performing essential functions; residential facilities at educational institutions for the purposes of providing shelter, food, essential services and/or quarantine for students who should not or cannot travel, and to facilitate student relocation from residential facilities; sworn police departments at educational institutions; and food production and distribution for residents.

As such, student move-out will start tomorrow, March 25, as planned. The process will be managed to ensure social distancing best practices are followed and to limit the number of students moving out at any one time. Students can also request a designee to pick up their belongings or fill out an exemption form to pick up their items later in the semester. If students are unable to come to campus in person this spring, the Office of Residence Life has options to have their belongings packed and stored, at additional cost. Our goal in removing belongings is to reduce the number of staff needed for front desks and consolidate to single occupied rooms.

Disclosure form
Ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our campus community is the most important way we can live out our mission right now as a Catholic, Jesuit institution. The university is asking that faculty, staff and students fill out this voluntary disclosure form, which lists the various reasons an individual may be self-quarantining.

The information submitted will be kept confidential in accordance with HIPAA and FERPA, and will be used to assist Human Resources in tracking employees’ use of sick leave, and to aid the Milwaukee Health Department in its contact investigations when new coronavirus cases are identified. For employees, voluntary disclosure will have no implications on job status.

Given the nature of the illness and the limits of local testing capacities, the Milwaukee Health Department recommends proactively isolating at home if you have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 for at least seven days after the symptoms first began AND for at least three days after symptoms resolve. Symptoms are generally characterized as cough, shortness of breath and fever, but there can be mild symptoms not presenting with these classic signs.

Sign up for direct deposit
All employees (full-time, part-time and students) have payroll payments disbursed through direct deposit to the financial institution of the employee’s choice. Direct deposit is available in any financial institution throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. If you do not currently have direct deposit set up, please review the policy and sign up immediately.

U.S. Department of Education suspends federal student loan repayments for students
The Office of Federal Student Aid announced that it will provide student loan relief for students across the country during the COVID-19 national emergency. The two main announcements included:

  1. All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days.
  2. All borrowers will have the option to suspend their repayments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their repayments without worrying about accruing interest.