COVID-19 WashU School of Medicine Supervisor FAQ’s

Please remember that these guidelines are subject to rapid change due to new information.

As a supervisor/manager what are my responsibilities?

  • Regularly observe personnel PPE practices (appropriate wear/use) and physical distancing. Provide in the moment coaching as needed.
  • Provide support to your team members (mental health resources etc.) as needed.
  • Where possible, stagger schedules or shifts among personnel such that physical distancing can be more easily maintained. Consider allowing people to continue working from home for an agreed upon number of days per week where possible.
  • Restrict the number of personnel permitted in office and lab common areas at one time.
  • Provide sanitizing wipes and instruct personnel to sanitize microwaves, coffee pots, printers, and other communal items in break rooms, kitchens or other office common areas after each use.
  • Discourage personnel from sharing office equipment (e.g., telephones, computers, mouse.)
  • Create other modifications to the workspace or clinical areas to facilitate physical distancing in cramped spaces. Facilities or EH&S may be able to provide advice.
    • One-way entrance/exit
    • One-way office hallways or aisles
    • Plexiglass or other partitions to serve as sneeze guards/shields if appropriate
    • Use painter’s tape or other floor markings to designate 6ft distance in hallway.
    • Use unused conference rooms as workspace
  • Stagger break and lunch periods to minimize the number of people in a common area

What should I do if someone under my supervision (faculty, staff or trainee) thinks they have been exposed or is ill?

  • Employees with symptoms or who may have been exposed should be directed to call the COVID-19 Exposure/Illness Hotline at 314-362-5056.
  • Exposed or ill students or students with questions should be directed to call Student Health Services. 314-362-3523
  • Occupational/Student Health will notify all exposed individuals, their supervisors, and facilities management as needed. The information you are provided about an employee or trainee as a supervisor is confidential and may be legally protected. That information should not be shared with others in your work environment unless you are expressly told to do so by Occupational/Student Health. This prohibition also applies to de-identified information.
  • Follow all Occupational/Student Health instructions. If you have questions about the affected individual or if other personnel are expressing concern, contact Occupational/Student Health for instructions.

I am a manager and my employee or student has expressed a health concern about returning to the workplace, what do I do?

If an employee or student has health or safety concerns about returning to on campus activities because they are in a vulnerable population, managers should consult with their HR Employee Relations consultant or Student Health as appropriate. These offices will engage with the individual to educate them about the University’s existing return-to-campus safety protocols and, if necessary, to explore potential accommodations beyond those protocols. The University’s process for assessing and approving reasonable accommodations can be found at

This is a process guided by Human Resources, Employee Relations or Student health and involves input from all parties. Managers should not attempt to delve into the specifics of an employee or student’s medical condition or try to assess the risk.