8/20: Human Resources clarifies employee use of mandatory daily health screening tool

Mark Coldren, UB's associate vice president for human resources, sent an email to all UB employees August 19 regarding the daily health screening tool:

This message is for all employees to help clarify the introduction of the new daily health attestation process.  Previously, individuals were asked to use an online form for daily attestation of health provided by the Office of Human Resources.  This was a temporary process to be used until UB could introduce the ongoing tool.  The new tool, Daily Health Check, was introduced on Monday, August 17. (https://www.buffalo.edu/coronavirus/bulletins/announcement-host.host.html/content/shared/university/news/ub-reporter-articles/stories/2020/08/chatbot.detail.html).

The initial communication identified that all individuals must complete the Daily Health Check every day, whether they are working or not.  This practice facilitates a comprehensive set of health data to assist in campus actions and decision making.  However, to comply with relevant NYS laws, this requirement is revised as follows:

All employees are required to complete the attestation every day they are working – whether on campus or working remotely.  Additionally, while not required, all individuals are strongly encouraged to complete the attestation on days they do not work.  Daily attestation will greatly enhance the University’s goal of comprehensive data collection to accurately monitor COVID prevalence and transmission.

The goal of the Daily Health Check is to be able to collect critical data for all members of the UB community.  Comprehensive daily participation by all members of the campus community including students, faculty, staff, and affiliates* creates the best data source to help direct campus response and better protect everyone.

In the initial release of the Daily Health Check, individuals are not currently asked to submit their name during the attestation process – this is different than what folks have been doing over the summer. Instead, upon completion of the process, users receive a notification badge for that day.  Individuals were initially asked to print out a copy or save a screenshot of this badge. This is no longer required. By coming to campus, you are verifying that you completed the Daily Health Check and you have attested, to the best of your knowledge, that you do not have COVID-19 infection or exposure.

In certain unique situations such as entering a lab with specialized PPE protocols or in a situation where social distancing is challenging on our campus, individuals may be asked to show proof of Daily Health Check completion.

Individuals that complete a health attestation for other organizations every day such as hospitals, health care facilities etc., are not required to show proof but are asked to participate in UB’s Daily Health Check.

Messages for direction and action are an integral part of the Daily Health Check tool.  Several of these messages will continue to be revised for clarity during this initial phase of implementation.  Revisions will include:

  • The inclusion of language used to indicate the presence of symptoms related to  known chronic conditions, such as seasonal allergies.
  • We have clarified that the 14-day quarantine requirement  for travel outside of New York State pertains only to “travel to a location on the NY State Travel Advisory list.” 
  • Additional directions for individuals regarding what symptoms require further actions, such as seeking medical advice or getting tested.

In the upcoming technology update of Daily Health Check, all users will be asked to provide personal identification details for authentication purposes upon initial log in. This will then enable the tool to send individual text message reminders to you for daily attestation.  The following information will be asked for authentication purposes:

  • First and last name
  • Person number
  • UBIT name
  • Mobile phone number
  • Year of birth 

After the first time, users will no longer be asked to provide this level of detail. Only thefirst three letters of your last name as well as year of your birth details will be required.

We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through how best to build for the UB community an effective screening and tracing process that takes into account the many variables inherent in a large university. Please continue to check the UB planning and response pages for more information:https://www.buffalo.edu/coronavirus/dashboard.html

If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources at 645-7777, ub-hr@buffalo.edu or Mark Coldren at 645-8155, mcoldren@buffalo.edu.  Thank you.

Mark

*Affiliates includes RF, State, UBF employees, adjunct faculty, volunteers, vendors, visitors and invited guests to campus.