Frequently Asked Questions
There are some questions being asked within the institution amongst staff, faculty, and our leadership. Here is a list of the main topics that arise and the answers to them.
While this represents our current guidance please realize that this is a rapidly evolving situation and guidance may change at any time based on CDC guidelines and the thoughtful decisions coming forth from our Emergency Management Committee.
Policy for ALL MOUNT SINAI EMPLOYEES:
As of Monday, June 21, the Mount Sinai Health System, including the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is allowing vaccinated Mount Sinai employees to hold in-person meetings, conferences, and events. Virtual options should be made available for unvaccinated staff, those who have approval to work remotely, and non-Mount Sinai attendees. Food and drink may be offered at in-person meetings.
- Meetings held onsite should be limited to vaccinated Mount Sinai participants; non-Mount Sinai guests should attend virtually, although non-Mount Sinai speakers are permitted if fully vaccinated.
- Any meetings/events held offsite that include both Mount Sinai and non-Mount Sinai participants may be held for educational purposes so long as all in-person attendees are vaccinated.
- Events/meetings must be in compliance with all other existing organizational policies.
- In certain small group settings, it may be beneficial or necessary to have an unvaccinated employee attend in person. In these settings, the unvaccinated employee must be socially distanced (six feet from others) and wear a mask.
You should discuss with your manager regarding work from home options.
This applies to all staff, faculty, and trainees.
The full travel policy is located in the HR Information section of this site.
Hand sanitizers are in dispensers placed throughout the system. These dispensers are monitored and replenished frequently.
Department heads should request any supplies that are needed to keep staff safe.
Wearing gloves often gives individuals a false sense of security and may actually put individuals at risk.
It is best to perform good hand hygiene with hot water and soap or alcohol based hand sanitizer often.
Clean high touch surfaces (keyboards, screens, and phones) frequently as well. Any household cleaner with activity against flu is sufficient.
If glove usage when cleaning is appropriate, perform hand hygiene before and after using gloves.
Staff will not get sick from handling papers and short encounters with masked patients.
If a patient is sick, they should be prompted to mask immediately. Controlling the cough of the sick patient is the most important thing we can do to keep everyone safe.
Employee Health Services (EHS) is currently screening employees with symptoms of COVID-19 like illness and other non-related health issues.
For COVID-19 Related Health Issues
DOHMH has asked that ALL healthcare workers and employees self-monitor by taking their temperature twice daily and assessing for COVID-19 like illness.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may include (Updated by the CDC May 13, 2020):
- Fever (temperature greater than 100° Fahrenheit)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- New onset persistent cough
- Nasal congestion & runny nose not associated with allergies
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue (new or not explained by a pre-existing condition)
- Headaches (new or not explained by a pre-existing condition)
- Generalized muscle and body aches (new or not explained by a pre-existing condition)
If an employee develops any of the above signs and symptoms, they should not report to work. If any signs and symptoms occur while working, you MUST immediately mask and leave the patient care area and inform their supervisor.
ALL employees with COVID related symptoms MUST notify Employee Health Service (EHS) via the online EHS REDCap tool. To access the tool click EHS REDCap or scan this QR code.
Upon your registration, a member of the EHS team will call you within 24-48 hours. If you would like to be tested for COVID-19, the EHS team will provide you with testing logistics and schedule an appointment for you to be tested at a MSHS testing site. When completing REDCap, you are able to request testing at that time, Section 4 below outlines the instructions for testing. Employees do NOT need to also call and/or email to notify EHS.
If an employee does not have internet access, they can call 212-844-1100, and a member of the EHS will assist you to register in the REDCap tool.
Symptomatic employees should NOT walk into their local EHS sites, but follow the protocol outlined above.
If someone has worsening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, please contact your doctor and/or go to the nearest urgent care center or emergency department for immediate attention.
To read the Employee & Healthcare Workers Testing, Monitoring and Clearance Policy in its entirety, click here.
For Non-Related COVID-19 Health Issues
If an employee would like to be screened for a non-related COVID health issue or workplace injury, they can walk into any of the local EHS sites during normal business hours and a member of the EHS team will be available to evaluate you in person. Alternatively you can call EHS at 212-844-1100, and a member of the EHS can do a phone screen and provide guidance and/or refer you to a physician as appropriate.
Call Transfer Center at 646-605-5902 for assistance if you think that the patient needs to be transferred to an MSHS facility for testing or treatment. Transfer Center will assist.
Guidelines for best practice on use of personal protective equipment.
Appropriately credentialed volunteers will continue to be permitted to perform their volunteer services.
All volunteers should be directed to follow the same policies as employees – including COVID-19 Safety Guidelines.
Volunteers are regarded as non-essential personnel, and as a result, should not be involved in the care of any patient who is suspected or known to be infected with COVID-19.