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Staff members install plexiglass at a receptionist's desk in Gibson Hall

Tulane’s goal is to implement a phased return to normal operations in a thoughtful and careful manner and to provide guidelines and protocols to help mitigate against the risk of COVID-19 exposure to the campus community. Tulane departments should continue their current instruction and remote work protocols with a phased reduction of off-site work requirements.

The following is a recommended framework to provide instructions for supervisors to follow to prioritize the order of return and management of administrative staff. Supervisors need to coordinate with and receive Senior Vice President approval before employees are allowed to return to the workplace.

Recommendations provided were developed by the university’s Workforce Resumption Committee and are intended to provide a framework to help departments prioritize the order of return and management of administrative staff. Information regarding faculty and research staff is covered separately below.

Phases of Return

Target dates and any referenced capacity percentages are tentative and subject to change as the university will continue to be flexible.

Phase I

May 18-July 7

During phase 1, only a small number of essential staff members required to support the university’s mission and remote instruction have returned to on-site work; many employees will continue working remotely. Department leaders should manage this process consistent with work needs and to promote the safety of students, faculty and staff.

Phase 2

July 8-Aug. 14

During phase 2, staff employees preparing for the return of students and on-premise instruction will begin to return to on-site work. We anticipate the number of employees returning to on-site work will not exceed 50% of full-time employees in a given area. Many employees will continue to work remotely to maintain reduced occupancy at worksites in support of social distancing.

Phase 3

Beginning Aug. 15

In the final phase, remaining workers can return to on-site work, presuming public health conditions do not change. Supervisors are encouraged to remain flexible. Some employees may be authorized to continue working remotely with supervisor approval.

Mandatory Training

Faculty and staff will be required to complete mandatory online training, which will provide an overview of general COVID-19 information, Tulane COVID-19 guidelines and protocols and the COVID-19 Commitment to Public Health Acknowledgment.
As part of the training, faculty and staff will sign the Commitment to Public Health Acknowledgment, an agreement to abide by the university’s guidelines and protocols with respect to COVID-19 and affirms that failure to adhere could result in disciplinary action. Students will also be required to complete a student-specific Commitment to Public Health Acknowledgment.

Accommodations/Workplace Modifications

If you have specific concerns about returning to campus due to health or other reasons, please reach out. Faculty and staff should contact the Office for Campus Accessibility at to request ADA Accommodations. Communications regarding potential ADA accommodations are confidential and will not be shared outside of the Office for Campus Accessibility without the employee’s consent. If your request is not based on your own physical or mental health condition but is based on other factors related to COVID-19 (e.g. childcare concerns, your age alone, or the health of a family member) please contact your HR Business Partner to make a non-ADA job modification request.


Decisions on faculty staffing will be determined by the appropriate dean, with the recommendation that faculty continue working remotely as much as possible until the start of the Fall semester.

Given that NOLA Public Schools have decided to implement a remote start for the beginning of the school year and other schools are establishing hybrid teaching protocols, the University is establishing a no-cost drop-in day camp for the children of Tulane faculty (and instructors of record, including graduate students) to help fill resulting childcare gaps. Click here to learn more.

Getting Tested
  • Tulane University is requiring all faculty, staff and students to complete COVID-19 testing prior to their return to campus. Initial return testing for faculty, staff and students has begun and will end Aug. 18, 2020.
  • Emails have been sent to the Tulane community to prompt test scheduling. You must schedule an appointment and go to the testing center with your QR Code. Do not schedule if you don’t have a QR code.
  • Please schedule your appointment AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. DO NOT WAIT to schedule until the last minute.
  • APPOINTMENTS ARE REQUIRED for safety purposes at both the Uptown and Downtown Testing Centers. We have a schedule to allow for social distancing and to manage flow and wait times. Do not visit a Testing Center without scheduling first.
  • If you can’t make your scheduled appointment, cancel it through your patient portal and reschedule for a different time.
  • Faculty, staff and students who are working remotely or are out of state and learning remotely for the entire semester, will not be tested. If you fall into this category, please email to unsubscribe to testing reminders.
  • Please DO NOT CALL OR EMAIL the Student Health Center regarding surveillance testing. Email with questions and a staff member will follow-up with you.
  • For the COVID-19 testing program, records or results will not be accepted from outside providers. The testing must be performed at one of Tulane's testing sites.
  • Test results will be processed by the Tulane School of Medicine Laboratory. We expect results to be returned within 24-36 hours. You will receive an email and/or phone call with your results.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, Campus Health will help you determine whether to isolate/quarantine at home. Tulane Contact Tracers will also contact you to determine any close contacts that may need to be notified and determine what areas on campus may need to be disinfected.
  • This testing program is for asymptomatic individuals (people without symptoms of COVID-19). If you are feeling ill or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider for evaluation.
  • Students going through the Tulane Arrival Center will add themselves to the testing schedule when they arrive. They do not need to schedule ahead of time if they are at the Hyatt.
Testing Center Locations

There are testing locations uptown and downtown — you can schedule testing at either location.

  • The Uptown Testing Center is at Tulane Paterson House, aka, Tulane Paterson Hall. You can use your smartphone maps to locate by entering Tulane Paterson Hall for directions on main campus.
  • The Downtown Testing Center is next to Tulane Hospital’s LaSalle Garage exit, located at 226 South Villere Street, New Orleans, 70112.
Research & Clinical Staffing

Laboratories and research-based spaces are unique to their associated purpose, project, number of participants and location. We will be providing, and continually updating, university guidelines for research practices, but specific decisions on how our laboratory-based research returns to full operation should be overseen by the appropriate dean, on a case-by-case basis, considering work practices, including social distancing, face covering or respirator use and laboratory disinfection methods.

For Supervisors: Return to On-Site Work Process

Step 1: Anticipated Return Date

A SWOT (Safe Workplace reOpening Team) comprised of the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS), Campus Services, Risk Management, the Office of Emergency Preparedness and the Office of Human Resources & Institutional Equity will be notified of your anticipated return date and assigned to your department to help support you through this process.

Step 2: Site Assessment

Work with your assigned SWOT to complete any pre-site assessment work and schedule an on-site walk through of your physical workspace to determine what actions need to be taken. As you are assessing the workspace, you should analyze your workforce, communicate with employees, and determine who you expect to return to on-site work. A decision tree guidance document and tool have been developed to aid in the process of analyzing your workforce.

Step 3: Recommendations, Audit, Approval

After the assessment is conducted, a member of your assigned SWOT will reach out to you with recommendations. During this step you can expect to take actions to ready your workspace and team including ordering supplies to support social distancing, having your area cleaned and disinfected, completing training and scheduling COVID-19 testing for those who will return. Training materials, testing instructions and sample communications will be provided to you by your HR Business Partner. Once all actions have been taken, the SWOT will complete an audit of your area as a final check.

Step 4: Return to On-Site Work

Resume on-site work as planned after all prior steps have been completed. Once you are back on-site, employees should begin daily health checks and should be prepared to begin random COVID-19 surveillance testing. More information will be provided when it is available.