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UT System Coronavirus Update

March 5, 2020

With much discussion around the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the UT System, in coordination with its campuses and institutes across the state, wanted to provide some general information about disease precautions and provide important information about travel reimbursement for any work-related travel that might be cancelled due to the disease. 

With one case having just been confirmed in Tennessee, we ask all employees to cooperate in taking these simple steps to reduce the transmission of communicable diseases in the workplace:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands regularly and frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. If soap is not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is acceptable.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or with tissues whenever you cough or sneeze, then discard any used tissues in the trash.
  • Avoid people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
  • Learn what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at this link.

As a general rule, employees should not report to work while they are ill. Paid sick leave and other benefits should be used by employees who are unable to work due to illness. Please contact the human resources department with any questions or concerns.

In addition, conferences and events have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. If you have been affected, see the below for steps that you need to take:

  • Out of Pocket Expenses - The University will reimburse employees all out of pocket expenses associated with a trip that has been cancelled due to this virus. This includes airfare, hotel cancellation fees, conference registrations and any other pre-paid items. Process these through the travel system, mark them as an exception and indicate in the notes that the trip was cancelled due this virus and you will be reimbursed.
  • Expenses Paid Directly by the University - For travel paid directly by the University make sure that any refunds for prepaid items such as conference registrations are credited back to the University. 
  • Cash Advances – Any unused cash advances must be promptly repaid to your campus business office. If a cash advance has been requested but not received for a cancelled trip, contact your campus business office immediately so that they may cancel this request. 
  • Airfare – Unless your flight was cancelled by the airlines, a refund will typically not be available. The ticket, however, can be used for future business travel for one year from the date that the ticket was purchased. Depending on the issue date, the airlines might also waive the change fee. The future trip doesn’t have to be in the name of the initial traveler, but the airlines may charge a fee for changing the name. The University’s travel agency, World Travel Services can assist with this. They can be contacted at 877.210.8189. No action is needed on your behalf until you are ready to rebook a business trip. If the ticket was not purchased through World Travel, you will need to contact the airline directly to reuse these tickets. These unused tickets may not be used for personal use. 

Employees are encouraged to follow the lead of the campus leadership for more specific local guidance. If you have additional questions, contact the System Accounts Payable Office at 1.877.210.8189.

May 26, 2022