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Update: Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL)


Friday, January 14, 2022

The purpose of this correspondence is to provide an update on Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL).


While the Department of Human Resources will determine the appropriateness of PHEL usage, workplace coordination must still be done in consultation with your supervisor.

The Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Human Resources Management (DHRM) has published the following guidance effective January 10, 2022:

  • PHEL may be used to attend to an employee's own illness due to a confirmed positive COVID-19 test from a medical provider. The employee's return to the workplace must comport with the CDC's recommendations.
  • PHEL may be used to provide home care to an immediate family member who has contracted COVID-19 through a confirmed positive test from a medical provider.
  • Up to 8 hours of the 40 hours of PHEL may be used to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine and/or booster or to recover from side-effects resulting from obtaining the vaccine. Documentation of the vaccination/booster injection will suffice for access to the PHEL used for this purpose.
  • Once the allotment of PHEL is used, employees may use appropriate and available leave balances (Traditional or VSDP Sick Leave, Family-Personal Leave, Annual Leave, Compensatory Leave, Overtime Leave, Recognition Leave) or Leave without Pay.
  • Employees who are positive for COVID-19 but asymptomatic may telework for the isolation period (per CDC's guidance) provided the position's duties are suited for telework.
  • Wage employees and adjunct faculty may receive PHEL pro-rated according to the average hours normally worked in their position over a one-week period.

Any DHRM PHEL guidance provided prior to 1-10-22 is no longer applicable. Please see additional guidance on use of PHEL on the DHRM website by clicking the link below:

DHRM Policy Guide- Policy 4.52 Public Health Emergency Leave as of 1-10-22

Should you have any questions regarding obtaining Department of Human Resources approval for use of PHEL, please contact JaRenae Whitehead at jwhitehe@odu.edu or send inquiries to hrcovid19@odu.edu.

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