PRIOR TO RETURN
Based on the guidelines described in the phased approach to return to campus, determine the essential need to be on campus for your area and discuss the ability of your employees (including student employees) to return to on-campus work according to the proposed departmental timeline. Keep in mind, some employees, including student employees, may continue to work remotely as their role allows. Supervisors may want to consider alternative work methods including modifying work schedules, increasing your use of technology and offering extended service hours for vulnerable populations. Evaluate employees’ ability to continue to work remotely, in accordance with HR policy. Once the need and the ability have been determined, develop a plan and schedule for which employees return and when.
DO NOT attempt to identify and target employees who may be in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) high-risk categories. However, if an employee voluntarily discloses this information, it should be kept confidential in accordance with university policies and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). If an employee voluntarily self-identifies as being high-risk for COVID-19, is living with someone considered high-risk based on the CDC guidelines or is following self-quarantine protocol, contact Human Resources at 330-672-2901 or email@example.com for further direction. In addition, the following resources are available:
Workspace & Protective Equipment
Consider your area’s workspace, workflow, constituent flow and work priorities to determine if there is adequate spacing to maintain physical distancing. If not, determine what changes need to be made, including which positions can continue to work remotely, which roles are absolutely needed in the office and if flexible hours may be used for physical distancing and diminished density.
- Protective Equipment will be centrally funded. The university will provide each employee with two cloth face coverings, as well as cleaning supplies for each unit. As described in these guidelines, protective equipment refers to washable face coverings (i.e., masks), hand sanitizer spray mist, disposable gloves (plastic food grade and nitrile gloves, based on risk) and sanitizing cleaning products for workspaces. Coordinate the protective equipment needs of your employee(s) with the person responsible for ordering for your department or campus to ensure your employees have sufficient supplies prior to returning to work. More information about protective equipment can be found in our Faculty and Staff FAQs. By indicating your department’s anticipated return date in your protective equipment order, University Facilities Management (UFM) will ensure the heating and cooling systems are properly adjusted.
- Wearing face coverings are a critical component to the Flashes Safe Seven principles. All who can safely wear face coverings are required to do so. We understand that not everyone may be able to wear a face covering. If you are concerned about wearing a face covering, please submit the Pandemic Adjustment Request. In addition, face coverings should never be worn by or placed on people who are younger than 2, have difficulty breathing, or are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove them without assistance.
- Assess other common offices spaces, i.e. conference rooms, break rooms, storage spaces, etc. These areas need to be evaluated in order to ensure physical distancing guidelines can be followed. Document and communicate what common area procedures and practices are to be used upon returning to the workplace to include identifying maximum occupancy of conference rooms following the physical distancing guidelines. Entrance and exits must be in compliance with fire codes and university guidance. Identify any space modifications needed such as sneeze guards, additional signage, etc. and submit a work order through Flash Track or call 330-672-2345. Managers and supervisors on Kent State’s Regional Campuses and College of Podiatric Medicine (CPM) should contact their facility or business manager.
- Identify the need for signage within your office space to encourage healthy habits. Ensure signs are posted in visible areas in the workspace. Please use painter’s tape to avoid damaging doors and walls. Enter a work order through Flash Track to obtain appropriate tape to hang signage or call 330-672-2345. Managers and supervisors on Kent State’s Regional Campuses and CPM should contact their facility or business manager. Signage will be provided for common spaces and the link for printable signage from the CDC can be found online in the CDC Print Resources section.
- Discuss your plan with the appropriate divisional leadership for feedback and approval.
- Note: UFM custodial staff have been methodically cleaning buildings, classrooms and offices, including carpeting. All offices have been cleaned and are ready for use. Horizontal surfaces that contain work or personal items that require moving before cleaning, should be cleaned by the employee before use.
Communication & Expectations
Communicate the return to on-campus work plan for your department to your employees and ensure they understand their expected return to on-campus work date and policies and expectations to include the Flashes Safe Seven principles.
- In addition to the Flashes Safe Seven principles, the CDC offers additional online resources that address how to protect yourself and others.
If you need assistance reconnecting IT equipment used to work remotely, including cables and accessories, or assistance continuing to work remotely, please contact your local IT support person. Here is a list of all support staff by department.
Employees who are experiencing symptoms or those who have been in close contact as defined by the CDC with a person who is considered to have probable or confirmed COVID-19, should leave work immediately and seek medical evaluation by calling their Primary Care Physician, DeWeese Health Center at 330-672-2322 or their local urgent care center. Always call ahead before seeking in-person medical help. Please inform your supervisor and contact Human Resources at 330-672-2901 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further guidance. Please note that supervisors and employees should also report to the COVID Response Team by calling 330-672-2525 (COVID Response Team).
Employees and students who are diagnosed with probable or confirmed COVID-19 will be contacted by their local health department and will be given additional guidance and instructions. If an employee has been advised to self-isolate, the employee should be allowed to stay home and isolate per medical professional advice. The employee may perform remote work dependent upon the nature of work and manager guidance. If you are unable to perform remote work, please contact the University Benefits Office (330-672-3107 or email@example.com) so as to receive
further instructions about the leave process.