As mentioned yesterday in the University Faculty Meeting, below you will see a message that went to staff earlier today.
Please read this message in its entirety, as it explains the differences between “C” and “V” designations for the spring semester as well as important health and safety information relevant to being on campus.
All faculty members have been given a default status of “C” – this means that you will have access to campus during the spring. However, if you are teaching entirely virtually and/or are not planning to be on campus regularly, you will be given the option early in January to change your status to “V.” Individuals with “V” status will still be able to access campus via submitting this form, but they will not be regular participants in our randomized testing protocol because of the infrequency with which they will be on campus.
Finally, if you are a faculty member who supervises one or more staff members, please pay particular attention to those parts of this message. You plan an important role in informing staff members with “C” designations about their work schedules for the spring; they will be expecting to hear from you with these details.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
As President Schwarz mentioned on December 10th in his community email, we are looking forward to the spring semester. The Open Campus Task Force and the Personnel Working Group have been working on updating procedures and protocols as we begin to re-open our campus to more people. Below is information about employee spring designations.
The health status of the campus overall and of its individual members continues to be very important, and maintenance of that status during the COVID-19 pandemic is supported by lower density.
In support of lower density on campus, non-instructional employees whose positions do not require face-to-face interaction with students and do not have job functions that can only be completed on campus will work virtually whenever possible.
For the spring semester, we will no longer differentiate campus access by “Modified-Virtual” (MV) or “On Site” (OS). Instead, based on departmental determinations, staff will be designated either as “V” for working entirely virtually, or “C” for campus access. Those with a “C” designation will have no specific limitations on their access to campus other than adhering to the health and training requirements already in place and listed below.
Shortly we will be sending an email to anyone who will have a “V” designation for the spring semester. If you do not receive an email from us by 6PM this evening, then your designation for the spring semester will be “C,” which means you will have access to campus as agreed upon with your supervisor.
If you were previously designated as Virtual and you will have a “C” designation for the spring semester, you will return to campus on the date discussed with your supervisor. Prior to the December break, your supervisor will contact you regarding your specific schedule and to confirm your return date, as well as your office placement (in the event that this has been modified because of health and safety protocols).
If you have already been working on campus this fall, you will continue to do so per usual unless you hear differently from your supervisor.
Below is information about having access to campus:
Campus Health and Safety Precautions and Measures
Drew continues to follow all federal health and safety guidelines, as well as guidance from our state and local governments, to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. Here are some of the practices we implemented:
Anyone with an “C” designation will be required to perform a self-monitoring protocol utilizing the LiveSafe app on a daily basis prior to entry on campus.
Anyone designated as “C” will participate in our surveillance testing protocol, where each week a percentage of on-campus students and employees will be randomly selected to have a COVID-19 test. Additional details about this testing protocol will be shared in a subsequent communication.
Common areas and frequently touched surfaces are being cleaned daily.
The University has purchased items needed for state-mandated cleaning and disinfection, such as wipes and hand sanitizers, and has placed them in central locations.
Employees are encouraged to wash their hands often.
Behavioral signage is displayed with reminders on how to prevent the spread of germs.
Workspace and seating arrangements have been revised to allow for physical distancing.
Meeting rooms, break rooms, and other communal areas have reduced seating and capacity limits.
Every person on campus is required to wear face coverings at all times, unless alone in a private office. If a health reason makes the wearing of a mask problematic, employees must submit a Workplace accommodation to Human Resources. The University has available one cloth mask for each employee (all on-campus employees may pick up their one reusable Drew mask from the mailroom window in the Pepin Services Center).
The University remains committed to upholding community standards for health and safety, instructional quality, and interpersonal support for others, while flexibly balancing the community’s collective needs. We are individually and collectively responsible for supporting and achieving these standards. As such, listed below are responsibilities expected to be followed.
Individual Employee Responsibilities
Any employee who is designated “V” and needs to access campus on a one-time or very infrequent basis, will be required to fill out this form each time they wish to gain access and complete health and safety assessment on the LiveSafe app. If your schedule changes at some point in the semester and you find yourself needing to regularly access campus, you should discuss these changes with your supervisor, who may wish to change your status from “V” to “C”.
Prior to community members returning to campus, each person must complete the required training listed on the Campus Training Hub, including signing the Community Pledge, completing the Moodle Course, and downloading the LiveSafe app to perform daily health and safety assessments.
All employees designated “C” may not return to campus until they have completed all training and have begun completing the daily health and safety assessment on the LifeSafe app, which should be filled out every day, including days when not on campus.
Any employee who has tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of “C” or “V” status, or has come in close contact with someone who has tested positive, should inform HR.
Departmental Supervisor Responsibilities
Human Resources will notify employees by email, and will cc their department supervisors, if the employee has not completed the health and safety training requirements, and it will be the supervisor’s responsibility to follow up with those employees. Supervisors will remind the employee that they may not return to campus until the requirements are fulfilled.
Departmental supervisors will manage the day-to-day operations of their unit including ensuring low density of employees in their space in adherence with campus health and safety guidelines. This includes a link to behavioral signage toolkit for supervisors.
If departmental supervisors need assistance with facilities or space concerns in your working spaces, you may submit a work request with the Facilities Department here.
Accommodations for Spring Semester 2021 for Health-Related Issues
The University also is committed to supporting employees who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. For those employees who are designated as “C” and believe they may be at higher risk and are unable to work on campus, the University will make every effort to consider a flexible solution on an evolving basis. The general categories associated with higher risk include, but are not limited to, persons 65 or older and persons of all ages with underlying medical conditions. For a complete list, you may review the CDC guidelines.
Should you be designated as a “C” employee, and you wish to identify as a person with a disability or medical condition in order to request an accommodation, you may do so by voluntarily notifying the Office of Human Resources through the COVID-19 faculty/staff accommodation request form.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and as outlined in Drew’s ADA policy, the Office of Human Resources will utilize a three-step interactive process for a review of an employee’s notification of a disability or medical condition. Once the accommodation request form has been completed (step 1) and the proper medical documentation submitted (step 2), the Office of Human Resources will initiate a conversation with you to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be granted (step 3). Step 3 may include a discussion between Human Resources and your supervisor in order to understand department needs. If that discussion is necessary, only general information will be shared with the supervisor so that the granted accommodation can be enacted.
Beyond employees who themselves might be at higher risk for severe illness, if you are the primary caregiver for someone who falls into one or more of these categories, you may also voluntarily utilize the form to request an accommodation.
Please join us on December 16 at noon for a Zoom forum with President Schwarz, held in conjunction with the DSA. The meeting will feature updates on spring reopening and other plans, as well as an opportunity to talk about working virtually or returning to on-campus work. Though there will be a time to ask general questions, this is not intended as a forum for asking questions specific to your individual job. Questions specific to your own work should be discussed with your supervisor. If you have questions that you would like to submit anonymously prior to the meeting, please use this form. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the meeting.
As we have all experienced, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be an evolving situation and our plans and protocols are in most cases mandated by local, state, and national regulations. We will communicate with you any adaptations that need to be made as a result of changing rules.
Thank you very much for your dedication to Drew and your continued commitment to the health and safety of our campus,