Guidelines for Returning to the Workplace

Last updated: 5/18/2020

The college will follow a data-driven three-phase plan to gradually return to working on campus. The plan’s goals are to protect the health of employees, help ensure the well-being of the community, and carefully and deliberately resume campus operations in a safe manner. The plan is not a calendar and does not have fixed dates but is a guide to show the intended path forward.

Our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, and our policies and plans will be updated as appropriate as more information becomes available.

Core Concepts

  • Proceed thoughtfully, carefully, and deliberately.
  • Accommodate employees who are members of a vulnerable population or who live with someone who is a member of a vulnerable population.
  • Continue telework as much as possible.
  • Be ready to adjust based on guidance from the CDC and from state and local health officials.
  • Emphasize social distancing, handwashing, staying home when sick, and use of cloth face coverings as needed.
  • Continue and build on the innovations developed in the last few months.
  • Be compassionate and flexible. Supervisors are asked to work with employees who have childcare or other family responsibilities and be mindful of the anxiety felt by employees.

Phases

Changes in phases will be determined by guidance and data from the CDC, state government and local health departments.

Phase 1 – Remote Operational Status (current status)

On-campus access restricted to authorized personnel only. Incrementally return of critical employees in a limited capacity. Priorities include positions that are needed for campus safety or reopening, or some jobs that cannot be effectively completed from home and are critical to ongoing operations. Require social distancing for on-campus employees.

Phase 2 – Restricted Operational Status

Most employees continue working remotely or on-call. Carefully bring back a limited number of employees to increase unit capacity and functionality as needed. Implement new workspace habits to promote social distancing and redesigned work practices.

Phase 3 – Reduced Operational Status

Begin return to “new normal” with most offices operating with limited face-to-face hours while continuing to make use of telework, flexible scheduling, and other measures to maintain social distancing and flexibility.

Strategies

Four strategies will guide tactics and actions in each phase.

  • Staffing. Increase staffing incrementally to gradually increase operations.
  • Personal Safety Practices. Scale physical distancing and cleaning practices into cultural norms.
  • Innovation. Continue and expand telework and innovative work practices.
  • Symptom Monitoring. Monitor health to ensure the well-being of our college community.

Phase 1 – Remote Operational Status

Incrementally return to campus in a very limited capacity. Priorities include positions that are needed for campus safety or reopening, and some jobs that cannot be effectively completed from home and are critical to ongoing operations. Plan for physical distancing for on-campus employees. The majority of employees will continue remote work.

The following units have approval for limited, as-needed staffing on campus during Phase 1. Leaders in each area are working closely with the Emergency Management Operations Team on their unit’s plan with the health of employees and the community top of mind.

  • Public Safety
  • Facilities
  • Information Management
  • Mail, Shipping and Receiving
  • Accounts Payable
  • Bursar’s Office
  • Bookstore
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Financial Assistance

All other administrative and instructional units should continue remote work, but supervisors may request an exception for some employees to return to campus if they have a critical need. Requests for exceptions should be submitted on the Campus Access Justification Form found on the CSM COVID-19 website.

Staffing

The Phase 1 priority is to only have staff on campus whose roles are essential to safety and security as well as those who cannot effectively perform critical operations from home.

Those in vulnerable populations or living with people who are at high risk should remain off campus. Supervisors need to be flexible to accommodate.

According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. Those conditions may include:

  • Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
  • People with HIV
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
  • Severe obesity
  • Being immunocompromised

Personal Safety Practices

  • Physical distancing. Stay at least six feet apart and be mindful of enclosed spaces.
  • Handwashing. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available.
  • Face coverings. Face coverings or face masks must be worn by all employees working on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other physical distancing measures are not possible. Disposable masks should only be worn one day and then disposed. Cloth face coverings should be properly laundered frequently.
  • Cleaning. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Facilities staff members will clean office and workspaces based on CDC guidelines for disinfection. Building occupants should also wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with anti-viral wipes.
  • Common areas. Keep common areas closed during this phase.
  • Elevators. No more than one person may enter an elevator at a time. Use the stairs whenever possible.

Innovation

  • Telework. Telework should continue for most employees.
  • Virtual Meetings. Limit face-to-face meetings by using Zoom or other technology even for those on campus together.
  • Scheduling. Consider staggered days and hours to limit the number of people in workspaces.
  • Workspaces. Consider changes in layout and design to create natural separation.
  • Processes. Identify and digitize paper processes.
  • Gatherings. Technology like Zoom should be used in place of any in-person group gatherings.

Symptom Monitoring

Employees who have been instructed to return to the workplace must conduct symptom monitoring every day before reporting to work. Employees must be free of ANY symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work.

At this time, these symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • New GI symptoms
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Temperature checks. Employees will be asked to check before coming to work and stay home if they have a fever. Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Screenings. Employees will confirm to their supervisor each day that they have not been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 and that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Self-isolation. Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been directed to self-isolate should complete the Reporting Form available on the CSM COVID-19 website.

Campus resources for Phase 1

To support the strategies and tactics in Phase 1, the college will:

  • Provide cloth face masks to employees
  • Provide PPE to certain employees whose jobs require it
  • Enhance cleaning and implement healthy-building strategies
  • Provide anti-viral wipes and cleaning supplies to offices
  • Provide guidance on how to improve workspace design and signage to support social distancing and additional hygiene measures.
  • Adjust schedules, shifts, and reporting requirements to help ensure flexibility and social distancing
  • Maintain and support transformational work practices

Phase 2 – Restricted Operational Status

Bring back a limited number of additional personnel to increase unit capacity and functionality as needed. Implement new workspace habits to promote social distancing and redesigned work practices.

Staffing

The Phase 2 priority is to bring back, as necessary, a limited number of additional staff to increase capacity of the unit. Supervisors need to be flexible to accommodate those in vulnerable populations or living with people who are at high risk.

Personal Safety Practices

  • Physical distancing. Stay at least six feet apart and be mindful of enclosed spaces.
  • Handwashing. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available.
  • Face coverings. Face coverings or face masks must be worn by all employees working on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other physical distancing measures are not possible. Disposable masks should only be worn one day and then disposed. Cloth face coverings should be properly laundered frequently.
  • Cleaning. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Facilities staff members will clean office and workspaces based on CDC guidelines for disinfection. Building occupants should also wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with anti-viral wipes.
  • Common areas. Keep common areas closed during this phase.
  • Elevators. No more than one person may enter an elevator at a time. Use the stairs whenever possible.

Innovation

  • Telework. Telework should continue for the majority of employees.
  • Virtual Meetings. Limit face-to-face meetings by using Zoom or other technology even for those on campus together.
  • Scheduling. Consider staggered days and hours to limit the number of people in workspaces.
  • Workspaces. Continue changes in layout and design to create natural separation.
  • Processes. Identify and digitize paper processes.
  • Gatherings. Use technology to limit gatherings. Do not gather in groups of more than 10. Never exceed more than 50 percent of a room’s capacity and assure individuals can maintain 6 feet of separation for physical distancing requirements.

Symptom Monitoring

  • Temperature checks. Employees will be asked to check before coming to work and stay home if they have a fever. Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Screenings. Employees will confirm to their supervisor each day that they have not been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 and that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Self-isolation. Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been directed to self-isolate should complete the Reporting Form available on the CSM COVID-19 website.

Campus resources for Phase 2

All efforts launched in Phase 1 will continue, supplemented by additional support and resources as needed.

Phase 3 – Reduced Operational Status

Begin return to “new normal” with most offices operating with limited face-to-face hours while continuing to make use of telework, flexible scheduling, and other measures to maintain social distancing and flexibility.

Staffing

The Phase 3 priority is to return as many staff to campus as units need to operate under reduced operational status, while continuing to make use of telework, flexible scheduling, and other measures to maintain social distancing.

Those in vulnerable populations or living with people who are at high risk may continue to make use of telework options. Supervisors need to be flexible to accommodate.

Personal Safety Practices

  • Physical distancing. Stay at least six feet apart and be mindful of enclosed spaces.
  • Handwashing. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available.
  • Face coverings. Face coverings or face masks must be worn by all employees working on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other physical distancing measures are not possible. Disposable masks should only be worn one day and then disposed. Cloth face coverings should be properly laundered frequently.
  • Cleaning. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Facilities staff members will clean office and workspaces based on CDC guidelines for disinfection. Building occupants should also wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with anti-viral wipes.
  • Common areas. Common areas may be opened.
  • Elevators. No more than one person may enter an elevator at a time. Use the stairs whenever possible.

Innovation

  • Telework. Telework should continue for employees who can work effectively remotely.
  • Virtual Meetings. Limit face-to-face meetings by using Zoom or other technology even for those on campus together.
  • Scheduling. Consider staggered days and hours as needed.
  • Workspaces. Evaluate whether changes in layout and design to create natural separation should continue.
  • Processes. Identify and digitize paper processes.
  • Gatherings. Use technology to limit gatherings. Do not gather in groups of more than 25. Never exceed more than 50 percent of a room’s capacity and assure individuals can maintain 6 feet of separation for physical distancing requirements.

Symptom Monitoring

  • Temperature checks. Employees will be asked to check before coming to work and stay home if they have a fever. Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Screenings. Employees will confirm to their supervisor each day that they have not been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 and that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Self-isolation. Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been directed to self-isolate should complete the Reporting Form available on the CSM COVID-19 website.

Campus resources for Phase 3

All efforts launched in Phase 1 and Phase 2 will continue, supplemented by additional support and resources as needed.

Employees with concerns about their unit’s plans to return to campus can email Human Resources at HR@csmd.edu and an HR representative will contact them directly.

Additional Resources