Benedictine College Return-to-Work Guidelines

Benedictine College
Return-to-Work Guidelines

Guidelines released June 26, 2020

On June 23, State and County officials recommended that we move to Phase 3.5 until at least July 7, at which time Phase 4 (Phase Out) would begin. With this additional guidance, the Return-to-Work Guidelines are amended as follows:

  1. College employees should continue to work from home with the exception of those employees deemed ‘essential employees,’ who should continue to work on campus.
  2. Starting July 8, employees may return to working on campus as needed with the permission of their respective Cabinet member.
  3. On July 15, all employees should return to working on campus full-time with the following exception:
    High-risk employees may continue to work from home with a doctor’s note stating the employee’s need to remain working from home.

Employees with questions about when they should return to working on campus should discuss their individual situation with their supervisor. 

Office Preparation and Mitigation Guidelines
(June 26, 2020)

The following Office Preparation and Mitigation Guidelines should be used as guidance for managers and employees to create a safe working environment for College employees.

In compliance with federal, state and local guidance, Benedictine College has developed the following Office Preparation and Mitigation guidelines. The following provides guidance for offices and their respective managers to, as much as possible, maintain the health and safety of the campus community.

While these guidelines provide suggestions based on current information about COVID-19, it is important that the college community stay aware of and continue to follow the ever-changing guidelines outlined by federal, state and local officials. Managers and employees should follow basic public health guidelines as outlined by WHO, CDC, KDHE, OSHA, State of Kansas, and Atchison County that will slow the spread of COVID-19:

Prepare to Implement Basic Infection Prevention Measures

For most managers, protecting employees will depend on emphasizing basic infection prevention measures.  All managers and employees should implement good hygiene and infection control practices, including:

  • Employees are required to wear a face mask or appropriate face covering while in public areas on campus.
    • Public areas are defined as those areas outside of a closed private office, conference room, classroom, mechanical room, or other individual work space with divider walls.
    • Employees must wear a face mask or appropriate face covering at all times while inside a campus building including:
      • traveling to or from their office
      • traveling to or from the restroom or other area on campus
      • while in a breakroom or copy room
      • when working in a group
      • when working in an open format office without divider walls or reception area
    • Employees must wear a face mask or appropriate face covering at all times while outside on campus, unless working or traveling individually.
  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing for at least 20 seconds, including:
    • After blowing one’s nose, coughing or sneezing
    • Before, during and after preparing food
    • Before and after using the restroom
    • After touching garbage
    • Before and after the work shift
    • Before and after work breaks
    • After touching objects that have been handled by others
  • Maintain a healthy physical distance.
  • Discourage employees from using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently.

Develop, Implement and Communicate about Workplace Flexibility and Protections

Managers should openly communicate with their employees about expectations for working in the office and what they should do to protect themselves and the greater college community.  As appropriate, all managers should implement workplace flexibility, including:

  • Employees who develop symptoms outside of work should notify their supervisor and stay home, regardless of whether they feel okay or think they are no longer contagious.
  • Employees who have symptoms when they arrive at work or become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, students and visitors and sent home, regardless of whether they feel okay or think they are no longer contagious.
  • Employees who live with others that have symptoms or are being tested, monitored or treated for Coronavirus should notify their supervisor and stay home.
  • High-risk employees may continue to work from home with a doctor’s note stating the employee’s need to remain working from home.
  • Talk with companies that provide your office with contracted work or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home.
  • The College will maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Managers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
  • The College time-off policy is designed to afford employees with the time necessary to address personal needs. During this time, the College has also provided for those employees who have exhausted their paid time off to continue to be paid. Employees should contact Human Resources if they have any questions.

Modify Office Procedures and Install Physical Barriers when Needed

Managers should consider modifying how their office completes its work to minimize unnecessary traffic to and from the office. As appropriate, all managers should modify office procedures, including:

  • Encourage employees to use the telephone or email instead of in-person communication.
  • Implement a closed-door policy.
  • Establish an appointment-only policy.
  • When necessary, consider installing physical barriers, such as sneeze guards or retractable plastic shields, if the inability to modify workflows requires them.

Requirement to Report Possible Coronavirus Exposure

Employees are required to report if they are experiencing any symptoms of, are being monitored for exposure to, or have been tested for the novel Coronavirus. While this report will be used to communicate potential exposures to the campus, the individual’s identity will be held confidentially. Employees should make reports to Linda Henry, Vice President of Student Life and chair of the Coronavirus Response Task Force, at lhenry@benedictine.edu.

 

Guidelines released May 14, 2020

In compliance with federal, state and local guidance, Benedictine College has devised the below return-to-work plan. The following defines how the college will return to working on campus while, as much as possible, maintaining the health and safety of the campus community. 

While the plan is established in phases, it is important that the college community stay aware of and continue to follow the ever-changing guidelines outlined by federal, state and local officials, particularly if that guidance is more restrictive than what is established in this document.  Throughout all phases of this plan, employees should follow basic public health guidelines as outlined by WHO, CDC, KDHE, State of Kansas and Atchison County that will slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Maintain social distance at a minimum of 6 feet.
  • Practice good hygiene (hand washing for at least 20 seconds).
  • Remain home when you are sick.
  • Follow isolation and quarantine orders issued by state or local health officers.
  • Use face masks when leaving your home.
  • High risk individuals are advised to stay home except when conducting essential functions.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces.

Identifying “Essential Employees”

Essential employees are defined as those who meet the following criteria:

  1. Performs job duties that are vital to the continuity of the college
  2. AND the duties performed MUST / CAN ONLY be completed on campus.
  3. Each Cabinet member is responsible for determining which employees are deemed essential within their own areas.

For example, Atchison County has regulated that ALL employees have their temperatures taken onsite prior to beginning work. The duties of the health care professional taking temperatures are vital for the continuity of the college AND MUST / CAN ONLY be completed on campus.  Therefore, the health care professional is an “essential employee.”

There may be isolated instances when an employee is performing an essential function that meets the above criteria. During those times, the employee should only be on campus the amount of time it takes that employee to complete that task.

Those considered “Essential” will be reassessed at each phase of the plan. Cabinet will determine at what phase it is appropriate for employees to return to campus. Employees should not return to their regular work schedule on campus until approved to do so by their respective Cabinet member.

Masks

Throughout all phases of this plan, essential employees reporting to work are expected to wear a mask. Masks should be worn:

  • When in public spaces.
  • When interaction with others is unavoidable (meetings should continue to occur virtually).
  • When in open office spaces.

Masks do NOT need to be worn when an individual is alone in a private office.

PHASE 1

Immediately until the start of Phase 2 (No sooner than May 18).

  • Working from home should be maximized.
  • ALL essential employees (as defined above) MUST be screened for fever and any symptoms of COVID-19 prior to reporting to their work site.
  • ALL work spaces MUST be 6 feet apart.
  • Social distancing of a minimum of 6 feet should be practiced in common areas such as breakrooms and lobbies.
  • Mass gatherings should be limited to 10 or less per building / outdoor space.
  • Student workers are NOT essential.

PHASE 2

A minimum of 14 days after Phase 1 begins. Start date will be determined by Atchison County, but will be no sooner than May 18, 2020.

  • Working from home should be maximized.
  • Essential employees will be reassessed by Cabinet.
  • ALL essential employees (as defined above) MUST be screened for fever and any symptoms of COVID-19 prior to reporting to their work site.
  • ALL work spaces MUST be 6 feet apart.
  • Social distancing of a minimum of 6 feet should be practiced in common areas such as breakrooms and lobbies.
  • Mass gatherings should be limited to 25 or less per building / outdoor space.
  • Student workers may be deemed essential, as directed by Cabinet.

PHASE 3

A minimum of 14 days after Phase 2 begins. Start date will be determined by Atchison County, but will be no sooner than June 1, 2020.

  • Working from home should be maximized.
  • Essential employees will be reassessed by Cabinet.
  • ALL essential employees (as defined above) MUST be screened for fever and any symptoms of COVID-19 prior to reporting to their work site.
  • ALL work spaces MUST be 6 feet apart.
  • Social distancing of a minimum of 6 feet should be practiced in common areas such as breakrooms and lobbies.
  • Mass gatherings should be limited to 50 or less per building / outdoor space.
  • Student workers may be deemed essential, as directed by Cabinet.

PHASE 4

A minimum of 28 days after Phase 3 begins. Start date will be determined by Atchison County, but will be no sooner than June 29, 2020. The duration of this phase is unknown but will likely be several months.

  • All employees / students may return to work.
  • No ban on any activities, but some restrictions as dictated by Atchison County.
  • Gatherings of 250 or more allowed on a case by case basis.
  • High risk individuals are advised to exercise precautions and avoid crowded settings.
  • Guidance for requiring wearing mask will be reviewed.
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