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Faculty and Staff Return to Campus

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Introduction

We are investing significant time and resources to provide our faculty, staff, students and parents peace of mind that when they’re among their Bobcat family, their health, safety and support needs are our top priority. This return to campus plan is based on government health and safety guidelines and reflects best practices and current scientific understanding of the virus. The information here provides details for faculty and staff on how to confidently transition back to the university.

Expert Advice and Information

COVID-19 In Perspective Update with Dr. David Hill video thumbnail

COVID-19: In perspective update with David Hill, MD

David R. Hill, MD, professor of medical sciences, discusses: the status of the pandemic; the spectrum of illnesses and risk factors; approaches to therapy and prevention; requirements for re-opening; and considers the course of the pandemic over time.

CDC What you need to know about hand washing video thumbnail

What you need to know about hand washing

This video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention answers important questions about hand washing and hand sanitizer.

CDC What older adults need to know about COVID-19 video thumbnail

What older adults need to know about COVID-19

Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC, describes preventive measures to help protect older adults from the coronavirus.

Key Guidelines for QU’s Return to Campus

Key guidelines for your return to campus

It is critical that we all practice the following safety measures — even if you are feeling well — as many individuals who have COVID-19 can remain asymptomatic. In following these measures, you are helping to protect yourself, your family, your neighbors, your colleagues, our students and the entire Bobcat community.

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Monitor your health daily
All of us need to monitor our health daily, remain home if we are not feeling well, and report symptoms to our health care providers. If you test positive for COVID-19, please alert the Office of Human Resources. QU is exploring an app-based tool for daily health checks that would make it easy for employees to monitor symptoms and have health care guidelines at your fingertips.

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Wear a face covering
Everyone must wear a face covering in public spaces where they interact with others. QU will provide two cloth face masks to every employee (estimated delivery is late June to early July based on current supply chain). Additional masks can be purchased through the Quinnipiac Bookstore.

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Practice good personal hygiene and hand washing
Refrain from touching your face and wash your hands frequently, especially after coming in contact with any public areas, such as restrooms. You should wash your hands for a full 20 seconds to kill germs.

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Testing
The State of Connecticut will require all students to have been tested for COVID-19 prior to their return to campus. Quinnipiac is currently finalizing the testing program it will use throughout the fall semester for ongoing testing of students and other members of faculty and staff based on the latest guidance from the State of Connecticut.

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Practice social distancing
Everyone must maintain at least a 6-foot distance when around others.

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Approximately 50% on-campus workforce
We are suggesting a 50% on-campus workforce capacity on a daily basis, especially in areas where physical office space does not allow for necessary social-distancing protocols.

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Stagger work times
Alternating work schedules (employees in the office versus employees working from home), arrival and departure times, and working remotely should be considered through all phases.

University Approach to Safe Work Environments

Physical workspace adjustments

Our Facilities team is reviewing all workspaces across our campuses to determine where physical adjustments may be necessary, such as the installation of plastic shields, spacing out workspaces, assessing one-way traffic patterns. These adjustments will be made in advance of each department’s return to work according to the three phases. If you have questions about your workspace needs, please contact your manager.

Testing and contact tracing

In addition to state-required COVID-19 testing of all students upon their return, all faculty and staff in student-facing roles will be tested. In addition, staff who are not in student-facing roles may be tested when tests become more readily available. All colleges and universities in Connecticut are currently working with the state on a coordinated testing model for students, faculty and staff, and we will provide more information as it becomes available. Employees also can work directly with their health care provider if they feel they need a COVID-19 test, which our QU insurance covers at in-network providers. 

The university is also exploring contact tracing technologies, including apps, which give us the ability to trace the contacts of those testing positive for COVID-19 so that we can quickly prevent spread of the virus.

Here is how contact tracing works:

  • If an employee tests positive, we will speak with them to determine with whom they came into contact so we can assess potential exposures.
  • If an employee has been exposed to, or come in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, either at work or elsewhere, that employee must self-isolate at home.
  • The identity of employees and students who test positive will not be disclosed beyond a need-to-know basis; however, contact tracing and the need for exposed individuals to self-isolate may result in revealing their identity to some individuals.

Monitoring Your Health

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Fever

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Cough

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Shortness of breath

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Sore throat

Symptom monitoring

Currently, COVID-19 symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms that you haven’t experienced before
  • Loss of taste or smell that you haven’t experienced before

Monitoring Your Own Health

Monitoring your own health

In addition to checking for symptoms related to COVID-19, we ask that you take your temperature at home daily before reporting to work.

  • If your temperature is 100.4℉ or higher, you need to stay home, contact your physician and notify your supervisor.
  • We may ask you to submit to temperature testing on campus as part of our health protocols and policies. 
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you must notify the Office of Human Resources by sending an email to EmployeeCOVIDHR@qu.edu and must isolate at home until you recover. We will respect your privacy to the extent possible, given contact-tracing requirements per state and CDC guidelines. Please review the CDC guidelines on self-isolation
  • Contact your supervisor and the Office of Human Resources if you feel you may have been exposed to someone who has the virus in a non-socially distant setting.

Detailed Guidelines and Policies

Social distancing guidelines

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that people remain a minimum of six feet apart. Here are some other steps you can take:

  • Limit non-essential interaction across campuses, buildings and work sites.
  • Increase physical space between your co-workers, students, visitors and vendors.
  • Limit gatherings in your workplace (e.g., no face-to-face meetings, one person at a time in kitchen areas, etc.).
  • Use Zoom or alternative meeting tools for person-to-person meetings.
  • Avoid physical contact, such as handshakes or fist bumps.

Signage is being installed throughout our campuses with reminders about social distancing, especially in public spaces. Please respect these guidelines.

Face Covering Guidelines

Face covering guidelines

Appropriate use of face coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. Keep in mind a face mask is not a substitute for social distancing. Each Quinnipiac employee will receive two washable face masks. If you have an underlying health condition that prevents you from wearing a face covering, you should wear a face shield, if possible, or continue to work remotely.

  • Quinnipiac is requiring all faculty, staff and students to wear face coverings when in public. This means anytime you are outside your suite, living quarters, or personal office or workspace, you must wear a face covering. 
  • Ensure the face covering fits properly over your nose and under your chin.
  • Store face coverings in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Wash cloth face coverings with regular laundry detergent before the first use and after each use, and do not use for more than one day at a time.
  • Replace cloth face coverings immediately if they become soiled, damaged (e.g., ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated.
  • Do not use disposable face coverings for more than one day, and place them in the trash after use, or if they become soiled or damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material) or visibly contaminated.

Hygiene Basics

Hygiene basics

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Facilities will strive to ensure hand washing and/or hand sanitizer supplies are stocked and readily available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home if you feel sick. That includes staying home from work, school, errands and travel.
  • If not wearing a face covering, cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • If not wearing a face covering and you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.

Food consumption at work

Our university dining halls and cafeterias will be closed until students return. You are welcome to eat in your designated workstations or break rooms while being mindful of social distancing guidelines (staggered lunch breaks may be needed).

We ask that you not prepare food on site or share meals with co-workers. Microwaves and coffee machines may be used; however, employees are required to properly clean them after each use. Employees ordering food for delivery must arrange for a contact-free delivery.

Cleaning and disinfection

Our Facilities team will be engaging in more frequent and robust cleaning protocols. In addition, we ask you to augment those efforts by routinely cleaning and disinfecting your workspaces, and wiping keyboards, phones and doorknobs, if applicable, at least once a day. We also have processes in place to perform enhanced, deep cleanings of a workplace if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

All managers in our Facilities Department are completing rigorous training and receiving certification from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, the nation’s leading trade association specializing in cleaning, disinfection and restoration of workplaces.

Elevators and stairways

The number of individuals allowed in elevators will be dictated by the social distancing rule. If six feet apart is not practical, then one person should ride at a time. Please do not touch elevator buttons directly. Please use an object (pen) or piece of clothing to press the buttons. When using stairwells, please maintain proper distancing. Where possible, Facilities may dedicate separate stairwells as “up” and “down” stairs.

Meetings and travel

Face-to-face meetings should be limited as much as possible. While we all are accustomed to in-person meetings, it is vital that other means of communication, such as the phone and Zoom, are used during this time.

We recommend that employees who travel out of state or internationally for personal reasons, via any mode of transportation, log their activity using a written or app-based personal journal. This information is helpful in the event contact tracing is needed to alert you or others about possible exposure.

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