Calvin Employee Information

Safe Return / Calvin Employee Information

A Safe, Phased Return to Campus

Calvin is committed to supporting the health and safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors as part of the nation’s finest learning community. In order to do this, a Safe Return Team (SRT) has been formed with over 35 faculty and staff from across campus. SRT members have each been assigned to working groups in order to focus their work.

The SRT working groups are:

  • Instruction and the Classroom, Lab, and Studio
  • The Campus Experience, Alumni, and External
  • The Employee Experience
  • Health Maintenance
  • Communication

In preparation for the return to campus, each divisional vice president has been asked to provide a coordinated return to work plan that serves needs of faculty, staff, and students well. This plan is to consider the necessity of working from campus, when on-campus work needs to resume, staggered hours of operation or work shifts, and other creative ways for getting work done with fewer people in close proximity on campus. As part of our planning we are consulting the Michigan Independent colleges and universities “Playbook for COVID-19 Response and Re-Opening” presented to Governor Whitmer this spring. Additionally, training modules are being developed for students, faculty, and staff returning to campus.

Guidelines for Distancing and Hygiene

Facilities will continue providing daily cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, breakrooms, bathrooms, and public spaces. Additionally, all employees will be required to exercise caution and continue physical distancing and personal hygiene practices in order to protect from the spread of the coronavirus as per the guidelines below. All employees will be asked to daily monitor their own health. Click here for a template for employee health monitoring.

Expectations of Employees: Social Distancing and Hygiene Practices per CDC guidelines

Vice Presidents and Deans will work with Department Directors, Department Chairs, and Program Directors to ensure that established social distancing and hygiene practices (listed below) are maintained by employees.

  • Faculty and staff should limit close personal contact and maintain a minimum 6-foot distance apart.
  • Faculty and staff in individual offices should consider working with office doors shut.
  • Faculty and staff should engage in frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizer, and sanitizing of surfaces regularly:
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as feasible.
    • Use hand sanitizer after interactions with people or objects, if soap and water are not readily available.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes into the sleeve or elbow, not hands.
    • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces (buttons, door handles, counters, workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, etc.) regularly. Facilities will provide disinfecting wipes, or sprays for computer labs, classrooms, and public spaces for individuals to clean surfaces regularly.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Refrain from shaking hands.
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to wear cloth masks in public spaces and must wear them anytime they cannot maintain a safe physical distance from others. Masks are available through Jennifer Ambrose in Environmental Health and Safety.
  • Faculty and staff should avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
  • Faculty and staff should limit the number of people at gatherings, ensuring that Michigan (MI) law is followed. Examples include:
    • When in-person meetings are necessary, no more than the number of people defined in MI law by the Governor’s order should be present, and physical distancing should be in place.
    • Video conferencing and conference calls can be used instead of in-person meetings.
    • No events, meetings, or gatherings will be approved that include more than what MI law defines.
    • Please note that the multi-person limit on gatherings includes other personnel that may be present in that space.
  • Faculty and staff should remain mindful of physical distancing in small spaces including elevators, hallways, stairwells, and restrooms.
  • Faculty and staff should eat in a location that allows for appropriate physical distancing (e.g. outdoors, in an enclosed or private space, in an office with the door closed, etc.).

Note: All visitors to campus, including contractors, vendors, guest speakers, etc., will be expected to follow these guidelines.

Expectations of Employees with COVID-19 Symptoms or with a Sick Family Member at Home with COVID-19

  • Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor, contact their healthcare provider, and utilize sick leave to stay home. A COVID-19 leave grant of up to 80 hours is available for employees regardless of their current PTO balance.
  • Employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should follow CDC-recommended steps, should use the COVID-19 leave grant and should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
  • Employees who are well but who have a family member at home sick with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and follow CDC recommended precautions.

Expectations of Supervisors: Work Environment

Vice Presidents and Deans will work with Department Directors, Department Chairs, and Program Directors to evaluate the work environment and make the necessary changes and adjustments to ensure physical distancing practices can be followed. In shared offices or workspaces, the following should be considered:

  • Utilize work from home, flexible work schedules, and staggered work hours., and staggered arrival and departure times. Examples include:
    • Rotations of remote and in-person work: Create schedules that rotate employees on in-person and remote work days in order to ensure offices are covered while also supporting social distancing and decreasing congestion in the office.
    • Alternate break/lunch scheduling: Alternate work or lunch schedules to minimize the number of individuals working together, congregating in one area, or gathering.
  • Adjust furniture and office layout to allow for social distancing. Exmaples include:
    • Move desks or furniture apart to maximize spacing within offices, office suites, work areas, and lounge or public spaces.
    • Relocate individuals to alternate spaces or use larger spaces if possible.
    • Based on limited availability, and as a last resort, consider the use of office partitions or plexiglass dividers for areas where the prominent purpose is customer service or interacting with walk-up traffic of students, faculty, staff, parents, or campus visitors.
  • Alter or limit congregating factors or spaces where the virus could be easily spread. Examples include:
    • Discontinue the use of office coffee pots. Post signage to require disinfecting handles on refrigerators and microwaves, as well as control panels of microwaves and vending machines. Post signage discouraging drinking from water fountains.
    • Alter break room setups to increase social distancing. Limit the number of people who can be present where gatherings often occur such as lunch or break rooms. Encourage outdoor break periods.
    • Insure adequate space between personal items in areas of shared storage such as locker rooms or mail rooms.

Vice Presidents and Deans will work with Department Directors, Department Chairs, and Program Directors to utilize guidance from Governor Whitmer’s “MI Safe Start” plan, specifically the section on “Controlling Spread in the Workplace.” Best practices fall into five categories: access control, social distancing, sanitation/hygiene, PPE, and contact tracing/isolation.

Employees with Higher Risk for Severe Illness from COVID-19

The CDC has identified individuals with higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions, including:

  • People 65 years or older
  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions, including high blood pressure
  • People who are immunocompromised. Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease.

Employees in the above groups should consult the CDC’s extra precautions site and speak with their supervisor and healthcare provider. N-95 masks will be available for employees in the above groups who cannot maintain a 6-foot distance from others during work.

Supervisors or employees should contact Human Resources to discuss instances potentially needing an additional accommodation for someone who has identified themselves as higher risk for severe illness and unable to work in conditions provided to them.

FAQ

How will employees know when they need to return to on-campus work?
Employees should receive communication from vice presidents, deans and/or supervisors regarding the anticipated date of return to on-campus work.
How do I prepare to return to work?
We recommend you start with the employee or supervisor “Return to the workplace videos.”
What do I need to do if I am concerned about returning to work?
Discuss your concerns with your supervisor regarding the return to work plan. You may also contact human resources for additional information.
What if I do not have options for childcare?
Please work with your supervisor or Human Resources to determine the best solution. Staff may use accrued paid leave time (vacation or personal leave) as approved by their supervisor. If accrued time has been exhausted, staff may be placed in unpaid status if unable to work from home. Faculty members will need to work with their chair and/or dean.
Can I bring my child(ren) to work with me, since schools are closed?
Due to liability reasons, children cannot accompany employees in the workplace during the pandemic. Please contact your supervisor to discuss your options.
Will I be required to monitor my health daily?
We are asking individuals to monitor their own health daily and can use suggested methods from our Return to Work on Campus website. Employees should not report to work and call their healthcare provider if they do not feel well.
What if I am showing signs of sickness?
Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor, should contact their healthcare provider, and utilize sick leave to stay home. Employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and have symptoms should follow CDC-recommended steps, should use the COVID leave grant, and should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met in consultation with Calvin Health Services.
What if I have a sick family member?
Employees who are well but who have a family member at home sick with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should notify their supervisor, follow CDC recommended precautions.
What is the nature of the COVID leave grant?
On June 1, 2020, the Temporary Pandemic Leave policy will be updated to include 80 hours (the equivalent of two weeks) for full-time staff and a prorated amount for part-time staff of pandemic leave that can be used in the following situations:
  • Staff member’s own illness related to COVID-19
  • Caring for an immediate family member’s illness related to COVID-19
  • Quarantine/isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms or possible exposure to the virus, when remote work options are not available.
When should I use technology instead of an in-person meeting?
Faculty and staff should limit the number of people at gatherings, ensuring that Michigan law is followed. Examples include:
  • When in-person meetings are necessary, no more than the number of people defined in Michigan law by the governor’s order should be present, and physical distancing should be in place.
  • Video conferencing and conference calls can be used instead of in-person meetings.
  • No events, meetings, or gatherings will be approved that include more than what Michigan law defines.
Please note that the multi-person limit on gatherings includes other personnel that may be present in that space.

Calvin offers a comprehensive list of technology tools and services to help you be productive while working remotely. Tools such as Microsoft Teams allow you to communicate with colleagues in real-time, host meetings, co-author documents, and more. Webex is a web-conferencing tool that allows you to hold a meeting through a web browser without needing to install special software. Visit the CIT website to learn more about what’s available and continue reading to explore best practices.
How can we support a clean environment and lessen the burden on Facilities staff?
General work environment: Practice good hygiene and social distancing at all times. Vice presidents and deans will work with Department Directors, Department Chairs, and Program Directors to evaluate the work environment and make the necessary changes and adjustments to ensure social distancing practices can be followed. In shared offices or workspaces, the following should be considered:
  • Utilize flexible work schedules and staggered work hours. Examples include:
    • Rotations of remote and in-person work: Create schedules that rotate employees on in-person and remote workdays in order to ensure offices are covered while also supporting social distancing and decreasing congestion in the office.
    • Staggered scheduling: Stagger the arrival and departure times of employees, so that not all employees arrive or depart at the same time.
    • Alternate break/lunch scheduling: Alternate work or lunch schedules to minimize the number of individuals working together, congregating in one area or gathering.
  • Adjust furniture and office layout to allow for social distancing. Examples include:
    • Move desks or furniture apart to maximize spacing within offices, office suites, work areas and lounge or public spaces.
    • Relocate individuals to alternate spaces or use larger spaces if possible.
    • Based on limited availability, and as a last resort, consider the use of office partitions or plexiglass dividers for areas where the prominent purpose is customer service or interacting with walk-up traffic of students, faculty, staff, parents, or campus visitors.
  • Alter or limit congregating factors or spaces where the virus could be easily spread. Examples include:
    • Discontinue the use of office coffee pots. Post signage to require disinfecting handles on refrigerators and microwaves, as well as control panels of microwaves and vending machines. Post signage discouraging drinking from water fountains.
    • Alter break room setups to increase social distancing. Limit the number of people who can be present where gatherings often occur such as lunch or break rooms. Encourage outdoor break periods.
    • Ensure adequate space between personal items in areas of shared storage such as locker rooms or mailrooms.
High traffic areas and forming of lines: Vice Presidents and Deans will work with Department Directors, Department Chairs, and Program Directors to utilize guidance from the Governor’s Executive orders in the following ways in high traffic areas and offices where lines form:
  • Clearly demarcate 6-feet of space in lines using blue painter’s tape or approved decals from the Physical Plant.
  • Create one-way traffic patterns (such as in aisles or library stacks) to decrease face-to-face interactions. Utilize barriers such as tape or furniture as needed to insure proper traffic patterns and limit access.
  • Limit number of people moving through large spaces, like dining halls and the bookstore.
  • When walking in corridors or hallways, stay on the right side according to the direction you are heading in order to maximize distance when passing others.
  • What if I am part of the CDC-defined High Risk for Severe Illness from COVID-19 Population?
    • The CDC has identified individuals with higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions; please review the information at cdc.gov for the most up-to-date identifications. Employees in the identified groups should consult the CDC’s extra precautions site and speak with their healthcare provider. Employees in the above groups who cannot maintain a six-foot distance from others during work should consider wearing a mask regularly and speak with their supervisor and healthcare provider. Supervisors or employees should contact Human Resources to discuss instances potentially needing an additional accommodation for someone who has identified themselves as higher risk for severe illness and unable to work in conditions provided to them.
    Should I wear a mask?
    Faculty and staff are encouraged to wear cloth masks in public spaces and must wear them anytime they cannot maintain a safe physical distance from others.
    Will I have access to a mask?
    All employees will be provided with a re-usable, washable cloth mask. Requests for masks can be made by contacting Jennifer Ambrose in the Environmental Health and Safety Office at jambrose@calvin.edu. Employees can provide their own mask if they so choose.
    What should an employee do if they suspect a co-worker of being high-risk and reporting to on-campus work?
    Employees are entitled to protections against discrimination based upon age, disability, and a number of other protected categories. Others should not presume to determine if someone is in a high-risk category. Each individual should assess him or herself with the CDC guidance and/or their health care provider to determine if she or he believes it is safe to come to work. If a co-worker learns of a high-risk factor, they must maintain confidentiality of that information, only reporting it to Human Resources or a supervisor.
    What are the guidelines for students, faculty, and staff who commute/travel in from areas with higher rates of infection?
    We ask that all people returning to campus follow the CDC guidelines set out for traveling throughout the United States:
  • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
  • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html
  • Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups, and create stigma because of COVID-19?
    • We worry or become anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where the COVID-19 disease is spreading. Some people are worried about getting infected for unfounded reasons. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, toward people who are of certain ethnicities, live in certain parts of the world, have traveled internationally, were in quarantine, or are healthcare professionals.
    • Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of accurate knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths. Stigma hurts everyone, and already marginalized communities more acutely, by creating more fear or anger instead of focusing on the disease that is causing the problem and the inequities the disease exposes in our systems.
    What if I feel stressed or anxious, or I am grieving a loss?
    It’s natural to feel stress or anxiety during this time. Whether you or a family member were ill or not, many people are experiencing feelings of loss. Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers a wide range of services, including 24/7 access to professional consultants to help you manage stress, loss, financial distress, and more. For more information and support, visit https://calvin.edu/offices-services/human-resources/employment/benefits-insurance/resources/.
    Who do I contact if I have questions regarding employee benefits?
    You may contact the benefits specialist with questions via email at humanresources@calvin.edu or call (616) 526-6495.
    What if I have questions that have not been addressed?
    Please contact human resources with any additional questions at humanresources@calvin.edu or call (616) 526-6495.

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