COVID-19 Update for Faculty and Staff (March 20, 2020)

Announcements & Updates

COVID-19 Coronavirus

For the most up-to-date information, please see Denison’s primary COVID-19 Coronavirus information page.

Faculty and Staff,

We continue to be very appreciative of the incredible way you have all come together in response to challenges presented by the fast-changing COVID-19 situation. There are still a lot of unknowns about how COVID-19 will continue to impact our work and our operations but we will continue to provide updates as we have them.

As always, your HR team is here to support you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

COVID-19 HEALTH AND WELLNESS

COVID-19 Reporting and Self-Quarantine Guidance

In order to help slow the spread and protect the health of our employees, we are requesting all faculty and staff to inform us if:

  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • A member of your household has been diagnosed
  • You have been informed that you have had direct exposure to someone who has been diagnosed
  • Someone in your household has been advised to isolate or self-quarantine by a medical professional or government agency

To share information, please contact us. We will ask for information regarding your situation and will get back to you regarding any guidance for self-quarantine, and will provide information about support to accommodate quarantine needs, etc.

Denison will protect as confidential all information about medical conditions and symptoms. To date, government health agencies have been advising individuals who have had direct contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 about quarantine protocols. Should it become necessary for Denison to inform members of the Denison community that they should quarantine or take other precautionary measures as a result of direct contact with another employee who has tested positive for COVID-19, Denison will ensure the anonymity of the individual who tested positive. Whether contacted by government agencies or by Denison, we urge all members of the Denison community to honor this privacy so that these members of our community can focus fully on their health and well being.

What to Do if You are Experiencing Flu or COVID-19-like Symptoms or Have a Fever

If you are exhibiting flu or COVID-19-like symptoms:

  1. Stay at home and monitor your symptoms, or if you are at work when symptoms arise, go home.
  2. Engage with the Aetna telemedicine visit, through their Teladoc service OR Download the CVS Minute Clinic App and schedule a video visit.
  3. Contact your primary care doctor for further testing if advised.
  4. Please let the telemedicine services and your primary care physician know at the time of any appointment if you had known exposure to the coronavirus.

We are urging employees who are coming to campus to take their temperature regularly. If you have a temperature of 100.4 or higher, stay home and contact your supervisor.

Benefits Reminder

Aetna insurance is offering zero co-pay telemedicine visits and is waiving co-pays for all diagnostic testing relating to COVID-19.

Mental and Emotional Health Support

Cigna, Denison’s Employee Assistance Program provider, has opened a 24-hour help-line (800.538.3543) to allow employees and family members to speak with qualified clinicians about how to cope with anxiety, stress or other issues related to COVID-19. They also provided the attached with useful information about coping with the fear of COVID-19.

Higher Risk Individuals

We want to reiterate that our highest priority is the health and safety of every member of our community, particularly those in higher-risk age groups and those at increased risk because of underlying chronic medical conditions. If you are unsure whether or not you are considered to be at high risk for COVID-19 complications, consult the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website and/or your medical provider, and please contact Human Resources if you need additional support.

CAMPUS OPERATIONS

Building Access

In support of our social-distancing efforts, beginning at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, March 20, we are closing campus to visitors and buildings will only be accessible via card access by the campus community (faculty, staff, students, contractors and emergency personnel). If you need a new card, please email housing@denison.edu. Your card will be sent to the Campus Safety Office for pickup.

Mail and Packages

As more employees transition to remote working environments we want to ensure mail and other packages don’t pile up in offices. Therefore, we have suspended package and mail delivery to offices.

  • Package and mail pickup is available in Doane 9:30am - 2:30pm Mon - Fri
  • Mail Services will be open 8:30am-4:30pm Mon - Fri to accept deliveries

Dining Services

We are focused on keeping faculty, staff, students and dining staff safe while still providing dining services. Bon Appetit and Denison University’s COVID-19 task force are in regular contact and are monitoring all federal and local recommendations. For the health and safety of guests and staff, to help prevent potential community spread of the COVID-19 virus in accordance with health department guidance, we are taking these steps:

  • Offering to-go orders
  • Enforcing social distancing and requesting that all patrons and guests refrain from in-house dining
  • Removing all self-service and communal condiments and other items
  • Emphasizing and enforcing personal hygiene awareness and our health-reporting policies with staff
  • We will remain open with the special hours of operation listed below

Saturday-Friday, 3.14.2020-3.20.2020

Slayter/C-Store

8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Monday-Friday, 3.16.2020-3.20.2020

Common Grounds

8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday, 3.21.2020-3.22.2020

Slayter Market

10:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Common Grounds

10:00 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.

Monday-Friday, 3.23.2020-3.27.2020

Slayter Market

9:00 a.m. — 8:00 p.m.

Common Grounds

8:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.

For updates please visit the Bon Appetit website.

Bookstore

Bookstore is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Instructions will be coming soon to students regarding book buyback.

Closures

In accordance with guidance from Governor Dewine, the following facilities are closed/closing until further notice:

  • The Library will be closing to students, faculty, staff and the public effective 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 20, but online resources will remain available. You may connect with library staff and/or consult Library Guides. More specific information will be available Monday, March 24.
  • Mitchell Center including Crown Fitness Center is currently closed
  • The Denison Museum is currently closed
  • The Denison Art Space in Newark is currently closed

COVID-19 Q&A

We shared these with you last week but are providing them again for easy reference.

Is campus closing?

Our university is open. While we will modify some operations and hours, we are also committed to maintaining support for students, faculty and staff who are on campus and to continue the important operations of the university. If we have to suspend operations, we will inform you and provide detailed information about what it means for you and your role.

Should employees work remotely?

With a focus on social distancing, we encourage all of those who can work remotely to do so with approval from their supervisor. For departments or individuals who can work from home but haven’t yet established work-from-home protocols, we recommend developing that capacity. If you and your supervisor have agreed to a work from home arrangement and you do not have access to a device at home, please complete a laptop request form.

What about employees who have additional childcare responsibilities because of mandatory K-12 extended spring break?

We know that many staff have childcare responsibilities, and the closing of schools is likely to create issues for work schedules. If this is true for you, please see your supervisor so we can make arrangements. As a college, we want to find a way to help you balance childcare and work responsibilities. That will look different by department and potentially by individual.

Please speak with your manager or supervisor who will help you work through this situation, including the possibility of arranging a teleworking schedule. For staff who do not have devices to use at home, we can help with that too by providing loaner laptops. ITS has developed a work from home page on MyDenison that outlines steps for teleworking. For those for whom teleworking is not an option, again, please speak with your supervisor so they can work with you. We are working with supervisors to give them options to help support you.

What happens if campus temporarily closes; will I have a job and get paid?

In the event Denison would need to temporarily close or suspend operations, our guiding principle will be sustaining pay continuity for our dedicated and talented employees. Denison’s workforce policies provide options that we would rely upon in the event of closure including teleworking. For those who cannot work remotely, we are developing contingency plans to provide emergency-related relief. We will provide more details if the situation warrants a close of the university. Again, our priority will be supporting the health, well-being, and pay continuity of our workforce.

Is the university allowing any work-related travel?

We have suspended all university-related international travel and are reviewing domestic travel on a case-by-case basis.

What about personal travel?

We recommend that you not undertake non-essential personal travel. If you do, you are required to register all travel via this form. This mandatory registration is not meant to be intrusive, but rather allows us to create a record of where members of our community have been, to help keep our community safe as this situation evolves.

If I travel personally, could I face being quarantined before returning to campus?

Yes. There is a lot of uncertainty right now with regard to the spread of the virus and potential quarantines that might be imposed. Our strong recommendation is that everyone practice extreme cautious judgement related to any travel, domestic or international. Please know that there may be situations where we do ask employees to self quarantine, but please don’t let this stop you from informing us of your travel plans. Your health and well-being and that of your colleagues and friends are our priority.

What do I do if I am feeling ill?

If you are exhibiting flu or COVID-19-like symptoms:

  1. Stay at home and monitor your symptoms, or if you are at work when symptoms arise, go home.
  2. Engage with the Aetna telemedicine visit, through their Teladoc service OR Download the CVS Minute Clinic App and schedule a video visit.
  3. Contact your primary care doctor for further testing if advised.
  4. Please let the telemedicine services and your primary care physician know at the time of any appointment if you had known exposure to the coronavirus.

We are urging all employees who are coming to campus to take their temperature first. If you have a temperature of 100.4 or higher, stay home and contact your supervisor.

Do I need a note from a doctor to return to work?

It depends. If an employee has been hospitalized or has been absent for five days or more then we would require a provider certification as specified by Family/Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Otherwise, continue to follow your usual business practice in your department or division.

What if I or someone I know has come in contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, who is being tested, or who has been instructed to self quarantine? Should I self quarantine?

If any of these circumstances apply to you, please contact us. We will ask for information regarding your situation and will get back to you regarding any guidance for self-quarantine, and will provide information about support to accommodate quarantine needs, etc.

Denison will protect as confidential all information about medical conditions and symptoms. To date, government health agencies have been advising individuals who have had direct contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 about quarantine protocols. Should it become necessary for Denison to inform members of the Denison community that they should quarantine or take other precautionary measures as a result of direct contact with another employee who has tested positive for COVID-19, Denison will ensure the anonymity of the individual who tested positive. Whether contacted by government agencies or by Denison, we urge all members of the Denison community to honor this privacy so that these members of our community can focus fully on their health and well being.

If I am an hourly employee and asked to self quarantine and I can’t work from home, will I be paid?

Our top priorities are ensuring staff remain healthy and doing all we can to slow the spread of the virus. If a staff member is instructed to self-quarantine, we will rely on our existing sick leave and disability policies outlined below. However, we will be flexible in supporting employees and adjusting policies are necessary as the situation develops.

We would ask employees to use any available sick leave for the first 10 days. After ten days, staff would be eligible for a short-term disability that pays 80% of weekly earnings. Any available leave time (beginning with sick time and then vacation) would be used to cover the other 20%.

Additionally, we have a leave donation program to assist staff who don’t have available sick leave to use for the first ten days. Lastly, these benefits will apply if an employee is quarantined and provider documentation is submitted to substantiate this action. We also are relaxing short term disability rules to cover caring for children home from school who aren’t sick.

Should I cancel my on-campus events and meetings?

Governor DeWine has prohibited mass gatherings in the state of Ohio, defined as events of more than 100 people in a single room or single space. With that in mind, we will be cancelling all events where we predict more than 100 in a confined space.

With regard to meetings, we think it’s good to get in the practice of using video and teleconferencing technology. If it is possible and effective to conduct a meeting via video or teleconferencing, please do so. As a reminder, all meetings scheduled via Google calendar automatically include conference call numbers and video conferencing links so you don’t need to take any additional steps to have a meeting remotely.

Posted Date 
Friday, March 20, 2020

Communications Archive