Information for Faculty and Staff
The planning and preparation for the spring semester have been extensive and have involved many members of our own community in addition to members of our greater Vermont community. We will continue to deploy, evaluate, and refine the procedures necessary to ensure the health and safety of our campus and our community; mitigating the risks associated with COVID-19; sustaining campus operations; and maintaining research and academic excellence. Expanded on-campus operations require us all to make changes to how we use our workspaces and how we interact with each other. There are actions that each of us will need to continue to take in order to protect our own health and the health of others. Our success depends on collective efforts; each of us will need to do our part.
For information from the Vermont Department of Health on prevention, testing, vaccine, and travel visit their website the Vermont Department of Health COVID-19.
Information for Faculty and Staff
Effective January 1, 2021:
Staff members who are unable to work due to a COVID-19 related reason may be eligible to receive donated PTO time. This is an expansion of the typical use of Donated PTO time beyond FMLA eligible leaves. Employees should work with their supervisor and Human Resources to request up to 80 hours of Donated PTO time (per calendar year) to cover absences directly related to COVID-19, even if the employee has a PTO, Grandfathered Vacation or Sick leave balance. PTO will continue to accrue when using Donated PTO time.
Faculty who are unable to work due to a COVID-19 related reason should inform their chair and the Dean’s office immediately. We encourage departments to coordinate their plans with each other and plan for the possibility of illness and/or unexpected absences, ahead of time. We require all faculty to plan their courses on Canvas and populate them with learning materials ahead of time; this not only provides consistency for the students but also facilitates instructional continuity in the case of illness.
*Note: Childcare challenges that are directly related to COVID-19 are covered under this policy. We recognize the challenges faced by parents when schools or childcare providers may be closed and we will strive to be as flexible as possible. To protect the health of our children and the SMC community, at this time, faculty and staff should not bring children on campus for extended periods. Exceptions may include quick trips to campus, as long as all of the safety protocols are followed. If you have childcare challenges that cannot be mitigated through regular absence processes, please speak with your direct supervisor about potential options.
Beginning February 1, weekly asymptomatic surveillance testing will be available to employees who are physically working on campus (at no cost to them). Surveillance testing is not prevention and does not replace the need for following all of the COVID-19 guidelines that are in place, both by the College and the State.
Employees experiencing symptoms or employees who are contacts of someone who has tested positive (as determined by the Vermont Department of Health) should work with their primary care provider for further guidance and should not come to campus to be tested.
Testing will be in Tarrant along the track. The dates/times will be:
|Monday, February 1||9:00 am – 2:00 pm|
|Monday, February 8||9:00 am – 2:00 pm|
|Tuesday & Wednesday February 16 & 17||9:00 am – 2:00 pm|
|Every Tuesday & Wednesday for the remainder of the semester||9:00 am – 2:00 pm|
COVID-19 testing for the campus community will be take place February 1st and 8th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and then every Tuesday and Wednesday (beginning February 16th). Testing will continue in the Tarrant Sports Center along the track on the second floor. Employees working on campus have the option of arriving anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on either of the testing days for weekly testing. This testing is voluntary but highly encouraged, especially for those who interact closely and regularly with students and other members of the community.
COVID Testing for Employees: What happens now?
- Today you are having an anterior-nasal PCR COVID test. PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. This test identifies people who are currently infected with the COVID-19 virus and is considered the most reliable COVID test available. Your sample will be analyzed by The BROAD Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Results will come in 24-48 hours. If you have received a COVID vaccine, it will not cause you to test positive for COVID.
- When results are available, you will receive an email from CareEvolve and will need to login to the site to create an account in order to view your test results the first time.
- If you have an invalid test result, you will not receive an email. You will be informed by phone call that another test is indicated.
- If you have a positive test result you will receive an email from the EmployeeCovidRN@smcvt.edu, along with a follow up phone call. Please be aware that SMC will not manage your COVID diagnosis. You will be directed to your Primary Care Provider for care management, and the Vermont Department of Health for questions.
- In the event of a positive test result, you’ll be required to isolate at home for at least 10 days. You will be called by a Contact Tracer at the Vermont Department of Health who will ask for further information and will answer questions you may have. If you have questions about how to notify your supervisor about your absence, you may call Human Resources.
- The SMC COVID Nurse Consultant is available by phone M-F for a few hours a day. You may call 802-654-2446 to leave a message. Your call will be returned by the next business day. All urgent questions or concerns should be directed to your Primary Care Provider.
- Your COVID test results are confidential and may only be accessed by you, the SMC COVID Nurse Consultant and the Vermont Department of Health.
- For questions about PTO use or other illness related absences, please be in touch with Human Resources at 802-654-2584.
- Family members who may be contacts may register for free testing locally through the Vermont Department of Health at: https://vermont.force.com/events/s/selfregistration
- Other helpful websites:
- Vermont Department of Health: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19
- Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Broad Institute – PCR Tests
As in the fall, we have contracted with the Broad Institute as our lab for all tests during the spring semester. The Broad Institute is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and an affiliate of Harvard and MIT Universities. Broad has a high rate of accurate and specific results, and most major medical centers, including UVM Medical Center, have utilized their services since March.
The tests that we have been using are anterior nasal tests known as polymerase chain reaction tests (PCR), which are able to detect the virus rapidly with high sensitivity and specificity and are self-administered in front of a healthcare provider. It is a much easier and more comfortable test than the wider known nasopharyngeal test.
The entire testing process should take about 10-20 minutes. After checking in with registration, you will receive your Q-tip swab and test vial. Employees will perform their own test in front of a medical professional. This test is one where you will insert the Q-tip swab just inside the outermost part of your nostrils. It is not uncomfortable. You will swab and put the Q-tip in the vial for shipping. The vial has a bar code on it with your personal information necessary for test results. Watch this video from the Broad Institute that illustrates the testing procedure.
For more information on the lab and testing, visit the Broad Institute at https://www.broadinstitute.org/
How will my test results be shared with me?
Tests are sent to the lab for processing the same day and results are typically available 36-48 hours later. The staff in the Bergeron Wellness Center and the Vermont Department of Health receive notification of all test results; negative and positive.
Employees will be notified of negative test results via email from the Care Evolve system. The email will prompt you to enter your name, date of birth and the zip code where you were tested (05439) to view your results.
Patricia Sheridan, NP will work with the College as our COVID Nurse Consultant. Pat will provide information related to COVID-19 and testing for all employees. Pat will also be responsible for contacting employees who have positive test results. Employees can contact Pat at EmployeeCovidRN@smcvt.edu or 802-654-2446.
If you test positive, even if you have no symptoms, you must stay at home in isolation and follow the guidance of Vermont Department of Health and your primary care provider. Expect a call from a Vermont Department of Health representative to assess with whom you have been in recent contact and how to alert them. Pat Sheridan will work closely with employees who test positive to make sure they have information proper quarantining, seeking care from their primary care provider, and assuring you communicate with your supervisor about your quarantine. Staff from the Bergeron Wellness Center will not be involved in the case management of positive employee cases. Employees should expect to work with both the VDH and their primary care providers.
Can I be tested at pop-up testing sites instead of on-campus? If I do, do I need to share the results with the College?
We are offering employees the option for voluntary testing on campus. Employees can test at other locations if they prefer. It is not necessary to share the results with the College but we ask that if you do test positive, you work with your supervisor/department chair and/or the Dean’s office regarding the time that you will need to be away from work and reach out to the Human Resources Office if you have any questions. The College is required to maintain confidentiality of any employee that tests positive and will comply with ADA guidelines.
The Vermont Department of Health has brought online a new free pop-up testing site at the O’Brien Center in Winooski (listed as “CIC Health in Winooski” on the VDH website) that is staffed by many of our own SMC medical professionals and is available 7 days per week. Registering ahead of time is encouraged but walk-ins are also welcome.
Click here for more information about this and all VDH pop-up testing sites in the area.
Please reach out to OfficeOfHumanResources@smcvt.edu if you have any questions.
Any employee returning to work on campus and any new hire must have completed the VOSHA training and provided a certificate to Human Resources as indicated in the information below:
Vermont’s Occupational and Health Administration (VOSHA) has announced a mandatory training for ALL employees, including those already working (except healthcare workers, first responders, and others already trained in infection control, personal protection/universal precautions). Employees, including student workers, working on campus or from home, must complete, and employers must document, this training on mandatory health and safety requirements. Links to the online training in addition to a printable version of this training are below. Once completed, please email the completion certificate to Lorna Jewellfirstname.lastname@example.org, or managers can email their employees’ names to Lorna if this training is completed offline. Please help us meet this important safety requirement.
To take the online training now CLICK HERE
Want to print the training and review offline? CLICK HERE
In addition to authorization from their supervisors, employees will need to be well to report to work on campus. Employees will engage in daily self-monitoring and certification of their good health. As such, employees will take their temperature each day before arriving on campus and complete the required health tracking survey. A paper version of this form can be found here. IT has also created an electronic version located here that will allow you to quickly and easily record your affirmation from any device.
All Saint Michael’s College community members (students, faculty, staff, the Edmundite community, contracted employees) and its campus visitors must do everything possible to limit the spread of COVID-19. Data show that 90-95% of the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via respiratory droplets. Since someone who does not have symptoms may transmit COVID-19, a facial covering helps you protect others.
Procedure, effective July 3, 2020 until further notice:
- Outdoors: All employees, students, and visitors are required to have a mask or facial covering readily available on their person (e.g., around neck) when on campus outdoors and to put on their mask or facial covering when it is NOT feasible to maintain physical/social distancing measures (i.e., at least 6 feet of separation).
- Indoors: Anyone entering a building is required to put on a mask or facial covering prior to entering the building and to continue to wear a mask or facial covering in common areas such as elevators, lobbies, hallways, bathrooms, when traveling around the building and working in shared spaces. Masks and facial coverings are required in common areas of academic buildings, office buildings, residence halls, dining halls, and community gathering spaces across campus. Facial coverings or masks can be removed when alone in an office or dorm room or when eating/drinking but must always be available in case circumstances change.
Note: Make sure your facial covering covers your nose and mouth. Wash your cloth facial covering often. It is recommended that you have 3-4 coverings available to use. Students and employees are expected to supply their own facial coverings. A limited number of face shields have been purchased and can be requested by placing a work order and citing one of the reasons below that necessitate the use of a face shield rather than cloth mask.
Click here to visit the VDH website for additional mask guidance.
*Note- some of these guidelines are suggestions and best practices based on current information available and others relate to policies that are mandated and that we are required to enforce.
- Care for and monitor your own health. Employees will engage in daily self-monitoring and certification of their good health. As such, employees will take their temperature each day before arriving on campus and complete the required health tracking survey. A paper version of this form can be found here. IT has also created an electronic version located here that will allow you to quickly and easily record your affirmation from any device. Please set a reminder for yourself to complete this affirmation each time you come to campus. Electronic affirmation forms are routed based on the department/area that you select and are viewable by your Health Officer. Denise Brault has developed a plan for faculty health officers for the academic year based on physical locations. For staff, your health officer is most often your direct supervisor. Human Resources will receive a notification if you report “No, I have Symptoms” and will reach out to you to check in.
- Stay at home if you are not feeling well and experiencing any symptoms. If you begin to feel ill at work, inform your supervisor and/or HR and leave
- Current guidelines recommend that you be tested right away and monitor symptoms if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or COVID-19
- If you believe you might have COVID-19, reach out to your primary healthcare provider for further guidance. Click here for testing locations throughout
- The Health Department is notified whenever someone tests positive for COVID-19 in Vermont. They have a team of trained contact tracers and will be responsible for conducting contact tracing, so be ready to provide them with a list of people you may have been in close contact with (within six feet for at least 15 minutes or a cumulative of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period) during the time you were infectious (contagious). The Health Department will contact each person who may have had close contact to assess their risk for COVID-19 and provide information about staying home and the importance of being tested.
- Below are some examples from the Vermont Department of Health website:
The College is required to maintain confidentiality of any employee that tests positive and will comply with ADA guidelines. Per the Clery Act, the College is required to notify the campus community of the first confirmed case on campus through a timely warning through our usual channels or via our website. We will be posting the results of the on-campus student testing on the Return to Campus webpage as they become available. Beyond that, we are required to have information available in good faith and will rely on the contact tracing done by the Health Department to follow the proper processes for direct notification of potential contacts. If you are identified as a close contact a contact tracer will call you and tell you the date when you may have been exposed. They will give you guidance to stay home and away from others for a certain amount of time. They will ask you to watch for symptoms and ask if you need any help while staying home. Click here for more information.
For information regarding workers’ compensation as it relates to COVID-19, please see bill S.342 and associated memo and reach out to Emilie Marcotte in Human Resources at email@example.com if you have any questions.
- Anyone deemed to be medically vulnerable or who has a chronic medical condition is encouraged to consult with their primary healthcare provider prior to returning to work. They should seek counsel from both their supervisor and Human Resources if they feel they cannot perform their job safely or need accommodations to be able to perform their job safely. If this is the case, please contact Emilie Marcotte in Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If your household includes one or more medically vulnerable individuals, then all family members should act as if they, themselves, are at higher
- Practice physical distancing when at all feasible; that means 6 feet between you and
- Faculty are not to hold office hours in their offices. Virtual meetings are to be considered the standard for all meetings with students for office hours and help sessions. If an in-person meeting is essential, then the use of larger designated meeting spaces with 6 feet distance or outdoors would be the option.
- Wear a mask/facial covering. As an educational institution, kindly remind one another of this requirement as we reinforce a culture of education, safety and responsibility. Refer to the Policy on the Use of Facial Coverings above for more.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Keeping our workspaces and living spaces clean is important and everyone’s responsibility to help minimize the spread of germs. Our custodial staff is working hard to sanitize common areas and touch points but cannot reach every location. Users must wipe down shared workspaces, common areas, workstations, and high contact areas regularly after each use. Disinfectant spray and paper towels will be available to all common
- Contact Tracing Journal: Students, faculty and staff should consider keeping a contact journal – a list of other people who you have been in close contact with each day. If you do get sick, this would make it easier to get in touch with those people so they can take proper precautions to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
- Travel: All institutional out-of-state travel by faculty, staff or students has been suspended except with institutional leadership. If you travel out of Vermont whether for a day trip or longer, you must quarantine in Vermont when you return for 14 days. You can end your quarantine early if you have not had any symptoms of COVID-19, get a PCR test on or after Day 7, get a negative test result, still do not have symptoms, and continue to monitor yourself for symptoms for the full 14 days. Note: subject to change per the Governor’s guidance.
- If you are unable to work due to COVID-19, please coordinate with your supervisor and Human Resources. Our PTO and time off policies specifically related to COVID-19 are listed below:
- Effective January 1, 2021: Staff members who are unable to work due to a COVID-19 related reason may be eligible to receive donated PTO time. This is an expansion of the typical use of Donated PTO time beyond FMLA eligible leaves. Employees should work with their supervisor and Human Resources to request up to 80 hours of Donated PTO time (per calendar year) to cover absences directly related to COVID-19, even if the employee has a PTO, Grandfathered Vacation or Sick leave balance. PTO will continue to accrue when using Donated PTO time.
- Faculty who are unable to work due to a COVID-19 related reason should inform their chair and the Dean’s office immediately. We encourage departments to coordinate their plans with each other and plan for the possibility of illness and/or unexpected absences, ahead of time. We require all faculty to plan their courses on Canvas and populate them with learning materials ahead of time; this not only provides consistency for the students but also facilitates instructional continuity in the case of illness.
- *Note: Childcare challenges that are directly related to COVID-19 are covered under this policy. We recognize the challenges faced by parents when schools or childcare providers may be closed and will strive to be as flexible as possible. To protect the health of our children and the SMC community, at this time, faculty and staff should not bring children on campus for extended periods. Exceptions may include quick trips to campus, as long as all of the safety protocols are followed. If you have childcare challenges that cannot be mitigated through regular absence processes, please speak with your direct supervisor about potential options.
- All employees should log into Oracle and verify that emergency contact information is accurate and up-to-date.
- Remain vigilant and adhere to the guidance in this document, the SMC COVID-19 website and other directives from our leadership. In this way, everyone plays a key role in helping to minimize the potential spread of
- We recognize this is a challenging time for everyone, and it is normal to feel anxious and stressed. Our EAP program offers 3 free confidential counseling sessions for employees and their family members. A link to the brochure with more information can be found here and on the Benefits portal page. The State also has additional resources on stress and coping and additional information on programs and benefits that may be available to you and your family.
We fully expect that faculty and staff will perform their duties safely and follow all of these requirements and mandated public health safety standards. Since the health and safety of our community depends on each of us doing our part, please be sure to carefully read these guidelines and speak with your direct supervisor or Human Resources at any point if you have any questions or concerns. The disciplinary actions below are not intended to be a first resort, but rather would be implemented when a reasonable number of reminders and discussion of the importance of following these guidelines do not result in behavior changes and compliance with these health and safety standards. In the event that faculty and staff choose not to wear a face covering or follow existing public health safety standards, per the Mandatory Guidance from the State of Vermont, they shall face immediate disciplinary action.
In instances of violation, direct supervisors will take the following actions:
- On first and second instance of violation notify the staff or faculty member of the specific violation in writing including date, time, and
- Provide information about the public health mandate, including the health benefits of following the mandate and any practices or instructions associated with the
- Include consequences as outlined in this policy if the mandate is not followed and the rights enjoyed if discipline is
- Due to the immediate risks to the campus community, the employee must immediately correct the behavior or leave campus if they are unable or unwilling to do so.
- On third instance of violation, the Vice President of the area will be notified for consideration of a ban on being present on campus for a period of time, or furlough if remote work is not possible.
- Such notification must include a record of two previous violations and the subsequent enforcement, the most recent violation, with the date, time, and place indicated for each violation and enforcement action and will be provided to both the employee and Human
- If a banned employee continues to come to campus, the direct supervisor and Human Resources or in the case of the faculty, the Dean and department chairperson, in collaboration with the Vice President of the area, will discuss the severity of the initial three violations in addition to the violation of the ban from being on campus to determine what actions are needed to protect the health and safety of campus. Depending on the severity of the violations and their implications on the health of the community, additional disciplinary action may include:
- Faculty: provide faculty member with a final written warning summarizing all of the details from the previous violations and explaining that any additional violation will result in the initiation of the procedures in section II.J.1-5- Imposition of Sanctions Other Than Termination or II.I.6- Termination for Cause of the Faculty Regulations based on criteria in I.3.
- Staff: provide staff member with a final written warning summarizing all of the details from the previous violations and explaining that any additional violation will result in termination of
- On first and second instance of violation notify the staff or faculty member of the specific violation in writing including date, time, and
Please note that these guidelines are based on current mandates from the State of Vermont. They will likely change based on disease prevalence, and we will continue to update these guidelines based on the current mandates from our Governor.
- In response to violations of these public health safety standards, we are required to take immediate disciplinary action and will be using the disciplinary process listed above. As a supervisor, it is your responsibility to enforce these health and safety guidelines in your areas. Education and affirmation in addition to leading by example are crucial to compliance and the disciplinary process outlined in this document is meant to provide consistency and clarity for supervisors and demonstrate to all employees the importance of following these mandatory guidelines for the health of our entire community. As stated, a reasonable number of reminders that result in immediate behavioral changes do not qualify as a disciplinary action. We will be discussing the consistent enforcement of these guidelines at an Administrative Council and Chairs’ and Directors’ Council meeting at the start of the academic year.
- We encourage all managers and supervisors to think creatively about how to support all employees in caring for their health – and reducing their risk of exposure to COVID–19 – while enabling them to continue performing their work. Be flexible with your overall department planning to reduce density and provide the safest possible work environment.
- Establish a chain of command/coverage and a contact notification process (call chain) for your department to provide critical College status updates or in the event of multiple employees becoming ill or incapacitated.
- List the essential department tasks and identify those that could experience delays in the event of short staff or a College closure. Develop contingency plans and backfill options for coverage to ensure continuity.
- Supervisors and staff should meet (maintaining social distancing or through Zoom/Team meetings) to address any concerns they may have and to discuss the information in this summary. Establishing a transparent safety and communication plan for your department is vital in a successful return to campus.
- All possible meetings should still be virtual at this time. Encourage your employees to use telephone, online conferencing, e-mail or instant messaging to conduct business as much as possible, even when participants are in the same building.
- Consider staggered lunch break times for your employees.
- As a supervisor, you may ask employees who report feeling ill at work, or who call in sick, whether they have any COVID-related symptoms so that you can determine whether the employee must stay away from work. Your discussion about the employee’s health symptoms should be limited to asking about the presence of only those COVID-related symptoms. You should not inquire about any underlying medical conditions.
Vermont’s mandatory health and safety requirements currently require all business operations to designate a health officer on-site at every shift responsible for ensuring compliance with the executive order.
The role of a Health Officer includes the following:
- Ensures compliance with the mandatory health and safety requirements within their department or work area.
- As a Health Officer, your role is to hold employees accountable for completing the Affirmation Logs and foster a culture and expectation that these checks need to happen.
- Currently, the Affirmation Logs are available in paper version on the portal and as an electronic form with specific permissions to Health Officers and Human Resources. Health Officers can check compliance with the logs by going to https://mailsmcvt.sharepoint.com/sites/CovidForms
- Has the authority to stop or modify activities to ensure work conforms to the mandatory health and safety requirements.
- Consults with Human Resources and/or Public Safety on concerns related to employee compliance with the mandatory health and safety requirements.
- Sets a good example by following COVID-19 protocols at all times. This involves practicing good personal hygiene and workplace safety practices to prevent the spread of the virus and requiring this same behavior from your respective areas.