Information for Faculty and Staff
Although the governor has indicated that some businesses can start to reopen, Saint Michael’s will not immediately transition all employees back to campus. This transition will be done in a thoughtful way as Saint Michael’s is committed to supporting the health and safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors.
Over the summer, we will be carefully coordinating a gradual expansion of on-campus operations. This process will be implemented in phases. With each phase we will 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. The first phase of this process was limited to essential employees and those who could not readily continue remote work. Each subsequent phase will further expand on-campus operations and return additional employees to campus.
During this time, employees should not report to campus unless they have been specifically notified or approved to do so by their supervisor. Employees not specifically authorized to report to campus and who can continue to work remotely should do so. The College will follow the governor’s guidelines for returning workers whose functions do not require their presence on campus. As restrictions lift, people who work in single offices may consider coming back sooner. Shared offices may need to have engineering controls put in place, or workers relocated to alternate locations when workflow allows. For areas that necessitate in-person student traffic, requests for additional safety measures such as plexi-glass for service windows should be directed to Joel Ribout as soon as possible to allow facilities time to make these adjustments. V.P.s will be using criteria to determine which functions in their areas will return to in-person work based on the ability to work remotely and whether or not the position is student-facing.
Expanded on-campus operations will 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 take 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.
Information for Faculty and Staff
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 Jewellemail@example.com, 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 COVID-19 may be transmitted by someone who does not have symptoms, a facial covering helps you protect others.
Each of us must do our part for the safety of our community. If someone is in a shared space not wearing a facial covering, they should be asked to put on a mask or to immediately leave the area for the safety of those around them. For recurring issues with individuals or specific areas, reach out to your supervisor or V.P. about next steps for addressing the behavior.
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. 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 CDC website for additional mask guidance.
There may be some instances where a face shield might be an alternative to the use of the cloth mask. NOTE, the face shield does not offer as much protection as the cloth mask and MUST fully cover the face expanding out to both ears and below the chin. Some instances where this may be an alternative could include:
- When instruction is delivered and visualization of the mouth/lips is critical
- When a student is hearing impaired and needs to see the mouth/lip movement of the instructor
- In science labs where chemical droplets getting on cloth masks may cause harm
- In a theater setting where facial expression is critical to instruction
- In a counseling setting where facial expression is critical to instruction/care
- In a setting where the wearer has a medical reason that prohibits them from wearing a cloth mask.
Face shields may hold droplets on them, so clean them frequently with the recommended solution. AGAIN, this should not be seen as a universal alternative to cloth face coverings.
- Care for your own health. 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 leave as soon as possible.
- 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 risk.
- Practice physical distancing when at all feasible; that means 6 feet between you and others.
- 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 safety and responsibility.
- 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. Shared work spaces, common areas, work stations, and high contact areas must be wiped down regularly by users after each use. Disinfectant spray and paper towels will be made available to all common areas.
- 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.
- 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 symptoms.
- Travel: All institutional out-of-state travel by faculty, staff or students shall be suspended except with institutional leadership permission.
- If you have traveled outside of Vermont, it is your responsibility to follow state guidelines and quarantine for 14 days upon return to Vermont. 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:
Employees who are unable to work due to a COVID-19 related absence will be expected to use accrued, unused PTO, grandfathered vacation or grandfathered sick leave for the hours they are unable to work. For employees who do not have a sufficient PTO, vacation or sick balance to cover the time that they are out due to a COVID-19 related reason, we are expanding the typical use of Donated PTO time beyond FMLA eligible leaves and will grant up to 80 hours of Donated PTO time. PTO will continue to accrue when using Donated PTO time.
*Note: Childcare challenges that are directly related to COVID-19 are covered under this policy
- We recognize the challenges faced by parents when their children’s schools may be closed. To protect the health of our children and the SMC community, at this time, faculty and staff may not bring children on campus.
- All employees must 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 illness.
- 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 or on the Benefits portal page.
We fully expect that faculty/staff will perform their duties safely and follow all requirements and mandates for public health 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.
- First violation: verbal warning and immediately correct the issue or leave campus
- Second violation: written warning and immediately correct the issue or leave campus
- Third violation: referral to HR (for staff) or Dean of the Faculty and HR (for faculty), which may result in termination of employment or in the case of tenured faculty, initiation of procedures of termination for cause as specified in the Faculty Regulations.
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.
- While we gradually begin to reopen, if a member of your department needs to enter an SMC building to retrieve a personal item or perform a necessary task and will be there for 30 minutes or less, employees should contact their supervisor/health officer for approval. These trips do not require the health officer to be physically present. Employees are responsible for adhering to safety guidelines – masks/facial coverings, handwashing, social distancing, etc. before entering any buildings and touching any surfaces.
- In response to violations of these public health safety standards, we are required to take immediate disciplinary action and will be using a 3 strikes approach as listed above. As a supervisor, it is your responsibility to enforce adherence to these health and safety guidelines in your areas, in collaboration with your designated Health Officer(s) if applicable. With regard to faculty, the Dean of the faculty, in collaboration with the Health Officers and HR, will handle violations of these guidelines. Human Resources will make a written warning template available.
- 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. Currently, this guidance is designed specifically for departments that are physically back on campus and have been approved by Human Resources.
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.
- 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.