News

Return to Workplace Guidelines

LAST UPDATED: October 5, 2020, 11:00 a.m.


 
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GUIDING PRINCIPLES 

James Madison University’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are primarily informed by our desire to protect the safety and the well-being of our staff, faculty, students, and the community members with whom we interact. Secondarily, it is informed by our well-established mission and values.

We are all in this together; however, guidelines that take a one-size fits all approach may be too rigid for a place like JMU, which is made up of many diverse departments that have different needs. Differences in unit missions, workforce demographics, facilities, and resources will influence and be a factor in some decisions as operations resume.

JMU’s return-to-work guidelines are intended to be aligned and consistent with local and state guidance. JMU will also follow recommendations from the federal government including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

The collective knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continue to evolve, and JMU’s policies and plans will have to be updated as necessary as more information becomes available.


RETURN TO THE WORKPLACE

EXPECTATIONS AND GUIDELINES

All staff and faculty are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols, and guidelines outlined in this document. 

SYMPTOM MONITORING

Staff and faculty who have been instructed to return to their workplace must conduct symptom monitoring every day before reporting to work. All staff and faculty must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work.

At this time, these symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing or feeling short of breath
  • Significant body aches
  • Unusual headache
  • New loss of ability to taste or smell
  • Sore throat

To ensure symptom monitoring, all faculty and staff must check in via the LiveSafe app every day prior to arriving on campus.

If you experience symptoms (Do not report symptoms due to an existing known health condition such as seasonal allergies or chronic lung disease): 

  • You should stay at home and away from others
  • Do not come to campus
  • Call your primary care provider for further instructions
  • Inform your supervisor
  • Consult with an HR Benefits Specialist to see what leave options are available

If you are having significant difficulty breathing or feel short of breath please go to the Emergency Department of your closest hospital.

If you would like to discuss your symptoms with the JMU Occupational Nurse, you may call (540) 568-5310.

"NEW" Daily Health Screening using the LiveSafe App

It is not necessary to complete the daily health screening if you are not coming to the JMU physical campus. 

The LiveSafe app has been customized for use by JMU and is designed to help keep our campus community members safe during the pandemic. Existing LiveSafe users will experience an automatic update. If you are a new user, you can download LiveSafe from the App Store or Google Play, or you can scan the QR Code from this link:

https://www.jmu.edu/avphr/livesafe/JMU-LiveSafeDownload-Card.pdf

Once you download LiveSafe to your phone, you will need to register and fill out your profile. Search for and select “James Madison University” and you are set! 

You and all other members of the community must complete the self-monitoring on the LiveSafe app daily before they enter campus or leave the residience hall.

You are required to complete the five-question daily COVID-19 survey on the LiveSafe app by clicking on the purple square labeled Daily Health Check-in. View the screen here:

https://www.jmu.edu/avphr/livesafe/JMU-LiveSafe-HealthVerification-Tool.pdf 

For those who do not have a smartphone, there is an online version of the daily survey available at

https://livesafe.jotform.com/202037465437858

Users of this online version should print and retain the resulting screen.

If you successfully pass the health screening, you are permitted to proceed to campus or begin work.

If you do not successfully pass the health screening, it means that you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (see below) or you have been asked to self-isolate by another agency/medical professional. You will be notified by the app and may not report to work. Click the link under the red “X” and follow the instructions provided by the app. You should notify your immediate supervisor of your required absence and contact your physician. You may also contact the Occupational Health Nurse at the University Health Center at (540) 568-5310 to discuss your symptoms and required actions.

  • Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing or feeling short of breath
  • Significant body aches
  • Unusual headache
  • New loss of ability to taste or smell
  • Sore throat

Faculty and staff may be asked for proof of health screening completion when they are entering spaces, i.e. classrooms, offices, libraries, large gatherings. It is expected that, when asked, community members will provide proof of successful completion of the daily health screening. (All JMU offices, dining halls, libraries, facilities and UREC will be regularly asking students to show their green check mark illustrating that they are symptom-free. In addition, faculty members will be asking students to show their green check mark as part of on-campus classes, where possible and appropriate.)

Those who refuse to show proof of successful screening completion when asked will be reminded of the requirement and refused entry until proof of screening completion is provided.

If it becomes evident that community members, including faculty and staff, did not complete the health screening as required, any user can provide a “tip” through the LiveSafe app describing the failure to follow protocol. Tips will be sent to designated individuals in various university divisions, who will follow-up with those faculty and staff members, where possible, to ensure they are aware of the protocols and community expectations. Employees who do not follow the screening protocol may be subject to disciplinary action.

LiveSafe Frequently Asked Questions

1)  How do I access the LiveSafe app health check-in survey if I do not have a cell phone or if my cell phone is too old to receive the LiveSafe app?

If you have a computer or tablet and can connect to the internet, you can type the web address (see below) into your web browser. Common web browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari. It will bring you to the survey form. Once you complete the survey, it will send an email to your JMU email address. You can print that email and carry it with you on campus in case someone asks for verification that you are symptom free.


2)  How do I complete the health check-in if I do not have a cell phone or a computer at home?

If you are symptom free, you may come to campus and complete the health check-in on your JMU computer
You can type the web address (see below) into your web browser. It will bring you to the survey form. Once you complete the survey, it will send an email to your JMU email address. You can print that email and carry it with you on campus in case someone asks for verification that you are symptom free.

This is the URL:

If you are at home without a cell phone or a computer and you are experiencing symptoms (see below), you may contact the JMU Occupational Health Nurse to discuss your symptoms by dialing (540) 568-5310 using your land line.

Symptoms may include:
  • Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing or feeling short of breath
  • Significant body aches
  • Unusual headache
  • New loss of ability to taste or smell
  • Sore throat

(Do not consider symptoms due to an existing known health condition such as seasonal allergies or chronic lung disease) 


3)  When do I need to start accessing the LiveSafe app health check-in survey?

Faculty, staff and students are expected to use the app and/or complete the health check-in prior to their arrival on campus beginning immediately.

4)  How do I use the online version of the LiveSafe Health check-in Survey?


Type this web address into any laptop or desktop web browser when connected to the internet:

It will bring you to the survey form. Once you complete the survey, it will send an email to your JMU email address. You can print that email and carry it with you on campus in case someone asks for verification that you are symptom free.

5) What if I have an existing condition with COVID-19 symptoms?

The LiveSafe app health check-in survey will require you to answer this question:

"Do you have any of the following symptoms? (Do not report symptoms due to an existing known health condition such as seasonal allergies or chronic lung disease)".

Therefore, if one or some of the symptoms are evident because of a known health condition, you can respond by clicking "No".


6)  I am a student and staff member. How should I identify myself when I do the daily health check-in?

Respond by selecting the choice with which you most closely identify. It is most important that you respond to the other questions on the survey. The outcome will be the same either way.
 

7)  Once I do the daily health check-in and get a green check, how do I access it again?

The daily health screening will send an email to you. You can see the green check on that email. Either retain the email in your email inbox and show it using your phone to whomever asks, or you can print the email and carry it with you. The resulting screen and printout include the date.

You will do a health check-in each day prior to coming to campus. Therefore, you will delete the previous day’s email and use the most recent result each day.

8) Does LiveSafe send any information to my supervisor?

No, LiveSafe does not send any data to anyone’s supervisor.
 

9)  What policy governs how JMU handles LiveSafe data?

The policy that governs how we handle the LiveSafe data is Policy 1205-Data Stewardship.

This policy spells out key roles and responsibilities for protecting confidentiality, integrity and availability of university data. As with similar data, confidentiality is our highest priority as we handle information that is received from LiveSafe. Therefore, all LiveSafe data that users enter into the app is encrypted. The encrypted data is sent to JMU. JMU will periodically review aggregated data in order to monitor symptom reporting for the entire community.


Occupational Health Nurse

The Occupational Health Nurse works at the University Health Center. The primary role of the nurse is to work with Human Resources and be available for assisting faculty and staff with questions related to COVID-19. The nurse is responsible for tracking COVID-19 cases and may recommend testing on a case-by-case basis. Specimen collection may be completed at the University Health Center if determined necessary by the Occupational Health Nurse. These specimens will be sent to the reference lab (LabCorp), which will be responsible for billing insurance for these tests.

Please note that the Occupational Health Nurse is not a primary care provider. The nurse will not provide employees with medical services, diagnoses, doctor’s notes, or treatment.

VULNERABLE (AT-RISK) STAFF AND FACULTY

According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. Those conditions may include:

  • Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
  • People with HIV
  • Asthma (moderate to severe)
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart conditions
  • Liver disease
  • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
  • Severe obesity
  • Being immunocompromised

If you feel that you are part of this at-risk group, we encourage you to self-identify to your supervisor. It is not necessary that you disclose any health condition. Your department can then work with you in an effort to reduce your risk of exposure while making sure important work continues and JMU complies with relevant laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination Employment Act.

At-risk staff and faculty who have been instructed to return to work on site and have concerns about doing so due to a medical condition that places them in a higher risk group or those who wish to seek ADA Reasonable Accommodations should contact the appropriate HR Benefits Specialist based on the first letter of their last name:

Benefits Specialist Based on Employee Last Name:

A-F

Kristi Moon

moonkd@jmu.edu

540/568-3728

G-M

Gina Maggio

maggiogc@jmu.edu

540/568-2358

N-Z

Amie Loving-Harpine

lovingam@jmu.edu

540/568-4495

(Specific information about health condition may be required when speaking to a benefits specialist. All health-related information is kept strictly confidential)

Supervisors of vulnerable or at-risk staff and faculty who wish to return to work should implement increased measures to protect such staff and faculty when they are working on site, which could include isolated workstations, additional personal protective equipment (PPE), modified schedules, etc. See these sections: Personal Safety Practices, Physical Distancing, Guidance For Specific Workplace Scenarios.

PHASED STAFFING

JMU will align its need for on-site staffing with the need for public-facing services and in consideration of the unit being opened in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 61 (2020) and any updates or new executive orders that follow.

JMU will phase a return of staff and faculty over time in a coordinated process to ensure appropriate physical distancing and availability of personal protective equipment such as masks.

JMU will continue to assess expanded staffing based on mission-critical operations, ability to control and manage specific work environments, and the necessity to access on-site resources. These decisions, once approved, will be communicated through the vice presidents, deans, AVPs, directors, and department and academic unit heads.

The need to reduce the number of people on campus (density) to meet physical distancing requirements may continue for some time. Staff and faculty members and/or work units that can continue to effectively work remotely may be allowed to continue to do so until restrictions are eased for larger gatherings, with supervisor approval.

Expanded staffing will be tightly controlled and coordinated to mitigate potential risks and enhance the safety of faculty and staff, as well as the communities we serve. Once decisions to expand on-site staffing in certain areas have been made, staff and faculty should follow the policies and protocols detailed in this guide for returning to work on campus.

As staffing on-site increases and operations expand, JMU will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it. If localized outbreaks emerge, tighter restrictions and reduced staffing may need to be re-implemented.

Once the Commonwealth of Virginia deems that it is safe for employees to fully return to work, all employees should report to work unless an approved telework agreement is in place. 

STAFFING OPTIONS

Directors should work with all faculty, staff, and supervisors to determine which staffing options can be utilized to maximize the safety and well-being of all employees. We urge flexibility given the evolving nature of this situation.

Remote Work

Those who can work remotely to fulfill some or all of their work responsibilities may be allowed to continue to do so in order to reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. These arrangements, which should be approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor, can be done in a full or partial day/week schedule as appropriate.

Normally, Policy 1332-Teleworking requires that a formal agreement be executed between the employee and supervisor. In these unprecedented times, we are temporarily suspending this requirement and replacing it with an email exchange initiated by the supervisor to the employee. The employee should reply to the supervisor indicating agreement and understanding. The email should include a clear list of job duties, work product, working hours, a requirement to routinely monitoring email, sustain regular communication with supervisor, continued reporting of hours worked as needed, maintenance of data security, and a requirement to follow all policies. Supervisors should keep a record of all of their employees who are temporarily telecommuting. Additionally, supervisors should forward a copy of the email exchange to their HR Consultant. After December 2020, permanent telework agreements will be required.

Alternating Days

To limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on campus, departments should schedule partial staffing on alternating days. Such schedules will help enable physical distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces.

Staggered Reporting/Departing

The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet physical distancing requirements. See Enter/Exit Controls for further details.

See the following JMU Policies for further guidance:

1310-Alternate Work Schedules

1332-Teleworking
See reference above in "Remote Work" regarding temporary Telework Policy

1342-Flexible Work Arrangements 


HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDANCE

PERSONAL SAFETY PRACTICES

"NEW" FACE COVERINGS

Face Masks/Cloth Face Coverings

The CDC recommends the use of face coverings when physical distancing is difficult to continuously maintain; however, wearing a face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing.

Faculty and staff at JMU are required to wear face masks which cover the nose and mouth at all times when in the presence of others or when physical distancing is not possible indoors and when outdoors. They should be worn in all administrative and academic spaces including classrooms, labs, public settings and outdoors when in the presence of others (specifically, masks should be worn outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained).

It is not necessary to wear a face covering when working alone in a private office regardless of whether the door is open or closed as long as physical distancing is being practiced. If the door is closed, it is not necessary to wear a mask.

Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others. Individuals can spread COVID-19 to others even if they do not feel sick.

If academic activities cannot occur with a face mask, a face shield is a reasonable exception (with approval from the Provost's Office). If any work-related activities cannot occur with a face mask, a face shield is a reasonable exception (with approval from a supervisor). You are advised to maintain physical distance or add an additional layer of protection (such as a Plexiglass barrier) when using a face shield.

Plexiglass shields are installed in front of podiums in all classrooms. Faculty who remain behind a Plexiglass barrier when teaching must wear a mask. In fact, everyone must wear a mask at all times in all academic buildings while in the presence of others. (If alone in an office with the door closed, it is not necessary to wear  a mask. It is also not necessary to wear a mask in an office as long as physical distancing is practiced.) Faculty must wear masks at all times while teaching.

Face masks or face coverings with respirator valves of any type that allow exhalation through the mask do not comply with this requirement. Face coverings should not display images or language that are inappropriate for work.

JMU will initially provide five cloth face masks for each staff and faculty member. Cloth face masks must only be worn for one day at a time and must be properly laundered before another use.

Cloth face masks should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Be made of more than one layer of fabric that you can still breathe through
  • Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Use and Care of Face Coverings

Putting on your face covering/disposable mask:

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling your face covering/disposable mask.
  • Ensure the face covering/disposable mask fits over your nose and under your chin.
  • Situate the face covering/disposable mask properly with nose wire snug against your nose, where applicable.
  • Tie straps behind your head and neck or loop around your ears.
  • Throughout the process, avoid touching the front of your face covering/disposable mask.

Taking off the face covering/disposable mask:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing your face covering/disposable mask.
  • When taking off your face covering/disposable mask, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from your ear or untie the straps.
  • Wash your hands or apply hand sanitizer immediately after removing.

Taking care, storing and laundering face covering/disposable masks:

  • Keep your face covering/disposable mask stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Do not use your cloth face coverings more than one day at a time and wash it after each use. Properly launder cloth face coverings with regular clothing detergent before your first use and after each shift.
  • Replace cloth face coverings immediately if they become soiled, damaged (e.g. ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated.
  • Do not use disposable masks for more than one day and place them in the trash after your work is complete or if it is soiled, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material) or visibly contaminated.

When using a face covering at work, consider the following:

  • Use a face covering when in a vehicle with another individual.
  • Understand that a face covering may be removed if it impedes vision, if an employee has a medical condition or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.
  • The face covering may be removed to eat or drink during breaks and lunch periods; however, at those times, practice physical distancing.
  • The face covering may be removed when driving alone or when you are isolated in a closed personal office. You may also remove your mask if you are alone in an office and practicing physical distancing.
  • JMU encourages the use of a face covering by all customers when they are conducting business.

Where feasible, visitors should be provided a face covering when they do not have their own. JMU will provide one box of disposable masks for each office suite. If a customer refuses to wear a face covering, departments should ask the customer to return at another time or determine if assistance can be provided while maintaining physical distancing. Departments must take all actions practical to provide the needed service using physical distancing practices. Staff, faculty, student and visitor safety should be the first priority in considering how to handle the situation.

N95 Masks for Vulnerable (at-risk) Faculty and Staff

JMU has acquired a limited supply of N95 masks for use during the fall semester.

Since the supply is limited, masks are available for faculty or staff with certain conditions that place them at higher risk for COVID-19 infection according to the CDC. Those conditions include:

Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
People with HIV
Asthma (moderate to severe)
Chronic lung disease
Diabetes
Heart conditions
Liver disease
Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
Severe obesity
Being
Immunocompromised


How to request N95 masks:

  1. Send your email request from your JMU email account to N95maskrequest@jmu.edu by
    August 18 to receive a set of five N95 masks intended last the duration of fall semester. (You
    may place an order after August 18 but your order may not arrive until after August 24)

  2. In the body of the email:

    1. Verify that you are over 65 and/or have an underlying health condition. (please do not
      share your exact age or any specific information about any underlying health condition)

    2. Include an on-campus address to which the masks should be mailed (a JMU Mail Stop Code or MSC).

What you will receive:

You will receive five N95 masks and five paper bags. The paper bags are to be used to decontaminate the N95 masks.

How you should use your masks:

Wear one mask for an entire work day. You may periodically remove your mask throughout the day. Follow the proper mask usage guidance provided in the Return to Workplace Guidelines and view the mask usage training. At the end of each workday, place your mask in a paper bag. Rotate through each of your remaining masks the same way, then begin the process again over the course of five workdays. (instructions will be included in your delivery). The five masks you receive should last for the entire semester, however, if the elastic breaks, or for some other reason, you require a replacement, send another email with your request.

Looking ahead:

We will continue to evaluate mask availability throughout the semester in the context of the Coronavirus outbreak and needs expressed by the healthcare sector. If N95 masks are required during spring semester, you will be able to make a request prior to the end of fall semester.

Face Mask Training

Proper face mask use training and an associated handout can be found here:

Video of Proper Mask Usage

CDC Face Covering Guidelines

Exceptions for Face Coverings

Departments should also be mindful of students, customers, staff and faculty who may have a religious belief or medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering. There may be other physical distancing strategies that can be put in place. It is recommended that departments contact JMU HR consultant assigned to their department to inquire about any needed exceptions for students, staff or faculty when a face covering is required in the workplace. (JMU students who need to see accomodation of disability related to the face covering policies should follow procedures to register with the Office of Disability Services.)

If there is a work assignment where a face covering may be considered a safety issue, the department must develop an alternative solution. No one should wear a face covering if it impedes their vision or creates an unsafe condition for operating equipment or executing a task. Individuals who are hearing impaired may also have difficulty communicating and lip reading if face coverings are used. If a face covering cannot be worn, physical distancing must be maintained using alternative solutions. It should be noted that continued physical distancing should be maintained when wearing any face covering since, according to the CDC, face masks and face shields are not a substitute for physical distancing. It is not necessary to wear a face covering when working in a private office when not in the presence of others.

If academic activities cannot occur with a face mask, a face shield is a reasonable exception (with approval from the Provost's Office). If work-related activities cannot occur with a face mask, a face shield is a reasonable exception (with approval from a supervisor). You are advised to maintain physical distance or add an additional layer of protection (such as a Plexiglass barrier) when using a face shield.

USING RESTROOMS

Use of restrooms should be limited based on the size of the facility to ensure approximately six feet of distance between individuals. Employees must wash their hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Physical distancing is a simple and very effective way to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. In practice, this means:

  • Stay approximately six feet away from others as a normal practice.
  • Eliminate physical contact with others, such as handshakes and embracing coworkers, visitors or friends.
  • Avoid touching surfaces that are touched by others as much as possible.
  • Avoid anyone who appears to be sick or is coughing or sneezing.

Locations where physical distancing should be practiced include, but are not limited to, production lines, cafeterias, common areas, entrance/exit areas of work sites, meeting and conference rooms, and offices with multiple workstations. It is requested that JMU staff and faculty:

  • Occupy alternate urinals and restroom stalls to maintain separation of approximately six feet.
  • Avoid congregating in the restroom. Emphasize courteous behaviors and a needed awareness of others’ need to use the restroom.
  • To the extent possible, avoid touching doorknobs, faucets, paper towel dispensers, etc. with clean, bare hands. Use proper precautions and hand washing techniques.

Physical Distancing through Alternative Work Schedules and Use of Shifts

Supervisors should determine if operations could support the use of alternative work schedules and shifts. Where operationally feasible, departments should implement staggered shifts to reduce the number of staff and faculty coming, going or waiting in work areas at the same time. Alternate work schedules and shifts can aid housekeepers with the disinfection of the workplace.

Departments will need to identify schedules, shifts and how best to assign staff and faculty to each. Consider staggering schedules or shifts by at least 15 minutes. If employee start and end times are already staggered, supervisors should review facilities to ensure adequate separation exists, with the ultimate goal of avoiding groups of people waiting in a particular area.

Staggered work schedules can vary by location and operational needs. It is recommended that supervisors speak with staff and faculty to determine if there are concerns with personal travel modes such as carpools, mass transit or other factors that may influence work schedules.

While a department can require and establish work schedules/shifts, to the extent possible, supervisors should consider staff and faculty factors in schedule changes and communicate them with enough notification so people can make any needed adjustments.

During the start and end of shifts, employees should:

  • Avoid gathering when entering and exiting the work location.
  • Remain in their cars until their scheduled window of start time.
  • Maintain approximately six feet of space between each person while waiting in line to enter the work location.
  • Supervisors should consider placing tape on floors to mark off approximately six feet for individuals to stand apart, using a material that does not damage the floor or other surfaces.
  • Avoid touching any time keeping device (if used) or entry door handle with an exposed finger(s) or hand (if possible).
  • Avoid touching their face before they have had a chance to wash their hands.
  • Remain in their cars if there are long lines or inclement weather.
  • Wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer provided upon arrival and prior to departure.

Departments must also be mindful that some facilities may have normal business hours that are set by others outside of JMU. Discussion and coordination will be necessary to ensure staff and faculty are able to access buildings if schedules are adjusted beyond established building operating hours. Consideration should also be given to any impact a change in schedule may have on staff and faculty’s ability to access a building by use of a JMU ID.

Physical Distancing Between Floors

Staff and faculty who are physically able are encouraged to use the stairwells, as opposed to elevators, when transitioning between floors. Promoting this practice should be done in connection with regular cleaning and disinfecting of the handrails, doorknobs and other high-touch areas.

If elevators are used within a building, it is recommended that no more than three individuals be in an elevator at one time. This may vary depending on the size of the elevator, and staff and faculty are encouraged to use their discretion to maintain physical distancing including while waiting for an elevator. Consider posting such guidance outside of all elevators where feasible.

When in leased or rented facilities, discuss these practices and the display of any guidance posters with the building manager or coordinator.

Physical Distancing in Meetings / Conferences / Special Events

Evaluate all meetings, conferences and special events to determine if they can be postponed or handled virtually. Ensure faculty and staff follow the guidance provided on the most current Executive Order.

Limit in-person meetings whenever possible. If an in-person meeting is deemed necessary, implement the following protocols:

  • When in-person meetings need to occur, keep meetings as short as possible, limit the number of employees in attendance, and use physical distancing practices.
  • Meeting rooms must accommodate a physical distancing requirement of six feet of separation for everyone in attendance.
  • Where needed, temporarily remove tables, chairs or other items that limit the ability to ensure proper physical distancing.

Physical Distancing at Workstations 

Whenever possible, arrange workstations to allow separation of approximately six feet between stations and consider arranging seating so that staff and faculty are not directly facing each other. If this condition cannot be met, consider alternative measures to mitigate potential exposure such as the following:

  • Staggered work shifts
  • Face coverings
  • Shields or physical barriers that may also be installed where practical and permitted, subject to state building code (Contact Facilities Management through your Building Coordinator).
  • Facilities Management must complete installation of any type of shield or barrier. It is critical that agencies assess all risk and safety hazards that may come from installation of any shield to avoid fire hazards and obstruction of egress. In addition, a plan needs to be in place to ensure any structure installed is properly cleaned and disinfected
  • Converting large meeting rooms into workstations to increase opportunities for physical distancing
  • Encouraging staff and faculty to clean and disinfect their own workspace multiple times a day, giving special attention to frequently touched surfaces such as computer keyboards, phones and desktops. JMU will provide the necessary cleaning supplies.
  • Discouraging staff and faculty from using co-workers’ phones, desks and other office equipment.
  • Reminding staff and faculty to avoid touching their faces and to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water several times during their shift to reduce the risk of potential person-to-person infections.
  • Providing staff and faculty at worksites that serve the public reasonable time each hour to wash their hands.

Physical Distancing During Breaks and Meal Periods

Staff and faculty break and meal periods should be staggered when operationally feasible to limit the number of individuals in communal spaces at one time.

Departments should work with staff and faculty to develop staggered schedules for meal periods and breaks to accommodate physical distancing. Consideration must be given to staff and faculty with medical conditions that require specific break times. In addition to existing break rooms, staff and faculty are encouraged to use alternate sites for breaks, which may include their workstations, unoccupied meeting rooms, cars or outside space, if available and weather permitting. 

HANDWASHING

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face.
  • Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.

GLOVES

 Healthcare workers and others in high-risk areas should use gloves as part of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). According to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks.

GOGGLES/FACE SHIELDS

Staff and faculty do not need to wear goggles as part of general activity on campus. 

If academic activities cannot occur with a face mask, a face shield is a reasonable exception (with approval from the Provost's Office). If any work-related activities cannot occur with a face mask, a face shield is a reasonable exception (with approval from a supervisor). ou are advised to maintain physical distance or add an additional layer of protection (such as a Plexiglass barrier) when using a face shield.

Physical distancing, continued hand washing and avoidance of face touching must be maintained when wearing any type of face covering including cloth masks or face shields. 

PERSONAL DISINFECTION

Housekeeping will continue to clean office and workspaces based on CDC guidelines. Additional care should be taken to wipe down commonly used surfaces.

Before starting work and before leaving any room in which they have been working, staff and faculty must wipe down all work areas with the disinfectant provided. This includes any shared-space location or equipment, e.g. copiers, printers, computers, audio visual, and other electrical equipment; coffee makers; desks and tables; light switches; doorknobs, etc.

COUGHING/SNEEZING HYGIENE

If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Use the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean your hands with hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.


GUIDANCE FOR SPECIFIC WORKPLACE SCENARIOS

WORKING IN OFFICE ENVIRONMENTS

Staff and faculty working in an open environment, should maintain at least a six feet distance from co-workers. If possible, have at least one workspace separating co-workers. All employees must wear a face mask or face covering at all times in a shared work space/room.

It is not necessary to wear a face covering when alone in an office.

Departments should assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to physically separate and increase distance between staff, faculty, students, other coworkers and customers, such as:

  • Place visual cues such as colored tape or signs to indicate to customers where they should stand while waiting in line. Take care to avoid damaging floors)
  • Place one-way directional signage for large open work spaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between people moving through the space.
  • Consider designating specific stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows.
  • If you work in an office, no more than one person should be in the same room unless the required six feet of distancing can be consistently maintained.
  • If more than one person is in a room, you must wear masks/face coverings at all times.
  • You must wear masks/face coverings when working in a reception/receiving area.
  • You must wear masks/face coverings when inside any JMU facility where others are present, including while walking in narrow hallways where others travel and in break rooms, conference rooms and meeting locations.

Communal Spaces

  • You should avoid direct contact with hard surfaces in communal areas, including refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots, water coolers/fountains, chairs, tables, etc.
  • You are encouraged to use paper towels to touch any surface and use wipes to disinfect before and after every use.
  • You should clean communal spaces throughout the day. Consider having various staff and faculty sign up to wipe down the spaces they use, like a commonly used refrigerator or other appliances in the office.
  • You must determine if shared utensils, condiments and other like items need to be temporarily removed from shared spaces. 

USING ELEVATORS

No more than three people should enter an elevator at a time, so use the stairs whenever possible. When faculty and staff are using the elevator, they must wear a mask or face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Staff and faculty must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon departing the elevator.

"NEW" MEETINGS

Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using the extensive range of available virtual collaboration tools e.g. Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, telephone, etc.

In-person meetings should be limited to the restrictions of the Governor’s most recent Executive Order. Currently, meetings or gatherings should not exceed 50% of a room’s capacity and should not exceed 50 people in total. This is assuming individuals can still maintain appropriate physical distancing requirements. Individuals should always adhere to the appropriate physical distance requirements. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support physical distancing practices between attendees.

NOTE: A class may maintain a higher enrollment if there are detailed plans to prevent 50+ students from gathering in person at once.

While at work, staff and faculty are encouraged to communicate with colleagues and supervisors as needed by email, instant message, telephone or other available technology rather than face-to-face. You can also use a range of available collaboration tools, e.g. Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Jabber, Slack, etc. 

MAIL HANDLING

Staff and faculty who handle and process mail should attempt to complete processing activities in well-ventilated areas. They should avoid touching their mouth, eyes or face when handling mail. Individuals may choose to wear gloves while handling mail. It is strongly encouraged that gloves be removed when they are not involved in mail-processing activities. 

MEALS

Before and after eating, staff and faculty should wash their hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

If staff and faculty are dining on campus, they should wear their masks or face coverings until they are ready to eat, and then replace them afterward.

Eating establishments must meet requirements that allow at least six feet of distance between each customer, including lines and seating arrangements. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Staff and faculty are encouraged to take food back to their office area or eat outside, if this is reasonable for their situation.

Staff and faculty eating in their work environment (break room, office, etc.) should maintain six feet distance between themselves. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Masks or face coverings should only be removed in order to eat, and then put back on. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in break rooms to support physical distancing practices between staff and faculty. Wipe all surfaces, including tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines, etc. after use in common areas.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION/BUSES

Staff and faculty who must take public transportation of any type, must wear a mask before entering the vehicle and avoid touching surfaces with their hands. Upon disembarking, individuals must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as possible and before removing their masks.

TRAVELING BY VEHICLE

If travel is required for work, staff and faculty should ride alone in vehicles where operationally feasible. Staff and faculty who normally have multiple employees in the vehicle due to safety or work standards must wear masks or face coverings.

If the driver is alone throughout the trip, a face covering is not necessary. If more than one person is in the vehicle, all occupants must wear face coverings. Staff and faculty do not need to wear a face covering if it impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.

JMU recommends that staff and faculty limit stops when traveling between their home and their work location. Upon arrival at work and prior to departing, staff and employees should wash their hands as recommended.

TRAVELING TO MULTIPLE WORKSITES

Staff and faculty who travel to multiple JMU work locations or to other agencies should be reminded that they must follow the safety guidelines established for the specific worksite and agency.

MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP)

All health plans offered to state employees and their dependents have EAPs. EAP counselors are available to assist staff and faculty with problems related to anxiety, depression and other possible concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

https://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/balanced-dukes/staff-assistance-program.shtml

BALANCED DUKES PROGRAM

Balanced Dukes is committed to supporting the overall health and wellbeing of all JMU employees. One of the five core areas of this initiative is Emotional Wellbeing. Visit the Balanced Dukes website for more information and resources to offer support, manage stress and enhance your resilience.

https://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/balanced-dukes/about.shtml


ENTRY AND EXIT CONTROL

CONTROL OF BUILDING ENTRANCES AND EXITS

Departments and building coordinators should identify usable building access points. Supervisors should coordinate arrival and departure times of staff and faculty, where possible, to reduce congestion during typical “rush hours” of the business day. Staff and faculty arrival and departures should be scheduled in 30-minute increments to reduce personal interactions at building access points, elevator waiting areas, hallways, stairs/elevators, etc.

Once staff and faculty have been instructed to return to the workplace, they should report to work or depart work through the designated building access and at the designated time to limit the number of people entering and exiting buildings at any one time.

Contactless pickup and delivery arrangements should be established where possible.


HOUSEKEEPING AND FACILITIES

FACILITY ENHANCEMENTS

  • Facilities Management will establish dedicated entrances and exits for each building where feasible.
  • Facilities Management will work with building coordinators to determine which doors may be kept open with doorstops to avoid unnecessary touching.
  • Facilities Management will work with building coordinators to determine if clear shielding/barriers are necessary due to high personal interaction.
  • Facilities Management will monitor air filters and building systems for optimal performance.
  • Facilities Management will provide a COVID-19 signage PowerPoint file for use by all departments. All signage regarding COVID-19 is required to use the template provided to ensure conformity.
  • Plexiglass style shields will be installed on classroom lecterns where possible. Building coordinators may request desktop shields as needed.

HOUSEKEEPING ENHANCEMENTS

  • Housekeepers will clean classrooms, labs, and public restrooms three times each day: Twice during the day and once after classes have ended, prior to the next day.
  • Two one-hour time blocks have been incorporated into the academic schedule each day, reserved for cleaning.
  • Twice daily, housekeepers will clean and sanitize all high-touch surfaces such as stairwell handrails, water fountains, door entrance and exit handles, elevators, vending machines, and all other general-touch surfaces.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance to each building, in every office suite as well as every classroom and lab.
  • Housekeepers will maintain a cleaning schedule verification sheet, located on the back of each classroom door. Housekeepers will sign the cleaning schedule, including the time and date of last cleaning.
  • A bottle of disinfectant and a cloth will be available in each classroom for faculty and students to clean their work area, study area, or desk between formal housekeeping services. Housekeepers will collect and wash cloths on a regular schedule.
  • Housekeepers will no longer clean white boards and chalkboards. This is a faculty responsibility. Appropriate cleaning supplies for white boards and chalkboards will be provided.
  • Housekeeping will clean individual offices and assigned spaces designated for personal/professional use twice a week instead of daily, allowing them to focus on sanitizing shared spaces. A bottle of disinfectant and a cloth will be available for each office so individuals may clean their work/study areas between formal housekeeping services. Housekeepers will collect and wash cloths on a regular schedule.
  • Staff and faculty will be prohibited from placing food items in their office trashcans. These items should be placed in a common area receptacle or taken home.
  • Faculty and staff may order quart bottles of hand sanitizer from Facilities Management for faculty and staff to use at their workstations. Please note that quantities are limited.
  • JMU will not assign housekeepers to individual buildings; however, they will work in teams. Their priority will be the disinfecting of public spaces, restrooms and classrooms.
  • Housekeeping will clean outdoor benches, tables and bus stops daily.

CLEANING PERSONAL WORKSPACE

  • Faculty and staff should regularly clean frequently touched areas in their personal workspaces, including tables, desktops, light switches, phones, keyboards and mice.
  • For electronics, remove visible contamination if any is present. If the manufacturer guidance for cleaning electronic devices is unavailable, consider cleaning these surfaces with disinfectant spray provided by JMU. Apply sprays to paper towels rather than directly to electronics.
  • Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

COVID-19 EXPOSURE AND TESTING

A.  IF YOU REPORT SYMPTOMS WHEN COMPLETING THE LIVESAFE DAILY HEALTH CHECK-IN

If you experience symptoms (Do not report symptoms due to an existing known health condition such as seasonal allergies or chronic lung disease):

  • You should stay at home and away from others
  • Do not come to campus
  • Inform your supervisor
  • Call your primary care provider for further instructions
  • Consult with an HR Benefits Specialist to see what leave options are available

If you are having difficulty breathing or feel short of breath please go to the Emergency Department of your closest hospital.

If you would like to discuss your symptoms with the JMU Occupational Nurse, you may call (540) 568-5310.

B. IF YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

Unless other advice has been provided by your primary care provider, any JMU community member who tests positive for COVID-19 must stay in isolation. Isolation ends when at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset AS LONG AS the individual has been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine AND other symptoms are improving. The minimum duration of isolation is 10 days but may be longer if the fever has not resolved and symptoms are not improving.

For tracking purposes only, notify the JMU Occupational Health Nurse at (540) 568-5310.

Inform your supervisor if you have tested positive for COVID-19 and contact your HR Benefits Specialist to see what leave options are available.

If you have been presumed positive, but were not tested, contact the JMU Occupational Health Nurse for guidance.

C. IF YOU TEST NEGATIVE FOR COVID-19

If you are tested for COVID-19 due to exhibiting symptoms and you test negative, you may report to work if your symptoms have improved and you are fever free for more than 24 hours without use of fever reducing medication.

If you have had direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person, you must remain quarantined for 14 days from when you last had contact with the infected person per Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines, regardless of any negative test results you receive during this time frame.

Direct reports of a presumed positive employee will contact the JMU Occupational Health Nurse for guidance.

If you would like to discuss your symptoms with the JMU Occupational Health Nurse, you may call (540) 568-5310.

D. IF YOU HAVE BEEN TESTED FOR COVID-19 BUT DO NOT HAVE TEST RESULTS YET 

You must stay in quarantine until test results are received; unless, other guidance was received by a health care provider.

E. IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO A COVID-19 POSITIVE PERSON AND HAVE NO SYMPTOMS

1. Did I spend 15 minutes or more with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
2. Was I within 6 feet of this person?
3. Did our interaction occur between 2 days prior to and within 8 days of their symptom onset?

A “yes” to all three means you should do the following:

  • Stay at home and away from others
  • Do not come to campus
  • Inform your supervisor
  • Call the JMU Occupational Health Nurse at (540) 568-5310 to discuss further details.
  • Consult with an HR Benefits Specialist to see what leave options are available

A “no” to any of these questions means you would monitor yourself for the following symptoms: check temperature twice a day to watch for fever 100.4 F or above), cough, or shortness of breath, chills, unusual headache, muscle aches, loss of the sensation to taste or smell, sore throat, or stomach and intestinal problems.

GUIDANCE FOR SUPERVISORS IF EMPLOYEES ARE EXPOSED TO COVID-19

If an employee notifies the supervisor of possible exposure to COVID-19, tests positive for COVID-19 or has been instructed to self-isolate or quarantine by a medical professional, supervisors must review the Employee Exposure Reporting Steps for Supervisors (link below).

COVID-19 Employee Exposure Reporting Steps for Supervisors


COVID-19 TRAINING

FACE MASK TRAINING

Proper face mask use training and associated handout can be found here:

Video of Proper Face Mask Usage

CDC Face Covering Guidelines

ANTI-STIGMA TRAINING

Anti-Stigma training and associated handout can be found here:

JMU Avoid Stigma eLearning

COVID-19 Stigma Guide


COVIDWISE APP

All faculty and staff are encouraged to use the Commonwealth of Virginia’s COVIDWISE App. COVIDWISE is the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) COVID-19 exposure notification app and is a tool that may assist health care workers to identify individuals who may need to quarantine.  This is one tool that may be helpful in contact tracing. Contact tracing is a technique used by public health authorities to contact and give guidance to anyone who may have been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Download the free app at the iPhone App Store or Android Google Play Store.

If you receive a notification that you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, contact the University Health Center at (540) 568-5310. No one should automatically quarantine based on a COVIDWISE notification.

 

 

 

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Published: Friday, May 29, 2020

Last Updated: Monday, October 5, 2020

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