HR Guidelines for Reopening UW-Parkside
Disclaimer: It is important to note that the information contained in this document is merely recommendations and not static. Not all recommendations may be possible and we will look at each situation on a case-by-case basis.
As we begin to reopen the campus, we will find the way we operate in the workplace will be very different. The following guidelines are designed to help us safely open our UW Parkside doors to our students, faculty, and staff.
It is important we all understand our role in reducing the transmission of COVID-19. In order for faculty and staff to be to be protected, they must be properly trained and adequately prepared.
Workforce protection and safety are critical to reopening, and measures must be taken to ensure the faculty, staff, students, and campus community have appropriate protective controls, plans, supplies, and guidance to safely return to work. Opportunities for open dialogue must exist to reassure faculty and staff that their health and safety are paramount.
To ensure faculty, staff, and students have access to the same basic information, formal education/training regarding COVID-19 will be offered. The training will cover the following minimum content:
- A general overview of COVID-19 including infection prevention and control measures (hand hygiene, face coverings, physical distancing, cleaning and disinfection), signs and symptoms, transmission, and credible resources.
- Campus-specific policies and practices regarding infection prevention and control, campus health and safety resources, use of PPE including masks/face coverings, and actions if sick.
Employee Assistance Program
The pandemic environment is causing heightened stress and anxiety in many people, but it can be a very serious, even disabling, matter for someone already dealing with mental health issues. As always, you need to treat a mental health condition in the same way you would a physical one.
Please advise any employee not coping well with the stress of Covid-19, to contact the Employee Assistance Program and speak with a health care professional. To access this benefit, click on the link https://www.feieap.com/. The UW password is SOWI.
Working Remotely and Connecting Virtually
Remote Work Policies
If employees are working from home, we ask supervisors to communicate expectations around work hours, recording their time, privacy, and security. However, we should anticipate remote work arrangements may not be temporary, so establishing good operational practices is important as we look to the future of our learning community.
To maintain a productive work environment, it is important you utilize the tools to connect with your employees and colleagues. There are two video conference call platforms.
If you need assistance in learning how to use these video conference platforms, please contact CTS at email@example.com or (262) 595-2244.
- WebEx - This easy, reliable cloud platform can be used for video and audio conferencing, chat and webinars. Host up to 250 participants, have unlimited 1-to-1 meetings and more.
- MicroSoft Teams - is a great way to get started with quick and easy online meetings. The free plan allows you and your coworkers or friends to collaborate with high-quality screen sharing, webcams, VoIP audio and chat messaging in one session – no download needed.
All Employees will be given the following instructions for protecting their health and reducing transmission:
- Avoid office gatherings, break rooms, and unnecessary visitors in the workplace.
- Stay home (or leave the workplace) and notify the supervisor if symptoms develop.
- Wear masks or face coverings in all public spaces and spaces used by multiple people.
- Know where to find local information on COVID-19 and local trends of COVID-19 cases.
- We will consider potential ADA accommodations if the employee asks.
Self-Report or Family Members have Symptoms
Employees should self-report any symptoms of the virus (i.e. fever, chills, cough, and shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or sore throat) that they or a family member have. If you witness an employee with these symptoms, you should notify your supervisor so that immediate action can be taken to separate the employee from other staff and sent home. Make sure you document your reasoning for sending an employee home.
Supervisor Considerations (Phase 1)
Supervisors should practice the following guidelines for protecting the health of their employees and reducing transmission:
Conduct meetings electronically, even when working on campus. If meetings cannot be conducted virtually, keep participation to fewer than 10 participants and practice physical distancing and wearing of face coverings.
It is vital that everyone is safe and encourage those with increased risk of severe illness or over the age of 65 to continue working remotely and avoid gatherings of greater than 10 or other situations of potential exposures, including travel.
Consider phased return of employees to no more than 50% of the workforce at a time, staggering every 2–4 weeks for full return. Depending on the size and needs of the workforce, the percentage may vary.
Stagger shifts to reduce the number of people in the workplace at the same time.
Gauge employee willingness to volunteer to be the first to return and prioritize those with the greatest ability/desire to return, while paying attention to individual risk factors.
Allow those who can work effectively from home to be the last to return and/or delay their return to the campus.
Encourage single occupancy in work rooms.
Procure sufficient disinfectant products and cleaning supplies so employees can frequently clean their own workspaces.
Post and promote prevention strategies:
- Wash hands frequently.
- During phase 1 and 2, all employees and students must wear some type of face coverings i.e. masks, scarf or bandana to reduce transmission of the disease.
- Maintain physical distance: stay 6 feet apart at all times.
- Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if symptomatic.
- Stay home when you are sick (or leave work immediately) and notify your supervisor.
- Call your health care provider’s office in advance of a visit.
- Limit movement in the community and wear a face covering in public.
- Call your health care provider for instructions regarding return to work.
You may want to consider the following for job-restructuring options which can include:
- Removing marginal job duties that involve more exposure.
- Temporary transfer to another position that has less customer contacts.
- Modifying the work schedule to reduce exposure while in the office or commuting to work.
- If working in the office is not feasible, consider whether work can be performed remotely, such as billing, answering calls, etc.
- Finally, just like in “normal” circumstances, a leave of absence may be considered a reasonable accommodation. Please contact Human Resources for additional information.
Other Additional Recommendations for Health and Safety
Provided below are recommendations to protect employees. We realize not every office will be able to implement all of these recommendations, and we realize other options may exist. We hope these recommendations will help as we begin to safely open our campus. It is important to engage in daily preventative measures to protect against exposure to coronavirus.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Have everyone in the office wear a face covering outside their contained offices (such as hallways) and public areas of the campus.
- Make sure employees clean equipment and conference rooms after use, including copy machine, breakroom, and conference room tables. Consider alternating staff to be responsible for each day to clean surfaces.
- Employees should wash their hands and use sanitizer frequently.
- Have sanitizer dispenser stations or wipes throughout the office, especially in the most traffic areas for customers.
- Avoid nonessential business travel.
- Inventory the common surfaces and shared items in your office and determine what you can do to limit multiple people touching the same items.
- Make sure each employee has their own workstation so they are not sharing computers or other equipment.
- Allow employees to record their time using their cell phones to avoid sharing devices in the office.
- Remove unnecessary shared materials (waiting room magazines and brochures, pens, etc.).
- Remove waiting room chairs, or rearrange them so there’s at least 6-feet of space between each chair.
- Prop open doors so no one has to touch door handles or door plates.
- Consider how you can limit the number of people in the office area at the same time.
- Reconfigure Staff/Student appointment scheduling to limit the number of individuals in the office at the same time and to allow time for cleaning.
- Prepare for visits. Discourage visitors from bringing others with them, recommend arrival times, and advise visitors of any extra precautions you are planning such as waiting outside or asking them to wear a mask.
- If appropriate, consider locking the front doors, post a sign telling the public you are “Open by Appointment Only” and instructing individuals how to check in for their appointment (call from their car, ring a doorbell, etc.)
- Limit face to face exposure. Help your team continue with social distancing measures while in the office and limit the need to gather in groups.
- Stagger start times so everyone is not arriving at the same time.
- Stagger lunch break times.
- Eliminate the need to gather together in a small room for a meeting. Use WebEx to schedule meetings.
- Use video conference tools in the office to allow employees to remain at their separate workstations.
Consider splitting your teams so that you do not have an entire department working at the same time. Phase 1 recommends no more than 50% of a department’s staff be in the office at the same time.
COVID-19 has changed the health and safety of our nation and our college campuses dramatically. It is UW-Parkside’s goal to ensure all faculty, staff and students are safe and protected as they return back on campus. Until specific and effective therapies and vaccines are available and widely used, we will need to continue to reinstate public health control measures throughout the pandemic. We will continue to monitor the risks and need to balance the benefits and potential harms of adjusting these measures, so as not to trigger a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and jeopardize the health and safety of the campus community.
Understanding and following these guidelines will be critical to the success of resuming campus operations and mitigating the potential spread of the virus.
For additional information about the novel coronavirus, you can find more information at the following places:
- UW-Parkside website
- The CDC website
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services website
- Kenosha County Division of Health
- Kenosha COVID-19 Response
- Kenosha County Health
- Racine County COVID-19
- Central Racine County Health Department