Workplace Expectations & Guidelines

All employees are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols and guidelines outlined in this document as part of VCSU COVID-19 Safe Operating Procedures (SOP). Failure to do so may result in corrective action. Employees who had previously been working from home are not eligible to return to work until all conditions are met.

 

Symptom Monitoring Requirement

Employees who have been instructed or opted to return to the workplace must conduct symptom monitoring every day before reporting to work.

 

If you currently have a temperature of 100.4°F OR the following new or worsening onset of symptoms — shortness of breath, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose,
sneezing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of sense of taste and/or smell — call your medical provider for instructions or go to the NDDoH website, and complete the COVID-19 health risk assessment.  You must be free of the above-mentioned symptoms or have had evaluation and clearance by your personal healthcare provider to be eligible to physically report to work.

 

For the updated symptom list, check NDDoH website.

 

If you have any symptoms, you must inform your supervisor of your absence and call your personal health care provider for assessment of symptoms and COVID-19 testing. You should continue to follow your healthcare provider and/or North Dakota Department of Health guidelines until you are eligible to return to work (see Return to Work Guidance section of the SOP).

 

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
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
  • Severe obesity
  • Being immunocompromised

 

VCSU is committed to providing equal opportunities for employees with disabilities, as defined by law, by providing reasonable accommodations. An employee whose disability requires a reasonable accommodation in order to perform the essential functions of his/her job may request a reasonable accommodation anytime throughout employment by contacting Jennifer Larson, Director for Human Resources. The determination of a reasonable accommodation shall be an interactive process between the employee, Human Resources, and others determined by Human Resources to be relevant.

 

Guidance for Specific Workplace Scenarios

 

Working in Office Environments: If you work in an open environment, be sure to maintain at

least 6 feet distance from co-workers. If possible have at least one workspace separating you from

another co-worker. You should wear a face mask or face covering at all times while in a shared

workspace/room.

 

Departments should assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to

physically separate and increase distance between employees, other coworkers, and customers,

such as:

 

  • Place visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate to customers where they should stand while waiting in line.
  • Place one-way directional signage for large open workspaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between employees 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 6 feet of distancing can be consistently maintained. If more than one person is in a room, masks/face coverings should be worn at all times. A mask or face covering is not required if you are working alone in a confined office space (does not include partitioned work areas in a large

open environment).

 

Masks/face coverings should be worn by any employee in a reception/receiving area. Masks/face coverings should be used when inside any VCSU facility where others are present, including walking in narrow hallways where others travel and in break rooms, conference rooms and other meeting locations.

 

Using Restrooms: Use of restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet

distance between individuals. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential

transmission of the virus.

 

Using Elevators: Use of elevators should be limited where possible to avoid close proximity with others in a confined space. Those using elevators are required to wear a face mask or face covering regardless of traveling alone or with others. You should also avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the preferred form of hand hygiene in healthcare settings upon departing the elevator.

 

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 collaboration tools (e.g., Microsoft Teams, telephone, etc.).

 

In person meetings are limited to the restrictions of local, state and federal orders and should not exceed 50 percent of a room’s capacity, assuming individuals can still maintain 6 feet of separation

for social distancing requirements. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support social distancing practices between attendees.

All attendees should wear a mask or face covering while sharing space in a common room.

 

During your time on-site, you are encouraged to communicate with your 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., WebEx, Microsoft Teams, etc.).

 

Meals: Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential

transmission of the virus.

 

If dining on campus, you should wear your mask or face covering until you are ready to eat and

then replace it afterward. Eating establishments must meet requirements to allow at least 6 feet

of distance between each customer, including lines and seating arrangements. Individuals should

not sit facing one another. Employees are encouraged to take food back to their office area or eat

outside, if this is reasonable for your situation.

 

If you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain 6 feet distance

between you and others. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Only remove your mask or

face covering in order to eat, then put it back on. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs

and tables or add visual cue marks in employee break rooms to support social distancing practices

between employees. Wipe all surfaces, including table, refrigerator handle, coffee machine, etc., after using in common areas.

 

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

Employee Assistance Program: (EAP) is available through The Village Family Service Center to offer emotional support during this stressful period. Telephonic or video counseling is available, and you can access this service using most smartphones, tablets and computers with a camera. You may contact EAP by calling 1-800-627-8220 or by visiting The Village website