COVID-19 RETURN TO ALL UD CAMPUS LOCATIONS

GUIDELINES FOR EMPLOYEES

 

EFFECTIVE: AUGUST 19, 2020

 

As the University of Delaware is subject to federal and state law, UD administrative policies are constantly reviewed and updated to align with community requirements. In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the statutory, regulatory, and policy landscape is rapidly changing to best protect the health and safety of students, employees, and visitors to the University. As such, new temporary policies may be developed or existing policies may be temporarily modified or suspended.  

Due to the unique and unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, UD is implementing this interim guidance, which applies to all UD employees (faculty, staff and student employees) as they return to work at all UD locations. Employees may not return to campus unless specifically directed to do so by their supervisor or another authorized department. 

As our knowledge of COVID-19 and related guidance from state and public health authorities continue to evolve, this guidance may change at any time as conditions and/or circumstances may warrant.

All UD employees are expected to comply with the UD COVID-19 Return to Campus Guidelines. Failure to do so may result in corrective action. Any employees with concerns about compliance should consult the Office of Human Resources or report such concerns to the UD Compliance Hotline.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

  1. The safety and wellbeing of the UD community shall remain paramount.
  2. We will continue to cultivate an environment where the academic mission of the University, which revolves around learning, scholarly activities, and public engagement, will thrive and strengthen our position as a leading research institution.
  3. The University will remain compliant with guidance and recommendations provided by relevant state, federal and public health authorities.
  4. In the spirit of progress and innovation, the University will establish and implement new and improved best practices to promote a safe campus environment and enhanced culture of individual responsibility and accountability.

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Testing

  • Pre-Arrival Testing: All employees who plan to come to campus after Sept. 1, even if infrequently, must have a pre-arrival test. 
  • Testing during the semester: Ongoing COVID-19 testing of the UD community is a critical part of the University’s plan to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors. Students should comply with all testing requirements.

 

Health Screening Questionnaire Protocol

Employees who have been directed to return to the UD workplace must complete a health screening questionnaire every day before reporting to work or immediately upon arrival at their workplace. 

At this time, symptoms pertaining to COVID-19 currently include one or more of the following: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.  This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.  See CDC guidelines.

Employees entering the following buildings must show a UD ID and their e-mail from that day verifying successful completion of the daily health screening questionnaire: Carpenter Sports Building, Fred Rust Ice Arena, Pencader Residential Dining, Perkins Student Center, Trabant University Center. 

 

Employees Who Need to Take Extra Precautions

COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors. Based on currently available CDC information and clinical expertise, older adults (65 or older) and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  See CDC Guidelines.

If you are someone who needs to take extra precautions, you may be need to consider additional protocols and/or workplace accommodations to perform your job. Requests and/or needs for further consultation on such matters must be made to the Disability Support Services (DSS).

All employees are reminded that the UD community includes many individuals who need to take extra precautions, so employees who may not be considered high risk should respect and act upon necessary health and safety measures to not only protect themselves, but also their peers and colleagues.

 

Cloth Face Covering Requirement

A cloth face covering to cover the nose and mouth is required in any public community setting. This is to protect people around you, as it is possible that you may be infected, but not have any symptoms.

  1. Employees within indoor facilities must wear an appropriate mask or face covering at all times.  
  2. Masks are required for outside work when in close proximity (< 6 ft.) to others. 
  3. UD will provide cloth masks for those who do not have them. Employees should wash their cloth masks or face covering using a washing machine on gentle cycle, warm water setting and mild detergent.  
  4. Employees are permitted to use their own cloth face masks or face coverings provided they meet CDC guidelines.
  5. If Employees do not have their own CDC-compliant cloth face mask or face covering, please contact UD Environmental Health & Safety at 302-831-8475 or dehsafety@udel.edu to arrange for delivery. In addition, DSS can help with special needs related to cloth face masks or face coverings. 

 

Physical Distancing

All work that can be done remotely should continue remotely for the foreseeable future. Building and office occupancy should be kept to a minimum by staggering reporting and departing times or using alternative daily schedules to limit individuals' interactions. Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period of time.

Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected, but do not have symptoms, likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.

Physical distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home.  Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Do not gather in groups larger than directed by state, local and UD directives.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
  • Follow visual cues and signage such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs indicating where to stand to increase distance between individuals moving through the facility.
  • Furniture and seating areas in University spaces may be adjusted to accommodate physical distancing requirements. Individuals should not move furniture or make other adjustments to spaces without approval from an authorized University representative familiar with physical distancing requirements.
  • Follow current CDC guidelines

 

Handwashing

Employees must wash their hands upon arriving at their workplace, after using the restroom and as needed throughout the day.  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. 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 before and after touching your face. 

 

Gloves

Healthcare workers and others taking care of those who are sick should use personal protective equipment, including gloves; however, 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

Employees do not need to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus, unless required as part of your normal work duties. Good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient for non- healthcare environments. 

 

Personal Space Cleaning

Before starting work and before you leave any room in which you have been working, you must wipe down all work areas with EPA-registered 70% alcohol solution.  This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, door knobs, etc.). 

 

Using Restrooms

Use of restrooms should be limited based on facility size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. Use a drying towel to open the door and discard in the waste receptacle placed outside in the hallway.

 

Using Elevators

No more than one person may enter an elevator at a time, so please use the stairs whenever possible. If you are using the elevator, wear your mask or face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol upon departing the elevator.

 

Working in Office Environments

If you work in an open environment, be sure to maintain at least 6 feet distance from co-workers. You should wear a face mask or face covering at all times while in a shared work space/room.

 

Meetings

  1. Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. Meetings should be held in whole or part using available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, telephone, etc.). 
  2. In-person meetings are limited to the restrictions of local, state and federal orders assuming individuals can still maintain 6 feet of separation for social distancing requirements.
  3. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support social distancing practices between attendees.
  4. During your time on-campus, 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 available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams). 

 

Meals

  1. Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.
  2. 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. 
  3. Employees should wipe all surfaces, including tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines, etc. after use in common areas.

 

Public Transportation

If you take public transportation or ride on UD shuttles, wear a face mask or face covering before entering the vehicle and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible and before removing your face covering. 

 

Research Activities

Specific criteria have been developed for employees conducting research. See UD Research Rampup Guidance.

 

Health and Wellbeing

UD is committed to supporting its employees’ overall health and wellbeing and provides all employees and their families a number of benefits to meet the diverse needs.  Consult the resources below to assist in the adjustment to working from home, as well as cope with the broader realities of the pandemic, create new family experiences and maintain optimal emotional wellbeing. 

Email Wellbeing@udel.edu or call 302-831-8388 to learn more about any of the programs and services offered above.

 

Compliance

UD is a supportive campus community that advocates for each individual’s voice to be heard. Every member of the community is accountable for themselves and others. UD endorses a “see something, say something” mindset to ensure health and safety as we return to campus. 

Individuals are directed to the UD Compliance Hotline for anonymous reporting of non-compliance with any aspects of these guidelines.

As an alternative to the UD Compliance Hotline, individuals can also send an anonymous tip using the LiveSafe App to report non-compliance with these guidelines.