PHASED RETURN TO CAMPUS
Employees will return to campus in a phased approach. When planning for the return of employees, departments will consider the following factors along with general business requirements:
- Employee’s overall risk profile
- Obligation of the employee to provide dependent care
- Suitability of the position for remote work
- Level of hardship created either by exclusion from or inclusion in the workplace
Supervisors and deans will work closely with their employees to determine how to maximize productivity while minimizing health risks and remaining sensitive to the circumstances created by this pandemic.
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Additionally, supervisors and deans will monitor and manage the number of employees in the workplace. In areas with a shared workplace, this may require:
- Flexible work schedules.
- Alternating days in the workplace with days of remote work.
- Continuation of telecommuting.
- Staggered start and end times to limit the number of employees arriving or departing at the same time.
CAMPUS FACILITY USE GUIDELINES
Academic labs will provide remote instruction with reduced student numbers with physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and public health modifications.
Computer labs are open with reduced student number with monitored physical distancing, public health modifications and enhanced cleaning.
The bookstore is open, with physical distancing and enhanced cleaning.
The testing center is limited to 10 (by appointment only) with monitored physical distancing and enhanced cleaning.
Student Services is available online and by appointment only. To make an appointment, call 803.535.1224.
The cashier’s desk is open.
The library is open to students. Computer use is available by appointment.
Employees who are sick should stay home. Employees should monitor their temperature and themselves daily for the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Muscle or body aches
- Lost sense of smell and/or taste
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever greater than 100.4°F
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control recommends that employees who have been ill not come to work at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms AND they are fever free (less than 100.4°F using an oral thermometer) for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines and their other symptoms have improved.
If you live with or have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is quarantined or isolated due to suspicion of COVID-19, please contact Human Resources.
Visit DHEC and the CDC websites for more information.
Social distancing and personal hygiene are important safeguards. Employees should:
- Maintain a distance of 6 feet from others.
- Avoid close contact with others.
- Wear face coverings in common areas and hallways, or whenever it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of separation.
- Wash hands frequently.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow.
- Avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces.
- Routinely clean their own workspace.
- Respect the personal space of others.
FACE MASKS AND CLOTH COVERINGS
Face masks or cloth face coverings are strongly encouraged for all employees working on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Face masks are required under the following conditions:
- When entering buildings and while in common areas (hallways, mailroom, etc.).
- When interacting with students (bookstore, cashier’s desk, classrooms, testing center and labs).
- When interacting with co-workers in offices and breakrooms where social distancing of 6 feet cannot occur. Both parties are required to wear a mask during these interactions.
Employees who are alone in their office or workspace where social distancing of 6 feet and/or physical barriers exist are not required to wear masks.
Employees who have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask while on campus should contact Human Resources at 803.535.1207.
Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical to minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 even if you do not feel sick.
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING
This has been a challenging time for everyone. Individuals dealing with feelings of isolation, anxiety or stress are encouraged to use our Employee Assistance Program. Our EAP is through The Dawn Center. All employees – full time, part time or temporary – and members of their household may take advantage of this free service. Telehealth options and in-person therapy are available.
Employees should call Carolyn Gamble at 803.536.4900, ext. 134, to access services. If you already receive services through our EAP, contact your counselor directly. The benefit also covers dependent children. If your dependent child under the age of 18 is in need of services, call Melinda Lamprecht at 803.534.2328, ext. 147.
COPING WITH ANXIETY AND STRESS
To ensure that you protect your mental and emotional health:
- Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about COVID-19 or other stress-inducing issues repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body: eat healthy, well-balanced meals; exercise regularly; get plenty of sleep; and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind and participate in activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others.
Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
In addition, please be thoughtful of how others are feeling during this time, and reach out to them regularly to let them know that you and our state are here for them. The South Carolina Department of Mental Health has resources available to help cope with stress. Visit scdmh.net for stress, anxiety and mental health resources.
– Adapted from USC’s Guide to Returning to the Workplace
SHARED SPACES AND COMMON SURFACES
Every effort will be made to maintain the cleanliness of shared spaces and common surfaces such as:
- Light switches
- Cabinet doors, drawers and counter tops
- Work tables
- Break areas
- Conference rooms
Certain unoccupied areas on campus will have reduced cleaning, which will allow physical plant to focus more attention on occupied spaces on campus.
SNEEZE GUARDS AND PLEXIGLAS SHIELDS
Certain workstations in public areas across campus will have sneeze guards or Plexiglas shields installed temporarily to provide employees with a level of separation from the general public.
Meetings should be conducted in ways that allow for social distancing and the inclusion of employees who are working remotely.
Continue to use online meeting platforms to allow employees to connect from their home office or campus office. All employees have been given a Zoom account. If you need assistance setting up this account, please contact John McCaskill in IT at email@example.com.
In-person meetings should occur only in open areas or rooms with occupancy levels that significantly exceed the number of participants and are not greater than 50 percent of current occupancy limits.
If employees must travel in vehicles to perform their job duties, departments should limit the number of employees in a vehicle to the maximum extent possible, and whenever possible, only have one employee in a vehicle at a time.
Hand sanitizer stations are strategically placed in occupied areas. Wipes, keyboard covers and mouse covers are available in computer labs for use by students and/or lab monitors.
Employees should routinely wipe or disinfect their personal workspaces. Wipes and/or spray will be provided for departmental use. Employees should practice social distancing in common areas, waiting until sufficient space is available to enter and respecting the personal space of others. This includes:
Employees are required to view the following before or upon their return to campus:
Below is an additional optional video for full-time employees via TREAD:
Signage and posters featuring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will be posted across campus to ensure that employees know the symptoms of COVID-19 and how they can help prevent its spread.