To: OSU faculty and staff
From: Dan Larson, Vice Provost for Student Affairs
and Cathy Hasenpflug, Chief Human Resources Officer
Date: June 12, 2020
Dear OSU faculty and staff,
Supporting the health and safety of all employees, students and the public is vital to the resumption of onsite activities and the ongoing public health protection of the OSU community. We want to provide you with information you need as an employee or supervisor to be prepared for the next stages of resumption of onsite and in-person activity.
In compliance with the state of Oregon’s Executive Order 20-28 issued Friday, June 12, 2020, intentional steps are being taken at the university and departmental level that will provide employees with the resources and environment that supports their return to onsite work and activities and that are in alignment with Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Guidelines. As stated in the Executive Order, each Oregon college and university has the flexibility to determine how and when students return to campus, but each institution must meet, at a minimum, the public health requirements contained in the guidance.
OSU’s Resumption Plan meets the minimum public health requirements provided by OHA and has incorporated this latest guidance in the university’s resumption plan. OSU will begin resuming onsite and in-person activity (restricted return) as of June 14, 2020, and will continue to update planning as necessary.
Remember, the measures and strategies identified in OSU’s Resumption Plan are intended to prepare for and maintain low-density, mixed modality university environments.
Guidance for Supervisors and Employees:
Supervisors, please ensure you have communicated which employees need to return to onsite work in Phase 1: Restricted Return, per the resumption schedule on page 19 in the OSU Resumption Plan.
All OSU employees, volunteers and students are required to conduct a daily self-screening for symptoms of COVID-19, prior to arriving at a university setting. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms or is feeling ill must stay home and consult with a medical care provider. Follow the self-screening guide available within OSU’s Comprehensive Public Health Strategy. Protecting our community’s health is the collective responsibility of each individual. To be safe, we must each do our part.
We encourage supervisors and employees to explore flexible and creative boundaries to provide for as many employees to work remotely as possible, particularly with regard to balancing personal needs and health risks. To the extent possible, supervisors should allow employees to flex their work schedule within reasonable core hours so employees may juggle demands of working at home, caring for their families and children while ensuring university work is completed in a timely and fully satisfactory manner.
Employees should not come to work if they are ill. A supervisor may tell an employee to leave their work location if the employee reports to work showing symptoms of illness. Employees are asked to cooperate with supervisors who are taking on this additional responsibility with the goal of supporting community well-being.
If you are not feeling well, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and seek medical support as needed. It is also critical that you stay away from others so that your illness doesn’t spread. If possible, employees who are caregivers for a sick family member are to exercise caution and stay home, with the approval of their supervisor. Employees who are scheduled to return to the work-site, and who believe that they may have a condition which puts them at greater risk, even with the safety protocols in place, may work with their supervisor and their Human Resources Strategic Partner to review their individual needs and consider available alternatives. Employees taking Family and Medical Leave to care for family members should work through Human Resources and do not need supervisor approval.
The university recognizes employees’ need to care for children at home when schools are closed, the lack of childcare in many communities, and the possibility of workplace adjustments. In accordance with Gov. Kate Brown's executive orders and local health authority guidance, OSU is working with university-based childcare providers so that care services will open as soon as possible. Remember that OSU employees have free access to Care.com, which may provide helpful childcare provider referrals. Additionally, you may view a parent resource guide created by Care.com to learn about finding summer child care and explore summertime activities and classes for kids. At this time, employees also may use accrued leave time (vacation, personal, compensatory and COVID-19 leave) with supervisor approval. While OSU employs a low-density approach within university facilities and limits the number of people physically onsite, employees may not bring children to worksites.
Reporting Exposure and Positive Cases:
Employees should use standard procedures to notify their supervisor if they are ill and need to stay home. Consistent with general policy and practice, employees are not required to disclose -- and supervisors should not inquire about -- specific health conditions. Employees should work with their primary medical care provider to receive testing or treatment as needed. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, county health officials will contact those affected to initiate a contract tracing investigation of close contacts.
Individuals who test positive, or are presumed to be positive, are required to self-isolate at home for 72 hours after all symptoms have been resolved, and for at least 10 days since symptoms first occurred. Employees should not work while ill. Individuals who are identified to have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case will be contacted by the local county health department and asked to self-quarantine for 14 days following the last contact with an infected person. Self-quarantine should include staying home, daily symptom monitoring, practicing physical distancing and hygiene measures, and avoiding group settings.
Assistance for Employees Returning Onsite:
OSU recognizes the current global pandemic and its impacts on employees, though varied in nature and severity, are felt at some level by all. As a part of OSU’s culture of care, Human Resources is pleased to introduce a new employee assistance program (EAP) called Beyond Benefits. Beyond Benefits EAP is a confidential, no-cost service for employees and their household members. The program will replace Cascade Centers EAP effective July 1, 2020.
OSU Beyond Benefits EAP will be available through the Human Resources website starting July 1. Employees who need to access EAP services between now and June 30 can obtain resources and support through Cascade Centers EAP at 1-800-433-2320 or at the Cascade Centers website.
Non-essential travel remains restricted at this time. Professional development should continue to be provided and accessed remotely as available. After returning from international travel, employees should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention direction to remain at home for 14 days. While at home, employees should self-monitor symptoms daily, and practice physical distancing and hygiene practices.
Please utilize the links below to help create work environments that decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission and support employee well-being. Additional guidance is provided in the OSU Resumption Plan.
OSU will continue to provide updates on state and local guidance to guide OSU’s Resumption Plan. For additional information, please reach out to your Human Resources Strategic Partner or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand that returning to onsite work after several months of working remotely can be a difficult transition. Please reach out for assistance when needed, communicate often and remain flexible as we navigate this challenging time together.
Dan Larson, Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Cathy Hasenpflug, Chief Human Resources Officer