Phased Increase of Summer Operations: Departmental Protocols

These protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic apply to all employees (faculty, staff, student employees) and are rooted in protecting the health and safety of our students, employees, and the general public we interact with. This document is aligned and consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Iowa Department of Public Health, and Black Hawk County Public Health. Our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, and these protocols will be updated as appropriate as more information becomes available.

Make the Decision to Increase Summer Operations

1) Continue Working Remotely

According to the CDC’s Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education, institutions of higher education should encourage telework for as many employees as possible. Consider if it is still possible for your entire staff, or portions of your staff, to continue to work remotely this summer.

2) Review the Governor's Disaster Proclamations

Review the Governor's Disaster Proclamations to ensure any increase in summer operations complies with the Governor’s directions. Contact University Counsel with any questions, Tim McKenna, extension 3-3241.

3) Contact the Dean or Division Head

Contact your Dean or Division Head to discuss and confirm your plans to increase summer operations.

Prepare the Workspace

1) Hazard Assessment

Review the following hazard assessment completed by UNI Environmental Health and Safety. If your department’s unique operational needs justify the creation of a separate hazard assessment contact David Oesterle, UNI Environmental Health and Safety, extension 3-7491.

2) Obtain any Necessary Supplies

Contact Jeffrey Van Gelder, UNI Warehouse, jeff.vangelder@uni.edu, to obtain any supplies deemed necessary according to the hazard assessment or any other relevant items such as tissue, sneeze guards, floor markings, and sanitizer. 

3) Social Distancing

Establish policies and practices for social distancing within your department.

Alter your workspace to help individuals maintain social distancing and physically separate employees from each other and from students and guests, when possible. Determine what, if any, common spaces should be made available (e.g., break rooms, conference rooms) for returning employees. Contact Facilities Management for additional assistance if required, extension 3-4400. For workspaces shared across departments or units, supervisors should work together to determine a schedule for use of the space.

4) Post Appropriate Signage 

Departments should place the following signage in a space visible to their employees:

5) Contact Facilities Management

Contact Facilities Management so that the appropriate maintenance can be completed prior to increasing operations, extension 3-4400. Most buildings will remain locked so that only those individuals with keys can access the buildings.

Prepare the Employees

1) Contact Employees

When returning employees to their normal work location, a minimum of two weeks should be offered before requiring them to be in the office.

Employees may waive the two-week notice and request supervisor approval to return earlier.

Employees may need additional time to return to working on campus, given constraints with childcare or other COVID-19 related impacts. Supervisors are encouraged to be flexible.

2) Employees Utilizing Public Transit

For employees who commute to work using public transportation or ride sharing, consider offering the following support:

Allow employees to shift their hours so they can commute during less busy times.

Ask employees to wash their hands as soon as possible after their trip.

3) Employees at Higher Risk for Severe Illness 

For information about the university’s ability to arrange alternate work schedules, job assignments, and teleworking visit Faculty/Staff FAQ | Information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

For information about leaves view the COVID-19 Employee Leave Frequently Asked Questions and COVID-19 Temporary Leave Flowchart. If an employee needs to be on leave, complete the COVID-19 Leave Request Survey.

4) Workplace Policies and Training

All employees should complete either of the following trainings:

Encourage employees to follow the UNI website for any new policies or procedures related to illness, cleaning and disinfecting, work meetings, and travel.

5) Face Coverings

All employees who are able are expected to wear cloth face coverings in shared spaces (i.e. hallways, restrooms, common spaces) where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Cloth face coverings provide an extra layer to help prevent the respiratory droplets from traveling in the air and onto other people. Encourage employees to understand how to properly put on and take off their face covering

All employees are being provided one free face covering courtesy of the university, employees may pick up their face coverings at the UNI Bookstore upon showing their UNI ID.

In some unique situations a face covering may be unsuitable, in these cases a face shield may be worn in place of a face covering. The university can provide face shields for these unique circumstances.

Reopen & Maintain Healthy Business Operations

1) Daily Screening

Prior to every shift, all employees must conduct a daily self screening before coming to work. Supervisors may also require that employees complete the COVID-19 Daily Screening Certification upon arriving at the workplace. An electronic COVID-19 Daily Screening Certification can be provide upon request, please contact UNI Environmental Health and Safety, Joseph Rayzor, extension 3-3189.

Employees who have symptoms should notify their supervisor and stay home. Employees should contact hrs-leaves@uni.edu for information about leave options. For information about leaves view the COVID-19 Employee Leave Frequently Asked Questions and COVID-19 Temporary Leave Flowchart.

Employees who are well but who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and stay home.  A potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic. Supervisors should then work with UNI Environmental Health and Safety, Joseph Rayzor, extension 3-3189, to see if safety measures can be put in place to allow the employee to return. Employees should contact hrs-leaves@uni.edu for information about leave options. For information about leaves view the COVID-19 Employee Leave Frequently Asked Questions and COVID-19 Temporary Leave Flowchart.

2) Symptoms in the Workplace

Individuals who appear to have symptoms upon arrival to campus or who become sick during their time on campus should immediately be separated from other employees, students, and visitors, and sent home. In emergent situations where the individual is unable to arrange for safe transport, they should be transported by ambulance.  

Employees who are sick with COVID-like symptoms should call their healthcare provider. Students who are sick with COVID-like symptoms should call the Student Health Clinic 273-2009 to be assessed over the phone or call their family physician for an assessment. 

Due to confidentiality requirements under the American’s with Disabilities Act, supervisors must contact HRS before notifying employees who may have been exposed to the virus and may need to take additional precautions.

Contact hrs-leaves@uni.edu for information about leave options for the affected employee. For information about leaves view the COVID-19 Employee Leave Frequently Asked Questions and COVID-19 Temporary Leave Flowchart.

3) Sick Leave and Supportive Policies and Practices

For more information about leaves, view the COVID-19 Employee Leave Frequently Asked Questions and COVID-19 Temporary Leave Flowchart. If you need to be on leave, complete the COVID-19 Leave Request Survey

Employees may use their employee assistance program (EAP) benefits to help manage any anxiety or any uncertainty they are experiencing related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). To access EAP call 800-327-4692. EFR has created a tip sheet to help employees stay connected to their emotions during a time of uncertainty and social distancing. Additional information can be found on UNI’s EAP webpage. Students who have mental health concerns should contact the UNI Counseling Center 273-2676.

Employees in need of medical care should call their healthcare provider prior to visiting the office or clinic. Employees are encouraged to consider telehealth options through their own healthcare provider or through Doctor on Demand.

4) Absenteeism

Determine how you will operate if absenteeism spikes from increases in sick employees, those who stay home to care for sick family members, and those who must stay home to watch their children until childcare programs resume.

Plan to monitor absenteeism at the workplace and notify HRS in the event of an absenteeism spike.

Implement plans to continue your essential business functions in case you experience higher-than-usual absenteeism.

Cross-train employees to perform essential functions so the workplace can operate even if key employees are absent.

Review the department’s continuity of operations plan and make any changes that may be necessary.

5) Meetings

Where feasible, even if all attendees are on campus, meetings should be held in whole or part using videoconferencing or teleconferencing. Information Technology (IT) has created a detailed web site to support faculty and staff, visit the Information Technology Remote Services and Support website

Cancel, adjust, or postpone large work-related meetings or gatherings that can only occur in-person in accordance with state and local regulations and guidance.

6) Contractors

Communicate to any contractors or on-site visitors about changes that have been made to help control the spread of COVID-19. Ensure that they have the information and capability to comply with those policies.

7) Travel

The moratorium on all non-essential domestic travel by state employees remains in place, as a result limit domestic travel and advise employees if they must travel to take additional precautions and prepare. All University-sponsored foreign travel is currently suspended.

8) Cleaning and Disinfecting

Facilities Management will continue regular cleaning, but all employees should take responsibility to keep their workspace clean.

For items generally not cleaned and disinfected by Facilities Management, develop a cleaning and disinfecting plan. The university has purchased various cleaning supplies in bulk to ensure that the products used meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and that the appropriate personal protective equipment is available. Departments needing to clean their own spaces and objects should contact Jeffrey Van Gelder, UNI Warehouse, jeff.vangelder@uni.edu, to obtain supplies.