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Faculty and Staff

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Thank you to all of you who have shared your ideas, questions and comments in preparation for returning to campus. It’s evident that Mustangs lead in times of change. As we prepare to return, we continually ask “What is best for our Mustang Family in our changing world?” While there are many unknowns as we prepare for fall and beyond, our Mustangs Return planning effort aims to provide a robust learning environment in which students can discover and engage, while also keeping our students, faculty, and staff healthy and safe. Leading through change is not only what we teach, it’s what we do.

Our Pandemic Response Team and Business Resumption Team have been working on plans to return to campus keeping two priorities as our main focus in planning:

  1. Protecting the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students and
  2. Providing students with the best academic and student life experiences and enabling them to progress toward their educational goals while maintaining a safe learning environment.

We have had small teams working on specific aspects of the return to campus such as PPE, physical distancing, masks, testing, and screening as well as a larger academic team working on the class types and schedules. We are excited about asking our students to return to campus and we hope that you are excited to return and provide the experiences and services they need.

The campus teams are working to provide a maximum number of in-person classes supplemented by hyflex and online classes. Housing and dining will be open and available to students.

Attached to this email is a Return to Campus Checklist for all Employees. Please review this checklist as you work with your supervisor or manager on your plans to return to campus.

Employees who have been teleworking may begin returning to campus as of July 6, 2020 with supervisor approval. By August 1, 2020, we ask that all offices or departments on campus have at least one employee working on campus. By August 17, 2020, we ask that all offices and departments are back to “as close to pre-Covid 19” business hours and services as possible. There are many factors that may affect hours of operations such as the K-12 school plans, health conditions of some employees, etc. so please work with your manager/supervisor to create a plan for you and your office as detailed on the checklist.

We are asking all employees and students to follow CDC guidelines and to follow preventative measures to safeguard yourself and others around you as best as possible. These measures include:

  • Self-screening: employees and students will be asked to self-screen daily for COVID-19 symptoms prior to coming to work. If you are feeling ill, stay home and call your supervisor.
  • Practicing good hygiene: washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and/or using hand sanitizer, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, if using a tissue, throwing the tissue away after use. Hand sanitizer will be available in most offices and classrooms and in key locations around campus. Avoid touching your face, in particular your mouth, nose, and eyes, with your hands.
  • Physical distancing: keeping a minimum of six (6) feet in all directions between you and other persons both inside and outside.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing: cleaning and sanitizing will occur regularly.
    • Classrooms will be equipment with cleaning supplies.
    • All students and employees will be responsibility for keeping their workspaces, students seating and learning areas as well as equipment clean and sanitized. To help reduce the spread of coronavirus, cleaning of workspaces, seating, surfaces, and equipment should occur when entering a location, between users and upon leaving an area.
  • Wearing cloth face coverings: cloth face coverings will be required on campus as of July 6.
    • Wearing a mask or cloth face coverings may not protect you from others who may spread the virus. Masks or cloth face coverings can help with preventing your germs from infecting others – especially in situations where you may spread the virus though you do not have symptoms.
    • Face coverings must be worn by any person in a public area which includes common workspaces, hallways, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, breakrooms, restrooms, etc.
    • Face coverings are NOT required to be worn while at your workstation as long as there are no students or other employees within your workstation or office.
    • Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth.
    • One logo face mask will be provided to each student and employee who will be on campus. Employees and student should have additional masks available as masks should be washed daily.

A “Mustangs Return” webpage has been created, www.SMSU.edu/mustangsreturn, and will serve as a source for information regarding students and employees returning to campus. Links will also be available to the COVID-19 information.

We have faced many challenges and changes through these past few months, but through adversity, we have shown our resolve and are reminded of the strength of our Mustang Family. We can accomplish anything when we work together. The campus teams have worked hard to define and prepare a safe return to campus. Much work has been done, but we still have more to do. We appreciate your help and support to make our campus as safe and welcoming as possible. We know there will be questions as the start of fall semester approaches. Additional SMSU Town Hall meetings will be held via Zoom prior to the beginning of Fall Semester. Please watch your SMSU emails for additional information regarding these important meetings. Thank you all for what you have done and for your dedication to our students.

We look forward to a successful fall semester.

Sincerely,
Kumara Jayasuriya
President

Return to Campus Checklists

Download as a PDF

Prior to Returning to Work

  • Complete the COVID-19 Return to Campus Preparedness Plan training through State of Minnesota Self Service ELM.
  • Consider your area’s workspace, workflow, constituent flow, and work priorities to determine if there is adequate spacing to maintain social distancing. If not, determine what changes need to be made, including which jobs can telework, which roles are needed in the office, and if flexible hours and staggered schedules may be used for social distancing.
  • Assess other common spaces, i.e. conference rooms, break rooms. Document and communicate what the common area procedures are upon returning to the workplace.
  • Identify the need for signage to encourage healthy habits and social distancing in the workplace. Ensure it is posted in visible areas in the workspace. Signage and templates will be available through Communications and Marketing. Please use the templates to ensure continuity of design.
  • Survey each employee to determine their ability to return to on-campus work according to the established timeline. Employees may return to work on campus as of July 6. Each office/department should have at least one on campus employee by August 1 and all offices should be back to as close as possible regular office hours by August 17.
  • DO NOT attempt to identify and target high-risk category employees but communicate to all employees about these categories and the support provided if someone wishes to voluntarily disclose. In accordance with Americans with Disability Act (ADA) protections, employees are not required to disclose if they are in a high-risk category based upon a preexisting medical disability.
  • If an employee voluntarily self-identifies as being high-risk for COVID-19, is living with someone considered high-risk based on the CDC guidelines, or are following self-quarantine protocol, consult with HR regarding possible employee accommodations, options for telework, or leave support for the employee. If an employee voluntarily discloses, this information will be kept confidential in accordance with SMSU personnel policies.
  • Develop a plan and schedule for who returns and when based on the University COVID-19 Task Force timeline, the return to on-campus dates established by your department, and employees’ ability to return.
  • Communicate the return to on-campus work plan for your department to your employees and ensure they understand their expected return to on-campus work date.
  • Ensure all employees have completed the COVID-19 Return to Campus Preparedness Plan training through State of Minnesota Self Service ELM. https://hub.selfservice.systems.state.mn.us/psp/hubss/SELFSERVICE/
  • If employees needed to take University issued desktop computer and any peripherals from their office to use for tele-work, please contact the Technology Resource Center (TRC) at 507-537-6111 or TRChelpdesk@smsu.edu to inform them of planned return dates. TRC staff will contact you to set up any necessary appointment to ensure proper re-installation*. If you have been issued Universityowned equipment (e.g. laptop, desktop, 2nd monitor, docking station, etc.) for your COVID-19 tele-work needs, we request that you leave that equipment installed at your home for the time being. TRC staff will be in contact to schedule equipment returns later.

    *Information Technology Services/TRC requires all employees and students for which our staff visit in the locations for assistance to wear masks.
  • Encourage employees to self-screen daily before leaving home for any of the following new or worsening symptoms of possible COVID-19. Below is a list of symptoms currently reported. Check the CDC website or your healthcare provider for the most current information. Employees with any of the symptoms below SHOULD STAY HOME until they have contacted their healthcare provider for further guidance and may be required to return with a fitness for duty release.
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Muscle Pain
    • Sore Throat
    • Diarrhea
    • Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19
    • Chills
    • Repeated Shaking
    • Headache
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Feeling feverish or measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit

While at Work

  • Encourage employees to rigorously practice hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation.
  • Provide tissues, hand sanitizer and disposable wipes for commonly touched surfaces (copiers, printers, workstations).
  • Ensure the workspace adheres to physical distance guidelines and have employees maintain at least 6 feet of separation from other individuals. Masks are required on campus, please see the masks requirement information on the Mustangs Return website: www.SMSU.edu/mustangsreturn
  • Keep meetings to 10 people or less and utilize Microsoft Teams or Zoom for meetings to maintain physical distancing.
  • If an employee shows any symptoms as listed above, they should leave work immediately. Limit the employee’s contact with other individuals in the office and on campus. The employee should contact their healthcare provider for further guidance.
  • Report any known or potential employee absence due to COVID-19 immediately to HR for determining next steps and appropriate follow up.
  • Allow employees to utilize leave time to consult with their healthcare provider, monitor symptoms, self-quarantine or self-isolate due to a possible or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • Advise employees with new or worsening symptoms of illness listed above that they are not permitted to return to work until:
    • In the case of an employee who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to work when all three of the following criteria are met and the individual may also be required to provide a fitness for duty certification from their healthcare provider:
      • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications)
      • They have improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
      • At least 7 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared
    • In the case of an employee who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and does not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, the individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to work until the individual has completed the same criteria listed above; or
    • If the employee has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to work before completing the criteria above, the individual must obtain a fitness for duty certification from their health care provider.
  • Instruct all employees with known close contact to a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 that they may not return to work on campus until the end of the 14-day self-quarantine period from the last date of exposure (with an exception granted for healthcare workers and critical infrastructure workers). They may perform tele-work dependent upon nature of work and manager guidance.
  • Discourage employees from sharing other employees’ desks or equipment and encourage them to wipe down desks and equipment between uses.
  • Encourage employees to maintain office cleanliness through removal of unnecessary debris, clean counter spaces, and support of cleaning efforts on common surfaces. If additional cleaning is needed, please contact Facilities at 537-7106.
  • Conduct check-ins regularly with employees to discuss their challenges, concerns or questions. Offer support during this transition and contact Human Resources for any additional assistance needed addressing concerns or answering questions.

For additional information, visit: www.SMSU.edu/campuslife/healthservices/healthalerts/coronavirus.html
This is a living document and will be updated as needed based on federal, state, local or public health guidance or if University requirements change. Version 07/01/20

Download as a PDF

Prior to Returning to Work

  • Complete the COVID-19 Return to Campus Preparedness Plan training through State of Minnesota Self Service ELM.
  • If you needed to take University issued desktop computer and any peripherals from their office to use for tele-work, please contact the Technology Resource Center (TRC) at 507-537-6111 or TRChelpdesk@smsu.edu to inform them of planned return dates. TRC staff will contact you to set up any necessary appointment to ensure proper re-installation*. If you have been issued University-owned equipment (e.g. laptop, desktop, 2nd monitor, docking station, etc.) for your COVID-19 tele-work needs, we request that you leave that equipment installed at your home for the time being. TRC staff will be in contact to schedule equipment returns later.
    *Information Technology Services/TRC requires all employees and students for which our staff visit in the locations for assistance to wear masks.
  • Self-screen daily before leaving home for any of the following new or worsening symptoms of possible COVID-19. Below is a list of symptoms currently reported. Check the CDC website or your healthcare provider for the most current information.
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Muscle Pain
    • Sore Throat
    • Diarrhea
    • Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19
    • Chills
    • Repeated Shaking
    • Headache
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Feeling feverish or measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • If experiencing any symptoms listed above, DO NOT come to work. Contact your healthcare provider for guidance and notify your supervisor of the needed absence.

While at Work

  • Rigorously practice hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet separation from other individuals. If such distancing is not feasible, other measures such as wearing a cloth face covering (over the nose and mouth) is highly recommended for your protection as well as theirs.
  • Continuously self‐screen for the symptoms listed above. If you begin to show symptoms, notify your supervisor and leave work immediately. Limit contact with other individuals on campus and contact your healthcare provider for further guidance.
  • Keep meetings to 10 people or less and spread out as much as possible or utilize Microsoft Teams or Zoom for meetings when needed to maintain social distancing.
  • Wash or disinfect hands while at work and after any interaction with other employees, other constituents, or items in the workplace.
  • Maintain office cleanliness through removal of unnecessary personal items and debris to create clean counter spaces and support of cleaning efforts on common surfaces. If additional cleaning is needed, please contact Facilities Management.

For additional information, visit: www.SMSU.edu/campuslife/healthservices/healthalerts/coronavirus.html
This is a living document and will be updated as needed based on federal, state, local or public health guidance or if University requirements change. Version 07/01/20

SMSU Branded COVID-19 Signage

SMSU-branded signage for the communication of COVID-19 related safety requirements is available. Click here to view the available signage. Printable signs are available for download as well as templates for customizing signage for your area. For weather-resistant, laminated signs, contact Physical Plant at PhysicalPlant@smsu.edu.

If you have suggestions for signage that you feel should be available campus-wide, please email Communications@smsu.edu with your ideas.

Last Modified: 8/6/20 11:12 AM