EMUSafe Actions for Employees

A single action alone is insufficient to slow the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the University will therefore take a layered approach using multiple strategies that, together, will make our campus community safer by reducing the spread of COVID-19. Following health protocols (e.g., wearing a face mask, physical distancing, personal hygiene) dramatically reduces your risk of contracting COVID-19. These requirements are therefore designed to overlap and reinforce each other and must be observed in their entirety.

Consistent with the principles outlined above, the details surrounding EMU’s safe campus plans will continue to evolve. The safety actions outlined below will be updated as society learns more about the most effective ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, government regulations evolve, vaccine distribution increases, and new decisions are made for our campus.

  • Daily Health Screening

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    All employees will be required to complete a COVID PASS Daily Health Screening every day to identify symptoms of COVID-19.

    The symptoms of COVID-19 include:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    This strategy is used effectively by hospitals, grocery stores and other organizations. This system requires everyone’s participation to succeed. Compliance is verified at check-in stations located inside buildings.

    The COVID PASS Daily Health Screening form is available here for use on a computer or mobile device. The University recommends completing the form before you leave your residence each day. For individuals who arrive on campus before completing the screen and do not have a smartphone, the form may be completed electronically at check-in desks. 

    Employees who pass the health screening are cleared to be on campus for that day. Employees may be required to verify that they passed the health screening before entering a campus building.

    Employees who do not pass the health screening are required to stay off-campus, follow instructions provided in the screening, and notify their supervisor that they are ill.

    Faculty and staff may follow up with the EMU Telehealth Clinic with questions about their screening ([email protected], 734-487-3865). 

  • Individuals who become ill while on campus

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    If an employee develops symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus, they must notify their supervisor immediately that they are ill, make arrangements to return home as soon as possible, and avoid contact with other individuals as much as possible.

    Any individual who has symptoms of COVID-19, or believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19, should complete the COVID-19 Report Form and may contact their primary health care provider, the IHA Primary Care @ EMU Health Center (734.896.4110) or the University Telehealth Clinic (734.487.3865 or [email protected]).

    Most of EMU’s workforce has access to paid sick time as outlined in Board Policy 3.2.5 (for non-bargained-for employees) and the collective bargaining agreements (for employees in a collective bargaining unit). The University does not retaliate against employees (through discharge, discipline or otherwise) who stay home or leave work when they are sick or at particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19. University Human Resources is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy and investigating allegations that this policy was violated.

  • Testing for COVID-19

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    Populations at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 may undergo baseline antigen testing before returning to campus. (Antigen testing detects the presence or absence of COVID-19 antigens). Additional testing may occur depending on the circumstances. 

    Employees who test positive for COVID-19 must (a) leave campus immediately, taking care to avoid contact with other people (or, if they are not on campus, they should stay home), (b) notify their immediate supervisor that they are ill, and (c) complete the COVID-19 Report Form

    Individuals who learn that a student, co-worker, visitor or contract employee who recently visited campus has tested positive for COVID-19 should immediately complete the COVID-19 Report Form

    Other than completing the COVID-19 Report Form, employees should not notify anyone about a positive test for COVID-19. Other individuals on campus are notified as appropriate pursuant to government protocols for contact tracing and notification.

    An employee who has questions about possible exposure to COVID-19 and how that impacts their ability to come to campus should contact the EMU Telehealth Clinic ([email protected], 734-487-3865).  

    Any individual who has symptoms of, or believes they may have been exposed to, COVID-19, should contact their primary health care provider, the IHA Primary Care @ EMU Health Center  (734.896.4110), or the University Telehealth Clinic (734.487.3865 or [email protected]). In this case, an employee must also complete the COVID-19 Report Form

  • Physical distancing

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    Physical distancing is one of the most effective strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Whenever practical, all individuals on University grounds must maintain a physical distance of six feet or more from other individuals who are not part of their household. Although on-campus housing roommates are part of the same household, these standards apply in campus housing common areas.

    Each campus building may have designated entry and exit points and signage regarding hallway traffic flow. Elevators have restricted capacities. These restrictions are clearly marked, and all individuals must adhere to these designations. Where traffic flow in hallways is not marked, individuals are encouraged to walk on the right side of the hallway.

    Individual classrooms were evaluated to assess new capacity restrictions and seating configurations to allow for physical distancing. The capacity and layout are different for every classroom based on its layout, whether the furniture is fixed or movable, etc. In classroom situations where physical distancing is not possible, additional precautions have been implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

    Individual offices may be reconfigured to promote physical distancing. Plexiglass screens may be installed to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets in areas with customer-facing counters or where employees work in close proximity to one another. As part of the ongoing planning process, each office will be asked to submit requests to rearrange furniture or install plexiglass screens based on their unique needs.

    Signage encouraging physical distancing is installed throughout campus, and individual offices have access to pre-designed signs to print and post in their workspaces.

  • Face masks

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    Wearing a face mask is one of several important actions that reduce the spread of COVID-19. Everyone on campus is required to wear a face mask that covers both the nose and mouth in or on all University buildings and grounds, both indoors and outdoors. Everyone on campus should wear a face mask that loops over the ears. Gaiter coverings, which are worn around the neck instead of over the ears, and vented masks are not permitted. A face shield is not a substitute for a face mask; a face shield should only be worn with a face mask.

    Individuals need not wear a face mask when they are alone in a private office with the door closed, living space, or other isolated space. The University will provide face masks to students. During the academic year, face masks will be distributed in a variety of locations, including at check-in stations located in many campus buildings.

    >When choosing a face mask, consider how well it fits, how well it filters air, and how many layers it has. Gaps can let air with respiratory droplets leak in and around the edges of the mask. Ensure that it fits snugly over your nose, mouth, and chin by cupping your hands around the outside edges of the mask and make sure no air is flowing from the area near your eyes or from the sides of the mask. If the mask has a good fit, you will feel warm air come through the front of the mask and may be able to see the mask material move in and out with each breath.

    Emerging evidence suggests that wearing a three-layer mask provides enhanced protection against COVID-19. The EMU-branded face masks contain three layers. When a three-layer mask is not available, wearing two masks, such as a cloth mask over a surgical mask, can provide added protection, particularly if cloth masks are thin or one layer. While KN95/N95 masks may provide a higher level of protection, they require customized fitting and they remain in short supply with priority given to health care providers. 

    Employees (including student employees) who believe that they have a medical condition that prohibits them from wearing a face covering while working should contact University Human Resources at hr_[email protected]. Without an approved accommodation, face masks are required. 

    We expect every member of the campus community to follow these standards as part of our community commitment to safety. Employees who do not comply with this policy are subject to disciplinary action. Questions regarding enforcement involving employees should be directed to University Human Resources at [email protected].

    Face Mask Do's and Don'ts

  • Hygiene

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    Good hygiene practices help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    • All individuals should regularly wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. At a minimum, individuals should wash their hands before eating and after using the restroom, touching anything in a public area or blowing their nose. The Custodial Services Office will ensure that public restrooms are equipped with soap.
    • Use hand sanitizer when needed (but not in lieu of hand washing when soap and water are available). Hand sanitizer stations will be in all buildings and offices may purchase hand sanitizer for use by employees and visitors.
    • Do not cough into the air. Instead, cover your mouth when you cough using your sleeve or a tissue (but not your hand). If you use a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw away the tissue after use. If wearing a face covering, do not remove it to cough or sneeze.
    • Blow your nose using a tissue and immediately throw away the tissue after use. Individual offices may purchase tissues for use by employees and visitors.
  • Gloves

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    In general, wearing gloves is not recommended to protect against COVID-19. The University will therefore not require most individuals to wear gloves. Some employees may be required to wear gloves based on the nature of their work.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting

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    All public areas in campus buildings (e.g., restrooms, hallways, classrooms, offices) are subject to more frequent and in-depth cleaning. For example, disinfectant electrostatic fogging is used in large areas and spaces that are difficult to clean using traditional methods (such as locker rooms), and touchpoints (e.g., light switches, elevator buttons, desks, and door handles) are cleaned daily. The standards for each building vary based on the building size, layout, use, and other relevant criteria, and cleaning standards may evolve depending on the time of year, day of the week, government regulations, and other criteria.

    Classrooms are cleaned and disinfected by custodial staff. Scheduling was modified to provide more time between classes to reduce the flow of people and allow time for additional cleaning if needed.

    As part of the layered approach to providing a safe campus environment, EMU will also apply a special microbial polymer to create a protective covering on hard and soft surfaces in classrooms, public areas, and elsewhere. Used by many hospitals and other public universities in Michigan, the covering creates a long-lasting film on the treated surface that is proven to kill many viruses upon contact.

  • Ventilation

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    The University has modified building ventilation systems to increase the use of outside fresh air. The type of ventilation filter used varies depending on the type of work performed in the building and any limitations on the building’s filtration systems. Fans should not be used in classrooms and other interior public spaces.

  • Class instruction

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    EMU is offering a full selection of courses during the 2020-2021 academic year, and is in the process of developing the course schedule for the summer 2021 and fall 2021 semesters. Courses may be delivered in-person, online asynchronous, online synchronous, or in a hybrid format. Decisions about how individual courses are delivered were made at the college and department level to ensure that each course’s pedagogical needs are addressed and that students receive access to the excellent education they expect. The Office of the Provost worked with Deans to execute this process. Classroom space is extremely limited during the 2020-2021 academic year because of physical distancing standards. Room scheduling is therefore managed centrally by the Office of the Provost and a majority of class sections are offered in an online or hybrid format.

  • Dining

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    EMU Dining developed a comprehensive plan to enhance health and safety for customers and employees. The plan incorporates their unique needs as a food service provider and the largest employer of students on campus.

    Changes include:

    • an increased focus on speed to reduce congregation
    • delicious to-go meals with more mobile-ordering options
    • plexiglass at high-contact customer-service stations
    • directional signage and digital communication tools
    • removal of self-service options
    • extensive training and employee health screening
    • enhanced cleaning and frequent sanitizing
  • Housing

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    EMU Housing developed a comprehensive plan to enhance health and safety protocols. To reduce housing density, EMU offered a single room in the residence halls during the fall 2020 and winter 2021 semesters, at a discounted rate, to students who requested one. Housing check-ins are staggered to support physical distancing. Plexiglass is installed at front desks that are currently in use, and will be added to other customer-facing stations as needed. Non-EMU guests are not permitted in housing facilities after move-in. Residents are required to wear face masks in common areas. Residence hall students are required to complete health screenings daily, even on days they are not attending class. The COVID PASS Daily Health Screening is available here

  • Athletics

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    All student-athletes are required to undergo periodic COVID-19 testing and will be notified when and how to undergo such testing.

    The Mid-American Conference Council of Presidents unanimously adjusted competition and practice schedules for various teams for the 2020-2021 academic year. Student-athletes should consult with their coach to assess their schedule and unique requirements to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols. 

  • Remote work and flexible work schedules

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    The Remote Work Group developed new policies and practices to support remote work by non-instructional staff. These policies and practices will support the flexibility needed when considering remote work arrangements for staff alongside individual office needs and state and federal health-related workplace mandates. Staff who have not been directed to work remotely but nonetheless request remote work arrangements must have them approved by their supervisors.

    A variety of tools exist to support employees who are assigned to work at home. For example, to date the University:

    • doubled its VPN capacity;
    • purchased a campus-wide Zoom license;
    • permits employees to ask to bring desktop computer equipment home; and
    • ramped up use of softphone software that allows employees to make and receive telephone calls from their computer using their University telephone number, and voicemail forwarding to email.

    Faculty and staff requesting medical accommodation or leave to work from home or teach online pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or any other available leave should submit such requests to University Human Resources at [email protected].

  • Research labs

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    Research labs have been re-opening on a phased approach pursuant to applicable State of Michigan orders. Their detailed plans and procedures include special protocols for training, cleaning, physical distancing and other standards.

  • Travel (vehicle, air,and public transportation)

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    Employees are not permitted to travel via air for University business until further notice. Employees should direct questions to their division vice president.

    Employees who use University vehicles for University business must wear a face mask in the vehicle if they are in the vehicle with another individual who is not a member of their household.

    Individuals who use public transportation (e.g., buses) are encouraged to:

    • always wear a face covering;
    • practice physical distancing whenever possible; and
    • wash their hands after their trip or, if soap and water are not readily available, carry and use hand sanitizer immediately after their trip.
  • Visitors and Events

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    Special limitations and restrictions on visitors to campus are in place. A “one-size fits all” approach will not work. Instead, specific protocols have been developed for specific types of campus events, including athletic events, housing visitors, student organization events, and community gatherings. Many events may be held online. You may contact [email protected] if you have questions about a specific event.