Employee Frequently Asked Questions – COVID-19

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Questions related to working on campus

Is remote work permissible?

  • We are a residential College were in-person interaction is a key component to the K experience for faculty, staff, students, donors, and friends of the College. As of August 2021, it is expected that services on campus are fully available in-person.

Has the college administration considered furloughs at this point? If so, what might they look like and how should we prepare?

  • We are not considering furloughs. We continue to make decisions on our three key principles. One of those is to keep our employees as whole as possible for as long as possible.

If salary reductions become necessary, will we receive any advance notice?

  • If salary reductions become necessary, the College will provide 30 days’ notice.

If it comes to salary cuts, will the college talk about progressive cuts that would help protect lower earners?

  • Yes, if we reach the point of salary reductions, higher wage earners will be impacted differently than lower wage earner.

What’s the stance or policy on employees bringing their kid(s) to work?

  • Given the current health situation it is not advisable to bring children to work.

With the start of classes on September 13, will the buildings on campus remain locked?

  • Employees and students will be able to access buildings on campus.

What was K’s reopening plan for faculty and staff?

  • K adopted a phased-in approach to the re-engagement of in-person work for employees. The reopening plan covered how to keep our valuable human resources safe while we perform in-person work. Find more on the reopening plan.

Is there one page where I can find all of the COVID-19 information as it relates to me as an employee?

Who are the division heads?

  • The division heads refer to the President’s Staff members who are responsible for a certain area of the College.
    • Academic Affairs: Danette Ifert Johnson
    • Advancement: Karen Isble
    • Business and Finance: Lisa VanDeWeert
    • Enrollment: MJ Huebner
    • Student Development: Malcolm Smith

What is the status of campus employment?

  • The College supports campus employment for students. If your unit has needs for student workers, please follow the usual procedures for hiring student-employees.

I feel uneasy about working on campus. Who can address my concerns?

  • An uneasy feeling is understandable. You may express your concerns by contacting your supervisor and/or a member of Human Resources.

I saw someone who was not following the expectations of the Preparedness and Response Plan. What can I do?

Does my unit need to notify anyone when we return to work on-campus? How often will my office be cleaned when I return to on-campus work?

How do I get cleaning supplies?

  • ALL cleaning supplies will be provided by Facilities.  Facilities will be ordering these supplies based on the nature of the location and frequency of cleaning.  You do not need to order supplies directly as the custodial staff have knowledge of each area.  Please do not place orders for cleaning supplies. 

How will cleaning supply acquisition work?

  • You will receive plastic bins with disinfectant wipes in bulk identified with your department and location along with instructions for use and for obtaining refills.  DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR BIN.  The bins are difficult to acquire and spray bottles are not available.  Should you require supplies before students return to campus, please contact Facilities and they will make sure you have what you need.

Is it possible to acquire hand sanitizer for my workspace?

  • Facilities will be installing hand sanitizer dispensers across the campus that can be easily refilled. If you have a special circumstance that requires you to have pump bottles, please alert Facilities, but we ask that you wait until the dispensers are installed.

Who can I contact about the College’s Plan for the return to on-campus work?

Questions related to facial coverings and personal protective equipment (PPE)

If I am on campus, do I need to wear a face covering?

  • Any individual, vaccinated or unvaccinated, able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth when in any indoor space or in a crowded outdoor space. Unvaccinated, those who feel unwell, and those who prefer to mask outdoors are expected to do so.

I need a facial covering. How do I get one?

I forgot to bring a face covering with me today. What options are available to me?

  • A disposable face mask may be obtained my contacting Campus Safety or Human Resources. Some departments might also keep a small supply of disposable face masks by contacting Facilities Management.

My student forgot to bring a face covering with her/him/them today. What options are available?

  • A disposable face mask may be obtained my contacting Campus Safety. Some departments might also keep a small supply of disposable face masks by contacting Facilities Management.

I am required to wear a facial shield for my job. Do I also need to wear a mask/facial covering?

  • Based on CDC guidance, one must wear a facial covering even if a face shield is worn.

I work in an individual space. Do I need to wear a facial covering when I am by myself?

  • No, you do not need to wear a facial covering when you are by yourself in a single-occupancy location.

I work in an individual space. Do I need to wear a facial covering if someone enters my workspace?

  • Yes, you should wear a facial covering if someone enters your workspace. A best practice might be to have the facial covering easily accessible to don quickly, such as hanging from around your neck.

I work in a shared space. Do I need to wear a facial covering?

  • Yes, if you are in a shared space, you need to wear a facial covering.

I have a condition that prevents me from wearing a facial covering. What can I do?

  • Please contact a member of Human Resources for next steps.

I saw someone who was not wearing a facial covering indoors. What can I do?

I need personal protective equipment (PPE). How do I acquire what I need?

  • PPE is limited to masks, face shields or other face coverings and gloves.  All PPE needs  should be forwarded to Louise Tenant-Filkins in Student Development at Louise.Tenant-Filkins@kzoo.edu, who has agreed to assist Facilities with orders.  Please use the words “PPE Order” in the subject line.  The request should list the type of PPE, the number required, and the name and department where orders should be sent.  

How much PPE can I request?

  • If you are requesting large numbers, please provide an explanation and purpose for the large amount.   We ask that you do not request more than 2 month’s supply and that you have a secure storage area where supplies may be kept. 

I have a special PPE request. How should it be handled?

  • If you have a PPE request that is unique (athletics, health center, etc.), please contact Susan Lindemann, AVP for Facilities at Susan.Lindemann@kzoo.edu.

Questions related to the COVID-19 education modules

I have kept up with the news and know the measures needed to avoid COVID-19. Do I really need to complete the awareness modules?

  • Yes, all community members are asked to complete the modules. It is important that we have a shared understanding of how COVID-19 is transmitted and the important steps that all of us can take to mitigate the risk of exposure. Additionally, the modules satisfy a State of Michigan requirement for employees.

I see that there is a liability waiver on the SafeColleges site. If I complete the training, does that mean that I have waived my rights with Kalamazoo College?

  • The education modules satisfy a requirement by the State of Michigan. The waiver on the SafeColleges site does not relieve Kalamazoo College of our obligations. The usage agreement that the College signed includes language to this effect.

Who can I contact for assistance?

Questions related to health and safety

I have COVID-19 symptoms but I want to wait to see if they go away. Can I come to work on-campus while I wait?

  • No, it is important that you remain as quarantined. Please call your medical provider for next steps.

I need/want to get tested for COVID-19. Where can I find a testing location?

I need/want to get tested for COVID-19. How much will it cost me?

  • If you are on the College’s ASR health plan, you should expect to pay nothing. Both of ASR health plans cover the cost of COVID-19 testing at 100%.

Are there any suggestions for how I can protect myself as I move through my day?

I am a bi-weekly employee. Will I need to use my emergency time while I wait for my test results to come back?

  • No, please use the C19 paycode to account for time away from work due to COVID-19 related reasons, including waiting for test results.

I am waiting for test results. My supervisor says that I can work remotely if I feel up to it. Is this ok?

  • Yes, if your work supports remote work and you feel physically able to do so, it is permissible to work remotely while you are waiting for test results.

I tested positive. Is the whole campus going to know?

  • No, the College will not make an announcement about who tested positive. HIPPA regulations forbid this type of communication.

I tested positive for COVID-19. Now what happens?

  • Please self-report your status by contacting Jenn Williams or Renee Boelcke, or through Campus Clear. You can expect to be contacted by a member of the Human Resources office. You will be advised of your rights related to a leave of absence and compensation under the COVID-19 Leave Policy.

I heard that another employee has COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive. How will I know if I should be concerned?

  • It is possible that a member of Human Resources or your supervisor might tell you that you may have been in close proximity to someone who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and that you should self-isolate.

If I am diagnosed with COVID-19, who should I notify and what are my leave benefits?

  • In such an event, you should notify Miasha Wilson at miasha.wilson@kzoo.edu. She will work with you to identify the leave benefits for which you might be eligible. When you provide notice that you have been confirmed positive, please also provide a list of any members of the Kalamazoo College community who you recall being in direct contact and close proximity within the appropriate period of time.

What if someone in my family is diagnosed with COVID-19? Do I need to notify the College? Can I take time off to care for them?

  • Please notify your supervisor and plan to self-quarantine for the recommended 10 days. You may take time off to care for a member of your household as a result of COVID-19.

What resources are available for employee well-being?

  • Please be reminded that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is designed to help navigate through many of life’s ups and downs. A licensed professional counselor can help with stress and anxiety, relationship issues, and more. The work/life specialists can help to find resources in the community on many topics including elder/child care and financial services. Learn more about this free and confidential program by visiting https://hr.kzoo.edu/current-employees/eap/

How do I contact HR or the business office if I have questions about pay or benefits?

New questions can be submitted to Renee Boelcke, AVP for human resources, at renee.boelcke@kzoo.edu.