COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan

Effective Date:  July 14, 2020

Updated August 19, 2020: Cloth face covering must be worn even if one wears a face shield.


Kalamazoo College has adopted a phased-in approach to the reengagement of in-person work. This plan covers how to keep our valuable human resources safe while we perform in-person work as permitted under the State of Michigan’s orders related to emergency management of the COVID-19 crisis. We expect that this plan will change as the situation develops and guidance from health authorities, government agencies, and College administration evolves. The plan will be made readily available to employees. The plan will be made available via Kalamazoo College’s website and in hard copy format, upon request. Employees may find the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19 by visiting

COVID -19 Coordinator

Renee Boelcke, AVP for Human Resources, is Kalamazoo College’s COVID-19 Coordinator. Concerns about unsafe work conditions should be reported to Renee Boelcke at or by visiting

Symptoms of COVID -19

Infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can cause illness ranging from mild to severe and, in some cases, can be fatal. Symptoms typically include fever (>100.4F), cough, shortness of breath, and a new loss of taste or smell. Some people infected with the virus have reported experiencing other non-respiratory symptoms. Other people, referred to as asymptomatic cases, have experienced no symptoms at all.

According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as fourteen days after exposure.

How COVID – 19 Spreads

Although the first human cases of COVID-19 likely resulted from exposure to infected animals, infected people can spread SARS-CoV-2 to other people. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to-person, including:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • 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.

COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. It may be possible for a person to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads.

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (i.e., experiencing fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this type of asymptomatic transmission with this new coronavirus, but this is also not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Although the United States has implemented public health measures to limit the spread of the virus, it is likely that some person-to-person transmission will continue to occur.

Where, how, and to what sources of SARS-CoV-2 might workers be exposed

Where : Occupational exposure should be limited while the College continues to require those who can perform their work remotely to stay home. Throughout campus the following sources could exist:

  • Contact with other members of the College community who are working in-person on campus. Examples of people working in-person on campus include faculty, staff, and/or contractors.
    • Contact with students who are on campus.
    • Contact with members of the community and/or contractors who may be on campus.

How : Touching the same items as others. This includes frequent touch points like doorknobs, handrails and bathroom fixtures, which may hold surface droplets aspirated from an infected person. Touching one’s face, mouth or nose with unwashed hands could transfer the virus. Employees may also encounter others directly as they perform their work functions in occupied areas. During respiration, an infected person could aspirate virus onto the nose or mouth of another person, particularly coughing or sneezing with an uncovered mouth.

Non-Occupational Risk Factors: All employees are at risk while away from work. Activities like grocery shopping, fueling vehicles, or visiting any public spaces involve risk of exposure and employees should take precautions to reduce the risk. Other members of their household may also present a risk, particularly those who work in high risk environments like health care.

Heath Risk Factors:
Liver disease, chronic lung disease, immunocompromised people, pregnancy, heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, obesity and neurological disorders all increase the risk.

Job Specific Risk

OSHA/MiOSHA risk pyramid. Levels: Lower risk (caution), Medium risk, High risk, Very high risk

OSHA/MiOSHA’s risk of exposure pyramid uses these definitions and examples.

  Lower Exposure Risk (Caution)  
Jobs that do not require contact with people known to be, or suspected of being, infected with SARS-CoV-2. Workers in this category have minimal occupational contact with the public and other coworkers. Examples include:

  • Remote workers (i.e., those working from home during the pandemic).
  • Office workers who do not have frequent close contact with coworkers, customers, or the public.
  • Industrial facility workers who do not have frequent close contact with coworkers or the public.
  • Healthcare workers providing only telemedicine services.

 Medium Exposure Risk
Jobs that require frequent/close contact with people who may be infected, but who are not known to have or suspected of having COVID-19. Workers in this category include:

  • Those who may have frequent contact with travelers who return from international locations with widespread COVID-19 transmission.
  • Those who may have contact with the general public (e.g., in schools, high population density work environments, and some high-volume retail settings).

High Exposure Risk
Jobs with a high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of SARS-CoV-2. Workers in this category include:

  • Healthcare delivery and support staff (hospital staff who must enter patients’ rooms) exposed to known or suspected COVID-19 patients.
  • Medical transport workers moving known or suspected COVID-19 patients in enclosed vehicles.

Very High Exposure Risk
Jobs with a very high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of SARS-CoV-2 during specific medical, postmortem, or laboratory procedures. There are no positions at Kalamazoo College that fall into this category.

Position Analysis
A position exposure analysis has been done for each position. The results, including the risk assessment rating, may be found by visiting

Administrative Controls

Employees will return to in-person work on campus in phases. Employees whose positions support remote work will be asked to do so until conditions improve. Division heads have discretion to determine who will return to campus. Employees returning to on-campus work are required to complete one-time awareness training by visiting  before their first shift on campus. Kalamazoo College will train employees on, at a minimum:

  1. Routes by which the virus causing COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person.
  2. Distance that the virus can travel in the air, as well as the time it remains viable in the air and on environmental surfaces.
  3. Symptoms of COVID-19.
  4. Workplace infection-control practices.
  5. The proper use of PPE, including the steps for putting it on and taking it off.
  6. Steps the worker must take to notify the College of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
  7. How to report unsafe working conditions.

Schedule Alterations

Units are encouraged to employ schedule alterations to reduce exposure and thereby reduce the likelihood of virus transmission. Examples of schedule alterations include rotation of on-campus shifts, on-campus work beyond typical business hours, and continued remote work.

Social Distancing: All employees are required to maintain 6 feet of distance between themselves and others whenever possible; exceptions include team lifting and other safety considerations. When social distancing is not practical, all individuals who are medically able to wear a covering such as a cloth or shield which will cover the mouth and nose.

Occupancy Limits: The College will follow the State of Michigan’s guidance regarding indoor and outdoor occupancy limits. Please check with your supervisor regarding the latest occupancy restrictions.

Hand Washing: Employees are encouraged to wash hands using proper technique frequently and especially:

  • Before preparing or eating food
  • Before and after treating a wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

Proper Hand Washing Technique:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol is provided throughout campus. Sanitizer is for use only when a hand washing location is not readily available.

Sharing: Sharing items is discouraged throughout the workday. This includes phones, writing instruments, desks, offices, tools, and other equipment. Tools/equipment that must be used by multiple employees shall be sanitized between uses.

Offices/Workstations – Offices and workstations will be cleaned and sanitized periodically based on the schedule (Excel) developed by Facilities Management.  Occupants of offices and workstations are expected to sanitize their spaces regularly throughout the workday. Sanitizing supplies will be provided by Facilities Management.

Illness: Employees are directed to stay home if they are sick. If they suspect they may be sick with COVID-19, or test positive, they should inform their supervisor. Their name will not be shared with other employees and will be shared with the Kalamazoo Department of Health per regulations. Remote work is permitted if the employee is well enough and their position allows for remote work.

Compensation for employees who are away from work due to COVID-19:

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be invited to engage in the accommodation and leave of absence processes. Medical leaves of absence may be for up to six months in length.

Bi-weekly employees who remain home due to COVID-19 symptoms, and are not working remotely, may use the C19 paycode to account for their time.

Personal Protective Equipment

Face Covers: All employees who can medically tolerate a facial covering must wear a facial covering when indoors or outdoors within six feet of another person.  Reusable cloth coverings are encouraged and may be requested by visiting or contacting Renee Boelcke, AVP for Human Resources. Face shield may also be requested by contacting Renee Boelcke. A facial covering must be worn even if one wears a face shield.
Disposable facemasks are available for employees on a limited basis as reusable coverings are strongly encouraged. Reusable coverings should be laundered after each use. N95 masks should not be used for general-purpose work but should be reserved for task involving hazardous materials and for medical staff.

Gloves: Employees are directed to wear gloves while cleaning an area occupied by someone who experiences COVID-19 symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19. Gloves appropriate to the task will be provided.

Self-Monitoring of Health

All employees are expected self-monitor their health. This important to recognize symptoms quickly and stop the spread of COVID-19 from person to person. Every employee who will work on-campus will complete a daily screening form by visiting Any affirmative (yes) response will require clearance from a member of the Human Resources staff before coming to campus. Paper forms may be obtained by contacting Human Resources.

Calling in sick: Employees that develop symptoms of COVID-19 should not report to work. They should call in sick to work using the standard protocol for unplanned absence, then contact their supervisor separately to begin a dialog about when it is safe to return to work.

Symptoms that arise while working: If a staff member develops symptoms while they are at work, they should contact their supervisor and return home immediately. Their supervisor will contact a member of the leadership team of Facilities Management who will help determine which work areas should be sanitized immediately to protect others, and which work areas can be isolated for at least 24 hours to reduce the risk to those cleaning.

COVID-19 Positive Cases

In the event that a College employee or resident student tests positive for COVID-19, the following criteria will be used to develop a response:

  • When was the last time the person used the campus facilities?  Has sufficient time past that either they were likely not infected while they were on campus, or that it is relatively safe (over 24 hours) to enter the area for cleaning?
  • What facilities did they use, what areas did they visit? Do any of these areas need to be used by others, or can they be cordoned off for at least 24 hours?
  • What shared resources did they use (tools, equipment, etc.)? Do they need to be used by others immediately, or can they be left for 24 hours before disinfecting?
  • Where does the person typically work? With whom did they have contact while they were on campus? What type of work did they do? Does anyone else on staff need to stay home for an appropriate quarantine period?

The following general principals will be used when developing a College response:

  • To the extent practicable, cleaning and sanitization of areas and items used by a person who has tested positive, or is suspected positive, will be delayed for 24 hours to reduce the risk of exposure for those cleaning. The areas/items will be clearly marked.
  • An employee will not be asked to clean/sanitize an area occupied by an infected person without being informed. They will be given additional instruction on how to safely sanitize the area/equipment, as well as provided additional PPE as needed.
  • Staff who may have come in contact with the infected person, or shared tools/equipment will be informed that someone in their work group has tested positive or is suspected positive.
  • A person who has been ill should not report to work until they have been symptom free for four days, without the aid of medication.
  • Kalamazoo College will not discharge, discipline, or otherwise retaliate against employees who stay at home or who leave work when they are at particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19.


Kalamazoo College will maintain the following records as they relate to the COVID-19 preparedness and response plan:

  1. Training records.
  2. A record of daily entry self-screening results for all employees entering the workplace, including a questionnaire covering signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and exposure to people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
  3. When an employee is identified with a confirmed case of COVID-19, a record that within 24 hours the local public health department was notified as well as any co-workers, students, contractors, or suppliers who may have come into contact with the person who was the confirmed case of COVID-19.

Renee Boelcke, AVP for Human Resources, will ensure that the records are kept.

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