COVID-19

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FACULTY AND STAFF RESOURCES

Faculty and Staff Resources

All of us remain “Rock Solid” in our approach to educating and advancing our students and our University. Together we will continue to move SRU forward. Thank you for all that you are doing, every day, to make that possible.


Online Tools, Support, Offices


COVID-19 Vaccine

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Faculty and Staff FAQS
Vaccination
Do I have to be vaccinated in order to return to work?

No. While the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from contracting the virus, and is highly recommended, Pennsylvania has no enabling legislation that specifically states the University can mandate faculty, staff or students to get the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to work.

How will I know if employees or students are vaccinated? Can I ask?

Your own vaccination status is much more important to your health than to others. No supervisor or faculty member is permitted to ask an employee or student to disclose if they have been vaccinated.

What if I have a medical condition that is considered high risk for COVID-19? Will there be any accommodations made for those choosing not to get vaccinated?

There are NO accommodations made for employees based solely on lack of vaccination or fear of contracting COVID-19. Employees who have a medical condition that is considered high risk for COVID-19 can request an accommodation under the Americans with Disability Act. Visit the Human Resources webpage to learn more.


Leave and Employment
If an employee is ill due to non-COVID-related issues or is displaying symptoms of allergies, will they be permitted to work remotely?

No, if you are too sick to report to work, appropriate leave is required.

Can employees request permanent or partial remote work fulltime? Can special occasion requests be granted for remote work?

Not at this time.

If I'm experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, what should I do?

Stay at home and inform your supervisor if you are sick.

If you have tested positive, or have been notified that you have been exposed to COVID-19, the Office of Emergency Management should be notified immediately by calling 724.738.2611.

A return-to-work date will be provided to you that correlates to your specific situation. In order to return to work, you must be fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine, and your symptoms must have improved.

If an employee does not have sufficient paid leave time and needs to be off for an extended period for sickness, what should they do?

If you are sick, you should stay at home. Email Human Resources at sru-humanresources@sru.edu for more information.

If my child or household member is diagnosed with COVID-19 and I need to quarantine can I work from home or do I have to take leave time?

If a family member is sick and you need to stay home to care for this person, appropriate leave is required. Please note that quarantine and isolation do not require the same response; if someone in your house is in isolation, that means they are sick. If someone in your household is in quarantine, it does not require you to also quarantine. Contact the Emergency Management Office or Human Resources to determine if a return to work date is needed due to possible exposure.

What happens if an employee is not permitted to work from home or telecommute and not able to come to work based on a self-quarantine, self-isolation or care for a family member?

Employees must use leave for these situations. If you do not have sufficient paid leave time to use, the University is allowing a more liberal use of leave during this period. That means you may request use of other paid time or request leave without pay. Please consult Human Resources for more information. Please note that quarantine and isolation do not require the same response; if someone in your house is in isolation, that means they are sick. If someone in your household is in quarantine, it does not require you to also quarantine.

Will a doctor’s note be required if I am out sick for more than 3 consecutive work days?

Yes.

Will a doctor’s note be required if I have to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure?

No.

What if I have a family member who is considered at higher risk for COVID-19?

Requests for accommodations under the Americans with Disability Act are only applicable to an employee’s personal medical condition, not to family or household members.

Is University travel still suspended?

University travel is limited during the pandemic. All travel must be approved by the president via your cabinet member. Please be mindful that decisions regarding future business travel will be influenced by the then-current pandemic circumstances. Accordingly, please do not book any future travel without approval of your respective cabinet member.


Campus Events
How are athletic events being affected?

Intercollegiate athletic competitions will occur this fall with mitigation protocols in line with NCAA guidance. Spectators will be permitted for athletic competitions following University and NCAA guidance.

What is the status of campus events?

The University continues to follow the in-person event guidelines established this year. However, we expect that there will be adjustments made to those guidelines based on guidance from the CDC and PA DOH. The updates will be communicated electronically to those who have participated in the required COVID-19 training. SRU off-campus events must also follow SRU Guidelines for In-Person Events and Gatherings During COVID-19.

Are external guests permitted to attend campus events?

Yes, as long as the host abides by the SRU Guidelines for In-Person Events and Gatherings During COVID-19 and submits their event reservation according to the Campus Event Scheduling Policy to the Office of Student Center and Conference Services.

What is considered a campus event?

Campus events include, but are not limited to, on-campus or off-campus meetings, performances, celebrations, carnivals, rallies, demonstrations, social gatherings, lectures, forums, speaker presentations and conferences.

Is going to lunch with other staff members considered an in-person event and require event training?

No, a casual lunch between coworkers is not a defined purpose. The definition for an in-person event is “a temporary grouping of individuals for defined purposes, that takes place over a limited timeframe, such as hours or days; where any portion of the event or gathering will be held on property owned or controlled by SRU, or hosted off campus by a SRU, program, or recognized student organization.” Examples of a defined purpose would be a scheduled work lunch or meeting where lunch is served and there are more than 11 people in attendance.

What do camps and conferences look like for the summer and fall semesters?

External camps and conferences are currently allowed on campus according to the Guidelines for Camps and Conferences during COVID. All departments hosting either internal and external events must inform the Student Center and Conference Service Office at conferenceservices@sru.edu or 724.738.2491. This office is required to maintain a log of all events for COVID-19 response.


Face Masks and Facial Coverings
If I am inside a University building, regardless of physical distance, do I need to wear a mask?

Yes, with the following exceptions:

  • You are alone in your personal office space, which is not shared with any other individual. (Please see “Working Alone” section below.)
  • You are actively eating or drinking.
  • You are in a shared work space (such as a department office suite) without anyone present and everyone else in your work area is in a private office.
  • The mask/face covering creates a safety hazard or poses additional risk, i.e., impedes vision or proper use of other required personal protective equipment such as safety glasses or goggles; can become caught in machinery or equipment; or could contribute to heat-related illnesses. Discomfort is not considered a heat-related illness.
If my work area is equipped with physical barriers, do I still need to wear a mask?

Yes, face coverings are required to be worn when inside campus buildings whether physical barriers, i.e., plexiglass or other partitions, are present and do not meet the working alone requirement for a work space.

What does "working alone" mean?

"Working alone" is when a person is separated from interaction with other people with little or no expectation of in-person interruption. Examples include:

  • A lone worker inside an office with four walls and a door.
  • A lone worker inside a cubicle with three walls and a door or entryway, where walls are high enough to block the breathing zone of all people walking by, and the worker’s activity will not require anyone to come inside that person’s workspace.
  • A person who is alone in an open area with no expected contact with others.
  • A lone worker inside the enclosed cab of a vehicle or piece of construction equipment.

Please contact emergencymanagement@sru.edu for guidance on your workspace.

What if I have an underlying medical condition?

Employees who cannot wear a mask due to an underlying medical condition that places them at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, should submit an ADA Accommodations for Employment form to request an accommodation. The form requires documentation and a review process.

Do I have to wear a mask outside?

No.

Are contractors/vendors/visitors required to wear a mask inside SRU buildings?

Yes, everyone on campus must wear a mask/face covering when they are inside a University building. Individuals visiting campus must provide their own mask/face covering.

Who is considered a member of my household if I am a student living on or off campus?

Students/roommates living in the same suite/apartment/house are considered members of a household.

Will I be denied entry to campus buildings if I am not wearing a mask or face covering upon entry?

Yes. However, complimentary masks will be available at the following locations:

  • Academic Records and Registration (107, Old Main).
  • Smith Student Center Information Desk.
  • Bailey Library Circulation Desk.
Can I wear a face shield as an alternative to a face mask?

Face shields are considered an acceptable alternative to face masks. A mask is not required to be worn with a face shield.

Will additional masks be available in case an employee or student forgets to bring their mask?

Employees and staff are responsible for providing their own masks on an on-going basis. Disposable masks are currently available in all department main offices. Individual offices may request disposable masks by emailing emergencymanagement@sru.edu.

Disposable masks are available upon request at the following locations:

  • Smith Student Center Information Desk.
  • Bailey Library Circulation Desk.
  • Academic Records and Registration, 107 Old Main.
  • Masks may also be purchased at the SGA Bookstore.
Do I need to wear a mask at the ARC/Field House swimming pool?

People should not wear cloth face coverings while engaged in activities that may result in the cloth face covering become wet. Face coverings/masks must be worn when not in the water.

Do I have to wear masks or face coverings while exercising?

When exercising indoors, i.e., ARC, Morrow Field House, Mihalik-Thompson Stadium, Patterson Hall, etc., masks or face coverings are required regardless of physical distance. Face shields are considered an acceptable alternative to face masks. When exercising outdoors, masks are not required.

How do masks apply to officially recognized University student-athletes and during collegiate sporting activities?

Everyone who participates in collegiate sport activities including coaches, student-athletes (including cheerleaders) and spectators must wear a mask or face covering.

  • Indoors: Coaches, student-athletes and spectators must wear masks regardless of physical distance. This includes while being actively engaged in workouts or on the sidelines. No masks are required while being actively engaged during competitions.
  • Outdoors: No masks are required.
  • During indoor play, student-athletes can remove their mask if the mask causes a medical condition, or exacerbates an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition or a disability. All alternatives to wearing a mask including the use of a face shield, should be exhausted before an individual is exempt.
Do I need to wear a mask while in the dining halls?

Yes, a mask is required while inside the dining hall when waiting in line, checking in or out with the cashier, placing your order, obtaining your food, and exiting the dining hall. Persons who are actively eating/drinking do not need to wear a mask or face covering.

Can I purchase additional SRU-branded masks or face shields?

Yes, the SGA Bookstore is selling SRU logoed face masks.

What if I forgot to take my mask to class?

Students should go to one of the following locations to obtain one prior to entering the building/classroom:

  • Smith Student Center Information Desk.
  • Bailey Library Circulation Desk.
  • Academic Records and Registration, 107 Old Main.
What should I do in the event I encounter a person not wearing a mask?

Ask the individual if they have or need a face covering. If they don't have a mask/face covering refer them to the following locations to obtain one:

  • Smith Student Center Information Desk.
  • Bailey Library Circulation Desk.
  • Academic Records and Registration, 107 Old Main.
What should I do in the event an individual refuses to wear a mask inside a building after being offered one?
  • Students in classrooms: If a student refuses to wear a mask after being offered one for their use, advise the student that accommodations should be requested thorough the Office of Disability Services and ask that they leave the classroom. Following the encounter, contact the Office of the Provost for additional guidance.
  • All others: If an individual refuses to wear a mask after being offered one, advise them that the SRU Policy on Wearing Face Coverings and Masks requires all individuals to wear one and inform them if they refuse, they will have to leave the building. Following the encounter, contact Environmental Health and Safety or Human Resources for additional guidance.
    • If the individual becomes loud or aggressive in any way, or you feel threatened, do not put yourself at risk by continuing to engage with them; notify University Police at 724.738.3333.
  • See the enforcement section in the correlating policy for additional guidance.
How can University departments and offices request additional disposable masks?

All requests for additional disposable masks, face shields, clear masks or other PPE should be made through area supervisors. Supervisors will then forward the request to emergencymanagement@sru.edu.

Are masks required on the Happy Bus?

Yes.

Are masks required while driving University vehicles?

If alone in a vehicle, no. If driving with others, yes.

Should I report someone not wearing a mask? If so, how do I report them?

It is the responsibility of each member of the campus community to comply with the University’s mask requirement. This requirement will be enforced by supervisors and by units providing services to students and guests.

Individuals not involved in the direct conversation regarding wearing asks/face coverings should not confront those who are not wearing/refusing to wear face coverings, take enforcement matters into their own hands, or put themselves in a dangerous situation.

  • Observations of non-compliance by employees, visitors or vendors should be made to Paul Novak, COVID-19 coordinator, at emergencymanagement@sru.edu.
  • Student non-compliance on campus, should be reported to the Office of Student Conduct via an SRU Public Incident Report.

Student FAQ Regarding Face Coverings And Disabilities

If a student states they are unable to wear a face covering due to illness, disability or another documented reason, the Office of Disability Services will review each student’s situation on a case-by-case basis. Face shields are an alternative to wearing a mask or face covering.

How and where do I register if I am not able to wear a face covering due to underlying illness or disability?
  • Students not registered with the Office of Disability Services should complete an Accommodation Request Form.
  • When completing an Accommodation Request or a Supplemental Request under the question, “My diagnosis falls into the following category/categories,” please select “Medical/Health,”
    • Please then describe what type of accommodations you need regarding masking and why you feel you are unable to wear a mask; this request must be related to a disability.
    • Please also not, in most cases, students are not exempted from masking, the Office of Disability Services will work with you on possible options with related to masking.
  • Once you submit a form, the Office of Disability Services will reach out to the student to schedule a meeting.
  • The Office of Disability Services will determine appropriate accommodations based upon the student’s self-report and/or documentation specific to COVID-19 and face coverings. Documentation must be recent, specific and from a licensed mental health provider/medical professional.
  • If accommodations are required, the Office of Disability Services will create an accommodation letter for the student to share with staff and faculty.
    • For students who are currently registered with the Office of Disability Services, the letter addressing COVID-19 safety concerns will be separate from your semester accommodation letter giving you two separate letters from the Office of Disability Services.
    • Student Support, Student Health Services, and if applicable, the office of Housing and Residence Life will also be notified.
    • Accommodations provided during the pandemic will be awarded on a temporary basis and will be examined by the Office of Disability Services each semester.
    • If University officials revise the health protocols, accommodations may be changed based on needs of the University.
    • Students will be notified via email if accommodations will be affected due to University protocol changes.
Do I need an accommodation to be considered for an alternative accommodation to a face covering or will a note from a physician be an acceptable excuse?

SRU and the Office of Disability Services are recommending you complete the formal process mentioned in the previous question to streamline the process and verify the uniformity of any medical documentation provided. SRU is not responsible for students who do not follow guidelines without proper documentation. Students may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct if they do not follow University protocol.

Once a request is approved, an official accommodation letter will be maintained in an online system accessible by faculty

What if I have a short term medical or mental health concern that makes me unable to wear a face covering?

Please complete an Office of Disability Services accommodation request . A reasonable accommodation may be granted in these cases. As indicated previously, all accommodations surrounding COVID-19 and face coverings are temporary and will be examined on an on-going basis. If an individual cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or mental health condition or disability, the individual should consider wearing a face shield.

What accommodations would be available if I cannot wear a face covering? Would I still be able to attend in-person classes?

The Office of Disability Services can help formulate a plan which would allow students to participate fully in all activities. If an individual cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or mental health condition or disability, a face shield is an acceptable accommodation which would permit entrance for in person classes.

The Office of Disability Services treats each student on a case-by-case basis and creates accommodations that are appropriate and reasonable for the student and University. Questions about the process can be directed to Natalie Burick, director of disability services, at natalie.burick@sru.edu.


On-Campus Operations
While on campus, can virtual meetings still be used or are face-to-face meetings permitted?

Meetings can be held virtually or in person.

What does mail/printing services look like for the fall semester?

Normal campus operating hours will be maintained in these areas for the fall semester. Mail pick-up/delivery will be performed once per day. Additionally, the use of the mailbox-style drop box outside the University Union is still encouraged.

What will dining services look like for the summer and fall semesters?

Aramark will be SRU’s new contracted food service provider effective June 1. Starbucks is open for the summer as of June 1 with hours to be determined. Aramark will also provide support for the SGA Preschool and Child Care Center and any catered events. Boxed lunch service is available for summer day camps.

To make arrangements for summer events, please contact Dining Services at 724.738.2038 or dining@sru.edu.

For the fall, all dining venues are scheduled to reopen, including Quaker Steak & Lube and Rocky’s. Dine-in seating will be available in the fall, although occupancy will be determined based on CDC guidance and campus conditions.

Will SRU's Child Care Center remain open?

The SRU/SGA Preschool and Child Care Center will continue regular hours of operation in compliance with CDC, DHS and DOH guidance.

Is there a limit to the number of people who can be present in department offices or other internal spaces?

There is no designated limit, however it is recommended that individuals continue to social distance when possible.

Are temperature screenings needed to return to campus for employees or students?

No.

What will contact tracing look like in the fall?

All individuals with potential COVID-19 infection must assist in case investigation and faithfully report all people who might have been exposed to the virus to the Office of Emergency Management. An initial COVID-19 case investigation will begin to determine campus exposure. SRU will assist the PA DOH with contact tracing by identifying any employee who was in close contact of the person with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 from a period of 48 hours before symptoms onset to the time at which the person(s) was isolated.

What should we do if we were issued plexiglass and no longer need it?

If you feel an area or designated space no longer needs the plexiglass that was issued or installed, please contact emergencymangement@sru.edu to collect it.

Student Employment and Student Hiring
When are student employees returning to their on-campus positions?

Students may return to their on-campus positions as services are needed.


Question about COVID-19 or have a contribution?

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