Westminster College is committed to supporting the health and safety of faculty, staff, students and visitors as part of the College’s learning and living community. Lawrence County was moved to the “green phase” of the Commonwealth’s Emergency Plan on May 30. The College then announced plans to resume in-person residency and instruction for the fall 2020 academic term.
The following provides highlights of the policies and procedures related to COVID-19.
All employees are expected to work on campus after the winter holiday break, except those who have been given permission to work from home by their respective vice president or the director of Human Resources.
During the week of January 4, 2021, all employees will be required to report to campus for a COVID-19 screening test. A schedule for testing will be provided in advance. Employees must test negative and be symptom-free prior to returning to on-campus work. All employees who are able to work remotely will do so until January 11, unless given specific permission from a vice president or the President to work on campus.
Medical accommodations to work remotely in the spring will be subject to medical documentation being provided to the Human Resources office. Requests for such accommodation should be completed prior to the opening of the College in January.
Employees who plan to travel outside the state or country should notify their supervisor of their plans prior to their departure. An Order from the Pennsylvania Department of Health requires travelers from other states and countries, including Pennsylvanians who are returning home, to complete a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth or to quarantine for 14 days upon entry into the Commonwealth. Employees who travel should not return to campus until either a negative test result has been received or the 14-day quarantine is completed. Employees who elect to quarantine but who cannot work from home must use vacation days and then unpaid leave days during the required quarantine.
Please not the Order does not apply to work-related travel. Individuals commuting to and from the Commonwealth for work are exempt.
Physical distancing and hygiene protocols are central to CDC-recommended mitigation strategies. As such, the following adjustments to standard office policy have been made.
Failure to follow all Physical Distancing and Hygiene Guidelines may result in disciplinary action.
The College is committed to making any necessary changes and adjustments to ensure physical distancing practices can be followed in the work environment. In shared offices or workspaces, the following should be considered:
ALL VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS should self-identify and consult with the Director of Human Resources if they are concerned about working on campus. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.
The CDC has identified individuals with higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as older adults (age 65 years and older) and people who have serious underlying medical conditions, including:
Employees in the above groups should consult the CDC’s extra precautions site and speak with their healthcare provider.
Supervisors or employees should contact Human Resources to discuss instances potentially needing an additional accommodation for someone who has self-identified as being at higher risk for severe illness and unable to work in conditions provided to them.
Employees seeking COVID-related accommodations for the spring 2021 semester must provide Human Resources with documentation from a medical provider that verifies a medical condition that requires COVID-related accommodations.
Employees who have symptoms associated with COVID-19 (i.e., fever, cough or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor, contact their healthcare provider and utilize sick leave to stay home.
Employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should follow CDC-recommended steps, should use pandemic leave (and sick leave after pandemic leave ends) and should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
Employees who are well but who have a family member at home sick with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should notify their supervisor, follow CDC-recommended precautions, stay at home and utilize pandemic leave (and sick leave after pandemic leave ends).
Individuals who have been sick with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 symptoms who have self-isolated and who have not been tested for COVID-19 by their medical provider should utilize the following criteria in determining when to return to class or work.
If the individual has never tested for COVID-19 but has an alternate diagnosis (e.g., tested positive for influenza), criteria for return to work should be based on that diagnosis.
Employees must NOT report to work if they: