Q&A with the University Physician

Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer Kelli Shuman talks with Dr. Ginette Archinal, Medical Director of Student Health and University Physician.

Ready and Resilient FAQs

How will employees know when they need to return to on-campus work?

Employees should receive communication from vice presidents, deans and/or supervisors regarding the anticipated date of return to on-campus work.

How do I prepare to return to work?

We recommend you start with the employee or supervisor “Return to the workplace videos.

What do I need to do if I am concerned about returning to work?

Discuss your concerns with your supervisor regarding the return to work plan. You may also contact human resources for additional information.

 

What if I do not have options for childcare?

  • Flexible work options have been approved through Phase 2. Please work with your supervisor to determine the best solution.
  • Staff may use accrued paid leave time (vacation or personal leave) as approved by their supervisor. If accrued time has been exhausted, staff may be placed in unpaid status if unable to work from home. Faculty members will need to work with their chair and/or dean.

Can I bring my child(ren) to work with me, since schools are closed?

Due to liability reasons, children cannot accompany employees in the workplace during the pandemic. Please contact your supervisor to discuss your options.

Will I be required to monitor my health daily?

We are asking individuals to monitor their own health daily and can use suggested methods from our Return to Work on Campus website: https://www.elon.edu/u/return-to-campus/health-monitoring-form-apps/.  Employees should not report to work and call their healthcare provider if they do not feel well.

What if I am showing signs of sickness?

What if I have a sick family member?

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).

What is the future of Pandemic Leave?

On June 1, 2020, the Temporary Pandemic Leave policy will be updated to include up 160 hours (the equivalent of four weeks) for full-time staff and a prorated amount for part-time staff of pandemic leave that can be used in the following situations:

  • Staff member’s own illness related to COVID-19
  • Caring for an immediate family member’s illness related to COVID-19
  • Quarantine/isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms or possible exposure to the virus, when remote work options are not available.

When should I use technology instead of an in-person meeting?

  • Faculty and staff should limit the number of people at gatherings, ensuring that North Carolina law is followed. Examples include:
    • When in-person meetings are necessary, no more than the number of people defined in N.C. law by the governor’s order should be present, and physical distancing should be in place.
    • Video conferencing and conference calls can be used instead of in-person meetings.
    • No events, meetings, or gatherings will be approved that include more than what N.C. law defines.
  • Please note that the multi-person limit on gatherings includes other personnel that may be present in that space.
  • Elon offers a comprehensive list of technology tools and services to help you be productive while working remotely. Tools such as Microsoft Teams allow you to communicate with colleagues in real-time, host meetings, co-author documents and more. Webex is a web-conferencing tool that allows you to hold a meeting through a web browser without needing to install special software. Visit the IT Self-Service Portal to learn more about what’s available and continue reading to explore best practices.

How can we support a clean environment and lessen the burden on Physical Plant staff?

General Work Environment: Practice good hygiene and social distancing at all times.

  • Vice presidents and deans will work with department directors, department chairs, and program directors to evaluate the work environment and make the necessary changes and adjustments to ensure social distancing practices can be followed. In shared offices or workspaces, the following should be considered:
    • Utilize flexible work schedules, staggered work hours, and staggered arrival and departure times.
      • Examples include:
        • Rotations of remote and in-person work: Create schedules that rotate employees on in-person and remote workdays in order to ensure offices are covered while also supporting social distancing and decreasing congestion in the office.
        • Staggered scheduling: Stagger the arrival and departure times of employees, so that not all employees arrive or depart at the same time.
        • Alternate break/lunch scheduling: Alternate work or lunch schedules to minimize the number of individuals working together, congregating in one area or gathering.
    • Adjust furniture and office layout to allow for social distancing.
      • Examples include:
        • Move desks or furniture apart to maximize spacing within offices, office suites, work areas and lounge or public spaces.
        • Relocate individuals to alternate spaces or use larger spaces if possible.
        • Based on limited availability, and as a last resort, consider the use of office partitions or plexiglass dividers for areas where the prominent purpose is customer service or interacting with walk-up traffic of students, faculty, staff, parents, or campus visitors.
    • Alter or limit congregating factors or spaces where the virus could be easily spread.
      • Examples include:
        • Discontinue the use of office coffee pots. Post signage to require disinfecting handles on refrigerators and microwaves, as well as control panels of microwaves and vending machines. Post signage discouraging drinking from water fountains.
        • Alter break room setups to increase social distancing. Limit the number of people who can be present where gatherings often occur such as lunch or break rooms. Encourage outdoor break periods.
        • Ensure adequate space between personal items in areas of shared storage such as locker rooms or mailrooms.

High Traffic Areas and Forming of Lines

  • Vice Presidents and Deans will work with Department Directors, Department Chairs, and Program Directors to utilize guidance from Governor’s Executive Order 131 in the following ways in high traffic areas and offices where lines form:
    • Clearly demarcate 6-feet of space in lines using blue painter’s tape or approved decals from the Physical Plant.
    • Create one-way traffic patterns (such as in aisles or library stacks) to decrease face-to-face interactions. Utilize barriers such as tape or furniture as needed to insure proper traffic patterns and limit access.
    • Limit number of people moving through large spaces, like dining halls and the bookstore.
    • When walking in corridors or hallways, stay on the right side according to the direction you are heading in order to maximize distance when passing others.

What if I am part of the CDC-defined High Risk for Severe Illness from COVID-19 Population?

  • The CDC has identified individuals with higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions; please review link for most up to date identifications.
  • Employees in the identified groups should consult the CDC’s extra precautions site and speak with their healthcare provider. Employees in the above groups who cannot maintain a six-foot distance from others during work should consider wearing a mask regularly and speak with their supervisor and healthcare provider.
  • Supervisors or employees should contact Human Resources to discuss instances potentially needing an additional accommodation for someone who has identified themselves as higher risk for severe illness and unable to work in conditions provided to them.

Should I wear a mask?

Faculty and staff are encouraged to wear cloth masks in public spaces and must wear them anytime they cannot maintain a safe physical distance from others.

Will I have access to a mask?

All employees will be provided with a re-usable, washable cloth mask, made to the design specification recommended by Johns Hopkins. Employees can provide their own mask if they so choose.

What should an employee do if they suspect a co-worker of being high-risk and reporting to on-campus work?

Employees are entitled to protections against discrimination based upon age, disability, and a number of other protected categories. Others should not presume to determine if someone is in a high-risk category. Each individual should assess him or herself with the CDC guidance and/or their health care provider to determine if she or he believes it is safe to come to work. If a co-worker learns of a high-risk factor, they must maintain confidentiality of that information, only reporting it to Human Resources or a supervisor.

 

What are the guidelines for students, faculty, and staff who commute/travel in from areas with higher rates of infection?

We ask that all people returning to campus follow the CDC guidelines set out for traveling throughout the United States:

 

General Elon FAQs

How can we best support disability accommodations for students, both learning and physical?

The Koenigsberger Learning Center continues to operate and can assist students and faculty in incorporating learning accommodations for a remote instructional environment. More information about the Koenigsberger Learning Center can be found at https://www.elon.edu/u/academics/koenigsberger-learning-center/.

Is this a concern for classes during the summer session?

University staff are working hard to determine best practices for disability support resources and will be making changes or modifications as necessary prior to the start of fall semester.

How will on-campus graduate students access health care during the summer?

Because we do not have a medical provider in student health services over the summer and we are not set up to charge fees, graduate students are encouraged to seek medical attention through Insta-Care or the CVS minute clinic as affordable options. Alamance Regional Medical Center also offers e-visits.

Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups, and create stigma because of COVID-19?

  • We worry or become anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where the COVID-19 disease is spreading. Some people are worried about getting infected for unfounded reasons. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, toward people who are of certain ethnicities, live in certain parts of the world, have traveled internationally, were in quarantine, or are healthcare professionals.
  • Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of accurate knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.  Stigma hurts everyone, and already marginalized communities more acutely, by creating more fear or anger instead of focusing on the disease that is causing the problem and the inequities the disease exposes in our systems

What if I feel stressed, anxious or am grieving a loss?

It’s natural to feel stress or anxiety during this time. Whether you or a family member were ill or not, many people are experiencing feelings of loss. Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers a wide range of services, including 24/7 access to professional consultants to help you manage stress, loss, financial distress and more. For more information and support, contact ComPsych at (866) 532-8651 or www.guidanceresources.com.

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding employee benefits?

You may contact the benefits specialist with questions via email at benefits@elon.edu or call (336) 278-5560.

When is it okay for student workers to return to on-campus work?

Student employees function similarly to all other Elon employees. For summer work, most student employees (besides essential workers such as Moseley desk, RAs, etc.) would return after all other employees (weeks 2-4) in phased model and dependent on budget decisions. Like all employees, student employees are expected to follow the Guidelines for Social Distancing & Hygiene and supervisors must ensure student employees are trained on and follow guidelines.

What if I have questions that have not been addressed?

Please contact human resources with any additional questions at hr@elon.edu or call (336) 278-5560.