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COVID-19 – Human Resources

UP COVID-19 Readiness and Resources

The University of Providence has developed workforce protection and safety measures to support employees on campus and ensure essential services for our students.  Each department has developed a plan for having employees on campus which may include a phased-in or staggered staffing approach, as well as what has become standard COVID-19 operating procedures, such as regular, in-depth cleaning, wearing of face masks, handwashing/sanitizing, and ensuring physical distancing, among other means.  The goal is to continue to follow the directives provided by the State of Montana, Cascade County Public Health and the Federal government.

Mask Policy

The University will align with the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control, such that use of masks and physical distancing differs depending on the individuals vaccination status. Masks are not required for those who have been fully vaccinated. Physical distancing is not required for those who have been fully vaccinated. In either case, the University continues to recommend all stakeholders to wear masks and to physically distance from others, for precautionary purposes. Taking “personal responsibility” in the effort to mitigate against the spread of Coronavirus is a responsibility of each of us. The COVID-19 vaccine remains readily available and free in most locations. Being vaccinated is the most decisive way in which we can resume more normal-like operations both here on campus, and in our daily lives.

Keeping Work Areas Clean

Employees are encouraged to regularly clean and sanitize high-touch work spaces and equipment.  All exposed hard surfaces such as work counters, tables, desks, chairs, etc. should be sanitized routinely.  Equipment and tool handles should be sanitized routinely.  Cleaning supplies will be provided by the Facilities department.

Travel

All essential work travel for University of Providence employees remains under review on a case-by-case basis, and is permitted for the purpose of recruitment and enrollment only.  If the Governor of Montana were to move call for travel restrictions, the University would comply with those directives. Employees should work with Direct Supervisor to assess level of risk associated with necessary recruitment/enrollment travel, depending on the area of travel and level of COVID-19 outbreak at any given time.

Meetings

Employees are encouraged to continue to conduct meetings virtually as long as it is feasible and practical to do so through Phase 2.  When meeting in-person, group size must be limited as follows, if social distancing cannot be achieved:

Shelter in Place Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Meetings and gatherings are not permitted Meetings and gatherings may not exceed 10 persons Meetings and gatherings may not exceed 50 persons No limit will be enforced, however the University will continue to demonstrate caution with large groups and practice health and safety protocols with enhanced cleaning, handwashing and social distancing

 

COVID-19 Accommodations and Leave

Refer to Employee Handbook in relation to any ADA Accomodations and requests. Department Chairs and Supervisors may continue to provide flexible schedules and opportunities for remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic for employees who fall under any of the following categories whenever possible and feasible while continuing business operations:

  • They are subject to a Federal, State or Local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  • They have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19
  • They are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis.

Employees who feel they might have COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone who may have COVID-19, should immediately notify their Supervisor, follow CDC recommended precautions (link is external), and stay at home and/or make alternative work arrangements with their respective Supervisor. Children or other household members needing care cannot accompany employees into the workplace during the pandemic.

Employees who have been traced or otherwise identified as potentially being exposed or known to have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus will be required to follow CDC and Cascade City County Health Department guidelines for quarantine/isolation.

Employees who have been diagnosed or believe that they had COVID-19 may return to work as is outlined in the CDC Guidelines(link is external),

Return to work will include monitoring symptoms and health screenings and following CDC Guidelines for mitigating the spread of the virus(link is external).  Additionally, the University of Providence may request that employees submit a doctor’s note certifying fitness-for-duty to resume work.

High Risk Employees

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(link is external). Employees in the identified group should consult the CDC’s extra precautions site(link is external) and consult with their healthcare provider. Employees in the high-risk groups who cannot maintain a 6’ distance from others during work and wear a face covering regularly, need to work with their Supervisor and healthcare provider to determine arrangements.

Any employee who has identified themselves as high risk for severe illness, and feels they are unable to work in the conditions provided to them, may request special work accommodations in order to successfully perform the essential duties of their position. Employees must submit an ADA accommodation request to Human Resources, who will initiate the ADA interactive process with the employee and their management to review the requested modifications. The University of Providence HR department may request that employees submit a doctor’s note certifying the medical condition requiring the need for an accommodation.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy will apply to any employee who meets the criteria for Family Medical Leave and who are unable to work remotely or need work accommodations.  As such, a healthcare provider’s certification will be required and will be submitted to Human Resources.

Prepare and Respond Should There Be a Resurgence

If the University of Providence faces closure due to a State or Federal order, the following may occur:

  • Immediate remote learning may resume.
  • Immediate remote work whenever possible and feasible while continuing business operations.  Priority consideration may be given for employees with:
    • Children impacted by school or daycare closings.
    • Who are of a vulnerable or high-risk demographic.
    • With underlying health conditions.
    • With household member who are vulnerable or with underlying health conditions.
    • Whose work is deemed conducive to remote work and who have adequate technology, as long as working remotely does not affect productivity of other employees or the business operations of the University of Providence.
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