Health and safety guidelines for employees

Protocols to keep our community healthy

Limiting the spread of COVID-19 requires that employees adhere to the college’s health and safety guidelines including the use of face coverings, physical distancing, symptom monitoring, and thorough hand washing.

Masks and face coverings

Masks or face coverings must be worn by all faculty and staff working on campus, both indoors and outdoors, and even in spaces where a Plexiglass barrier is present. Exceptions to this are when employees are:

  • alone in their personal office space, which is not shared with any other individual, and is at least six feet apart from another person
  • eating a meal
  • exercising outside or in the Jaeger Center Pool
    • Note: Walking alone or in groups does not qualify as exercise within our policy. Therefore, masks must be worn by employees at all times when walking outdoors.
  • driving a college-owned vehicle by themselves with no passengers, including operating college-owned equipment

Employees who may be unable to wear face coverings due to a health condition or disability should contact Human Resources.

Appropriate face coverings

The College has provided all faculty, staff, and students with a washable cloth mask. However, employees are permitted to wear their own cloth face coverings as long as they are appropriate for the workplace and meet the following guidelines:

  • A multi-layered, cloth mask that covers both your mouth and nose is recommended. Homemade masks that meet these criteria are adequate.
  • Surgical masks and K-N95/N95 respirators should be reserved for use by medical professionals.
  • Any face coverings which are open or leave gaps at the edges, such as face shields or bandanas, do not provide adequate protection and should not be worn.

If an employee comes to campus without a mask, the College will provide a disposable mask. Extra masks will be available in each department or program office. If you have questions regarding face coverings, please refer to the CDC Website for further guidance.

Wearing your mask correctly

Adhere to the following guidelines when wearing your facemask:

  • Wash your hands before putting on your facemask.
  • Put it over both your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Make sure you can breathe easily.
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use.

Additional Personal Protective Equipment

The College will provide employees with the PPE needed to keep them safe while performing their duties. The types of PPE required during a COVID-19 outbreak will be based on the risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 while working and job tasks that may lead to exposure. For example, some staff may need to wear gloves as well as masks, and health care workers may require gloves, medical or surgical masks, sterile gowns, head coverings, face shields, and N95 respirators, for example. Employees should speak with their supervisor about the types of PPE appropriate for their job function.

During an outbreak of an infectious disease like COVID-19, recommendations for PPE specific to occupations or job tasks may change depending on geographic location, updated risk assessments for workers, and information on PPE effectiveness in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Equipment requirements

All types of PPE must be:

  • Selected based upon the hazard to the employee.
  • Properly fitted and periodically refitted, as applicable (e.g. respirators).
  • Consistently and properly worn when required.
  • Regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced, as necessary.
  • Properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of, as applicable, to avoid contamination of self, others, or the environment.

Social distancing

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your immediate family unit. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Avoid crowded places and mass gatherings

In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the simplest ways to avoid exposure to this virus, and to help slow its spread locally, nationally, and globally (see what the CDC says about physical distancing).

All Gettysburg College faculty, students, and employees are expected to maintain physical distancing when on campus. This includes maintaining adequate distance within all College buildings, classrooms, office spaces, and even outdoors.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health provides the following recommendations relating to proper handwashing.

When to wash your hands

  • Before eating or touching food
  • After using the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose or coughing
  • After touching pets or other animals
  • After playing outside
  • After visiting a sick relative or friend

Quarantine and isolation protocols

Employees who have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive, must stay home and notify the Human Resources Office immediately. Close contact is defined as closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes. The Human Resources Office will reach out to the employee to ask a series of questions to determine the appropriate quarantine period, which will last between 10-14 days depending the level of exposure.

Employees who test positive must also notify the Human Resources Office immediately. These employees may return to campus AFTER:

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving

Note: Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.

The Human Resources Office will work with employees to determine return to work dates for close contacts and positive cases.


If you see a student or colleague violating health and safety guidelines on campus, we encourage you to facilitate a conversation with them, if you are comfortable, highlighting how important it is for our entire community to follow the protocols that will ensure the health and safety of our campus.

Otherwise, faculty and staff can use the Community Concern Form to report student-related COVID-19 concerns. Please select the Non-Academic Misconduct Incident form if reporting these concerns. This form has been updated with COVID-19 clarifying instructions. If you should have any questions, please feel free to call the College Life Office at 717-337-6907.

Employee-related incidents can be sent to Human Resources at