Jennifer Lucas, Co-Director of Human Resources, shares important employee updates.
I am writing today with some important employee updates. As we enter a period of the calendar year when COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the county, state, and nation, Gettysburg College is seeking to best adapt to these changing conditions.
Last week, we experienced five positive cases among our employees. This speaks to the increased risk of transmission in our surrounding communities during the winter months. Given this, the College will aim to reduce the density of our employees on campus between November 30 and January 10.
During this designated time period, all employees who are able to work remotely should do so. With that said, we still have a number of students on campus who will need access to certain offices, departments, and services. Please make sure that students are able to access you through phone or email during the weeks the College is open. For offices and departments unable to work remotely, we encourage you to limit the number of employees in your areas and to be flexible with schedules as a means of de-densification. Supervisors must ensure employees working on campus are doing so out of necessity, adhering to physical distancing protocols, and wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, including face coverings (covering your mouth and nose). Due to reduced Housekeeping staffing, employees who visit campus will also be responsible for disinfecting their own spaces before leaving campus.
On January 11, we expect this employee de-densification period to conclude. As always, our employees will play a critical role in the preparation for our students’ arrival for the spring semester.
Additionally, as Thanksgiving approaches, I would like to take this opportunity to make you aware of new guidance shared by Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine earlier this week for individuals traveling outside of the state. The new rules take effect on November 20. Pennsylvania residents who visit other states are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before their return home or they must quarantine for 14 days upon return. The new rules do not apply to individuals who commute to and from another state for work. Employees who must be tested will need to consider testing options off-campus. On-campus testing will not be available during the break. Please note, employees who choose to travel outside of the state and are unable to work from home are not eligible for expanded sick leave if they are required to quarantine.
It is important to reiterate that employees are required to contact the Human Resources Office as soon as possible if they are confirmed to have COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who tests positive. In addition, employees must continue to conduct symptom monitoring every day before reporting to work. Employees who are sick should remain at home, not report to work, complete the Employee Health Form, and seek advice from their health care provider. Please follow the guidance listed in our employee website.
As Gettysburgians, we must do what we can to slow the spread of this virus. By being proactive, wearing masks, and remaining diligent in our efforts to physical distance, we can safeguard our own health, as well as help to ensure the well-being of those with whom we interact.
Thank you and best wishes for a safe holiday season.
Jennifer Lucas, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Co-Director of Human Resources