Faculty/Staff Campus Work Guide

Revised: October 28, 2020

Updated: face covering requirement throughout document, TrainTraq required in August and January, Return to Campus Phases, Campus Visitors self-declaration.

Added: COVID-19 Testing, Required COVID-19 Reporting, Contact Tracing, Campus Case Count, Classrooms, Guidance Regarding Self-Isolation, and Events sections.


01. Guiding Principles
02. The Workplace
03. Workplace Expectations & Guidelines

05. Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

06. Phased Return to Campus
07. Return to Work Options

08. Your first day back
09. Returning of Equipment
10. Health & Safety Guidance
11. Social Distancing
12. Face Coverings and/or Masks
13. Use and care of face coverings

14. Taking Temperatures
15. Handwashing
16. Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene
17. Gloves
18. Goggles/Face Shields
19. Cleaning/Disinfection
20. Cleaning Computers and Electronics
21. Campus Visitors
22. Guidance Regarding Self-Isolation
23. Guidance for Specific Workplace Scenarios
24. Public Transportation
25. Working in Office Environments
26. Enter/Exit Control
27. Classrooms
28. Travel
29. Common Spaces
30. Restrooms
31. Elevators
32.Meetings
33.Events
34. Dining
35. Laboratories
36. Plexiglass
37. Golf Carts
38. Smoking Areas
39. Student Return To Campus

Guiding Principles

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s (TAMU-CC) policies and protocols for responding to the COVID- 19 pandemic are rooted in the safety and well-being of all faculty, staff, and visitors. The primary goals of TAMU-CC’s response are to protect the health of our students and employees while continuing the institution’s vital education, research, and outreach.

TAMU-CC’s plans are also consistent with guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Texas, the Texas A&M University System, Nueces County, and the City of Corpus Christi. Our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continue to evolve and our policies and plans will be updated as more information becomes available.

TAMU-CC’s plans to return to normal operations will include a phased-in approach. The timeline is subject to change, and it is important to understand that the process may be longer or shorter than faculty and staff expect. In addition to this guide, Human Resources has developed a COVID-19 webpage with guidance and Frequently Asked Questions to help employees and managers.

The Workplace

Workplace Expectations & Guidelines

All employees are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols, and guidelines outlined in this document. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action, up to, and including, termination. Per Texas A&M University System, all employees must complete “Protocol and Certification for System Member Employees” (course 2114130) and “Safe Practices for Returning to the Office During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (course 2114131) in TrainTraq prior to returning in August and again in January 2021. Students will be required to take a similar training.

Symptom Monitoring Requirement

Employees should continue to self-monitor for symptoms. Employees in the workplace must be free of ANY symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 before reporting to campus. These symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19

Employees experiencing symptoms should contact their health care provider, enter appropriate leave in Workday and inform their supervisor. As a reminder, those employees on Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance can visit MDLive rather than visiting a medical facility.

According to CDC, individuals with certain conditions are at a higher risk of complications due to COVID-

  • Those conditions may include:
    • Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
    • Chronic lung disease
    • Moderate to severe asthma
    • Serious heart conditions
    • Being immunocompromised
    • Severe obesity (BMI of 40 or higher)
    • Diabetes
    • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
    • Liver disease

COVID-19 Testing

The University will offer COVID-19 testing to students, faculty, and staff. Tests are limited in number and are available based on the following criteria:

  • person shows symptoms of COVID-19
  • person has been exposed to someone who tested positive
  • students going into clinical assignments including student teaching or nursing assignments
  • student athletes as required by the Southland Conference

Family members of students, faculty, and staff are not eligible and are asked to visit their medical provider or other public testing sites. Pre-registration is required, and appointments will be assigned if criteria are met. Information on testing will be posted on the campus FAQs. Anyone testing positive will be required to fill out the COVID-19 Reporting form.

Required COVID-19 Reporting

Per the Texas A&M University System COVID-19 Response Plan, students, faculty and staff that test positive for COVID- 19 are required to notify the university by filling out the COVID-19 Reporting form. The information gathered will help the campus monitor activity across campus, ensure campus contact tracing is done, if necessary, and ensure spaces where the confirmed positive visited are deep cleaned.

TAMU-CC will adhere to our standards regarding the treatment of Protected Health Information. If you have been exposed to a confirmed positive COVID-19 case, or if you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, do not report to campus. Contact your medical provider and fill out the COVID-19 Reporting form. Questions pertaining to this process should be directed to covidreporting@tamucc.edu.

Contact Tracing

The Texas A&M University System is providing contact tracing services when an individual self-reports a COVID-19 positive test result.

Campus Case Count

To keep the community informed about the presence of COVID-19 on campus, TAMU-CC will be providing daily and weekly updates on the number of positive COVID-19 cases reporting through our COVID-19 Reporting form.

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

Worklife/Life Balance: Employee assistance is available to offer emotional support during this stressful period. Telephonic or video counseling is available, and you can access this service using most smartphones, tablets, and computers with a camera. You may contact the provider by calling 1-800-851- 1714 or visiting their website at www.compsych.com Web ID: TAMUS

Healthy Islander: TAMU-CC is committed to supporting your overall health and wellbeing. Visit the HR Coronavirus Benefits website for more information on programs that encourage and offer support to manage stress and enhance your resilience.

Return to Campus

TAMU-CC will phase in a return of employees over time and each new phase will be scheduled only after University leadership reassesses the risk and decides to proceed. The phased approach allows the campus to continue operations with a reduced number of people on campus to ensure we are meeting CDC guidance before progressing to the next phase.

During the initial phases, consideration should be given to those who are at high risk as defined above, caring for children or family members, or who can more effectively and are able to continue working remotely. Supervisors should discuss with their teams to identify staff who will continue working from home and those returning.

Employees may not return to campus if they:

  • have a diagnosis or suspected case of coronavirus;
  • are currently exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 as they are listed in the Symptom Monitoring Requirement section above;
  • have had close (less than six feet) contact with anyone that has a lab confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days; or
  • in the last 14 days have returned from travel or traveled through an area with state or local travel restrictions that mandate quarantine upon arrival home.

Employees who report to campus and are symptomatic as described in the Symptom Monitoring Requirement section above, will be asked to leave the workplace and continue to remote work until they are symptom-free. Failure to comply with these guidelines, as well as failure to comply with a request to leave the workplace may result in disciplinary action, up to, and including, termination. If the employee refuses to leave the workplace the supervisor should contact senior management and engage UPD, if necessary.

Return to Work Options

Employees instructed to return to work on campus should work within their building and department to ensure compliance with required social distancing measures and to reduce population density within workspaces. Supervisors will devise a phased schedule based upon the estimated dates provided in the Phased Return to Campus section which must be shared with their Vice President or Athletic Director.

Remote Work: During the initial phases those who can work remotely to fulfill their work responsibilities may continue to do so to reduce the number of individuals on campus. Any arrangements after Phase 3 should be approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor and Vice President via an Alternate Work Location form.

Alternating Days: To limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on campus, during the initial phases, departments may schedule staffing on alternating days. These alternating schedules will help ensure social distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces.

Staggered Reporting/Departing: The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements. (See Enter/Exit Controls for further details).

Children and Dependents in the Workplace: To ensure the health and safety of our employees, please remember per University procedure 33.99.99.C0.05 limits children and adult dependents in the workplace to infrequent and brief visits and should not be in work areas regularly and/or for extended periods of time.

Your first day back

Employees returning to work for the first time since moving to a remote work environment should first report to the University Center to pick up their face covering and a small personal spray bottle of disinfectant, which can be refilled. Pickup will be from 8:30am - 2pm at the SandDollar Office. Please bring your SandDollar card with you and follow social distancing markings to ensure at least 6 feet of distance. There will be additional locations as part of Waves of Welcome August 19 – 21 outside the University Center, the Student Services Center, the Dining Hall, Cat Alley near the parking garage, and Faculty Center near Starbucks.

Information on refills is posted under the For Faculty and Staff section of the campus FAQs. Please check this website often as we will update this page as activity increases and we can address the needs across campus.

Returning of Equipment

Employees who carried office university property off campus should return the equipment and verify that all equipment pieces have been returned with their department head and department’s accountable property officer.

Loaner laptops or other loaned IT equipment should also be returned. Please contact the IT Service Desk to make an appointment to return it. The IT Service Desk will coordinate a time and location so you may safely return your checkout items.

Upon return to campus:

  • Employees are encouraged to reconnect their devices such as desktops or monitors.
  • Check that devices such as printers and scanners, which may have been powered down during the remote work period, are turned on.
  • Reboot office computers that may have been left running to ensure that it processes any updates or patches that may still need to be applied.

For any other issues or concerns regarding your technology as you return to the workplace please contact the IT Service Desk at 361.825.2692 or ithelp@tamucc.edu. If there is an urgent, work impacting problem, please communicate that to assist with appropriate prioritization.

If the employee must return to remote work and equipment must be checked out please fill out an office campus use permit form (https://adminservices.tamucc.edu/Property-Management/assets/off-campus-permit.pdf) or contact the IT Service Desk at 361.825.2692 or ithelp@tamucc.edu if a loaner is required.

Health & Safety Guidance

Social Distancing

Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slow its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk. Employees who have returned to campus should follow these social distancing practices:

  • Always stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people
  • No more than 10 should gather in groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

Face Coverings and/or Masks

To prevent the transmission of the virus, the CDC recommends that employees wear a face covering or mask while in close proximity to others (within 6 feet) and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (common work spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, hallways, etc.). TAMU-CC has established university procedures 34.99.99.C0.02, Usage of Face Covering to Reduce the Spread of Communicable Diseases providing guidance on the use of face coverings. Face coverings are required in all campus buildings and in all locations including outdoors where social distancing of 6 feet or more is not possible. Individuals alone in private rooms and offices do not have to wear face coverings in those situations. This requirement is in effect until further notice.

For a vast majority of employees, a face covering meets CDC guidelines, and one face covering will be provided by the University to all employees. Healthcare workers and first responders will be provided masks which meet CDC guidelines. Although the University will be providing a face covering or mask, you may wear your own choosing if you prefer.

Use and care of face coverings

Putting on the face covering:

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering.
  • Ensure the face covering fits over the nose and under the chin.
  • Situate the face covering properly with nose wire, where applicable, so it is snug against the nose.
  • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
  • Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face covering.

Taking off the face covering:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face covering.
  • Loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear or untie the straps.
  • Wash hands immediately after removing.

Care, storage, and laundering:

  • Keep face coverings stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be used more than one day at a time and should be washed after use with laundry detergent. Cloth face coverings should be replaced immediately if soiled, damaged (e.g. ripped, punctured), or visibly contaminated.
  • Disposable masks should not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash after youleavecampus. Themaskshouldalsobeplacedinthetrashif it is soiled, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material), or visibly contaminated.

Taking Temperatures

Employees should check their own temperature daily before reporting to campus.

Handwashing

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.

Hand sanitizer stations are located across campus and will be refilled as needed. If you find a station that needs to be refilled, please email facilities.services@tamucc.edu with the exact location.

Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene

Remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Gloves

According to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing with soap or cleaning your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol often is considered the best practice. If your job duties warrant gloves your supervisor will work with you.

Goggles/Face Shields

Employees are not required to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus.

Cleaning/Disinfection

Service Solutions Company (SSC) teams have enhanced their disinfecting and cleaning practices across campus and are paying attention to high-traffic areas and high-touch fixtures such as door handles, push plates, light switches, elevator buttons, and handrails located in common areas. This disinfecting will be in addition to their routine custodial activities such as mopping, vacuuming, and emptying trash. SSC will continue to monitor soap and hand sanitizer dispensers and more frequently. If you find a station that needs to be refilled please email facilities.services@tamucc.edu with the exact location using building name, floor, and room number.

Individual offices will have interior and exterior doorknobs disinfected daily. Each employee will be supplied with a small personal spray bottle of disinfectant, which can be refilled, to wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface. This includes any shared items or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks, desk lamps and tables, room light switches, doorknobs, etc.). Departments will be supplied with disinfectant for refills.

Once an individual reports a COVID-19 positive and has been on campus, SSC will be informed of the locations this person visited and will perform a deep clean.

Cleaning Computers and Electronics

The following information provides guidance for cleaning computers, copiers, printers, and other electronics with the disinfectant provided. For computer labs, larger refillable bottles will be made available to disinfect surfaces. It is important to follow manufacturer recommendations to avoid damage when cleaning computers, computer accessories, touchscreen devices and electronics.

General cleaning tips:

  • Use a lint-free cloth, such as a screen wipe or a cloth made from microfiber.
  • Avoid excessive wiping and submerging item in cleanser to avoid damage.
  • Unplug all external power sources and cables.
  • Do not use aerosol sprays, bleach or abrasive cleaners.
  • Ensure moisture does not get into any openings.
  • Never spray cleaner directly on an item.
  • Do not use fabric or leather surfaces on items, as this can scratch or damage to the items.
  • Do not use bleach to disinfect computers and electronics

More information can be found on these websites:

Campus Visitors

Campus visitors are limited to those considered critical to the mission of the university and departments must obtain approval by their Vice President or designee prior to their visit and fill out a self-declaration form prior to arriving on campus. Campus visitors are expected to follow the same guidance as employees and should not be on campus until after 9am and leave before 4pm to reduce traffic in common areas. Invited guests should not be left unaccompanied in campus buildings and should not visit campus if they have any of the symptoms listed in section #3 above.

Guidance Regarding Self-Isolation

If there comes a time when an individual may need to self-isolate, TAMU-CC will follow CDC guidance:

Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms may end isolation under the following conditions:

  • fever free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication),
  • improvement in symptoms, and
  • at least 10 days have passed since COVID-19 symptoms first appeared.

Persons who tested positive for COVID-19 who never developed COVID-19 symptoms may end isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 test.

If COVID-19 symptoms develop, then the above symptom-based strategy should be followed.

Individuals in close contact, defined as being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes within a 24 hour period regardless of wearing a face covering, with someone who has COVID-19 should take the following steps:

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19,
  • Watch for COVID-19 symptoms, and
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

Close contact also includes:

  • Providing care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19 (including a roommate or housemate).
  • Having direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them).
  • Sharing eating or drinking utensils with the person.
  • The person has sneezed, coughed, or somehow gotten respiratory droplets on you.

Guidance for Specific Workplace Scenarios

Public Transportation

If you must take public transportation, wear a face covering or mask before entering the bus and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Working in Office Environments

If you work in an open environment, be sure to maintain at least 6 feet distance from co-workers. If possible, have at least one workspace separating you from another co-worker. Until further notice, you must wear a face covering or mask while in a shared workspace/room.

Departments should assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to physically separate and increase distance between employees, other coworkers, and customers, such as:

  • visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate to customers where they should stand while waiting in line.
  • one-way directional signage for large open workspaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between employees moving through the space.
  • Consider designating specific stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows.

Administrative Operations in conjunction with Environmental Health and Safety will place signage in common areas. If after the departmental assessment additional signage is needed please email EVPFA@tamucc.edu.

If you work in an office, no more than one person should be in the same room unless the required 6 feet of distancing can be consistently maintained and face coverings or masks must be worn. A face covering or mask is not required if you are working alone in a confined office space.

Face coverings or masks must also be used in any TAMU-CC facility including walking in narrow hallways where others travel and in break rooms, conference rooms, and other meeting locations.

Enter/Exit Control

Administrative Operations in coordination with Environmental Health and Safety will place signage at building entrances noting if the door is an entrance only, exit only, or for the user to please stay to the right. Office suite and classroom access points, when possible, will have access points as designated entrances and exits.

The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Coordination of the arrival and departure times of employees should occur to reduce congestion during typical “rush hours” of the business day. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements.

Departments should stagger reporting/departing.

Once you have been instructed to return to the workplace, you should report to work or depart work through the designated building access and at the designated time to limit the number of people entering and exiting buildings at any one time.

Classrooms

Over 70 classrooms and laboratories were assessed for face-to-face course/lab delivery. The average capacity for classrooms will be 40% to maintain social distancing of 6 feet between faculty and students. Maximum room capacity will be posted inside and outside of classrooms. Classrooms will have indicators where students will sit for social distancing. Students will be seated with empty seats between them. In some stadium seating classrooms, there will be less than 6 feet of distance between rows, so plexiglass has been installed directly in front of the student’s seat to mitigate risks.

Some classes may be offered where one half of the class is in the classroom and the other half is participating remotely. Web cameras and microphones will be installed in many classrooms to support multiple modalities of course offerings. Each faculty member will communicate specific information on the delivery format of the course to the students via messages in the Blackboard course shell, via email, or information may also be posted in the online course schedule.

Students should wear face coverings while in class/labs unless otherwise instructed by your faculty member. In addition to the small personal spray bottle of disinfectant students are supplied, classrooms will be supplied with disinfectant to wipe down commonly used surfaces such as desks, computer equipment, etc., before and after use.

Travel

Business travel should be limited to mission critical functions to assure the continued safety of the campus community. Employees engaged in business-related and personal travel who suspect they have been exposed to COVID-19 while away from the university are required to notify their supervisor and place themselves in self-isolation for a period of time in accordance with current CDC guidance

Common Spaces

In hallways, workrooms, and breakrooms it is always important to maintain 6 feet distance between you and others. Until further notice, a face covering is required to be worn in all buildings. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in employee breakrooms to support social distancing practices between employees. Wipe all surfaces, including tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines, copiers, etc. after use.

Restrooms

Where there is more than one urinal, every other urinal will be closed to maximize the distances between individuals. In restrooms with stalls, employees are encouraged to occupy every other stall, if possible. After using the restroom, wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

Elevators

No more than two people may be on the elevator at a time. Those who are able should use the stairs whenever possible. While using an elevator, you must wear face covering or mask if others are present and avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

Meetings

Convening in groups increases the risk of transmitting the virus. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using the extensive range of available collaboration tools (WebEx, Microsoft Teams, telephone, etc.).

In-person meetings should be kept to a minimum and be limited to the lessor of the amount allowed by the CDC/State of Texas guidelines or based upon room capacity with all attendees maintaining 6 feet of separation. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support social distancing practices between attendees. All attendees must wear a face covering or mask while sharing space in a common room.

While on campus, you are encouraged to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors as needed by email, telephone, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Jabber, or other available technology rather than meeting face-to-face.

Events

On campus event guidelines have been outlined in a separate document and those attending the events are expected to follow the same social distancing and face covering requirements.

Dining

Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. Given the difficulty in complying with social distancing while serving food, you must wear a face covering or mask in the dining areas until you are ready to eat. Face covering or mask should be worn when exiting the dining areas as well. On-campus dining will have markings to ensure at least 6 feet of distance between each customer. Seating has also been removed to ensure social distancing.

Employees are encouraged to take food back to their work environment or eat outside as able.

Laboratories

Researchers performing non-hazardous and/or dry work should, whenever possible, perform such work in their individual workspace. Researchers conducting work with hazardous or bio-hazardous material or conducting work on animals should follow social distancing guidelines, but never work alone.

Plexiglass

Plexiglass has been installed in areas where service to customers occurs within 6 feet (Bursar’s Office,
Mail Services, Dining areas, etc.).

Golf Carts

If possible, golf cart usage should be limited to one person. If more than one person is necessary, riders must wear a face covering or mask since social distancing cannot be maintained.

Smoking Areas

Per University procedure 34.05.99.C1, smoking is only permissible is approved locations and it is always important to maintain 6 feet distance between you and others.

Student COVID-19 Campus Guide

A document has been provided to address campus procedures related to the students.