June 10 Campus Update: New COVID Policies, and Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan
I wrote May 27 with a campus update that previewed a summary of changes on campus to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission, and with the promise of additional policies in June. I write today with those policies, and with the Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan.
The core components of CDC guidance are to ensure employees can stay home when ill, reinforce policies on facemasks, promote good fundamental hygiene, and maintain healthy work environments. In line with these recommendations, I call to your attention the following documents:
- Pandemic Paid Sick Bank Policy. The college has created a policy to ensure employees are able to maintain paid time off if sick with COVID. If you are sick, stay home. Bates expects employees to self-monitor their health. See the Self-Monitoring, What to do if You Have Symptoms of COVID-19, and Returning to Work Policy.
- Face Covering Policy. The CDC and others have emphasized that face coverings are one of the most critical components of preventing the transmission of COVID-19. Bates requires face coverings in all shared spaces on campus. This includes both outdoor areas and private workspaces when others are present.
- General Infection Prevention Measures. The college will promote employee hygiene and common-sense policies to encourage behaviors that reduce transmission. Some of these college actions were described in my May 27 Campus Update.
These policies, and others, are integrated into the Bates Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan, which is informed by both recent OSHA and CDC guidance. The Plan may be found alongside the Employee Handbook on the HR website, while the individual policies are on the HR COVID resources site. All Bates employees – faculty and staff – are required to review and acknowledge receipt of the plan through Garnet Gateway. Later this month, when you log into Garnet Gateway, you will need to read and acknowledge the Plan.
These policies address the core elements of reducing disease transmission on campus. We expect this Plan to be updated later this summer prior to student arrival, assuming we are able to hold the semester on campus, incorporating expectations for students, faculty, and staff during the academic year.
I hope you are well; be kind, be safe, and be healthy.