Expectations of Department Supervisors

Work Environment

Members of President’s Council will work with Department Directors and Department Chairs to evaluate the work environment and make the necessary changes and adjustments to ensure physical distancing practices can be followed. In shared offices or workspaces, the following should be considered:

  • Utilize flexible work schedules, staggered work hours, and staggered arrival and departure times.  Examples include:
    • Rotations of remote and in-person work: Create schedules that rotate employees on in-person and remote work days in order to ensure offices are covered while also supporting social distancing and decreasing congestion in the office.
    • Staggered scheduling: Stagger employees’ arrival and departure times, so that not all employees arrive or depart at the same time.
  • Alternate break/lunch scheduling: Alternate work or lunch schedules to minimize the number of individuals working together, congregating in one area, or gathering. Adjust furniture and office layout to allow for social distancing. Examples include:
    • Move desks or furniture apart to maximize spacing within offices, office suites, work areas, and lounge or public spaces.
    • Relocate individuals to alternate spaces or use larger spaces if possible.
    • Based on limited availability, and as a last resort, consider the use of office partitions or plexiglass dividers for areas where the prominent purpose is customer service or interacting with walk-up traffic of students, faculty, staff, parents, or campus visitors.
  • Alter or limit congregating factors or spaces where the virus could be easily spread. Examples include:
    • Discontinue the use of office coffee pots. Post signage to require disinfecting handles on refrigerators and microwaves, as well as control panels of microwaves and vending machines. Post signage discouraging drinking from water fountains.
    • Alter break room setups to increase social distancing. Limit the number of people who can be present where gatherings often occur such as lunch or break rooms. Encourage outdoor break periods.
    • Insure adequate space between personal items in areas of shared storage such as locker rooms or mail rooms.

High Traffic Areas and Forming of Lines

Members of President’s Council will work with Department Directors and Department Chairs to utilize the following ways in high traffic areas and offices where lines form:

  • Clearly demarcate 6-feet of space in lines using blue painter’s tape or approved decals from the Physical Plant.
  • Create one-way traffic patterns (such as in aisles or library stacks) to decrease face-to-face interactions. Utilize barriers such as tape or furniture as needed to insure proper traffic patterns and limit access.
  • Limit number of people moving through large spaces, like dining halls and the bookstore.
  • When walking in corridors or hallways, stay on the right side according to the direction you are heading in order to maximize distance when passing others.

Steps if an Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

If and when an employee gets sick or tests positive for COVID-19, the step-by-step guide should be followed.

If an employee lets you know they’ve tested positive for COVID-19, take a moment to be there for them. As a leader at Trinity, there are of course professional limitations of what “being there” means—you won’t be able to offer health advice, that’s for sure—but still, HR is often on the frontlines of tough conversations, and you know from experience to lead with emotional intelligence.

Ask them to quarantine –meaning self-isolation, not coming into work or working remotely if possible—for at least 14 days. Before ending home isolation, employees should consult CDC guidance.

  • Inform them of available PTO and sick leave options, most importantly the enhanced paid sick leave offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (Of course, if the employee can work remotely, they may not require sick leave. In any case, it’s good for them to know that sick leave is there for them if they need it now or over the course of the 14+ days.)
  • Explain ADA privacy rules: you will not reveal the fact they tested positive to their colleagues, unless instructed to. You should ask them whether their manager/supervisor can know—if not, they should only be told that the employee is on a leave of absence for non-disciplinary reasons.

Ask the employee about their activity in the 14 days prior to testing positive. Identify the areas of the workplace (or workplaces) the employee spent most of their time and with what colleagues they had close contact—the CDC defines this as being within 6 feet for a prolonged period.

You should also establish what clients, vendors or third parties the employee was in close contact with in the 14 days prior to testing positive. These individuals should be contacted. This shouldn’t be the end of your communication with the sick employees. If possible, you and other senior leaders should call regularly to offer support.

At this point, leadership will have some decisions to make. Unless your whole team works remotely (and has for at least 14 days), here’s what you must do:

  1. Deep clean any area of the workplace in which the employee spent time
  2. Instruct those who were in close contact with the employee to self-isolate for 14 days
  3. Inform the rest of your organization (or at least those based in the same workplace)

Inform employees who were in close contact with the employee that you have reason to believe that they were in contact with someone who has since tested positive for COVID-19, without mentioning the affected employee’s name or any easily-identifiable information (such as their job title).

Instruct the at-risk employee to self-isolate for 14 days, tell them to watch out for symptoms and suggest they contact their healthcare provider. If the period self-isolation means they will not be able to work, they should be placed on paid sick-leave, either under company policy or using the new emergency sick leave package offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Most of all, you should offer your full support and sympathy. If they are currently at work, instruct them to go home as soon as possible.

(Resource: Families First Coronavirus Response Act)