Guiding Principles

As we return to work on campus this summer and anticipate the return of students in the fall, the Health Monitoring & Action Team of Ouachita Baptist University will follow recommendations from the federal government regarding reopening of the workplace using the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Arkansas Department of Health and the American College Health Association, as well as insights from other universities in the state and region. As we gain a greater understanding of COVID-19 and the public health situation in Arkansas evolves, our recommendations and plans will be updated as needed.

 

GUIDE FOR RETURNING TO THE SUMMER WORKPLACE

Effective June 1, 2020

The following guidelines are for campus operations in June and July and may change as public health information evolves. Additional guidelines for the fall semester will be released later in the summer. All employees are expected to fully comply with the protocols and guidelines below. Supervisors are responsible for implementing these in their respective offices with their faculty and staff colleagues. We must together do our part to care for ourselves, our colleagues and the broader community as a sign of mutual respect through these daily acts of service.  

 

Symptom Monitoring Requirement

Employees who return to the workplace must conduct symptom monitoring every day before reporting to work. You must be free of new, SUDDEN ONSET symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 or have been cleared to work by your physician prior to reporting onsite.

At this time, these symptoms could include one or more of the following:

  • Coughing/Shortness of Breath/Difficulty Breathing
  • Fever/Chills
  • New Sinus Congestion
  • Generalized Muscle Aches
  • Unusual, Sudden-onset Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • Fatigue
  • New GI Symptoms
  • New Loss of Taste or Smell

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, go to the Self-Check Screening guide on the Centers for Disease Control website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html# to receive guidance on next steps, such as the need for a COVID-19 test, consultation with your doctor or self-quarantine.

 

Health & Safety Guidance

Personal Safety Practices:

  • Face Masks/Cloth Face Coverings should be worn by all employees working on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as meeting rooms or classrooms. Masks are not required outdoors unless social distancing is difficult to maintain. Important: A mask is not a substitute for social distancing. Masks are not required when working alone in an office, but are required to enter and depart campus buildings. Disposable masks may be worn until soiled and then must be placed in the trash. Cloth masks should be laundered after each use.
  • Social Distancing is one of the best tools to avoid exposure or slow the spread of COVID-19. Stay at least 6 feet from other people at all times, do not gather in groups and avoid mass gatherings or crowded places.
  • Handwashing should be done often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Personal Disinfection of commonly used surfaces (e.g. copiers, printers, coffee makers, light switches, door knobs) should be completed by wiping them down with the provided supplies when you begin to work and prior to leaving any room in which you have been working.

Guidance for Specific Workplace Scenarios: 

  • Offices/Office Space should allow for at least 6 feet of distance between co-workers. Wear a face mask while in a shared work space. No more than one person should be in the same room unless 6 feet of distance can be consistently maintained. Masks should be worn by any employee in a reception/receiving area. Masks should be used in narrow hallways, conference rooms and other meeting locations. For June and July, employees should provide their own masks.
  • Departments should assess all work areas, including meeting rooms, to institute measures to physically separate and increase distance between employees, other coworkers and students, such as:
    • Place visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate where they should stand
    • Place one-way directional signage for large open work spaces
    • Consider designating specific stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows
  • Restroom occupancy should be limited to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals.
  • Elevators should not have more than one person in them at a time.
  • Meeting Rooms should not exceed 50 percent occupancy, assuming individuals can still maintain 6 feet of separation. Remove or rearrange chairs or tables to support social distancing. Visual cue marks may also be used. Masks are required.

Occupancy, directional and other instructional signage for use in your office or building are available for download at home.obu.edu/covid-19/signage.

 

Return to Work After Out-of-State Travel

All Ouachita employees who travel internationally and return to campus need to complete the online COVID-19 screening tool at obu.edu/covid19screening. If all answers to the questions are “No,” show the screening result to your work supervisor on returning to the office. If any answers to the questions are “Yes,” you will need to provide additional information to get approval to return to campus. (Updated June 24, 2020)

 

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