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Employee Guide to STLCC Safe Return

St. Louis Community College is committed to the safety of our students, faculty, staff and broader STLCC community. This document makes use of what is currently known about best practices regarding COVID-19 along with local, state and federal guidelines.

While changes are expected in the coming months, everyone is required to follow these rules when visiting an STLCC location every time in order to continue our mission of expanding minds and changing lives.

Safe Return Plan

The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly-evolving situation. What we know about the virus, and the resulting guidance from public health authorities, changes frequently. This document will be updated when possible to reflect the latest information and guidance. However, employees are encouraged to check the STLCC COVID-19 page frequently for the latest information.

This document is intended to provide high-level guidance for safe practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not contain detailed protocols for every department or job function. These protocols are the responsibility of the individual departments and will be provided through normal management and supervisory channels. If you have concerns or questions about COVID-19 safety in your job that are not addressed in this guidebook, please contact your supervisor.

Phased Employee Return

Employees will return to STLCC in a coordinated process and at a gradual rate to allow for appropriate social distancing and procurement of necessary materials such as face coverings. The College will determine on-site staffing levels based on business operational requirements, need to access on-campus resources, and the effectiveness of alternative work arrangements such as telecommuting. The need for a reduced number of people at STLCC locations may continue for some time depending on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because on-site staffing is currently limited, many college buildings are secured to provide increased safety. If you need to access a building that is secured, please coordinate with your supervisor or the STLCC Police Department.

Personal Responsibility

While the measures listed below can help minimize the spread of COVID-19, safety begins with individual responsibility. Every employee must both self-monitor for symptoms and remain aware of contact with individuals exhibiting symptoms. Any STLCC employee exhibiting symptoms should contact their immediate supervisor and should not come to work until cleared to return to work by a medical professional. Authorization for return to work must be sent to Lesley Holland (lholland25@stlcc.edu) in the Human Resource Services Department.

Important:

Each employee must complete an online health check every day before beginning work at any College location. This is best done before arriving at your work location. A notification will be sent to supervisors if the employee screen indicates they may be at risk. This does NOT mean the employee is presumed to have COVID-19, but is a precautionary step taken to minimize the risk of spreading infection. The health check can be found here: stlcc.edu/covidhealthscreen.

Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Individuals with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

This list does not contain all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Symptoms of Coronavirus webpage regularly for a current list of symptoms.

Individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, those who have been in close contact with individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, and those who screen at-risk using the STLCC screening tool must be cleared by a medical professional to return to work.

Higher Risk Individuals

Some conditions place individuals at a higher risk:

  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Severe obesity
  • Asthma
  • Compromised immune systems
  • Those age 65 and older

Vulnerable employees may also include those who live with or care for anyone who is elderly or anyone who has an underlying health condition. If you meet the above criteria or have concerns about returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may speak with your immediate supervisor and/or Human Resources about possible options.


Guidelines for Health and Safety

Workplace Safety

Face Coverings

All students, visitors and employees are expected to wear cloth face coverings at all times at any STLCC facility, indoors or outside, unless the employee or student has a documented medical reason they cannot wear a face covering. Employees should work through the Human Resources Department if an accommodation is needed.

Use of personal face coverings is allowed, and the College will provide employees face coverings available through supervisors. The campus bookstores will have face coverings available for purchase. Disposable face coverings for visitors will be available at reception areas. Individuals without face coverings will be required to leave the facility.

Use of N95 respirators may be dangerous for individuals with heart and respiratory diseases and should not be used without prior medical clearance and the appropriate training.

What Type of Mask Do I Need?

  • Homemade mask or paper mask

    • Who should wear: general public
    • When to wear: when a person can't perform social distancing; scarves and bandannas can be used if necessary.
    • Use limitations: cloth masks should be washed after each use; don't wear damp or when wet from spit or mucus.
  • Surgical Mask

    • Who should wear: health care workers and patients in health care settings.
    • When to wear: During single or multiple patient interactions or routine health procedures; recommended when N95s aren't available.
    • Use limitations: ideally should be discarded after each patient encounter. Extended use is preferable to reuse.
  • N95 Respirator

    • Who should wear: health care workers
    • When to wear: caring for patients with COVID-19 and performing procedures that put them most at risk of the virus exposure.
    • Use limitations: ideally should be discarded after each patient encounter. Extended use is preferable to reuse.

For more information concerning the use and care of face coverings, see the following resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Personal Care

Employees are expected to frequently and thoroughly wash their hands and regularly disinfect personal workspaces. Disinfecting supplies will be provided. Effective hand-washing means using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is recommended. Another best practice is to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and to wash hands after touching your face or sneezing.

Housekeeping

Housekeeping staff and other designated employees will regularly disinfect shared surfaces, such as light switches, door handles, counter surfaces, shared equipment and areas such as break rooms, restrooms and elevators. If you notice an area that needs immediate attention, contact STLCC Facilities at 314-984-7979 or fixit@stlcc.edu.

Social Distancing

To best limit the spread of COVID-19, follow social distancing guidelines whenever possible. Since individuals can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others, even if you are symptom-free. This means maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from others and avoiding group gatherings. Groups of more than 10 in one space should be avoided at all times. If your workspace is within 6 feet of another workspace and there is no physical barrier between, contact your immediate supervisor to develop a plan for relocation or staggered shifts.

Personal Protective Equipment

Some work activities will require additional personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The College has developed a number of specific protocols to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. If necessary to perform your job, these protocols, the required PPE, and training in proper use of required PPE will be provided to you before beginning work. Please check with your supervisor if you are unsure if new protocols have been implemented.

Safety in Shared Spaces

Meetings

Meetings should be held virtually whenever possible. If face-to-face meetings are unavoidable, staff must wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. This may require larger meeting spaces and consideration of seating placement. At no time should more than 10 people participate in a face-to-face meeting.

Common Areas

Common areas will have limited access or be closed. Hand sanitizer and surface cleaning products will be available in all common areas, and face coverings and social distancing are required.

Elevators

The safest option is using the elevator one at a time. In all cases, no more than three people should use an elevator at once.

Restrooms

Use of restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

Office Equipment

Employees should wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with STLCC-provided products that meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface. Disinfectant will be supplied. This includes any shared space locations or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.).

Lunch and Meals

Students and employees will need to eat lunch or take a break while at an STLCC location. In order to provide the safest conditions, the following protocols must be followed. The safest location to eat your lunch or take a break is outside.

  • A distance of at least 6 feet from others must be maintained at all times while eating.
  • Should you choose to eat with others, it is recommended that you eat with the same individuals each day to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
  • Masks should be worn when not eating or drinking.
  • Be sure to wash your hands prior to eating and clean/disinfect any areas before and after eating where possible.

Individuals who have access to private office space can take breaks and eat in their area with the door closed. Unless you have a private office, lunch should not be eaten at your desk.

If it is not possible to eat outdoors or in a private office, lunch should be eaten in a large open space (i.e. cafeteria) following the same basic safety guidelines as above.

In addition to the cafeteria, each location will have designated spaces for dining. Check with your supervisor and/or campus leadership for help identifying alternate locations for dining. Students can stop by the Campus Vice President for Student Affairs’ Office or the Campus Life Office to learn more.

Any containers, food, and waste generated from eating lunch on campus should be either taken home or placed in the appropriate trash receptacle. Dishes and silverware may not be left in common-area sinks.

Individual break rooms where common refrigerators and microwaves are placed may not be used as a dining space. This equipment may be used if proper hand-washing and sanitation is followed at all times.

  • Microwave interiors, handles, and buttons should be cleaned before and after each use.
  • Refrigerator handles should be cleaned after touching.
  • Food may not be stored for multiple days in the refrigerator; rather, it may only be used to keep items cold for the day they will be consumed (with the exception of personal refrigerators).

Vendors and Visitors

Vendors and visitors are not allowed in workspaces. Those making deliveries should be directed to the mail room or loading docks and cannot deliver directly to departments or individuals.


A Collective Effort

The safety of our campus community relies on each individual assuming responsibility for themselves and the community. If you notice something you feel is not in compliance with the guidance presented above, contact your immediate supervisor right away. You may also send suggestions to the Employee and Student Engagement Team at covid19@stlcc.edu.


Safe Return Plan - Quick Reference

While changes are expected in the coming months, everyone is required to follow these rules when visiting a St. Louis Community College location every time in order to continue our mission of expanding minds and changing lives. Please see the complete guide for more detailed information.

Phased Employee Return

Employees will return to STLCC in a coordinated process and at a gradual rate to allow for appropriate social distancing.

Personal Responsibility

Any STLCC employee exhibiting symptoms described in the guide should contact their immediate supervisor and should not come to work until cleared to return to work by a medical professional. Higher risk individuals should discuss options with their supervisor.

Workplace Safety

Face Coverings

All students, visitors and staff must wear cloth face coverings at all times at any STLCC facility, except for employees and students who are working alone in an enclosed workspace.

Personal Care

Staff are expected to frequently and thoroughly wash their hands and regularly disinfect personal workspaces.

Social Distancing

Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from others, and limit group gatherings to no more than 10 people.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

If necessary to perform your job, protocols, the required PPE, and training in proper use of required PPE will be provided to you before beginning work.

Safety in Shared Spaces

Meetings, Elevators, Restrooms, Laboratories

Follow face covering, personal care, social distancing and if appropriate, PPE guidelines. One person at a time in elevators if possible; 3 people maximum at all times.

Common Areas, Cafeterias

Most likely, common areas will not be open initially. As CDC and governmental guidelines change, this will be reevaluated.

Vendors and Visitors

Vendors and visitors are not allowed in workspaces. Those making deliveries should be directed to the mail room and cannot deliver directly to departments or individuals.


Download a printed version of this Employee Guide to STLCC Safe Return

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