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Covid-19

Covid-19 People-Focused Health and Safety Policy

Consistent with the guidelines established by Governor J.B. Pritzker and Restore Illinois, this policy will remain in effect until further notice.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is focused on preserving the health and safety of our community while serving our students with excellence.  Along with a science-based approach, the following principles have informed this policy:

  1. Community – we want our community to thrive, our institution to remain open, and our students and employees to remain healthy.
  2. Humility – people can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms and these safety precautions can help mitigate that risk.
  3. Kindness – members of our community may have a loved one or are themselves battling illness or caring for someone at risk; compliance with safety measures helps protect everyone.

GENERAL

  • Students and employees are expected to complete COVID-19 training to better understand prevention strategies and safety expectations.
  • Students and employees are required to comply with the face coverings expectations specified in this policy.
  • Students and employees are required to practice social distancing of 6 feet between people.
    • This is especially important for people who are at a higher risk.
    • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
  • Students and employees are expected to be mindful of directional signs, traffic flow patterns, and floor markers in buildings and offices. Doors for entering and exiting buildings will be designated.  Where multiple doors exist, doors will be marked with “Entrance” and “Exit” signs. Plans that consider traffic flow in and out of buildings, and within buildings (i.e. stairs, hallways, etc. where possible) will be marked.  Students and employees can always utilize accessible doors when necessary.
  • Students and employees are expected to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Students and employees are expected to conduct a daily health self-assessment. Contact Health Service (students) or a primary care provider (employees) for guidance if the following symptoms are present:
    • Fever (100.4 degrees or above) or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Students and employees who have COVID-19 symptoms but not yet tested positive, have COVID-19 close contact exposure, or are COVID-19 diagnosed as presumptive or confirmed positive should stay home and provide notification as follows:
    • Everyone must complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form remotely.
      • Students should follow instructions from their course instructors regarding absences.
      • Employees must contact their supervisor or department chair to inform them of their absence.
  • Students and employees who are instructed to self-quarantine or remain in isolation by an appropriate medical authority are expected to comply with those mandates.
    • If a student or employee is required to self-quarantine or isolate and does not comply with this requirement, the student or employee will be referred to the appropriate office (Dean of Students or Human Resources) for possible disciplinary action.

FACE COVERINGS

Everyone

  1. Face masks or face shields that cover the nose and mouth are required in indoor public spaces regardless of the ability to maintain social distance.  Indoor public spaces include common spaces or community settings that anyone can access, such as:
    1. Office reception areas with walk-in access
    2. Restrooms
    3. Hallways
    4. Classrooms, teaching and research laboratories
    5. Common spaces in residence halls
    6. Seating areas in Morris University Center, Student Success Center, and Lovejoy Library
    7. Conference rooms
    8. Lobbies
    9. Break rooms
  2. Face masks or face shields are required in outdoor spaces where 6 feet or more of physical distancing is difficult to reliably maintain.
  3. Disposable face coverings will be provided to departments to be used for students, employees, and visitors who forget a face covering.
  4. Face coverings can be purchased at the Health Service Pharmacy in the Student Success Center or the Cougar Store in the MUC.
  5. Face coverings are not required in the following limited circumstances:
    1. When working alone in a single office workspace when 6 feet distance can be maintained
    2. When University Housing residents are in their assigned individual living units
    3. When engaging in physical exercising, showering, or using locker room facilities
    4. When doing so poses a safety or security risk
    5. While operating outdoor equipment, if not appropriate from a safety standpoint
    6. When consuming food or drink
    7. When engaging in personal hygiene activities

Employees

  1. Faculty and staff are required to wear face masks or face shields that cover nose and mouth at all indoor locations, including offices, classrooms and laboratories or any place where multiple people are present and social distancing is not possible.
  2. A face mask to cover nose and mouth will be provided by the University to each employee. Employees are welcome to use their own masks; however, all masks should be cleaned daily.
  3. If an employee has a documented health condition which makes wearing a face covering medically intolerable, that employee should alert their supervisor and contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, Access & Title IX Coordination (EOA) to explore options for an alternative. Documentation of the medical condition will be required by EOA.
  4. Face covering expectations will be posted on signs throughout campus.
  5. Supervisors should remind employees to wear their face covering appropriately. Departments will be provided extra face masks in case someone forgets theirs.
  6. Employees who refuse to wear a face mask or face shield properly indoors, and who can’t maintain a 6-foot social distance, will be sent home without pay for refusing to adhere to workplace safety rules.
  7. Faculty or staff who refuse to wear a face covering or alternative accommodation will be referred to Human Resources for non-compliance with campus safety protocols.

Students

  1. Face coverings are required in all classrooms, related academic areas, and common spaces such as restrooms, hallways and lobbies.
  2. A face mask to cover nose and mouth will be provided by the University to each student. Students are welcome to use their own masks; however, all masks should be cleaned daily.
  3. If a student has a documented health condition which makes wearing a face covering medically intolerable, that student should contact ACCESS to explore options with the understanding that ACCESS will not grant accommodations which excuse the need for a face covering on campus. ACCESS will work with qualifying individuals to find reasonable alternatives, whenever such solutions are available.
  4. Face covering expectations will be posted on signs throughout campus.
  5. If a student arrives for class or in any location where a face covering is required and is without a face covering, they can obtain one from the instructor, a nearby department, a friend, the Cougar Store or Health Service.
  6. Students who refuse to wear a face mask or face shield properly in class can be moved to an alternative way of learning that meets their preference for personal safety measures, such as an online course.
  7. Students who refuse to wear a face covering or alternative accommodation will be referred to the Dean of Students for non-compliance with community health and safety protocols.
    1. Sanctions for initial non-compliance will include education and additional training.
    2. Repeated non-compliance may result in being administratively dropped from an on-ground/face-to-face course or courses without refund if no alternative course format is available.
    3. All students with University Housing contracts have been notified of the requirement for face coverings. Repeated violations of this requirement will result in termination of residency without refund.
    4. Repeated non-compliance will result in disciplinary action, up to and including suspension.

Campus Visitors, Tenants, and Contractors

  1. Unless prohibited for health reasons as described above, campus visitors, tenants, and contractors are required to wear face coverings that cover nose and mouth at all interior locations, including offices and laboratories or any place where multiple people are present and social distancing is not possible.
  2. Face covering expectations will be posted on signs throughout campus.
  3. Employees should remind visitors, tenants, and contractors to wear their face covering appropriately.
    1. Departments will be provided extra face masks in case someone forgets theirs.
  4. Visitors, tenants, and contractors who refuse to wear a face mask or face shield properly indoors, and who can’t maintain a 6-foot social distance can be offered an alternative method to receive service such as a virtual meeting, or may be refused service and asked to return when they are able to wear a face covering.
  5. As a last resort, visitors, tenants, or contractors who continue to refuse to wear a face mask or face shield properly indoors will be asked to leave the campus.
    1. If a visitor refuses to leave, employees should contact the SIUE Police Department at ext. 3324.

CREATING A SHARED COMMITMENT TO HEALTH AND SAFETY

As part of our commitment to the SIUE value of Citizenship, we ask students, faculty, and staff to reinforce the collective role we play in community health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Take Our Cougar Commitment – Community Health and Safety Pledge and share with others.
  2. Using the guide below, please reach out to those who may not understand the importance of our face coverings expectation. Let’s clear the A-I-R:
    1. ASK – Ask the individual to put on a face covering: "Hi, my name is Eddie the Cougar from the Chemistry department.  We wear face coverings here at SIUE.*  Do you have one?  Great!  Please put it on.  If you forgot yours, I have an extra.  Or you can get one at this nearby office, Cougar Store in the MUC, or Health Service Pharmacy in the SSC. Thanks for doing your part to keep campus safe!"
    2. INFORM - If needed, state the COVID-19 People-Focused Health & Safety Policy and explain the 'why'. "Face masks or face shields that cover the nose and mouth are required in indoor public spaces regardless of the ability to maintain social distance. This is because we want our community to thrive, our institution to remain open, and our students and employees to remain healthy."
    3. REFER - If an individual does not put on a face covering, offer the following alternatives:
      1. Schedule a virtual appointment or online service
      2. Come back when they have a face covering
      3. Leave the area
      4. *If an individual states they have a medical reason for not wearing a face covering, please refer them to ACCESS (students) or Equal Opportunity, Access, and Title IX Coordination (employees).
    4. IF HELP IS NEEDED - It can be challenging to approach others and make this request. View “Let’s Clear the A-I-R" training to learn how to create rapport and buy-in.
      1. After the above stated alternatives have been attempted, SIUE Police may be called to escort an individual off campus. Please do not request a police response unless you have attempted the above strategies or if there is an immediate threat to your safety.
      2. If you need to refer an individual who does not comply with our health and safety expectations, please contact the Dean of Students (students) or Human Resources (employees)

Approved by Chancellor effective 7/24/20
This policy was issued on July 28, 2020.
Document Reference: Covid-19
Origin: SIUE Pandemic Planning Core Team

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