Coronavirus - Employee Guidelines
A Message From The President - April 29, 2020
Good Afternoon CMU Community,
Among my happiest childhood memories, I vividly recall staring down our long country lane, waiting for my older brothers to walk around the curve as they returned home from military service abroad. I imagine that seeing our staff’s return to campus will generate the same level of excitement and joy. It has been too long—welcome home!
As we return to our new normal, remember to keep your personal health and safety in mind, practicing appropriate distancing and a heightened awareness of workplace safety. Please be understanding of your coworkers who may feel a greater threat to their well-being than you may feel. Finally, I ask for your cooperation and understanding (or what my mother called a “happy heart” as we implement policies and procedures designed to keep you and your coworkers safe.
President Roger Drake
Effective May 4, 2020, all CMU employees reporting to work on campus will be asked to confirm they do not have a temperature or COVID-19 related symptoms as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Two options are available.
- Every employee will be screened, including having his or her temperature taken, when arriving on campus. Employees report to the Student Center/Eagle Lounge Parking Lot Door upon arrival and prior to entering any other areas of CMU property. Employees should remain 6 feet apart while waiting for the nurse. Screening hours will be 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Monday – Friday. The nurse will also be available by appointment for those arriving later in the day (before 4 pm). Call 660-248-6285 or 660-248-6223.
- Employees will be screened privately by Christine Couch Kirkendoll using a touchless forehead/ temporal artery thermometer. The employee’s temperature and answers to respiratory symptom questions will not be documented. Only, a clearance for work will be documented.
- Time spent waiting for the health screening on campus should be recorded as time worked for nonexempt employees.
- An employee who has a fever at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or who is experiencing coughing or shortness of breath will be sent home. The employee should monitor his or her symptoms and call a doctor or use telemedicine if concerned about the symptoms.
- An employee sent home may return to work when the latest date of the following occurs:
- He or she has had no fever for at least three (3) days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time;
- AND Any COVID-19 symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) have improved for at least three (3) days;
- AND At least ten (10) days have passed since the symptoms began.
- A self-certification is provided to HR. (see below)
- An employee may return to work earlier if a doctor confirms the cause of an employee’s fever or other symptoms is not COVID-19 and releases the employee to return to work in writing.
- Sick leave will be used for the time off work.
- Employees may take own temperature at home before they arrive on campus. Supervisors will be confirming this has been done and no temperature 100.4 (or higher) or symptoms exist.
- An employee who experiences fever and/or respiratory symptoms while home should not report to work. Instead, the employee should contact his or her immediate supervisor. Return to work will follow the same guidelines as noted in Option 1.
- Sick leave is appropriate to be used for these situations.
To minimize the spread of illness during the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) outbreak, Central Methodist University intends to be flexible regarding leave for employees who are or may be sick. This is a temporary revision expanding our University leave benefits by establishing a new leave benefit known as “ borrowed leave”.
Borrowed leave is up to 120 hours of leave made available to employees without (1) accumulated vacation and (2) accumulated sick leave for use only in the circumstances identified below. Borrowed leave will be repaid from vacation and sick leave, beginning when the employee returns to work, at their normal rate of accrual for vacation and sick leave. If an employee leaves CMU employment before the borrowed leave has been earned back, the employee’s last paycheck will be adjusted for the balance due.
BORROWED LEAVE GUIDELINES
- EMPLOYEES WHO ARE OR MAY BE SICK
Influenza and other respiratory infections including COVID-19 have similar if not identical signs and symptoms. Employees who feel sick or who develop a cough and/or shortness of breath should take their temperature twice a day to accurately track their temperature. An employee who is sick should NOT report to work. “Sick” in this context means the employee has a fever at or above 100.4̊°. If an employee develops a fever at or above this level, they may not return to work until after their fever has reduced below this level for 3 days after they have stopped taking fever reducing medicines or after seven days of the beginning of symptoms. An employee should use their available leave so they can recover and not cause others to become sick. If the employee does not have any sick leave or vacation time, the employee shall be authorized to use borrowed leave for the absence rather than taking leave without pay. Employees should call their physician when they feel that would be appropriate.
- EMPLOYEES WITH PENDING COVID-19 TEST RESULTS or SELF QUARANTINED DUE TO EXPOSURE
If an employee has been in close contact with someone that has tested positive they should self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor symptoms. An employee who has been tested for COVID-19 should not report to work while results are pending or symptoms are being monitored. In this circumstance, employees should use their available leave. If the employee does not have any sick leave or vacation time, the employee shall be authorized to use borrowed leave for the absence rather than taking leave without pay. Instead of taking leave, if the employee’s duties can be performed from home and the employee feels able, supervisors should request temporary remote work authorization for the employee to work from home and be credited time for work actually performed until test results are received.
Employees that have been told to quarantine or test by CMU officials due to possible exposure on campus, will not have to use sick or vacation leave and are encouraged to work remotely.
Employees that were exposed, but tested negative in the 5-7 day quarantine window, are allowed to return to work no earlier than 10 days from the date of exposure if no symptoms have occurred.
An employee that has tested must provide confirmation of the test results to the COVID-19 Coordinator before they will be cleared to return to campus.
- TEAM MEMBERS WHO TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
An employee who tests positive for COVID-19 cannot return to work until the employee has provided a note from a physician authorizing the employee’s return to work. At least 10 days must have passed since symptoms first appeared. The note must state that the employee has had at least 3 days since recovery - defined as resolution of fever without the use of medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms. Asymptomatic patients can return to work seven days after the positive test assuming no symptoms. The note must be provided to the COVID-19 Coordinator who will confirm and authorize return to work.
In this case the employee should use their available leave. If the employee does not have any sick leave or vacation time, the employee shall be authorized to use borrowed leave for the absence rather than taking leave without pay. Instead of taking leave, if the employee’s duties can be performed from home and the employee feels able, supervisors, should request temporary remote work authorization for the employee to work from home.
TEAM MEMBERS WHO TEST NEGATIVE FOR COVID-19
An employee who tests negative for COVID-19 cannot return to work until their fever has reduced below 100.4̊° for 3 days after they have stopped taking fever-reducing medicines. In this circumstance, an employee should use their available leave. If the employee does not have any sick leave or vacation time, the employee shall be authorized to use borrowed leave for the absence rather than taking leave without pay. Instead of taking leave, if the employee’s duties can be performed from home and the employee feels able, supervisors should request temporary remote work authorization for the employee to work from home and be credited time for work actually performed.
- TEAM MEMBERS WITH AN IMPACTED HOUSEHOLD MEMBER
An employee may feel well but may have a household member who is sick. If an employee has a household member who is sick as defined above or who is in a situation described in categories 2 – 4 above, the employee should NOT report to work and should follow the instructions applicable to the household member’s category. If the household member is a spouse, child, other relative or household member requiring the employee’s personal care and attention, the employee may use sick leave. If the employee does not have any sick leave or vacation time, the employee shall be authorized to use borrowed leave for the absence rather than taking leave without pay. Instead of taking leave, if the employee’s duties can be performed from home and the employee feels able, supervisors should request temporary remote work authorization for the employee to work from home and be credited time for work actually performed.
- BORROWED LEAVE USAGE UNDER CATEGORIES 1-5
Human Resources will contact the employee to confirm that borrowed leave as specified in categories 1-5 is still appropriate to use if and when the 120 hour threshold of borrowed leave is used based on any combination from categories 1-5 above.
- SCHOOL, DAYCARE, AND SIMILAR CLOSINGS DUE TO COVID-19
In the event of school, daycare, or adult care closings due to COVID-19, an employee may need to be home with their children or their adult child or parent for whom they need to provide care, even if no one is sick. In such circumstances, the employee should use their available leave using any accrued vacation leave first and then any available sick leave. If the employee does not have any vacation time or sick leave, the employee shall be authorized to use borrowed leave for the absence rather than taking leave without pay, but only after all of the following options have been explored, considered and determined not viable by the employee’s supervisor:
- Expand work hours or allow flexible schedules. For example, allow early morning, evening, and/or weekend work so that team members can care for their children or parents during the day, but work in the evenings when a spouse can be home to care for the children or parents.
- Consider remote work authorization for employees who have ability to obtain remote computer access. Supervisors should also think creatively about non-technology-based options that might not traditionally have been considered that would facilitate work from home. Telecommuting requests must be made by the supervisor to VP Finance for approval.
- Allow job-sharing or job-splitting. For example, team members who do the same type of job could split the day – one of them could work the first four hours and the other could work the second four hours, thus reducing the amount of leave that each must take. Unlike borrowed leave used in categories 1-5 above, the use of borrowed leave in this category (7) requires documentation. The employee and the supervisor shall provide documentation to the HR department every 10 days during their use of this borrowed leave.
- Team members with portable equipment (e.g., laptops, iPads) that would allow them to work from home under the conditions set forth above should consider taking such equipment home with them each evening.
- Telecommuting – Remote work requests - Should supervisors determine they need to consider remote work due to COVID-19, they may request approval for temporary telecommuting based on the circumstances and needs of the department. All campus jobs may not lend themselves to these options. Final approval must be received before the alternate arrangements begin. Employees must be available during the regular business office hours while working remotely. The request form outlines the proposed work, beginning and ending dates. This is not a substitute for regular day care and may be terminated at any time by the supervisor or HR. The VP Unit, employee and VP for Finance must approve the situation before it begins. Supervisors will closely monitor the options allowed.
Download the request form
- Learn the facts about COVID-19 from trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
- Questions regarding this document should be addressed to HR. We will monitor the progression of the outbreak and issue additional or different guidance or directives as may become necessary.
If you are concerned that you might have COVID-19, should you call your doctor or should you go to the doctor’s office? Call your doctor for guidance before going to the office so that measures may be taken to reduce the risk of infecting others.
What symptoms should I watch for if I think I am sick? Watch for a fever at or above 100.4 , coughing and shortness of breath. For more information visit www.health.mo.gov
What should I do if I have a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees? STAY HOME.
Continue to monitor your temperature by checking twice daily. Call your physician if you believe it is appropriate.
If I do not know if I have been in contact with COVID-19, but I have all the symptoms, Should I still call my doctor? You should call your doctor if you believe it is appropriate. Do not go to the doctor’s office for COVID-19 symptoms without calling first.
Should I wear a mask? You should follow your doctor’s advice on this issue. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services notes that the current recommendations regarding masks are that if you yourself are sick with fever and cough, you can wear a surgical mask to prevent transmission to other people. If you are healthy, there is not thought to be any additional benefit to wearing a mask yourself because the mask is not airtight and does not necessarily prevent breathing in of these viral particles, which are very tiny, It is important to note masks are to prevent particles from leaving the person’s nose or mouth; the mask protects the environment from the user.
CMU LEAVE GUIDELINES
- What is “borrowed leave”?
Borrowed leave is up to 120 hours of leave made available to employees without (1) accumulated vacation and (2) accumulated sick leave for use only in the COVID-19 situations. Borrowed leave will be repaid from vacation and sick leave, beginning when the employee returns to work, at their normal rate of accrual for vacation and sick leave.
- Can hourly, non-benefit eligible employees who do not accrue leave use borrowed leave?
- What happens if I run out of an authorized amount of paid leave?
- If I have accumulated vacation or sick leave, should I use it before using borrowed leave?
Yes, you are required to use your accumulated vacation and sick leave before using borrowed leave.
- Do I have to take borrowed leave?
You can choose to take leave without pay.
- If I feel fine but a member of my household has a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees or a situation described in categories 2 – 4, may I come to work?
- Will I have to repay borrowed leave?
Borrowed leave will be repaid from vacation and sick leave, beginning when the employee returns to work, at their normal rate of accrual for vacation and sick leave.
- Can I take sick or borrowed leave if someone in my household has a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees or a situation described in categories 2 -4?
Yes, if the household member requires your care and attention.
- A member of my family or household has an illness not related to COVID-19. Can I take borrowed leave for this?
Borrowed leave can only be taken for situations described in the borrowed leave benefits.
- Should I be canceling meetings?
Rather than holding meetings in person, hold teleconferences or online meetings if possible.
- I’ve heard about “social distancing.” How does this apply to the workplace? Within the workplace, social distancing can include:
- Avoiding in-person meetings, utilizing email, phone, and teleconferences.
- Meetings that are unavoidable should be short, in large rooms allowing space (6+ feet), no handshakes, and 10 or fewer individuals.
- Define and postpone nonessential gatherings and trainings.
- Limit social congregating in the workplace. (Copiers, water coolers, etc.).
- Prop open doors that are not essential for privacy or access restriction to minimize contact with door handles.
- Provide access to hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes as possible.
- Encourage team members to keep work areas clean, and to routinely disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Encourage/require staff to clean dishes/utensils and not leave anything in break rooms.
- Maintain 6+ feet of distance from other employees and guests.