COVID-19 Work on Campus Plan and Other Updates (Faculty/Staff)

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

I am writing regarding Puget Sound’s Work on Campus Plan and to provide some spring semester COVID-19 updates.

Work on Campus Plan
As previously communicated, we periodically update the Work on Campus Plan in response to public health conditions and operating modifications. This plan addresses COVID-19 prevention, detection, and response and reflects multiple measures to foster safe and healthy operations. As a reminder, all faculty and staff members are expected to be familiar with and comply with Work on Campus Plan safety protocols. It provides important information about staying safe at work in alignment with requirements and guidance from the governor’s office, local and state public health officials, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Please continue to monitor your email and the website (pugetsound.edu/emergency/coronavirus-2020/) for ongoing COVID-19 guidance and review the updated Work on Campus Plan that reflects operating modifications previously communicated, including:

  • Workplace Expectations and Staffing Levels (pages 2 and 3): With spring semester in-person teaching and increased housing occupancy we have more students, faculty, and staff regularly present on campus. Per vice president/provost guidance for their areas, more staff are needed on campus to provide student-facing services and those plans have been put in place. Administrative and support units that can effectively maintain business operations and student support with some staff members working remotely should continue to do so. 
  • Personal Travel Outside of Washington (page 5): All domestic non-essential personal travel outside of Washington State continues to be strongly discouraged. The university also now strongly encourages campus members to self-quarantine for seven days upon return to Washington and test negative for COVID-19 twice before engaging in in-person campus activities. See the Statement Regarding Temporary Restrictions on International and Domestic Travel
  • Self-Screening (page 6): All faculty and staff are required to continue completing a daily online COVID-19 health self-screening form each day they are scheduled to work and prior to arriving on campus if they are working on campus. Per a recent update, you will also be asked if you completed a COVID-19 test within the last 24 hours (which is not a requirement, but helps us track campus community testing accountability).

Testing
Temporary Delay. Inclement national weather delayed transportation and processing of some recent test samples. The lab just received last week’s Puget Sound samples on Monday. Considering delays, the lab was requested to process more recent samples first. Those results are more clinically relevant than older tests. Community members who are testing likely will receive multiple testing results in close succession. Please particularly consider most recent sample results. You can view your test results by date via the Meenta platform at pugetsound.edu/testresults.

March Test Kits. This Friday (tomorrow) your lead or designee will pick-up your department’s or program’s March supply of COVID-19 test kits. Please continue testing or begin testing once or twice weekly if required by Testing Protocols and Instructions located on pages 3 and 4 of COVID-19 Testing on Campus.

Quality of Saliva Samples. According to the testing laboratory, some faculty and staff are not submitting proper saliva samples which prohibits processing those samples. Please consistently use the following testing procedures:

  • Do not eat, drink, brush your teeth, chew gum, or use tobacco products thirty minutes before providing a sample.
  • Only saliva can be processed. Please check your sample and ensure that it is clear, and does not contain phlegm and/or food/drink debris. Samples should always be clear with a water-like consistency. Discolored (non-clear) samples and samples with debris will be rejected.
  • Please fill the tube halfway to provide a sufficient amount of saliva. Make sure the cap to the vial is screwed on securely.
  • Please clearly write your first and last name and ID number on the label and put it on the bag. Do not put any type of label on the vial.

COVID-19 Prevention Training
As a reminder, COVID-19 prevention training, accessible at this link, is required for all faculty and staff (including student staff) members prior to or immediately upon returning to work on campus. We strongly encourage all faculty and staff members to take this short training required by L&I now even if you have not yet returned to campus.

Great Job Loggers!
On behalf of the COVID-19 Management Group, thank you for supporting the health, safety, and wellbeing of our campus community. Students, faculty, and staff are doing a great job managing COVID risks.

Sincerely,

John
John M. Hickey '83 | Executive Director of Community Engagement and Associate Vice President for Business Services