Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2020

Messiah University is in session this fall with flexible in-person and remote learning options, health and safety protocols and student care and support.

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FAQs for employees

For employees

All employees—especially those who are working on campus—are expected to follow COVID 19 health and safety best practices in anticipation to the start of the semester. This includes:
  • Follow the institutional personal travel policy that discourages travel. As part of the daily COVID-19 health check in, out of state travel will be flagged for follow up. Employees who travel to and from a warned state should anticipate a likely 14-day self-quarantine, per the recommendation from the state of Pennsylvania.
  • Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene.
  • If you must leave your home for any reason, wear a mask and practice social distancing.
  • Avoid areas where there are large public gatherings, as defined by the current recommendations of the state of Pennsylvania.
  • Monitor your temperature daily and watch for symptoms. If symptoms develop, call your health care provider BEFORE seeking in-person care.
  • Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
As offices and departments prepare for the reopening of campus and develop plans for proceeding with the important work of the university, employees need to be vigilant in taking measures to control the spread of COVID-19 and prevent an outbreak on campus. As such, employees reporting to campus will be expected to participate fully in risk mitigation behaviors.  As such, Messiah University has outlined six health practices that all employees must follow:
  1. Employees need to a mask at all times, unless working alone in an office.
  2. Employees need to work in a socially distant manner
  3. Employees need to wipe/disinfect work spaces (key pads, desk tops, counter tops, phones) frequently
  4. Employees need to take breaks to wash hands several times a day
  5. Employees need to stay home if feeling sick or exhibiting any symptoms related to COVID-19 (Fever, chills, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, etc.)
  6. Employees must exercise respiratory etiquette.
Travel/professional development and conferences will be reduced and will only be approved under clear guidelines and process.
  • As the University keeps the health and safety of our campus community a priority, travel will happen on a VERY limited basis for the fall semester. General travel to in-person conferences and training will be limited to those that: 1) an employee must attend in person to fulfill certification processes necessary to fulfill requirements of their position 2) if they are presenting/speaking, or 3) if they are serving in a leadership position at the conference. 
  • All travel will require the advance approval of the president, employee’s vice president or Provost’s Cabinet-level supervisor (dean, vice-provost, associate provost, provost).  .
  • Travel in the areas of admissions and development will be limited to times when meetings/recruitment cannot happen via electronic methods.
For Development:
Major gift officers, who will be working primarily from home, may make selected donor visits according to Development Office travel guidelines.

For Admissions (graduate and undergraduate):
Admissions will review recruitment fairs and determine a travel plan as those events are scheduled.
 
  • Athletics will follow the guidelines issued by NCAA and the MAC.
  • CDC guidelines related to minimizing risk during travel are to be followed. 
  • Approvals required:  All travel must be approved in advance by the Provost or division Vice President prior based on a written proposal submitted by the employee to document how their proposed travel meets the above criteria.
  • International Travel: All international travel is prohibited.
  • Mode of Travel: Institutional travel for Fall 2020 should be conducted using a private (university-owned, or carefully cleaned rental, or personal) vehicle.  For guidelines on reserving or renting vehicles go to the purchasing website at https://www.messiah.edu/info/20737/travel_services/1198/travel_by_vehicle. Due to social distancing requirements, limits will be set on the number of persons permitted to travel together. Cars will permit a total of two persons, mini vans three persons and 15 passenger vans four persons. Travel by air, bus or train are not permitted. Due to escalated concern of COVID-19 and the impact on our community, for this academic year, employees are not to transport students in their personal vehicles for personal reasons.
  • Distance: Employees should limit travel to local and regional destinations that can be accessed within a day’s drive (eight hours or less) by private vehicle.  Note: Travel to areas considered hot spots or increasing cases within this distance could be denied.
  • COVID spread at destination: Employees should not travel to areas where the spread of COVID is high at the destination (or at locations being visited en route to the destination).  Employees may travel to domestic destinations where the spread of COVID is the same or lower than current levels in the Harrisburg Region.   https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Travelers.aspx
  • Health and Safety Parameters at Destination: Destination venues must have published protocols related to COVID that are in-line with CDC recommendations.  Information related to this must be in the written proposal requesting permission to travel.
  • Fulfilling work expectations: Employees may not undertake travel where it is known in advance that such travel will impede their ability to do their job (e.g. traveling to a known “hotspot” location as designated by the state or CDC that would result in a required quarantine upon completion of travel).
Institutional travel in  academic year 2020-2021 must abide by the above guidelines and be approved by the employee’s vice president or Provost’s Cabinet-level supervisor (dean, vice-provost, associate provost, provost).

Employee Personal Travel Statement:  The University asks that employees avoid unnecessary personal travel and recommends that all personal travel undertaken by employees follow the guidelines listed above for institutional travel. As said above, the University reserves the right to require community members to declare travel out of state with the understanding that a return to campus might require a quarantine period.