Ohio’s Updated Order & Our Preparations

To Our Faculty and Staff:

Last night’s updated state order expanding the kinds of entities that can operate includes valuable guidance as we prepare for additional employees to return to campus.

It also reminds us of the enormity of the challenges involved in ensuring the health and safety of all members of the university community. 

Following public health guidance is relatively simple with only a small proportion of people on campus. When only two or three people are on a floor, for example, social distance is easier. Now we have teams assessing campus offices to determine whether they need special dividers between desks, fewer desks, staggered work schedules or other measures. Others are working on securing needed supplies including thermometers, masks and additional protective equipment those involved in clinical activities will need.

All that said, our experiences to date—including with our students still living in residence halls—have offered important insights. Our approach going forward will continue to incorporate new lessons, as well as expert guidance.

Our fundamental expectation is that every individual on our campus—faculty, staff, student, vendor or other visitor—will follow university health and safety protocols.

As of now, those protocols include:
 

1. Masks

  • Wearing masks at all times in university buildings, except when alone in a closed space (office, lab, etc.); and
  • Masks should be made of cloth and cover nose, mouth and chin.

2. Social Distancing

  • Maintaining social distance (at least six feet) at all times, indoors or out (including in elevators, on stairways, in lines, etc.); and
  • Adapting work schedules and/or office/lab arrangements to fulfill the purpose of social distancing.

3. Hygiene

  • Continue to wash hands thoroughly (at least 20 seconds, with soap and water);
  • Apply liquid sanitizer regularly, especially after coming in contact with “high-touch” areas (doors, elevator buttons, stair railings, public counters, etc.);
  • Regularly disinfect your high-touch areas (desks, counters, phones, door and draw handles, etc.); and
  • Dispose of tissues immediately after use.

4. Concern for the Health of Others on Campus

  • Members of the campus community should check their temperatures before reporting to campus;
  • Members of the campus community should NOT come to campus if they:
    • have a fever of 100 degrees or above;
    • are experiencing any of the other symptoms of COVID-19 (these include shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell); or
    • have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, tested for COVID-19, or with symptoms of COVID-19.
  • People in the campus community with influence over others (supervisors, principal investigators, faculty advisors, etc.) should ensure that:
    • All of those over whom they have influence follow social distancing and mask requirements when in their office, lab or other campus space;
    • Those with symptoms of or potential exposure to COVID-19 know they should not come to campus; and
    • Students with significant concerns regarding their own health do not feel coerced into coming to campus.
  • All in the campus community should:
    • Ask those not wearing masks within offices, labs or other indoor spaces with others present to don them;
    • Ask those failing to adhere to social distancing to step away; and
    • Report those in their unit not following social distancing or wearing masks to their supervisor (if in an academic unit, principal investigator, department chair or deans) and, if the behavior is not addressed, to Human Resources (at askHR@case.edu or 216.368.6964) or the Integrity Hotline.

We will provide more detailed information regarding protocols for supervisors and employees returning to work this month, as well as the additional measures the university will be taking to protect their health and safety.

Carolyn Gregory
Vice President for Human Resources

Sara Lee, MD
Executive Director for University Health and Counseling Services