New College, which has not had any known cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), is continuing to take measures to protect the health and safety of the entire campus community.
The Coronavirus Emergency Response Team met Monday morning to prepare the campus for continuing operations while limiting face-to-face interactions among students, faculty and staff.
Students currently residing on campus for academic reasons, who are able to travel home, should make plans to leave campus as soon as possible (and by Wed. March 18, if at all possible). Students who cannot return home due to financial reasons or travel restrictions must contact email@example.com by 5 p.m. Tues. March 17.
Starting March 18, the Counseling and Wellness Center will move from in-person appointments to teletherapy and telehealth appointments. The Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity, Writing Resource Center, Academic Resource Center and Student Success Center are also making arrangements to provide student services remotely.
When online classes begin on Mon. March 23, faculty members who are able to utilize Canvas from home are strongly encouraged to do so. Please visit our Online Resources page for more information.
While all administrative departments will remain open, supervisors are encouraged to speak with their staff members to determine alternative ways to maintain services to the campus. Employees are encouraged to consider telework (work from home), flexible hours and virtual meetings to limit face-to-face interaction as much as possible.
Employees whose cell phone numbers begin with the 941 area code can forward office phone messages to cell phones immediately (or tomorrow afternoon for phones with non-local area codes).
Faculty and staff are encouraged to read the COVID-19 Employee Guidance FAQ, which will continually be updated to help employees with questions pertaining to work.
COVID-19 Employee Guidance FAQ (updated March 16):
Are employees expected to be at work?
At this time, all healthy New College employees (faculty, staff and OPS non-student) are expected to maintain normal work operations, although some adjustments may need to be made on a case-by-case basis. Supervisors are encouraged to provide remote working options to employees whose job duties can be performed remotely without hampering operations. An Alternate Work Location Agreement form is under development. Meanwhile, supervisors should document any agreed-upon alternative work location arrangements, and communicate this to the second-level supervisor.
What is the difference between self-quarantine and self-isolation?
Quarantining means separating a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease, but who are not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been exposed. Self-isolation means separating a person or group known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease (and therefore potentially infectious), from those who are not infected. In both cases, the goal is to prevent the possible spread of the disease.
What if I am diagnosed with COVID-19 or am directed to quarantine or self-isolate?
Please notify Human Resources at 941-487-5020 and your supervisor immediately. This will allow us to track those affected and work with them, as we know each situation will vary. Any employee (USPS, A&P, Faculty and Executive) who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or directed to self-isolate by a medical professional or government agency will be placed on paid administrative leave for the duration of their isolation in accordance with their FTE appointment. The attending physician’s office should fax notification of illness to Human Resources at 941-487-5021 or send notification of illness via email to Benefits@ncf.edu. In the event that the notification of illness does not specify a return date, written medical clearance indicating that the employee is approved to return to work must be received by Human Resources in advance of the return-to-work date.
I am an OPS employee. What should I know about working from home?
Such OPS employees are paid for the hours they actually work. Work hours are reflected on timesheets and approved by supervisors. Some OPS staff members perform work that can be done remotely, as approved by the supervisor and depending on the needs of the department. Those who can work remotely should be permitted to do so, if necessary. Note that, due to equipment and/or staffing constraints, some departments may not be able to accommodate those in OPS positions with remote work and/or may not be able to provide as many hours as they might typically be available for work on campus. OPS employees whose positions cannot accommodate remote work may have hours extended upon returning to the College to mitigate the impact of lost work time. However, in no case may any such employee work more than 29 hours per week. This option is available only if the supervisor approves it and if the work warrants it.
What if I choose to self-isolate but have not been directed to do so by a medical professional?
Employees choosing to self-isolate out of concern for their health or the health of others must follow normal work rules, which cover sick leave, vacation leave or other leave policies. Leave must be requested through their supervisor. Note: If anyone in self-isolation would like to continue to work remotely, they may do so with the approval of their supervisor.
What if the College closes?
In the event that more extensive college closures are required, additional procedures may be developed to cover employees’ time off.
Can my supervisor schedule me to work hours or shifts that I normally do not work?
Yes, you may be asked to work more hours or different hours than normal, especially if you have been designated as an essential or critical employee, or if the College is short-staffed as a result of a virus or influenza outbreak. Care will be taken to provide as much advance notice as possible.
Do I have to use my own accrued leave if my supervisor sends me home even though I think I’m well enough to work?
Yes, you must use your own accrued leave. If you obtain documentation from a medical provider that you are able to return to work, the situation will be reassessed by your supervisor in consultation with Human Resources. Depending upon the nature of your illness and your job responsibilities, you may be able to make up the work in the same workweek, or work from home with supervisory approval.
If an employee is sent home or stays home from work due to an illness that is not related to COVID-19, or they have no childcare arrangements due to school closings and must stay home, how will they be paid?
The following options may be available depending:
- Use accrued leave (such as sick leave or annual leave hours)
- Adjust workweek
- Work a flexible schedule
- Work from home
- Request unpaid time off
We recognize that flexibility will not always be possible, given the complexity of our work environment and that the College is open and fully operational at this time. This scenario presents many challenges and potential hardships. We are here to help support you. If Human Resources can answer any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-487-5020.
During the coronavirus outbreak, can my supervisor cancel my annual leave request that has already been approved?
Yes, your supervisor has the authority to cancel any pre-approved leave request, especially in circumstances where there are serious staffing shortages as a result of illness. Your leave can also be cancelled if you have been designated as an essential or critical employee due to the nature of your job responsibilities.
Are student employees that have been approved to remain on campus allowed to work during the next three weeks (encompassing spring break week and the two following weeks)?
Student employees who have been approved to remain on campus should communicate with their supervisor about whether there is work for them. If the work is needed, the supervisor may allow the student employee to work. If a student employee has missed work, they may have hours extended upon returning to the College to mitigate the impact of lost work time. However, in no case may student employees work more than 29 hours per week. This option is available only if the supervisor approves it and the work warrants it.