Coronavirus | Faculty/Staff FAQ

Employees

How do I protect myself if I work in an open office environment or in close quarters with others?

The College recommends social distancing for employees who are working on campus. If this is not possible at all times, the College asks that employees take certain precautions: 

  • Face masks/coverings should be worn in all common areas of buildings.
  • Disinfect workspaces daily. 
  • Avoid any physical touch with co-workers. 
  • Avoid food sharing. 
  • Keep hand sanitizer at your desk and use it frequently. 
  • Increase the use of technology for routine work. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.   
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues away.  Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.    
  • Avoid grasping shared surfaces, such as tables, light switches, countertops, handles, keyboards, faucets, and sinks.    
  • Additional information can be found at the CDC website at cdc.gov or at http://floridahealthcovid19.gov.    

I am an employee and I need to work remotely. How do I arrange that? (UPDATED: 8/25/2020)

A staff member who needs to work remotely should discuss the issue with the immediate supervisor who will forward the request through the chain of command to the Office of the President for approval. No supervisor can authorize an employee to work remotely.  

SITUATION 1: ACTUAL CASES 

An employee is eligible to request to work from home if he/she or someone who lives in his/her home has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, has symptoms of COVID-19, or has a confirmed case of COVID-19. 

In this situation, please contact Mr. Tom Gilliam to discuss the situation. If self-isolation or quarantine is necessary, the employee may request to work from home by contacting his/her supervisor who will process that request through the chain-of-command to the Office of the President.   

Please note that any employee who has symptoms of COVID-19 and is too ill to perform work duties will be required to take sick leave regardless of any request to work remotely.   

SITUATION 2:  CONCERNS FOR PEOPLE AT-RISK FOR SEVERE ILLNESS 

An employee may be eligible to request to work from home if he/she or a person who lives in his/her home is considered at-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 due to age or certain underlying medical conditions. Anyone 65 years of age or older is considered at risk. 

People of any age with the following conditions ARE at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19: 

  • Cancer; 
  • Chronic kidney disease; 
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); 
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant; 
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher); 
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies; 
  • Sickle cell disease; or 
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus. 

People with the following conditions MIGHT be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 if their medical condition has been severely weakened their immune system: 

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe); 
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain); 
  • Cystic fibrosis; 
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure; 
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines; 
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia; 
  • Liver disease; 
  • Pregnancy; 
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues); 
  • Smoking; 
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder); or 
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus. 

For cases where a person might be at-risk, the determining factor is not whether a person has the condition; rather, it is whether the person has a severely weakened immune system due to the condition. In many cases, that determination is to be made by a physician.   

In this situation, a request to work from home may be made by contacting Tammy Henderson in Human Resources. The College reserves the right to require medical documentation before approving an employee to work remotely.   

SITUATION 3: REQUESTS TO WORK FROM HOME FOR OTHER REASONS 

An employee may also request to work remotely for reasons other than COVID-19 medical issues. Any request to work remotely that is not associated directly with COVID-19 illness or quarantine, or concern for an at-risk person, should be discussed with his/her supervisor, who will forward the request through the chain-of-command to the Office of the President.  

EXPECTATIONS IF APPROVAL TO WORK FROM HOME IS GRANTED 

Each employee who is approved to work remotely is expected to: 

  • Fulfill all job duties and work hours each week according to the normal work schedule.  
  • Receive written permission or denial of permission for any request to adjust normal working hours or work schedule. 
  • Establish an area with limited distractions during work hours. 
  • Perform personal tasks, household tasks, and errands only during scheduled breaks, lunches, or after hours. 
  • Ensure that needed equipment and technological connectivity is secure and follows PSC policies related to access, data security, and data confidentiality. 
  • Document via a task list the work accomplished each day and submit to his/her supervisor at the end of each work week.   

Will we still be having meetings at work?

Most meetings will continue to occur virtually via Zoom or by conference callSocial distancing recommendations will be followed for any meetings that must occur in person. Face masks/coverings are required when social distancing is not possible.   

I have a trip to a conference planned; will I still be able to go?

All travel other than essential travel is suspended until further notice. If an employee has a need to travel, he or she should reach out to the immediate supervisor. 

What if I have travel plans? Does that affect my ability to return to work?

Employees are encouraged to reference the CDC travel guide. Keep in mind that travel restrictions are constantly changing and may impact return to work restrictions. 

Are there restrictions from returning from travel?

Employees who have traveled from one of the one of the CDC identified countries (please reference the CDC Guide for Travelers Returning from International Travelor who may have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should not return to work for 14 days since last exposure. 

After a 14-day self-quarantine period, employees who have not experienced symptoms such as fever, coughingor shortness of breath may return to work after approval from your supervisor.  Employees who have experienced any of these symptoms should consult with their healthcare provider before returning to work. 

Additional Resources

For Escambia County specific COVID-19 questions, you may contact the Citizen Information Center at 850-471-6600 or via email covid19@myescambia.com.

The Florida Department of Health has launched a dedicated call center for questions related to COVID-19. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, please contact the Florida Department of Health using the information below. The COVID-19 Call Center is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.