Furman University Campus Sign

Employee Workplace Guidance

Furman will continue to monitor levels of COVID-19 on-campus and in the community and announce updates and changes to employees about the Spring Semester. Physical distancing, the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), adequate screening procedures, and other COVID19-related safety measures will also continue to be a top priority for the safety of the faculty and staff.

Furman’s plans for continued operations are subject to change in light of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, orders, and guidance, as well as other circumstances that may arise.

It is important for each invited guest and member of our community to recognize that even though the university will take precautions to reduce the risks of COVID-19 on campus, individuals can never be completely shielded from all risk of illness caused by the virus, and everyone in our campus community shares the responsibility for the health of the community.

Continued monitoring for safe operations for employees’  on-campus work activities are listed below.

Safe Operations Assessment

Departments will continue to assess employees’ on-campus work activities:

Ability to control and manage specific work environments

In consultation with Facilities Service, departments will continue to assess criteria in light of factors including, but not limited to:

  • physical characteristics of the workspace and density analysis (e.g., open office environment versus individual offices)
  • ability to engineer social distancing controls (e.g., designating specific stairways or hallways for up or down traffic)

Availability of PPE

All students and employees are required to wear cloth face coverings at all times when in campus buildings unless a specific exception is granted. Cloth face coverings should include at least two layers of fabric that fully cover the nose and mouth, and fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face.

Employees working in positions that present a heightened risk of exposure to COVID-19 will continue to be provided appropriate PPE.

In general, face shields are not acceptable as a replacement for face coverings for general campus use.  Face shields are appropriate for faculty to use in a lecture situation where physical distancing can be accomplished. They may also find special use in some labs, for example, where toxic vapors could accumulate in a cloth covering, or in conversations with students who may read lips due to hearing impairment (again, with physical distancing).  Face shields should be curved around the face and drop below the chin per CDC guidance, and should be disinfected between each use (by the user) using manufacturer’s suggested protocols.  They should not be shared among users at any time.

Required Training

New employees must complete mandatory virtual Return to Work training prior to resuming on-campus work activities.

The Paladin Promise

Each Furman student and employee has a shared responsibility for the health of our campus and the greater Greenville community. As an indication of our joint pledge both to ourselves and the health and safety of our classmates and colleagues, all employees will continue to commit to the principles of The Paladin Promise. before they return to campus and throughout their employment.

Initial Screening

Employees must complete a health screening using this direct link each day.  This should be completed each day whether employees are working remotely or working on campus. Employees may also use the LiveSafe app or access the screening through MyFurman or Workday. Employees who do not have smartphones, computers or access to the Internet will be required to submit a document to Human Resources that provides responses to the same questions.

If an employee provides a response that indicates any potential exposure to COVID-19, Furman may prohibit the employee from entering the workplace. As an alternative, where possible, the employee may continue to work remotely until appropriate steps are taken to rule out a COVID-19 infection or to pass the incubation period of the virus.  Furman follows CDC recommendations regarding quarantine and isolation. For an asymptomatic individual, this includes a minimum quarantine period of at least 7 days from the most recent exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual if a negative PCR test is obtained 4 to 6 days post exposure, or a minimum of 10 days quarantine in the absence of a negative test.

ADA & Other Accommodations

Furman employees who wish to request accommodations for a qualifying disability should contact Human Resources. The university will provide a reasonable accommodation for the disability of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the accommodation would change the essential functions of a position or impose an undue hardship.

According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk of COVID-19 infection.

Those conditions include (but may not be limited to):

  • Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
  • People with HIV
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
  • Severe obesity
  • Being immunocompromised

Departments are to direct an employee to contact Human Resources if the employee has been instructed to resume on-campus work activities and has concerns about doing so. Departments will not inquire about employees’ underlying medical conditions.

Staffing Options

There are several options that have been recommended by the American College Health Association that departments should consider to maintain required physcial distancing measures and reduce population density within buildings and workspaces.

Remote Work

Those who can work remotely to fulfill some or all of their work responsibilities may continue to do so to reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of the virus. These arrangements, if possible, should be approved by the immediate supervisor and may be organized in a full or partial day/week schedule as appropriate.

Alternating Days

In order to limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on campus, departments should schedule partial staffing on alternating days, if applicable. Such schedules will help enable social distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces.

Staggered Reporting/Departing

The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 15 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements.

 

The university will closely monitor the evolving circumstances related to COVID-19, along with rapidly developing scientific knowledge and medical resources, to determine the appropriateness for adjustments and contingencies. For general questions about the spring semester, please email furman.focused@furman.edu