COVID-19 Information

See the latest updates and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including a list of University contact information at semo.edu/covid19.

Employee Information Session FAQ

Employee FAQ

Southeast Missouri State University held a Virtual Employee Information Session on July 22 to outline the University’s Return to Campus Plan and to answer employee questions. At the time of registration, employees were asked to submit questions they had as the start of the fall 2020 semester approaches. Below is a compilation of the most frequently asked questions.

Communication with Students
Travel Restrictions
Safety
Classes/Coursework
Telework
At-Risk
Recording of Information Session
Leave
HR/Benefits

 

Communication with Students

What communication is being sent to students and how "cut and dry" is it? How can it be interpreted in the students’ eyes, so I can talk with them about it?

On July 20, 2020, students received the Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan. It is the result of ongoing work of the University’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) and its six subcommittees in response to the impacts of COVID-19. The Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan includes information on the fall 2020 academic calendar, residence hall move-in, coursework changes, classroom principles, health and safety practices, including the University’s face covering requirement, and much more


 

Travel Restrictions

Are there travel restrictions in place?

Pre-COVID-19 travel procedures (as outlined in the University travel policy) will resume for University travel within the state of Missouri.

Division Executives must establish an approval process for their areas for University travel outside the state of Missouri. The Provost will establish the approval process to be followed by all academic departments. Such processes will provide an opportunity for areas to review the expense and health and safety risks associated with a particular trip or out-of-state event. Employees are expected to adhere to the University’s face coverings guidance while traveling in addition to abiding by face coverings and other safety guidance in place for particular cities, counties and jurisdictions.

What about non-university travel? are there any guidelines?

While the University cannot dictate personal travel, all employees are encouraged to practice safety guidelines related to COVID-19 when choosing to travel for personal reasons at this time. Employees who have engaged in personal travel to a COVID-19 hotspot should contact their supervisor and the Director of Human Resources for guidance on proper safety protocols before returning to work.

Do I need to get permission/approval from SEMO to take a family trip or vacation during the fall 2020 semester?

University leave policy and operating procedures still apply when staff employees are requesting to take paid time off, which requires approval from their supervisor. Permission or approval related to COVID-19 is not required for taking a family trip or vacation. While the University cannot dictate personal travel, all employees are encouraged to practice safety guidelines related to COVID-19 when choosing to travel for personal reasons at this time. Employees who have engaged in personal travel to a COVID19 hotspot should contact their supervisor and the Director of Human Resources for guidance on proper safety protocols before returning to work.


 

Safety

How will sick leave be managed for exposure (without symptoms or positive tests). For example, if an employee has a child with a teacher that tests positive and they are exposed, should the employee quarantine?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides employees with emergency paid sick leave (EPSL). Other options available include expanded family and medical leave known as EFML and leave for COVID-19 specified reasons.

Employees who are well but have a family member quarantined or the parent/guardian of a child whose school is closed due to COVID-19 may be eligible for leave options under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  The FFCRA provisions can be accessed on the Human Resources webpage. Contact your supervisor or Human Resources at humanresources@semo.edu for more information on using this leave.

How will social distancing work in classrooms and is it required?

Social distancing is required. Please review the University Guidance on Wearing Face Coverings and Social Distancing for full details. Seats in classrooms will be spaced to maintain six feet of distance between seats, when possible. Larger courses will be relocated to larger classrooms, when possible. Per the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines, classrooms will be arranged to provide social distancing, or the mode of delivery will be adjusted to a mixed format in order to allow for social distancing.

What are the proper masking procedures?

Please see the University’s face covering requirement at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20FaceCoveringsSocialDistanceGuidance2.pdf.

What are the protocols for distribution of spare masks?

Employees will be provided cloth face coverings. Faculty will also be provided clear face shields which can be worn in the classroom to allow for lip reading and for easier projection of their voice. Facilities Management is procuring face coverings for University distribution. Supervisors may order face coverings and other PPE using the online form found at https://www.cognitoforms.com/SoutheastMissouriStateUniversity1/COVID19SupplyRequest. Two cloth face coverings will be provided to students at the start of the semester. Face coverings also will be available in academic buildings for students who forget to bring one to class. These distribution points will be communicated in the near future.

How will the face covering requirement be enforced for students, faculty and staff?

Refer to the face coverings requirement available at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20FaceCoveringsSocialDistanceGuidance2.pdf. The wearing of a face covering is a University safety requirement under the current conditions as well as a Cape Girardeau County Emergency Order pursuant to RSMo 192.300. We hope that through modeling and a positive and encouraging environment, all will do their part. If a student refuses to wear a face covering, it would be handled in the same manner as if they refused to comply with a course requirement or adhere to the Code of Student Conduct. An instructor may ask a student to leave a class and an employee may ask a person to leave a meeting or event if they do not wish to comply with the Face Coverings and Social Distance Guidelines.

In the event that a student does not comply with this guidance and does not leave the space, faculty/staff should send the student’s name and email address or Southeast ID to deanofstudents@semo.edu. If a student refuses to leave a classroom or other University facility upon request, and/or becomes disruptive, the Department of Public Safety can be contacted for assistance.

Is the University limiting the number of students in buildings?

The University is limiting the number of persons in classrooms and meeting rooms, and offering many campus services remotely, to reduce the number of persons in a building at one time.

What precautions are being put in place to limit exposure?

Please see pages 17-19 of the Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan.

While we are relying on temperature as a red flag, should we not also pay attention to the current list of CDC symptoms that are also potential indicators? This is especially important considering that many of the infections in Cape Girardeau County have been mild and do not always display fever.

While fever is often an early sign of illness, daily symptom checks include checking for all COVID-19 symptoms.  A list of symptoms maintained by the CDC can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html. Please also see page 18 of the Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan to access the Daily Symptom Check.

How will booking any event or meeting at the University Center and other places on campus work?  Will there be changes to maximum capacities?  Will there be changes to ordering catering?

Event organizers are asked to observe and adhere to the maximum capacity for particular gathering spaces. Campus Life & Event Services can provide the maximum capacity permitted for various rooms with 6 feet social distancing. For more information, please refer to the Campus Events and Meetings section in the Protect The Nest Return to Campus Plan.

Chartwells Educational Dining Services has a new Contactless Catering menu that is coming soon to Catertrax. This menu is all packaged individually and is a disposable drop-off. Chartwells also is still offering buffets off the Carved and Crafted menu, and everything is being served by Chartwells staff for now, and they will take all precautions needed to keep everyone safe. Examples of this include plexiglass on every buffet, face coverings worn by all employees and hand sanitizer available for guests. Anyone who has questions or concerns should contact Christie McIntosh, Chartwells catering director,  at christie.mcintosh@compass-usa.com or (573) 651-2536.

Some colleges and universities are requiring students and faculty to have been tested for COVID-19 prior to coming to campus, and then periodically throughout the semester. Will our campus be doing something similar?

The University is not planning to test students and employees at this time. For more information about testing and testing locations, please refer to the COVID-19 section in the Protect The Nest Return to Campus Plan.

Cape Girardeau is currently seeing a rise in cases. What is the point at which the University will go online again or shift in another direction? How will the University define an outbreak and how will it be handled?

The Emergency Response Team is continuing to plan for the months ahead in concert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the state of Missouri and the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center. The University cannot speculate on a future course of action at this time. Decisions of this magnitude would be made based on data and guidance from the aforementioned entities. The University is evaluating conditions daily to determine the best way to provide quality education and experiences for our students in a safe environment. Decisions and timeline would be based on the conditions and information available to us at the time.

How will social distancing be implemented in dining facilities?

Reduced and spaced out seating has been implemented in all dining locations. Dinner hours also have been expanded by an hour to allow for an expanded range of time when students can eat. Dinner will now end at 9 p.m. and not the traditional 8 p.m. time. In addition, there are increased Grab ‘n Go options being planned for multiple locations and increased staffing to enhance the cleaning of all dining areas.  

What are the safety guidelines to protect faculty, staff and students?

Please refer to the Health and Safety Practices on pages 17-19 of the Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan.

How will safety guidelines be enforced, especially in the classroom? What can faculty require of students and what can they not require of students regarding safety guidelines in the classroom?

Classroom safety guidance is available on the COVID website at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf. Students who do not follow guidelines would be handled in the same manner as if they refused to comply with a course requirement or adhere to the Code of Student Conduct. The conduct or the lack of compliance with the requirement should be reported to the Dean of Students or Conduct offices. Face coverings will be available in buildings for students who forget to wear one to class and they may be directed to get one from a particular building’s designated location. More information on these locations is coming soon. Refer to the face coverings requirement available at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20FaceCoveringsSocialDistanceGuidance2.pdf.

What are the University’s recommendations on traffic flow between classes?

We ask that everyone be patient and courteous during class change times to reduce bottlenecks and crowded hallways.

Does the University plan to mark traffic patterns outside of classrooms?

No, traffic patterns will not be marked outside of classrooms.

What are the best practices for safe classroom management and procedures for collaborative spaces, including Kent Library?

Please refer to the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines for Fall 2020 available at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf and the Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan.

What are the University procedures for if a person on campus is exposed to COVID-19?

Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center will advise length of necessary quarantine for missed work/school.

What are the cleaning procedures for buildings and classrooms, including lab environments, and residence halls? What are the building staff responsibilities and what will be taken care of by Facilities Management?

Cleaning protocols are continuing to be developed, and more guidance will be available soon. In the meantime, the University is asking that everyone take some responsibility in wiping down high touch areas. Departments may order supplies to assist in this effort via this form.

Please refer to the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines for Fall 2020 available at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20 for information on cleaning of lab environments and social distancing in academic buildings. 

Keeping Our Building Clean:

Facilities Management is committed to keeping our campus as safe as possible through consistent and enhanced cleaning and sanitizing practices. The buildings will be cleaned during the regular schedule of the building custodian.

While SEMO’s Facilities Management team will support enhanced cleaning of University facilities, to maintain the highest level of health and safety, we also need your help.  We are depending on each individual employee to utilize wipes and other sanitizer products provided by Facilities Management to help in keeping common surfaces (keyboards, phone, mice, desktops, reception counters, door handles, etc.) clean. In areas like classrooms, labs and other shared device areas, we ask students, faculty, and staff to adopt “work out” rules – wipe down apparatus and equipment after individual use to prepare it for the next person.

Buildings:

  • All classrooms and auditoriums will be sanitized daily.
  • Restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized daily.
  • High touch points in common areas, which includes light switches, door knobs, railings, elevator buttons, tops and sides of chairs and tables will be cleaned daily.  

Campus Housing:

  • Cleaning of high touchpoints in common areas will be done daily M-F
  • Restrooms in community-style residential halls will be cleaned and sanitized daily during the week.  Facilities Management is working with Residence Life to add temporary and student staff to provide weekend custodial service.
  • Private suite-style bathrooms will not be cleaned by the University to prevent unnecessary entry into rooms.
  • Common area spaces will be cleaned daily by Facilities Management and staff have been added to clean these spaces on weekends.
  • Residence Life staff will also sanitize high touch points during nightly and weekend duty rounds.

What are the best practices for cleaning shared digital equipment in public spaces?

For copiers, monitors and keyboards, please use Sani Spritz spray (available from the University) by applying it to a lint-free cloth and gently wiping the equipment. Do not use paper towels as they will scratch. Do not spray directly on equipment as it will cause damage.

What cleaning supplies will be provided to clean rooms and shared equipment before/after use?

Each classroom will be provided sani-spritz spray and rags for use. 

Will hand sanitizer be available in classrooms?

Hand sanitizer will be available at every building entrance and at elevators. 

Are budgets available for purchasing PPE for work-related needs?

Facilities Management is purchasing PPE for the institution, and expenses are charged to a centralized index so that we can request reimbursement from various state and local sources.  For departments that have specialized PPE needs (not listed on the order form), the department head should contact Angie Mitchell in Facilities Management at (573) 651-2657 or amitchell@semo.edu.

What airflow/ventilation issues is the University addressing, and what are the goals for improvement?

Facilities Management is working closely with our consulting engineers to ensure our HVAC systems are operating correctly.  The design and operation of HVAC systems can affect infections aerosol transport, but they are only one part of the infection control bundle.  Basic principles of social distancing, surface cleaning and disinfection, handwashing and wearing a face covering are most important when inside a space.

Facilities Management has made the following modifications to building HVAC system operation per consultation with our engineers based on the equipment that we have. 

  • Increase outdoor air ventilation (disable demand-controlled ventilation and open outdoor air dampers as indoor and outdoor conditions permit).
  • Improve central air and other HVAC filtration to the highest level achievable with the systems in place.
  • Keep systems running longer hours (24/7 if possible).
  • Maintain temperature and humidity as applicable.

What are the University’s plans if a faculty member or student becomes ill?

Faculty, staff and students who test positive or are a close contact of a positive case, should follow the community health protocols recommended by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center and the University on self-isolation and quarantine. Public Health will monitor you, provide you a letter with isolation dates. Students who test positive should notify their instructors and Dean of Students Sonia Rucker at (573) 651-2524 or deanofstudents@semo.edu. Faculty and staff who test positive should notify their supervisor and Director of Human Resources Alissa Vandeven at (573) 651-2081 or avandeven@semo.edu.

What are the University’s expectations on recording the contact information for those with whom we meet for contact tracing purposes?

Information about recording contact information for visitors and others with whom you meet has been updated. Information on recording contacts was circulated prior to the University issuing a mandatory face covering requirement.  According to guidance from the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, when individuals meet who are both wearing face coverings, exposure risk decreases, making the contact information from that meeting no longer a requirement.

Will the Campus Health Clinic be temporarily relocated because Crisp Hall has a shared air handling system?  (To avoid exposure for faculty, staff and students in Crisp offices and classrooms)

No, the Campus Health Clinic will not be relocated.  Based on consultation with our engineers and how we are managing the system, we do not believe that transmission will occur through our system.  In general, basic principles of social distancing, surface cleaning and disinfection, handwashing and wearing a face covering help prevent the spread.   

If a student or faculty member attends class sick, shouldn't the entire class self-isolate for two weeks?

The University would work with public health officials to determine the details of the exposure and follow their recommendation on exposure risk. The face covering requirement directly affects the response to how a sick or positive case is reviewed.  When face coverings are worn, exposure risk decreases.  The decrease in risk allows for normal routines to continue with continued wearing of face coverings and daily health monitoring. 

Should faculty or staff have to work on campus when they know others in their office have been ignoring safety guidance by hanging out in bars or at parties? (Large gatherings of people that do not live in the same family)

Concerns regarding employee safety and compliance with COVID19 guidelines should be raised with the employee’s supervisor for guidance and assistance. 

What are the procedures for if a student, faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

When a positive case is identified, contact tracings are performed by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center and they will evaluate the risk of exposure to the other attendees and make recommendations based on the level of risk. If the attendees are all wearing masks and socially distancing, then the exposure risk decreases. This is why it is crucial that student, faculty and staff all take the precautionary measures of washing hands frequently, wearing face coverings, and socially distancing where possible.

Faculty and staff who test positive should notify their supervisor and the Director of Human Resources Alissa Vandeven at (573) 651-2081 or avandeven@semo.edu. The Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center will determine the steps that need to be taken based on the exposure risk of the case at hand as well as advise the length of necessary quarantine/isolation for missed work/school.

Will testing negative be a condition upon returning to work for those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19?

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have been asked to quarantine, the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center will advise the length of necessary quarantine/isolation for missed work/school. When employees may return to work or students return to school, they must be symptom free and have no fever for three consecutive days without the use of fever-reducing medication OR a physician has issued a release to return to work/school.

How will you be enforcing students to clean surfaces they have and/or planning to use for each session?

The University strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to do their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19. For more information on cleaning and sanitation, Please refer to the Health and Safety Practices section in the Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan.

For students living in the residence halls who don’t have anywhere else to go, should they contract the virus will there be on campus housing for those needing to quarantine?

The University will follow the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center’s recommendations for any necessary responses for individuals who may have exposure risks or test positive. It is recommended students isolate at home. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Isolation spaces are also available in Dearmont Hall. Quarantine may occur at home or a residence hall “family” unit (room or suite), depending on circumstances. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease. Quarantine may be required if individuals are exposed to a person with COVID-19, even if they are not symptomatic.

How will contact tracing work?

When a positive case is identified, contact tracings are performed by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, with the assistance of the Public Safety Emergency Management staff when necessary. During this process, Public Health tracks the positive case's movements in the 48 hours prior to when the case became symptomatic. Within this 48-hour window, Public Health then looks at the interactions that the positive case had with others to determine the risk of exposure to the people with whom they came in contact. If Public Health determines that the risk of exposure was moderate, or high, then they will contact that individual and give that person instructions on what to do given their situation. If the risk of exposure to other people is found to be low, then Public Health will instruct the individuals that had contact with this person to monitor their symptoms daily, and seek medical care if symptoms develop. If an individual tests positive and is asymptomatic, Public Health traces back 48 hours from the date of the test.

What are the plans for social distancing on campus?

Social distancing is required. Please review the University Guidance on Wearing Face Coverings and Social Distancing for full details.

Is there a list of hydration stations location available?

There is not a list of existing hydration stations available, but Facilities Management was informed this week that funding will be available to replace drinking fountains with hydration stations in all buildings this fall.

Will a hydration station be installed in Academic Hall?

Yes, a hydration station will be installed during the Fall semester.

That's great! But what about now? Signs on water fountains saying they are out of order since we came back from telework.

The hydration stations need to be ordered. Existing drinking fountains will remain out of order until Facilities is able to replace them with the hydration stations.

Will hand sanitizer be provided in classrooms?

No, but hand sanitizer will be available at every building entrance and at elevators.

Will the university be replenishing cleaning supplies throughout the semester?

Yes, the University will be replenishing cleaning supplies. For departmental supplies, please use the PPE form and indicate the room for which you are making the request. Facilities Management will let you know when the order is ready for pick up. For classrooms, custodial staff will check the supplies, but Facilities Management also asks that faculty and staff assist in letting them know. Please email facilities@semo.edu with a request to replenish, indicating building and room number.

Are we expected to keep a list of everyone who steps into our office, with email and phone numbers? Academic units can have a lot of individuals coming in daily, especially those offices that will be distributing face masks.

Information about recording contact information for visitors and those that you meet with has been updated. Information on recording contacts was communicated via division heads prior to the University issuing a mandatory face covering requirement. According to guidance from the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, when individuals meet who are both wearing face coverings, exposure risk decreases, making the contact information from that meeting no longer a requirement.

So if I get any fever or sore throat I must be COVID tested? Essentially everything is presumed to be COVID-19 unless proven otherwise?

If you are sick, you should stay home, note your symptoms, and consider consultation with your physician. Together you can discuss treatment and testing options.

Are there plans to install toilet covers/lids in buildings where those are not present (such as the bathrooms in the CAC on River Campus)?

There are currently no plans to install toilet covers/lids.

The CDC recently changed guidelines regarding employees returning to work. Will those be taken into account?

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-in-home-patients.html

Since this is a local health response, our guidance comes from county public health officials and will be amended when county health officials change their guidance.

Has the EOC began to look at/establish guidelines for changes in University procedures based on campus and county total cases, percent positivity rates, and ICU bed availability?

COVID-19 is a very fluid and changing disease and the EOC considers the impact on operations as a result of that fluidity. Networking continues with local public health officials and local emergency managers and any procedural adjustments will be made based on emerging evidence and guidance from public health.

Asymptomatic spread is a primary concern. None of these guidelines deal with this. Is there any plan for proactive testing to find asymptomatic spreaders?

Although there are currently no plans for mass testing on campus, the implementation of the face covering policy is a key element in source control from both asymptomatic and symptomatic spreaders.

What are recommendations for addressing individuals on campus (outside the classroom) who are not wearing a face covering?

Sometimes a reminder that face coverings are required with information directing them to the place a face cover can be obtained is sufficient. If a referral is necessary, provide the name of the student to the Dean of Students office. If the referral is for an employee, notify the person’s supervisor.

Are we expected to enforce social distancing? For example, we have tables and chairs spaced out, but students move the tables/chairs so that they can sit together.

Our approach with students would be to remind and encourage them to follow Southeast’s guidelines and policies on social distancing and face coverings. Faculty and staff could also ask students to not rearrange furniture as it is intentionally placed to ensure the safety of them and our entire University community.

There have been many cases where people still tested positive after symptoms were gone. Would that be safe to the faculty and staff if the individuals tested positive can return to work/school without providing a negative testing result? (as in the slides if I remember correctly they can come back as long as symptoms are gone)

Public health defines the length of an isolation as a result of a positive test and issues a letter to the patient explaining the details of the isolation. In addition, individuals should not return to work until they are symptom free AND have not had fever for three consecutive days without the use of fever-reducing medication OR a physician provides a document releasing the patient to return to work.

What is the timeline for Facilities Management distributing these cleaning materials to classrooms?

Facilities Management will distribute cleaning materials mid-August.

How will the face coverings be delivered? Do I need to go to campus to pick it up?

Departments order face coverings through an online form. Facilities Management fills those orders, the department is notified and picks up the face coverings from Central Receiving. It is up to the department head to distribute those face coverings to employees in their department.

If someone were showing no symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19, is it required for them to test negative before returning to work?

No, it is not. Public health defines the length of an isolation as a result of a positive test and issues a letter to the patient explaining the details of the isolation. In addition, individuals should not return to work until they are symptom free AND have not had fever for three consecutive days without the use of fever-reducing medication OR a physician provides a document releasing the patient to return to work.

If someone were showing no symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19, is it required for them to test negative before returning to work?

No, it is not. Public health defines the length of an isolation as a result of positive test and issued a letter to the patient explaining the details of the isolation. In addition to that information from public health, the criteria is one should not return to work until you’re are symptom free AND have not had fever for three consecutive days without the use of fever-reducing medication OR a physician provides a document releasing the patient to return to work.


 

Classes/Coursework

How will alternating student attendance days (for social distancing) affect learning outcomes and the amount of material covered in F2F classes? For instance, if student group "A" only comes on Tuesdays and group "B" only comes on Thursdays, each group gets half as many lectures as they would in a "normal" semester – would the faculty member cut the amount of content in half? Or would the class be taught as a Hy-flex/blended course format?

The days where students are not attending face-to-face will be online whether asynchronous or synchronous. All course outcomes will be met. The course will not be "cut in half."

How does a faculty member request changes in their teaching schedule due to Covid-19 comorbidities?

See guidelines and contact Human Resources for these requests.

When will students be notified of possible changes of delivery around a tiered approach to safely delivering instruction?

Notification will be sent to students via email and social media to remind students to check their schedules. Faculty will also be instructed to contact their students prior to the start of the semester.

When will the change to Canvas be made?

The University has over 200 sections that will be available on Canvas for our students and faculty this fall. The preapproved implementation plan in coordination with Canvas is being followed with a coordinated and systematic approach with full implementation in place by spring 2021.

Appropriate and necessary training will take place throughout the fall 2020 semester for faculty and staff ensuring that there is a quality academic experience for all of our students.

What are the options for students to elect to take a class in an online format if they do not feel safe attending in person? Procedures to follow if a student or professor in a class tests positive (will the entire class quarantine? Do we need to be prepared to go online at any moment?).

1) Requests from students will be handled on an individual basis. We do not typically have the capacity to offer all courses face-to-face and also online. 2) If a faculty member has to isolate or self-quarantine, we have asked chairs to begin developing plans to accommodate such types of situations. They will be handled just like they would at any time a faculty member would become ill and there are guidelines established for such cases. 3) Conditions are continually monitored and flexibility will be key. Faculty should plan for a higher number of absences in their classes. If conditions changed and the County Health Center or the Governor recommended or required that universities go back to all remote delivery, then yes that would be a possibility.

How can faculty members teach laboratory classes that require some in-person learning?

Please refer to the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines for Fall 2020 at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf.

What are the classroom protocols for faculty and students?

Please refer to the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines for Fall 2020 at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf.

What should faculty do to prepare for the possibility that their face-to-face class has to quarantine because a student in that class has tested positive for COVID?

Each case of contact and positive test results is being individually reviewed by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center. Following our guidelines, social distancing, wearing face coverings, following handwashing and cleaning recommendations should help mitigate this risk. If entire classes are quarantined, that instruction would likely be transitioned to remote delivery.

Can all office hours be made by appointment via Zoom?

Please refer to the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines for Fall 2020 at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf.

How can faculty conduct science labs safely?

Please refer to the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines for Fall 2020 at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf.

Are there plans to adjust class times/locations to accommodate cleaning?

Faculty are working with their chairs to find appropriate solutions to ensure for appropriate distancing, etc. please refer to the face-to-face classroom guidelines for more information on the tiered approach. Class times will not be modified above and beyond the tiered approach guidelines. Cleaning supplies will be available in classrooms for quick and effective cleaning of surface areas as warranted. Please refer to the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines for Fall 2020 at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf.

Some programs are utilizing the mixed format suggested in the guidelines to minimize bottlenecks between classes and to allow for cleaning.

Cleaning and disinfection:

  • We are depending on each individual employee to use wipes and other sanitizer products provided by Facilities Management to help in keeping common surfaces (keyboards, phone, mice, desktops, reception counters, door handles, etc.) clean.
  • In areas like classrooms, labs and other shared device areas, we ask students, faculty, and staff to adopt “work out” rules – wipe down apparatus and equipment after individual use to prepare it for the next person. 
  • All classrooms and auditoriums will be sanitized daily.  
  • Restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized daily.  
  • High touch points in common areas, which includes light switches, door knobs, railings, elevator buttons, tops and sides of chairs and tables will be cleaned daily.    

Again, please refer to the Face-to-Face Classrooms Guidelines for Fall 2020 at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf as well as the return from telework guidelines at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/5-29-20EmployeeSafetyGuidanceCOVID19-7-16-20.pdf. Some programs are utilizing the mixed format suggested in the guidelines to minimize bottlenecks between classes and to allow for cleaning

If the course is a hybrid, are faculty required to physically teach in the classroom for 7 of the 16 weeks, as originally planned?

You would follow your original plans IF it meets the Face-to-Face classroom guidelines. If not, you may need to adjust how you conduct those classroom sessions. Please work with your chair on a solution.

How will the classroom situation work out? In my building, our rooms are only so big, and some classes are full at 30 (our normal max in Sikeston). Will each instructor be making each class situation work out? And, who is talking to them about these plans?

Please refer to the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines for Fall of 2020 at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf. Faculty will need to work with their department chair in developing a delivery plan for the class that meets those guidelines.

Will there be designated entry points at Dempster or other buildings to monitor traffic?

No.

Will temperatures be recorded before entering any campus building?

No, but we are asking that all students, faculty, staff and visitors conduct a daily symptom check for any COVID-like symptoms they may have. See the daily symptom check on page 18 of the Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan.

How will Facilities Management staff and student workers be deployed to assist in sanitizing classrooms (computer keyboards, monitor, markers, table and chair for instructor and even remotes for projector) to avoid extra time spent by instructors for doing that before teaching?

Facilities Management is working to increase cleaning and is hiring additional temporary and student employees to assist in cleaning. Faculty, staff and students will also need to assist in maintaining these spaces. See the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf.

How can a high-risk faculty safely teach face-to-face?

Refer to the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf.

What are the cleaning procedures for face-to-face courses in computer labs?

Refer the  Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf and speak with your department chair.

What factors go into moving to remote learning entirely and how will that info be communicated to faculty?

Refer the Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf.. As in the past, such information would be communicated to faculty via our SE Alert system.

If faculty need to split their classes into two days how will that be done?

Refer the  Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf.

Why aren't requests to approve the conversion of face-to-face classes to mixed format being approved when the classrooms are too small for social distancing?

Refer the  Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf.

How will workloads be redistributed when faculty get sick?

Workloads will be distributed per the University’s existing processes.

Will students be provided information about COVID-19 and how to protect themselves prior to the start of the semester?

Students should refer to the Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan. Page 8 contains a checklist for students preparing for the fall 2020 semester.

Why aren't faculty at high risk of severe disease allowed to move classes online?

Refer to the Face-to-Face Guidelines at https://semo.edu/sealerts/pdf/7-10-20Face-to-FaceInstructionalGuidelinesFall2020Semester.pdf and contact Human Resources as instructed.

On Labor Day, will classes be held remotely instead of face to face since offices/most buildings are closed? What about at the Regional campuses, delivery site, Cape College Center?

Classes that are scheduled in a face-to-face format will be offered face-to-face on Labor Day. Classes at the regional campuses and delivery sites such as the Cape College Center will also be offered face-to-face on Labor Day.

If I suspect that I am sick, what should I do with my class on that day?

You should notify your chairperson, and they will work to see if they can find a colleague to cover your class for that one day. If they cannot find a colleague to cover your class, then your class will be cancelled for that day and students will be notified.

Will faculty meetings (including departmental retreats) be conducted remotely instead of face to face based on the best practices for workspaces?

Departments and other units are encouraged to hold meetings virtually or allow for this to be an option for faculty. Therefore, having in-person meetings is acceptable as long as Southeast’s safety guidelines are followed, but a virtual option is appropriate for those that are not able to attend in person.

So, I need to come with my own solution for how to transfer paper exams and collect them. Or are there going be suggestions?

The Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (CSTL) would be happy to work with faculty to find appropriate solutions and alternatives regarding paperless assessments. Although this might not always be possible or feasible, efforts should be made to minimize the exchange of materials between individuals.

If a faculty member has to be quarantined, what is the plan for their face to face courses? Can they just switch to online for that period?

If a faculty member is quarantined but healthy enough to continue working, then a temporary telework option to teach online during the quarantine period would be acceptable. Faculty would need to work with their chairperson under these circumstances and work with the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning to ensure that the proper resources, training and tools can be provided to maintain academic quality for this period of time.

Will the launch and training for the implementation of the new LMS be postponed now?

The implementation plan is being followed with full implementation to be in place by spring 2021.

Will all the training for Canvas be conducted remotely in the fall?

Yes, we will have remote options for the training along with some face-to-face options.

Have the instructors of the courses that are piloting Canvas this semester been notified?

Yes. Those faculty members have been notified by the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning.

Is there a list of ZOOM capable lecture rooms?

A list will be posted in the near future. We are currently sourcing webcams to be able to get those to faculty who need Zoom capabilities in their classrooms. Please work with your Chairperson who can then put in a request with Information Technology. The Information Technology Help Desk will work with faculty and staff on requests for personal webcams.

For approval of online courses, when will that process be available?

This process is available now and should be initiated with Alissa Vandeven in Human Resources to document the medical need. In addition, working directly with your Chairperson should occur.

For online courses that were already online (not a change from the original) and need to be approved, where do we go to start that process?

Any course that is already an online course and has gone through Quality Matters review does not have to go through that review process again. However, if a faculty member has not gone through Quality Matters training or a similar approved training by Southeast Online or the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (CSTL), the faculty member would need to complete this training.


 

Telework

What are the options for those who are not comfortable coming to a fully attended campus due to familial circumstances (living with family over 65 with preexisting conditions)? Will there be options to telework?

Telework is an option for any employee leave needs as defined under emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  These guidelines can be reviewed on the University’s COVID19 webpage at http://www.semo.edu/covid19.

What is the possibility of working remotely occasionally when in-office presence may not be necessary?

While the University does not have a telework policy, there is a telework option for any employee leave needs as defined under emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  These guidelines can be reviewed on the University’s COVID19 webpage at http://www.semo.edu/covid19.

Will telework be encouraged for full- or part-time employees to lessen the amount of people on campus for potential COVID-19 exposure?

Telework is an option for any employee leave needs as defined under emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). These guidelines can be reviewed on the University’s COVID-19 webpage at http://www.semo.edu/covid19.

Are remote work options for those who have kids who will not return to in-person schooling in K-12?

The University is currently investigating options for those employees who choose for their children to do remote instruction and will be communicating those options soon.


 

At-Risk

Is extended protection for immunocompromised employees (secluded workspaces, remote working, etc.) available?

The University has implemented many safety precautions.  Many classrooms are being reconfigured to offer space seating to maintain social distancing, and if not an option then identifying alternative spaces for classes.  In situations where classroom space is not identifiable for specific courses, blended course formats are being implemented.  In addition, the University has implemented a mandatory facial covering requirement, health safety signage campus-wide, plexiglass for public-facing areas, hand sanitizer stations at elevators, and hand sanitizer and disinfectant in all departments.   


 

Recording of Virtual Employee Information Session

Where can I find a link to the recording of the Virtual Employee Information Session held July 22, 2020?

Recording can be viewed here.


 

Leave

What are the leave options for employees to care for school-aged children if they are required to miss school for COVID-19 related absences?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides both emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave options for employees who need to care for school-aged children whose school or daycare is closed due to COVID19.  These leave provisions can be accessed on the University’s COVID19 webpage under Employee Health and Leave Options under Employee Information.

How will sick leave be managed for exposure (without symptoms or positive tests)? For example, if an employee has a child with a teacher that tests positive and they are exposed, should the employee quarantine?

Employees should not quarantine unless directed to do so by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center. Public Health will contact any individuals and determine necessary quarantine or isolation needs based on the specific situation at hand.  

What are the University’s sick leave and family leave policies regarding COVID-19?

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides employees with emergency paid sick leave (EPSL). Expanded family and medical leave (EFML)​ also is available for COVID-19 specified reasons. Visit semo.edu/covid. Look for Employee Health and Leave options under Employee Information.​

For workplace exposure, will workman's comp cover medical treatments?

The state of Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation makes determinations of coverage for any claims filed.   

Will the University cover sick leave from on-campus exposure?

If feasible and in consultations with their supervisor, employees with undiagnosed COVID19-like symptoms should telework during a 24-hour precautionary period.  If symptoms re-occur during the 24-hour precautionary period, teleworking should cease and the employee should seek medical attention.   

How is the University dealing with faculty/staff who live with or care for someone who is high risk?

Employees who reside with and are caring for a high-risk individual, who has been directed by the health care provider to isolate or quarantine, may be eligible to take emergency paid sick leave options under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Employees can view those options on the University’s COVID19 webpage under Employee Health and Leave Options under Employee Information.

What is the procedure for returning to work after feeling sick without a doctor’s visit?

Public Health advises on the length of necessary quarantine or isolation for missed work.  Employees who had a positive COVID-19 test or quarantine may return to work when they are:

  • symptom free
  • have no fever for three consecutive days without the use of fever-reducing medication, or
  • their physician issues a release to work.

Employees who had a negative COVID-19 test or sick with symptoms may return to work when they have been symptom-free for three days without use of fever-reducing medication.

Will adjunct faculty be eligible for sick leave if they get infected with COVID?

Adjunct (temporary) faculty would be eligible to take emergency leave time under the FFCRA if they meet specified COVID-19 reasons. The FFCRA guidelines can be viewed on the Employee Information page of the University’s COVID-19 webpage under the Employee Health and Leave section.

Have any changes been made to benefits (paid time off/sick leave) to help improve compliance with the return to work rules?

While there have been no changes made to benefits, employees are potentially eligible for taking emergency leave time under the FFCRA if they meet specified COVID-19 reasons. The FFCRA guidelines can be viewed on the University’s COVID-19 webpage under the Employee Information section.

If you call in sick, is it required to be tested?

The University will not require any employee to be tested. Employees who are unwell or symptomatic should notify their supervisor and the Director of Human Resources, go home, and seek medical attention.


 

HR/Benefits

Will the University provide assistance and guidance in preparing wills and designating authority to make medical decisions?

Regular, benefit-eligible employees can utilize their employee assistance program (EAP) provided benefits for legal consultation and referrals.  Under this benefit, employees have access to a free, 30-minute consultation with an attorney for most legal matters, including will preparation and healthcare proxies. Employees can take advantage of the EAP benefits by calling E4Health at 1-800-765-9124. 

Is Southeast offering bereavement and general counseling for employees?

Regular, benefit-eligible employees can utilize their employee assistance program (EAP) provided benefits for emotional wellbeing support.  Under this benefit, employees, their family members and household members have access to six (6) free sessions of confidential counseling for issues dealing with grief and loss, mental health concerns, life cycle events, etc.  Employees can take advantage of the EAP benefits by calling E4Health at 1-800-765-9124.  

Is there consideration of expanding the number of mental health sessions people would be eligible for under the EAP benefit considering COVID-19 is ongoing and could continue as situations continue to progress and stress levels and circumstances continue to change? We need to be aware of the additional stressor this situation this is creating for our employees related to work, financial concerns and family situations.

While the number of sessions under our employee assistance program have not increased, there are many benefits offered under the program including six free counseling sessions for employees, family members and household members, free consultation on legal matters, free telephonic consultation on financial issues, and more. Employees can contact E4Health, the employee assistance program provider, by calling 1-800-765-9124.

Contact

Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 7275
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701