Centenary University Alert

Centenary University Alert: Please visit the Centenary University COVID-19 area of the website to learn the latest updates.

This webpage will serve as a resource for employees to help maintain a healthy, safe, and productive work environment during the coronavirus pandemic.  The information on this webpage is a work in progress and will continue to be amended and added to over the coming days and weeks. We encourage you to bookmark this page and check back regularly for the latest information.

As we return to work and begin this “new normal” in our workplace, we understand that many employees are concerned about safety. We want every employee to be assured that we are taking your concerns and the well-being of our employees seriously.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the pre-arrival protocol?

Before returning to campus, all employees will be required to complete safety protocol training. This training requires you to view the CDC videos and read the CDC information sheets on this webpage, and review and acknowledge the safety pledge at the bottom of this page. After you have reviewed all of this information, you must electronically sign the "Commitment to Safe Behaviors" form located at the end of this webpage.

Additionally, all employees must download the CampusClear app and complete a daily self-check for any symptoms of COVID-19. The CampusClear app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Employees will not be allowed to work on campus if they are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19.

Will we all return to work at the same time or will we return in stages?

Employees will return to work in stages. We expect all employees to report to work unless there is a legitimate reason for continuing to work from home that would prevent you from returning to the workplace. You should discuss your specific circumstances with your manager or your HR representative.

Centenary will phase in a return of employees over time in a coordinated process to ensure appropriate social distancing. Centenary will assess bringing more employees on campus based on operational needs, the ability to control and manage specific work environments, and the necessity to access onsite resources. These decisions, once approved, will be communicated through your respective department head or vice president. No department should increase staffing levels beyond current needs to support critical onsite operations without approval from your respective vice president.

The need to reduce the number of people on campus (density) to meet social distancing requirements will likely continue for some time. The number of employees on campus will be controlled and coordinated to mitigate potential risks and ensure the safety of employees, as well as the campus community we serve.

As staffing onsite increases and operations expand, Centenary will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it. If localized outbreaks emerge, tighter restrictions and reduced staffing may need to be implemented again.

What steps has the University taken to keep the employees safe?

The health and well-being of our employees and our campus community is our top priority. We are taking every precaution to ensure our workplace is safe. We are following federal health and safety guidelines as well as guidance from our state and local governments. Some steps that we have taken to ensure a safe workplace include:

> CLEANING/DISINFECTING: Common areas and frequently touched surfaces are being cleaned daily. Employees will be provided with sanitizing wipes for their workspace and departments, and may also bring their own from home.

> FACE MASKS: Face masks or face coverings must be worn by all employees working on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common work spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, hallways, etc.). Please refer to FAQ: "Do I have to wear a face mask at work?"

> HAND SANITIZING: Hand sanitizing stations are provided throughout the buildings.

> HVAC: We will be increasing the number of preventative maintenance services and upgrading the filters used.

> MONITORING TRAVEL: Please advise your manager or HR representative if you are traveling outside of your normal routine. Members of the campus community will also be required to enter travel to a COVID-19 hot spot within the past 14 days into the CampusClear app.

> OFFICE SPACE: Office spaces should be limited to one person. There should be no shared office spaces, unless there are plexiglass dividers in place and social distancing can be maintained.

> PLEXIGLASS: Plexiglass dividers have been installed in various areas around the campus.

> REDUCING CAPACITY: Classrooms, meeting rooms, break rooms and other communal areas have reduced seating and capacity limits.

> SIGNAGE: Signage, posters, and floor decals have been placed throughout the buildings encouraging social distancing, hand sanitizing, and the wearing of face coverings.

> STAGGERING WORK SHIFTS: The beginning and end of the workday typically brings many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements. Departments should coordinate arrival and departure times of staff to reduce congestion during typical “rush hours” of the business day. Employee arrival and departures should be scheduled in 30-minute increments to reduce personal interactions at building access points, hallways, stairs/elevators, etc. Once you have been instructed to return to the workplace, you should report to work or depart work at the designated time to limit the number of people entering and exiting buildings at any one time. For example, instead of everyone working 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and entering the buildings, hallways, etc. at the same time, some employees can start and end their day either earlier or later than their traditional hours. Your department head can discuss with you a schedule that works for you and your department.

> VIRTUAL MEETINGS: We are requiring employees to utilize virtual meetings and phone conferences. If an in-person meeting is necessary, participants must schedule it in advance, wear a face covering, and remain at least 6 feet apart.

> WORK ROTATION: We are encouraging a rotation of employees working on campus on alternating days within a department. Employees who are able to work from home will alternate working on campus and working remotely, to help lower the number of employees who are on campus at any given time. Such schedules will help enable social distancing, especially in areas with common workspaces.

> WORKSPACE LAYOUTS: Where possible, workspace layouts and seating arrangements have been revised to allow for social distancing.

Do I have to wear a face mask at work?

Face masks or face coverings must be worn by all employees working on campus when in the presence of others (e.g., common work spaces, copy rooms, classrooms, hallways, stairways, etc.). Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risk to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Face masks or face coverings should fully cover the nose and mouth. Cloth face coverings must only be worn for one day at a time, and must be properly laundered before use again. Having a week’s supply of cloth face coverings can help reduce the need for daily laundering. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.

Employees are asked to provide their own face masks or coverings. Replacement face masks are available in the Welcome Center in Seay, departmental offices, and classrooms if you lose or forget your mask or if it breaks during the workday. It is recommended that you bring an additional mask to work as a back-up. If you have a medical condition that restricts you from wearing one, please speak with your Human Resources representative.

Types and Intended Use of Face Coverings/Masks

Will we have in-person meetings?

In order to promote social distancing in the workplace, meetings will need to be restructured. Meetings are required to be held in a virtual format so employees can participate from their personal workspace.

During your time onsite, you are required to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors as needed by email, telephone, text, or other available technology rather than face-to-face. You can also use a range of available collaboration tools (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, telephone, etc.). Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission.

If an in-person meeting is necessary, individuals must wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet of separation for social distancing requirements. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support social distancing practices between attendees.

Meetings with students, employees or visitors should be scheduled in advance, by appointment only.

What can I do as an employee to help keep our campus safe?

> EMPLOYEES MUST MONITOR THEMSELVES on a daily basis and report symptoms of COVID-19 with the CampusClear app. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play.

> STAY HOME OR GO HOME if you are sick, and be sure to let your supervisor know.

> Maintain SOCIAL DISTANCING practices in the workplace, staying at least 6 feet apart. Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Employees should follow these social distancing practices: stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people at all times; do not gather in groups; stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.

> Follow cleaning product instructions when CLEANING YOUR WORK AREAS. Employees will be provided with sanitizing wipes for their workspace and departments, and may also bring their own from home. While custodial crews will continue to clean classrooms, offices and work spaces based on CDC guidelines, additional care should be taken to wipe down commonly used surfaces. Before starting work and before you leave any room in which you have been working, you must wipe down all work areas with EPA-registered 60% alcohol solution. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, desks and tables, podiums, light switches, door knobs, etc.).

> WASH YOUR HANDS frequently or use HAND SANITIZER. There are hand sanitizing stations throughout the buildings and you can also bring your own from home, if available. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands with the sanitizer and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face. According to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks.

> COVER YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH when sneezing or coughing. If you are in a private setting and do not have your cloth face covering on, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Then throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

> AVOID touching your face.

> Wear a FACE MASK OR CLOTH FACE COVERING. Employees are asked to provide their own face masks or coverings. It is recommended that you bring an additional mask to work as a back-up. Replacement face masks are available at the Welcome Center in Seay, departmental offices, and classrooms if you lose or forget your mask or if it breaks during the workday. Masks/face coverings should be used when inside any Centenary facility where others are present, including walking in hallways where others travel and in break rooms, conference rooms and other meeting locations.

> REPLACE HANDSHAKES with head nods and waves.

> AVOID using other employees’ phones, desks, offices or other work tools and equipment. Departments will eliminate whenever possible shared items such as magazines, brochures, books, paperwork, laptops, keyboards, pens, markers, writing pads, etc. Departments will discontinue use of communal coffee makers, carafes, unwrapped and shared food items, drinkware, utensils, and like items from spaces. Use of single-serve coffee makers, pre-packaged and disposable or reusable personal utensils, plates and cups are encouraged.

> Employees should utilize VIRTUAL MEETINGS AND PHONE CONFERENCES. If an in-person meeting is necessary, participants must schedule it in advance, wear a face covering, and remain at least 6 feet apart.

> The use of RESTROOMS should be limited based on the restroom’s size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

> No more than one person may enter an ELEVATOR at a time. If you are using the elevator, wear your mask or face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator.

> BEFORE AND AFTER EATING, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. If dining on campus, you should wear your mask or face covering until you are ready to eat and then replace it afterward. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Employees are encouraged to take food back to their office area or eat outside, if this is reasonable for your situation. If you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain 6 feet distance between you and others. Only remove your mask or face covering in order to eat, then put it back on. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in employee break rooms to support social distancing practices between employees. Wipe all surfaces, including table, refrigerator handle, etc. after using in common areas.

> If you must take PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, wear a mask before entering the bus or train and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible and before removing your mask.

> To ensure the safety of our campus community, please advise your manager or HR representative if you are TRAVELING outside of your normal routine. Traveling to locations deemed by the CDC as COVID-19 "hot spots" is strongly discouraged. If you have traveled to a "hot spot" you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Business travel must be approved by your department head. Members of the campus community must enter travel to a COVID-19 hot spot within the past 14 days into the CampusClear app.

> BE KIND. Understand that this is a stressful time for everyone, and an extra bit of kindness right now can go a long way.

> Talk to your MANAGER OR HUMAN RESOURCES if you have concerns specific to your circumstances, such as a health condition that places you at higher risk for complications from COVID-19.

Will the dining hall and Starbucks be open?

The dining hall and Starbucks will be open to employees with "grab and go" options.

Is the campus open to visitors or the general public?

All visitors to campus must have an appointment and must report to the Welcome Center in Seay to fill out a COVID-19 screening questionnaire. The general public will be allowed on the campus grounds (outside) but will not be allowed to enter campus buildings unless they have made an appointment with a campus community member.

What do I do if I feel sick?

Employees who feel ill should notify their manager and not report to work. If you are already at work and begin feeling sick, you should notify your manager and go home immediately. You should contact your physician, who will advise you if you need to be tested for COVID-19. If you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-quarantine for 14 days and work from home if you are able, or enter a sick day in ADP if you are too ill to work. Employees must submit to HR a return to work note from their physician before returning to campus.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

Any employee testing positive for COVID-19 will be directed to self-isolate at home and not to return to campus until cleared to do so by their physician. Please contact your manager to inform them that you will not be returning to work and that you have tested positive for COVID-19. The manager should report the case to their HR representative. Employees must submit to HR a return to work note from their physician before returning to campus.

How will positive cases of COVID-19 be handled in the workplace?

Despite all precautionary measures, there is always a risk of workplace exposure to communicable diseases. Should an employee contract COVID-19 and expose others in our workplace, we will inform all employees of the possible exposure. Employees who have been potentially exposed (exposure means contact of less than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) will be sent home and asked to self-quarantine and work from home for 14 days if they feel well enough to do so. A thorough cleaning of the workspace used by the infected individual will be conducted after the area has been closed off for at least 24 hours.

Information for managers

Q: An employee in my department is nervous about returning to work. What should I do?
A: Employees should be reassured that the University has taken the necessary precautions to help keep our workplace safe. Refer to the FAQ: "What steps has the University taken to keep the employees safe?"

Q: An employee in my department thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19. What should I do?
A: Employees who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should stay home or go home if they think they have been exposed to COVID-19, and consult with their physician.

Q: An employee in my department started to feel ill during the work day. What should I do?
A: You should advise the employee to go home immediately, and the employee should contact their physician. They should self-quarantine and work from home if they are able, or enter a sick day in ADP if they are too ill to work. They should stay home until cleared by their physician to return to work. Employees must submit to HR a return to work note from their physician before returning to campus. Refer to the FAQ: "What do I do if I feel sick?"

Q: An employee in my department tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
A: The employee should not report to work and should be directed to self-isolate. Managers should report the case to their Human Resources representative. Refer to FAQs: "What if I test positive for COVID-19?" and "How will positive cases of COVID-19 be handled in the workplace?"

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Employees should feel free to speak with their manager or their HR representative if they have any questions.

Employee’s Pledge to Commit to Safe Behaviors:

As a member of the Centenary University community, I commit to engaging in safe behaviors to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  These behaviors include but are not limited to:

  • social distancing of at least 6 feet apart
  • wearing face masks or cloth face coverings which cover the nose and mouth when in the presence of others
  • frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing
  • disinfecting surfaces that I may come in contact with
  • engaging in coughing/sneezing hygiene and etiquette
  • monitoring myself on a daily basis for symptoms of COVID-19
  • reporting symptoms of COVID-19 to the appropriate campus personnel if I am exhibiting them
  • removing myself from the campus community or quarantining myself if I am exhibiting symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19
  • not discriminating against or stigmatizing individuals or groups of people associated with COVID-19 such as individuals who have been released from COVID-19 quarantine, those who have tested positive for the virus, or those who have recovered from the virus.

Centenary University’s protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are based on ensuring the safety of our students, employees, healthcare providers, and the public we interact with.  Centenary’s plans are aligned and consistent with local orders and ordinances, as well as the State of New Jersey. Centenary’s plans will also follow recommendations from the federal government, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NJ Department of Public Health, and Centenary Health Services.  As our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, our procedures and plans will be updated as appropriate as more information becomes available.


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