Husky Guide for Returning to the Workplace
Michigan Tech is planning for the return of students, faculty, and staff to campus in fall 2020. Our return to campus is based on values that are strong in Huskies and in the region—community and accountability, with a respect for individual choice. The return to campus is being managed by the MTU Flex Task Force in accordance with state guidelines.
The primary goals for Michigan Tech’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic are to protect public health and continue the institution’s vital missions of education and research. Our knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, and our policies and plans will be updated where appropriate as more information becomes available.
Workplace Expectations and Guidelines
As a condition of employment, all employees are required to fully comply with the protocols and guidelines outlined in the Huskies Guide for Returning to the Workplace.
Once employees have been approved to return to work on campus, there are several options departments should consider to maintain required social distancing measures and reduce population density within buildings and workspaces.
Those who can work remotely to fulfill some or all of their work responsibilities should continue to do so to reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of COVID-19. These arrangements, which should be approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor, can be made on a full or partial day/week schedule as appropriate.
In order to limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on campus, departments should schedule partial staffing on alternating days, which could include weekends. Such schedules will help enable social distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces.
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 15 to 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements.
Whether working remotely or using another staffing strategy, departments are expected to be operational during established University hours, which may include communication via telephone, Zoom, or other technologies or remote means.
COVID-19 High Risk Accommodations
Accommodations will be provided for employees identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who are caring for someone at risk, as requested.
Employees can request a COVID-19 High Risk Accommodation, or an accommodation for any other reason related to COVID-19 (e.g., medically unable to wear a face covering), by contacting the Michigan Tech ADA Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be aware that COVID-19 High Risk Accommodations are different from ADA Accommodations for a disability. Do not fill out or submit any accommodation request forms before hearing back from the ADA Coordinator.
Campus buildings are in the process of being evaluated to determine where entry-only and exit-only doors and one-way traffic patterns are needed to assist with social distancing. Where possible and allowed by fire code, doors may be propped open to eliminate high-frequency touchpoints. As we move closer to the start of classes, sanitation stations will be placed around campus to provide disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer for good hand hygiene and for wiping personal objects such as cell phones. Physical barriers may be added if needed to protect employees who cannot maintain six feet of distance between themselves and other people. Visual cues may be added to floors and furniture to indicate appropriate social distancing.
Social distancing, handwashing, and surface disinfection are the primary strategies to reduce peer-to-peer transmission. Most heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems on campus are designed for general comfort ventilation and indoor air quality, not infection control. Most systems on campus do not have High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration and would require major renovation to convert to HEPA filtration.
Operation of HVAC systems will be adjusted based on CDC and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidelines. HVAC operating schedules will be adjusted based on updated occupancy and custodial schedules. Operating schedules will be extended before and after occupancy to “flush” the space with fresh air. The amount of fresh outdoor air will be increased in areas where heating and air conditioning capacities will allow.