Coronavirus: Stay Home/Stay Safe Order

Coronavirus: Stay Home/Stay Safe Order

March 25, 2020

Dear Staff and Faculty,

We know Governor Scott’s recent Stay Home/Stay Safe Order has created confusion and anxiety about what you should do as a Northern Vermont University employee. As a system, we were waiting for direct information from the State of Vermont regarding our complex system.

Below you will find the guidance shared with us today from the VSCS Chancellor’s Office.

  1. The first priority for all students and employees is to limit the amount of person-to-person contact, and all appropriate measures should be taken toward this end.

Beginning at 5 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, March 25):
 

  1. To the maximum extent possible, all VSCS employees should be working from home under approved telework agreements. Employees who have not yet completed a telework agreement, and whose job duties are compatible with telework, should submit a request as soon as possible. To request working from home, submit this form.
     
  2. The VSCS has requested additional guidance from the State regarding plans to continue having students move out of residence halls over the coming days. Barring such guidance from the State, we will need to cease all planned move-out operations by students no later than 5pm TODAY per the State of Vermont.
     
  3. The Governor's Executive Order expressly granted permission for certain employees to continue working on-site, specifically those employees whose work is vital to the security, sanitation, maintenance, and operation of the VSCS, along with individuals involved in providing food service. This should be understood to include:
    1. Public Safety.
    2. Custodians, maintenance, and their supervisors.
    3. Food service—to the extent this is necessary to support students who remain in on-campus housing.
    4. Residential Life Staff.
    5. Information Technology services and support.
    6. Designated emergency response personnel as identified by your Dean.
    7. Critical financial operations, this includes the Controller, Student Financial Services, and Financial Aid as needed.
  1. No other employees should be on-site without written authorization from the appropriate Dean detailing the purpose of the authorization (e.g., faculty who would otherwise be unable to provide remote instruction). 
     
  2. Any VSCS personnel working on-site are to follow CDC and VDH guidance to ensure recommended social distancing, including, to the extent possible: 
    1. maintaining a distance of 6 feet between persons; 
    2. requiring employees to practice appropriate hygiene measures, including regular, thorough handwashing;
    3. regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

 

  1. In all events, any individuals who identify as high risk, or have a member of their household who is high risk, or who are exhibiting any symptoms of Coronavirus/COVID-19 (dry cough, fever, sore throat), should NOT work on-site and should take all recommended measures to ensure their health and the health of their families. See the VSCS Human Resources FAQs for further questions.

Additionally, here is information about the Governor’s order from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s FAQs for businesses specifically regarding colleges.                                                                              

https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19-guidance/stay-home-stay-safe-business-faqs

Are colleges required to suspend all in-person business?

Schools and colleges may continue to offer remote learning opportunities, assuming all instruction does not require in-person business to occur at the college (multiple staff or professors in the same room).  For colleges that have students living on campus unable to return to a primary residence (international students, vulnerable populations, etc.), the college may continue operating as an essential housing provider.  This would include providing facilities management, limited food service in accordance with previous Executive Orders, and security services.  All CDC and VDH guidance should continue to be adhered to.

Kathy Armstrong

Interim Director of Human Resources