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Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Information for Employees

This message was sent to all faculty and staff

Boise State University leaders are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our students and employees through this unprecedented time. We know this will require all of us to adjust the way we work, and we are grateful for your commitment to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

At this time, much of the campus remains open, in some cases with limited hours, for research, student support, faculty and academic support, tech support and other functions. In the coming days, many of these services will shift to remote delivery with a skeleton campus-based crew in an effort to slow any potential spread of the virus. For those of you coming to campus, know that enhanced safety and hygiene measures have been implemented to keep our community safe and healthy, including switching all buildings to 100 percent outside air so that there is no recirculation; placing hand sanitizer across campus for everyone’s personal use, buckets of wipes to clean surfaces before and after meetings; and employing enhanced campus cleaning protocols.

Faculty adjusting to remote delivery should look to continued opportunities, support and guidance from the Provost’s Office, Center for Teaching and Learning and their colleges and departments.

Maintaining a Healthy Workplace

Although the university is encouraging employees to work remotely at this time, for those who come to campus, public health officials indicate it is imperative to maintain social distancing, meaning a 6 foot distance between yourself and others, to slow the spread of the virus.

Do not come to campus if you feel unwell, particularly if you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms

This is the primary recommendation from federal and state public health experts to prevent the spread of illness.
If you become ill with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, follow your normal call-in procedure and refer to guidance on what to do if you have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.
You should not return to work until you meet the requirements for when to discontinue home isolation for confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.

Do not come to campus if you are caring for a member of your household with a known or suspected case of COVID-19

Follow your normal call in procedure and refer to guidance on caring for a member of your household with a known or suspected case of COVID-19.
You should not return to work until the ill member of your household meets the requirements for caring for a member of your household with a known or suspected case of COVID-19.

Do not come to campus if you are or were exposed to an individual with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19

If you are exposed to an individual with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, follow your normal call in procedure.
Following the exposure, you must self-isolate in your home for 14 days from the last date of known exposure. You may work remotely during this time with your supervisor’s approval. If you become ill during this time, please follow the guidance for individuals with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.

Leave options for all employees

If you exhaust your leave or are not benefit eligible and cannot work on campus or remotely because you have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, are caring for a member of your household with a known or suspected case of COVID-19, or must self-isolate after an exposure to an individual with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, Human Resources will work with you on leave options, such as Shared Leave, Advanced Sick Leave, Administrative Leave, Family and Medical Leave, or ADA accommodations.

Do not disclose another employee’s health information

If you supervise an employee with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and need to determine if other members of the campus community were exposed to that employee (and as a result are required to self-isolate), contact Human Resources for assistance.

Employ multiple approaches designed to keep individual workplaces safe through this period

Supervisors, in consultation with your department heads and vice presidents, will make decisions on how departments will address the requirements of their area and then communicate changes to their staff. Though the approaches will differ based on the needs and demands of individual units, below are options to consider to minimize the spread of the virus:

    • Allow employees to work remotely whenever possible and appropriate.
      • Understanding that not everyone has access to a Boise State laptop or a home computer, during this time the university will permit faculty and staff to take their desktop computers home with approval of their supervisor.
      • The Office of Information Technology has provided information on what employees need to know about working remotely.
        For those must work on campus, consider split shifts to allow workers to maintain social distancing space in existing spaces.
    • Explore opportunities to relocate employees to unoccupied spaces to boost social distancing (when appropriate and coordinated with building managers).
    • Replace face-to-face meetings with digital meetings or conference calls. See the OIT guidance on working remotely for information on using Zoom and other available technologies.

University sponsored travel, both domestic and international, is suspended until further notice

Exception requests may, in very limited circumstances, be granted by your divisional VP.

Although health officials are strongly discouraging all travel, if you elect to travel for personal reasons, please be aware of the following:

    • If you travel by plane or other mode of public transportation to any destination, you must self-isolate at home for 14 days after your last day of travel.
    • If you traveled by car:
      • If your interactions are strictly limited to a small number of your family or friends in a non-public space, you are not required to self-isolate as long as those individuals are asymptomatic and don’t work in high-exposure environments.
      • If you spend time in active (or even quiet but typically high-occupancy) public spaces or are exposed to anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate for 14 days after your last day of travel.
  • If you must self-isolate, work with your supervisor to assess whether you can work remotely from home.
  • If you are unsure whether you or one of your direct reports must self-isolate, please contact Human Resources at (208) 426-1616 or hrs@boisestate.edu for guidance.

We understand that changes to your regular work habits along with health and safety concerns for your co-workers, friends, and family may be stressful. Please remember that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to provide confidential, short-term counseling services for benefit eligible employees and their dependents. For additional information, please visit ogi.idaho.gov/counseling or call (877) 427-2327 (TDD: 800-697-0353).

For up-to-date information, continue to check the university’s COVID-19 web page. If you have questions that are not addressed by the web page, please contact Human Resources at (208) 426-1616 or email at hrs@boisestate.edu.