COVID-19 health & safety compliance: checklist for campus return

August 24, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

You no doubt have noticed the growing number of colleges and universities deciding to shift away from in-person classes and students residing in residence halls due to COVID-19 outbreaks on their campuses or growing case counts in their communities. In the Boston area, infection rates are now quite low thanks to widespread compliance with the key public health practices of mask-wearing, physical distancing, frequent handwashing and staying home when sick. Brandeis’ high-frequency testing program for students, faculty and staff is up and running since its successful pilot starting in mid-July.

All of these factors give us the confidence to move forward with our plans to offer a semester of in-person, hybrid, and remote instruction with a de-densified on-campus undergraduate residential population of approximately 1,800 students. We are grateful to the hundreds of staff members, on-campus and remote, who have worked tirelessly to prepare our campus for this moment, and to our faculty for their incredible efforts to revamp their courses for this new environment.

As students were reminded last week, our ability to offer in-person options to students depends on all of us recognizing that our actions on and off-campus have potential impacts for others in our community. Students were also informed of the significant disciplinary consequences they may face for failing to adhere to health and safety requirements, and of the university’s intent to enforce these requirements. We are writing today to remind you, our colleagues, of some of the key requirements we must all adhere to, and to be very clear about the consequences you may face for lack of compliance.

As outlined in the Campus Scaling Up Guide and Policy for Staff and Faculty - Stage 2, failure to comply with Brandeis’ health and safety policies may result in faculty or staff losing the ability to come to campus, and in disciplinary action in accordance with the Conduct Standards and Corrective Action Policy and/or the Faculty Handbook.

Please review the Health and Safety Requirements Checklist for Fall 2020 Return to Campus:
  • TRAINING: Complete the required COVID-19 training for all faculty and staff prior to returning to campus. Please complete this training as soon as possible, and no later than September 8, even if you don’t currently anticipate a date to return to campus. It takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
  • DAILY HEALTH ASSESSMENT: Complete the Daily Health Assessment each day before arriving on campus
  • TESTING: Undergo mandatory COVID-19 testingeven if you only plan to stop by campus briefly. The frequency of testing will be determined by how often you come to campus. You are required to fill out your anticipated commuting schedule in the testing portal (it can be changed later if your schedule changes).
  • MASKING, DISTANCING, HANDWASHING: Comply with all Brandeis’ health and safety requirements at all times while on campus.
  • RESTRICTED TRAVEL: Strictly adhere to all Massachusetts travel restrictions, including those for commuters. As a reminder, no out-of-state or international travel on university business is allowed except by permission of the Provost, and any personal travel to states outside of those exempted by Massachusetts results in a required 14-day quarantine period upon your return, until/unless you receive a negative COVID-19 test.
  • POLICIES: Review and follow all requirements of the Campus Scaling Up Guide and Policy.
  • PROTOCOLS: Review and follow all department-level scaling up protocols, as communicated by your supervisor.
  • STAYING HOME: Do not come to work if you feel sick, and participate in an isolation or quarantine period when directed by Human Resources’ Occupational Health Specialist, your primary care provider, and/or state or local Department of Public Health officials.
  • COMMUNICATING: Keep your manager informed if you are not feeling well, and cooperate with the contact tracing process (when appropriate).

Faculty and staff who observe others not following these policies, or have specific health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, should immediately notify their department chair, dean, manager or supervisor. Concerns may also be reported confidentially using EthicsPoint (the Brandeis anonymous reporting tool). Additional support can be provided by the Office of Human Resources or the Office of University Ombuds.

It is vital, for the sake of our students’ education and for the well-being of our entire university, that we all hold ourselves accountable for engaging in the necessary behaviors to promote health and safety this fall. These are conditions of continuing to work in person on campus at Brandeis. If you feel you will be unable to fulfill any of the requirements, it is important that you speak with your supervisor, dean or department head before you come to campus. The ability of all members of our community to protect each other’s health will be the primary determinant of whether we are able to continue in-person teaching with students residing on campus through Nov. 20; now more than ever, we are interconnected and responsible for one another.

Sincerely,

Lisa M. Lynch, Provost
Stew Uretsky, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration
Robin Switzer, Vice President of Human Resources