Should employees become ill or otherwise be unavailable to perform work, they are required to enter accrued time for absences from work duties during those times and notifying their supervisor.
Health and Safety
Updated July 7, 2020
The university is using the best science and public health information available to protect members of the campus community; efforts are focused on mitigating the risk of infection and spread of the virus. We are relying upon the guidance and direction of the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC), local, state, and federal health and medical professionals in setting our campus reopening and return to campus plans, and in determining the elements of our reopening and return to campus plans.
Our newly created Public Health Promotion Center will serve as the campus coordinating and operational hub for COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Its focus is to positively influence public health behaviors, provide critical health screening, and monitor protocols to maintain the health and wellness of our campus community.
As part of these efforts, we are implementing a multi-layered approach to deter the spread of the virus, help protect our campus, and allow us to rapidly respond when faculty, staff, or students present symptoms or test positive for the virus.
Fall 2020: A Multi-Layered Approach to Campus Health and Safety
1. The Public Health Promotion Center
The university is taking a leading and innovative approach by creating a Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC) to positively influence the public health behaviors surrounding COVID-19 and provide critical health screening and monitoring protocols to maintain the health and wellness of our campus community. The PHPC will serve as the central coordinating and operational center for COVID-19 and focus on the following: asymptomatic testing (symptomatic testing will be conducted at University Health Services); contact tracing; coordinating isolation and quarantine; flu vaccinations; and communication outreach focused on health promotion with public health ambassadors.
2. Public Health Promotion Measures
- Students will be required to sign The UMass Agreement in regard to social distancing and other public health practices.
- Face coverings are required in classrooms, workspaces, and all other common areas, indoors and in any outdoor situation where social distancing is not possible.
- Appropriate barriers – plexiglass and other similar materials – will be established in high-volume areas.
- Sanitation and cleaning will be enhanced in buildings throughout the campus, and adequate hand sanitizer products will be made available in all common spaces (lobbies, lounges, academic learning centers, and classrooms).
- UMass Dining operations will be modified to meet new state requirements for cleaning, social distancing, and customer limits. More than 30 campus locations will be revamped. The plan includes new grab-and-go sites, outdoor dining tents and mobile ordering at some retail locations.
- Workplaces, meeting rooms, and research laboratories will have modified occupancy. Additionally, residence halls may have modified occupancy.
- Students will follow classroom operating guidelines that include:
- Requiring students/faculty to watch an education video prior to the first day of classes on the public health measures in place for the classrooms/laboratories
- Require students/faculty to wipe down chairs, other commonly touched surfaces, etc. at the start of every class
- Require face coverings in class
- No eating or drinking in class
- Assigned seating, where appropriate
3. Daily Screening for All
- Faculty, students, and staff will use either the My UMass app or another application.
- Faculty, students, and staff must conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus or leaving their residence hall room.
- A student who does not live in UMass housing must be free of any symptoms related to COVID-19 to be on campus or participate in activities on campus.
- In line with current, best scientific practices, UMass will prioritize diagnostic testing and will continue to follow the development of antibody testing for potential use.
- UMass will execute a screening and testing strategy that mitigates community spread through early identification.
- Individuals coming to campus will be tested prior to arrival.
- Individuals who have any of the symptoms related to COVID-19 will be promptly tested by University Health Services. Individuals who are determined to be a close contact of an individual testing positive will also receive testing.
- Infection rates will be monitored on campus and in the surrounding communities.
5. Contact Tracing
- UMass is expanding its case management team, using all relevant departments that provide contact tracing, support services, and coordination of quarantine and isolation. This team will be trained and available to support the campus community.
- To help determine the risk of potential exposure to others on campus, the UMass Public Health Team will conduct contact tracing with any campus individual who has tested positive.
- The UMass Public Heath Team will have a dedicated phone number and caller ID, and will actively promote “Answer the Call” to help protect the UMass community.
6. Isolation and Quarantine
The CDC defines isolation as separating sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick, and quarantine as separating and restricting the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
- Our plan for UMass residence halls for fall 2020 is focused on COVID-19 conditions, meaning we have identified quarantine and isolation locations for our on-campus residential community and will de-densify residential spaces to provide housing that is as safe as possible.
- The university is committed to supporting all students during any required isolation and quarantine. This includes contact tracing, academic support, health services, and counseling services.
- All students living on campus will be required to have an isolation and quarantine plan. For those students who can travel in a private vehicle, we strongly recommend isolation and quarantine in the comfort of your own home. For those students living on-campus and cannot travel home, the university will have dedicated isolation and quarantine space.
- Students living off campus will be encouraged to have an isolation and quarantine plan. The university will provide support services in your off-campus location or at your home. The university will not provide on-campus isolation and quarantine space.
- All students in isolation and quarantine, both on- and off-campus, will receive a daily wellness call.
- Students in isolation or quarantine will be encouraged to continue their coursework remotely.
- The university Public Health Team and/or local board of health have legal authority to issue isolation or quarantine orders, and such orders must be followed at all times.
7. Required Education for All
- COVID-19 safety training is mandatory and includes instruction on physical distancing, wearing of face coverings, hand hygiene, and sanitation.
- A campus-wide approach is being developed to ensure consistent messaging.
8. High-risk Individuals Are Encouraged to Continue Remote Work and Study