Working on campus: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the work routines of several university employees in the fall.

<p>On campus employees are asked to limit face to face interactions by utilizing platforms like WebEx. <strong>Jacob Musselman, DN Illustration</strong></p>

On campus employees are asked to limit face to face interactions by utilizing platforms like WebEx. Jacob Musselman, DN Illustration

Beginning July 1, most campus buildings were opened up with the university resuming more of its regular on-site campus activities and operations. However, Ball State’s employees have to continue abiding by some COVID-19 safety protocols for the fall 2020 semester.

Alternative work options:

Due to the pandemic, the university established a target of reducing the number of employees on campus at any given time by at least one-third, according to the reopening plan approved by the Ball State Board of Trustees. Supervisors of different departments, with approval from their respective vice presidents, helped coordinate this reduction including by utilizing remote work for certain employees when appropriate.

Additionally, employees have been asked to utilize virtual services like WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, etc. when feasible for conducting things like meetings. Departments also considered alternating days or weeks and staggered scheduling during the workday to their on-site staffing patterns in an effort to minimize face-to-face interaction.

Employee health:

Ball State employees are required to complete a self-certification form, which includes questions about the employee’s health, prior to returning back on campus, according to the plan. They should also monitor their health for any symptoms of COVID-19, not come to campus if there are any symptoms and inform their supervisor accordingly.

Those employees belonging to a higher-risk group, are pregnant or wish to seek disability accommodations related to returning back to work need to contact the university’s human resource services, the plan states.

While the university will coordinate COVID-19 testing and contact tracing for its students and employees, it also encourages them to get their flu vaccinations this fall due to the possibility of increased COVID-19 cases later in 2020, the plan states.. Ball State will expand access to and availability of annual flu vaccinations for all students and employees to help accommodate this need and encourage people to get vaccinated.

Face masks and other preventative steps:

According to the plan, all people on campus, including students and employees, are required to wear face masks or shields when inside a campus building or campus transportation and when physical distancing is not feasible. Those who have a health condition preventing them from wearing a mask should contact the university’s human resource services.

Supervisors are responsible for addressing issues with employees who refuse to wear face masks or shields. For students, the faculty member should remind them of the requirement and allow them an opportunity to comply with the requirement before referring it to the Office of the Dean of students. Members of the public who don’t comply with the rule will first be offered a disposable face mask, if possible, and will be asked to leave the campus and given options to be served remotely if they continue to refuse wearing a mask.

The University Police Department is not responsible for enforcing this face mask/shield rule and should not be contacted regarding such issues.

While people can supply their own face masks or shields, Ball State will be providing up to two washable and reusable face masks to every faculty, staff and on-campus student who requests them. Apart from face masks, university employees, like everyone else, are required to follow physical distancing guidelines and personal sanitization measures whenever possible. In addition, the university will be implementing heightened cleaning and disinfecting measures throughout campus.

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