COVID-19 Employee Guide

Updated: 9/14/20

Campus Expectations and Guidelines

All employees are expected to comply fully with the policies, procedures, protocols, and guidelines outlined in the COVID-19 Protocols Guide for Employees.

All employees must complete and submit the “Delta State University Employee Acknowledgement of the Fall 2020 Return to Campus Requirements and Risks related to COVID-19” attestation form indicating that they understand the institution’s policies, procedures, guidelines, and protocols regarding keeping the workplace as safe as possible, COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation procedures, and that they agree to try in good faith to abide by those policies. An employee’s refusal to complete the “Delta State University Employee Acknowledgement of the Fall 2020 Return to Campus Requirements and Risks related to COVID-19” attestation form will be treated as a performance or standard of conduct issue and may result in corrective action per the “Work Performance and Code of Conduct” policy.

Employee questions should be directed to Human Resources at (662) 846-4035.

Frequently Asked Questions for Employees

What is the “coronavirus” and how is it transmitted?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person: between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

What are the symptoms?

According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported — ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19 (this list does not include all possible symptoms):

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

How can I help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like the coronavirus?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • When possible, put six feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Immediately wash/sanitize your hands.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Be alert for symptoms.
  • If you are sick, stay home.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

The CDC defines quarantine and isolation in the following ways:

  • Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others.
  • Isolation separates people who are infected with the virus away from people who are not.

What do I do if I returned from international travel in the last 14 days?

If you are returning from international travel, call Human Resources (846-4035) immediately for an assessment, and notify your supervisor.

Please review pages 8 of the complete employee protocols guide for detailed steps.

Are employees required to wear a mask or face covering while on campus?

A face covering is required in the presence of others in all indoor spaces. In addition, face coverings are required outside when adequate social distance cannot be maintained and you are within six feet of another person. All faculty, staff, students and visitors will be required to comply with this.

How will the face masks and social distancing requirement be enforced?

Adherence to the protocols will be essential and fundamental to our ability to offer in-person activities on campus. The “Work Performance and Code of Conduct” policy will be followed for employees who do not adhere to the protocols.

What do I do if I am feeling sick and/or do not pass the daily screening?

If you do not pass the daily screening, or if you feel sick (regardless of the results of the screening process), call Human Resources (662) 846-4035 immediately for an assessment and notify your supervisor.

Please review pages 19-20 of the complete employee protocols guide for detailed steps.

What do I do if I have come in “close contact” with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

A person may be at risk for COVID-19 if they have been in “close contact” with or “exposed” to an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. The Mississippi State Department of Health defines “close contact” as:

  • Spending 15 minutes within 6 feet or less of someone infectious with COVID-19, with or without a mask. The 15-minute timeframe is not required to be continuous; rather cumulative throughout the day.
  • Providing care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • Having direct physical contact (touched, hugged, or kissed) with someone who has COVID-19
  • Shared eating or drinking utensils with someone who has COVID-19
  • Having had someone who has COVID-19 to sneeze, cough, or somehow get respiratory droplets on you

Infectious Period – The infectious period is 2 days (48 hours) prior to symptom onset (or test positivity if no symptoms at time of diagnosis) and then an additional 10 days from symptom onset or test positivity (12 days altogether).

If you have been in “close contact” (as defined above) with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19, call Human Resources (662) 846-4035 immediately for an assessment and notify your supervisor.

Please review pages 21-22 of the complete employee protocols guide for detailed steps.

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19 (with or without symptoms), call Human Resources (662) 846-4035 immediately for an assessment and notify your supervisor.

Please review pages 22-24 of the complete employee protocols guide for detailed steps.

Are people who are on isolation/quarantine restricted from working?

If an employee feels well enough and can perform their duties by telecommuting, they can complete the “COVID-19 Work From Home Request” form. HR will notify the employee of their approval status.

What if I don’t feel comfortable/safe working on campus this fall? Will I be required to report to work on campus?

Delta State must maintain certain critical services and operations regardless of circumstances. There are certain positions that are required to be on-site to support those critical services and operations. The University expects staff to attend work as scheduled and be fully prepared to begin work and remain at work through the entire work period. Any time away from work should be discussed and approved in advance with your supervisor. The requirements and continuity of University operations may not allow for telecommuting in certain instances.

Employees who express reluctance or apprehension about returning to campus because of potential exposure to COVID-19, but otherwise have no underlying health condition that puts them at increased risk, and have none of the qualifying reasons, may use their accrued leave or other available leave, in accordance with the terms of applicable University policy. Employees are encouraged to contact Human Resources, (662) 846-4035, with specific questions regarding the applicability of leave to their individual circumstances.

What if I am prohibited from returning to work due to illness? What happens to my pay and benefits?

Contact the HR Department for answers to questions regarding your pay and benefits while you are on a leave of absence.

Questions? Call (662) 588-6713 or email Robin Douglas at rdouglas@deltastate.edu