I. OBJECTIVE & PURPOSE
The University is committed to taking all appropriate measures to maintain the safety of the University community as a result of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus ("coronavirus" or "COVID-19") and is therefore issuing this Policy in furtherance of that commitment.
For purposes of this Policy, "University Community" is broadly defined to include all faculty, staff, students, vendors, visitors, and any others on premises controlled, owned, or operated by the University.
II. BACKGROUND ON THIS POLICY
The University has coordinated its Fall 2020 reopening and planning efforts closely with local, state, and federal officials, as well as the Florida SUS Board of Governors. These plans have been developed with the health and wellness of returning students, faculty, staff, vendors, and visitors as our top priority. The input of all constituents has been critical to the success of our strategy for continuity in education and safety of the Osprey family. This Policy represents the culmination of this planning and input.
III. HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES
The University has prepared coronavirus educational training materials so that members of the University community understand necessary personal safety precautions for coronavirus as well as the University's expectations for each member of the Community. In this training, members of the University Community will learn a variety of health and safety topics, such as:
- How the coronavirus is spread;
- How to identify common symptoms of coronavirus;
- Social distancing and face masking requirements;
- Proper cough and sneeze etiquette;
- Handwashing and disinfecting procedures;
- The University's expectations for the community, including requirements of this Policy and consequences for noncompliance.
The training of employees is mandatory and must be completed prior to returning to campus. That training may be found on Cornerstone "Osprey Aspire," the learning management system. The training for students is also mandatory, must be completed prior to returning to campus, and may be found on Canvas. Training/Educational materials for vendors, guests, and all other University constituents may be found on the University's website at Coronavirus FAQs and posters and informational publications distributed throughout campus.
In addition to the training, the University will regularly communicate with the University Community through the Safe Ospreys app, postings throughout campus, and website updates to outline and reinforce health and safety guidelines.
All members of the University Community must conduct a self-screening evaluation each day they plan to come to campus to determine if they are exhibiting symptoms of a coronavirus infection or have been potentially exposed. Employees will access a digital screening service through the Safe Ospreys app. For those who cannot use a mobile device-based app, they may also access the screening at the following website: https://www.unf.edu/hr/Self-Screening_Guidance.aspx. This app and website should not be used to serve as a substitute for medical advice. User email addresses will be collected to facilitate notifications to Human Resources or Student Health Services if the app or website indicates that the individual should self-isolate and/or seek medical advice.
For individuals who are unable to complete the screening remotely on the app or website, on-campus screening will be available.
Through the screening, University community members will receive guidance on whether they will be permitted to be present on campus each day, and if not, what resources are available to them for medical care and continued remote access to work, learning, and other University resources. Please see Section IV below for further details on how to obtain accommodations for continued access.
These screening platforms will be regularly updated with current symptoms indicative of coronavirus, which travel destinations require self-quarantining, and other criteria requiring an individual to not physically be present on campus. An individual would be instructed to not be physically present on campus and self-quarantine or self-isolate in the following circumstances:
- If an individual had some or all of the symptoms found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html, or was exposed to another individual with some or all of these symptoms; or
- If the individual travelled to or from the locations designated by the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html.
A screening or a medical provider may indicate that an individual should be tested for coronavirus. In addition, the University may direct an individual to be tested prior to returning to campus or at some point during the year. For coronavirus testing, individuals may either consult with their own healthcare provider or obtain a coronavirus test provided by local authorities or the University if available. If required to be tested, further instructions, requirements, and enforcement expectations will be provided by appropriate University representatives. A listing of testing resources in Duval County, including many free options, is available at https://www.coj.net/covid19testing.
All faculty, staff, students, and on-site vendors are encouraged to obtain COVID-19 testing within 14 days prior to arrival campus. UNF has committed to providing opportunities on campus for testing. UNF Student Health Services will have a limited number of tests available for faculty, staff, students, and on-site vendors who are unable to get testing completed at one of the facilities throughout Duval or surrounding counties.
Self-Quarantining & Self-Isolation: Staying Home if Sick or Exposed
For the health and safety of the University Community, it is imperative that individuals who are instructed to not return to campus follow that restriction for the directed time period. Special directions will be provided to individuals who reside on campus. Otherwise, individuals should not return for work, study, or to access University resources if medical advice, test, or screening results indicate that they should not return. Individuals who do report to campus while displaying symptoms will be immediately distanced from other individuals and sent home.
Instructions for individuals who are sick may be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html.
Instructions for individuals who are caring for someone who has been sick may be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/care-for-someone.html.
Instructions for quarantining and self-isolation may be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine-isolation.html.
General instructions on when individuals may return to campus following a period of self-quarantine or isolation may be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html. However, employees must contact Human Resources and students must contact Student Health Services prior to returning following a period of self-quarantine or self-isolation for instructions and requirements of return.
For individuals who are unable to return to campus physically, please see Section IV of this Policy to learn how to obtain accommodations.
All individuals on campus are expected to observe current CDC, Florida Department of Health, and Duval County Health Department guidance on social distancing, as well as any posted signage on campus regarding appropriate spacing. At the time of publication of this Policy, social distancing requires at least six (6) feet of distance to another individual, which is approximately two arm lengths. Please refer to the CDC COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings for guidance on practices departments should encourage for a safe and healthy workspace: Office Space Practices
Classrooms will be reconfigured to provide necessary social distancing, which may include seating modifications, reduced capacity, and other measures. Similarly, offices will be reconfigured to provide social distancing. Each department will take precautions to ensure these measures are in place. Physical barriers or transparent shields will be used if social distancing is not an option, signs or visual cues will be used to indicate where to stand if physical barriers are not possible. High-touch communal items in department spaces, such as coffee pots, water coolers, and bulk snacks should be removed and replaced with alternatives such as pre-packaged, single-serving items if possible or measures put in place to ensure routine and proper cleaning.
The University recognizes that certain facilities within the University have unique layouts and social distancing needs. For example, the Library, Student Union, University Center, Arena, Golf Course, Housing, Preschool, and Osprey Café all provide unique services. These and other facilities may create and post their own social distancing requirements that are at least as protective as those required by this Policy. These individual plans will be continuously reviewed and modified to reflect public health guidance, guidance from federal, state, or local officials, and compliance with this Policy. If employees or students are aware of situations or locations of social distancing congestion points or problem areas they are encouraged to report these at COVID-19 Measures Reporting Form.
To limit opportunity for spread of COVID-19, all on-campus meetings should be held virtually whenever possible, with the exception of in-person classes. If an in-person meeting is necessary, the meeting room must be able to accommodate all participants in line with this policy's social distancing guidelines.
Individuals who are not following social distancing requirements will be instructed to disperse. Refusal to comply may result in enforcement action described in Section VI.
Use of Face Coverings
Face coverings serve as a means to reduce spread from the individual wearing a mask to others nearby. Therefore, all individuals on campus must wear a face covering in all indoor and outdoor areas at all times. The only exceptions at this time include employees working alone in their offices or private work-space (this includes most cubicles if physical distancing to surrounding individuals can be maintained), certain laborers, students in their residence hall room, or anyone eating, drinking, or exercising. Any additional exceptions to this requirement should be handled as set forth in Section IV of this Policy.
Efforts will be made to secure an adequate, initial supply of face coverings for those employees and students who otherwise do not have their own face coverings when first returning to campus in the Fall. Whether initially provided by the University or by the individuals, it is the individual's responsibility to keep the face covering clean on a daily basis.
Individuals who are not using a face covering will be asked to put one on or leave campus. This includes in classrooms; an individual in a classroom without a face covering will be asked to put on a face covering or leave. Employees, students, and visitors will also be asked to put on a face covering while on campus or leave. In addition, refusal to comply may result in enforcement action described in Section VI.
Hygiene and Sanitation
All University constituents are expected to observe current CDC guidance on personal hygiene. At the time of publication of this Policy, that guidance includes:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.1
The University is committed to providing necessary materials for personal hygiene, such as adequate soap and hand sanitizer. Sanitizing stations will be positioned throughout the campus. If you observe that hygiene and sanitizing materials are not available in a location, please contact Environmental Health and Safety at (904) 620-2019 or EHS@unf.edu so that the University may quickly resupply that area.
Destruction or theft of hygiene, disinfectants, or personal protective equipment is a serious violation of this Policy.
For more information on the steps the University is taking to regularly clean and disinfect all University facilities, including classrooms, office spaces, housing, and food service facilities, research equipment and laboratories, and public spaces, please visit Coronavirus FAQs
IV. SELF-DISCLOSURE OF HIGH-RISK INDIVIDUALS AND ACCOMMODATIONS
The University recognizes that there are some individuals who are at higher risk from complications arising from coronavirus. In addition, there are some situations which require individual accommodations to a member of the University Community in their efforts to comply with this Policy. The University is committed to protecting these high-risk individuals and providing reasonable accommodations within the limits of what is necessary to protect the health and safety of the University Community and what may be provided without imposing an undue hardship or creating a fundamental alteration in the University's services. For example, on a case-by-case basis, the University may provide schedule modifications, minimize the need to be present on campus, permit remote work, provide means to participate in remote instruction, and so forth. Federal law also provides paid sick leave in certain circumstances to University employees. The University reserves the right to request appropriate documentation to substantiate the need for the accommodation or leave.
An individual who wishes to self-identify as high-risk or request an accommodation may do so, as explained below. The request must be made to the offices noted below so that the accommodations can be provided in a timely manner and so that the University may protect the confidentiality of the information disclosed to the extent permitted by law.
Please visit the Human Resources website on Expanded FMLA and Emergency Sick Leave at https://www.unf.edu/hr/benefits/Expanded_FMLA___Emergency_Sick_Leave.aspx to review information on the various leave options that may be available if an individual is unable to report to work.
Employees and students can self-identify as high-risk and/or request modifications or accommodations by submitting a COVID19: High Risk - Request for Reasonable Modification or Accommodation Form online at: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?UnivofNorthFlorida&layout_id=19.
Employees of vendors should contact their employer to learn what accommodations may be available. Vendors must notify Environmental Health and Safety at (904) 620-2019 or EHS@unf.edu with notice of any employees who test positive for COVID-19.
For all visitors and other University constituents, please contact the University's ADA Compliance office at (904) 620-2870.
V. MANDATORY ON-CAMPUS PRESENCE
Some individuals are required to be on campus in order to fulfill the University's mission or receive the education required under an educational program.
Employees who have been notified of the requirement to return to the workplace are expected to return upon completion of a daily screening. If an accommodation is needed after clearance, an accommodation may be requested as outlined in Section IV. If there are no accommodations that can be offered, employees are expected to return to the workplace as instructed. If an employee refuses to return, that individual may be subject to leave without pay and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Students whose course of study requires them to be on campus may request an accommodation as outlined in Section IV, and if one is not available, may consult with the Dean of Students for further options.
The University takes the need to protect the health and safety of the University community seriously. Although the University expects that the University community will fully comply with this Policy, in the event that it is violated, the University is prepared to take swift remedial action. A violation of this Policy is hereby included within the definition of Disruptive Behavior set forth in University Regulation 1.0030R.
Enforcement of this Policy is the responsibility of the entire University Community. Any individual that witnesses a violation should first respectfully inform the violator of our policies and ask that they comply. If the violator still does not conform then the individual should report the violation as explained below. The University Police Department (UPD) will be available to assist all employees and students by keeping the peace when a student or employee is attempting to enforce this Policy for non-compliance of social distancing, not appropriately wearing a face covering, and other breaches of this Policy.
Violations by Employees
If an individual observes an employee violating or has violated this Policy, if the employee does not comply after request, please contact the faculty or staff member's supervisor, Human Resources, or submit the online COVID-19 Measures Reporting Form. Violation of this Policy is grounds for discipline, up to and including termination for cause.
Violations by Students
If an individual observes a student is violating or has violated this Policy, if the student does not comply after request, please contact Student Conduct or submit the online COVID-19 Measures Reporting Form.
Violation of this Policy is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and may be charged as Endangerment, Disruptive Behavior, or another applicable conduct provision. If found responsible, a student may be subject to any appropriate sanction within the Student Code of Conduct.
Violations by Vendors
If an individual observes a vendor is violating or has violated this Policy, please contact an appropriate University community member that may include department head, facility director, or UPD. Vendors and their employees who violate this Policy may be removed from campus and subject to any other lawful recourse available to the University.
Violations by Visitors
If an individual observes a visitor is violating or has violated this Policy and refuses to comply, please contact an appropriate University community member that may include department head, facility director, or UPD. Visitors who violate this Policy may face restrictions on future University access or use of University resources, including removed from campus.
VII. IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY
Priority of this Policy
Because of the overarching need to protect the University community, this Policy supersedes any other non-coronavirus-specific University regulation or policy to the extent it is contrary.
Interpretation and Modification
The novel coronavirus has required regular and frequent adaptations by federal, state, local, business, and community leaders as more is learned about the virus and as it has become more or less prevalent in the community. As a result, this Policy will be interpreted and/or modified as necessary to comply with the latest guidance from federal, state, and local officials.
APPROVED: July 21, 2020
President David Szymanski