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Health & Safety Guide

Guiding Principles*

The Moravian University community is based on a commitment to our collective responsibility for one another. As such, we should take care of ourselves and others. Success depends on our willingness to abide by this shared understanding.

Moravian University’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic will be rooted in safety for our faculty, staff, and students, healthcare providers, and the public. The primary goals for Moravian’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic are to protect public health and continue the institution’s vital mission of education for all. All plans involving students, faculty, and staff will be based on the Safety Tiers seen in the following pages of this document. Staff from the Moravian University Health Center will continue to partner with, and consult, St. Luke’s University Health Network and other regional partners to ensure we are keeping our staff and students safe.

Moravian’s plans will be aligned and consistent with local orders and ordinances of the City of Bethlehem and Northampton County, and they will follow recommendations from the federal government, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves guidance from public health authorities and CDC are likely to change. The University will continue to follow the most up-to-date information on maintaining workplace safety. We will work with students to address all concerns for the most equitable educational experience possible. Any student with questions or who needs additional assistance is encouraged to contact the Accessibility Services Center by emailing asc@moravian.edu or calling (610) 861-1401. Similarly, our employees expect and deserve the safest work environment. Employees needing additional assistance are encouraged to contact Human Resources at hr@moravian.edu.

Updates on Moravian University’s response and the latest updates to the COVID-19 crisis can be found online at moravian.edu/covid-19. Health & Safety FAQs can be found here.

Our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continue to evolve, and our policies and plans will be updated as more information becomes available.



Expectations and Guidelines

All faculty and staff are expected to comply fully with the policies, protocols, and guidelines outlined in this document. Failure to do so may result in corrective action. Students who fail to comply with these policies will be subject to sanctions as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Symptom Monitoring Requirement

Students, faculty, and staff who return to the campus should conduct symptom monitoring every day before reporting to campus. You must be free of ANY symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 or have had evaluation and clearance by your physician to be eligible to report to campus. 

At this time, these include one or more of the following new or otherwise unexplained symptoms:  

  • Cough  
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing  
  • Fever  
  • Chills  
  • Repeated shaking with chills  
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion  
  • Muscle pain  
  • Headache  
  • Sore throat  
  • Fatigue  
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms  
  • Loss of taste or smell 

If you have any symptoms, in addition to contacting your physician, you must:

According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. Those conditions include the following:  

  • Age 65 years and older  
  • HIV  
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)  
  • Chronic lung disease  
  • Diabetes  
  • Serious heart conditions  
  • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis  
  • Severe obesity  
  • Compromised immune system 

Faculty and staff members who have been instructed to return to work on-site and have concerns about doing so due to a medical condition that places them in a higher risk group, those who are pregnant, or those who wish to seek ADA Reasonable Accommodations related to Returning to the Workplace should visit the Human Resources website or call 610-861-1527.

Phased Staffing

Moravian will phase in a return of staff over time in a coordinated process to ensure appropriate physical distancing, availability of PPE (personal protective equipment), and testing capabilities for COVID-19. 

Moravian will assess expanded staffing based on essential operations, the ability to control and manage specific work environments, and the need to access on-site resources. These decisions, once approved, will be communicated through your respective dean, vice president, or supervisor. 

The need to reduce the number of people on campus (density) to meet physical distancing requirements will continue for some time. Support units that can continue to effectively work remotely will likely continue to do so until restrictions are eased for larger gatherings. 

Staffing will be controlled and coordinated to mitigate potential risks and ensure the safety of faculty and staff, as well as the communities we serve. No unit or department should increase staffing levels beyond current needs to support critical on-site operations without approval from your respective dean, vice president, or supervisor. Once decisions to expand on-site staffing in certain areas have been made, faculty and staff should follow the policies and protocols detailed in this guide for returning to work on campus.

As staffing on-site increases and operations expand, officials will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it. Testing will be a critical part of assessing the impact of increased staffing. If localized outbreaks emerge, tighter restrictions and reduced staffing may need to be implemented again.

Staffing Options

There are several options departments must consider to maintain a safe working environment. 

Remote Work: Those who can work remotely to fulfill some or all of their work responsibilities may be asked to do so by their supervisor to reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. These arrangements, which should be approved by a dean or immediate supervisor, can be done on schedule as appropriate and determined by the employee and supervisor. 

Alternating Days: In order to limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on campus, departments should schedule partial staffing on alternating days. Such schedules will help enable physical distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces. 

Staggered Reporting/Departing: Supervisors should stagger reporting, meal, break, and departure times to reduce traffic in common areas and meet physical-distancing requirements. 


Personal Safety Practices 

Face Masks/Face Coverings

As of August 1, 2021, masks or face coverings (either cloth or disposable) must be worn inside all campus facilities. Please follow CDC recommendations. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The face mask or face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing. Please contact Human Resources for accessibility accommodations.

Handwashing

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, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol; over all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face. 

Gloves

Healthcare workers and others in high-risk areas should use gloves as part of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), but according to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks.

Goggles/Face Shields

Staff do not need to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus. Good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient for non-healthcare environments. 

Cleaning/Disinfection

Facilities Management, Planning and Construction (FMPC) teams will clean high-touch areas in addition to the cleaning of office, classroom and workspaces based on CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfection. FMPC will also maintain hand-sanitizer stations at major building entrances, elevator stops, and high-traffic areas. 

Faculty, staff, and students should also take responsibility for wiping down surfaces before and after use with products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.). 

Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene

If you are in a private setting and are not wearing your face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.

Guidance for Specific Campus Scenarios 

Classrooms

FMPC teams will clean high-touch areas in addition to the overnight cleaning of office and workspaces based on CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfection and Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) protocols. FMPC will also maintain hand-sanitizer stations at major building entrances, elevator stops, and high-traffic areas. 

In addition, it is important for faculty, staff, and students to take responsibility for wiping down surfaces before and after use with supplies that will be available in academic buildings.

Public Transportation/Moravian Shuttle

Masks must be worn inside all Moravian shuttles.

Working in Office Environments

Masks should be worn inside all campus facilities. 

Meetings

Masks should be worn inside all campus facilities, including meetings.  

Meals

Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. If dining on campus, you should wear your mask or face covering until you are ready to eat and then replace it after eating.  

Laboratory Work

Specific criteria have been developed for students, faculty, and staff working in laboratory environments. See Resumption of Scientific Research document

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing 

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): EAP is available to offer support to all Moravian employees at no cost. Learn more and access support services.

Moravian University Counseling Center: During the academic year, the Counseling Center aims to enhance the mental wellness of the Moravian University Community by providing counseling and therapy services, psychiatric services, consultation, and outreach.  The Counseling Center is committed to supporting the academic, social, and personal goals of Moravian students. We provide confidential individual, couples, and group counseling and therapy to all full-time undergraduate and graduate Moravian University students at no additional charge. To learn more, visit moravian.edu/counseling.

Moravian University Office of Spirituality and Inclusion: The Office of Spirituality and Inclusion centers around building community, honoring diversity, and engaging in spiritual dialogue. The chaplains provide opportunities for connection, personal growth, and confidential spiritual direction and counseling. This office is dedicated to creating space for meaningful conversations and relationships with students, faculty, and staff of all faith and non faith backgrounds. To contact the chaplains, please email borgerj@moravian.edu or oesterlel@moravian.edu or learn more by visiting moravian.edu/religious-life


If there are any accessibility concerns in relation to these protocols, students should contact asc@moravian.edu, and faculty or staff should visit the Human Resources website at moravian.edu/hr or call 610-861-1527.

 


* Many thanks to Duke University for sharing their guideline framework which informs our own.