Health & Safety Guide
The Moravian College 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 College’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 for Fall 2020 seen in the following pages of this document. Staff from the Moravian College 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, as well as the State of Pennsylvania’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania, and they will follow recommendations from the federal government (Opening Guidelines), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
In keeping with the commitment to be in compliance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Phased Strategies, Expectations, and Considerations for Safely Resuming In-Person Instruction in Pennsylvania, we are adhering to their checklist, which can be found here.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves guidance from public health authorities and CDC are likely to change. The College 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Runny nose or new sinus congestion
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Loss of taste or smell
If you have any symptoms, in addition to contacting your physician, you must:
- Report your symptoms to the Moravian College Health Center by emailing email@example.com. Emergency information can be found online.
- Wear a face mask to avoid possible virus transmission to others.
- Complete the Moravian COVID-19 survey within one hour of receiving it. The survey will be sent to your email, and the Moravian College Health Center will contact you shortly after you complete it.
- Self-isolate until cleared by Health Center staff to return to campus.
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
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Chronic lung disease
- 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.
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.
Once faculty and staff members have been instructed to return to work on-site, there are several options departments must consider to maintain required physical-distancing measures and reduce population density within buildings and workspaces.
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. See Building Access and Circulation for further details.
Personal Safety Practices
Face Masks/Face Coverings
Face masks or face coverings (either cloth or disposable) must be worn by all faculty, staff, and students on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other physical-distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common workspaces, meeting rooms, classrooms). Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical for minimizing risks to others near you. 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.
Keeping physical distance between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slow its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Faculty, staff, and students must follow these physical distancing practices:
- Stay at least 6 feet (about two arms’ length) from other people at all times
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
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.
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.
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.
Facilities Management, Planning and Construction (FMPC) teams will clean high-touch areas daily in addition to the overnight 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 must 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.).
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
FMPC teams will clean high-touch areas daily 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
If you must take public transportation or use Moravian shuttle buses, wear a mask before entering the bus and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as soon as possible and before removing your mask. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to walk or bike between campuses rather than take shuttles. Practice effective physical distancing where and when possible.
Working in Office Environments
If you work in an open environment, be sure to maintain at least 6 feet distance from co-workers. If possible, have at least one workspace separating you from another co-worker. You should wear a face mask or face covering at all times while in a shared workspace/room. Departments should assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to physically separate and increase the distance between employees, other coworkers, and customers. Such measures include the following:
- Place visual cues, such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs, to indicate to customers where they should stand while waiting in line.
- Place one-way directional signage for large open workspaces with multiple through-ways to increase the distance between employees moving through the space.
- Consider designating specific stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows.
If you work in an office, no more than one person should be in the same room unless the required 6 feet of distancing can be consistently maintained. If more than one person is in a room, masks/face coverings should be worn at all times.
Masks/face coverings should be worn by any faculty and staff in a reception/receiving area. Masks/face coverings should be used when inside any Moravian facility where others are present, including in narrow hallways where others travel and in break rooms, conference rooms, and other meeting locations.
Wear your masks in restrooms. Follow guidelines for physical distancing. The number of people in restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.
No more than one person may enter an elevator at a time. This restriction does not apply to individuals requiring special assistance. If possible, please use the stairs whenever possible. If you are using the elevator, wear your mask or face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Upon departing the elevator, wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.
Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using the extensive range of available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, Google Hangouts, telephone, etc.).
In-person meetings are limited to the restrictions of state orders and assume individuals can maintain 6 feet of separation for physical-distancing requirements. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support physical-distancing practices between attendees. All attendees should wear a mask or face covering while sharing space in a common room.
During your time on campus, you are encouraged to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors as needed by email, instant message, telephone, or other available technology rather than face-to-face. You can also use a range of available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.).
There will be more specific dining plans per location shared later. 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. Dining areas will have lower density based on the Tiered Reopening Plan for Fall 2020, and students, faculty, and staff should follow the posted dining guidelines specific to each location. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to take food back to their office area or dorm room or eat outside, if this is reasonable for your situation.
If you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain 6 feet distance between you and others. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Only remove your mask or face covering in order to eat, then put it back on. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in employee break rooms to support physical- distancing practices between employees. Wipe all surfaces, including the table, refrigerator handle, coffee machine, etc. after using in common areas.
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 College Counseling Center: During the academic year, the Counseling Center aims to enhance the mental wellness of the Moravian College 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 College students at no additional charge. To learn more, visit moravian.edu/counseling.
Moravian College 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or learn more by visiting moravian.edu/religious-life.
Building Access and Circulation
Moravian FMPC will designate which doorways and stairwells will be used for proper circulation and disease mitigation. Faculty, students, and staff should follow the signs located around the areas. Your Moravian ID card is required to enter all buildings. Please do not hold or prop open exterior doors for any other person for buildings with card restricted access.
Building occupants are expected to follow signage on traffic flow through building entrances, exits, elevator use, and similar common use areas.
If there are any accessibility concerns in relation to these protocols, students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.