University of Mount Olive is committed to protecting staff, faculty, and students as we work through COVID-19. Our top priority in all decisions is the health, safety, and well-being of our campus community.
Basic Information About the Disease
The novel coronavirus that has affected millions of people around the world is a new infectious pathogen that hasn’t been previously identified. People infected with this virus may have mild to severe symptoms and may spread the coronavirus to others even if they don’t have symptoms. The novel coronavirus is responsible for an acute respiratory syndrome called COVID-19 that affects the lungs and other organs.
Most people who have COVID-19 begin to show symptoms two to 14 days after they’re exposed to the novel coronavirus. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should stay home and seek health care:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat (secondary symptom)
If you are a faculty or staff member with any of the symptoms listed above, you should stay home, notify your supervisor and follow CDC guidelines to determine whether you should seek medical care.
Wear a mask. Wait 6 feet away. Wash your hands. Following these simple steps will help protect each other.
Your Responsibility to Campus
Every member of the UMO community has a vital role to play in reducing the spread of the new coronavirus and keeping our campus community safe. The good news is that you’re probably already familiar with these simple actions that can greatly reduce transmission of the disease.
Members of the campus community are expected to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others whenever possible.
Many campus buildings and spaces now have visible reminders encouraging physical distancing, such as, rearranged furniture and other barriers. Please follow the signs directing traffic flow through building entrances, exits, elevators and other common areas.
Wash your hands before and after meals and whenever you cough or sneeze. When you wash your hands, wash them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, you may use hand sanitizer. UMO has increased the number of hand sanitizer stations across campus.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow — not with your hands. Dispose of the tissue immediately and wash your hands. You should also avoid touching your face.
A face covering is an added layer of safety while in a public space. Face coverings are in addition to, not a substitution for, physical distancing, hand hygiene and staying home when sick.
Face coverings will be required to be worn by students, faculty, staff and visitors in all UMO buildings. This includes face coverings being worn at all times in classrooms and laboratories.
Face covering exceptions include private offices and residence hall rooms when alone or with a roommate. Individuals are also not required to wear a face covering when they are not in close contact with someone else, such as walking alone in an uncrowded outdoor location.
Everyone on campus is expected to carry a face covering at all times, in case they encounter an unforeseen situation where at least 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. Such situations are likely to occur in hallways, stairwells, elevators, restrooms, and break rooms, for example.
The University will provide face coverings in accordance with CDC guidelines. You can request a face covering from your immediate supervisor.
In some special circumstances, the University will make adjustments to campus safety standards on a case-by-case basis.
If you test positive for COVID-19, it’s vital that you let us know so we can support you and trace the disease’s spread.
How to Self-Report
If you test positive for COVID-19, or if you become exposed to someone who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, please notify the University’s HR office immediately.
Faculty and Staff
If you are faculty or a staff member, you should also contact the office of Human Resources for additional information on leave options, including options available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
As part of the institutional response to COVID-19, the University is committed to supporting employees who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you fall into any of the categories listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you are considered at increased risk of severe outcome from COVID-19 infection. This generally includes all individuals who are over the age of 65 and have the following health conditions:
- Chronic lung disease or severe asthma
- Heart conditions
- Severe obesity
- Liver disease
- Chronic Kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- Immune Deficiency
The process below describes the steps that employees should take to request accommodations related to COVID-19. This process aligns with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, as well as incorporates guidelines made by the CDC and state and local public health authorities. UMO will also consider employee requests for accommodations for other issues that may be impacted by COVID-19, such as a lack of available child care or living with an individual who may be at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Process for Accommodation Requests
Staff and Faculty member should initiate request with the office of Human Resources by completing the information on the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form.
Faculty or Staff member may need to provide necessary supporting medical documentation to the HR Director.
The HR Director will gather relevant information from the prospective employee and head supervisor. Medical information will not be shared with anyone
The request will be analyzed and appropriate accommodation will be determined.
HR Director will evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodation periodically.
If the request is not approved, the employee will be given other options.
Once they start, employees often learn that working remotely is different than they expected and that it requires specific skills and habits. The following tips will help you get to work while at home.
1.Define your workspace. It can be easy to sit on the sofa with your laptop and expect to get work done. Experienced remote workers will tell you they tried that and it simply doesn’t work! We are creatures of habit and most of us are used to lounging with our laptops to read the news, watch TV, play games and chat with friends and family. Establishing a workspace, even if it is your kitchen table, gives your brain a cue that it is time for work and not play.
2. Master the basics.
- Add your remote work schedule to your email signature line.
- Set up call forwarding and learn how to access your voicemail from home.
- Know how to remote into the network and other online tools you regularly use. Use Zoom or Google Hangouts to stay connected to colleagues.
- Plan for video calls/meetings by making sure you know how to turn on your computer’s camera and microphone and being aware that your colleagues may be able to see the background behind you.
3. Set daily goals, track them and share your progress. You may be surprised by how differently the work day passes without the comings and goings of an office to break things up or influence what you do next. Start each day of remote work by writing down what you need to achieve and then track your progress. Pay attention to how long tasks take you and start adjusting your daily goals to match your current rhythm. Communicate with your supervisor and/or colleagues if you think your remote work plan needs to be adjusted.
4.Eliminate distractions. If home is where your heart is then remote work can mean pets, children, or a favorite hobby are only a few feet away. Depending on your living arrangement, you may need to hang a “do not disturb” sign so your family members don’t interrupt you. Pets often need a closed door to keep them away and you might need headphones to block the neighborhood noise.
5.Prioritize privacy. Whether you are in your home or a common area, take five minutes to assess the privacy of your workspace. Can someone standing behind you read your computer screen? Are your windows open so your neighbor can hear your phone call? What information do you need to secure before grabbing a cup of coffee or heading to the restroom? Your personal privacy matters too, so see if there anything around you that would not want visible during a video conference with your boss.
6.Stay connected. Many people say they do not call or instant message colleagues who are working remotely because they don’t want to bother them. Remember, they are working, not vacationing at home! You should feel confident about calling or messaging an employee who is working remotely anytime you would walk to their office or call them if you were working on-site. You can even keep your daily coffee run – simply plan to call or video chat with a cup in hand at the time you would normally take a coffee break together.
7.Dress for work. Just like sitting on the couch can make us feel a little too relaxed, wearing pajamas all day makes it hard to get into work mode. Dressing casually is definitely a perk of working at home but getting “ready for work” is a daily ritual that many remote workers swear by.
The Information Technology department is available to assistance you. You can submit a support ticket via MyUMO> Support Ticket if you have any issues with your technology.
Effective March 21, 2020 through September 30, 2020, Cigna is increasing the available number of free sessions any EAP customer can use in response to the impact of COVID-19 on daily lives, at no additional cost:
The amount of EAP sessions available depends on the client’s existing EAP session model.
The customer will be told about the availability of another set of sessions, which can be accessed after the first set are used.
For EAP sessions models of more than 5 sessions, there is a maximum of ten sessions per issues.
For EAP clients that have a 1-10 session model in place, it is not possible to offer an expansion of sessions due to the legal guardrails for EAP short term counseling under ACA.
Click on link below to learn of additional services covered under the Employee Assistance Program.
Commonly Asked Questions
We expect all employees to report to work unless there is a legitimate reason for continued telework, such as an employee with a compromised immune system or caregiving responsibilities that prevent the employee from returning to the workplace temporarily. You should discuss your specific circumstances with Human Resources.
We are taking every precaution to ensure our workplace is safe. We are following federal health and safety guidelines as well as guidance from our state and local governments. We are implementing practices such as social distancing and requiring the use of masks to keep our workplace healthy.
Temporarily, we are staggering the work schedules to reduce the number of people coming and going at any particular time. Your supervisor will meet with you to discuss work schedules for your respective department.
All employees will be required to wear a mask while on campus. If you have a medical condition that restricts you from wearing one, please speak with Human Resources.
In order to promote social distancing in the workplace, some meetings will need to be restructured. You may be asked to attend an in-person meeting with limited attendees in a space that is large enough to allow for distancing between participants. In addition, some meetings will include a virtual option for employees to participate from their personal workspace. The meeting organizer and your supervisor can provide you with guidance specific to your role.
Despite all precautionary measures, there is always a risk of workplace exposure to communicable diseases. Should an employee contract COVID-19 and expose others in our workplace, employees who have been potentially exposed will be sent home and asked to telework for 14 days. A thorough cleaning of the workspace used by the infected individual will be conducted after the area has been closed off for at least 24 hours.
Employees are responsible for paying their portion of health insurance premiums that were missed while on unpaid leave. Employees have several options for paying these premiums including a lump-sum payroll deduction or a series of deductions spread over time. You will be contacted by Human Resources to make arrangements for these payments.