Mount Union Colleagues, 
 
As we communicated earlier this month, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has launched a Responsible RestartOhio Plan aimed at restarting Ohio’s economy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This week, as part of this effort, the governor lifted Ohio’s Safe at Home Order, replacing it with the Urgent Health Order: Ohioans Protecting Ohioans. This new order offers strong recommendations related to safety in lieu of mandated directives.
 
In anticipation of these changes in Ohio’s approach to COVID-19, several planning groups have been busy developing protocols for the safe reopening of parts of campus. This includes preparations to ensure proper social distancing and thorough sanitation, as well as necessary protocols related to the use of face coverings, monitoring of symptoms, and limiting of congestion, among other details. Many thanks to those of you who provided feedback regarding your individual campus workspaces, thus assisting these planning groups in their efforts to meet the safety recommendations set forth by the state.
Safe Reopening of Campus
As a result of this careful and thorough planning, the University is prepared to open campus facilities while appropriately protecting your health and well-being by adhering to the safety measures put forth by the Responsible RestartOhio Plan. Thus, on June 1, the following Mount Union facilities will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. to align with summer hours (see below).
 
  • Beeghly Hall
  • Bracy Hall
  • Gallaher Hall
  • Gartner Welcome Center
  • Gulling Training Center
  • Hoover-Price Campus Center
  • Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center
  • McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex (Cicchinelli Fitness Center and Peterson Field House only)
  • Physical Plant

All other buildings on campus will be accessible by key access.

Supervisors, in consultation with their area vice presidents, will be developing staffing plans that will allow for these facilities to be open while offering the flexibility and adjustments needed to ensure the health and well-being of the members of our campus community. This may include staggered start times, rotating schedules, and remote work when possible. Please work with your supervisors and/or area vice presidents to determine how these plans will impact your daily work. Employees who have concerns about returning to work due to a medical condition that places them in a higher-risk group should speak with their supervisors or the Office of Human Resources.
Summer Hours
As we begin the safe reopening process, summer hours will begin on Monday, June 1, 2020 and continue through Friday, July 31, 2020. Offices will be open between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Staff may work between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to achieve their 8 hours per day, taking a half-hour lunch.
 
Summer hours may not be applicable to all offices and exceptions may apply to specific days. Please confirm with your direct supervisor or vice president.
Personal Safety Practices
When working on campus, you will need to abide by a number of measures related to symptom monitoring, face coverings, physical distancing, and personal hygiene.
 
Symptom Monitoring
Prior to arriving on campus for work each day, you must conduct symptom monitoring, including your temperature, and be free of any symptom potentially related to COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms , you should not physically be in offices or public spaces on campus. You should stay home, utilize sick leave, and not return to work until symptoms have resolved. Please reach out to your primary healthcare provider for assistance and be certain to call the provider BEFORE going to their offices.

A handful of infrared, touchless thermometers will soon be available on campus. In the coming days, we will announce details regarding how you can access these devices should you need to check your temperature or that of another while at work.
 
Face Coverings
Employees working on campus should be prepared to wear an appropriate face covering. You may supply your own face covering or secure one from your supervisor. Exceptions to this requirement include those listed below. If you believe that one of these exceptions is applicable to you and your work on campus, please discuss the exception with your supervisor or the Office of Human Resources before discontinuing the use of a face covering in the work setting.

  • An employee in a particular position is prohibited by a law or regulation from wearing a face covering while on the job
  • Wearing a face covering on the job is against documented industry best practices
  • Wearing a face covering is not advisable for health purposes
  • Wearing a face covering is a violation of a company’s safety policies
  • An employee is sitting alone in an enclosed workspace
 
Social Distancing
When working on campus, employees are expected to maintain appropriate social distancing. Please keep in mind Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for safe social distancing, which includes remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance of approximately six feet from others when possible.
 
Employees should continue the use of teleconferencing, groups chats, or live streaming as alternatives to in-person gatherings or meetings. You should also refrain from using the work stations and tools of others.
 
Personal Hygiene
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Employees working on campus should adhere to the following CDC recommendations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 or any type of illness.
 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Don’t share personal items such as water bottles.
Institutional Safety Protocols
As part of its planning efforts, the institution has or is in the process of taking the following steps to prepare for a safe reopening.
 
Cleaning
As is typically done during flu season, the University has increased the cleaning of common areas, door knobs, light switches, and other high-touch areas to protect against the spread of any contagious illness. As an additional safety measure, housekeeping staff members have been deep cleaning areas of campus during the COVID-19 crisis.
 
As we begin to reopen parts of campus, the Physical Plant housekeeping team will clean and disinfect occupied office spaces each day, Monday through Friday, before or after normal business hours. Restrooms and common areas will also be cleaned and disinfected each day. In addition to this daily building schedule, a member of the housekeeping team will return twice each day and disinfect high-touch areas including doorknobs, copier machines, elevator controls, bathroom counter surfaces, and other similar areas. 
 
The University uses a CDC-approved, hospital-grade disinfectant. Our cleaning practices follow all CDC and OSHA approved procedures. Please contact Regina Shellenberger, housekeeping supervisor, at (330) 823-7292, or Blaine Lewis, director of the Physical Plant, at (330) 823-7375 if you have any questions.  
 
Building Access and Occupancies
The University will limit the number of unlocked entrances of a facility to one. The location of unlocked entrances will be determined with input from the building coordinator and will be communicated to the campus community prior to June 1. In addition, the maximum occupancies of buildings and public spaces will be adjusted to reflect a 50% reduction of the current occupancy limits.
 
Facility Retrofits and Other Safety Measures
Necessary adjustments to workspaces have or will be made to ensure that appropriate safety measures can be met. This may include the following:

  • Physical barriers (plexiglass) in areas where six-feet of separation cannot be met
  • Office and classroom furniture arrangements that allow for proper social distancing
  • Visual cues, such as floor decals, to indicate to individuals where they should stand while waiting in line
  • Signage that promotes social distancing, safety guidelines, and appropriate hygiene
  • Hand sanitizer stations in key locations across campus
 
The institution will continue to work with building coordinators to understand additional safety needs above and beyond those listed above.
As our planning efforts unfold, we will keep the campus community up-to-date regarding progress. Additional communication will be sent later this week that will include a more detailed return-to-work guide. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit the  COVID-19 web page  on the Mount Union website for the latest news, tips, and resources.
 
We are eager to welcome everyone back to campus with a keen focus on protecting your health and well-being. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through the complexities of this continually-evolving public health crisis.
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