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Texas State University

Employees

Health, Wellness and Safety for Employees

For accessibility purposes, content from what was previously the downloadable PDF "Employee Guide to a Healthy & Safe Workplace" has been published on this Employee webpage and other pages of the Roadmap website. Explore the Roadmap to view employee-related information. 

Summer II Classes will be held predominantly online

What that means for employees:

  • We do not expect all staff to return to full-time face-to-face work during the summer II session.
  • Offices that have been able to operate with minimal staff physically present on our campuses since the beginning of summer should continue to do so until we begin to ramp up for the fall semester in early August.
  • All units that normally provide face-to-face student services in the summer must continue to do so with appropriate modifications to enhance public health.
  • To limit the number of people in an area at a given time, supervisors are developing plans for alternating schedules including remote work opportunities, and/or work on weekends, early morning hours, late evening hours, or combination of these.

Fall 2020

We are planning for a return of face-to-face instruction and services in fall 2020.

Guiding Principles for Employees

Face Coverings Are Required

The prioritization of health and safety will require creativity in the workplace. Some services may have to be delivered remotely, some employees may have to work in the early morning hours while others work in the evenings, and some departments will need all employees present in order to fulfill their mission. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution – we must emphasize the need to be flexible.

  • Most of these adaptations will not be permanent, but we must adapt and be flexible in the short-term. When the pandemic passes, we will return to many of our traditional ways of doing things, having learned some new things and we will be stronger than ever.
  • To limit the number of people in an area at a given time, consider plans for staggered schedules where employees work remotely on some days, or portions of days, and/or on weekends, early morning hours, late evening hours, or a combination of these. 
  • Adapt with your employees’ physical and mental wellbeing in mind, communicating changes quickly to everyone involved.
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  • Guidance for Supervisors to Bring Teams Back to the Workplace

      • What do your customers, clients, or students expect from your office and how can you deliver?
      • What aspects of your operations require a physical presence to be completed?
      • What aspects of your operation can be completed remotely?
      • Can operations be performed with creative scheduling such as some employees working early morning hours, some late evening hours, or some on weekends?
      • How do you make equitable decisions about who works face-to-face and who works remotely?
      • What support does your team need to be successful?
      • What can you do to maintain employee morale?
      • What can you do to keep your employees healthy and safe while accomplishing the mission?
      • Be clear that we must continue to provide services, instruction, and support.
      • Reinforce that we must continue to provide services, instruction, and support because our students are depending on us for their education; we have made commitments to many grantors; student tuition and fees pay the salaries of most of our employees; the university plays a vital role in the local community, and has a significant impact on the entire Central Texas economy.
      • Discuss with employees the best work arrangements for your office.
      • Supervisors are expected to be flexible with those who have extenuating circumstances related to COVID- 19.
      • Great challenges, like a pandemic, call for creative solutions. Be open to feedback and ideas.
      • Take charge of the planning to best protect your employees and your customers. No one knows your office and responsibilities as well as your own team.
      • Consider employee preferences, performance, duties, circumstances, and strengths in operational plans.
      • To limit the number of people in an area at a given time, consider plans for staggered schedules where employees work remotely on some days, or portions of days, and/or on weekends, early morning hours, late evening hours, or a combination of these.
      • Prepare a back-up staffing plan in case one employee or more has to self-quarantine (e.g., cross-train staff, share lesson plans with a colleague, or create a roster of trained back-ups).
      • Communicate your plan transparently. Give employees time to ask questions, make suggestions, or share concerns on an ongoing basis.
      • Acknowledge that plans will need to be flexible and will likely change.
      • Increase capacity and implement schedule changes slowly, when possible, with a focus on being ready for fall operations while allowing time to build and test new protocols in your unit.
      • Check in with your team to see what problems arise as your plan is put into practice. Assess solutions as a team. Meet with your employees more frequently than normal using Teams to ensure lines of communication stay open.
      • Adapt with your employees’ physical and mental wellbeing in mind, communicating changes quickly to everyone involved.
  • Taking care of yourself is important, now more than ever. Access the multiple resources available to you as an employee to help  you stay well and cope with  the additional stress the pandemic may have brought on.

    • Bobcat Balance, an employee assistance program, offers you and members of your household various free and confidential services and resources to help you through life’s challenges.
    • Bobcat Balance also provides perspectives on pandemic-specific supervisor topics. Access mental health and wellbeing benefits from HealthSelect, including Virtual Visits.
    • Live. Work. Be well. Manage every aspect of your wellness with WellCats, the Texas State Employee Wellness Program.
    • Additional resources include: Supporting Your Well-Being during Times of Change and Uncertainty, available FREE via LinkedIn Learning.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

    • Effective April 1 through December 31, 2020
    • All Texas State employees, including part-time faculty, staff, and students are eligible if their situation meets certain requirements. The Act provides:
    • FFCRA for Texas State Employees Details
  • Faculty and staff in a high risk group may apply for additional workplace modifications at https://www.sdi.txstate.edu/COVID-19-Workplace-Modification-Request.html. Faculty and staff directly involved in the instructional programs should apply for the modifications for the fall semester by August 1. If an individual feels that additional circumstances warrant consideration, they should discuss these arrangements with their supervisor or chair/director. Provost Bourgeois has recently encouraged faculty to submit requests by July 15.

  • All faculty, staff and enrolled students are encouraged to contact the Student Health Center to report if they have tested positive for SAR-CoV-2 or have been notified they are a close contact to a positive case.  Case investigators/contact tracers will assess the situation and determine what additional measures may be necessary to address any other potential exposures on campus. Faculty or supervisors with questions regarding a COVID-19 situation in their class or department may also contact the Student Health Center for advice on precautionary measures by calling 512-245-2161 or e-mailing healthcenter@txstate.edu.

    All faculty, staff and students with possible symptoms of COVID-19 or notification that they are a close contact to a positive case may seek evaluation and testing at the Student Health Center. The evaluation begins with a telehealth visit with a medical provider. If the medical provider determines the individual needs testing, they will advise them to come into the health center. Tests are administered on site and results are generally available within 48-72 hours. You should assume your test is positive and self-isolate while awaiting test results. If the test is positive, the medical provider will advise the individual of the isolation requirements. Information will be obtained to begin contact tracing. There is a team of 8 trained contact tracing professionals who will contact individuals who have been exposed to a positive case, provide information on quarantine or isolation and recommendations for testing. 

    Dr. Carranco, the chief medical officer for Texas State University, maintains regular contact with the local public health department and monitors guidance provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services, the CDC, and public health and infectious disease experts to notify campus leadership of any changes that may need to be considered. Results from testing at the Student Health Center are shared with the county public health department. To date, all individuals testing positive at the Student Health Center have acquired the virus in the community, not through a campus contact. Most cases result from exposure to infected family or friends.

    Texas State does not publish information about positive cases or case investigations due to its legal obligation to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals involved. State and Federal laws prevent disclosure of confidential medical information. If through testing and contact tracing, it is determined that a cluster of positive individuals may have acquired the virus on campus, then Dr. Carranco, in consultation with local public health authorities, will inform the community with a campus announcement.  


*Information provided in the Roadmap may change or be updated as needed to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation.

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