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Texas State University

Employees

Health, Wellness and Safety for Employees

As our valued employees continue their important work in support of both remote and face-to-face instruction at Texas State, these safety measures offer guidance for the workplace. The Roadmap also provides valuable resources for employees. 

Visit New Virus, New Habits: Bobcat Employee Training Guide for information on health and safety measures and resources. A guide to providing faculty and instructors with information on the operational status of the university, ensure training on health and safety measures, and facilitate planning for and implementing instructional activities in fall 2020 and beyond may be downloaded from the Faculty Guide webpage on the Office of the Provost’s website. 

Guiding Principles for Supervisors and Employees

The prioritization of health and safety, is essential and requires creativity in the workplace. Some services may be delivered remotely, some employees may have to work in the early morning hours while others work in the evenings, and some departments may need all employees present in order to fulfill their mission. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution – While divisional vice presidents have the discretion to make adjustments based on need, all supervisors are encouraged to work with their employees to adapt and remain flexible during the pandemic.

  • 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 Maintain University Operations

      • 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?

      ​​​​​​​Remember: The university must remain in operation from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday thru Friday. During those times, staff must be physically present to welcome visitors, and staff, whether in-person or remote, must be available to answer phone calls.

      • 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.

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) are scheduled to end 12/31/2020. After that time, employees should use their own accrued leave if unable to work due to COVID-19 related absences.

    For more information about Time and Leave, as well as Remove Work, Travel, and Insurance, visit FAQs for Faculty and Staff

  • University-Sponsored Travel

    The travel process and restrictions are as follows:

    • Domestic and international travel may be allowed with divisional vice president or Director of Athletics approval. Travelers are reminded to adhere to current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance.
    • Travel between the San Marcos and Round Rock campuses or the TSUS Office in Austin is still permitted and does not require pre-approval.  
    • Until further notice, travelers should only schedule 100% refundable future travel purchases. If you make travel purchases and do not have an approved Travel Request, the purchase will have to be paid personally.  If the travel is not a fully refundable purchase and it is later not approved, the purchase would not be reimbursable. 

    Personal Travel

    • Travel increases your chances of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Personal travel is not recommended at this time.  If you must travel, take steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, avoiding large crowds, physical distancing and washing your hands often. 
    • If you do travel for personal reasons, please follow our health and safety guidelines for mitigating COVID-19 transmission and consult the CDC guidelines for travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • If eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Wait 2 weeks after getting your second vaccine dose to travel—it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination.
    • All faculty, staff, and students should get tested for COVID-19 within a week of returning to campuses after traveling. Appointments can be made now for free testing on the San Marcos and Round Rock Campuses.  For testing locations in Texas, visit TX COVID-19 Test Collection Sites and Curative, Inc. Testing Sites. Free COVID-19 testing is available on both campuses
    • In addition to the above guidelines, the following information also pertains to international travel:
      • The CDC has issued a public health order requiring all international travelers flying to the United States beginning January 26, 2021 to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test obtained within 3 days of the flight departure date.  The COVID-19 test may be a PCR or antigen test.  Despite a negative COVID-19 test, international travelers will still be required to self-quarantine for at least seven days upon arrival to the United States. Specifically:
        • While in self-quarantine, practice socially distance from others, wear face masks when around others, and avoid all non-essential activities while in quarantine. 
        • You may leave quarantine in order to carry out essential activities (i.e., completing check-in and employment paperwork and getting a COVID-19 test). 
        • Get a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after returning to the United States. If the test is negative, then self-quarantine may end after seven full days. If a test cannot be obtained, then self-quarantine for ten days.  
        • Continue self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 and avoid being around others who are at increased risk for severe illness for fourteen days.  
        • Faculty and staff required to self-quarantine are expected to keep their supervisors informed of their situation.

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

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