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COVID-19 Updates: Stay Informed


Planning for SDSU Employees’ Performance of Work Duties On-Site

The first priority for planning is to appropriately resume SDSU operations and restore employee productivity in a safe and effective manner. This is a phased approach to re-entry to on-site work. Not all employees will return to physically located worksites June 1, 2020. However, all employees must be restored to deploying designated work duties in a satisfactory manner to support university operations as set forth herein and in the referenced guidelines and plans.

This is a fluid situation and changes in the pandemic phases, health guidance and SDSU guidance will require flexibility in the designation of employees working remotely or at physical on-site locations. Based on the course of the pandemic, SDSU may determine that it must cease, draw down or increase on-site operations or change how on-site operations are managed. Supervisors must monitor the guidance, direction provided by SDSU and the performance of employees, and revise operational plans and the deployment of employment duties accordingly.

Supervisors must review the guidance cited herein and plan their operations accordingly and consider the unique needs of the unit and its programs or responsibilities. Deans and department heads should approve the plans and submit a copy to the vice president or president responsible for the unit prior to its implementation. Please work closely with Facilities and Services, Information Technology, Environmental Health and Safety, and Human Resources as you make plans, decisions and priorities moving throughout the pandemic phases. Refer to the guidance provided by each planning area when building your employment planning.

  • Work with SDSU Facilities and Services (F&S) to determine physical location space restrictions, directional flow needs and signage, acquisition of needed equipment such as sneeze guards, custodial services scheduling or cleaning supplies, and supplies such as hand sanitizer to reopen offices to employees or the public. Please note that F&S will be distributing disinfectant spray and quarter fold towels to campus departments so that your areas can be cleaned as needed. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed in many of the building entrances and F&S will continue to install additional stations as they become available. Individual hand sanitizer bottles will also be available to departments as F&S receives them. 
  • Work with Information Technology (IT) to obtain technology services, support and equipment necessary for any continued remote operations or on-site work.
  • Work with Human Resources (HR) for support for supervisors, employees and units with personnel questions, assistance with requests for continued remote work, leave and other employment-related special situations.
  • Work with other functional designated areas, such as Academics, Finance and Administration, Athletics, Student Affairs and other areas and review their planning guidance documents to assist in the parameters applicable to employment planning.

In order to develop and implement your employment planning, please review the following factors and address how employment duties will be deployed. These plans must be approved by the applicable dean or department head and a copy submitted to and on file with the applicable vice president or president prior to implementation. 

Step 1: Functional Operations

Determine the functional operations that will be deployed by your unit or program. Determine how they must be structured to operate under the current pandemic phase and SDSU guidelines. This planning sets the operational foundation for what employment duties need completed and how.

Step 2: Determining Positions Designated for On-Site or Remote Work

Review all positions within your unit and determine which employees are currently working remotely and which are currently working as essential employees on-site. There may be an opportunity for individuals to continue, begin or stop working remotely as appropriate and as aligned with the unit’s operational functions and the SDSU guidance. Supervisors should address these planning considerations.

  1. Are any employees currently receiving COVID-19 related administrative leave because they cannot work remotely?
    1. If yes, review each position and determine how to return these employees to work:
      1. On-site pursuant to South Dakota Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and SDSU guidelines; OR
      2. Determine how they can successfully perform their employment duties remotely. If it is anticipated that remote work would continue beyond 30 days, submit a Telecommute Request Form, obtain its approval by the applicable supervisor and file approval information in the plan with the applicable vice president or president and provide any equipment necessary for the completion of work duties in accordance with SDSU protocols; OR
      3. Alternative work that can be completed through the SDSU Works or other realignment process, which is either on-site or approved satisfactorily approved remote work.
  2. Factors to consider:
    1. Which positions or employees are less able to perform work remotely?
      1. Highest administrative leave hours used?
      2. Need for on-site processing of work or high volumes of physical records?
      3. Individuals or positions that need higher levels of oversight or structure?
    2. Physical changes to the on-site work environment
      1. Guidance on screening or testing individuals on campus
      2. Facility, office, workstation and furniture spacing and changes
      3. IT requirements or support needed
      4. Sneeze guards or other protective barriers
      5. Signage
      6. Guidance for traffic flow and spacing
      7. Shared spaces—break rooms, conference and collaboration spaces, restrooms, stairwells, etc.
        1. Capacity limitations based on size
        2. Cleaning protocols and scheduling
    3. Client, customer and other individual-facing employees 
      1. Limits for customer and employee count for the facility
      2. Size of office to provide for social distancing guidelines
      3. Tracking and maintaining appropriate volume
      4. Screening requirements
      5. Appointment scheduling requirements and/or processes
      6. Personal protective equipment needs
        1. Requirements (mandatory/permissive)
        2. Availability
        3. Training
      1. Staging hours to control population density
        1. Coordinating across the location between departments and agencies
        2. Office time requirements
        3. Determine full return date
      2. Cleaning
        1. Deep clean requirements prior to return
        2. Special protocols during work hours
        3. Accountability for ongoing completion
        4. Product accessibility

    Step 3: Special Considerations

    There are some special considerations to keep in mind while developing and building employment plans:

    • SDSU guidelines implementing CDC and SD DOH guidance will continue to be updated.
    • Employees must be trained on, and reminded of, the guidance and requirements for SDSU’s COVID-19 pandemic related protocols.
    • High-risk employees and those with high-risk family members in their household may request continued to work from home. In addition, individuals with COVID-19 related child care needs may request FFRCA leave and use annual leave after that leave is no longer available. Administrative leave is not available for such requests. Individuals should work with their supervisor and HR for these requests, which are reviewed on a case-by-case basis with HR for approval or denial in accordance with those governing provisions. Request for Remote Work Location Due to COVID-19 or Telecommuting Request Form.
    • Visitor and group activity restrictions SDSU remain in place as set forth in the SDSU guidance.
    • In-state travel may be resumed on a limited basis in accordance with the SDSU Motor Pool guidance where it is crucial to the execution of projects and delivery of services. However, employees should be aware of the situation in the destination county, the facilities in which the work will be performed, follow the location’s applicable guidance, and have the proper PPE. Out-of-state travel should be approved only if necessary.
    • When SDSU employees test positive for COVID-19, work with HR to determine the need for notification and process for other employees continuing to work. A standard notification document has been developed for use. Most employees, even those identified as close contacts, may be able to continue to some method of work, depending upon the situation. 
    • Everyone must continue to abide by the emergency operating protocols, including those related to door access and other instructions.

    Step 4: Adjust Plans for an Evolving Situation

    There will be events that require you to revise your Step 1 through 3 planning above. Some are certain, such as students returning to campus for the fall 2020 academic semester. Others are less certain, but highly possible, including:

    • Changes in SDSU guidance;
    • Outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus on campus or in the Brookings or physical worksite community;
    • Changes in supply chains;
    • Demands for services less than or greater than anticipated;
    • Shifts in campus resources; and
    • Unforeseen issues

    After completing Steps 1 through 3 for the June 1 return to work, immediately begin planning for students’ return to campus. Determine what, if any shifts in workspace, work schedules, personnel duties, technology needs, demand for in-person work or other personnel reallocation needs should be planned for and draft these plans. Submit plans according to approval requirements. Continue to communicate with your employees and stakeholders as appropriate.

    • Additional guidance will be available as the situation evolves.