COVID-19: Message to Employees and Student Workers

COVID-19: Message to Employees and Student Workers

Sat Mar 14, 2020 at 09:41 AM

Dear Brazosport College employees and student workers,

The purpose of this communication is to provide further detail to Brazosport College’s employees and student workers about the College’s response and plans related to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

The safety of our students, employees, and community is our top priority. Therefore, as previously announced, Brazosport College will not hold classes Monday – Friday, March 16 – 20, 2020, to allow faculty and staff time to prepare for providing classes and services online or by reasonable alternative arrangements, in line with the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding social distancing. The campus will be closed to students and visitors the week of March 16th.  Employees are expected to report to work as outlined below.

  • All full-time faculty are expected to report to work on Monday by 9 a.m., regardless of normal teaching schedules. If full-time faculty cannot report, they should contact their division chair or the Dean of Instruction.

  • Part-time faculty (whether credit or non-credit) will be contacted later in the week by their supervisors regarding when and how they should report to work.

  • All full-time staff from the Director level and up should report to work as scheduled on Monday.

  • All other staff should communicate with their supervisor concerning their timeline for returning to work, either remotely or on campus.  If you work remotely, you will be asked to complete a daily work assignment form that provides detail about the work you completed and the time spent.  This form will be provided soon.  It should be submitted to your supervisor.  Supervisors may consider tasks for employees who are working remotely that benefit the College, but might be different than the employee’s normal duties and responsibilities.  Questions about remote work should be directed to the HR or the Vice President over the area.

  • If supervisors ask employees to work remotely, but the employee needs assistance in setting that up, supervisors should send a list of those employees to helpdesk@brazosport.edu and I.T. will open work orders.  Additionally, employees can download VPN capability at https://www.brazosport.edu/Assets/pdfs/it/globalprotect-vpn-install.pdf  All employees working remotely are cautioned to use best practices for I.T. security. This means not using software that has not been vetted, not putting sensitive data at risk, watching out for phishing e-mail schemes and other attacks, and protecting FERPA-protected student data and privacy issues.

  • College employees, including student workers, will be paid for their normal scheduled hours for the week of March 16th.  A memo on how time should be submitted for this week will be provided early next week.  The College will be conferring with the Board of Regents at their meeting on Monday about pay approvals for future weeks, if necessary.

  • All Brazosport College sponsored travel for students and employees, is cancelled until further notice.  If you have concerns about this cancellation, please contact your supervisor and the Vice President over your work area to discuss the matter.

  • The company that provides custodial services to the College (MBM) and BC will be cleaning and maintaining facilities using aggressive sanitization and hygiene protocols as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Employees are encouraged to also routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace (e.g., copy machine buttons, printers, etc.).

  • Tommy’s food service in the Commons and the Grille will be closed for the week of March 16th.  Employees who are working on campus are advised to either bring food or make other arrangements.  The Bookstore will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will have drinks and snacks for purchase.

  • Updates will continue to be provided via BC Announce emails, BC Alert, the BC website, and/or via the official BC social media sites.

For employees with school age children, we understand that most schools in the area are closed next week. We are asking employees to make every effort to find alternate care for your children so that you may report to work on Monday, March 16, 2020, so that we can prepare for providing classes and other services online. If employees are unable to report to work due to childcare issues, they should immediately contact their supervisor to discuss the situation and possible alternative work arrangements. 

Self-Disclosure of Illness or of Recent Travel

We request that any employee who feels ill to stay home and not come to work.  Please report your illness to your supervisor and HR as you normally would.  If you exhibit signs of illness at work, your supervisor will ask you to go home for the protection of the other employees.

We also request that any Brazosport College employee who has traveled to China, South Korea, Iran, or most of Europe (CDC classified Level 3 countries) or Japan (a Level 2 country) or has traveled to an area within the U.S. or outside of the U.S. known to have high concentrations of COVID-19 cases, to voluntarily disclose this information to Human Resources.  Prior to the employee returning to work, HR will contact you for follow up and discussion of next steps. Level 2 and 3 countries are defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Continued Monitoring and Communication

We realize that this situation is changing quickly every day. College administration is in frequent contact with or monitoring information from Brazoria County Office of Emergency Management, the Brazoria County Health Dept., the Texas Dept. of State Health Services, and other local, State, and Federal agencies to monitor the virus as it pertains to our region. The College will continue to follow recommendations from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO), and will assess any new information as it becomes available. The College will make informed decisions based on the facts received from local health department authorities.

The College will continue to update you with daily updates by 5:00 p.m., starting Monday, March 16, 2020.

As a reminder, WHO and CDC prevention guidelines include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw any used tissue away immediately and wash hands.

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.

  • If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.

Marshall S. Campbell
Vice President, Human Resources

Millicent Valek
President