Dear Salem Academy and College Employees,
We are writing to provide you with an update regarding plans for employees to begin re-entering campus.
IMPORTANT CHANGE: Phase 1 will begin June 1, 2020.
In preparation for the measured reopening of North Carolina, the COVID-19 Taskforce has developed the attached AMENDED three-phased Spring 2020 Re-Entry Plan for Salem Employees in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. As you will note, Phase 1 of the Salem Re-Entry Plan has been amended to now begin on Monday, June 1, 2020 (not May 18) and additional information has been added throughout the document concerning the process for phased re-entry. Please read the amended document in its entirety. Salem Faculty and Staff can get detailed documents on my.salem.edu; use the main menu: “Services” → “HR Payroll & Benefits Home” → “COVID-19 HR Repository - Information, Updates and Memos”.
The COVID-19 Taskforce has decided to delay the start of Phase 1 by two weeks for multiple reasons:
The Taskforce received some questions and concerns this week on an individual basis and during training provided for campus supervisors as part of our Phased Re-Entry Plan preparations. This feedback was both welcome and appreciated. We understand that some employees are afraid to return to the workplace at this time and also that supervisors would benefit from additional time to confer with their employees, plan for staggered scheduling, and make workplace adjustments pursuant to the Phased Re-Entry Plan. We want supervisors and employees to be prepared and comfortable with this next step to the greatest extent possible, and we understand that additional time will support this process. In the coming week, Human Resources will be offering a special training for employees to share the steps Salem has taken to prepare our campus for re-entry, to discuss COVID-19 prevention and expectations in the workplace, and to answer employees’ frequently asked questions about re-entry.
Current data surrounding an uptick in COVID-19 infections this week in Forsyth County and guidance from Dr. Christopher Ohl, Infectious Disease Expert with Wake Forest Baptist Health, also contributed to the decision to delay the start of Phase 1 by two weeks.
This delay gives the Physical Plant more time to acquire additional supplies such as disinfectant wipes and sanitizer for use by employees and to provide an opportunity for new directional signage to be added across campus concerning the use of elevators, conference rooms, bathrooms, and other shared spaces in response to the pandemic.
During this unprecedented time, we are committed to making data informed decisions with the safety and health of our Salem community in the forefront of our minds.
NOTE: One of the reasons that May 18, 2020 was originally chosen for the beginning of Phase 1 was to allow college faculty and staff members in student facing departments who typically work the academic calendar and are away from campus during the summer months the opportunity to return to campus if they wished to finalize grading and make preparations or pack items that they may need for the summer months. Should members of the College faculty and staff who work the academic calendar need to come to campus prior to the new start of Phase 1 for these purposes, we will allow this to the extent possible on a case-by-case and scheduled basis. Please contact Emily Young via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your plans. The aim is to avoid having too many people return to campus at the same time so that we can ensure safe distancing and so that the Physical Plant staff can clean spaces properly after re-entry by any person or group. Should your plans for re-entering campus present a problem and require rescheduling, HR will notify you after receiving your proposed schedule. Please continue to notify public safety when you arrive and when you leave. The Academy facility remains closed until June 1; Academy supervisors with an essential need to access the Academy facility must get approval through the Head of School. Also, Academy and College student move-out will not be affected by these changes to Phase 1.
Again, we thank you for your continued flexibility, cooperation, and patience as we work together in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On behalf of the COVID-19 Taskforce