Health and Safety

All community members must work together to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure and infection. Employees should know, understand, and implement the information outlined on this site to reduce the risks of COVID-19 exposure and infection. 

Personal Hygiene Practices

All employees must follow recommended CDC hygiene practices including but not limited to washing hands for at least 20 seconds with (preferably) soap and water or, if washing is not practical, use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces; and covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Everyone must help stop the spread. Employees should wipe down all touch points (doorknobs, railings, work surfaces, light switches, coffeemakers, etc.) in personal workspace before starting work and at the end of the workday with soap and water or 60% alcohol-based product. When using shared equipment such as printers, copiers, and lab equipment, always wipe down prior to and after each use with a 60% alcohol-based product. In addition:

  • Soap and water for hand washing is available in all restrooms.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout campus (usually at all entrances). If you notice that dispensers are empty, please notify the Director of Facilities immediately at 610-409-3598.
  • Pump hand sanitizers, small bottles of hand sanitizer, and no-touch tools are available for use by faculty and staff at the administrative office area in each building.
  • Employees must wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with warm soap and water upon entering or prior to leaving the college, before and after breaks, after glove removal, etc.

Mask and Face Coverings and Other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Employees are required to wear a cloth mask or some type of cloth face covering at all times while on campus, except under conditions where that is impossible (e.g. during meals) or superfluous (e.g. within an employee’s personal office). This includes all public settings—classrooms, laboratories, studios, libraries, offices, hallways, public pathways, residence hall shared spaces, athletic facilities, and dining facilities. You can use your own or the college will provide one for you. Disposable masks are available at Campus Safety and designated locations in administrative and academic buildings. For instances in which seeing lips of faculty, staff or students is critical, face masks with clear sections should be used. Using a face shield without a cloth mask or face covering may not provide protection from the spray of respiratory particles. The college encourages everyone to bring additional masks or face coverings to ensure there is an adequate supply available at all times.

  • Your face must always remain covered – this includes your mouth and nose.
  • Follow these steps to wear your face covering or mask properly:
    • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering.
    • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
    • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
    • Make sure you can breathe easily.
    • Review the CDC guidelines here for further information.
  • Cloth masks should be washed daily. If using a cloth mask with a replaceable filter, the filter should be replaced daily. Review the CDC guidelines for more detail on daily mask care.
  • If you work in a laboratory, perform a hazard risk assessment of your work to determine if an alternative mask is required.
  • Individuals who believe they are unable to wear any type of face coverings due to a health condition or disability should contact their supervisor and Human Resources.Human Resources may require medical documentation and shall determine if an exception will be granted. If so, Human Resources will determine what alternative steps may be necessary to reduce the risk to the employee or others.

Additional PPE that employees may need depends upon the job or task. Employees should work with their supervisor and the Director of Environmental Health Safety & Risk Manager for assistance. Again, the college has masks available for employees and students but asks everyone to bring additional masks or face coverings to ensure there is an adequate supply available at all times.

Physical Distancing and Barriers/Shields

Employees must maintain physical distancing of 6 feet or greater inside and outside of buildings. This includes offices, classrooms, laboratories, hallways, restrooms, common areas and outdoor spaces. More specifically:

  • If a task or a specific activity such as lab work involves working with others in closer proximity than 6 feet, CDC guidelines and the specific precautions/practices put in place for the task or specific activity must be followed.
  • Physical distancing reminders implemented throughout campus may include sidewalk and floor decals, floor tape, and signage.
  • Entrances and exits of buildings may be controlled to minimize the number of occupants in hallways and stairwells and to maintain 6 feet physical distancing especially during class changeovers.Some spaces such as the dining hall and Lower Wismer will have new circulation patterns.
  • Elevators, restrooms, and other common spaces will be posted with occupancy limits.
  • Where physical distancing cannot be observed, barriers or shields will be installed. Each department along with Facilities has assessed and identified these areas. Employees should work with their supervisor to determine if a barrier or shield should be installed, if not already in place.
  • If an in-person meeting is required, physical distancing must be maintained, masks must be worn, and no more than 25 people should be present. The number of people permitted to be present may be lower. Check the latest PA mitigation orders to confirm. A location must be chosen where these requirements can be met. Virtual meetings are strongly encouraged.
  • Where 6 feet physical distancing cannot be maintained in restrooms, physical barriers will be placed where feasible or some sinks, showers, or toilets will be covered and unavailable for use.

“At-Risk” Employees

Employees who believe they (not their family members) are at higher risk of contracting and experiencing serious complications from COVID-19 if they return to work, despite the various precautions in this plan, must self-identify to the Human Resources office. Additionally, faculty must consult with the Dean’s Office and staff should consult with their supervisor. Human Resources will go through a formal reasonable accommodation process regardless of whether the risk factors are age, underlying medical conditions, or both, and work with the divisions to determine whether accommodations are possible. This may include working remotely or limiting time on campus. Just as important, if not more so, is that the college will work with divisions to allow for adequate support for returning employees to mentally prepare for these necessary workplace changes.

Additional FAQs

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