(Updated July 16, 2020)
Employee Return to Campus – Multiphase Plan
NOTICE: NEW Adjustment to Multiphase Return-to-Campus Plan, Phase 3 (July 16, 2020) Phase 3 was adjusted to begin on July 20. (up to 75% of employees in any area).
(Posted May 14, 2020)
Under the direction of President Young, the Division of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness is closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result of Governor Abbott’s executive order of April 27 (GA-18) which laid out the plan for the reopening of Texas, we have developed a three-phase return-to-campus plan informed by guidance from state and federal officials.
This plan intentionally takes a phased approach so that we can learn from small, incremental movements towards a full return to work on campus. The percentages of employees that you will see associated with each phase are intended to set absolute maximums for the respective phase and are in no way, targets that must be reached. Any percentage below the maximum guidance is perfectly fine and the actual number of employees returning should reflect the unique needs of each Division or College and the employees that work there. Learn more about Texas A&M University’s return-to-campus plans listed below.
Plans for Texas A&M University
As is the nature with a phased plan, we will carefully monitor the effect of each phase and this guidance is subject to change along the way based upon what we learn. In developing this plan, we have adopted the following guiding principles:
- the health, wellbeing, and safety of all of our Aggie family members are key priorities;
- we are committed to supporting the mission of education and research and seek to maintain all university operations necessary to support mission-critical activities;
- we must remain committed to the Aggie core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service;
- to the extent possible, implementation of each phase of the plan should proceed only after careful evaluation to ensure that risks identified in each phase have been mitigated;
- adjustments to our phased return-to-campus plan will be made as changing conditions require; and
- employees who can effectively complete their work remotely may remain in their Alternate Work Location (AWL) status. Department heads may continue to approve AWL requests for employees in manner that addresses departmental needs and in accordance with System Regulation 33.06.01.
While the majority of University employees have transitioned to working remotely as COVID-19 reached our area, it is important to acknowledge that many essential workers continue to perform their duties on-site to sustain critical functions. We recognize and thank them for their significant efforts to support our great university.
PHASE 1: May 18 - May 31, 2020
PHASE 2: June 1 – June 30, 2020
PHASE 3: NEW: July 20 – August 31, 2020
- HIGH RISK POPULATIONS
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), certain health conditions may increase an individual’s vulnerability to the COVID-19 infection. Some vulnerable populations include:
- Persons 65 and older
- Persons with HIV
- Persons with moderate-to-severe asthma
- Persons with cancer
- Persons with chronic lung disease
- Persons with diabetes
- Persons with serious heart conditions
- Persons with chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
- Persons with severe obesity
- Persons who are immunocompromised
Employees who are instructed to return to work on campus and have concerns about doing so as a result of a medical condition that places them in a higher risk group, those who are caring for someone in a higher risk group, or those who are pregnant should consult with their manager and/or HR Liaison to discuss the feasibility of the employee continuing to work remotely. The employee’s specific medical information should not be shared with managers directly, but rather discussed with the departmental HR Liaison, to prevent unintended disclosure of Protected Health Information under federal law.
Flexibility from managers and employees is essential as we navigate the process of returning to the workplace. Extenuating circumstances expressed by employees should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. An employee (staff, faculty & student workers) who requires a reasonable accommodation should inform their manager and/or HR Liaison. Departments can find support for responding to ADA Reasonable Accommodation requests by contacting Employee Relations at Employee-Relations@tamu.edu or 979.862.4027.
- RETURN-TO-CAMPUS PHASES
- Current mode of operations (including remote work protocols) is in effect through May 17, 2020.
In every phase of this plan, managers/department heads are asked to establish room occupancy limitations to ensure a minimum of 6 feet distance between individuals. In addition, managers are asked to take into consideration those employees
- Whose job duties cannot be performed remotely
- Whose essential job duties can partly but not entirely be performed remotely
- Who are needed to work on-site based on managerial priority
- Who would be more productive on-site rather than working remotely
PHASE 1: May 18 - May 31, 2020
This Phase Not to Exceed 25% of Staff in Any Area
Current mode of operations (including remote work protocols) remains in effect for the majority of employees. In this phase, a small number of employees (not to exceed 25% of the workforce in a given physical area, inclusive of those already working on-site) may be asked to return to campus based on the unit’s operational needs and managerial discretion. Managers must provide advanced notice to employees outlining when the employee is expected to return (minimum of 2 business days of notice is recommended).
PHASE 2: Proposed June 1 – June 30, 2020
This Phase Not to Exceed 50% of Staff in Any Area
Remote work protocols continue for employees, where feasible. Depending on the results of Phase 1, a second group of employees may be asked to return to campus based on the unit’s operational needs and managerial discretion. The total number of employees on-site must not exceed 50% of the workforce in a given physical area, inclusive of those who have already returned to campus. Again, managers must provide advanced notice to employees outlining when the employee is expected to return (minimum of 2 business days of notice is recommended).
PHASE 3: Proposed July 1 – August 31, 2020
NOTICE: NEW Adjustment to Multiphase Return-to-Campus Plan, Phase 3 (July 16, 2020)
Phase 3 was adjusted to begin on July 20 (up to 75% of employees in any area).
Based Upon the Unique Needs of Each College or Division, This Phase May Include a Full Return to Work on Campus
Remote work protocols may continue for employees, where feasible. Depending on the results of Phase 2, all remaining employees may be asked to return to campus based on the unique needs of each college or division.
- INFECTION PREVENTION PROTOCOL
- In order to satisfy the requirements set forth by Governor Abbott’s executive order GA-21 as amended by GA-22, employees will be required to complete two TrainTraq courses* before returning to work on campus (regular worksite). This requirement also applies to employees who have continued to work onsite.
2114130: Protocol and Certification for System Member Employees
2114131: Safe Practices for Returning to the Office During the COVID-19 Pandemic
NOTICE: Spanish versions of the courses, are now available in TrainTraq:
2114163 : Protocolo y Certificación para Empleados Miembros del Sistem
2114165 : Practicas Seguras Para Regresar a la Oficina Durante la Pandemia de COVID-19
*Completing either the English or Spanish version will meet the assignment requirements to complete the courses.
- Return to campus when advised by their manager/department head
- Not come to campus when ill
- Self-screen daily for possible COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus. Consult the CDC’s online self-checker
- Frequently wash hands with soap and/or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
- Practice good respiratory etiquette by covering their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Maintain a minimum distance of 6-feet from other individuals
Managers/Departments Heads will:
- Develop and communicate their return-to-campus plan to each employee (considerations: jobs that can telework, jobs that must be performed in the office, flexible hours, alternating work days, etc.)
- Evaluate employee extenuating circumstances for returning to campus on a case-by-case basis
- Promote physical distancing with visual aids and/or markings (hallways, elevators, stairways, conference rooms)
- Evaluate meeting spaces to determine the maximum capacity based on a 6-foot social distancing requirement
- Use virtual meetings whenever possible and limit all in-person meetings and gatherings of faculty, students, staff, or others to 10 or fewer people
- Communicate social distancing and other expectations for common areas and individual interactions
- Leverage staggered shifts and lunch breaks
- Make adjustments to workstations to increase separation
- Implement one-way traffic patterns throughout the workplace where feasible
NOTICE: (Updated 6-24-2020) Texas A&M Face Covering Requirement
NOTICE: (Updated 7-2-2020) Supervisors should follow the COVID 19 Reporting Process. Texas A&M University implemented a new reporting process for students, faculty, and staff as outlined in an email message from Provost Fierke on July 20, 2020. Visit the COVID 19 Reporting Process webpage for all reporting guidelines.
NOTE: This new process has replaced the “Ill Employee Protocol Supervisor Checklist”.
Questions regarding the COVID-19 reporting process may be sent to COVID19Process@tamu.edu.
- EXTERNAL VISITORS
- Visitors may be invited to physically attend meetings at the university but they should be expected to observe State-wide guidelines related to social distancing, meeting size, face coverings, that are in place at the time of the visit.
- Updated Travel Guidance found here.
We encourage all employees to visit our website for Employment-Related Information Concerning COVID-19 including frequently asked questions.
For general guidance from the University, visit the Texas A&M’s coronavirus website.