Effective August 21, 2020
Revised February 9, 2021
Pitzer College has worked diligently to prepare for the Fall 2020 semester. The primary goals for Pitzer’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic are to protect health, safety and wellbeing of our community members, and to continue the institution’s vital mission of educating engaged and socially responsible citizens of the world.
These protocols are aligned and consistent with orders and guidance from the City of Claremont, Los Angeles County, and the State of California’s phased reopening. Recent state and county guidance encourage telework “as much as possible” during current conditions. As a result, the number of faculty and staff who are working on campus this semester will be extremely limited. These protocols focus on the measures that are necessary to secure a safe work environment for those who are working on campus and provide guidance for those who are working remotely.
In compliance with public health orders and recommendations, Pitzer has safeguards in place such as: face coverings, gloves (where required), physical distancing signage, enhanced sanitizing and deep cleaning procedures and building entry procedures. Pitzer will also be implementing enhanced cleaning and space modifications depending on the office locations and schedules of the faculty and staff who are returning to campus this fall.
Finally, in support of Pitzer’s core value of environmental sustainability, and in addition to many of the sustainable buildings, systems and practices already in place, and cleaning and sanitary supplies and products continue to be green certified. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department’s understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, and our policies and plans will be updated as appropriate as more information becomes available.
Acknowledgement of Workplace Health and Safety Protocols
This guide provides important information for our Fall 2020 semester. Please read the following carefully and acknowledge your receipt and agreement to comply with the provisions of this document.
Health and Safety: In order to achieve a safe return to work, we will need to observe strict guidelines that will result in significant changes to the work environment for all of us whether we are working remotely or on campus. The College needs and expects our community members to demonstrate respect and consideration for those around them and to uphold the community-based health and safety standards set forth in these Workplace Health and Safety Protocols Everyone must comply with health and safety laws, orders, ordinances, regulations and the health and safety guidance adopted by the College as it relates to this public health crisis.
These Protocols will evolve as the public health crisis evolves and will continue to include social distancing expectations, limitations on mass gatherings, wearing a face covering, contact tracing, disinfection protocols, limitations on campus visitors, and quarantine / isolation requirements.
Adherence to health and safety requirements applies to all staff, faculty and visitors (if applicable) and extends to all aspects of our campus work environment. Failure to comply may compromise the College’s ability to provide a safe environment for, faculty and staff, may result in the suspension of some or all in-person activities on our campus, and may have consequences for those individuals who do not comply. In order for us to have a safe and successful experience, we all need to observe these protocols carefully.
Pitzer will not retaliate against any employee for reporting symptoms or health hazards, or taking advantage of any benefits available to them under these protocols.
Return to the Workplace
Remote Work: The current Los Angeles County Safer at Home order advises remote work “as much as possible.” The order further provides that faculty and other staff may come to campus for the purpose of providing distance learning as well as maintaining minimum basic operations.
With this in mind, the College expects that all faculty and staff will work remotely unless they (1) have been notified by their supervisor that they are needed on campus to tend to essential tasks, or (2) have made arrangements with their supervisor and area Vice President to work on campus in some capacity (this includes faculty who have made arrangements with the Dean of Faculty to teach classes and/or conduct other essential activities from an on-campus location).
Training: Pitzer requires all employees who need to work on campus to view a short COVID-19 training video produced by CalOSHA. Additional training on policies and procedures specific to Pitzer will also be provided on an ongoing basis.
Intermittent Campus Activity: Faculty and staff may have occasional need to come to campus to retrieve an item or perform limited work that cannot reasonably be done remotely. In those cases, arrangements should be made with the immediate supervisor so that the College can monitor the number of employees on campus at any given time and address any potential safety concerns.
The College asks all employees to complete the Health Screening Questionnaire described below to provide information for facilities planning purposes – utilities (cooling), cleaning schedules, and trash/recycling removal. Planning is important to limit cooling spaces unnecessarily for utility cost and energy savings. Please note that in an effort to protect our facilities and custodial employees their work is being carefully scheduled based on-campus usage as indicated in this questionnaire.
Campus Safety:With all of the Claremont Colleges online this semester, Campus Safety will be patrolling regularly to ensure the safe condition of our property. Therefore, the College will be keeping Campus Safety informed about general campus usage by faculty and staff to assist their officers with their work.
The College recognizes that more employees on campus necessitates more support from staff in departments like Facilities and IT. In order to minimize the health risk associated with on campus presence, the College strongly encourages all faculty and staff to minimize their time on campus.
Scheduling and Time Off Requests
Alternative Work Arrangements: Speak with your supervisor to discuss options for alternative work arrangements (see Emergency Telecommuting Policy). Your supervisor will contact a Human Resources team member to determine viable options for accommodating your request. Supervisors and Human Resources will consider requests on a case-by-case basis.
Time Off: If you have been instructed to return to work on campus, you believe you cannot do so, and remote work is not available, discuss the situation with your supervisor or a Human Resources team member. If you cannot return to work on campus due to COVID-19 related reasons (including concerns about your own health, members of your household, or to care for dependent children due to a school or day care closure) you may be eligible for leave time with or without pay. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Non-COVID-19 Leaves of Absence: If you need to be away from work on a temporary basis either continuously or intermittently for a reason not related to COVID-19, please contact Sara Clark in Human Resources for assistance at [email protected] or (909) 607-9949 (leave a message).
Higher Risk Groups
According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. Those conditions shall be found here.
Individuals in higher-risk categories should be especially cautious about working on campus. If you are part of a higher risk group and are asked to return to campus work or otherwise need to work on campus, please contact your supervisor or Human Resources.
Reasonable Accommodations: As is the case with disabilities or other health conditions under applicable law, Pitzer is committed to providing reasonable accommodations, including those necessitated by COVID-19. Any employee who wishes to discuss potential accommodations for any COVID-19 related reason should contact Sara Clark in the Office of Human Resources at (909) 607-9949 or [email protected]. Accommodations may include arrangements such as remote work, an alternative work schedule or location, modified job duties, and/or leave time.
Business Travel: The prevalence of COVID-19 infections varies widely in different geographic regions within the United States and around the world. As a result, all business travel is suspended until further notice to reduce the chances of exposure in our community.
Personal Travel: For the same reasons, personal travel presents an unknown risk. If you plan to travel, the College asks that you exercise extreme caution and abide by all applicable travel and quarantine restrictions. Please confer with your supervisor or Human Resources if you have any concerns about returning to the on-campus work environment following your travel.
International Travel: Pitzer expects that you not come to work on campus for 14 days after returning from international travel. You must self-isolate and take the following steps to monitor your health before you can return to work on campus:
- Take your temperature with a thermometer two times per day (one in the morning and once in the evening) and keep a log to monitor for a fever. Also watch for any of the symptoms listed above.
- Stay home and avoid contact with others and public transportation.
- Observe physical distancing of six feet.
- If you develop COVID-19 related symptoms, follow the instructions in the corresponding section above.
Hamilton Health Box – On-Campus Medical Assistance
Pitzer has contracted with Hamilton Health Box (HHB) to assist the College with a number of workplace health initiatives including symptom monitoring/screening, testing, contact tracing, and quarantine and isolation processes. HHB has opened a private, temporary clinic site in West Hall, room Q222, and Pitzer has a full-time nurse dedicated to our campus. General information about HHB’s services can be found here and you can contact Pitzer’s HHB nurse (River Santee, 909 607-2180; [email protected]).
Daily Symptom Screening for Campus Visits
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health requires symptom screening each day as a condition of entering the workplace and Pitzer has developed a Health Screening Questionnaire through the Qualtrics platform that must be completed every time an employee or visitor comes to campus. This screening uses a smart phone app that will direct the user to the screening form. The form includes questions about recent health, possible symptoms, and potential exposure to COVID-19.
If answers on this screening form indicate the possibility of COVID-19 infection or exposure, the individual will be directed to leave campus and seek care, and an auto-generated message will be delivered to Pitzer’s HHB nurse for appropriate follow-up. The College will periodically review the campus access data for the sole purpose of checking that the link is being used by campus visitors to ensure compliance with county-mandated public health protocols. Information collected from the screening form will be confidential and the privacy of individuals providing information will be safeguarded. For individuals who do not use a smartphone, information about completing the questionnaire can be found here.
Symptom Monitoring and Case Reporting
In addition to the College’s screening protocol, if any of the following apply, stay home from work and contact your supervisor or Human Resources.
- You have COVID-19 related symptoms.
- You tested positive or have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- A member of your household has symptoms or you have been exposed to or are living with someone who has tested positive or has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
If you experience symptoms while at work
- Immediately notify your supervisor and/or a Pitzer’s HHB nurse (909 607-2180; [email protected]) by phone or email. To prevent potential exposure of others, you may be asked to go home until you have been approved to return to work.
- Call your healthcare provider immediately for specific instructions regarding the appropriate treatment plan for your symptoms.
Supervisors who learn of any of the above circumstances should contact Pitzer’s HHB nurse immediately.
Quarantine, Self-Isolation, Contact Tracing, and Return to Work: In any of the circumstances described above, Pitzer’s HHB nurse will determine next steps for isolation, quarantine, and contact tracing, if necessary.
Supervisors should not notify the employee’s co-workers. It is important to allow the trained staff to make these notifications as needed to gather important information about potential exposure and determine appropriate next steps. Pitzer’s HHB nurse will coordinate the employee’s return to work plan. Information regarding symptoms, diagnoses, or positive tests will be kept confidential beyond Human Resources and HHB staff who will use such information only for contact tracing and return to work planning.
According to CalOSHA guidelines, Pitzer will observe the following return-to-work criteria, in collaboration with your healthcare provider:
- COVID-19 cases with COVID-19 symptoms will not return to work until all the following have occurred:
- COVID-19 symptoms have improved and at least 24 hours have passed since a fever of 100.4 or higher has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- At least 10 days have passed since COVID-19 symptoms first appeared.
- COVID-19 cases who tested positive but never developed COVID-19 symptoms will not return to work until a minimum of 10 days have passed since the date of specimen collection of their first positive COVID-19 test.
- A negative COVID-19 test will not be required for an employee to return to work.
- If an order to isolate or quarantine an employee is issued by a local or state health official, the employee will not return to work until the period of isolation or quarantine is completed or the order is lifted. If no period was specified, then the period will be 10 days from the time the order to isolate or quarantine was effective.
For more information regarding self-isolation standards from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, see below.
In all cases, follow the guidance of your healthcare provider.
Pitzer will begin testing in the Spring 2021 semester for those faculty and staff who are working on campus. The testing process will be administered by Hamilton Health Box. More information about screening tests can be found here and Pitzer will be sharing additional information about the testing protocol in the near future.
Health & Safety Guidance
Personal Safety Practices
Face Masks/Coverings – Required: As of June 18, 2020, the State of California has issued strict guidance requiring face coverings in “high risk” situations, including any time that you are:
- Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space;
- Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:
- Interacting in-person with any member of the public;
- Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;
- Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;
- Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
- In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance.
- While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.
Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. As a result, all employees are expected to abide by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health requirements regarding face coverings:
The covering is to be worn by the employee at all times while on campus when in contact or likely to come into contact with others. Employees need not wear a cloth face covering when the employee is alone in a private office or booth or a walled cubicle with a solid partition that exceeds the height of the employee when standing.
It is also important to note face masks and coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing. If you need a reasonable accommodation to the face mask/covering requirement (including circumstances involving individuals with hearing impairments), contact Human Resources before arriving on campus. In the event you forget your own face mask, contact the Facilities Department (909 607-2226).
Using and Caring for Face Masks/Coverings (CDC Guidelines)
Putting on the face covering/disposable mask:
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before handling the face covering/disposable mask.
- Ensure the face-covering/disposable mask fits over your nose and under your chin.
- Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face covering/disposable mask.
Taking off the face covering/disposable mask:
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face covering/disposable mask.
- When removing the face covering/disposable mask, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
- Wash your hands immediately after removing.
Care, storage and laundering:
- Keep face coverings/disposable masks stored in a paper bag when not in use.
- Cloth face coverings should not be used more than one day at a time and must be washed after use. Cloth face coverings should be properly laundered with regular clothing detergent before first use, and after each shift. Cloth face coverings should be replaced immediately if soiled, damaged (e.g. ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated.
- Disposable masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash after your shift or if it is soiled, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material) or visibly contaminated.
For additional information:
Physical Distancing: Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Physical distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Staff and faculty at work on-campus should follow these physical distancing practices:
- Always stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people
- Do not gather in groups
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
Handwashing: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.
In addition, hand sanitizer stations have been placed in high-traffic lobbies.
Gloves: Individuals in higher-risk areas should use gloves as part of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), but according to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks.
Goggles/Face Shields: Staff and faculty do not need or are required to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus. Good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient for non-healthcare environments. However, if anyone chooses to wear googles or face shields will up to their discretion and cost.
Personal Disinfection: While the College is conducting classes remotely, employees who are working on campus are expected to clean individual offices and workspaces based on CDC guidelines. Facilities staff will remove trash three times per week. Additional care should be taken to wipe down commonly used surfaces. This includes any equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.). For shared space locations (i.e. conference rooms), you should wipe down all work areas with EPA-registered 60% alcohol solution when you enter and before you leave. The College will provide wipes upon request to the Facilities department (909 607-2226).
Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene: If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Then throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Flu shots and COVID-19 Vaccinations: Pitzer strongly encourages faculty and staff who are working on campus to get a flu shot and when available, the COVID-19 vaccine, unless contradicted by personal medical conditions.
Guidance for Specific Workplace Scenarios
Public Transportation: If you must take public transportation, wear a mask before entering the bus/train and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible and before removing your mask.
Working in Office Environments: If you work in an open environment, be sure to maintain at least 6 feet distance from co-workers. If possible have at least one workspace separating you from another co-worker. Offices should assess open work environments and meeting rooms and work with Facilities to institute measures to physically separate and increase distance between employees, other coworkers, and customers. Some of the measures may include:
- Visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate to guests where they should stand while waiting in line.
- One-way directional signage for large open workspaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between staff and faculty moving through the space.
- If you work in an office, no more than one person should be in the same room unless the required 6 feet of distancing can be consistently maintained.
- Do not congregate in any area, but especially in high traffic areas such as bathrooms, hallways, and stairwells.
- As more employees return to the on-campus work environment, Pitzer will consider installation of plexi-glass barriers in accordance with guidance from public health authorities.
- Masks/face coverings should be worn in accordance with public health department guidance, including:
- whenever there is more than one person in a room;
- in reception/receiving areas, and
- when inside any Pitzer facility where others are present, including walking in narrow hallways, and in break rooms, copy/mail rooms, conference rooms and other meeting locations.
Using Restrooms: Use of restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. Before entering a restroom, knock to ensure there aren’t others inside that could limit the 6 feet distance.
Using Elevators: Faculty and staff are encouraged to use stairs whenever possible. Elevator capacity is limited to the number of people that can be accommodated while maintaining a 6-foot physical distance between riders; during peak building entry and exit times, this number can be adjusted to 4 individuals or fewer at a time for any elevator that does not allow for 6-foot physical distance between riders. All riders are required to wear cloth face coverings and avoid touching the elevator buttons with you exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator.
Meetings: Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission and as a result, Los Angeles County has imposed strict limitations on gatherings for anyone who is not part of a single household or living unit. Meetings should be held in whole or part using available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, telephone, etc.). During your time on-campus, you are encouraged to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors as needed by email, instant message, telephone or other available technology rather than face-to-face.
Meals: There will be no food served on campus this semester so staff and faculty who are working on campus will need to bring their own meals from home and eat in their office area, vehicle, or outside, if this is reasonable for your situation. If you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain 6 feet distance between you and others. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Only remove your mask or face covering in order to eat, then put it back on. If you are eating a meal on campus, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.
Chairs and tables will be rearranged in our on-campus break rooms to support physical distancing practices. Make sure to wipe all surfaces, including table, refrigerator handle, coffee machine, etc. after using these items common areas.
Transport vehicles: All riders should maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from one another if feasible, wear face coverings at all times, and open windows when possible to increase air flow through the vehicle.
Signage: Signs are posted at the entrance to all of Pitzer’s buildings that provide information about Pitzer’s symptom screening process, preventative health measures (including instructions NOT to enter if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms), and traffic flow. Other signs are posted on sandwich boards at the campus entrances reminding the general public that the campus is closed.
If you have questions about COVID-19 or need assistance finding or understanding information about it you can contact the dedicated hotline from the California Department of Health between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, 7 days a week: (833) 544-2374 or see link below:
COVID-19 Compliance Group: Pitzer’s COVID-19 Compliance Group is responsible for establishing and enforcing all COVID-19 safety protocols and ensuring that staff and students receive education about COVID-19.
- Pitzer’s COVID-19 Compliance Group includes Laura Troendle (Compliance Officer), Deanna Caballero, Jessica Levy, Mark Crawbuck, and Jamie Jorgensen.
COVID-19 Exposure Management Plan: Pitzer’s COVID-19 Compliance Group is responsible for overseeing the College’s response to any COVID-19 cases on campus. The Compliance Group will follow the response protocols set forth by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 8, 2021