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March 27, 2020

Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order Mandating 14-Day Quarantine For Travelers Arriving From New York Tri-State Area, New Orleans 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order effective March 28, 2020, mandating a 14-day self-quarantine for people traveling to Texas as their final destination through an airport from the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, as well as the city of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Those required to self-quarantine must complete a Texas Department of Public Safety form upon disembarking the aircraft that designates the person’s quarantine location in Texas and other information.

Click to read the complete executive order.

Wireless Internet Access

To address concerns that many students and employees have limited access to the internet, wireless coverage has been added in various outdoor areas of campus. Get more information and view a map on the Remote Wireless Locations page.

Benefits

The SFA Department of Human Resources is committed to assisting those who might be affected by COVID-19 and helping the SFA campus stay informed about related benefits.  

The following key details may be helpful for you and your family should you need care related to COVID-19.

Health Benefits

For specific questions about your SFA coverage, visit the ERS website or contact the customer care telephone number on your insurance card.

All SFA benefits programs will continue to operate according to existing benefits. This includes dental, vision, and short-term and long-term disability. For disability and life insurance purposes, COVID-19 will be considered just like any other illness.

The Human Resources Department’s employee-benefits personnel will continue to work together to ensure business continuity. Our primary goal continues to be that you and your family can rely on your SFA benefits to cover the care you need.

Reporting for Work

Employees who have traveled internationally to or through any country or region designated as Level 3 by the CDC for COVID-19 are required to self-isolate off campus for 14 days before returning to campus and should contact their supervisor as soon as possible. Employees are required to provide documentation of their travel to their supervisor.

Employees who traveled on a cruise ship during the past 14 days should monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States. If a case of COVID-19 was reported on the ship during the cruise, the employee should self-isolate off campus for 14 days.

Stay home if you feel sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing and seek appropriate medical care.

Employees with specific concerns should contact their supervisors as soon as possible to discuss their individual situations.

Leave Utilization

University policy 12.18 Sick Leave requires that if an employee is out for a continuous period of more than three (3) working days, the employee is to submit a doctor’s certificate verifying the employee was out for medical reasons. However, given the nature of COVID-19, this rule has been temporarily suspended.

If the employee is otherwise able to work, an employee may apply to telecommute (see below). If unable to telecommute, the employee may take other paid leaves as applicable.

Telecommuting

The State of Texas and the university recognize that there are employees who may be of higher risk of medical complications if they were to contract the virus, and that school and childcare closures have impacted the ability of employees to report to work. State law permits the university president to authorize an employee to work from home (see university policy 11.27, Telecommuting).

Employees should contact their department heads to see if telecommuting would be an option for them. The university president has issued an order that authorizes department heads to request a telecommuting option for their employees. The executive order temporarily authorizes the respective division head to approve or deny the telecommuting request. Each request and decision should be executed via email, and detailed records regarding the telecommuting situation must be maintained by the requesting department. Please understand the emergency telecommuting option is a temporary response to the COVID-19 situation and this provision will not continue using this process when the virus threat is over.

Please note – compensatory time may not be claimed or earned while telecommuting unless such arrangement is specifically approved by the president (or his designee) in advance.

Additional information, tips and guides can be found on the ITS Telecommuting Resources page.

FAQ and COVID-19 SFA Employee-Related Information Updates

We have compiled a set of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and responses that provide additional detail about the SFA COVID-19 action. Employee related information updates regarding employee leave, benefits, telecommuting, etc. will be provided in the FAQ document.

Student Employment

Student employees who have no symptoms and have not traveled to high-risk locations may report to work to continue to fill their normal job duties. For departments requesting approval for additional student work hours to support essential university operations, students may temporarily be allowed to work more than the 115 hours per month as limited in policy 10.6 Student Employment. Requests for additional student work hours should be emailed to hr@sfasu.edu.

Guidance for Managers

Managers and supervisors must not pressure employees, including student employees, to come to work if they are ill or need to stay home to care for ill dependents. Conversely, if employees are well, they should not be pressured to stay away from work. 

In order to maintain a safe and healthy workplace for all, managers and supervisors (with the support and involvement of local HR, as needed) should ask employees who are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness to go home and stay home until they have been symptom free for 24 hours. Please be considerate of managers who are taking on this uncomfortable responsibility for the well-being of all.

Additional Policy Changes

If public health conditions worsen, SFA’s workplace policies may be further amended. This would be done to address the effects of more widespread illness or absences, more frequent needs for self-isolation or quarantine, etc. Faculty and staff will be notified as necessary of such changes and should also check this page for updates.

Update Your Contacts

Employees are asked to make sure that personal and emergency contact information is up-to-date via mySFA and/or with their supervisor. Register for SFA emergency alerts via the "Jack Alerts" section of the mySFA "home" tab.

Sanitation Procedures

The SFA Physical Plant custodial staff is actively working to keep campus offices and departments sanitized:

  • Sanitation efforts include the use of hospital-grade EPA certified disinfectant to wipe down all point of entry fixtures such as door handles, light switches and doors.
  • Disinfectant foggers and disinfectant aerosol sprays are also being used in larger areas, such as lecture halls, and in the Early Childhood Laboratory and Charter School classrooms. 
  • Carpets are being cleaned with disinfectants, and restrooms, showers and locker rooms are being washed down. 

Custodial personnel, as well as PPD support staff, will be available at all times during working hours to provide sanitation as needed for faculty and students. Custodial staff will be present in campus computer labs to sanitize computer keyboards after use by employees or students.

Prevention Guidelines

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cough or sneeze into the elbow or sleeve — not the hands.
  • Avoid shaking hands; use a verbal greeting instead. 
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Contact your medical doctor for testing or treatment guidelines
  • When using a tissue, throw it in the trash immediately after use.
  • Don't eat, drink or smoke after others.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid non-essential travel to countries/regions with travel advisories/restrictions.

Monitor the Center for Disease Control for information and updates.

March 12, 2020 - Temporary telecommuting arrangements

Employees are expected to work during this period and practice social distancing. University personnel will begin making plans for business continuity needs for their areas.

Some faculty and staff may be able to telecommute. Telecommuting allows employees to work at home or in a satellite location for all or part of their workweek. Temporary telecommuting arrangements may be approved amid COVID-19 concerns. These arrangements will be approved by each department chair or director on a case-by-case basis.

We encourage administrative gatherings and large meetings to be conducted by teleconference, and keep in-person meetings to an absolute minimum. We will explore options to enable certain events to be held virtually.

Further guidance will be shared with faculty and staff in the coming days by leaders in your respective areas of the university.

Request Information for Future Students

Please fill out the form below to receive information from SFA. If you’re not a future student and want to reach out to us, use our contact form.

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