Returning to campus this summer? Read this

We're not all coming back to campus the same week or even the same month, but the focus has shifted from shutting down campus to opening it up again. There's lots of information to help managers and employees figure out what needs to be done before we return to our campus offices -- so much, in fact, it can get a little overwhelming. Inside staff pulled some of the key pieces onto a single page.

Not without a plan

Designated employees in each office or unit were tapped last month to consult several guides (guide for returning to the workplace, supervisor expectations for phased increase of operations) and complete a planning document specific to their workspace. The template is available as editable PDF or Word documents.

Research supervisors should complete the same document for all laboratory and research workspaces, whether they were temporarily closed or remained open during spring semester. In addition, environmental health and safety staff have developed illustrated guides specific to research spaces: a laboratory ramp-up checklist and physical distancing guidelines for ISU laboratories.

Workspace plans need to be approved by department or unit leaders before employees begin to use them. Supervisors should give employees at least two weeks' notice before requiring them to return to the office; employees may voluntarily return earlier. The intent is that employees will return to their offices in phases, allowing time to adopt their workspace plan as additional colleagues arrive.

Training video

All employees are encouraged to complete "Returning to Iowa State University," a 12-minute training available in Learn@ISU (see UHR course offerings) that summarizes personal health and safety protocols based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Other things you should know

  • Employees with health considerations that make the coronavirus more dangerous -- or live with someone at higher risk -- can request an alternative work arrangement that limits potential exposure.
  • University leaders have asked units to coordinate all pandemic-related cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) purchases through central stores. They should use the department detail worktag DD11790 for any expenses, credits and refunds directly related to COVID-19.
  • Your building is ready for occupancy. Building heating, cooling and ventilation systems, which were switched to setback mode in mid-March, have been back to normal mode since mid-May.
  • Buildings will be opened/unlocked in phases over the summer. Building supervisors will make these decisions as departments in their buildings become ready. Changes to campus buildings' closed/open status will be updated in the building information website.
  • Cleaning will be a shared task. While custodial teams will continue their daily and weekly tasks, employees should clean and sanitize their own workspaces regularly as part of their workforce plans, and office colleagues should clean and sanitize shared spaces (such as break and conference rooms) when they use them.
  • Fall semester teaching faculty who will require students to purchase PPE should share their requests with the ISU Book Store so these materials can be included in the student book list on AccessPlus. Contact assistant director Heather Dean with questions.

A few reminders

  • Employees returning to campus will be required to wear a cloth face covering whenever physical distancing is not possible. Medical masks and N95 respirators should be reserved for health care professionals. Campus units (not individual employees) may reserve a supply (up to two face coverings per employee) through central stores, at no cost to the department or employees. The ISU Book Store is selling individual face coverings in the Memorial Union or online.
  • Fill out the online effort reporting form, available on the operations and finance division website, for any month your work time includes activities related to COVID-19. This will help the university's efforts to recover costs from federal or state emergency funds.
  • Employee parking permit renewals and purchases for the fiscal year that begins July 1 opened in AccessPlus on June 10. Department permit purchases opened June 9 on the parking division website. Rates are not increasing.