AC NEWS


COVID-19 Human Resources Information

 

As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, Amarillo College is open to serve our students, faculty and staff through technology-supported capabilities, as well as in-person services.

Learn more below about Amarillo College’s current policies regarding safe practices on campus, hiring/training, and health & wellness resources—as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic.


NOTIFICATION OF POSITIVE CASES

As part of the Clery Act requirements for all colleges and universities, Amarillo College is required to post a notification for students and employees who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Please see this page for the most current information.


WORKING ON CAMPUS: GUIDELINES FOR SAFETY

GUIDELINES FOR ALL EMPLOYEES

Amarillo College follows the guidelines of the CDC and The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board regarding COVID-19.  Amarillo College expects ALL employees to:

  • Wear a cloth face covering while on an AC campus or work site. Exceptions include being alone in a private office and when working outdoors alone (i.e., groundskeeping, maintenance, etc.) The face covering should cover both the nose and the mouth securely.
  • Practice social distancing, in public areas, common work areas, restrooms, and during rest/meal breaks.
  • Wash hands often, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Be aware of COVID-19 symptoms.   
  • Check temperature prior to reporting for work.
  • Clean and disinfect spaces and surfaces frequently.
  • Avoid bringing non-essential visitors and guests on campus, and require visitors or guests to comply with face covering, social distancing, and hand sanitation protocols. 
  • Do NOT report to work and notify supervisor and Campus Health if experiencing fever above 100.4F or other COVID-19 symptoms
  • If experiencing symptoms, notify supervisor and Campus Health, and seek treatment if appropriate, self-isolate until free of symptoms as recommended by the CDC.
  • Do NOT report to work and notify supervisor and Campus Health if awaiting COVID-19 test results.
  • If confirmed with positive COVID-19 diagnosis, follow healthcare provider’s direction and treatment plan, reporting to work on campus only after cleared to do so by Human Resources and Campus Health.
  • Notify supervisor of recent or planned travel outside the U.S. and plan to self-quarantine for 10 days following return. Employees will be required to utilize their own available vacation hours in order to be paid during the 10-day quarantine.

 

GUIDELINES FOR SUPERVISORS

Amarillo College expects supervisors to:

  • Maintain frequent and transparent communication with employees.
  • Model and enforce safety protocols on campus: face coverings, social distancing, handwashing.
  • Notify Campus Health immediately of an employee who is:
  1. Reporting they were recently in “close contact” (greater than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period, less than 6 feet, with or without a face covering) with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  2. Reporting symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  3. Awaiting test results for COVID-19 infection
  4. Currently diagnosed as positive for COVID-19 infection
  • AVOID attempting to manage COVID-related employee issues and concerns alone, and consult Human Resources and Campus Health.
  • Hold meetings and training sessions virtually when possible, and when in-person meetings are required, enforce face covering use and social distancing.
  • Identify common areas where people are likely to congregate and interact, and enforce social distancing protocols, increase frequency of cleaning, or close the areas (for example kitchens, break rooms, lobbies).
  • Post any recommended signage.  AC Communications and Marketing will provide all general signage as well as building- or department-specific signage.  Contact Communications and Marketing to request assistance.  Employees and supervisors may not alter, remove, or add any COVID-related signage on the exterior doors to a building without approval from Communications and Marketing.
  • Model and enforce safe behavior from employees, including:
  1. Operate as if they assume they are infectious and others are infectious.
  2. Follow accepted policies and procedures with respect to health and safety.
  3. Do not engage in work practices that could be considered a danger to health and safety.
  4. Be aware of situations that could be considered a danger to the health and safety of others.
  5. Report instances of others not adhering to the health and safety guidance.
  • Apply appropriate leave procedures through consultation with Human Resources.  HR will guide employees through their potential leave options such as FFCRA paid sick leave and expanded FMLA, regular FMLA, or accrued vacation and sick leave.
  • Remind employees about available resources and supports, linked further down on this page.
  • Understand that with respect to injuries sustained in the course and scope of employment, the protocol is the same for working remotely while in quarantine as for working on campus.  If such injury is life-threatening or results in serious bodily injury, immediately call 911.  For non-urgent injuries, the first step is to report the injury to the supervisor and to Human Resources.
  • Model and enforce upholding confidentiality of employees’ private health information.

 

POSITIVE CASES AND DETERMINING EXPOSURE

When all Amarillo College employees, students and visitors follow the strict safety protocols in place at Amarillo College they have extremely limited risk of exposure to the virus while on an AC campus or worksite. 

In the event of an AC employee testing positive, Campus Health will work with the employee and the public health department as appropriate to do contact tracing in the workplace and to notify others who were potentially exposed.  The identity of the individual who tested positive will be shared only with those who have a business need to know, and the potential contacts will only be notified that they may have come in contact with a positively diagnosed person in the workplace. Offices and workspaces in which the positive employee had been working prior to testing positive shall be subject to deep cleaning and sanitizing as recommended by CDC guidelines. In compliance with the Clery Act, Amarillo College will post positive cases on the COVID-19 Report page

In the event that an employee believes he/she may have been exposed outside of the workplace, the employee must notify his/her supervisor and Campus Health immediately.  The employee will be asked to not return to the workplace until a determination is made regarding whether the exposure constitutes “close contact” as defined by the CDC.  Being in a room with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 may or may not be exposure--employees, supervisors, and Campus Health should use this chart to help determine whether close contact occurred. 

In the case of a secondary exposure, such as exposure to someone who has also been exposed but not diagnosed with COVID-19, employees should not automatically be sent home.  Instead, they should self-monitor and continue to practice social distancing, face covering, and hand hygiene. Employees and supervisors should contact Campus Health

Employees who were indeed in “close contact” with someone who either tested positive or who is awaiting test results should self-quarantine and self-monitor for 14 days after the last date of exposure to the person. If the employee is unable to telework during the quarantine period, he or she may be eligible for COVID sick leave with pay.  The supervisor should contact Human Resources for guidance. 


New Facemask Policy Approved by Board of Regents

Effective June 23, 2020, all employees, students and visitors are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times while on Amarillo College campuses, properties and instructional sites. 

For additional information, please reference the full policy, DH.COVID.TEMP.2020 in the Amarillo College Board Policy Manual.

FFCRA Eligibility

Do the requirements and benefits provided for in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) apply to you?

Use this tool to find out if you are eligible for paid sick leave or paid expanded family and medical leave according to the FFCRA.

 FFRCA Eligibility tool

Health & Wellness Resources

Amarillo College wants employees to stay healthy, physically and mentally. Here are some resources that are always available:

Virtual Visits

For employees and their dependents covered on the BCBS HealthSelect medical plans: 

Utilize virtual visits from the comfort of your home for treatment of both physical and mental health concerns. COVID-19 related virtual medical visits are available at no cost to participants in both BCBS HealthSelect of Texas and Consumer-Directed HealthSelect.

Therapy Assistance Online

For all employees and students: 

Utilize Therapy Assistance Online for a wealth of mental health resources. Find out more at www.actx.edu/counseling/tao.

If you’re already working with a therapist, TAO Connect can help supplement your sessions outside of business hours. The app utilizes a method called low intensity-high engagement therapy, combining online and mobile educational modules and practice tools with short phone conversations or video conferences with a therapist. More than 100 studies in 20 countries have shown this method to be as effective as hour-long, in-person individual therapy for common disorders.

TAO Connect can also be used as a purely self-guided tool, consisting of educational and interactive modules, practice tools, journals and progress measures. Their self-help option allows you to move through the courses at your own pace, when you’re feeling down and need encouragement, or visiting our mindfulness library when you need a moment to meditate. 

Employee Assistance Program

Professional Counseling and Biofeedback Center offers three free counseling visits to Amarillo College employees.

Mental Health Support Line

A 24 hour 7 day a week Mental Health Support Line is available to all Texans who may be experiencing stress, anxiety, or emotional challenges during the COVID-19 Pandemic. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.

Additional Mental Health Resources

Here are a few more resources to help employees deal with added stress and uncertainty during this season:

Resources and tips for supporting your mental health during COVID-19

Free meditations from Headspace

Tips to deal with stress and coping from the CDC


Retirement Funds

This crisis has had a negative impact on Wall Street and many retirement plan balances.  If you are in the ACBP or ORP programs, remember that staying the course is important and it is important not to make short-term decisions in a moment of fear, which could affect your long-term goals.  If you have questions about the CARES Act and your retirement plan funds, contact July Services (for ACBP) or your ORP vendor.

 


Hiring & Training

The AC Human Resources department will continue to receive and process employment applications to meet our hiring needs. Hiring managers and search committees will continue to review applicant materials, schedule technology-supported interviews, and follow search processes and protocols.

For additional training resources to support you and your team during this season, please visit www.actx.edu/hr/learning

 


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