Coronavirus Info for Employees

The following coronavirus communications were sent to employees:

Nov. 18, 2021 at 5:50 p.m. – Federal Mandates
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
A couple of weeks ago, I shared information about two federal actions regarding COVID vaccinations and testing requirements.  This has been all over the news and I am sure that you have heard something about this and could be wondering how it might or might not affect the college, and you.  This correspondence is intended to share the most current information that we have regarding this unfolding situation.
 
Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Order
In September, President Biden released an executive order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for federal employees. Around this same time and under the direction of President Biden, the Labor Department developed a rule to require private sector companies with 100+ employees to require workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccination or weekly COVID-19 diagnostic testing. This order is intended to be enforced through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 
 
In early November, OSHA issued emergency temporary standards (ETS) to enforce the order. The ETS was expected to be in effect for six months from the date of publication (November 6 to May 6) and requires covered employers to take the following actions, among others, by December 6:
 
  • Implement a policy for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and/or testing and related procedures;
  • Obtain and maintain vaccination status from all employees;
  • Require unvaccinated employees to wear face coverings in the workplace; and
  • Provide employees with information they can understand about the requirements of the ETS, workplace policies, vaccine information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
 
The ETS requires covered employers to take the following actions, among others, beginning January 4, 2022:
 
  • Require employees who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to undergo weekly COVID-19 diagnostic testing; and
  • Maintain records of each test result.
 
Enforcement
Due to the fact that Maryland has an OSHA-approved state plan (Maryland Occupational Safety and Health [MOSH]), Maryland (through MOSH) is required to provide standards that are at least as effective as OSHA’s standards and enforcement. Wor-Wic is under the jurisdiction of MOSH and, therefore, even though we are a public institution we must comply with the OSHA ETS for private companies with 100 + employees and other standards that might later be issued by MOSH.
 
Order Currently Delayed through Judicial System
States are contesting the ETS through the judicial system. Most recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit delayed the vaccine and testing requirements issued by OSHA. More than two dozen lawsuits challenging the vaccine and testing requirements were consolidated in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Tuesday.  They will decide if it is appropriate to permanently halt the mandatory vaccination/testing orders. It is possible that the judges in the Sixth Circuit will have a decision prior to the January 4 deadline, but the side that loses will likely appeal to the Supreme Court.  (https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/16/biden-vaccine-mandate-legal-battle-heads-to-federal-appeals-court-with-gop-appointed-majority.html).  Yesterday, OSHA announced that they will not attempt to enforce any of the requirements of the ETS (including the stipulated dates) until the legal issues are resolved. Today, the MOSH Director spoke with higher education officials and indicated that MOSH will not separately implement any of the requirements of the OSHA ETS and will not enforce any of the provisions in Maryland until the issues are fully resolved.
 
Wor-Wic’s Status
Up until the OSHA and MOSH announcements were made yesterday and today, respectively, legal experts were advising organizations with more than 100 employees to put policies in place to meet the December 5 and January 4 ETS stipulations.  At this time, without such an order, the college does not intend to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements except as mandated by our clinical health program partners for faculty and students who must work in their clinical settings.  Clinical faculty and students are receiving separate communications tomorrow outlining those requirements due to a change in status issued by TidalHealth, our largest clinical site provider.
 
Setting the new health care facility mandate aside, if the ETS is not permanently halted by court action, the college will be required to comply and will have to implement the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine or weekly testing policies and procedures. Failure to comply could lead to fines up to $13,653 for each violation, up to $700,000. Not knowing what the outcome will be, we have little choice but to continue to prepare for the possibility of compliance.
 
To that end, we are currently developing temporary policies and procedures to comply with the ETS. They will require Board of Trustee approval but will only be submitted to the Board for consideration after we learn the disposition of the lawsuits, if the ETS is upheld.  We are also researching software solutions for obtaining and maintaining COVID-19 vaccination status and weekly COVID-19 testing results, creating forms related to the temporary policies, and developing a position description for a temporary employee to administer the program until the ETS is no longer in effect.  So, if you hear about some of these things happening, please understand that they are not expected to be implemented unless the courts uphold the ETS.
 
Next Steps
We are in a bit of a wait and see situation, just like all employers with more than 100 employees.  If you are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine there are still many opportunities in our community and HR can provide you with assistance to find a convenient location for you.
 
We will continue to monitor this and update you as we learn more.
Nov. 8, 2021 at 3:21 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case and New Federal Mandates
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
An individual who attended class on the 3rd floor of the Henson Hall on Monday evening November 1st received a positive test after experiencing symptoms on November 3rd.  After reviewing the seating chart and the individual’s contacts, and communicating with everyone who was in contact with the positive individual, additional students are quarantining until November 15th
 
There has been a great deal in the news lately regarding President Biden’s Executive Order requiring vaccines for health care workers and a new COVID Emergency OSHA Regulation.  The Executive Order extends to college faculty and students who work or have clinicals in health care settings, requiring them to be fully-vaccinated by January 4, 2022.  There is no test-out option.
 
A second federal COVID action came out on Thursday in the form of a new Emergency OSHA Regulation mandating vaccines or weekly testing for employees of both public and private businesses with more than 100 employees, which applies to the college.  Maryland has an OSHA approved occupational health and safety regulatory body referred to as MOSH.  In our case, MOSH can develop its own regulations that are considered by OSHA to be “as effective” as the OSHA regulations. The state has 15 days to submit their plan or adopt the OSHA regulation.   The OSHA regulation also takes effect on January 4, 2022. 
 
As you might imagine, there are legal challenges that have been filed and it is likely that the Supreme Court will take up the issues.  The Executive Order and the OSHA Regulation are different and the legal challenges will be dealt with separately.
 
We are waiting for more direction before implementing compliance procedures for these two items.  However, please note that there is a >$13,000 per incident (employee), per day, fine to the employer for failure to comply by January 4th .  The health care order would require our clinical sites to pay the fine, so I suspect that they will not allow unvaccinated students and faculty to enter their facility.  The OSHA requirement carries the same fine and the college would have to pay for non-compliance if we allow employees to continue to work if they are unvaccinated and do not submit weekly test results.  Testing is at the employee’s expense (if any), and home tests are not considered acceptable.  While the Executive Order for health care workers includes students, the Emergency OSHA Regulation does not extend to students.
 
It is likely that information will be updated daily until these two items are finally resolved.  The purpose of this message is to let you know that we are closely monitoring the situation and will advise you as more definitive information is known.  Realizing that two of the three available vaccines require two doses with almost a month wait between doses, if you have been waiting to be vaccinated, now might be a good time.  I’m happy to report that my 5 and 8 year old grandsons received their first dose of the pediatric vaccine last Friday.  Both did very well and when I asked if they had any “hangover” symptoms on Saturday, I was told by their mother that they had none, that they were “totally fine and obnoxious.”  Of course I didn’t believe that my angelic grandsons were obnoxious; at least not until I remember their father and his brother at that age. 
 
More to come.
Nov. 3, 2021 at 4:28 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Cases
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
You haven’t heard from me in over a week.  That doesn’t mean that there have been no cases. There have been several, including today where only the individual who tested positive needs to quarantine. This happens when the positive individual did not attend campus within our two-day look-back period from the date of testing positive or exhibiting symptoms, or when the only contact was with vaccinated individuals. Both of those circumstances occurred last week. On two occasions, one on October 26th and the other on October 28th, there were no other impacted individuals other than the person who tested positive. In one other circumstance, an individual who had symptoms on October 25th and was present on the second floor of Fulton-Owen Hall, received a positive test result three days later, on October 28th. Last Friday, unvaccinated individuals inside of the social distancing parameters were contacted and informed of the need to quarantine through November 8th.
 
Our local positivity rate is still higher than the State rate, but the good news is that it has been falling. Please continue to act responsibly as we navigate our way through the pandemic.
Oct. 18, 2021 at 5:18 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Cases
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
I have three cases to bring to your attention today.  Everyone who was within 6’ proximity to the COVID positive individual for 15 minutes or more has been notified.
 
The first occurred on the third floor of Brunkhorst Hall on Wednesday, October 13th. This individual began having symptoms on Thursday, October 14thand received a positive test on Friday evening, October 15th.  Quarantined individuals can return on October 28th.
 
The second case was on the second floor of Shockley Hall with an individual with symptoms attending on October 11th and October 13th, who tested positive on Saturday, October 16th.  Quarantined individuals will also be cleared to return on October 28th.
 
The third case was on the second floor of Henson Hall on Thursday, October 14th.  The individual began experiencing symptoms on Friday, October 15thand tested positive.  Quarantined individuals will return on October 29th.
 
There were two additional cases last week on the first floor of Shockley Hall that resulted in only the positive individual requiring quarantine in one case and two individuals being quarantined in the second case until October 25th.
 
Stay safe!
Oct. 6, 2021 at 4:37 p.m. – Updated Procedures

From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Yesterday, president’s staff, Karen Berkheimer and Dr. Deirdra Johnson met to finalize updates to the COVID protocols.  We reviewed tested practices at some of our colleague institutions and considered the differing protocols at clinical affiliates.  After discussion we formalized changes to our existing practices, some of which I outlined as possibilities in correspondence with you last week.

  1. Quarantine – After implementing class seating charts, a practice employed at several other community colleges and 4-year institutions, we determined that instead of quarantining all unvaccinated students in a class where a positive case has occurred, we will be more precise in our quarantine practice. This is consistent with CDC guidance regarding who should quarantine. When we have an up-to-date seating chart that designates who was in class on the date(s) of a positive occurrence, only unvaccinated individuals who were within a 6’ radius of the positive individual will be required to quarantine for the 14-day period.  That also presumes that everyone in the class was wearing a mask.  There should not be anyone without a mask in the classroom, however if that is the case, that individual will be required to quarantine.
  1. Clinicals – Our clinical partners currently have different requirements from one another and they may also be different from the college quarantine requirements.  We are going to provide quarantine practices for our clinical students that are consistent with the requirements or practices of the clinical sites.  In some cases, we have no choice.  For instance, some of our clinical affiliates are mandating vaccinations in order to access clinical practice at their sites.  Others are requiring weekly testing of unvaccinated students and faculty, if any.  We obviously must comply in order to access those clinical sites. However, because most clinical students are wearing N-95 masks and possibly PPE, some clinical sites are less restrictive than we are regarding quarantining.  In those cases, we may quarantine someone from the college, however they may be allowed to continue their clinical experience at an off-campus clinical site.  The Dean/Department Head and faculty member will be involved in those decisions to ensure that we are complying with each clinical site’s rules.
Both of these changes to our COVID procedures are consistent with CDC guidance and will provide less disruption to the education process. 
 
We applied this standard to a situation that unfolded yesterday.  An individual last attend classes on campus on Tuesday, Sept 28 on the second floor of Fulton Owen Hall and second floor of Brunkhorst Hall.  Symptoms began on September 30th and testing took place on October 1st.  The positive result was revealed on October 5th.   Contact tracing was conducted using seating chart information and information obtained from the positive individual.  Everyone who had close contact with the positive individual for more than 15 minutes was contacted.  Unvaccinated individuals were informed that they must quarantine for 14 days from September 30th before returning to campus.
 
We will continue this process in all subsequent classroom cases.
 
Please remain safe.
Oct. 4, 2021 at 3:56 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
It’s Monday so there must be a COVID case or two to report on.  Someone who was last on campus on Wednesday, September 29, began having symptoms on September 30.  Test results received yesterday confirmed positive for COVID.  This individual had classes in Henson Hall on both the second and third floors and also in the Jordan Center last Wednesday.  Everyone who was in close contact has been informed and unvaccinated individuals will need to quarantine for two weeks, returning on October 14th.
 
There were several other cases that were brought to our attention, but fortunately those individuals were not on campus while exhibiting symptoms or within two days of taking a test that resulted in a positive response to COVID.  
 
Please continue wearing a mask indoors.
Sept. 30, 2021 at 4:22 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today we learned of a positive case on the third floor of Brunkhorst Hall. The individual attended an evening class on 9/22, experienced symptoms on 9/24 and was tested.  Positive results were received on 9/30. Everyone who had been in close proximity to this individual has been notified and non-vaccinated individuals are quarantining until October 6th.
 
Please stay safe and well.
Sept. 29, 2021 at 11:05 a.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Sorry for the delay in this notification. There was some confusion on my part, and I did not get the message out in a timely manner.
 
We had a COVID case on the 3rd floor of Shockley Hall. The individual was last on campus on September 21st and as part of routine weekly testing was tested that day but didn’t receive results indicating being positive for COVID until 9/26. Everyone who had contact with this individual has been informed and the class is quarantining until 10/5.
 
We are continually evaluating our COVID protocols and quarantine policies and are implementing new processes, as appropriate. This week we have implemented a classroom seating chart requirement in order to help with contact tracing and to possibly become more discerning in our quarantine decisions in order to lessen disruptions. If our current procedures are altered, you will be notified in advance.
 
Remember, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, do not come to campus. Everyone must continue to do their part to help contain the spread of the virus.
 
Thank you.
Sept. 16, 2021 at 8:58 a.m. – Positive COVID-19 Cases
From Bryan Newton, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services
 
All,
 
On behalf of Dr. Hoy I want to share that last night we learned of two additional positive COVID-19 cases on campus.  In the first case, a vaccinated individual attended classes on 09/14 and began having symptoms on 09/15.  The individual tested positive on 09/15.  In the second case, an individual who was not fully vaccinated came to classes on 09/15 and began having symptoms on 09/15.  The individual tested positive on 09/15. 
 
Classes attended were on the second floor of Henson Hall and on the second and third floors of Fulton-Owen Hall.  We have quarantined individuals that were in contact who are not fully vaccinated.  We have also quarantined vaccinated individuals with symptoms.
 
Positivity rates are still very high in our three counties, and we continue to have cases in our second week of classes. Please wear your mask, with your nose and mouth fully covered, every time you are in a campus building.
Sept. 15, 2021 at 5:27 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case       
From Bryan Newton, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services
 
All,
 
On behalf of Dr. Hoy I want to share that today we learned of a positive COVID-19 case on campus.  An unvaccinated individual had symptoms on 09/09 and attended class the same day on the second floor of the Maner Technology Center and in the Jordan Center (outside the child development center).  The individual tested positive on 09/11 but did not notify the college until today.   
 
We have quarantined individuals that were in contact who are not fully vaccinated.  We have also quarantined vaccinated individuals with symptoms.
 
Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 should contact Karen Berkheimer in Human Resources immediately.  Delays in notification can result in further spread of the virus and can put others at risk.
Sept. 14, 2021 at 12:18 p.m. – Vaccine Clinic Reminder
From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
Today is your last chance to sign up for tomorrow’s flu and COVID-19 vaccine clinic held on campus in the Hazel Center Cafe. You and your family members can reserve your spot at https://www.picktime.com/FluCOVIDClinic.
 
As spots fill, I’ll open up more spots. So keep on checking (or contact me if no spots are available).
 
If you sign up today, please be sure to print the attached form, complete it, and bring it with you tomorrow.
 
Thanks!
Sept. 13, 2021 at 5:11 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Cases
From Bryan Newton, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services
 
All,
 
On behalf of Dr. Hoy I want to share that today we learned of two positive COVID-19 cases on campus.  In the first case, an unvaccinated individual attended classes on 09/08, and began having symptoms on 09/10.  The individual tested positive on 09/12.  In the second case, an unvaccinated individual came to classes on 09/08 and 09/09, and began having symptoms on 09/10.  The individual tested positive on 09/12. 
 
In both cases, classes attended were on the second and third floors of Brunkhorst and Fulton-Owen Halls.  Since symptoms were within two days of the class meetings, we have quarantined individuals that were in contact who are not fully vaccinated.  We have also quarantined vaccinated individuals with symptoms.
 
This is now the 14th class impacted by COVID-19 since classes begin on 09/08.  Positivity rates are still very high in our three counties.    
 
Three actions by everyone can help reduce the number of positive cases we experience on campus – 1) if you have symptoms of COVID-19 please do not come to campus; 2) wear your mask properly, with your nose and mouth fully covered, while indoors, as required by college policy; and 3) become vaccinated as soon as is possible.  There will be a vaccination clinic on September 15th beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Hazel Center Café.  Information about the clinic is on the attached flyer. You and your family members can reserve your spot at https://www.picktime.com/FluCOVIDClinic.
 
Please do everything in your power to help fight the spread of COVID-19.  Stay safe.
Sept. 11, 2021 at 5:45 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Bryan Newton, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services
 
All,
 
On behalf of Dr. Hoy I want to share information about another COVID-19 case on campus that was brought to our attention late yesterday.  All contact with exposed individuals was not completed until today.  
 
An individual who was not fully vaccinated began having symptoms on 09/10 and tested positive later that day.  The individual attended class on 09/09 on the third floor of Fulton-Owen Hall, but did not have any symptoms at that time.  Since the positive exposure was within two days of the class meeting, we have quarantined individuals that were in contact who are not fully vaccinated.
 
Sorry to interrupt your weekend, but we promised to share information with you when we have it.  
 
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Sept. 10, 2021 at 1:29 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Bryan Newton, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services
 
All,
 
On behalf of Dr. Hoy I want to share that today we learned of another positive COVID-19 case on campus.  A vaccinated individual began having symptoms on 09/09 and came to classes on that same date.  A positive test was reported late last night.  Classes attended were on the second floor of Maner Technology Center and third floor of Brunkhorst Hall.  
 
Following campus guidelines, individuals who are not fully vaccinated and were in contact with an exposed individual will have to quarantine, and those who are fully vaccinated and in contact with an exposed individual will not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.  All individuals exposed have been notified.  
 
Whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should not come to campus. Also, please be vigilant about wearing your mask properly, with your nose and mouth fully covered, while indoors, as required by college policy.  
 
Another reminder about becoming vaccinated.  There will be a vaccination clinic on Wednesday, September 15thbeginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Hazel Center Café.  Information about the clinic is on the attached flyer. You and your family members can reserve your spot at https://www.picktime.com/FluCOVIDClinic.
 
Please be safe this weekend.
Sept. 9, 2021 at 4:50 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Cases
From Bryan Newton, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services
 
All,
 
On behalf of Dr. Hoy I want to share that today we learned of two positive COVID-19 cases on campus.  In the first case, an unvaccinated individual began having symptoms on 09/05 and came to class on the first floor of Shockley Hall on 09/08.  A positive test was reported on 09/09.  In the second case, a vaccinated individual began having symptoms on 09/07 and came to classes on 09/08.  A positive test was reported on 09/09.  Classes attended were on the second and third floors of Brunkhorst Hall, the Jordan Center (outside of the child development center) and the third floor of Fulton-Owen Hall.  
 
Following campus guidelines, individuals who are not fully vaccinated and were in contact with an exposed individual will have to quarantine, and those who are fully vaccinated and in contact with an exposed individual will not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.  All individuals exposed to these two positive cases have been notified.  
 
On day two of the new semester, we already have two reported positive cases on campus, and 10 more individuals who did not come to campus have notified us of positive tests.  Positivity rates are very high in our three counties, and the Labor Day holiday weekend will undoubtedly lead to increased cases in our area.  
 
Please remember if you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should not come to campus. Also, please be vigilant about wearing your mask properly, with your nose and mouth fully covered, while indoors, as required by college policy.  
 
Your best chance to avoid quarantine is to be vaccinated.  There will be a vaccination clinic on September 15thbeginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Hazel Center Café.  Information about the clinic is on the attached flyer. You and your family members can reserve your spot at https://www.picktime.com/FluCOVIDClinic.
 
Let’s do everything we can to have a semester uninterrupted by the virus.  Stay safe.
Sept. 9, 2021 at 8:31 a.m. – COVID-19 Guidelines
From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
Please read the attached guidelines, and print them out for easy reference when you have questions. This document supersedes previous COVID-19 guidelines.
 
Most importantly, if you have symptoms of sickness, Stay Home! And call me or Anna Era to determine next steps.
 
This document includes important COVID-19 updates and Wor-Wic requirements for the following:
 
  • Face Coverings
  • Sickness
  • Cleaning and Personal Disinfection
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Personal Hygiene
  • COVID-19 Exposures
  • COVID-19 Interim Policies for Meetings, Personal Fans, Travel & Transportation, Use of Leave
  • Employee Assistance
Sept. 7, 2021 at 11:32 a.m. – Vaccine Clinic

From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
Interested in the flu shot? Or the COVID-19 Vaccine/Booster?
 
Sign up Now before all spots fill! 

Wor-Wic’s vaccine clinic is scheduled for September 15, 2021:

https://www.picktime.com/FluCOVIDClinic 
 
This clinic is open to employees, students and their families, ages 18+. Be sure to review all services before making your selection (flu shot, COVID-19 Vaccine, Booster or Both Flu & COVID-19).
 
Please spread the word and sign-up early. We need at least 25 appointments to run the clinic.

Sept. 2, 2021 at 4:46 p.m. -- Positive COVID-19 Case
From Bryan Newton, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services
 
All,
 
On behalf of Dr. Hoy I wanted to share that today we learned of a positive COVID-19 case in the bookstore.  The individual worked in the bookstore on 08/26, 08/27, 09/01 and 09/02 and had symptoms beginning on 08/28.  The individual was released by a medical provider to continue working on 09/01 and 09/02 even after symptoms persisted.  All individuals exposed who we are aware of have been notified.  The bookstore is busy this time of year, so if you had any prolonged exposure (at least 15 minutes less than six feet apart) with a bookstore employee please notify Karen Berkheimer immediately.
 
The bookstore will remain closed for the remainder of the week.  An employee will be able to prepare all student book orders received by Monday night for pickup or shipment on Tuesday morning.  If you have a student who needs to order their books, please direct them to worwic.bncollege.com and encourage them to choose store pickup so their books are available Tuesday morning.  The bookstore will reopen next week, Tuesday – Thursday from 9:00 to 3:00 and on Friday from 9:00 to 1:00.
 
Please remember that if you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should not report to work.  We held a vaccination clinic on campus earlier today, and there will be another clinic on September 15th beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Hazel Center Café.  Information about the clinic is on the attached flyer. You can reserve your spot at https://www.picktime.com/FluCOVIDClinic.
 
Please stay safe and follow the COVID-19 protocols established by the college.
Aug. 20, 2021 at 12:59 p.m. – Mask Wearing Required
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Effective Monday August 23, we are reimplementing the indoor mask mandate for everyone. Anyone in a private office can remove their mask while alone in the office. And of course, you can remove your mask while eating or drinking.
 
Our return to the mask mandate is consistent with policies now in place at 15 of the 16 Maryland Community Colleges, Salisbury University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the Wicomico County Board of Education.
 
As you are probably aware, there has been a significant uptick in the COVID-19 virus driven almost exclusively by the Delta variant. Worcester and Wicomico Counties have among the highest positivity rates in the State. The mask mandate will remain in effect until further notice.
 
We are not returning to the social distance requirements that were in place last year except in the cafeteria where people will be eating while unmasked.

Frequent handwashing continues to be recommended.
 
Thank you for your efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
Aug. 10, 2021 at 9:32 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today we learned of a positive COVID-19 case on the first floor of Shockley Hall.  The unvaccinated individual was unmasked and symptomatic on campus on Monday 8/3, Tuesday 8/4 and Monday 8/9.  Everyone who had contact with this individual has been notified. 
 
Unvaccinated individuals who were in the class are required to quarantine for 14 days and cannot return to campus, or off-site clinicals or college events until August 24th.  Vaccinated individuals without any COVID-19 symptoms were informed that they can continue uninterrupted attendance in college coursework, clinicals and activities, but are required to wear a mask during this same timeframe.
 
Remember, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 do not come to campus.  Everyone must do their part to help contain the spread of the virus.
Be smart and be safe.
Aug. 6, 2021 at 4:12 p.m. – Mask Wearing Strongly Recommended
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Yesterday, Governor Hogan held a press conference where he stated that he was not reinstituting a statewide mask mandate at this time because masking is not the problem, it is the unvaccinated causing the COVID-19 resurgence.  Given the fact that over 78% of Marylanders have been vaccinated, it makes sense that Maryland probably doesn’t need a statewide mask mandate.  And let’s face it, everyone is tired of masking.  However,
  • Wicomico currently has the highest COVID-19 positivity rate and second highest case rate in Maryland
  • The Lower Shore Counties have among the lowest vaccination rates in the State
    • Wicomico only has about 43% of the population fully vaccinated
    • Somerset’s vaccination rate is at 38% 
    • Worcester is at 56%
  • The CDC is recommending wearing face masks indoors in public settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, regardless of vaccine status
  • TidalHealth has implemented a “no visitation” status due to the COVID-19 infection rate
  • The Wicomico Health Department has implemented a mask mandate in all their facilities (and so have some local retail establishments, including WalMart)
We are currently requiring masks for anyone who has not been vaccinated, which includes all children in our summer programs under the age of 12 and all staff who interact with the children, regardless of vaccine status.
After conferring with the Wicomico County Health Officer, Lori Brewster, I am following the Maryland Department of Health guidance and strongly recommending that everyone wear a mask while indoors, unless you are alone in an office.  To date, less than 0.12% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Maryland are from residents who are fully vaccinated.  Of those cases, 53 have died, representing 3.7% of lab-confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Maryland.  More importantly, 96% of the hospitalized cases in Maryland are unvaccinated individuals and the unvaccinated also represent 96% of the deaths in Maryland to date.  
The Delta variant is surging in Maryland and especially in our region of the State.  While this message does not include a mask mandate, that still can come if things get worse.  Please realize that if you are in a large indoor group setting, like All Staff, everyone should be wearing a mask.  You will be reminded of that when we make the final notification regarding All Staff.  
Like all things with COVID-19, we are not in control, the virus is.  We are reacting based on the best information available from reliable sources.  Decisions we make one day may need to be changed the next as we receive updates.
June 22, 2021 at 12:06 p.m. – COVID-19 Exposure Plan
From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
The attached COVID-19 Exposure Plan is replacing the Returning to Work—A Guide for Employees document that was issued last year. Please review the attached document carefully, and remember to contact me immediately if you test positive for, were exposed to or have symptoms of COVID-19 -OR- have traveled out of the country and/or to a hotspot state.
 
Remember, if you are sick…please stay home!
 
Be safe. Take care!
May 27, 2021 at 5:24 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today we learned of a positive case by an individual who was in class this week on the first floor of Guerrieri Hall.  Everyone who had contact with this individual has been notified and anyone who has not been vaccinated will be quarantined through June 5th.   The class will continue in-person for vaccinated individuals and remotely for the unvaccinated students.
 
If you have not been vaccinated please remember to wear your mask inside the buildings.
 
Even though cases have diminished, the virus continues to be active and safety protocols should not be ignored.
 
Stay safe.
May 21, 2021 at 3:18 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Bryan Newton, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services
 
Sent on Behalf of Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today we learned of a positive COVID-19 case of an individual that was on the first floor of Shockley Hall from Monday through Thursday of this week.  The individual was vaccinated but had COVID-19 symptoms starting on 05/16.  The individual was unmasked and exhibiting symptoms.  Following campus guidelines, unvaccinated individuals that were exposed have been quarantined and those vaccinated have been asked not to come to campus if they exhibit symptoms. 
 
Vaccinations are not 100% effective and it is still possible to be infected with COVID-19 even if fully vaccinated.  If you are vaccinated and have symptoms, please stay home.
May 18, 2021 at 4:12 p.m. – Easing of Restrictions
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
You have probably heard the revised CDC guidance on mask wearing and social distancing and Governor Hogan’s Executive Order regarding the same and you must be wondering what that means for us.  Our primary goal throughout the pandemic has been to provide a safe environment for our employees and students.  We have followed CDC and State Health Department Guidance on all issues.  Consistent with that practice, we are implementing the following changes to our policies.
 
  1. MASKS - There is no longer a mask requirement on campus, either outside or indoors, for anyone who has been vaccinated, with some exceptions.  Per CDC guidelines, those who have not been vaccinated need to continue to wear masks until they have been fully vaccinated.  Vaccinated individuals can choose to continue to wear masks. 
 
Since school-aged children are unable to be vaccinated as of this date and since we will have school-aged children scheduled on campus between June 28 -  August 6 for Summer Scholars and the Camp Horizon’s program, masks must be worn by the children and everyone interacting with them while indoors.  Employees working in the Jordan Child Development Center and anyone entering the center must also wear a mask indoors.  Please be mindful of the children’s presence on campus.
 
  1. SYMPTOM MONITORING SCREENINGS – The health screenings at the entrances to campus will be discontinued immediately. Camp Horizon and the Jordan Child Development Center will conduct their own health screenings.  We are working out the details for the Summer Scholar’s screenings.  The mobile screening app is no longer required.  Campus building access is returning to pre-pandemic practice.
 
Those who exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19 are still instructed to stay home.  If you have been vaccinated and have direct exposure with someone who has COVID-19, but you have no symptoms, you can continue to come to work.  Unvaccinated people who come into contact with a positive individual must quarantine per our return to campus guidelines.
 
  1. SOCIAL DISTANCING – Social distancing is no longer required except for the school-aged children who will be on campus this summer.  All classrooms not occupied by school-aged children will begin being reset to pre-pandemic capacities. 
 
  1. RETURN TO WORK ON CAMPUS – All employees are expected to return to their worksite on campus by June 21st.  Everyone is welcome and encouraged to return earlier than that date to prepare for regular operations to resume as soon as possible.  We have a telework committee currently developing recommendations for a campus-wide telecommuting policy for consideration and Board adoption.  The Board will not have an opportunity to review that before fall.  Absent an approved policy, any and all requests for a different working arrangement will need to be on an exception basis. Supervisors will work with their employees to provide guidance on disability/health accommodations, which will be facilitated through Human Resources, and pandemic related childcare challenges.  We recognize that childcare centers are still operating at reduced levels and many camps and other activities will not be fully operational this summer.  Approvals for accommodations will require supervisor recommendations with final approval by the division vice president.  As a reminder, the Jordan Child Development Center is open and available for pre-school childcare service.
 
Please be reminded that vaccination opportunities continue to be available and faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to get vaccinated for the health and safety of everyone.  Please visit the following website for local vaccination information.   https://www.marylandvax.org/
 
Thank you for all of your hard work, flexibility and adherence to our COVID-19 protocols during the pandemic.  Things have changed more rapidly than expected and we’re continuing to respond as appropriate.
April 29, 2021 at 9:03 a.m. – Mass Vaccination Sites in Maryland
From Human Resources
 
If you are interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine and cannot attend our onsite clinic, you could try to make an appointment at the mass vaccination “University  Days” clinics. I pasted a little bit of information below. Please see attached letter for full details.
 
Take care. Be safe!

Human Resources Department
Wor-Wic Community College
Phone: 410-334-2920
April 29, 2021 at 8:54 a.m. – Sign Up for On-Campus Vaccine
From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
We filled the time slots from 9-10 and just opened more slots. If you tried to sign up and couldn’t get an appointment, please try again. If you try to get an appointment and can’t, please call/email me for assistance.

Karen Berkheimer | Executive Director of Human Resources | Wor-Wic Community College
www.worwic.edu | kberkheimer@worwic.edu |P: 410-334-2915 | F: 410-334-2806
April 26, 2021 at 8:05 a.m. – Sign Up for On-Campus Vaccine
From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
Good morning!
 
Rite Aid will be providing Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines to interested employees and their families & students and their families on May 6, 2021. The required second shot will be given on June 3, 2021.
 
                Location:              Hazel Center Café
                Time:                   Beginning at 9 am

Due to storage restrictions of the vaccine, we must fill each hour before we open additional appointments. Once we have enough appointments between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., we will open more slots, and so on.

 To Participate, You Must:
  • Be 18 years of age or older to get the vaccine;
  • Be able to return to campus for the second shot at the same time on June 3rd;
  • Schedule an appointment/Walk-in appointments will not be available;
  • Bring a photocopy of your insurance card (you will not be charged for the vaccine);
  • Bring your driver’s license/state issued photo ID card;
  • Complete the COVID-19 waiver form;
  • Arrive to campus early that day so you can
    • Complete the health screening questionnaire to come on campus;
    • Go through the screening checkpoint for your temperature check.
Schedule your Appointment Now!
https://www.picktime.com/ScheduleCOVID19vaccine
 
At least 25 appointments must be scheduled to hold the clinic, so please share this information with your families and sign up quickly.
 
Scheduling Tips
  • Click on the link above
  • Read the Welcome Message and close it (X at top right of white box)
  • Select the "COVID-19 Clinic – Hazel Center Café…" location
  • Select "COVID-19 Vaccine" service
  • Select a time slot
  • Enter your Name, Email address and Mobile Number
  • Click the "Book Appointment" button
April 17, 2021 at 2:16 p.m. – Vaccination Card Options
From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
In lieu of bringing your original vaccination card, you may present a clear photo of your card on your cell phone or a clear photocopy of your card. Your name and dates of the vaccine shots must be readable. 
 
If you make a photocopy, you could laminate it so it lasts longer. Do not laminate your original; it may be needed to record future boosters. 
 
Take care. Be safe!
April 16, 2021 at 4:36 p.m. – Returning to Work Guide Amendments
From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
The attached amendments document includes two new amendments, effective Monday, April 19, 2021. I included the two amendments below for your easy reference.
 
April 19, 2021 – Quarantine Requirements After Travel for Fully Vaccinated Employees
Employees who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least two weeks prior to domestic or international travel are not required to self-quarantine after travel if they are asymptomatic and followed CDC social distancing and masking requirements during their travels.
 
April 19, 2021 – Symptom Monitoring for Fully Vaccinated Employees
Employees who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for at least two weeks can present their vaccination card at the checkpoints instead of completing the daily electronic or paper health screening forms. As always, vaccinated employees with symptoms of the flu, COVID-19 or any other contagious disease should not report to campus.
 
Have a great weekend!
March 30, 2021 at 11:59 a.m. – Update to Travel Restrictions
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
I feel like it has been a while since you have heard from me, and that’s not a bad thing.  Today’s note is not an announcement regarding a campus COVID event.  It is merely an update to our college-sponsored travel policy.
 
In my Employee Update #4 email dated March 12, 2020, college-sponsored out-of-state travel was no longer permitted until further notice and other travel restrictions were put in place. College-sponsored student and staff travel was limited to in-state events with fewer than 50 attendees. State affinity group meetings were limited to conference call.
 
Effective today, March 30, 2021, regional college-sponsored travel within Maryland and to Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania and Delaware is permitted, upon supervisory approval, as long as the following conditions are met: (1) the destination state does not meet the hot-spot state definition at the time of travel and (2) travel is completed via personal, company or rental automobile (travel by public transportation is not approved). If the destination state becomes a hot-spot state while the employee is at a conference/meeting, the employee is required to quarantine per the Returning to Work—A Guide for Employees document and amendments.
 
Many of you have already been vaccinated and we continue to follow CDC guidance regarding fully vaccinated people.  People are considered fully vaccinated after 2-weeks since their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or 2-weeks after receiving a single does of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Fully vaccinated people can refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic.  However, for now, per CDC guidelines, “fully vaccinated people should continue to:
  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations” 
The previous bullet regarding travel outside of the regional travel designation areas stipulated above, means that even if you are vaccinated, you must get tested 3-5 days after your trip and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, you must stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. 
We are hoping for additional updates from the CDC regarding vaccinated individuals; however with the recent uptick in cases that may be delayed.

Please continue to follow all safety protocols.  Be well!
March 30, 2021 at 12:23 p.m. – Returning to Work Guide Amendments
From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
Good afternoon!
 
As a follow-up to Dr. Hoy’s email today, I’m attaching the updated amendments document for the Returning to Work guide for employees. This document provides new information about quarantining after travel.
 
Take care and be safe!
March 9, 2021 at 2:43 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today, we learned of a positive case by an individual who visited campus on the second floor of Fulton-Owen Hall on Thursday evening, March 4th.  Although this individual was asymptomatic, when they learned later that night that someone who they worked with was positive, they tested on Friday and received notification of a positive result.  Everyone who had contact has been notified and the class will be quarantined until Friday, March 19th.

Please stay safe and well.
March 1, 2021 at 7:58 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today a positive test was reported to us by an individual who was last on campus for a class on Friday on the first floor of Guerrieri Hall.  Yesterday, symptoms were experienced and rapid test results showed positive indication for COVID-19.  Everyone who had contact has been notified and will be quarantining through Friday, March 12.
 
Governor Hogan announced today that 49,600 Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be delivered to Maryland this week, which represents a 40% increase over last week’s total vaccine allotment.  As more doses become available and more Marylanders get vaccinated, we hope to see the disruption and devastation caused by this virus mitigate.  In the meantime, continue to follow all CDC and Health Department guidelines.  Stay safe and be vigilant.
Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:03 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today, we had an unfortunate situation where someone who was experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID since last Saturday came to campus.  The individual was tested before coming to campus, but while here, learned that they are positive for COVID.  The individual reported it and immediately left campus.  This individual was on the first and third floors of Fulton-Owen Hall.  Everyone who had contact with this individual has been notified and will be quarantining.  Deep cleaning of the spaces visited by this individual has already taken place.
 
If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID, do not come to campus. Get tested instead.  If you have taken a COVID test and are awaiting results, do not come to campus until you receive a negative test result.
Feb. 22, 2021 at 2:25 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today, a positive test result was reported to us by someone who attended classes on Wednesday, February 17th on the third floor of Brunkhorst Hall.  Symptoms were first experienced on Thursday and test results were delivered over the weekend.  Students and faculty have been contacted and will quarantine until March 4th.  Everyone who had contact with this individual has been contacted.
 
Statewide, cases are reported to be dropping and locally, new case rates and positivity rating is remaining stable at a low level.  Vaccines are being administered.  For those who have received the vaccine, you are still required to wear a mask and adhere to all COVID safety protocols until the CDC or Maryland Department of Health provide different guidance. 
Please stay safe.
Feb. 15, 2021 at 3:58 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Cases
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
I have two additional COVID cases to report today, marking the first time there have been three separate cases to report in one day.
First, we learned of a situation where someone came to campus on Feb 9th and only visited one office on the 3rd floor of Brunkhorst Hall.  The individual began experiencing symptoms on Feb 11th and had a test.  Positive results were revealed yesterday.  Contact was only made with only one individual and both are now quarantining.
 
Second, we also learned today that an individual who was on campus for a class on the second floor of Shockley Hall on February 11th tested positive on February 13th.  Everyone who had contact has been notified and they will quarantine through February 25th.
 
Stay well, please!
Feb. 15, 2021 at 9:14 a.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
We had a reported positive case over the weekend with contact in the Henson Building.  After investigation, two people are being quarantined and no others were determined to be at-risk.
 
Local and state positivity and new case numbers are falling.  It is a good trend but we must remain vigilant, even those who get the vaccination must continue to wear a mask.  If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID, do not come to campus.
 
Be safe!
Feb. 12, 2021 at 11:18 a.m. – Inclement Weather
From Sharon Dyke, Lead Payroll Specialist
 
Good morning everyone,
 
To address the many questions we have been receiving regarding time reporting for this morning, please review the following information.
 
As mentioned in All Staff…for inclement weather delays or closures during the pandemic, the following should occur:
 
Full- and part-time employees who can telework should telework for their regularly-scheduled work hours and complete their timesheets accordingly (e.g., full-time employees should report their 7.5 hours of work). Employees who requested leave, regardless of whether they can telework or not, should record their hours of leave.
 
Full- and part-time employees who are classified as essential or who cannot telework should select “college closure” and record the appropriate number of hours in accordance to their scheduled work hours. For example, an employee scheduled to work from 8 am to 4:30 pm would select 8 am to 10 am (2.0 hours) as “college closure” and the remainder of hours as hours worked if they reported to the campus at 10 am.
 
Supervisors – please review who is reporting “College Closed” and the number of hours reported to make sure the information is appropriate for that employee before approving their timecard.
 
If there are any further questions or concerns, please contact the payroll office at 410-334-2917 or 2919.
Feb. 4, 2021 at 7:57 p.m. – Campus Class Quarantined
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today we learned of a situation where students were allowed to remove their masks while in class and social distancing.  That is not our policy.  Masks must be worn at all times on campus.  Unfortunately, someone in the class had close contact over an extended period of time with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.  Due to the unusual circumstances of this situation, through an abundance of caution, the class has been quarantined.  Everyone in the class has been notified.  The class met on the third floor of Brunkhorst Hall on Monday.
 
Please ensure that you are aware of all of the required protocols in the return to campus guidelines and wear a mask while on campus.  I have noticed occasions during our drive-in campus screening that some people are not wearing their masks as they are greeted and screened.  Please remember to be considerate of our screeners and put on a mask before opening your car window.  Thank you.
 
Stay safe.
Jan. 8, 2021 at 10:47 a.m. – Campus Closed Until Jan. 25
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President

Yesterday, there was a great deal of activity in our COVID response journey. Karen Berkheimer spent most of the day responding to and running down individuals who had contact with either positive cases or suspected cases. By the end of the day, at least 16 employees were notified that they are under quarantine. After monitoring the evolving situation over the afternoon, President’s Staff met by Zoom early evening last night with Karen to discuss the magnitude of the problem and to determine how to move forward.  We had to verify some additional information this morning to finalize decisions.

As you are aware, currently the college is open and the semester begins on January 22nd, but classes will not return to campus until January 29th.  However, yesterday’s activity has left us understaffed at key positions and that led us to the decision to move to remote work this week, effectively closing the campus, with the following exceptions:
 
  1. On Tuesday, the college will open from 8:00 am – 10:00 am for employees to come to campus to pick-up computers and/or materials that you will need to work remotely this week. You are permitted to arrive, pick up belongings and leave. No one should stay on campus longer than needed to accomplish that task.
  2. On Thursday and Friday, from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm the Bookstore will be open for students to pick-up their books before the semester begins. Bookstore staff will also be on campus on a limited schedule this week to box and ship books that students have ordered.
  3. The Corrections class in ESCJA will continue as scheduled. The Police Cadet class remains quarantined.
  4. The overnight cleaning crew will come to campus on a scheduled basis to do deep cleaning and fogging before we resume normal on-campus activities.
We expect the campus, including the Child Development Center, to reopen to employees on Monday, January 25th. In the meantime, stay safe!
Jan. 8, 2021 at 4:08 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Spring 2021 -- I saw a post yesterday; someone asking to cancel their subscription to 2021 after experiencing the free 7-day trial period. Something to think about.
 
This is my first COVID notification in 2021. On Wednesday at All Staff, I told you that we are delaying on-campus classes until January 29th; beginning the semester remotely due to the high positivity and case rate in our community. The exception was for the Criminal Justice Academy coursework. However, late yesterday afternoon we learned that an individual who was on campus on Tuesday, Jan 5 for the program tested positive on Thursday. Everyone who had contact has been notified and the Academy class is in quarantine for 14 days with a return date of Jan 20. Since they were the only class on campus at this time there really isn’t any way to mask the program identification. 
 
Welcome to 2021. Stay safe.
Jan. 3, 2021 at 1:48 p.m. – Hotspot Visit Requirements
From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful break.
 
If you traveled to a COVID-19 hotspot state during the winter break, you are required to notify me and quarantine upon your return for 14 days prior to returning to campus.
 
Employees who are scheduled to work on campus, and are not approved to work remotely during their quarantine period due to the type of position they hold, will be required to use annual, personal or unpaid leave for those days during the quarantine period per the PPM.
 
Checking for Hotspots
Hotspot states are defined as those states where there is a 10% positivity rating over a 7-day rolling period. Hotspots continue to change as the virus continues to spread. To find out if a state you visited is a hotspot, you can visit https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/individual-states. Use the drop down box at the top of the US chart and click on the state(s) you visited. Place your cursor at the last point on the graph to review the seven day rolling positivity rate.
 
To avoid quarantining for 14 days, you can be tested for COVID-19 at least four or five days AFTER your return. Testing too soon might yield a false negative. Negative test results must be submitted to me in order for you to be authorized to return to campus sooner than 14 days.
 
Either way, if you traveled to a hotspot state, please contact me prior to returning to campus.
 
Help us keep our campus community safe!
Dec. 22, 2020 at 10:27 a.m. – Electronic Performance Appraisals
From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
Great news!
 
Administrator and support staff appraisals will be completed electronically this year through NeoGov, the same platform we use for online recruiting and hiring. While the electronic form and process are very similar to our paper process, there are some variations. We’ll send details and job aids in January and hold some open sessions for those interested. Until then, here are a few pieces of information to help you prepare.
 
  • The appraisal process will automatically open on January 1, 2021. You should receive an email from NeoGov with a link to your appraisal. You can always access it by clicking on the “My HR” link in the box at the top of the employee portal. Once NeoGov loads, you may have to select “Perform” from the dropdown at the top left if another page (for example, OHC) opens.
  • Prior to the self-appraisal, the online process will allow employees to enter goals for 2020 that they would like to acknowledge in this review period.
  • Once those goals are submitted, the employee has until February 1, 2021 to complete their self-appraisal. The sooner you submit your goals, the more time you have to complete your self-appraisal.
  • Once the employee submits current goals, the supervisor can be working on that person’s appraisal at the same time, without the employee seeing anything. However, the employee’s self-appraisal will not show to the supervisor until the employee officially submits it. This gives supervisors the opportunity to begin working on appraisals as soon as goals are submitted, with the due date for appraisal completion on March 4, 2021.
  • New…the appraisals will go through supervisory channels to the vice president level PRIOR to the appraisal being released to the employee. This ensures everyone in the supervisory chain agrees with the review prior to issue.
  • Once the review is complete, there is a task for supervisors to schedule the appraisal meeting (if they haven’t already). Once that task is marked complete, the employee will be able to see their appraisal. (As always, employees should have at least one day to review the appraisal prior to the meeting.)
  • Employee meetings must be completed and employee signatures obtained by March 30, 2021.
  • The salary recommendation is part of the online appraisal and will also be completed and approved electronically.
  • At this time, Performance Improvement Plans will continue to be completed using the paper form.
We are really excited about this new process and realize we might have to work out a few kinks after we go live. We’ll keep the lines of communication open.
Dec. 10, 2020 at 5:20 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case   
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today we learned that an individual who was on campus on Thursday Dec. 3rd but only visited the Testing Center, second floor of Brunkhorst Hall, began experiencing symptoms on Saturday, Dec. 5th. Test results received yesterday were positive for COVID-19.  Everyone who was in contact with this individual has been notified and they were instructed to quarantine through Dec 17th.  The Testing Center has been cleaned and fogged routinely since last Thursday, including last night. 
 
The Testing Center will remain open.
 
Please continue to be safe and diligent in your adherence to CDC guidelines and college policies.
Dec. 6, 2020 at 3:39 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
On Friday afternoon, we became aware of a case on the second floor of Shockley Hall in the Allied Health area where students and instructors are generally wearing full PPE (gowns, gloves, masks and shields), identical to what is required in the healthcare setting.  However, upon investigation we learned that full PPE was not in use the entire time that students were interacting with one another and we moved to quarantine the affected classes through December 18.  Everyone who had contact with the infected individual, who was on campus on Monday and Thursday last week, was notified Friday evening. 
 
As a reminder to everyone, if you are experiencing symptoms do not come to campus. 
 
Please stay safe and follow all of the CDC protocols.
Dec. 3, 2020 at 7:59 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
This evening we learned of an individual who received a positive test for COVID-19 today, after testing yesterday.  This individual was last on campus on Monday, November 30th in the afternoon on the third floor of Brunkhorst Hall.  Everyone who has had direct contact with this individual has been notified that they are to quarantine until December 18th.  Plans are being made for them to complete the semester remotely.
 
We are coming down the homestretch, nearing the end of the semester.  We have had a good week on campus. In fact, you have not heard from me in ten days.  But as you are aware, infections and hospitalizations are at an all-time high across the country and continuing to rise in Maryland.  We are closely monitoring the situation.  Thank you for all of your efforts in following CDC safety guidelines.  Although it is encouraging to learn that vaccines will be available soon, we still need to follow all safety protocols until this pandemic is in our rearview mirror. 
 
Please be safe!
Nov. 23, 2020 at 2:41 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
This morning we learned of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 who was last on campus on 11/19 on the second floor of Brunkhorst Hall.  The individual was asymptomatic on the 19th, began experiencing symptoms on the 20th, and tested on the 21st. Everyone who had direct contact with this individual has been notified that they are to quarantine until December 4th.
 
As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, stay safe and vigilant and keep up your guard against the transmission of this dreadful virus.
Nov. 14, 2020 at 8:51 a.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Last night, we learned of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 who was on campus Monday-Thursday this past week, spending days on the first floor of Guerrieri Hall and the lunch period in the Hazel Center cafe.  Everyone who had been in direct contact with this individual for at least 15 minutes has been notified.  The class will quarantine for 14 days, returning on Nov. 30th.
 
As I am sure you have heard, cases are continuing to rise around the country and in Maryland.  Governor Hogan has increased restrictions for restaurants and indoor gatherings.  Everyone has a personal responsibility to help reduce the spread of the virus by wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, washing our hands and sanitizing the areas we use, both before and after use. 
 
Be safe and continue to act responsibly.
Nov. 9, 2020 at 5:06 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Cases
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
As cases of COVID-19 increase across our country and state, three unrelated positive cases have been reported to us today.
 
  1. An individual who was last on campus on Monday, November 2nd subsequently tested positive.  This individual attended class on the 3rd floor of Fulton-Owen Hall, also spending time in the resource center in Henson Hall that afternoon and the Math lab and Veteran’s Lounge in Brunkhorst that same day, between 10:30 and 12:45.  Individuals in the class and others who were in contact have been notified.  Even though, through contact tracing we believe that we have identified and reached out to everyone who had at least 15 minutes of interaction with this individual, if you were in the Veteran’s Lounge or Math Lab between 10:30-12:45, or in the HH 100 resource center after 1:00 p.m. on Monday November 2nd, please begin self-quarantining and contact Dr. Deirdra Johnson (djohnson@worwic.edu or 410-334-2902) and inform her that you were in one of those locations during those time periods and are now quarantining.  The quarantine period for this case is until Tuesday, November 17th.
  2. An individual who was last on campus on the first floor of Shockley Hall on Tuesday, November 3rd, also subsequently tested positive.  Individuals in the class have been contacted and the class will remain quarantined until Wednesday, November 18th.
  3. Also, an individual who was last on campus on the third floor of Shockley Hall on Wednesday, Nov 4th subsequently tested positive.  Individuals in the class have been contacted and the class will remain quarantined until Thursday, November 19th.
As always, cleaning and disinfecting the classrooms and common areas remains a high priority and is being attended to by our Facilities team.  I remind everyone to sanitize your classroom workspace when you arrive and when you leave for your safety and the safety of others.
 
We all need to remain vigilant—wear your masks, wash your hands often, maintain social distancing and sanitize.  Stay safe.
Nov. 2, 2020 at 11:52 a.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today we learned that an individual who was last on campus for a class in the Jordan Center on Wednesday, October 28th, tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. This individual had been in close contact with someone off campus who began experiencing symptoms on the 28th and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. 
 
The two-week quarantine period for this class will last through November 11th. The class has been notified. 
 
As previously stated, stay safe and follow all CDC guidelines.
Oct. 28, 2020 at 5:54 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
I have heard some concerns that people feel as though the information regarding COVID-19 cases isn’t getting out quickly enough. I just reviewed every communication regarding every case that we have had since July and in every circumstance, we have sent out an alert on the same day, usually within hours after learning of a positive case. 
 
Just so you understand our process, as soon as Dr. Deirdra Johnson or Karen Berkheimer are alerted to a positive case, they follow-up with the individual who tested positive. As soon as they learn when that individual was on campus, where they were on campus and who they interacted with, when they tested positive, and/or when they first experienced symptoms, Deirdra and Karen contact everyone (students and employees) who may have had an interaction with the affected individual. These people are informed of the date, time and place of the interaction with the affected individual and given instructions as to what they should do, including quarantining and, if it is a class, how it will be conducted during the period of the quarantine. They are also informed that if they develop symptoms or get a positive test result that they should contact the appropriate college staff person (Deirdra or Karen) so that information can be shared as well. While that is going on, I generally prepare the email to send out to the campus once all the affected individuals have been notified. I don’t want those individuals to find out in a note like this. That would likely result in confusion and unnecessary added stress. This note is just to inform the rest of the campus of an incident that has come to our attention. It has been dealt with on many levels including our facilities staff being informed so they can prepare appropriately for the level of cleaning that needs to take place.
 
Sorry to put you through all of that before informing you of our most recent case, but since this was brought to my attention I felt that I should make it clear that you know how these cases are being dealt with.
  
Today, we were notified of an individual who just received a positive result. This individual was last on the third floor of Shockley Hall on Oct 23rd. The two-week quarantine period has begun, and the class has been informed. Tonight, will be the second time that the facility will be fogged since the individual was on campus. This is not a case of campus exposure.
 
Stay safe.
Oct. 22, 2020 at 4:53 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today we learned that a second individual in the Child Development Center received a positive test result for COVID-19. This individual was last on campus on 10/16, and other than eating lunch in the Hazel Center did not visit any other campus buildings. We are keeping the Center closed through October 31st, reopening on Monday, November 2nd.
 
Employees and parents have been notified. Parents have been advised that their children should quarantine for this period also. The entire building has been thoroughly cleaned and is ready for reopening, and the Hazel Center is cleaned daily.    
 
Although it hasn’t been confirmed, this may be our first case of campus spread. As you may have heard, there has been an uptick in cases nationally and in Maryland. Everyone needs to remain vigilant—wear your masks, wash your hands often, maintain social distancing and sanitize.
Oct. 23, 2020 at 12:14 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Today we have another COVID-19 positive case to report. This one is an individual who was only on the first floor of Shockley Hall on Monday, October 19th, was tested on Wednesday and received the results last night. NUR 255-D03 will convert to online for the two-week quarantine period.
 
Students have been notified and we will proceed as per our plan. As you are aware, we are thoroughly cleaning the buildings and fogging for sanitization.
 
Please stay vigilant in your efforts to stave off the spread of this virus.
Oct. 16, 2020 at 8:50 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Late this afternoon we learned that an individual in the Child Development Center received a positive test result for COVID-19.  This individual was last on campus on Tuesday and did not visit any other campus buildings. We are closing the Center through October 27th, reopening on October 28th, unless there are additional positive cases.
 
Employees and parents have been notified. We also notified the Health Department and the Maryland Department of Education (childcare licensing agency). Child Development Center employees will be tested and are required to quarantine through October 27th. Parents have been advised that their children should quarantine for this period also. Any positive tests results should be reported to Karen Berkheimer, 410-334-2915 or kberkheimer@worwic.edu
 
The entire building was fogged last Wednesday evening and has been cleaned daily.  
 
There has been an uptick in cases nationally and in Maryland. Everyone needs to remain vigilant—wear your masks, wash your hands often, maintain social distancing and sanitize. To date, we have not experienced any instances of campus spread.
 
Stay safe and have a good weekend.
Oct. 12, 2020 at 8:12 a.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
We learned last night that a student attending classes on the second and third floors of Bunkhorst Hall last Wednesday was tested on Friday for COVID-19 and the test results came back positive last evening. Students and faculty in the classes with the infected student were contacted last Friday, informing them that a classmate was exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 indications and had been tested but had not received results yet. Through an abundance of caution, we transitioned the classes to remote instruction until test results were received. Now that we have been alerted to a positive COVID-19 test result, we have informed the students and the faculty that they will must quarantine for 14 days from the last class, which takes them to October 22nd. Brunkhorst classrooms were cleaned and fogged last Wednesday evening and have been subsequently deep cleaned.
 
Please continue to stay vigilant and safe.
Oct. 6, 2020 at 1:12 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
We learned this morning that a student attending class last Thursday evening in Guerrieri Hall tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday (test results were made available over the weekend). The student did not have any symptoms but took the test on Friday after learning about a recent contact with someone who tested positive. The student came to class Thursday evening and left campus without visiting any other areas and has not returned to campus since. To date, we are not aware of anyone else in the class who has exhibited symptoms. The other students in the class and the instructor have been contacted to inform them of the possible contact and have been notified that they should quarantine for 14 days, until October 15th. The class will be conducted online for the next two weeks.
 
The Health Department has been notified and will be conducting contact tracing, however, as I noted above, we have already reached out to the other members of the class. The students and instructor were following our mask and social distancing requirements. Cleaning protocols are in place and a deep cleaning of the space will occur today.
 
Please stay safe and healthy.
Oct. 6, 2020 at 10:25 a.m. – Testing Locations
From Karen Berkheimer, Executive Director of Human Resources
 
Campus Community,
 
Below are links in your county where you can get tested for COVID-19.
 
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, contact your own healthcare provider first, if you have one. COVID-19 testing locations are listed below after selecting a county.
 
If you are a healthcare provider and you do not see your testing location listed, send an email to helpdelmarva@wboc.com
 
Sussex County        http://helpdelmarva.com/county-testing-locations/sussex/
 
Caroline County     http://helpdelmarva.com/county-testing-locations/caroline/
 
Wicomico County   http://helpdelmarva.com/county-testing-locations/wicomico/
 
Worcester County   http://helpdelmarva.com/county-testing-locations/worcester/
 
Accomack County   http://helpdelmarva.com/county-testing-locations/accomack/
 
Kent County             http://helpdelmarva.com/county-testing-locations/kent/
 
Somerset County    http://helpdelmarva.com/county-testing-locations/somerset/
 
Dorchester County  http://helpdelmarva.com/county-testing-locations/dorchester/
 
Talbot County           http://helpdelmarva.com/county-testing-locations/talbot/
 
Queen Anne's County   http://helpdelmarva.com/county-testing-locations/queen-annes/
Sept. 23, 2020 at 12:56 p.m. – Reporting Reminder
From Karen Berkheimer, Senior Director of Human Resources
 
Employees who (A) have symptoms of COVID-19, (B) test positive for COVID-19 or (C) were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 must contact me (Karen Berkheimer in HR) as soon as reasonably possible after experiencing such symptoms or learning about such information. This is very important to our efforts to protect the campus community. Supervisors must inform me if they know of someone who meets any of these criteria.
 
The same is true for students, except they/you must contact Dr. Deirdra Johnson.
 
Karen Berkheimer: 410-334-2915
Deirdra Johnson: 410-334-2902
 
Please help us keep our campus safe. Call us right away if you (or another employee/student) meet any of these criteria.
 
Thank you.
 
Be safe!
Aug. 19, 2020 at 4:19 p.m. – Returning to Work Guide Amendments
From Karen Berkheimer, Senior Director of Human Resources
 
I’m attaching a revised amendments document to the Returning to Work – A Guide for Employees (RTW) document. This document include three additional amendments to the employee RTW guide. For your convenience, I’m also attaching the RTW document.
July 27, 2020 at 4:40 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
If this sounds familiar it is because it is.  But, we learned late this afternoon that an individual who participated in training in the Criminal Justice Academy in Guerrieri Hall last Wednesday has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.  In addition to Guerrieri Hall, this individual had lunch on the 3rd floor of the Hazel Center. To date, no one who interacted with this individual has reported any symptoms.  However, per our policy, the students and instructors will be quarantined through later next week. 
 
The police training class, which does not intermingle or share space with the corrections class, will be allowed to continue and will be on campus tomorrow.  Deep cleaning will take place in the areas used by the corrections class.
 
The Wicomico Health Department has been notified and has accepted our plan. 
 
Please stay safe and healthy.
July 14, 2020 at 5:20 p.m. – Symptom List Changes
From Karen Berkheimer, Senior Director of Human Resources
 
As we mentioned in the past, information related to COVID-19 is everchanging. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its list of common COVID-19 symptoms to include nausea and diarrhea. In response, we updated our COVID-19 Self Screening Tool (attached) to include these additional symptoms. The mobile app will be updated, as well.
 
Please be sure to carefully review the questions each time you complete the self-assessment. For the health and safety of others, we ask that you do not report to campus if you answer "yes" to any of the questions on the form.
 
The CDC states that this list does not include all possible symptoms; they will continue to update this list as they learn more about COVID-19. We'll continue to monitor changes.
 
Take care and be safe!
July 14, 2020 at 12:56 p.m. – Positive COVID-19 Case
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
We learned this morning that an individual who participated with training in the Criminal Justice Academy in Guerrieri Hall last Monday and Tuesday has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. This individual did not enter any other facilities on campus. To date, no one who interacted with this individual has reported any symptoms. However, under the utmost of caution, the police cadets, instructors and staff will be required to have COVID-19 testing and will not be allowed back on campus until either negative test results are received or 7 additional days pass (that will be 14 days from the last contact with the positive individual). 
 
A corrections academy class began today. Although they are in the same building, they do not mingle or share classrooms. This class will not return to campus tomorrow, in part because the Academy staff will be quarantining. They plan to return on Thursday with substitute administrative and teaching staff in place to support their campus-based training.
 
The Wicomico Health Department has been notified and will advise us if we should change any of our plans. Although a week has passed since the person was on campus, we will close the building for a day and take this opportunity to do a deep clean of the facility before classes resume on Thursday, as described in our Return to Work document.
 
Please stay safe and healthy.
July 13, 2020 at 9:51 a.m. – Testing Option After Hotspot Visit
From Karen Berkheimer, Senior Director of Human Resources
 
The RTW July 1 amendment defined hotspot states as those states where there is a 10% positivity rating over a 7-day rolling period. To find out if a state you are planning to travel to is a hotspot, you can visit https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/individual-states. Use the drop down box at the top of the US chart and click on the state you are visiting. Place your cursor at the last point on the graph to review the seven day rolling positivity rate. For example, if you check on Florida today you will see it has an 18.6% positivity rate. If you had visited Florida in the last seven days, you would be required to quarantine for 14 days upon your return before returning to campus.
 
To avoid quarantining for a full 14 days, you can be tested for COVID-19 and return once a negative test result is received. Similar to other return-to-work notes, negative tests results should be submitted to me or Anna Era prior to/on the day of your return. 
 
For more information on COVID-19 testing, please visit the applicable site below:
 
Wicomico County Health Department - https://www.wicomicohealth.org/preparedness/coronavirus-covid-19/
Worcester County Health Department - https://www.worcesterhealth.org/protect-menu/1726-worcester-county,-md-coronavirus-covid-19-information-2020
Somerset County Health Department - https://somersethealth.org/community-health-services/coronavirus-covid-19/
Delaware State Testing Information - https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/
Virginia State Testing Information - https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/covid-19-testing-sites/
 
Take care and stay healthy!
July 2, 2020 at 4:01 p.m. – Self-Assessment Paper Form and Travel Amendment
From Karen Berkheimer, Senior Director of Human Resources
 
As many of us prepare to come to campus next week, I wanted to resend the paper copy of the health self-assessment form that must be completed prior to gaining access to campus (so it's at the top of your inbox). Information Technology recently sent information about a digital version of this form that can be used from your phone (instead of the paper form). If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, or if you have a fever, you will not be permitted to come on campus that day. The Returning to Work: A Guide for Employees (RTW) document that Dr. Hoy distributed provides additional information. 
 
I am also attaching an RTW amendments page that I will update and distribute as things change in response to COVID-19. This first amendment includes Dr. Hoy's announcement about quarantining when returning from Hot Spots. 
 
These documents will soon be available at the main page of the employee portal (in process).
 
I hope you are able to enjoy this long weekend!
July 2, 2020 at 3:54 p.m. – Screening App
From the Information Technology Department
 
The COVID Clear Pass screening app is now available for your use at campus checkpoints starting Monday, July 6, 2020.  COVID Clear Pass is accessible through the Wor-Wic Mobile App.  Instructions on how to download the Wor-Wic Mobile app and use the COVID Clear Pass app are attached.  These instructions will also be available under Wor-Wic Mobile App on the Technology Resources page of our website.  
 
If you need assistance with this app, please contact the IT Help Desk at 410-334-2870.  
 
Thank you for assisting us in keeping our campus safe for students, faculty, staff and visitors.
July 1, 2020 at 4:16 p.m. – Budget, Campus Reopening and Travel
Employee Update #11 From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
It seems as though I just sent out Employee Update #10, but a lot has happened since then, including a major action by the Maryland Board of Public Works today. I’ll begin with that.
 
The Board of Public Works considered a recommendation by the Governor to implement budget reductions today, on the first day of the new fiscal year, in order to deal with the budget shortfall due to the economic impact of the pandemic. They accepted $413 million of the proposed reductions and deferred other proposed cuts until revenue estimates are available. Through today’s action, Wor-Wic’s reduction in State funding is $1.2 million.
 
As you are aware, we have already implemented a number of budget reductions in anticipation of a state cut that was signaled earlier by the governor and a growing concern regarding fall enrollment. You might not be familiar with all of those adjustments so I will highlight them here:
 
  • Eliminated the 2.5% salary increase that was planned and budgeted for 7/1/2020
  • Froze 12 vacant positions
  • Furloughed 24 positions as of today (some full furloughs others partial)
  • Adopted cost-center manager budget reductions amounting to $400,000
The reductions itemized above will cover the State funding reversion, but until we know how many students will be showing up this fall and how many we are allowed to have in a classroom, we will not know whether these actions are sufficient to balance the FY 2021 budget.
 
I have mentioned before that all higher education is experiencing the fallout of student uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and the economic impact of the pandemic on family’s personal finances. Our most recent data indicate that applications are up significantly, but registrations are down (-27%). We believe that many students are waiting to learn how colleges are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis before making a commitment. We know how we will be delivering instruction this fall and we will be informing students next Monday, July 6, the same date that we will be returning to campus, as outlined in my message to you two weeks ago that accompanied the Return to Work: A Guide for Employees document. A letter and video explaining credit instruction and student return to campus information will be sent to current students, applicants and prospects next week. It will be posted to social media and available on our website. The video has already been uploaded to our YouTube channel and you can preview it here: https://youtu.be/igP9ZACjxM0. Additional materials being shared with students regarding our fall class formats is attached for your information.
 
I want to emphasize that the video is not going public until Monday. The reason for that decision is that our revised schedule will not be accessible until then and we do not want to cause a great deal of interest driving students to our website until they can access the revised schedule. Next week, we are hoping for a tidal wave of interest! We are releasing it to you now so you have a heads-up regarding what students will be seeing beginning Monday and you are prepared to address questions that you might receive.
 
Non-credit instruction will begin on campus on July 15, 2020. New State tuition grants are in process to assist students and businesses in paying for training for upskilling employees and helping people prepare for new jobs. New corrections and police academy classes will begin in July as well.
 
As we return to campus amid the significant uptick in COVID-19 cases in states in other regions of the country, we are implementing additional safeguards. It is evident that this virus will be with us for a while, so we need to be prepared to alter our plans as the situation dictates. With that in mind, employees and students who travel to COVID-19 hotspot states will be required to quarantine upon their return for 14 days prior to returning to campus. Employees who are scheduled to work on campus during their quarantine period will be required to take vacation or personal leave for those days during the quarantine period. Employees will be expected to work from home on their non-on-campus workdays. Leave will not be assessed for the days that the employee works from home, except as stipulated above, when the employee is scheduled to work from campus. Student who are absent during their quarantine period will be excused absences.
 
Hotspot states are defined as those states where there is a 10% positivity rating over a 7-day rolling period. Current hotspots, as of July 1, include California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas. Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina and South Carolina are trending toward hotspot status and could be considered hotspots by the time someone visits and returns. Obviously, the hotspot states will be changing as the virus migrates. This means that employees and students must use their best judgment when planning travel. As you already know, we will not be supporting any out-of-state travel at this time.
 
We will continue to focus our efforts on supporting our students, employees and our community. Thank you for all that you are doing to keep the dream of education alive for students from the Lower Shore. We all know how important our education and training is to our students and the economic vitality of our community.
 
June 18, 2020 at 7:42 p.m. – Returning to Work
Employee Update #10 From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
Last week, Governor Hogan increased the number of people who can congregate indoors to 15. That change offers us an opportunity to begin offering classes on campus. Given this announcement and our planning that was already ongoing for on-campus coursework in the fall, we have established July 6th as the “Return to Campus” date for the new-normal operations. The underlying guiding principle for all of our reopening decisions is an emphasis on the health and safety of our students and employees.
 
Within that context, not everyone will be returning to campus. Many will continue to telecommute. It will depend on your job and if there is anything for you to do on campus at this time. Supervisors will be contacting staff to discuss their schedules. Remember, we need to continue to social distance even in the offices as we return. Due to space constraints we will not be able to bring everyone back at the same time.
 
Whether you are returning to campus immediately or not, all employees will be required to complete Returning To Work training through SafeColleges prior to July 6, 2020 and quarterly thereafter until further notice. You will be receiving an email notification from SafeColleges when it becomes available.
 
Beginning July 6th, anyone coming to campus (employees, students and visitors) will need to go through screening before entering the buildings. We will have two screening sites. Walk-up screening will be conducted in front of Brunkhorst Hall main entrance. The second screening will be conducted while you are still in your car. You will need to circle around campus to the North Parking lot under the Solar Panel Canopy where you will be greeted by our outstanding Public Safety staff who will take your temperature and review your health self-assessment. The health assessment is a self-reporting questionnaire where you will be asked questions about any COVID-19 symptoms you may be experiencing and your interactions with someone who has tested positive. We hope to have this available on an App by July 6th, but if not, we will have a paper version, which will also be available for any first-time visitors. This will become part of your daily routine. A copy of the Health Self-Assessment Questionnaire is attached.
 
Buildings will be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and as needed for evening courses.
 
As we become busier, we will stagger start-times to try to reduce the waiting period that could occur at peak arrival times. All employees, students and visitors will be required to wear face coverings when inside buildings and while interacting with others. 
  
Continuing Education will be allowed to begin offering classes on July 15th.  New courses for our nursing and other health professions disciplines are returning to campus as well. Students who need to interact with staff in-person for onboarding and course scheduling will also be invited to campus by appointment. With all this activity we will obviously need a campus presence beginning in July.
 
The details of what you should expect and will experience are outlined in the attachment titled “Returning to Work: A Guide for Employees.” Please take some time to review the entire document. It provides detailed information and guidance on our workplace expectations. It isn’t stated anywhere, but as we reopen, everyone should realize that we are returning to our practice of workplace appropriate attire (slippers, robes, tee shirt and pjs may be fine at home, but while interacting with students and one another on campus there is an expectation of a higher level of grooming and dress than what has been observed in some Zoom and Team meetings).
 
With a limited on-campus presence, the Jordan Center and the Café will not be operating this summer. Additionally, in order to ensure appropriate social distancing, we will be using the Hazel Center for the in-person meetings with students in July and much of August. You should not plan to eat your lunch in the cafeteria. More detailed information can be found in the guide.
 
As we prepare for the fall, credit faculty have developed a COVID-19 revised schedule for fall coursework. There will be six course delivery methods to ensure that students have options. We surveyed our students to learn how we can make them feel comfortable, secure and confident so that they will be successful this year. There was an interesting division in their choices with 37% choosing face-to-face instruction with social distancing; 33% selecting online; and, the remaining 30% choosing hybrid or virtual classes. Clearly, we need to offer options and the faculty responded.
 
The challenge is making the changes to the existing schedule, informing students and explaining what the changes mean. During the week of June 29th through July 2nd, staff will be making the changes to the fall class schedule. On July 6th, pre-registered students will be contacted to advise them of the changes and informing them that the fall payment deadline will be July 22nd. We expect some drop/add activity after students learn of their schedule changes and see the new options. We also hope that once undecided students who are sitting on the sideline waiting to see what’s going to happen learn about our schedule and processes, then they make the leap and come in and get registered. Next week, a video outlining what fall will look like at Wor-Wic will be filmed and will be sent to students, posted on our website and on social media on July 6th.
 
With limited campus activity this summer, we continue to be in a position where not everyone has work that can be performed. While the Board of Trustees committed to keeping everyone on the payroll through June 30, 2020, as we begin the new fiscal year the Emergency Closure Pay will end. A number of positions are scheduled for full or partial furlough until we resume normal operations in the fall. Affected staff have been notified. If circumstances change and we have work for everyone and can bring people back earlier, we will take advantage of that opportunity.
 
I know that everyone has been enduring a great deal of stress during this unprecedented period and we hope that our return to work goes smoothly and we can find some sense of normalcy this fall. I think that we all know that the likelihood of a second wave of the virus is high. However, we must plan for a number of eventualities, including restarting in the fall. If we have to pivot, I think that we are better prepared than we were this past spring.And, we did a pretty good job making that adjustment. Thank you for all that you have done to keep the college moving forward and keeping our students on track to achieve their goals. This coming year will continue to bring challenges, but if I have learned anything from the experience that we have been through over the past 4 months, it is that we are stronger than the challenges that we face and we’ll find ways to fulfill our Mission and support our students and one another.
 
Thank you.
May 21, 2020 at 4:10 p.m. – Employee Assistance Program
From Anna Era, Benefits Coordinator
 
We know these last few months have been difficult.  People have been cut off from their families (or been with them 24/7), family members have lost jobs/income, and people are worried about what the future looks like. Wor-Wic's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offered by BHS is here for you and any family member living in your household any time of day. Call 1-800-327-2251. Plus they have lots of resources at their website (See attached flyer for more details). Information can be accessed at: https://portal.bhsonline.com  User name: WORWIC [No password required]  
 
Below is just a sample of the articles, videos, and resources BHS has to offer: 
 
Article Links:
 
1. CDC Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Website
2. Know the Symptoms of COVID-19
3. White House Opening Up America Again Website
4. Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
5. Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine & Isolation
6. APA Managing Anxiety and Stress in Times of Uncertainty (Session 1)
7. Parenting During the COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)
8. Lo que necesita saber sobre la enfermedad del coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
9. Managing Healthcare Workers' Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak
10. USA.gov Unemployment Assistance Information
 
Videos:
1. Caring for Someone Who Has COVID-19
2. Dealing With the Stress of Self-Isolation
3. Disinfecting Your Home of COVID-19
4. How COVID-19 Spreads
5. Human Coronaviruses
6. KidsHealth - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How to Clean Your Hands
7. KidsHealth - Coronavirus (COVID-19): Keeping Kids Busy
8. KidsHealth - Coronavirus (COVID-19): Top 5 FAQs
9. Simple Ways to Avoid COVID-19
10. Symptoms of COVID-19 Infection
11. Video: Hand Washing Fundamentals To Reduce The Spread Of Germs
 

If you have any questions regarding the EAP Program, please contact me at 410-334-2982 or aera@worwic.edu.
May 13, 2020 at 11:07 a.m. – Wear Your Masks and Clean Your Workspace
Employee Update #9 From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
 
I hope everyone is doing well. We survived the Spring semester! Congratulations and Thank You!! This is quite an accomplishment given the profound impact of the pandemic on everyone’s life. And, it continues.
 
As you know, we have extended the hours that essential employees can come to campus to complete work that cannot be accomplished at home and/or to drop off and pick up mail and other items. The extended hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 4 pm. When you come to campus, please be sure to wear your face mask/covering in all public areas (hallways, stairwells, restrooms, elevators, office suites) just as you are wearing it in the grocery store. If you have an individual office, you can take it off within your office, as long as there is no one else with you.
 
Now through our return (whenever that is), it remains your responsibility to clean your work area and high touch items (office copiers, door knobs) within your office suite before you leave. The facilities department supplied disinfectant wipes to all office suites prior to teleworking. If your office is not within a suite, there are wipes mounted in the hallways for your use. It is safe to use the wipes to clean your computer keyboards.
 
Summer I online courses began this week and enrollment is much better than expected and far better than it was trending. This seems to confirm our suspicion that many people are delaying decisions about college enrollment until the last possible moment so they have the most up-to-date information. The Summer II term will also be online.
 
As mentioned in the Town Hall meeting, I established a faculty task force to plan for the Fall term and consider what it might look like if we can offer courses face-to-face or hybrid instruction with partial on-campus classes with social/physical distancing, in addition to courses offered completely online. Unfortunately, we have to plan for several different scenarios because we are not in control of the virus or the government’s response to the pandemic. In addition to the faculty task force, each division of the college is developing plans and making recommendations to President’s Staff, who along with Ruth Gill, Greg Grey and Karen Berkheimer are planning for the reopening of the campus.
 
When will we reopen to employees? When will we reopen to the public? Today, we don’t know. Like you, we want answers to these questions. Like the faculty task force, we are working on several scenarios. Yesterday, the University System of California announced that they will not reopen their campuses this fall. That is the largest college system in the country. Many other institutions have announced that they will be opening. Our planning efforts need to consider a number of different possibilities. When we open is important, but it is a question we don’t have an answer to yet. We do know that we will open, sometime. That is what we are preparing for. We’re not waiting, we’re getting ready. The underlying guiding principle for all of our reopening decisions is an emphasis on the health and safety of our students and employees. So, our considerations for reopening include the very real possibility that we will need to continue the practice of social distancing within the office suites and classrooms. That suggests that we will continue to have a number of staff telecommuting since offices are not large enough to provide 6’ distancing between office staff. 
 
There’s a lot going on, and of course, we are also awaiting further guidance from Governor Hogan, other State agencies and we are working with our colleague institutions across the state to gain insight from their deliberations as well. Tomorrow, the Maryland Higher Education Commission will convene a meeting with Maryland’s college and university presidents to discuss our path to reopening our institutions. Perhaps we will know more then, or perhaps they are just trying to learn what our thoughts are on the topic. I’m not really sure at this point. We’ll keep you informed as we learn more.
 
Another question that you are probably having is about the budget, since I brought it up during the Town Hall meeting. Like so many other things, we don’t have any new information that can help us project the FY 2021 budget situation. Frankly, fall enrollment will be the key factor in how much revenue we will have next year. As I mentioned above, Summer I enrollment materialized at the last minute. If the same thing happens this fall, we should be ok; and even better if other factors also occur. Things like, additional Federal higher education relief funding or if we don’t receive the State budget reduction that is anticipated. We are dealing with a number of variables that remain uncertain and we have to wait for most of them to be revealed to us before final decisions can be made. We can hope for the best, but hope isn’t a plan. So, we’ll continue to formulate our plans for fall and try to be ready for any eventuality. 
 
For now, and the foreseeable future, remember that when you are on campus, you need to wear a mask unless you are in your own office, by yourself. And, please clean your workspace with disinfectant, including common area items that you may have used, like copiers.
 
Until we return, stay safe and healthy. And, try not to worry too much.
May 11, 2020 at 11:05 a.m. – HVAC on Campus
From the Facilities Management Department
 
Dear Campus Community,
 
The HVAC will be scheduled on in all office areas from 9am to 4pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Any classes or other events that require HVAC must be scheduled on 25Live a minimum of 7 days in advance. This will guarantee that the air will be on in your area of use. 
 
We’re trying to minimize runtime of the HVAC equipment to save utility costs, but keep everyone comfortable when necessary. 25Live is the tool we will use to make this happen. You should also be aware that due to a chiller replacement at Fulton-Owen Hall, this building will be without AC from May 11th to May 28th. We will update you if these dates change. Please direct any questions in this regard to facilities management.
 
Thank you.
May 8, 2020 at 11:23 a.m. – Extended Hours for Essential Employees
From Jennifer A. Sandt, Vice President for Administrative Services
 
Effective next week, the campus hours will be extended to Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 4 pm. Buildings are generally locked. Once you are on campus, you will need to call public safety at 410-334-2937 to request entrance to a building. Please coordinate with your supervisors/vp’s as to when you are coming to campus. We need to be sure that we limit the number of employees in an office suite at the same time and that we continue to practice social distancing.
 
April 14, 2020 at 7:38 p.m. - Campus Closed Until Further Notice
Employee Update #8 From Dr. Ray Hoy, President

As you know, we are scheduled to reopen the college next Monday, April 20th. That is obviously not going to happen. Instead, the college will remain closed until Governor Hogan’s State of Emergency Shelter-at-Home order is lifted.
 
Due in large part to the funds made available to the college under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund of the CARES Act, at the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees last Thursday, the Board accepted our recommendation to continue to pay employees under the conditions set forth last month, outlined in Employee Update #6, partially reprinted below (please refer to Update #6 for additional details):

All employees will be paid. All work is straight time and any emergency call-in will be paid for actual hours worked (no minimum number of hours). Part-time credit and non-credit faculty will be paid upon completion of their course contracts. 
 
In response to questions regarding leave policies, the following decisions have been adopted:
  1. FY 2020 excessive Annual Leave accruals will be allowed to be carried-over through October 31, 2020.
  2. Unused Personal Leave will convert to Sick Leave on July 1, 2020, per usual college practice.
  3. Unused Comp Time will be paid and included in your July 17, 2020 pay. 
Students will be informed this week that we have set a new tentative graduation date as Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center. We understand how important graduation is to our students, their families and friends. We hope that this date may provide an opportunity to celebrate their success. But, if social distancing is still required, we will continue to find another way to acknowledge our graduates.
 
Another piece of information that will be shared with students is that we will allow students to come to campus and take advantage of Internet access that is available in the South lot by Shockley Hall. Students will be advised to stay in their cars and respect social distancing guidelines. Access will be available Monday thru Friday from 8:00-4:00 and will continue as long as the privilege isn’t abused and the service is deemed appropriate. Public Safety will be on campus during these times.
 
As we are looking to the future, we need to prepare for Summer and Fall classes to be online. I am not suggesting that it is certain that we will need to convert entirely to online coursework, however, there is no guarantee that we will be back to pre-pandemic operations anytime soon. So, it is increasingly important to prepare for a number of different futures. You have all proven that you can deal with change. I have been overwhelmed by the commitment and dedication of everyone dealing with the pace of change needed to make this remarkable transition from face-to-face instruction and office work to remote instruction and telecommuting. It seems to me that one of the enduring contradictions of this crisis has been that it has brought us together, even as it has forced us to be apart. Thank you for stepping-up and meeting the challenge.
 
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay home (as much as practical).
 
April 1, 2020 at 4:22 p.m. - Campus Closed Through April 19
Employee Update # 7 From Dr. Ray Hoy, President
(Please note, If you’re keeping track, I failed to label the 3/28/20 ESCJA closing message with an update #)
 
During this unprecedented period, most of us are doing things that we never imagined that we would be doing in our jobs or our daily activities. I’m receiving documents at home, printing, signing, scanning them and emailing them directly to the appropriate person through a wireless interface I set-up with my laptop and printer (don’t worry IT; I don’t have VPN access, and I don’t want your job!!). But, the fact that even I’m doing this just goes to show that when we have to do something, we figure it out.
 
While I am not a huge fan of telecommuting; I find that it is working. And that’s a good thing because we’re going to be doing it a while longer. As you may recall, we were scheduled to return to campus next Monday.  Today, I am notifying you that the campus will remain closed for two additional weeks. We will not return to our offices before April 20th. Obviously, the virus and the Governor’s Emergency Orders will dictate our future plans. So, if we have to extend beyond two weeks (and I expect that we will), that decision will be relayed later.  We are not going to do anything to jeopardize your safety.
 
As before, all employees will continue to be paid during this period. All work is straight time and any emergency call-in will be paid for actual hours worked (no minimum number of hours). Part-time credit and non-credit faculty will be paid upon completion of their course contracts. You are still expected to provide your supervisor with a summary of your work activities while telecommuting. Leave requests will still be required for absences during telework on regularly scheduled work days and hours that you are unavailable for any reason. 
 
Employees in high risk categories, including seniors age 60 and over and employees with underlying health conditions, are eligible to continue using liberal leave if you are scheduled to work on campus and choose not to. This means that if you need, you can elect to stay home and use leave time that you have available. Annual and personal leave must be exhausted before sick leave can be used for this purpose.
 
Human Resources has sent out several messages regarding changes in leave and medical benefit changes as a result of federal legislation related to the pandemic. If you have questions, as always, you should contact our outstanding HR team (Bonnie, Anna, Jenny or Karen). 
 
I have had two Zoom Town Hall meetings (one with Administrative Staff and one with Faculty) since I met in-person with Support Staff on Support Staff Day. I am going to continue with those meetings through Zoom, by invitation, to learn your concerns and provide updates. To keep the group sizes manageable, I’ll continue to meet by council groups (Administrative, Faculty and Support Staff). Nora will send out invitations with dates, times and instructions to participate. If nothing else, it’s just nice to see so many of you.
 
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home!
 
April 1, 2020 at 9:48 a.m. - Medical Plan Info for Covered Employees
From Karen Berkheimer, Senior Director of Human Resources
 
Good morning! 
 
I just wanted to share a few changes to our medical insurance plan as a result of COVID-19.
 
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires all private and individual group health insurance providers to cover the following COVID-19 services at no cost to the member (no copay or coinsurance) and without prior authorization or medical management requirements:
  • COVID-19 diagnostic testing
  • Any office visit, telehealth visit, urgent care or emergency room visit that triggers the need for COVID-19 testing, both in-network and out-of-network
In addition, the plan is temporarily providing coverage for all other telehealth visits as regular office visits (with applicable copay based on network) since health care providers were required to suspend all elective and non-urgent procedures and appointments.
 
We are doing our best to make sure you can still access services during these uncertain times.
 
Take care and stay well!
 
March 31, 2020 at 8:19 a.m. - Emergency Sick Leave and FMLA Expansion
From Karen Berkheimer, Senior Director of Human Resources

Good morning! I hope this email finds you healthy and safe.
 
You’ve probably heard about the new law that provides additional paid sick leave to employees as a result of COVID-19, effective April 1. This email will tell you all about those temporary benefits and related college changes.  
  • The new leave types will take effect at the college on 3/29/2020 and will be available through 12/31/2020 unless otherwise specified. 
  • This new leave supersedes the special leave directives of the college that were implemented as part of a proactive approach to assist employees in advance of this new law (The temporary allowance to permit sick leave balances to go negative and the temporary allowance to use 50% of your leave for self-quarantine will end 3/28/2020). 
  • A special leave request form and the required notice to employees are attached. Both will be placed at the HR page of the portal.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed into law on March 18, 2020. This act addressed a variety of things, but most applicable to our employees is the expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act and introduction of a new leave type entitled Emergency Paid Sick Leave, both temporarily available through December 31, 2020. The college is fully prepared to comply with this law effective March 29, 2020. I am providing details about how this new law benefits employees. If you have questions, please email or call me at kberkheimer@worwic.edu or 410-334-2915. I will be the key contact for questions concerning these leave types.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave
All employees are eligible to use this new leave beginning on the effective date for six qualifying events (listed below). As with all leave, you can only use it when you were scheduled to work, but are not able to work or telework due to a qualifying reason. Substantiation will be required and must be submitted to human resources before the leave is paid. Full-time employees are being provided with 75 hours of leave (amount equal to 10 regular workdays); part-time employees with generally regular schedules are being provided an amount of leave based on hours worked, on average, over a two-week period. Employees with variable schedules, such as part-time faculty, will be provided hours of leave (at the time of request) based on a six-month lookback or reasonable expectation of the number of hours expected to work based on agreements recently issued, as the law specifies. This leave can only be used for 10 missed scheduled shifts, unless you are teleworking. FMLA will run concurrently for qualifying absences of three or more days. It’s important to understand that, per the law, some of these leave categories will be paid at 100%, while others will be paid at 2/3 your regular rate (not to exceed $200/day or $2000 total). This Emergency Paid Sick Leave can be used for the following substantiated reasons:
 
1.      Employee is subject to a Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order due to COVID-19 (This is to be used ONLY if a governmental order was issued to quarantine or isolate – proof of the order is required);
 
2.      Employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 (provider note is required);
 
3.      Employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis (provider note is required);
 
4.      Employee is caring for an individual that meets #1 or #2 above (copy of the order or provider note is required);
 
5.      Employee is caring for his/her son or daughter due to that child’s school or place of care closing or unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions (documentation of such closure/unavailable to care is required); or
 
6.      Employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor (documentation is required).
 
Leave requests must be submitted to Anna Era or me using the new Emergency Paid Sick Leave Request form and must include applicable substantiation.
 
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Expansion
FMLA provides, at a minimum, 12 weeks of unpaid leave, job protection and group health benefits protection in a rolling 12-month period to eligible employees for certain qualifying events. The existing FMLA was modified temporarily to add a new qualifying event, reduce the eligibility period for this qualifying event, and provide a new type of paid leave for this qualifying event. Below is an overview of the temporary modifications in place from March 29, 2020 through December 31, 2020: 
  • A Qualifying Need Related to a Public Health Emergency was added: In addition to existing FMLA qualifying reasons, protected FMLA leave temporarily includes leave needed because an employee is unable to work or telework due to a need to care for his/her son or daughter under 18 years of age because that child’s school or place of care closed or is unavailable due to a public health emergency (substantiation must be provided to human resources); 
  • If an eligible employee is absent due to a qualifying need related to a public health emergency, the following types of leave will be available:
    • The first 10 days will be unpaid, unless the employee elects to use other accrued leave.
    • The remaining 50 days, if applicable, will be paid at 2/3 the regular rate of pay (Not to exceed $200/day or $10,000 total). We are calling this “FMLA Paid Leave for Public Health Emergencies.”
    • The paid leave hours will be determined based on the hours the employee would normally be scheduled to work or, in the case of employees whose schedules vary, will be determined based on (1) a six-month lookback or, if that employee did not work during those last six months, (2) the expected number of hours the employee would have been scheduled to work at the time of hire. The hours will be calculated, per the law, on a case-by-case basis at the time the employee requests leave.
  • Employees who worked at least 30 calendar days at the time of request are eligible for this new qualifying event and related paid leave.
This is an expansion of the existing FMLA program. It does not offer an additional 12 weeks of FMLA leave. If you have already used FMLA leave during the preceding 12 months of your new request for FMLA, that amount of leave will reduce your current FMLA protection period and associated benefits.
 
Leave requests must be submitted to Anna Era or me using the new Emergency Paid Sick Leave Request form and must include applicable substantiation.
 
Time Cards/Emergency Paid Sick Leave Request Forms
For tracking purposes, new leave types were established for these new emergency paid leave benefits. Full-time and year-round part-time employees will be able to select the “Emergency Paid Sick Leave” type under “Other Time Types” in the electronic time keeping system. However, this leave will not be paid until HR has received your Emergency Paid Sick Leave Request form with applicable substantiation. As with regular leave requests, make sure you send those documents to Anna or me as soon as you think you are eligible to use this leave (do not wait for your supervisor’s approval or time card submission). Temporary employees, such as part-time faculty, will have their leave banks populated at the time of a substantiated request due to the complexity of calculating the leave amount.
 
The “FMLA Paid Leave for Public Health Emergencies” will not be available in the electronic time keeping system. Similar to other FMLA absences, payroll will make adjustments behind the scenes for qualifying absences. As with regular leave requests, make sure you send those documents to Anna or me as soon as you think you are eligible to use this leave (do not wait for your supervisor’s approval or time card submission).
 
Paper time cards were revised to include the new leave types.
 
Call Karen or Anna
Because of the complexity of FMLA and these new paid sick leave benefits, it is important that you communicate with me or Anna Era, benefits coordinator, as soon as you feel you may be eligible for them. Please do not contact Payroll with questions related to these leaves, other than how to fill out your time card. Eligibility will be determined by HR. We will be communicating regularly with payroll.
 
As always, we are here to assist you and ensure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
 
Karen:   kberkheimer@worwic.edu or 410-334-2915
Anna:    aera@worwic.edu or 410-334-2982
 
Stay Healthy!  
 

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March 29, 2020 at 8:40 p.m. - ESCJA Closed for Two Weeks
From Dr. Ray Hoy, President

As most of you are aware from prior correspondence, the ESCJA was still in session while we have been otherwise closed to the public. That action is consistent with Governor Hogan’s directives for first-responders and emergency personnel to continue their roles during the emergency situation. The Academy cadets are all employed by local police agencies but do not have full policing privileges until they complete their training. We implemented a number of safety protocols including taking everyone’s temperature (cadets and instructors) each morning upon arrival, increasing social distancing by splitting the class in two and requiring the instruction to be held in two separate rooms with never more than 10 people in a room, and holding the cadets responsible for sanitizing their space routinely.  
 
Late last night, I learned that the significant-other of a cadet had been in close contact with someone last Thursday evening who subsequently learned that they had tested positive for COVID-19. Unaware of the situation, the cadet (who was never in contact with the individual who tested positive) attended the Academy on Friday. So, that cadet had second-hand contact with someone who has now tested positive for the virus. When I learned this, I immediately shut the Academy down for the next two weeks and instructed the Academy staff to self-quarantine for 14 days. Last night and today an effort has been made to contact anyone and everyone who possibly came in contact with the Academy staff or cadets on Friday, or who entered Guerrieri Hall. I also instructed Public Safety to ensure that no one enters Guerrieri Hall for the next week. According to CDC protocol, that is more than enough time to ensure that the virus will not survive on inanimate surfaces. A week from now, a full-cleaning and disinfecting of the building will be undertaken, which will be a full week before any additional use of the facility will be considered. Also, the cadets fully sanitized their space before they left the building.
 
Even though everyone was maintaining social distancing, out of the utmost of caution I feel it is appropriate to make this decision and to inform the campus community of the situation. Realizing that no one was going to be on campus today, we took the time to reach out to everyone who may be affected before sending this message to the campus community.
 
Please continue to practice social distancing, limit unnecessary contact, and stay safe and healthy.
 
March 27, 2020 at 8:42 a.m. - Employee Assistance Program
From Karen Berkheimer, Senior Director of Human Resources

It is FRIDAY!!!
 
We made it through the first week of telework. For some of us, it's old hat. For others, it's been an adventure (insert whatever better word fits there!). Computer works, check. Getting things done, check. Interrupted, check...just by things that don't normally interrupt me at work. 
 
Having faced my own challenges this week, I find myself happy to know the weekend is upon us. I'm not sure if I'm in a better place when the cat sits on my notes when I need them...or ignores me altogether! Oh, the adjustments. Don't forget to check in with your coworkers...we all need to chat and connect...you can do this through Microsoft Teams, Zoom and lots of other ways...even text/phone.
 
Also, don't forget about our employee assistance program. There are lots of great resources out there for us on a regular basis, and now there are a variety of COVID-19 resources too. Below are some links to articles they have at their site addressing telework.
 
We are in this together! Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the outdoors if you can.
 
https://bhsonline.personaladvantage.com/portal/content/10120355;subject=10119156
 

COVID-19: Support for Employees & Managers Working Remotely (2 min read)

When you consider the sudden end to your commute and the opportunity to work in your favorite chair or beside a beloved pet, working from home may seem like a fun, stress-free change of pace. However, during a crisis such as the COVID-19 outbreak, there are additional challenges that can turn a remote workday into a less-than-enjoyable experience.

Your home may not be setup with the necessary equipment or connectivity for telecommuting. Your children may be home from school and inexperienced with the boundaries you need to complete your tasks. Your normal routine may become destabilized, creating issues with time management, sleeping habits, and eating schedules. You may feel disconnected from your friends and coworkers, which may deepen a sense of isolation and anxiety.

The important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Across the nation, employees who have been asked to take on remote work for the first time are wrestling with the same challenges and finding unique ways to overcome them. If they can find usable solutions to their new workdays, you can too. To help you find success, we’ve prepared a list of resources below to give you an opportunity to find your footing and create a plan of action that is flexible enough to adjust to your particular role, no matter how far you find yourself away from the workplace.

A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers

How To Manage Remote Project Teams During The COVID-19 Outbreak

5 Tips For Effectively Working From Home During The Coronavirus Outbreak When You Have Kids

8 Tips To Make Working From Home Work For You

15 Questions About Remote Work, Answered

How To Work From Home Without Losing Your Sanity

Virtual Happy Hour Anyone? Working From Home But Keeping Connected
March 26, 2020 at 11:37 a.m. - Student Services Office Hours
From the Student Services Division

Please note if you need to reach someone within the Students Services department you can call their regular Wor-Wic phone numbers (as listed in the directory) and or via email. Please be advised Student Services operating hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
 
Stay Safe and Healthy
March 20, 2020 at 8:53 a.m. - College Closed Through April 5

Employee Update #6 From Dr. Ray Hoy, President

I was planning to just write a thank you message to everyone for the way that you have handled these challenging times. The response from faculty and staff has been extremely impressive as everyone has been dealing with this unprecedented catastrophic health emergency. So, thank you!

Unfortunately, something changes every day and I have a lot more to share. Yesterday, Governor Hogan issued another Executive Order limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people. He also directed higher education to convert to online instruction through the end of the Spring semester. Fortunately, even though we had hoped to reopen at some point this semester to face-to-face instruction, faculty have been preparing for this possibility.  Classes are scheduled to resume in a distance learning format beginning Monday, March 23rd. Students are aware of this, but will be alerted to the fact that the distance format will be the delivery method of instruction through the end of the semester. Faculty will alert students through their Wor-Wic email addresses and their course Blackboard sites, providing the details of their distance learning expectations. Many have already done so.

We have learned that some students have already lost their jobs. We will be informing all students that we are waiving the late fee for the final Spring payment for those who missed the March 16th date. They will be required to make their final payment before registering for Summer or Fall.

You are probably aware that there are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wicomico, Worcester, Sussex and Accomack counties. It was inevitable. Since we have had an opportunity this past week to prepare to telecommute and under an abundance of caution and concern for the health and well-being of everyone, the college will close to regular business operations this evening at 5:00 pm and remain closed through Sunday, April 5th. All employees who can work from home are expected to do so. Only designated employees will be allowed on campus during this time. When you are telecommuting, you must be accessible, responsive, reliable, and available by phone, email and chat, where appropriate. You will be expected to provide your supervisor with a summary of your daily work activities while telecommuting. Leave requests will still be required for absences during telework on regularly scheduled work days and hours that you are unavailable for any reason. All employees will be paid. All work is straight time and any emergency call-in will be paid for actual hours worked (no minimum number of hours). Part-time credit and non-credit faculty will be paid upon completion of their course contracts. 

Before you leave campus, please treat your departure as you would when you leave for the winter holiday break: close the blinds, turn off the power to electronic devices or unplug them. Make sure to water your plants and take a final look around before departing this afternoon. 

We are arranging for mail pickup on Mondays and Wednesdays. Individuals from various offices will be identified to stop in on Tuesdays and Thursdays (times to be announced) to sort the mail for their offices. Just like all classes cannot be conducted online, all of our business cannot be conducted without some personal contact. We are trying to minimize it, but if you need something, please alert your supervisor. 

This time of uncertainty and isolation is sure to be stressful for you and your families. With schools closing, many businesses being required to close or reduce services, and the challenges of keeping a family at home for extended periods of time, this national emergency has many of us feeling uncertain and anxious about what to do and how to respond.

I want to remind you that we have an employee assistance program (EAP), offered through bhs. This plan is available to every employee, not just those on our medical plan. Your EAP plan offers a variety of support services to you and anyone living in your household. Bhs can help find the support needed to cope with the stress that may develop during this emergency and provide any of us with resources to help create a plan of action that will assist us and everyone in our care in getting through this experience. This program is available at no cost to you.

Confidential services are available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week by calling 800-327-2251. Plus they have many resources available at their website (https://portal.bhsonline.com/). The username is worwic (no password). The attached flyers provide additional information.

Please limit travel away from your home to essential travel. The best way to reduce the spread of this virus is by minimizing contact with others and practicing good health habits that are posted on the CDC website that I have referenced in past messages. All confirmed cases of Coronavirus on the Shore are from people who chose to travel. This virus is in every state in the country. There is really no place where you can travel where you can be sure to be immune from this pandemic spread.

Be safe, be smart and stay healthy. And again, thank you for stepping-up, doing what needs to be done and working to ensure the continued success of the college in the weeks and months to come.

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March 16, 2020 at 4:25 p.m. - Campus Closing to the Public Today

Employee Update #5 From Dr. Ray Hoy, President

At 11:00 am, Governor Hogan announced additional “drastic” actions, closing some businesses, including gyms, restaurants and bars and encouraging other operations to remain open, such as child care centers, supermarkets, pharmacies and banks. The White House convened a press conference at 3:15 pm encouraging citizens to avoid groups of 10 or more. Consistent with the messages to limit day-to-day personal interactions, we will be closing the campus to the general public indefinitely beginning today at 5 pm. This does not extend to contractors who are here to provide scheduled or emergency services. The childcare center will continue to operate through this week. No decision has been made regarding continuing operations of the center beyond the week.

The college will be open for employees. However, employees in high risk categories, including seniors age 60 and over and employees with underlying health conditions, are eligible for liberal leave. This means that they can elect to stay home and select to use one or a combination of any leave time that they have, or telework if they have been approved by their vice president to do so. 

The vice presidents will be approving employees to telework within the context of continuing operations, maintaining a campus presence and minimizing face-to-face interactions.

All events are canceled through, Saturday, May 16th. This includes graduation as well as recognition and pinning ceremonies. Realizing how important these events are to students and their families, we are considering other options such as virtual ceremonies. But, much more work needs to be done before committing to alternatives at this time.

We will continue to offer instruction to the extent possible and we are extending the Spring term by one week in order to make up for this week. A marked-up copy of the revised academic calendar is attached. 

Faculty are diligently working on the delivery of instruction by converting to online learning as much as can be achieved. Most of the college’s clinical partners now have restrictions in place that preclude our students from completing their work in the clinical settings. Alternatives are being evaluated. Most student support services can be delivered online. However, we realize that there are students who do not have high-speed internet access, and instruction and other supports will not be available to them. We are still working on options for these students as well.

We had hoped that by closing this week we would have some time to work on these solutions. But, as you must be aware, the pace of change that is occurring as we deal with this pandemic is so rapid that we are dealing with new and different challenges every day. We will have more to share as the week progresses.

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March 12, 2020 at 6:31 p.m. - Classes Canceled March 16-21
Employee Update #4 From Dr. Ray Hoy, President

I had a completely different message prepared to be emailed before we learned of Governor Hogan’s planned press conference. In light of the fact that the public schools are closing as of Monday and Governor Hogan’s decision to “aggressively mitigate” the spread of the virus, we will suspend classes next week, Monday, March 16 through Saturday, March 21, with two exceptions. First, the ESCJA will continue operations as usual. Second, off-site clinicals will be permitted to continue, as long as clinical facilities will allow students to attend. That does not extend to on-campus labs. Clinical students will be allowed liberal leave, meaning that if they cannot attend, they will be given a make-up opportunity after the State of Emergency is over.
 
The college will remain open for business as usual on Friday and Saturday, March 13-14. Next week, while students are away, the college will be open for faculty and staff to make final preparations for remote delivery of instruction that will begin on Monday, March 23, and make preparations for teleworking. By the end of next week, faculty will send students information on how their courses will be made available. Information will be posted on course Blackboard sites and communication will be emailed to students via their Wor-Wic email.
 
As of today, until further notice, no college-sponsored out-of-state travel will be approved. College-sponsored student and staff travel is limited to in-state and limited to events with fewer than 50 attendees. State affinity group meetings should be attended via conference call. In-state travel is not allowed in any community where community spread of the disease has become officially reported.

All scheduled events on campus are now canceled through the end of March. We are also canceling any future events on campus where more than 100 people are expected to be in attendance. If you are sponsoring an event with a smaller intended audience and you wish to cancel it due to the current situation, we will support that decision.
 
While we cannot control personal travel, we are asking you to disclose any out-of-state travel to your supervisor and to the Senior Director of Human Resources, Karen Berkheimer, as soon as possible.

If you or a member of your household has traveled or will travel to any of the areas under a level 2 or 3 travel advisory as identified by the CDC, the college is asking you to self-quarantine for 14 days. If you have traveled anywhere where there is a possibility of exposure to COVID-19 and want to self-quarantine for 14 days, you must contact your direct supervisor and the Senior Director of Human Resources.
 
Obviously, everything is subject to change as circumstances around this pandemic change.
 
March 10, 2020 at 5:07 p.m. - SU/UMES Closing; Wor-Wic Stays Open

From Dr. Ray Hoy, President

I am sure many of you have heard that Salisbury University and a number of the University System of Maryland (USM) institutions are closing this week for about a four week period. I was in a meeting with the Wicomico Health Department, Emergency Services, SU, Wicomico Board of Education, PRMC, the county nursing homes and many others providers when I learned this information (although it wasn’t announced at the meeting, I received an email from SU before they alerted the community). We are all keeping in close contact as we are dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.
  
At the meeting, the Health Department reported that there are no known cases of COVID-19 on the Eastern Shore, yet. The Chancellor of the University System “strongly encouraged” all 12 USM institutions to close for three weeks after Spring Break, in part because the students who are going home or traveling during Spring Break could be visiting communities where COVID-19 is active. Under an abundance of caution, the university system is in essence creating a buffer period, like a quarantine, to minimize the spread of the virus that could be caused by the students’ return to campus. Sometime during the next three weeks, they will probably continue assessing the situation to determine whether to bring the students back. This is very different from our situation as a commuter campus.

I want you to know that the university campuses will be open for employees. This isn’t a hard close. And, it does not affect our decision whether to close or not. We are taking our lead from the Health Department. I have personally met with them twice in the past week and we are in constant communication.

Tomorrow morning, president’s staff is meeting again, for a scheduled meeting to deliberate on a number of issues related to COVID-19, including travel. We will share the outcome of that meeting soon thereafter. We will also be discussing our COVID-19 response with the Board of Trustees on Thursday. At the same time, the Maryland Higher Education Commission is convening a meeting of all Maryland presidents to review higher education’s response to the outbreak. I will send a representative in my place.

I’m doing all I can to keep you informed with the weekly updates the past two weeks and will continue to update you more often as the situation changes. And, you can expect it to change.

March 9, 2020 at 1:21 p.m. - Pandemic Flu Training
From Karen Berkheimer, Senior Director of Human Resources

If you haven’t already, you will be getting a notice from SafeColleges to complete the Pandemic Flu web training. This course will provide some tips and tools that might be useful to you as we all monitor what’s happening around the world with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
 
A few people commented that they were having trouble near the end of the training when using FireFox. If you have trouble, such as having to repeat a section, switch browsers. Some systems work better in different browsers.
 
Thanks!
 
March 6, 2020 at 6:58 p.m. - If You Are Sick, Stay Home

Message #2 From Dr. Ray Hoy, President

Last evening, March 5, 2020, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a State of Emergency due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As of last evening, there were three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland, in Montgomery County. This moves us to Level 3 in our Pandemic Preparedness Plan.

Level 3 Pandemic Evolving---Activities that should be undertaken as soon as there is a suspected or a confirmed case in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia or Delaware.

In response to this, I have declared a Special Emergency Situation and approved the modification of several college policies in order to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Don’t come to work if you have any of the COVID-19, flu-like symptoms. We prefer that you self-quarantine until there are no signs of fever (<100.4 degrees without the use of fever-reducing medications). If you come to work with symptoms, you will be sent home.

As of Monday, March 9, 2020, employees are not required to provide a sick note unless they are absent for five or more consecutive scheduled shifts. You are still required to notify your supervisor of your absence and you or your supervisor must notify the Benefits Coordinator in Human Resources of any absence of three or more consecutive scheduled days in order for the college to comply with the notice requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Employees who do not have an adequate sick and personal leave balances are permitted to use additional unaccrued sick leave of up to five days (pro-rated for part-time employees) after all sick and personal leave is exhausted. When the sick leave balance is negative, all future accrued sick leave will restore the negative balance before additional paid sick leave can be used.

If you are diagnosed with the COVID-19, please contact Karen Berkheimer in  Human Resources, kberkheimer@worwic.edu or by phone at 410-334-2915 so we can inform the Wicomico County Health Department and make appropriate decisions regarding the welfare of others.

We are encouraging students to stay home if they are ill and are modifying class attendance policies to be aligned with the realities of a public health emergency situation.

A special meeting was held on Wednesday with the College Council and the Wicomico County Health Department Director, Lori Brewster. That update was very beneficial and as things have changed and continue to evolve, our response is evolving. We spent a great deal of time considering other circumstances, including the possibility of closing the campus for a period of time at the request or direction of the Health Department.  We are also continuing to work on how to maintain continuity of operations during such a condition.

In the previous message I indicated that if a family member is ill you should self-quarantine. After meeting with the Health Department we are revising that message. Employees do not have to self-quarantine due to a family member’s illness unless the family member is diagnosed with COVID-19.

Just for added information, we have ordered boxes of tissues for all classrooms, additional hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes for computer labs and other identified locations around campus.  

For your health and safety as well as for others, we want to again remind you to take everyday preventive measures to help stop the spread of germs. Standard recommendations, as prescribed by the CDC include the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.  If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.

For additional information, visit the local health department and CDC websites. Links to official sites have been posted on the public safety webpage for your convenience.

COVID-19 information can be found on the college webpage where updated information will continue to be posted.

Stay Healthy!

March 13, 2020 at 5:11 p.m. - Campus Closing at 5 p.m. Next Week

From Jennifer A. Sandt, Vice President for Administrative Services

Next Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20, the campus will close at 5 p.m. each day. On Saturday, March 21, the campus will be closed.

In addition to classes being canceled for next week, the Testing Center (BH 226), the Library and Resource Centers (BH 217, SH 108, HH 100, GH 204), the Computer Lab (FOH 305), the Mathematics Lab (BH 225) and the Reading and Writing Center (BH 227) will be closed to students.

 

Feb. 28, 2020 at 4:14 p.m. - No Cases in MD, DE, VA or DC Yet

From Dr. Ray Hoy, President

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is considered a pandemic global disease by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I am sure you have heard about it and have been following some of the news reports regarding the Pandemic outbreak that was first detected in Wuhan City, China. There are now confirmed cases in the United States, however, to date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia or the District of Columbia. Yesterday, Governor Hogan announced that tests are pending on two Marylanders and the results will be known next week. According to current information from the CDC, the "potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and to the United States." 

I want you to be aware that college staff are following the procedures in our Pandemic Preparedness Plan to ensure our readiness for this outbreak, if it spreads. Our plan has three levels and we have quickly moved from Level 1 Pre Pandemic—Activities that should be undertaken as soon as possible to prepare for a possible pandemic event, to Level 2 Pandemic Imminent—Activities that should be undertaken upon first confirmed human to human case in the U.S., Mexico or Canada. Major departments across the college have been and continue to be working on departmental plans consistent with our Pandemic Preparedness Plan and are looking beyond Level 2 to Level 3 Pandemic Evolving—Activities that should be undertaken as soon as there is a suspected or confirmed case in Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia or Delaware, so that we are prepared for the next phase, if it ever materializes.

As a side note, in our Level 3 preparations we are considering what happens if we have to close the college for a period of time. One of the many issues is how payroll will be processed. We will not be able to print checks and we will not be processing mail. However, we intend to meet payroll. So, if you are not on direct deposit, you might consider making that move now. Remember, all direct deposit changes must be made in person in payroll or human resources. Also, don’t forget to make sure that you are signed up for our Omnilert notification system.  It is the fastest way to receive emergency notifications.

For your health and safety as well as for others, we want to remind you to take everyday preventive measures to help stop the spread of germs. Standard recommendations, as prescribed by the CDC include the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.

For additional information, follow the recommendations of your local health department and the CDC.

In order to prevent the possible spread of the disease, don’t come to work if you or any member of your household has any of the Coronavirus, flu-like symptoms. We prefer that you self-quarantine until there are no signs of fever (without the use of fever reducing medications). If you come to work with signs of illness or symptoms, you will be sent home.

If you are diagnosed with the Coronavirus, please contact Karen Berkheimer in Human Resources, kberkheimer@worwic.edu or by phone at 410-334-2915 so we can inform the Wicomico County Health Department and make appropriate decisions regarding the welfare of others.

We are creating a Public Safety webpage where updated information will be posted.

Stay Healthy!