To Faculty and Staff:

With Northampton County moving into yellow status tomorrow as part of Gov. Wolf’s reopening plan related to COVID-19, and the most recent guidance provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s department of education, related to higher education, we are announcing a gradual, phased return to on-campus work.

We are not returning immediately to standard operations, and we are not allowing public access to our buildings at this time. As you know, the information about COVID-19 continues to evolve. A gradual return of faculty and staff will help us reduce risks as we learn more about the virus and as we develop our capacity in diagnostic testing and contact tracing. Especially in the initial weeks, we will limit the number of individuals on campus. 

Beginning next week:

  • Employees who have been working on campus since March 23 should continue to do so, based on their work assignments.
  • Faculty whose research requires the use of space on campus may return to campus only after a  request to return has been approved by the Provost’s Office, based on the nature of the work and consistent with public health and safety guidelines. The approval process anticipates opportunities for approved faculty to return to their labs around June 15th.
  • All other faculty and staff should continue working remotely until their supervisor approves their return to on campus work as essential. We will slowly designate positions and functions for return to on-campus work with appropriate precautions in place.

We deeply appreciate the patience of the community as we begin to gradually allow employees to return to campus. The College’s Implementation Plan Development Group, which I chair, is coordinating plans to restore research, teaching, and student life on campus. We will announce our proposed direction for the fall 2020 semester during the week of June 15, with further refinement of back-to-work protocols shared shortly thereafter.

For those who do return to campus in the coming weeks, you must:

  • Wear facial coverings in all public areas and when you are near others.
  • Ensure you have your office keys and Lafayette ID with you at all times. Buildings and workspaces with Checkpoint access will be programmed for specific times of the day. 
  • Avoid gathering in groups. Staggered arrival and departure times should be implemented if multiple members of the same team or office return to campus.
  • Use remote-meeting technology tools whenever possible. If it is necessary to conduct a meeting in person, limit the number of attendees so that those present can sit a minimum of six feet apart.
  • Engage in physical distancing when in shared spaces. 
  • Bring food from home, and do not gather with others for meals. 
  • Practice good hygiene by washing your hands often, as well as cleaning and sanitizing food preparation surfaces and high-touch areas. We recommend using the hand-sanitizer stations provided throughout campus buildings or carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you.
  • Monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Notify Bailey Health Center if you contract the virus.

We recognize that members of our community are in different places regarding their desire and ability to return to working on campus. This gradual return will allow us to closely monitor the practices and procedures we have in place and make changes where necessary. Our initial and long-term success depends on everyone doing their part. 

Providing a safe and healthy work environment for faculty, staff, and students is Priority One. 

Thank you,

Annette Diorio
Vice President, Campus Life