As individuals and organizations around the world continue to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19, the one thing we know is that we are learning all the time about a set of circumstances that is new ground for all of us.
The University System of Georgia is continually monitoring the evolving circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and has offered guidance to its member institutions, including the University of West Georgia, in response to public health recommendations at both the state and federal levels.
Following that collective guidance allows us as individual institutions to adapt to changing circumstances and work to create and promote a culture of mutual respect among our campus community. Because of the system’s work, we can adhere to standards of practice that nurture consistency across the state at a time when the circumstances are constantly evolving.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance for managing COVID-19-related issues. Among the changes are definitions for people who will need to take extra precautions because of certain risk factors. In response to those changes from the CDC, USG has provided updated guidance related to wearing face coverings and who is eligible to seek alternate work arrangements based on these revised categories. Please see below for information on this updated guidance.
Use of Face Coverings
Effective July 15, 2020, USG institutions will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet of social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing.
Face coverings are not required in one’s own residence hall room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.
Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff, or students.
Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.
The CDC no longer gives a minimum age for those at risk. USG institutions will continue to use 65 years of age as its measure for evaluating requests for alternate work arrangements. Individuals who are younger than 65 can provide documentation from a healthcare provider that their age is a determining factor for risk that should prevent them from working on campus as scheduled.
People of Any Age with Underlying Medical Conditions
People with the following underlying medical conditions may request alternate work arrangements through Human Resources using the UWG COVID-19 Alternate Work Arrangement Request Form.
Thank you for your continued perseverance. Be well.
Brendan B. Kelly, Ph.D.
University of West Georgia