COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan
Effective July 20, 2020; Updated March 24, 2021
Community College of Philadelphia (the “College”) takes the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students very seriously. With the spread of the coronavirus or “COVID-19,” a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the College must remain vigilant in mitigating the outbreak. The College is a proud part of the greater Philadelphia community. In order to be safe and maintain operations, we have developed this COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan to be implemented throughout the College. The College has also identified a COVID Safety Team to monitor the developing public health situation and ensure the College complies with public health guidance which agencies such as the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Department of Public Health for the City of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, continue to make available.
This Plan is based on information available from these various agencies at the time of its development, and is subject to change based on further information or public health developments. The College may also amend this Plan based on operational needs.
Responsibilities of Employees
The College needs every one of our employees to help with our prevention efforts while at work. In order to prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19 at our campus to the greatest extent practicable, everyone must comply with the College’s practices and contribute to this effort. All College employees must be familiar with and comply with this Plan. As set forth below, the College will institute various cleaning and sanitation, social distancing, hygiene, screening, isolation, and other recommended practices at the College to prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19. In addition, employees are expected to report to their managers or supervisors if they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, as described below. If employees have a specific question about this Plan or COVID-19, please ask your manager or supervisor. If they cannot answer the question, please contact Randy Merced at 215-751-8188 or , any Public Safety Officer, Human Resources at 215-751-8035 (Option 1), or any other member of the College’s COVID-19 Safety Team.
Phased Return of Staff
The College will take a phased approach to the return of staff to ensure that appropriate health and safety protocols can be maintained. In order to reduce the number of people on campus as the threat of the pandemic continues, telework will continue where feasible. In the first phase of the College’s re-opening plan, priority for returning will be given to those services areas where an on- campus presence is essential because it is impractical to provide these services remotely. The College may utilize various scheduling tools to minimize the number of people on campus at any one time, including staggering shifts and alternating work days. When possible, staff should be divided into distinct groups so that workplace activities can continue effectively in the event that one of the divided teams is required to quarantine as a result of COVID-19 exposure.
Universal Masking and Personal Protective Equipment
All employees, students, and visitors who enter the College must wear a mask or face covering. Face coverings or masks must be worn at all times while in the presence of others (including if you are seated at a cubicle in a work space where others are present), in public settings, or while travelling throughout the College (please note it is not necessary to wear a face covering if you are alone in your office or work space, while eating or drinking in a designated eating area when you are at least 6 feet apart from anyone else, or if you are outside and can maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others).
Employees may bring their own face coverings if they comply with CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines, or employees may use cloth face coverings which will be provided by the College and will be available from Public Safety at entrances or in MG-12. Please note that cloth face coverings must be washed daily, and should not be used if damp or wet from saliva or mucus. In addition to face coverings, depending upon the risk level associated with their job duties, certain employees may be provided with personal protective equipment as recommended by public health guidelines and the COVID-Safety Team. Please note that only a small number of our employees fall into this category.
The College will perform regular medical and temperature screening for all employees, students, and visitors entering campus to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Prior to or immediately upon entering the facility, Public Safety Officers will require all employees, students, and visitors to complete a health screening questionnaire to determine if those entering the building have COVID-19 symptoms. Employees will also be subject to temperature screening when they enter campus. Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms or a temperature above 100.4 F will not be permitted on campus, will be directed to follow the instructions for symptom monitoring and quarantining set forth below, and may also be required to get tested for COVID-19. Please note, all supervisors will be instructed that employees may be slightly delayed to their work area due to the health screening process. Health screening results will be held confidentially by the College and will be disclosed only to those who need to know in connection with the College’s legitimate institutional purposes.
Note: The health screening questionnaire is available on the MyCCP mobile application. To use the MyCCP Mobile App, you can download it from your phone’s application store, login,if prompted, update the App, then click on the COVID-19 Screening Form. If you are able, the College encourages you to complete the form in the MyCCP Mobible App before coming to campus. If you are unable to access the MyCCP Mobile App, the College encourages you to print and complete the paper form, which is attached as Appendix A to the Plan, before coming to campus. The College also advises you to take your temperature prior to coming to work. If, while at home, you answer any of the questions affirmatively in the questionnaire or your temperature registers at or above 100.4, please do not report to work and contact your supervisor. Please remember that the health screening questionnaire must be completed each day that you are on campus.
A Note About Accommodations
If you are concerned about returning to work due to a medical condition, a disability, or your age, please contact Human Resources or the Office of Diversity and Equity. Additionally, the College recognizes that there may be some employees who cannot wear a mask or face covering due to a disability or a medical condition. Similarly, some employees may exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or a fever due to medical reasons not associated with COVID-19. Employees in any of these scenarios should reach out to Human Resources at 215-751-8035 (Option 1) or the Office of Diversity and Equity prior to returning to work to discuss any such medical condition and/or disability and to determine if there are appropriate reasonable accommodations.
COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring
Employees must familiarize themselves with the symptoms of COVID-19, which include the following:
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- body aches
- sore throat
- nausea or vomiting
- congestion or runny nose
- new loss of taste or smell
An up-to-date list of COVID symptoms is available on the CDC website. Any employee who develops any of these COVID-19 symptoms may not report to work. Instead call your supervisor to report that you are experiencing symptoms, and if necessary, seek medical treatment. Any employee showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at work may be asked to leave the College. If you observe a fellow employee exhibiting such symptoms, please let your supervisor know so that your supervisor can consult with Human Resources or Public Safety.
Generally, 1) employees who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms; 2) employees who test positive for COVID-19, or 3) employees who have come in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, 4) employees who have travelled to high risk states, 5) employees who have participated in social gatherings which are not compliant with public health guidelines, will be required to follow the below quarantine instructions. To the extent practical, employees will be required to obtain a doctor’s note clearing them to return to work. Please note that those who are insured by the College may access telemedicine services through Independence Blue Cross. Please note that “close contact” is defined as within six feet of an individual for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, or having direct contact with infectious secretions of an infected individual.
- Employee with COVID-19 Symptoms - remain at home until at least three days have passed since symptoms of have resolved without the use of medication (i.e., fever reducers or cough suppressants) and at least ten days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
- Employee with Positive COVID-19 Test with No Symptoms – remain at home until ten days have passed since the positive test, provided no symptoms have developed. If symptoms develop, follow the instructions in “A” above.
- Employee with Household Contact of a Positive COVID-19 Case – remain at home throughout the isolation of the ill household member, and then for 10 days after isolation is discontinued for the ill household member (or the employee can remain for 7 days after the isolation is discontinued for the ill household member if the employee tests negative for COVID-19 with 48 hours of day 7)
- Employees with Close Contact in a Non-Household Setting – remain at home for ten days from the last date of close contact (or for 7 days from the last date of close contact if the employee tests negative for COVID-19 with 48 hours of day 7)
- Employees who Have Travelled to Any of the High Risk States identified by the City of Philadelphia – if you recently travelled to any of the high-risk states as defined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (see Travel Advisory), remain at home for 14 days from the date you were last in that high risk state.
- Employees who Have Participated in Unauthorized Social Gathering – if you recently participated in any social gathering which did not comply with public health guidelines (e.g., no masks, no social distancing, no crowd reduction, etc.), remain at home for 14 days from the date of the social gathering.
COVID-19 Exposure Incident On Campus
The College requests that any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 report the positive test result to Human Resources at 215-751-8035 (Option 1). Whenever the College receives information that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the College will follow its COVID-19 Incident Exposure Response Plan, which includes reporting the incident to the City of Philadelphia Department of Health, and performing contact tracing to determine whether any other individuals in the College may have been exposed. Employees or students who came into close contact with the infected employee will be notified of the potential exposure (i.e., any employee who was within six feet of the sick individual for at least fifteen minutes or more over a 24-hour period up to 48 hours prior to the sick employee’s symptom onset), and will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with that individual. Employees who had low-risk contact (i.e., the contact does not meet the close contact definition) will be notified and advised to monitor for symptoms. The identity of the sick employee will remain confidential. The College will appropriately clean and disinfect any areas of the College where the employee visited. If warranted, the College may close the College in whole or in part following a COVID-19 exposure incident.
COVID-19 Testing and Testing Resources
The Colleges encourages those with COVID-19 symptoms or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 to get tested for the virus. The College may also require COVID-19 testing for employees who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or who come in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. For assistance accessing COVID-19 tests, please contact a member of the Human Resources Benefits Team at 215-751-8035.
A map of testing sites within the City is available here.
COVID Leave and Telework Options
The College will maintain flexible sick leave and telework policies to account for the needs of those who may need to comply with the above quarantine guidelines. No employee should come to work in contravention of the above quarantine requirements due to concerns about leave. If you have any concerns regarding your leave options, please contact a member of the Human Resources Benefits team at 215-751-8035.
Practice Good Hygiene
A vital part of preventing the spread will involve practicing good hygiene. Employees should follow the below guidance, regardless of exposure risk:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. The College will make sanitizing stations available around the College for use when washing your hands is not practical.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Follow appropriate respiratory etiquette, which includes covering your mouth and nose for coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
It will be essential that employees maintain appropriate social distancing while on campus. Employees should maintain six feet of distance between themselves and any other individual whenever possible. Group gatherings should be avoided. The College has installed physical partitions in various areas of the College to ensure appropriate social distancing within workspaces, and between employees and members of the public. Please also take note of and comply with the signage and floor decals throughout the College which will help direct traffic flow to reduce crowding and encourage social distancing. In addition, many of the common areas at the College will be closed off to prevent large gatherings. Please take note of and abide by any closure notices.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Facilities staff will clean and disinfect the College prior to re-opening. Once the College re-opens, the College will institute regular cleaning and disinfecting practices, which include more frequently cleaning and disinfecting frequently used tools and equipment and other high touch areas, such as doors, elevator buttons, light switches, etc. The College also asks that employees frequently clean and disinfect high touch surfaces or shared equipment in their own work areas, and will provide employees with the necessary cleaning and disinfecting supplies. Employees should wear gloves when performing any cleaning or disinfecting, which will be supplied by the College.
- Break/lunchroom areas will be cleaned at least once per day. Facilities employees performing cleaning will be issued nitrile, latex, or vinyl gloves, as recommended by the CDC.
- Any trash collected from the College will be changed frequently by Facilities employees some wearing nitrile, latex, or vinyl gloves.
- Vehicles and equipment/tools will be cleaned at least once per day and before change in operator or rider.
Safe Work Practices
Each department as well as individual employees should comply with the following protective measures:
- Employees may only enter and exit through certain entrances. These will be identified to employees as they are asked to return to work.
- Shifts will be staggered to minimize the number of people entering and exiting College facilities at any one time.
- Meetings with students or visitors should be scheduled by appointment only whenever feasible. To the extent possible, avoid the use of any waiting areas, or limit the numbers of individuals who can use them and ensure social distancing.
- Meetings should be held by telephone, Zoom or any other virtual format available. If meetings are conducted in-person, there may be no more than 10 participants, and they must all maintain six feet of distance between each other. No equipment should be shared during the meeting (e.g., do not pass around an attendance sheet).
- If providing student services, please limit the number of people permitted in a room to 25 (including employees), provided you can maintain six feet of distance between people.
- Occupancy limits may be posted throughout the College. Please ensure compliance with any occupancy limits for your workspace.
- Employees are encouraged to take their breaks and lunches in their workspace or outside. If break rooms must be used, employees will be required to stagger breaks and lunches to reduce the number of people in a break room at one time (no more than 10 people) time, and maintain six feet of separation between every employee. If eating in a break room or common area, employees should not sit facing each other. Avoid commonly shared equipment in break rooms, such as coffee machines.
- Do not share personal work items such as phones, pens, pencils, or staplers. Employees should also limit the use of shared office equipment, such as copy machines. To the extent equipment must be shared, the College will provide disinfecting wipes which employees should use to disinfect any shared equipment before and after use.
- Leave doors open when possible and safe to avoid frequent touching.
- Use virtual, no-contact options for provision of services and payment whenever possible.
- Although the facilities staff will implement more frequent cleaning and disinfecting protocols throughout the College, employees should also frequently clean and disinfect any high touch areas in their own work areas. Please wear gloves while disinfecting.
- Work trips should be limited to only those that are essential.
- Employees are encouraged to minimize ride-sharing. While in vehicles, employees must ensure adequate ventilation.
- Please do not use common source of drinking water, such as a water cooler or water fountain. Instead employees should use individual water bottles.
- The number of visitors to the campus will be limited to only those who require essential services, or must be present to perform essential services. When possible, visitors will be permitted by appointment only. Please notify Public Safety in advance of any visitors expected on campus.
- All visitors to the College must wear masks or face coverings. Visitors will also be subject to medical and temperature screening in advance of arriving on campus, and are expected to comply with all other protocols herein.
- College deliveries will be permitted but should be properly coordinated in line with the College’s minimal contact and cleaning protocols. Delivery personnel should remain in their vehicles if at all possible.
Questions and Developments
Given the fast-developing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, the College may modify this Plan at any time. You will be notified of any modifications. If you have any questions concerning this Plan, please contact Randy Merced, Director of Public Safety, Human Resources at (215-751-8035 (Option 1), or any of the members of the COVID Safety Team:
- Randy Merced, Director, Public Safety and Pandemic Safety Officer (Chair) ( )
- Lisa Hutcherson, Associate Vice President, Human Resources ( )
- Michael Fohner, Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Construction Management ( )
- Dr. Joan Bush, Dean, Student Support Services ( )
- Dr. Mary Anne Celenza, Dean, Math, Science and Health Careers ( )
- Waverly Coleman, Assistant Vice President, Workforce and Economic Innovation ( )
- Megan Lello, Director, Communications ( )
- Jessica Hurst, Assistant General Counsel ( )
- Louise Jones, Office Administrative Associate, Financial Aid
- Jean Byrd, Assistant Professor, Nursing
Appendix A – Health Screening Questionnaire
To protect the safety of the College community during the COVID-19 pandemic, for as long as recommended by the College’s COVID-19 Safety Team, employees, students, or visitors who are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19 and/or have a temperature of 100.4 or above may not enter College property. This form must be completed prior to entering the College. No person may enter College property without submitting to a medical and/or temperature screening and completing this form. The information collected through this screening process will be kept confidentially and will be used only for legitimate institutional purposes.