Employee Related Information

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New guidelines are Red.

LSU AgCenter Guidelines on COVID-19

Updated: September 9, 2021

The following guidelines and recommendations are in effect from until further notice by the Vice President for Agriculture.

Updates to Guidelines

  • International Visitor Travel Update.
  • Masks or other appropriate facial coverings are required indoors when social distancing is not possible and while moving around within office spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are not required outdoors where social distancing is possible. If social distancing is not possible, whether indoors or outdoors, masks are required.
  • Social Distancing is defined as separation of 6 feet or more between personnel.
  • All meetings and gatherings should be limited to not more than 75% of Fire Marshal rated capacity.

Travel Guidelines

These guidelines apply to travel regardless of method of transportation (commercial travel, state vehicle or personal vehicle).

Travel by University Vehicle or Other Vehicles

  • All personnel traveling in vehicles with multiple occupants are required to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth.
  • State vehicles are limited to 2 occupants.
  • Transportation of program participants (4-H or other) by bus or van should limit capacity to 75% and masks are required while in transport.

Domestic Travel

  • In accordance with PM-13, out-of-state travel for official state business requires a spend authorization approved by the unit head prior to making travel arrangements.
  • All faculty and staff should be aware of travel advisories and guidelines at the time of and during travel.
  • All persons traveling are encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

International Travel by Faculty and Staff

  • International travel for official state business requires approval of LSU AgCenter Accounting Services prior to making travel arrangements. All requests for international travel should first be submitted to the appropriate Unit Head. Unit Heads will be responsible for submitting and obtaining approval from Jan Bernath at jbernath@agcenter.lsu.edu in accordance with current guidelines. Requests should include names of travelers, dates of travel, destination, method of travel, lodging accommodation details, statement of essential nature of travel, and any other information related to the request. If approved, Jan Bernath will issue an approved letter for the requested travel. The traveler should then create the spend authorization in workday and attach the approval letter.
  • International travel may be approved by LSU AgCenter Accounting Services for the following essential functions:
    • Research/Extension obligations that are part of a federally funded grant or initiative.
    • Research/Extension obligations that are part of other grant or contractually obligated projects.
    • Essential trainings or educational opportunities.
  • International Travel to Travel Advisory Levels 1 and 2 may be considered for approval.
  • International Travel to Travel Advisory Levels 3 and 4 is prohibited.
  • International travel for official state business to Level 1 and 2 areas requires approval of LSU AgCenter Accounting Services prior to making travel arrangements. All requests for travel should first be submitted to the appropriate Unit Head. Unit Heads will be responsible for submitting and obtaining approval from Jan Bernath at jbernath@agcenter.lsu.edu in accordance with current guidelines. Requests should include names of travelers, date(s) of travel, destination, method of travel, lodging accommodation details, statement of essential nature of travel and any other information related to request.
  • Travel to cities and countries where the COVID-19 virus is spreading is not recommended. Based on CDC guidelines, the following guidelines are applicable upon return from international travel(s):
    • Unvaccinated Personnel: A 10-day quarantine is required, unless you get tested 5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days (without symptoms).
    • Vaccinated Personnel: Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms. TSA/Airlines require negative tests prior to travel. No additional testing or isolation is required if symptoms are not present.
  • All persons traveling are encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • For the latest travel advisories, visit the U.S. Department of State Web Site at: International Travel (state.gov)
  • Faculty and staff scheduled to attend an international conference should review cancellation clauses to determine timeline for cancellation notification for the reimbursement of any fees that have already been paid. If the conference requires notice of cancellation more than 15 days in advance, in order to receive a refund, please plan accordingly. This includes any associated airfare.
  • Any person with domestic or international travel plans could be subject to additional guidelines or restrictions in the future. Additionally, there is the possibility of self-isolation or quarantine at a final destination or upon return, depending on guidelines in effect at the time of travel.
  • All faculty and staff should be aware of travel advisories and guidelines at the time of and during travel.

International Visitors to AgCenter

  • All international visitors require the approval of the Vice President for Agriculture or Program Leader.
  • Determination will be based on information provided by the Department of State at the time of the request.
  • The Department of State requires all persons entering the United States to present negative COVID-19 tests within three (3) days of travel or proof of recovery prior to boarding.
  • Travel from cities and countries where the COVID-19 virus is spreading is not recommended. Based on CDC guidelines, the following guidelines are applicable upon return from international travel(s):
    • Unvaccinated Personnel: A 10-day quarantine is required, unless you get tested 5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days (without symptoms).
    • Vaccinated Personnel: Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms. TSA/Airlines require negative tests prior to travel. No additional testing or isolation is required if symptoms are not present
  • The AgCenter will not be responsible for costs associated with testing or required quarantine periods for international visitors.

Personal Travel and Household Member Travel

  • Travel to cities and countries where the COVID-19 virus is spreading is not recommended. Based on CDC guidelines, the following guidelines are applicable upon return from international travel(s):
    • Unvaccinated Personnel: A 10-day quarantine is required, unless you get tested 5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days (without symptoms).
    • Vaccinated Personnel: Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms. TSA/Airlines require negative tests prior to travel. No additional testing or isolation is required if symptoms are not present.
  • Faculty and staff are required to notify their supervisor 48 hours prior to travel and immediately upon return to the United States. Self-isolation regulations will be enforced.
  • Faculty and staff with household members who intend to or have traveled to areas designated as Level 2 or above will be required to notify their supervisor and human resources 48 hours prior to travel and the anticipated return date of the family member, as well as notification immediately upon their actual return to the United States.
  • All faculty and staff are required to notify their supervisor and human resources if the employee or household member develops symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • Any person with domestic or international travel plans could be subject to additional guidelines or restrictions in the future. Additionally, there is the possibility of self-isolation or quarantine, at a final destination or upon return, depending on guidelines in effect at the time of travel.
  • All faculty and staff should be aware of travel status and regulations at the time of travel.
  • Self-isolation regulations will be enforced if symptoms are present.

Study Abroad

All international study abroad experiences going forward are canceled through Spring, 2021. Academic Programs Abroad (APA) is working with the Bursar’s office to reimburse students for fees they have already paid. If faculty members or students have purchased airline tickets, they should contact APA for instructions about reimbursement.

Employee Responsibilities Related to COVID-19

  • Any AgCenter faculty or staff member who is not fully vaccinated and who comes in contact with a person that is suspected of or has tested positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate for 10 days and is not permitted to return to work during that period. Employees who are not vaccinated and have had close contact may be allowed to return to work after 7 days with a negative test taken at least after day 5.
  • Any faculty or staff member with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must seek medical attention.
  • Any AgCenter faculty or staff member with a household member that shows symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 10 days unless they are fully vaccinated (per CDC, 14 days after final shot).Employees who are not fully vaccinated and have had close contact may be allowed to return to work after 7 days with a negative test taken at least after day 5.
  • Fully vaccinated AgCenter or College of Agriculture faculty/staff (excluding those with direct student contact) are not required to quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic (CDC Guidelines).
  • People are considered fully vaccinated:
    • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
    • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
    • If you do not meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
  • Any AgCenter or College of Ag faculty/staff that is located on the LSU A&M campus with direct contact with students should follow the current LSU A&M guidelines at COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard (lsu.edu).
  • A person who has tested positive for COVID-19 may only return to work with a doctor’s release.
  • Faculty and staff who are eligible for telecommuting must have a Telecommuting Agreement from their supervisor and maintain records of duties/work performed.

Research Projects Requiring International Travel

Anyone participating in research projects or collaborative initiatives internationally contact the Office of the Vice President for Agriculture to discuss opportunities for continuity of programs.

Parish Offices, Research Stations and all other AgCenter Facilities

Each AgCenter facility should post the following information where easily visible to employees and visitors:

Mask or Facial Covering Required

  • Additional measures implemented at the local level shall be followed.
  • Any AgCenter or College of Ag faculty/staff that is located on the LSU A&M campus with direct contact with students should follow the current LSU A&M guidelines at COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard (lsu.edu), which includes mandatory masks or face covering.
  • On-Campus Buildings/Facilities- Academic departments on campus are re-opening with a building occupation less than 50% of Fire Marshal capacity for the building in line with LSU EOC guidelines. Personnel should work with supervisors to develop schedules for returning to buildings. For shared buildings, the total occupation cannot exceed 50% of Fire Marshal capacity for the building. Department heads in shared buildings should coordinate with other departments to ensure they do not exceed the maximum occupancy.
  • Parish Extension Offices- Offices should be opened to the public. Exceptions for personnel safety are allowed. Additional guidelines or restrictions imposed at the local level must be followed.

*Special leave for office closure for classified employees expired once your office opened. All AgCenter offices were open by May 18, 2020. After this date, any Civil Service employee that cannot return or complete their duties remotely will be required to take personal leave.

*This Federal leave expired on December 31, 2020.

*Please contact Human Resources Management if there are any extenuating circumstances or hardships for employees such as personal or family illness or daycare closures. Federal guidelines may make provisions for special leave in these cases.

SCHEDULING/STAFFING LEVELS

As offices re-open their physical locations, some employees may begin to return while others continue to work remotely. Each Unit Head will work with their faculty and staff to determine how and when individual employees should return. Until directed otherwise, Unit Heads should:

SCREENING & MINIMIZING RISK

One of the most important methods for controlling the spread of the virus is to stay home when you are sick or not feeling well. Employees and visitors may be asked if they have experienced any of the symptoms specified by the CDC associated with the virus and/or if they have a fever. Where necessary, the AgCenter check employees or visitors accessing our facilities. If someone is experiencing symptoms and/or has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they will be instructed to immediately leave the facility. Everyone should be diligent regarding their own health and not attempt to access AgCenter facilities if they or a household member have symptoms consistent with the CDC checklist.

The CDC’s symptom checklist for employers currently includes:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell

Each AgCenter facility should post the following information where easily visible to employees and visitors:

SAFETY

In addition to normal safety rules and to promote the cleanest environment possible for our faculty, staff and guests, all facilities of the AgCenter must follow these safety guidelines:

  • Hand sanitizer should be made available at all exterior entrances in use along with no-touch trash containers.
  • All commonly touched surfaces should be cleaned with disinfectant wipes no less than twice per day. This includes but is not limited to door handles, knobs, desktops, keyboards, elevator buttons, etc.
  • Employees should refrain from using each other’s equipment such as telephones and keyboards. Tools or equipment that are shared must be sanitized between each use to ensure it is clean for the next user.
  • Employees and visitors are encouraged to wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Employees should practice appropriate cough etiquette.
  • Masks or other appropriate facial coverings are required indoors when social distancing is not possible and while moving around within office spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are not required outdoors where social distancing is possible. If social distancing is not possible, whether indoors or outdoors, masks are required.
  • Any AgCenter or College of Ag faculty/staff that is located on the LSU A&M campus with direct contact with students should follow the current LSU A&M guidelines at COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard (lsu.edu), which includes mandatory masks or face covering. WearAMask_SIGNpdf
  • Additional measures implemented at the local level shall be followed.

General Cleaning and Sanitization/Personal Protective Equipment

The following items have been provided and/or are available for distribution:

A web-based portal has been set up for ordering of the supplies below. Department Heads, Regional Directors, and Parish Chairs or their designees can visit http://lsuagcenter.com/OrderPPE.

Available Supplies:

  • Peroxide Disinfectant Concentrate
  • Trigger/Spray Bottles
  • Dry Wipers/Paper Towels
  • Wet Wipe Buckets (Require adding 1.5 gallons of diluted Peroxide Disinfectant)
  • Hand Sanitizer (1 gallon and 16 oz.)
  • Safety Glasses (For use when diluting concentrated peroxide disinfectant)
  • Nitrile Gloves (For use when diluting concentrated peroxide disinfectant)
  • Disposable Masks (For use by visitors and stakeholders at meetings)
  • Touchless Hand Sanitizer Stations and Refills
    (https://filestogeaux.lsu.edu/public/download.php?FILE=kgautr7/531346Wa5RG)
  • Please coordinate with Department Heads, Parish Chairs and Regional Directors for ordering of supplies.
  • Do not order mass quantities of supplies to help maintain available stock.

Please follow CDC Guidelines for cleaning offices and other common areas. Detailed information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/clean-disinfect/index.html and attached. (CDC Cleaning Guidance)

The AgCenter is committed to providing the necessary supplies to implement the steps outlined in this plan.

In-State Meetings and Events

Meetings

In person meetings with stakeholders should remain limited to essential activities that cannot be conducted virtually. This includes 4-H, ANR and FCS meetings/events. The following guidelines are in effect for all in person meetings:

  • Masks or other appropriate facial coverings are required indoors when social distancing is not possible and while moving around within office spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are not required outdoors where social distancing is possible. If social distancing is not possible, whether indoors or outdoors, masks are required.
  • Any AgCenter or College of Ag faculty/staff that is located on the LSU A&M campus with direct contact with students should follow the current LSU A&M guidelines at COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard (lsu.edu), which includes mandatory masks or face covering.
  • Additional measures implemented at the local level shall be followed.
  • Signage
  • Food and drink may be provided for participants attending meetings hosted by LSU AgCenter faculty and staff.
    • Unit Head approval is required.
    • AS499 and Spending Exception Form Required.
    • Meals must be boxed and single serve.
    • Drinks must be individual sealed cans or bottles.
    • Self-serve drink stations coffee/water/etc. are not allowed
    • Buffet style serving is not allowed.
  • Please follow CDC Guidelines for cleaning. Detailed information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communit... and attached. (CDC Cleaning Guidance and CDC Cleaning Guidance Checker)
  • Any person asked or required to sign a waiver of liability for use of a non-AgCenter facility must submit the form to the Office of the Vice President for Agriculture to be reviewed by Louisiana’s Office of Risk Management before signing.
  • Please use available technology for communicating with and serving our clients remotely.
    • Microsoft Teams can be utilized for larger meetings and events statewide (Training available online).

Contacts:

Human Resources Related Issues:
Ashley Gautreaux- Director of Human Resources Management
agautreaux@agcenter.lsu.edu
(225) 578-4645

Travel Related Issues:
Jan Bernath- Director of Accounting Services
jbernath@agcenter.lsu.edu
(225) 578-4645

QUESTIONS

Questions on this procedure should be directed to your supervisor or Department Head/Regional Director.

Questions may also be emailed to Ashley Gautreaux in Human Resource Management.

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

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