Employee Related Information

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COVID-19 Guidelines


New guidelines are Red.

Previous revisions are in Blue.

Updated: April 30, 2021

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

Travel Guidelines

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

Travel by State vehicle is limited by the ability of the passengers to socially distance or the requirement to wear masks, regardless of size of vehicle and not to exceed 6 passengers.

Domestic Travel

  • Out-of-state travel for official state business 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.
  • Only travel that is deemed essential will be considered for approval. This includes travel that is part of grants, research initiatives, multi-state collaborative efforts and other essential needs.
  • 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 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 and may not be approved. Based on CDC guidelines, if you do travel to an international destination, LSU has implemented a requirement that you can only return to a university campus, facility, or activity after 10 days from the date of departure from that country and if you have no symptoms, or after 7 days with a negative test on or after the 5th day. You should also make every attempt to return with enough lead time to self-isolate prior to when your university responsibilities begin.
  • 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.
  • 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: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/travela...
  • 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.
  • Students, faculty, and staff who are returning from international travels from any country are prohibited from returning to any and all university campuses, facilities, and activities during a 10-day period from the date of departure from that country and may not return to campus unless they are asymptomatic for that period, or after 7 days with a negative test on or after the 5th day. As required by the Presidential Directive addendum to PM-13, employees and students must present a release to return to work from their personal physician or the Student Health Center.
  • 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.
  • A ten (10) day quarantine is required for all international visitors.

Personal Travel and Household Member Travel

  • Travel to cities and countries where the COVID-19 virus is spreading is not recommended. If you do travel to an international destination, LSU has implemented a requirement that you can only return to a university campus, facility, or activity after 10 days from the date of departure from that country and if you have no symptoms, or after 7 days with a negative test on or after the 5th day. You should also make every attempt to return with enough lead time to self-isolate prior to when your university responsibilities begin.
  • 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 Summer, 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.
  • LSU System is recommending telecommuting for the LSU A&M campus to “non-essential” employees. Faculty and Staff should work with their supervisor to determine who is essential and to develop schedules for essential personnel.

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:

  • Masks are required for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, where social distancing is not possible.
  • Offices should be opened to the public, while still following guidelines for occupancy. Exceptions for personnel safety are allowed.
  • 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. 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- Employees domiciled at parish offices should coordinate with supervisors for the reopening of offices. Staffing levels should not exceed 75% of Fire Marshal capacity for the building. Please continue to work with our clientele virtually where possible; all travel should be limited to that which is deemed essential.

*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:

  • Offices should be opened to the public, while still following guidelines for occupancy.
    • Exceptions for personnel safety are allowed.
  • On Campus Units: Create schedules to ensure that maximum allowed occupancy is not exceeded. Staffing levels should not exceed 50% of Fire Marshal capacity for the building where social distancing is not possible.
  • Off Campus Units: Create schedules to ensure that maximum allowed occupancy is not exceeded. Staffing levels should not exceed 75% of Fire Marshal capacity for the building where social distancing is not possible.
  • Ensure that employees can maintain the necessary amount of social distance from others while in the office.
  • Options for Unit Heads to consider during this time would be returning a fraction of the regular staff and/or allowing staff to work in shifts such as every other day. Priority of returning to the office should be given to personnel that cannot work remotely. Employees that can work remotely should continue to do so. Unit Heads should be flexible in implementing return programs depending on the location’s needs and population, as well as the needs/issues of individual employees.
  • All personnel that are working remotely should have necessary paperwork submitted. This includes the telecommuting agreement and property assignment form.

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.
  • All access to common areas such as kitchens and break rooms should be limited in order to prevent people from gathering in close proximity to each other. Employees should use refrigerators or microwaves as needed then leave the area.
  • Employees should not gather in conference rooms unless there is appropriate space and numbers to practice social distancing.
  • 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 and refrain from shaking hands.
  • Employees must wear a face mask or other facial coverings when in common areas of the workplace. All employees should bring their own personal face masks (disposable or washable) for use. Disposable masks should be discarded appropriately, and washable masks should be sanitized daily.

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.
  • Supplies should only be ordered to sustain operations for a 3–4-week period.
  • 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:

  • Meetings at indoor AgCenter facilities and other locations are to remain limited to 75% of Fire Marshall capacity.
  • Rooms with unspecified Fire Marshall capacity should determine capacity by providing 60 square feet per person. The formula would divide the total square footage of a room by 60 to allow for social distancing.
  • Meetings held outdoors are not limited in capacity.
  • Masks are not mandatory but strongly suggested for outdoor meetings and events.
  • All persons/stakeholders attending indoor group meetings are required to wear a face mask or other facial coverings, when social distancing is not possible. This includes AgCenter faculty and staff. Meeting notices should include language that participants will be required to wear face coverings and appropriate signage should be posted at entryways for meetings. If additional guidelines are in put into place by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or local Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), please follow those additional guidelines.
  • Clarification of mask mandate:
    • The AgCenter generally will not require a physician's note for participants to be exempt from wearing facial coverings.
    • Attendees with underlying conditions should be encouraged to participate virtually, if possible.
    • Persons unable to wear a mask should be placed in an area with increased social distancing from other participants.
  • Signage
  • Social distancing should be practiced at all events regardless of location (indoor or outdoor).
  • 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.
  • Special permission by Regional Directors and/or Program Leaders may be granted for organizations outside of the AgCenter to use available facilities.
    • External meeting groups may provide food and drink to their participants with restrictions and approval by the appropriate supervisor.
    • Meals must be boxed and single serve.
    • Drinks must be individual sealed cans or bottles.
    • Buffet style serving is not allowed.
  • Any external group hosting meetings at or in AgCenter facilities will be required to adhere to these guidelines including the use of masks or facial coverings.
  • Any visitor or attendee who fails to follow these guidelines should be asked to leave immediately.
  • 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).
    • Meetings with out-of-state attendees and participants should be conducted by video conference.
    • Special consideration may be given upon request for events exceeding the currently established attendee threshold. Request for exceptions should be approved in writing by the Vice President for Agriculture.

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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