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LSU AgCenter Guidelines on COVID-19

Updated: January 8, 2020

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 to two (2) people per vehicle, regardless of size of vehicle.

Domestic Travel

  • Out-of-state travel for official state business requires approval of the Division of Administration prior to submitting expense reports. This can be requested through Regional Directors, Program Leader or Department Head to the Office of the Vice President for Agriculture.
  • Only essential out of state travel is being reviewed by AgCenter administration for submittal to the Division of Administration for approval.
  • All faculty and staff should be aware of travel advisories and guidelines at the time of and during travel.

International Travel by Faculty and Staff

  • All international travel for business by faculty and staff is prohibited.
  • For the latest travel advisories, visit the U.S. Department of State Web Site at:
  • Faculty or staff members with existing international travel should wait until 15 days prior to the scheduled departure to cancel. There is not a timeframe established for the length of the prohibition on international travel.
  • 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 cancel 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. 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.

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. 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 (Governor Proclamation 159 JBE 2020).
  • 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 (Governor Proclamation 159 JBE 2020).
  • 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 (Governor Proclamation 159 JBE 2020).
  • 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 faculty or staff member 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.
  • Any faculty or staff member with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must seek medical attention.
  • Any 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.
  • 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 the LSU A&M campus to “non-essential” employees. Faculty and Staff should work with their supervisor to determine who is essential and eligible for telecommuting.

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. International travel will not be approved, but other solutions may be available.

Parish Offices, Research Stations and all other AgCenter Facilities

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

  • On-Campus Buildings/Facilities- Only faculty and staff requested and approved for return should report to campus. Academic departments on campus are re-opening with a building occupation less than 50%. All personnel that can work remotely should continue to do so until further instructed to return. For shared buildings, the total occupation cannot exceed 50%. 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 appropriate work locations and status. Any employee that is unable to work remotely may be approved by their Parish Chair to return to the office. Staffing levels should not exceed 50% where social distancing is not possible. Please continue to work with our clientele virtually; all travel should be limited to that which is deemed essential.
  • Research Stations and Other AgCenter Facilities- In coordination with the Regional Directors and Program Leaders research stations were opened statewide effective Monday, May 4, 2020. Only faculty and staff deemed essential by their Regional Director or Station Coordinator should physically report to their station. All other personnel should continue to work remotely with the necessary paperwork completed for remote work status. For locations that require the return of faculty and staff, occupancy shall not exceed 50% of that location. The operations and functions being performed on these stations are critical to the continuity of our research programs and the sustainability of the Agricultural industries.

*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 their personal leave unless they qualify for leave provisions established by the FFCRA.

*This Federal leave is scheduled to expire 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.


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:

  • Create schedules to ensure that maximum allowed occupancy is not exceeded. Staffing levels should not exceed 50% where social distancing is not possible.
  • Continue to limit the number of staff present at the location as much as possible.
  • Keeping offices closed to the public or only meeting with limited external visitors by appointment.
  • 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.


Although most faculty and staff are anxious to return to their regular routine, many may have impediments that affect their ability to return. From a facility’s re-opening date, department heads and regional directors should make every effort to accommodate the issues that returning to work may present for their employees. If an employee does not return in the manner requested and cannot work remotely, contact Denise Fontenot or Rebecca Smelley in HRM for guidance on appropriate leave usage.

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 should notify their immediate supervisor as soon as possible so that close contacts may be identified and arrangements made for the employee to work remotely and/or take leave. Employees who have tested positive will be required to have a doctor’s release to return to work. Supervisors should notify HRM of all employees who report a positive diagnosis.

Employees who have had close contact (as defined by the CDC) with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 10 days from their last contact with the person who tested positive. If the close contact originated outside of work, the employee must report the contact to their supervisor immediately so that arrangements for leave or telework can be worked out.

Different leave usage rules will apply depending on the reason for the employee’s inability to return. Some of the issues expected to affect an employee’s ability to return may be:

  • Unable to return due to personal illness or exposure,
  • Unable to return due to sick member of household,
  • Unable to return due to childcare issues, or
  • Uncomfortable with return due to personal safety concerns.

High risk individuals may request and should be afforded alternative work arrangements such as continuing to work remotely, if possible. Based on current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:

  • People 65 years and older, or
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

People of all ages with the underlying medical conditions listed below, particularly if not well controlled, are also at a high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 including:

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma,
  • People who have serious heart conditions,
  • People who are immunocompromised,
  • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications,
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher),
  • People with diabetes,
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, and/or
  • People with liver disease.


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:


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

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


  • 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 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


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 25% of Fire Marshall capacity or 50 people, whichever is less.
  • 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. Maximum capacity remains 50 people.
  • Special approval may be granted by Program Leaders and Regional Directors to allow for up to 75 people at an indoor event where adequate space is available to socially distance.
  • Meetings held outdoors should be limited to 150 participants.
  • These guidelines do not apply to Livestock Shows. We are working directly with the Fire Marshall under the Open Safely program to obtain approval for capacity.
  • 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
  • Masks are not mandatory but strongly suggested for outdoor meetings and events.
  • 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 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.


Human Resources Related Issues:
Ashley Gautreaux- Director of Human Resources Management
(225) 578-4645

Travel Related Issues:
Jan Bernath- Director of Accounting Services
(225) 578-4645


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.

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