Knox is planning for a phased return to on-campus work. Our primary goal continues to focus on safeguarding the health and safety of all members of the Knox community. The current plan has three phases, between now and the full return of students to campus, and is informed by public health guidance from the state and federal governments.
This reopening plan applies to the summer months only. As students return to campus, we will have expanded protocols and plans in place that we will share with you as the conditions at the time become clear and additional decisions are made.
We are currently in phase one of the plan which allows up to 25 percent of employees to return to work while encouraging employees who can work remotely and can effectively perform their job duties off campus to do so.
For the safety of our campus community, we are taking a more conservative approach than the current guidance provides, and we expect to move toward the maximum allowable campus density over a period of time. We will evaluate movement toward phase two during the first week of August.
Employees should work with their appropriate Senior Staff member and their direct supervisor to implement these phases. We recognize each department may have different work arrangements and needs and will require different workplace modifications. Please continue to work as you have during the past few weeks until you receive new instructions from your supervisor.
Employees who fall into a CDC increased risk group may request a workplace modification, including working remotely. The request may be found here. Human Resources will notify you once the modification has been approved and will do their best to ensure a quick turnaround. In the meantime, please continue to report to work as you have been.
Employees will be tested on campus prior to the beginning of the term. More details on the process and timing are forthcoming. We have contracted with both Tempus Laboratories and OSF St. Mary Medical Center to facilitate PCR molecular tests, which will be conducted at no cost to the employee.
All members of our campus community, including visitors, must wear masks at all times, with the following exceptions: students in their individual residence hall rooms; employees in their private offices; or when out of doors and able to maintain at least six feet of physical distance. In an effort to protect our Knox community, each employee will be provided two face masks and a face shield.
We all must practice good hygiene, including handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer. All employees will be provided with a small refillable bottle of hand sanitizer. Stations to refill hand sanitizer will be placed across the campus.
We all must take care to monitor whether we are exhibiting symptoms of the virus. All students and employees will be asked to record any potential symptoms via a private online platform called HealthCheck360. More details about this process will be shared in the coming weeks.
Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing practices are already in place at Knox and will be expanded as students, faculty, and staff return to campus. Common spaces in academic, administrative, and residential buildings will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected by trained employees at least once per day. Campus offices and residence halls will be stocked with proper supplies and instruction on how to keep shared office spaces clean and disinfected. Stations to refill hand sanitizer will be placed across the campus.
Modifications are also being made to work areas as needed, including the addition of plexiglass barriers, one way traffic patterns through buildings, and rearranged furniture to facilitate physical distancing.
In order to promote the safety of our community, access to campus is restricted to approved students, employees, and essential visitors. A visitor is defined as any individual coming to campus who is not a Knox College employee or current student. All visitors must wear masks while on the campus. Read more about our current visitor policy.
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Employees who are unable to wear a mask due to a documented health issue should complete a Face Covering Accommodation Form.
If you have concerns about returning to work, please speak with your supervisor to see if any modifications to your workplace can be made, which may include but not be limited to: a temporary remote work assignment, physical distancing (such as staggering shifts), alternative work locations, modified or flexible schedules and/or the use of personal leave, etc. If you feel you need a workplace modification, please complete a Workplace Modification Form.
Yes. Testing protocols are in development and will be announced to employees as soon as they are finalized.
If an employee feels they are at increased risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 (or are caring for someone in their household that is at increased risk), they can request a workplace modification. Reasonable workplace modifications will be considered based on CDC Guidelines. If no reasonable modification can be determined, the Office of Human Resources and/or the Provost Office will determine if other COVID-related accommodations can be provided, including any paid or unpaid leave options.
No. To limit exposure to COVID-19, children are not permitted in the workplace, especially during the pandemic.
Employees are entitled to protections against discrimination based upon age, disability and a number of other protected categories. Such conduct could implicate the college’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action policy. Others should not presume to determine if someone is at increased risk. Employees should assess their own health with their health care provider to determine if they believe it is safe to come to work. Employees who learn of an increased risk factor for a coworker should maintain confidentiality about that information, only reporting it to the Office of Human Resources.
Before the start of the academic year, employees will be asked to affirm that they read and understand the conditions outlined in the Knox Together pledge. Failure to meet or uphold the Knox Together pledge could lead to corrective action according to the College’s normal procedures for addressing workplace performance issues.
Employees who have depleted their sick leave balances should contact Human Resources to determine if they would be eligible to use any other type of leave. For other health-related absences, employees should follow regular procedures for using their sick time and requesting a leave of absence
No. Employees should not return to campus until they are symptom and fever free for a minimum of 72 hours or until they have received a negative test result. See a list of symptoms of COVID-19.
Yes. Knox College provides an Employee Assistance Program through Precedence Inc. that allows for up to five free mental health counseling visits each calendar year to all employees, legal spouses and domestic partners, and legal dependents under the age of 24. Please contact Human Resources for additional information.