Questions about FSU Panama City admissions, programs, campus, COVID-19 response or current hours of operation?
Call the FSU PC Promise Information Number (24/7): (850) 770-2411.


Stay Healthy Faculty & Staff

EMPLOYEE RESOURCES

HEALTH AND SAFETY

TRAVEL

GENERAL INFORMATION ON COVID-19


EMPLOYEE RESOURCES

I have some questions for HR. Where should I go?

FSU’s Office of Human Resources has created a COVID-19 workplace guidance page as well as a COVID-19 FAQ specifically for HR questions.

When will more employees start returning to campus?

It is anticipated that all departments and offices will have an on-campus presence beginning Monday, Aug. 17. Departments should ensure on-campus staffing levels meet the needs of the campus community. Departments should coordinate with their faculty and staff to identify who must be physically present on campus to perform their duties and determine work schedules. The goal continues to be a lower density of employees on campus balanced with the need to engage and support our students and perform critical business functions.

While some employees may be assigned on-campus duties, others may not be required to return to campus until later. These decisions should be made by the supervisor based on the individual assigned duties of employees. Employees should continue to work with their departments and supervisors on a schedule that allows them to balance their family/personal responsibilities with their work obligations. These flexible arrangements will continue until the end of the fall semester in December. At that point, the University will assess the situation and communicate as appropriate. Supervisors are encouraged to contact Human Resources (Employee/Labor Relations or Faculty Relations) for any assistance needed to work through this process.

What if my job cannot be done remotely?

Employees who have previously be unable to perform their work remotely may now return to campus to perform their job duties if the work is available. Employees who report to campus should obtain supervisor approval and continue to practice the CDC Guidelines for Social Distancing.  Flexible or rotating schedules for on-campus employees may be appropriate to reduce the amount of people in the department. Continue to refrain from conducting in-person meetings with groups of people. Masks are required for employees working on campus.

I am over 65 or have a chronic health condition that puts me at a higher risk of greater illness from COVID-19. What should I do?

Some employees may have concerns about their work assignment due to health-related conditions that may place them or someone in their care at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19. These employees may request a modification to their work assignment by completing the Temporary Modification Request form. Details regarding this request process can be found on the HR website.

I thought telecommuting with a child at home wasn’t allowed; my kids are home because of the school closures, can I continue remote working?

Human Resources has temporarily removed any childcare requirements for remote work.

What is the status of research operations?

As the State of Florida has slowly reopened, Florida State University has taken steps to incrementally expand on-campus research operations.  We continue to follow the guidance of local, state, and federal officials to maintain the health and safety of our campus community while also looking for ways to increase our research capacity. Please consult the Office of Research’s website for more information.

What are some ways I can secure my Zoom meetings?

Here are some scheduling options and in-meeting features you can use to secure your Zoom Meetings and limit unwanted disruptions.

HEALTH AND SAFETY


What is the Daily Wellness Check?

Participating in a daily wellness check supports the overall health and wellness of the Florida State community. All students should complete the Daily Wellness Check Tool in the MyFSU MobileApp or portal each day before coming to campus. The Daily Wellness Check Tool asks if you have experienced symptoms or if you have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual. Students who pass the wellness check can move about campus, observing social distancing guidelines and wearing a face covering. Students who do not pass the wellness check are highly encouraged to follow the instructions provided on the MobileApp.

Will face coverings be required?  

Yes, face coverings are required in all indoor facilities on campus. Individuals will not be permitted to attend face-to-face classes, take part in other events or access services indoors without the proper face coverings. Face coverings will be available in multiple locations on campus if a student does not have access to or has forgotten their face covering. For more information, visit the CDC’s guidelines on How to Wear Masks .

Will FSU supply face coverings?

FSU has purchased face coverings to distribute to students. Staff will distribute face masks August 24-27, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CT in the Holley Rotunda. If you are unable to pick up your mask at these times, please contact the Office of Finance and Administration at (850) 770-2110.

What is the COVID-19 Random Testing Program?

The Random Testing Program (RTP) is planned for ongoing testing of asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff physically present on campus during the Fall 2020 semester. Monitored by epidemiologists at the Bay County Department of Health, random testing allows FSU Panama City to monitor and respond to infection levels in the campus community. The University’s goal is to test at least 10% of those who are on campus daily based on the average from the prior week. Testing of faculty and staff is job related and consistent with business necessity. The program will begin on Monday, September 14. Voluntary testing will continue to be available through Thursday, November 19, 2020.

Each week, students, faculty, and staff who are engaged in on-campus activities will be randomly selected to participate and notified by email and a MyFSU push notification on Sunday with a reminder sent on Monday. Those selected will be directed to make a testing appointment by clicking this link: https://uhs.fsu.edu/covid-testing-dates-panama-city-campus. All testing on the Panama City Campus will take place in the Barron Building, Room 125 on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9AM to Noon. Appointments must be scheduled no later than Tuesday, and specimen collection must be completed by Thursday at the end of testing.

I have come in contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends self-quarantine or self-isolation only for individuals who were in close contact with a case of COVID-19. The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on). If you were in close contact with a case of COVID-19 or during the next 14 days feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, please seek medical advice and call ahead before going to the doctor’s office or emergency room. Also, please avoid contact with others, do not travel while sick and avoid using public transportation.

If you did not come in close contact with a case of COVID-19, here are some reminders on how to stay healthy.  Please remember to avoid close contact with people who are sick, avoid touching your face, stay home when you are sick, clean frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipes and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

What if I exhibit symptoms or test positive for COVID-19?

Students who are symptomatic or have tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate themselves according to the CDC guidelines for isolation. Students experiencing symptoms should remain in isolation until at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication, and symptoms have improved. Students who have been hospitalized with symptoms may need to remain in isolation longer according to doctor recommendations. Students who have tested positive but had no symptoms should remain in isolation until at least 10 days have passed since the date they tested positive.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, we highly encourage you to let us know by accessing the Daily Wellness Check Tool in the myFSU mobile app or portal so the FSU Panama City COVID Response Team  may provide the proper support and response.

Is FSU PC conducting contact tracing? Will I be contacted if I’ve been exposed?

If you are tested through the FSU testing program, results will be reviewed by University Health Services. If authorized, the test results will be shared with the FSU Panama City COVID Response Team. This will ensure proper response including sharing isolation guidelines, referrals to university resources, and conducting appropriate contact assessment to mitigate the spread of the virus. 

If you are exposed while on campus or if you test positive for coronavirus, expect a confidential call from the FSU PC Response Team.

If you are asked to quarantine due to an exposure, the FSU PC Response Team will help you know when you are approved to return to campus activities.

What is the difference between self-quarantine and self-isolation?

Quarantining in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but are not yet symptomatic from others who have not been exposed to prevent the possible spread of the disease. Self-isolation means the separation of a person or group known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the disease.

Why does FSU recommend a flu shot?

Annual vaccination against seasonal flu may help to prevent illness, the severity of flu, and serious complications caused by flu. People who receive the vaccine miss less class or work due to illness. The vaccine also helps prevent others from getting the flu from you. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exception. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccinations.htm.

What assistance is available to help students cope with COVID-19 or other life events?

Counseling Services are available for virtual and in-person appointments. Please call Kathleen Duval for assistance at (850) 770- 2174.

How are common areas being maintained in each building? 

Facilities is committed to enhancing, providing, and maintaining clean, safe, and sanitary conditions for all academic, administrative and support buildings. Your assistance in helping us maintain these facilities, classrooms, and workspaces is critical in keeping a safe and clean work environment. All cleaning on campus currently follows CDC standards  and utilizes EPA registered  cleaning agents, including the wiping down of common area tables/chairs, etc. Classrooms will be cleaned in between every scheduled class.

Are there any measures being taken regarding the air conditioning system?  

As a precautionary measure, the HVAC air filtration system has been evaluated for all campus buildings. While all systems meet current filtration standards and are deemed extremely low risk for transfer of pathogens, the University has opted to install higher efficiency air filters for additional protection. These high efficiency filters use mechanical and electrostatic filtration and have been demonstrated to protect against water droplets and many aerosol particles released from coughing or sneezing.

Do you have any recommended information on cleaning and disinfection? 

The CDC has provided an easy-to-read printable   on workplace, school and home cleaning.


TRAVEL

Is university-sponsored travel affected? 

All university-sponsored domestic and international travel continues to be restricted.

Are employees restricted from traveling? 

The University has canceled all international and domestic university-related travel. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to refrain from personal international or domestic travel, unless the reason for such travel is designated as essential. However, personal travel is not prohibited. If employees choose to travel, they should review COVID-19 data at their anticipated destination in order to make an informed decision about their exposure risk. Personal domestic travel will no longer require a 14-day self -quarantine unless the employee presents COVID-19 related symptoms upon return from travel.  Individuals who travel internationally and/or on any cruise to any location, should not return to campus until they have been COVID-19 symptom free at their normal place of residence for 14 days. Notify your supervisor if you have experienced COVID-19 symptoms, traveled internationally, or recently been on a cruise. Supervisors can consult with HR regarding the 14-day quarantine period, if needed.

What about travel for student organizations?

FSU student organizations and recognized groups will not be permitted to travel outside of the Panama City area to attend an event or otherwise represent Florida State University in any event or competition through December 31, 2020. Any such travel, regardless of funding source (University, organization, or personal funds), is not permitted for group travel. For more information, see the Student Travel Policy in the Student Affairs Return to Campus Life Guide.


GENERAL INFORMATION ON COVID-19

Florida State University is carefully monitoring developments related to the Coronavirus. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will provide updated information and guidance as it becomes available. Our highest priority remains the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

About the Coronavirus

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS. COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

For the latest information on the outbreak, visit CDC Official Updates 

What are the Symptoms? 

For confirmed cases, symptoms have ranged from infected people having few to no symptoms to people becoming severely ill. Symptoms appear within 2 through 14 days and can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

What areas are currently affected?

For the latest information on cases in Florida, please visit the Florida Department of Health.  

How is COVID-19 transmitted? 

The virus causing COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person, according to the CDC. Someone who is sick with the virus can spread the illness to others. The virus spreads through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes.

What does exposure mean?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure is defined as being within 6 feet (or 2 meters) of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time (such as caring for or visiting a patient) or having unprotected direct contact with a patient, such as being coughed on or touching a used tissue with a bare hand.

How is it prevented? 

The best way to prevent infection is avoid exposure to the virus. As a reminder, the CDC recommends everyday actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

For more information about handwashing, see CDC’s handwashing site .

What is FSU doing to prevent coronavirus?

Florida State University is taking aggressive steps to prevent the spread of disease, such as COVID-19, by promoting healthy habits and enhancing its existing cleaning and disinfection practices. This cannot be achieved without the help of the entire campus community. First and foremost, this means engaging in healthy habits such as washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds; covering your cough or sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; avoiding those who are sick; and staying home when you are sick. Signage promoting this is posted throughout campus.

FSU PC facilities and maintenance  have reviewed cleaning protocols and products and are taking extra measures to disinfect frequently touched areas like doorknobs, stair rails, elevator buttons and other surfaces (such as exercise equipment and classroom AV equipment). High traffic areas such as libraries, bathrooms and eating areas also receive more cleanings.

Will getting the flu shot help? 

The flu shot will not prevent coronavirus; however, people with the flu are more susceptible to other illnesses, so a shot is still recommended.

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