Revised: July 31, 2020

As we plan for the unprecedented circumstances of the fall 2020 semester, Franciscan University strives to provide a dynamic and engaging setting that fosters effective student learning, ongoing conversion and holiness, and personal relationships and community life, all in the context of a safe environment for students, staff, faculty, and guests.


Therefore, measures must be taken to ensure that we have the appropriate protective protocols and plans in place to welcome our students back to campus. Our vigilance in adhering to these measures will bolster our ability to open this fall and mitigate potential disruptions to classes, activities, and staffing when confirmed cases arise during the semester.


This document has been updated and revised considering the most recent federal, state, and local health requirements and recommendations. This latest version also includes updated details on return to work planning. This document will be updated as circumstances change.


While the University is taking reasonable measures consistent with guidance from the CDC and local health officials to manage the risk of COVID-19, it is important for all employees to understand that the University cannot eliminate the risk of COVID-19 exposure and infections on campus. With COVID-19 transmission continuing throughout Ohio and nationally, it is possible that some employees will be exposed to COVID-19 and other infections while at work. Employees must appreciate, understand, and accept that these risks cannot be eliminated.


For these reasons, we need all employees to accept responsibility for their own health and safety by following CDC and local health guidance and University policy regarding social distancing, hand-washing, face coverings and other measures employees can personally take to mitigate their risk of exposure and transmission of this disease.


Employees who have an underlying condition that makes them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and other infections should contact Human Resources (*6398, to discuss the availability of accommodations.


Links to Topics on this Page
I. Monitor for Symptoms V. Sanitize the Workspace IX. Read COVID-19 Communications
II. Wear a Face Covering VI. Protect the Vulnerable X. Ask Questions & Express Concerns
III. Maintain Social Distance VII. Observe Travel Restrictions  
IV. Maintain Hygiene VIII. Report Known or Suspected Cases  


Employees must perform a temperature check and self-monitor for symptoms daily before reporting to work.

  • People with COVID-19 have a wide range of symptoms – from being asymptomatic to having mild or severe symptoms. Symptoms may arise 2-14 days after exposure. Loss of taste or smell, congestion, runny nose, fever (over 100.4) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle/body aches, sore throat, nausea/vomiting, and/or diarrhea are common symptoms. You can access the CDC’s “Self-Checker” tool (click link & scroll down on webpage) as a guide to help you make decisions regarding seeking care.
  • Employees reporting to work on campus must take their temperature before coming to campus. The CDC considers a person to have a fever when he or she has a measured temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or greater, or feels warm to the touch, or gives a history of feeling feverish. If you have a fever you must stay home.
    • Human Resources has purchased an inventory of scanner thermometers. Please contact Human Resources (*6398, if you would like one for departmental use.


Do not report to work if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or any other communicable disease. Consult with your physician regarding symptoms and potential testing. Follow your doctor’s orders regarding testing, self-isolation and/or quarantine.


If symptoms develop while you are at work, leave immediately, consult your physician for further instructions, and inform your supervisor.


Report confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 to the Office of Human Resources (*6398 or so that the University can take prudent action, based on the individual circumstances, to mitigate and contain the potential spread on campus.


If you know that you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive (e.g., without a mask, within 6 feet, indoors) speak to your physician and follow your doctor’s orders. You cannot report to work on campus until 14 days after your last know exposure to someone who has tested positive.


All employees must wear facial covering while indoors on campus unless they are working alone in their assigned work area. Employees must also wear facial coverings while outdoors, when they are unable to maintain six-foot social distance from others (who are not household members).


There are several exceptions to the facial coverage requirement:

  • Individuals who cannot wear a facial covering due to an underlying health condition. If you fall in this category you may seek an exemption through the Office of Human Resources (*6398,
  • Officiants at religious services.
  • Facial coverings are not required to be worn by faculty in the classroom if doing so would create an impediment to academic content delivery. In these instances, faculty are strongly encouraged to either use clear face shields, use other physical barriers (such as plexiglass), or must maintain six (6) feet of distancing.

Please contact Human Resources (*6398, if you need disposable face coverings for yourself or your department.


To request plexiglass:

  • Staff Members: Please discuss your plexiglass request with your supervisor. Supervisors may write to Business Services with plexiglass requests (


Social distancing of six (6) feet between co-workers should be observed to the greatest extent possible. Plexiglass or other barriers may be available in workspaces where people must face each other or unable to be 6 feet apart. Consider placing plexiglass barriers at high-visited areas such as reception desks and check-in points.


Employees should not congregate in office spaces, eat lunch, or take breaks together/in the same area if social distancing cannot always be maintained.


Employees should minimize unnecessary in-person meetings. Social distancing must be observed, and face coverings must be worn for all indoor meetings. If possible, employees should conduct meetings via the telephone or video conferencing consistent with the protocols established by the University’s Office of Information Technology Services and eLearning (Blackboard).


Remove chairs and desks to ensure proper physical distancing in conference and waiting rooms.


Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer made with at least 60 percent alcohol but warns that these solutions do not kill all germs.


Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.


Avoid close contact with those who are ill or think they may be ill.


Practice respiratory etiquette: If you do not have a tissue, you should cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not your hands. Throw used tissues in the trash.


Make use of the hand sanitizer stations placed throughout campus. If you notice that a dispenser is empty, please submit a work order or call Physical Plant Services (740-283-6278) for a refill.


Departments should purchase and keep hand sanitizer available within the office environment for use by employees, students, and visitors. If the department’s supply runs out, you may submit a work order or call Physical Plant Services (740-283-6278) for a bottle to see you through until you are able to purchase more.


Regularly disinfect surfaces that may have been contaminated. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as copy machines, coffee makers, printers, tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, phones, keyboards, etc. before and after use. Departments are responsible for maintaining sanitizing supplies for individuals to clean their areas.


Identify frequently touched areas (doors, cabinets, etc.) and investigate options to implement no/reduced touch options such as door removal or propping.


Employees should not allow others to use their phone, computer, laptop, office, tools, and other work instruments. If necessary, these items should be cleaned before and after being shared.


As a Catholic and Franciscan institution, we seek to honor the dignity of all individuals. We have a duty as individuals and as a University to care for those who are most vulnerable. We fulfill this duty by mitigating the transmission of the disease and providing at-risk employees, and those employees living in the same household as someone who is at risk, the opportunity to work remotely or in a blended work arrangement to the extent possible.


Employees may request a COVID-19 related accommodation by completing and submitting a COVID-19 Special Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form. The purpose of this form is to assist the University in determining whether, or to what extent, a reasonable accommodation can be provided to allow the employee to perform their essential job functions effectively. Please contact Mary Lynn Lewis in Human Resources (, *6398) for the form.


Employees must comply with all federal and state travel restrictions. Employees may not engage in University sponsored domestic or international travel to a restricted area which is not mission critical and cleared with their division vice president (VPAA for faculty).


The CDC and the Department of State advise that U.S. citizens should avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. Employees can find the CDC’s travel recommendations and restrictions by clicking here. Employees returning from one of these restricted countries will have to self-quarantine before returning to the workplace.


The State of Ohio also issued a travel warning, recommending those individuals entering Ohio after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher to self-quarantine for 14 days. The list will be updated every Wednesday.

  • If you have established personal travel plans to one of these areas, please reconsider your plans in light of the possibility that it could prevent your ability to return to work at this critical time. If you plan to travel to one of these areas you need to inform your supervisor in advance.

Any employee who travels to any area where a travel alert is in place must self-identify by disclosing their travel plans to the University using the travel registration form on MyFranciscan.


Employees are required to report confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 to the Office of Human Resources (*6398 or so that the University can take prudent action, based on the individual circumstances, to mitigate and contain the potential spread on campus.

  • Reports of known or suspected cases will be handled professionally and confidentially to the greatest extent allowed by law. That said, the University is required to share this information with local public health officials and facilitate their efforts to conduct contact tracing.
  • If you know that you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive (e.g., without a mask, within 6 feet, indoors) speak to your physician and follow your doctor’s orders. You cannot report to work on campus until 14 days after your last known exposure to someone who has tested positive.


When a case of employee infection has been confirmed there will be a shutdown of the area for deep cleaning and sanitation if possible. The area will be reopened in consultation with the local health department.


In the instance of a suspected or confirmed case in the workplace the University will determine what/if any communication should occur to advise others of their potential/known exposure. For privacy and regulatory reasons, the University will not reveal the identity of individuals with known or suspected cases.


Campus Safety will issue Clery Timely Warning as may be required.


Human Resources will provide ongoing communication and resources for the campus community regarding the University’s protocols, regulatory changes, and best practices in infection prevention and control.


These measures will be adjusted on an ongoing basis as circumstances change and develop. It is essential that employees read COVID-19 related communications from Human Resources and the Worksite Wellness Committee as this is the primary method for communicating on this topic.


Employees are encouraged to contact Human Resources with any questions (Brenan Pergi, Vice President of Human Resources,, 740-283-6445)


Report any safety concerns (John Pizzuti, Director of Campus Safety and Compliance,, 740-283-6238).