Staff COVID-19 Information
This page contains information most closely related to how Coronavirus precautions taken by SKC will effect our staff's work experience.
Remember if you have any questions regarding our response to COVID-19 you can send an email to email@example.com and the message will be received by the appropriate person to assist you. Or, fill out the form below.
In order to limit the number of individuals and interactions among those present on campus, departments should schedule partial staffing on alternating days. Such schedules will facilitate social distancing, especially in areas with large, common workspaces.
Face Mask Requirement
Face coverings are required in all indoor spaces and all enclosed or partially enclosed outdoor spaces. Face coverings will be required in all outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible or difficult to reliably maintain. The face-covering requirement applies to all Salish Kootenai College students, employees, and to all visitors, including service providers, contractors, vendors, suppliers, alumni, families, and community members.
Campus face-covering requirements will supplement measures such as social distancing, frequent handwashing, and frequent cleaning of office, work, and living spaces, already in place.
What Counts as a Face Covering?
Appropriate face coverings are those that cover the mouth and nose of the wearer. Effective face coverings include simple cloth masks, scarves, or bandanas.
Following CDC guidance, face coverings should:
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face;
- be secured with ties or ear loops;
- include multiple layers of fabric;
- allow for breathing without restriction; and
- be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damaging them or changing their shape.
- Cannot have an “exhale valve,” as those allow droplets to escape the mask
Plastic face shields may be used in instances where an individual can consistently and reliably maintain appropriate social distancing or where a cloth mask is otherwise impracticable. Such instances may include, but not be limited to, ADA and other medical accommodations. If an individual chooses to use a plastic face shield the shield should cover from above the eyes to below the chin and wrap around the side of the wearer’s face to reduce the risk of the spread of respiratory particles. However, it is important to note that cloth face masks are preferred. Disposable face shields should only be worn for a single-use. Reusable face shields should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Plastic face shields for newborns and infants are NOT recommended.
Disposable, single-use paper masks are also acceptable when another face-covering option is not available.
The following exceptions apply to students, employees, and visitors regarding face coverings:
- when alone in an office, enclosed study area, or other space where permitted by official notice;
- when inside campus residence hall rooms or apartments; however, face coverings are still required in common areas such as hallways, common restrooms, and when visiting other rooms;
- when working or spending time outdoors (e.g. walking, exercising) and at least a six-foot distance can be consistently and reliably maintained;
- in instances or spaces (such as welding labs, nursing labs, etc.) in which other requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) make it either impractical or unsafe to wear an additional face covering;
- when alone in a vehicle or utility vehicle used for Salish Kootenai College business, however, face coverings are required in vehicles used for Salish Kootenai College business when there is more than one person inside the vehicle; and
- when an accommodation is necessary as indicated by a medical professional and granted by express written permission of the College.
- Children under the age of five and those who cannot physically remove a face covering without assistance. All children between the ages of two and four, however, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Children under the age of two should not wear a face covering;
Individuals whose unique and individual circumstances require an exception to the face-covering requirement, as indicated by a medical professional, may request one in accordance with the campus ADA policies. Employees should contact Human Resources. Students should contact the Office of Disability Services. Students must make contact prior to arriving on campus in order to provide adequate time for their requests to be evaluated.
Responsibility and Accountability
The goal of the face mask requirement is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. At Salish Kootenai College, we believe that the universal adoption of this measure will lead to better results when implemented in a civil and cordial environment. Therefore, Salish Kootenai College will communicate and promote the importance of compliance for the benefit of our faculty, students, staff, and visitors.
In the event of willful non-compliance, existing campus policies apply. Employees, students, and visitors engaging in sustained, willful non-compliance may be directed to leave campus spaces, taken off duty, and in certain cases subject to disciplinary action in accordance with existing campus policies applicable to policy violations and disruptions on campus.
Occupants are expected to follow signs in buildings regarding traffic flow, building entrances, exits, elevator usage, and similar common use areas.
Visitors and guests should be limited to those who are directly related to an individual’s or unit’s work.
The use of elevators by multiple individuals will be limited to avoid close proximity with others in a confined space. Elevator riders will wear a face mask or face covering regardless of whether they are traveling alone, Employees should also avoid touching the elevator buttons with exposed hands/fingers and should wash their hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers after touching any surface.
Before and after eating, SKC strongly encourages students and employees to wash their hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of infectious diseases. Employees are encouraged to take food back to their office area or eat outside, if reasonable. Employees eating in their work environment (break room, office, etc.) must maintain social distancing. Employees must wipe all surfaces, including tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines, etc. after use in common areas.
Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using the available online collaboration tools. In-person meetings are limited by the restrictions set in Tribal, state, and federal orders, and employees shall maintain social distancing. All attendees must wear a cloth mask or face covering while sharing space in a common room. Employees, whether on-site or remote, are encouraged to communicate with colleagues and supervisors as needed electronically rather than in-person.
- SKC employees working in an open environment should maintain social distance from co-workers.
- SKC employees are required to wear a cloth face mask or face covering at all times while in a shared workspace/room, when more than one person is in a room, and when inside any SKC facility where others are present. That includes while walking in hallways where others travel and in break rooms, conference rooms, and other meeting locations.
- Cloth face masks or face coverings are required to be worn by any staff in a reception/receiving area.
- Departments should assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to physically separate and increase the distance between employees, other coworkers, and visitors.
- SKC employees will not use anyone else’s personal protective equipment, phones, computer equipment, desks, cubicles, workstations, offices, or other personal work tools and equipment.
- In situations where work tools must be shared, employees will take precautions to sanitize tools between use, as well as wash their hands before and after use.
- In areas where shared/split workspace is in use, cleaning supplies will be made available by the individual unit. SKC employees are expected to wipe down a shared/split workspace prior to and after using it.
Public health habits while at work
SKC employees should:
- Remain home if they are sick.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Keep a supply of hand sanitizer.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Regularly clean all high-touch areas in homes and workplaces.
- Do not touch eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
The number of individuals in restrooms will be limited based on the size of the restroom to ensure social distancing. SKC employees are expected to wash their hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.
The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements.
Guidance for SKC supervisors
SKC supervisors may ask employees who report feeling ill at work, or who call in sick if they have any COVID-19 symptoms so that the supervisor can determine whether the employee must stay home. The supervisor’s discussion about the employee’s health should be limited to asking only about COVID-19 symptoms. Employees who become ill due to COVID-19 but do not have sick leave should contact Human Resources.
SKC supervisors should regularly remind employees reporting to work on campus that they should stay home if they are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms. If an employee does report to work and is exhibiting symptoms, supervisors may require employees to leave the workplace. Supervisors should work with Human Resources to prepare for any employees returning from leave or needing accommodation.
SKC supervisors may not mandate that an employee stay away from work because the employee disclosed, or the supervisor is aware of, a medical condition unrelated to COVID-19. Supervisors shall not inquire about underlying medical conditions.
SKC acknowledges that it is a community of individuals with different abilities and circumstances. If an employee who has been instructed to return to work on-site has concerns about doing so due to a medical condition or other factors that place them at a higher risk from COVID-19, or if individuals wish to seek ADA reasonable accommodations related to returning to the workplace, they should contact Human Resources.
SKC has suspended all college-sponsored international travel on the part of faculty, students, and staff through December 31, 2020.
In-state work-related travel
In-state travel that is central to the mission of SKC and cannot be managed through remote methods may be deemed essential by the college. SKC Faculty and staff who believe they must travel for work which is essential should submit a written request to their supervisor for approval explaining why the travel is necessary and cannot be accomplished remotely or in an alternative way.
If work travel is approved, faculty and staff should:
- Take their temperature before traveling.
- Maintain social distance from others while traveling and working.
- Continue good hygiene practices including washing hands frequently and sneezing and/or coughing into a tissue or the elbow.
- Do not report to work or travel if they are feeling sick or have an elevated temperature
While traveling, cloth face coverings are strongly encouraged and should be worn in situations in which social distancing cannot be maintained.
Out-of-state work-related travel
The same guidance applies to out-of-state travel as described for in-state travel. However, travel to a state that requires a 14-day quarantine upon entry is prohibited. Additionally, faculty and staff should be aware the conditions could change at any time and they may be unable to leave a state or they may have to quarantine for 14 days upon reentry to Montana. As with in-state travel, faculty and staff should submit a written request to their supervisors for approval explaining why the travel is necessary and cannot be accomplished remotely or in an alternative way.
Enhanced cleaning protocols
- Additional sanitization supplies will be delivered to all academic and non-academic departments.
- Students and faculty need to clean each area they use before and after use. This includes chairs, tables, lab instruments, etc.
- Foggers or UV sanitizers will be used at the end of each class session before the next class can enter the room.
- Classrooms, labs, and other instructional spaces will be cleaned daily.
- Doorknobs and handles in the classroom, labs, and other instructional spaces will be cleaned daily.
Lengthening the academic day
To accommodate social distancing requirements, some classes may be shifted to earlier or later times and/or days of the week. Any necessary modifications to the class schedule will be done with the least amount of disruption for students.
Students and faculty will not enter a classroom until the previous occupants have exited. Where two doors to a classroom exist, one will be labeled as the entrance and the other as the exit.
Directional pathways that increase one-way traffic flow in buildings will be identified and posted.
Faculty will sanitize the teaching technology and podiums or lecterns. Students will sanitize their chairs and desks. Supplies will be provided in each classroom.
Instruction and learning modalities
Salish Kootenai College will offer courses using four basic delivery models:
- Face to Face–Traditional instruction approach in which students attend classes in-person according to the determined schedule with strict adherence to CDC COVID-19 guidelines. See Syllabus for more specific details.
- Hybrid-Synchronous – An instructional approach where students and faculty work together synchronously through web-based technology. There is an expectation that students connect with their instructor and classmates at specific dates and times. See the syllabus for more specific details.
- Hybrid-Face to Face – Students attend classes in a combination of in-person and virtual online class meetings during the set, scheduled class meeting times.
- Online/Asynchronous – Instructional materials, coursework, and instructional guidance are provided in our Learning Management System. Learning and dialogue does not require in-person meetings and allows students to access learning at their convenience
All four modes will be used for course delivery. Because of constraints on available physical space imposed by social distancing, there will be more courses available using hybrid synchronous, hybrid asynchronous, and online delivery methods. The primary method of communication and correspondence with students and faculty will take place using our Learning Management System.
The SKC Library is currently open only to SKC Students, Faculty, and Staff.
Library operating practices will be modified as follows:
- All Library patrons must wear face masks when in the library.
- All staff working in the building will wear cloth face masks or face coverings, except when they are in their personal office space.
- Sanitize select high-use areas multiple times per day
- Communicate healthy practices to library patrons through messaging that will include signs, table tents, and spoken communication directly with people in the building.
- Provide patrons with cleaning and sanitizing products to clean areas prior to or after use.
- Create a logging system by which patrons in the building can indicate the space they used and for what duration.
- Select technical equipment will be unavailable for checkouts, including headphones and virtual reality equipment.
- Open public spaces for solo study or groups no larger than three who maintain social distancing.
- Group study rooms are only available for solo use to accommodate social distancing.
- Hold meetings online or in-person and observe appropriate social distancing.
- Avoid high-risk, high-volume programs, and events.
- Arrange furniture in open public areas to promote collaboration while observing social distancing.
- Open classrooms according to SKC guidelines for appropriate classroom capacities.
- There will be a limited number of computers available for library patrons' use. The rest will remain turned off for social distancing and ease of sanitizing available equipment.
- Printing services will be available.
General operations of the SKC Fitness Center
- Faculty, staff, and current students will be admitted. No day or week passes are available currently.
- Occupancy is limited to (yet to be determined) patrons at a time.
- Patrons will be asked before entering whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19 and their temperature will be taken before entering the Fitness Center. Employees have been trained to recognize the symptoms, and patrons may be refused entry based on their answers to the screening questions or the results of their temperature.
- The facility and equipment will be continuously cleaned while the fitness center is open, as well as after closing, concentrating on frequently touched areas. All Recreational Sports and Fitness employees will wear cloth masks while working and gloves when appropriate.
Fitness Center member responsibilities
- Patrons are to check themselves for COVID-19: high fever, dry cough, trouble breathing, chills, muscle pain, loss of taste or smell, and sore throat. Sick patrons are not to come to the fitness center.
- Patrons are asked to keep their workouts efficient to limit their time in the center as much as possible.
- Patrons are asked to skip the locker rooms when possible and come dressed-out.
- Patrons are required to wear a cloth mask or face covering when possible while in the fitness center.
- Patrons should bring their own water. Drinking fountains are closed. Bottle fillers are open, but patrons are asked to only use them when necessary. Bottle fillers will be cleaned hourly.
- Patrons must maintain 6-foot social distancing everywhere in the building, especially in the locker rooms. There are floor markings in areas such as near the free weights to help patrons be aware.
- Patrons should clean their hands regularly. There are several hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility, and patrons are asked to use them often.
- Patrons must wipe down the equipment with disposable wipes before and after use. Disposable wipe dispensers will be located around the workout areas. A dedicated staff member will monitor overall sanitation and assist with sanitizing and social distancing.
- No congregating is allowed. Patrons are asked to work out and exit the building when finished. Patrons can use a spotter for safety, but no groups larger than two people.
- Patrons should be considerate and vacate equipment when they are finished exercising, as many machines are closed especially duplicate machines. Patrons should not text, read email, or make calls while seated on a machine.
- Physical distancing during travel
- Physical distancing protocols for visiting teams
- Requiring club sports participants to share in the responsibility of cleaning equipment and facilities they use.
Disinfection of surfaces
The CDC recommends cleaning contaminated surfaces with liquid products. Many products recommend keeping surfaces wet for a period – this time can vary based on the product. When cleaning, use gloves. Cleaning supplies are provided in the Fitness Center.
Entrance screening to The Joe McDonald Health and Fitness Center
All staff, visitors, and student-athletes will enter through the Fitness Center.
A Screener will take temperatures and ask:
- “Do you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath?”
- “Have you tested positive for COVID-19 or are you currently awaiting results of a test?”
- “Are you a direct contact of someone who is COVID-19 positive?”
Individuals will be allowed entry if they show no fever or symptoms and are not awaiting a test result.
All SKC staff, visitors, and student-athletes will exit through the Fitness Center. All student-athletes will sign out each time they leave the building.
Face mask or face covering
All SKC staff and student-athletes are required to bring their own personal cloth face covering or mask when using any SKC athletics facility and to wear the mask or covering at all times while on the premises unless social distancing is practiced.
If a student-athlete refuses to wear a face covering, they will not be allowed to participate in Athletic Department activities and will be asked to leave the premises.
Group games and use of shared objects/balls
No activities that require direct (e.g., hitting in football) or indirect (e.g., high jump pit, basketball) contact between athletes are allowed at this time. It is not only difficult to avoid contact, but there is also uncertainty about shared balls and virus transmission.
- SKC Student-athletes can use objects/balls for individual drills but may not participate in group activities using shared objects/balls at this time. Examples of prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, passing a ball regardless of sport, pick-up games, shooting drills where someone else collects the ball other than the individual student-athlete.
- If a ball is being used, make sure only one player is using a specific region of the court and/or basket at a time, and the court in that region needs to be cleaned before another player uses it to prevent indirect transmission from ball to ground and vice versa.
- Athletic equipment must be sanitized after use. For example, after an individual student-athlete finishes a shooting drill or setting drill, they must sanitize the basketball or volleyball, and the court must be sanitized.
SKC Student-athletes will perform the following hand hygiene:
- upon entering the building
- before exiting the building
- after using the restroom
- before eating
- after touching another student-athlete or another student athlete's immediate environment
- after contact with blood, body fluids, or contaminated surfaces. This includes one’s owns body fluids (such as coughing or sneezing into hands)
- cough into their elbow rather than hands
Laundering and clothing
This section is currently under review
Locker room use
Locker room use will be limited to changing clothes, showering and restroom use. The maximum number of occupants at one time will be limited as required to meet social distancing requirements. Other rules:
- Locker room use will be limited to 10 minutes per athlete.
- Six feet of distance will be maintained in the showers.
- Athletes will use their own individual soap/shampoo. (Sharing of personal hygiene products is not allowed.)
- No food or drink will be allowed.
- Surfaces and objects will be cleaned at least once daily and after each use according to the disinfection protocol.
- Athletic department staff and medical providers evaluating and treating student-athletes should wear a face mask at all times while in the training room/weight room.
Fitness Center protocol
- SKC Student-athletes may use the Fitness Center and exercise in or on SKC athletic facilities and fields only under direct supervision by the Athletic Director or Fitness Center staff.
- Social distancing will be maintained.
- SKC Students and SKC Athletics Department staff will use a cloth face-covering within the Fitness Center.
- If an SKC student-athlete refuses to wear a face covering, they will be asked to leave the premises.
- All individuals are strongly encouraged to minimize physical contact. However, physical contact may occur, such as in spotting to prevent injury. If physical contact occurs hand hygiene must be performed.
- Shared equipment should be sanitized with a disinfectant after each use by the user. This includes free weights, mats, kettlebells, medicine balls, stability balls, bars, etc. If shared equipment cannot be sanitized between use, it should not be used.
Mental and emotional wellbeing
All employees can utilize the Employee Assistance Program, which provides a wide range of services including 24-hour crisis help, in-person counseling as well as access to online consultations with licensed counselors.
Contact SKC Human Resources for Met Life EAP login information.
SKC Office of Risk and Compliance
The SKC Office of Risk and Compliance is available for COVID-19 risk, process, and grant-related questions. This includes consultation on allowable costs and extensions related to COVID-19 disruptions, as well as new funding mechanisms related to COVID-19 research. An ORC fiscal manager is available to help determine specific policies, which can vary depending on the federal agency.
Mental health impact
All SKC students are affected by the pandemic and will experience a range of impacts on their mental health. Measures intended to limit the spread of the coronavirus have also led to experiences of anxiety, fear, grief, and uncertainty. These emotional reactions are normal responses to an unexpected and scary situation. The effects of social distancing, loneliness, isolation, economic losses, and grief will continue to take their toll on all of us. For those with previous histories of trauma or mental disorders, the pandemic could exacerbate symptoms or contribute to a new episode of a mental health disorder that had been stable. CPW remains committed to supporting the SKC community and will continue to provide counseling and outreach to students and consultation services to faculty and staff.
Although the number of cases and loss of life has been less in Montana compared to other parts of the country and world, many students have been impacted by grief and loss. They are working to continue their education while they are cut off from their usual support systems, which may typically be an important part of the grieving process. Some students may be feeling unsafe as they fear or experience discrimination and/or bias incidents related to the pandemic. Many students are dealing with significant financial stressors, food insecurity, lack of housing, and other economic stressors. Each of these may contribute to the need for more professional mental health support.
Clinical Services and Telemental Health
CPW provides access to clinical services via telemental health. Students who contact CPW are connected with a counselor via telephone or zoom. During that appointment, the counselor conducts a brief assessment to ensure the student is appropriate for the telemental health modality and helps them get established for ongoing telemental health appointments with a CPW counselor. These sessions take place over a video conferencing platform. Students complete necessary forms online in advance of the appointment through a secure web component.
While telemental health is an important option and has certainly helped many students during this time, it is also less than ideal for many. Students may struggle to have a stable internet connection, lack a private space in which they can share the most intimate and private details of their lives, or be in an unsafe environment. These challenges, and others, are important considerations as CPW considers future services and the role of telemental health as a service option.
CPW will continue to prioritize telemental health options for students seeking mental health services. Two senior staff clinicians will be available throughout the summer to respond to any urgent situations via telemental health. CPW and community partners will work together to triage and schedule appointments as needed. Clinicians will conduct a brief assessment and schedule follow-up telemental health appointments. Crisis procedures have been considered and determined in collaboration with the Campus CERT Team, Campus CARE Team, and community partners.
CPW Remote Access Line 406. 212.5454
CPW Office 406.275.4913
CPW Program Director 406.275.4744 firstname.lastname@example.org