Infectious Disease Response Team Minutes
March 9, 2020
- Brian Johnson & Tom Fisher, Facilities
- Cami McClure, Admin Operations
- Cari Fealy, Dean of Students Office
- Wes Matthews, Human Resources
- Torrey Lawrence, Provosts Office
- Jodi Walker, University Communications & Marketing
- Blaine Eckles, Dean of Students
- Rusty Vineyard Recreation & Wellbeing
- Emily Tuschhoff, Recreation & Wellbeing
- Mike Larson, Public Health – Idaho North Central District
- Todd Perry, Emergency Management
- Jim Craig, General Counsel
- Aryn Baxter, International Programs Office
Update from Public Health- Idaho North Central District
As we all know, the situation is changing rapidly. No known cases in Idaho, but testing is occurring throughout the state.
At the March 3 Infectious Disease Response Team meeting, the team split into a variety of subgroups to address the most pertinent issues and questions regarding COVID-19 and its impact to the U of I community. Below is an update from each subgroup and the areas they have addressed and will address.
- We will continue to field calls and emails from students, faculty/staff and parents. Some of the key language we will be using:
- What do I do if I feel ill? If you are symptomatic or if you have traveled to a Level 2 or Level 3 identified country, we ask that you self-isolate for 14 days to reduce risk to others. If your symptoms persist or worsen, contact a medical provider and follow their guidance. After the 14 days, if the symptoms are gone, you may resume normal activity and you do not need physician approval.
- How does this affect my spring break plans?Please do not travel to any countries categorized as Level 2 or Level 3 by the CDC. There is no restriction on domestic travel at this time. If you plan on traveling to areas where there are known COVID-19 cases, please follow all recommended self-care and hygiene practices. Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face and don't shake hands.
- If we learn of new guidance over spring break that affect domestic travel including the need to self-isolate after returning, we will create a plan to email those with permanent addresses in those communities and inform them of that need, and contact faculty to adjust expectations of attendance. However, I anticipate if that happens, we may be making the decision to go all remote classes at that point.
- Additional questions/concerns we anticipate needing to address:
- Extensive messaging if classes go remote;
- Medical withdrawal protocol for those who self-isolate or are told not to come to class;
- Financial reimbursement for withdrawals related to Covid-19;
- Distinguishing between self-isolation and quarantine processes.
- Regarding employee care:
- We are continuing to follow normal policies/procedures regarding sick and annual leave;
- Health and hygiene information is posted on the website, restrooms, and other public areas;
- The one big question that seems to be on everyone’s mind is, “Can a supervisor send a sick person home against their will?” The answer is yes, but as a practical matter it can present a series of complicated consequences. Working on answering that question based on the potentially escalating nature of the risk.
- Campus custodians continue their focus on high traffic/high touch areas, using approved disinfectant agents.
- Custodians carry out more limited duties in private offices and research labs; occupants of these spaces will be in the best position to carry out disinfection of most surfaces. Contact facilities if you need to access cleaning supplies.
- TLC classrooms were the focus of a ‘deep clean,’ with emphasis on all common-touch surfaces; other classrooms will receive ‘deep clean’ over spring break.
- We’ve shared EPA disinfectant product guidance with U of I sites statewide.
- The most effective prevention will be good personal cough/cold hygiene habits and self-isolation for people exhibiting symptoms.
- Website (www.uidaho.edu/coronavirus) is live. We continue to make edits and updates. If there is a major update, a reminder will be published at the top of the Register.
- Memo will go university-wide Wednesday in preparation for Spring Break.
- Continue to work with the media.
- IPO has compiled a summary of all current/upcoming university-affiliated international travel and shared with leadership.
- U of I is restricting travel to CDC Level 3 Warning countries.
- To our knowledge, all students traveling in Italy have departed the country and to the extent possible have been provided with options to complete their coursework remotely.
- Education Abroad will ask students remaining/going abroad to sign an additional waiver acknowledging the risks they assume related to COVID-19; this waiver is under consideration for university-affiliated domestic travel as well.
- We have been in communication with all students currently abroad/soon to depart on education abroad programs to provide the waiver and communicate that they may return/withdraw their participation if they are concerned with remaining.
- U of I will work on a case-by-case basis to accommodate students should they decide to return early from an education abroad program.
- Domestic travel restrictions will be developed and communicated as needed; there are currently no restrictions although unnecessary travel is discouraged.
- Notification was sent to faculty/instructors on Friday, March 6 encouraging them to prepare to be able to deliver online classes should that become necessary.
- CETL adding training for faculty to prepare them to convert to online courses.
- Monitoring and consulting with other institutions about the process of transitioning to entirely online courses
- Working on creating an FAQ and communication in advance should classes need to move online
Campus/Community Response Update
- Quarantine options: currently housing could handle 25 people without much impact to operations. EHS can handle the food delivery but has minimal PPE on hand. Negative air machines with HEPA filters could be made available by facilities.
- Campus closures: University closure is addressed in APM 95.21. it is ultimately the responsibility of the president to close the university, but he will be looking for guidance from IDRT and others. President and cabinet have been prepped for questions coming to them and options that will given based on trigger points reached in the progression of the virus in the community.
- Event Risk Assessment Team (ERAT) meets regularly to discuss upcoming events with an expected attendance of 250 or more. There are nine such events scheduled between now and the end of March. Based on cases being found in the community, actions could be taken up to and including cancelling large events.
- Satellite campuses have been reached out to by our office. They have been given contact information to their local Public Health departments and have been instructed to work with their partner campuses to help determine their actions.
- We have had meetings with City of Moscow Fire Chief/Emergency Manager, Latah County Emergency Manager, Nez Perce Emergency Manager, and City of Moscow City Supervisor’s Office to ensure that the university plans and city plans support each other. We have outlined our planned actions and asked if additional resources would be available. We have also shared what resources we would have if needed by the community.
- Members of our subcommittee: Todd Perry, Mike Neelon (Latah co.), Mike Larson (Public Health), Jeremy Barron, Brian Nickerson (Moscow Fire), Corey Ray, Jennifer Skinner, Grant DiCianni (Nez Perce)
Next Meeting: Monday, March 16, or sooner.