Infectious Disease Response Team Minutes
Last Updated: Aug. 31, 2020
July 28, 2020
- Resuming in-person/in-class learning this fall semester
- COVID-19 Town Hall for faculty and staff — Aug. 4, 8:30-10 am. Register online.
- Many fall reopening questions answered on COVID FAQ website; fall reopening document being finalized.
- Virtual Q&A Talks with Torrey — next one tomorrow, July 29 (details in Monday’s Daily Register)
- Core Group Updates
- Healthy Vandals campaign
- Video in final stages; minor edits being made. Will go out on social media, in emails. All are encouraged to share.
- Signage, flyers, display screens, graphics available for use in order to share consistent messaging: Visit the Corona Virus Toolkit page.
- Sub-group is working on syllabus language and tools for faculty to use in the classroom
- Moving forward, focus on norming, students and employees engaging in prevention strategies
- Let Emily (email@example.com) know of any gaps/needs or if you want to join these efforts.
- Food service/Housing
- The Hub will be modified to enter one direction, leave one direction. Masks will be able to be removed while dining. Grab and Go options at Dining for those who need it via the south entrance (previously blocked off).
- ISUB Dining opening between Aug 10-17. Can order meals ahead of time to avoid lines, entrance/exit in different doors.
- Housing move-in days expanded. Volunteers will be limited and only helping with directions, etc.
- All event spaces adjusted to allow for social distancing. To reserve space, capacity has changed and you will be notified of this when making reservation.
- Kibbie Dome/Memorial Gym closed the rest of the semester except with reservation.
- Thermal scanners in buildings where face coverings are removed for dining purposes (ISUB and the Hub). Operable by Aug. 17. Placement and enforcement protocol being finalized.Will also be utilized in the Kibbie Dome for football.
- Walk through of classroom to look at needs for blocking off seats and signage.
- Test of testing process Wednesday, July 29 with approximately 100 staff
- Plan is to test all students before the first day of class.
- Testing locations: SRC (walk-in) and WWAMI (drive-in)
- Employees are not required to be tested; testing will be available
- Finalizing process and protocol related to timeline, results, etc.
- Staffing up to provide cleaning in additional university residences and high-use core of campus classrooms that have openings during the day for extra day cleaning in addition to nightly cleaning.
- Cleaning stations with hand sanitizer and cleaning materials will be in each classroom
- New cleaning crew (for high risk areas) process will continue — event specific cleaning, clean in between meetings
- Contact Tracing
- Team of 13 on campus engaging in training to support Public Health’s efforts to follow-up with contacts of known cases (PH will continue to do initial case investigations)
- Follow up will be with those UI employees and students who were close contacts (not masked, within 6’ for 15+ minutes)
- Healthy Vandals campaign
- Human Resources
- Supporting with question topics for Town Hall on August 4th
- After town hall, will re-evaluate if additional training is needed for supervisors and/or employees
- Upcoming communications coming out regarding:
- Town Hall
- COVID Testing
- Parent update
- Student update
- Upcoming communications coming out regarding:
- Mental health support
- Students (and others) experiencing significant mental health challenges and need to remember this
- CTC continues to offer counseling services to students
- Case managers to follow up with those who are isolating/quarantining to connect to resources
- “Let’s Talk” program in Housing allows students to access resources without identifying as a CTC client
- Working on a “Supporting Students in Distress Related to COVID” workshop/training for faculty/staff to be able to support students during this time
- Face shield instead of face covering — no, face shield cannot replace face covering requirement without an accommodation
- Encourage wearing face coverings in all settings — not just on campus
- Quarantine/isolation — general guidance to quarantining 14 days after traveling internationally (domestically?)
- Add other gaps/questions to the Qualtrics form.
June 8, 2020
- COVID cleaning “back to work” kits will be distributed to each department and placed in main office spaces to share.
- Discussion about wipes and cleaning of classroom spaces.
- There will be a training/presentation expectations about healthy Vandal community and having staff acknowledge as they return to work (will not be ready by June 15).
- June 15 to July 5: People may return if they choose, will be required to follow CDC guidelines. Supervisors can call people back if there is a business need. Fill out HR survey if need to stay home after July 6. Beginning July 6 — rotating schedules or people still working from home. August 1 — back to work, business as usual, all back to work unless an accommodation, flex place schedule approved. President’s letter coming out about these details.
- Need to determine what buildings will open and signage needed. ISUB/Pitman have plans to open. SRC is already open.
- Discussion about temperature testing options.
May 18, 2020
- Fall reopening plans ongoing
- Request of Deans to get plans in by end of the month
- Rubric of protocols for classrooms — each capacity will be at approx. 50%, outlining cleaning processes, etc.
- Looking at occupancy, etc. Conversation ongoing regarding inventory, capacity.
- Still floor offline for isolation
- Greek Life has a thorough guidance document
- Communication Subgroup:
- Updated website
- Looking at Stage 3 comms and a revamp of website before Stage 4.
- Preparing comms around being live in the fall
- Employee Subgroup:
- June 15 — back to “normal” and folks working from campus
- ADA process for “vulnerable” populations
- FML option for those caring for children
- If folks wanted to work from home outside of ADA approach, return to original flex place/flex work process for documentation and works with supervisor
- Cleaning Subgroup:
- Requests for sneeze guards; Facilities has template for bookends for pieces of plexiglass — this allows for it to be temporary
- Exploring options for hand sanitizer dispensing
- Classroom Subgroup:
- Continue to work with colleges to update and adjust fall schedule — accounting for classroom needs, technology, etc. Hoping to have final schedule by end of May.
- Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for each room
- Care Subgroup:
- Continue to distribute funds through Student Emergency Fund
- Continue to work closely with CARES Act funding
- Travel/International Students Subgroup:
- Student was awarded emergency funding for summer
- Ongoing considerations with Education Abroad
- University PPE order sent off
- Working with Creative Services for branding of health education information we want the community to know (social distancing, masks)
May 11, 2020
- Governor announcement Thursday; stage two communication from U of I likely going out
- Toni Broyles pulling together feedback from College Deans, Vice Provosts, etc. regarding PPE needed. Ordering happening centrally to potentially save on financial resources.
- Report from AARs to be developed and disseminated
- Intentional conversations in progress about fall opening
- Cleaning classrooms between classes
- Considering residence halls
- Greek Houses
- Questions about who can help departments with their opening protocols (i.e. Kids camps, Athletics)
- Supporting students who need assistance wrapping up the semester
- CARES funding letter sent out last week regarding who qualified; direct deposits started going out today, checks will go out starting later this week. Summer CARES funding logistics being worked out.
- Determine ways to dispense liquid hand sanitizer; EHS has it available
- Targhee remains available for Gritman employees who may need to use it
- Questions from students regarding what they should do when they return to campus
- Not too much inquiry about summer travel; IPO reminding of CDC guidelines
- Discussions about classes in the fall. Deans are working through department schedules to determine what mix of online, in person, hybrid, etc. Considering room sizes and student comfortability/preference.
- Coordinating a conversation around classroom cleaning between classes with Public Health, cleaning crews, etc.
- Ongoing coordination of communication pieces regarding fall
- Ongoing website updates
- Questions regarding temperature testing of employees at SRC. To be discussed.
- Social distance, handwashing, mask signage in progress
- Full IDRT meetings to be scheduled through summer
May 4, 2020
- Stages of re-open communication went out to U of I community. Every two weeks, before next stage, U of I will push out another communication reminding what will go on in that stage and the date of beginning that stage.
- Questions currently regarding fall, IDRT to develop responses/guidance for fall: PPE, shields, distance.
- Updating website with FAQs related to phasing back to campus
- Coordinating with county/city and facilities regarding drive-in event inquiries
- Exploring CARES Act and what it impacts related to retirement
- Gearing up for coming back to work and related questions
- Continuing to work on Bruce & Kathy Pitman Emergency Fund
- FSL working on plan regarding what recruitment and living arrangements will look like in the fall
- Summer finalized; 99% online; finalizing plans to fit into reopen plan as needed
- Deans are working through various scenarios for fall semester
- How to engage front line staff in planning process of return to campus (classes, events, etc)
- Work to be done to develop signage/messaging regarding social distancing, masks.
- AAR with President’s Cabinet, May 5. Afterwards, results of both AAR’s will be summarized and shared out with action items.
- Continue weekly check-ins.
April 20, 2020
- With Idaho Stay at Home order extended, folks who can will resume working from home until at least the end of the month.
- American College Health Association co-hosted a webinar from last week, see slides below. Consider holding a vaccination clinic when mass vaccines become available.
- The Dean of Students Office continues to support students with the various funds that are available. Students can visit the Bruce & Kathy Pitman Emergency Fund website for more information and to apply.
- U of I is currently determining how to distribute CARES Act funding.
- Cleaning crews continue to operate and are paying close attention (as always) to safety of cleaning staff.
- Targhee and Stevenson remain ready to use if needed.
- After Action Review with Brad Martin to be scheduled with IDRT — see Doodle Poll to give feedback on date/time options. We need to plan for more than an hour.
April 16, 2020
Student survey went out last Thurs — 9% response rate. Several reminders will go out over the next couple weeks so we can collect more data. Students who participate will be entered to win one of ten $50 VandalStore gift cards.
- Working on a variety of planning issues about summer, fall, policies, etc.
- Bruce and Kathy Pitman Emergency Fund application set up; amounts given are generally $100-200
- Guidelines coming about CARES act funding that will go to students.
- Preparing for the end of another pay period and appropriate time tracking process.
- Continuing to meet with city and county emergency preparedness teams to share resources available and needed.
- Students in isolation and quarantine are moved back to their regular rooms and EHS is getting ready to deep-clean their spaces
- The Hub is strictly grab and go options at this point
- Continuing to work with Gritman about the Targhee and Stevenson spaces
- Signage went up at Guy Wicks field and the Arboretum about social distancing; signage to be placed at the Band Field (open space behind AKL and Targhee). Recreation removed the volleyball nets and re-positioned soccer nets to restrict usage.
- Institute for International Education’s Emergency Student Fund COVID-19 Response: IIE has issued a call for member institutions in the US to nominate international students who are not able to return to their home countries over summer break due to the COVID-19 pandemic for an ESF award. The ESF: COVID-19 Response will provide grants of $2,500 to selected students who demonstrate a high financial need to cover their living expenses through summer 2020. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be considered for a nomination. The deadline for these awards is Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EAST. Please see the website for additional details.
- Last week sent communications to students (with support information and link to survey) and parents
- Sharing stories of proactive ways the U of I is supporting the community with various efforts; news outlets are picking up those stories
- Governor’s press conference, April 15, 10 a.m. Moscow time
April 6, 2020
- 4 students confirmed with COVID-19; 5th student tested on Friday
- Blaine tonight again will meet with students in Wiley and Gooding who are in isolation
- Continue to address policy issues regarding withdrawals, etc.
- Considering moving most summer classes to online
- Offering fall classes online is going to be an important conversation for international students. Some students will not be able to travel back to the US.
- Exploring summer housing options for international students — looking at financial implications and messaging.
- Domestic and international travel questions are coming in; will push a message in the Daily Register and Provosts Council
- Education Abroad: will offer P/F option to all students who were abroad in the spring, regardless of program type
- COVID-19 time tracking details came out via email April 3
- Need to track students who withdraw related to COVID-19 for CARES Act
- Bruce & Kathy Pitman Emergency Funding application is up on the DOS website, based on need and available funding, may not be able to fill the entire request. There may be other funding available. GPSA has funding available through this process, too. Law school has their own process for aid. Income is taxable.
- Team remains focused on high touch areas. Volume is decreased, but still daily cleaning in buildings based on usage.
- EHS continues to deliver food to students isolated/quarantined in Wallace
- Targhee is ready for Gritman to occupy as they need
- CDC has updated more detailed guidelines for facility cleaning
- Theater Department sewing masks and donating to U of I Facilities staff
- PPE donated to Gritman
- Ongoing website updates
- Building new website section to highlight the good things going on related to COVID-19
- K-12 closing for remainder of school year, unless Public Health deems it safe to open
- Continue weekly meetings
- After action re-cap, modifying IDR plan and procedures based on lessons learned.
March 30, 2020
Updates from the various Infectious Disease Response Team sub-groups:
- We have had a significant increase in email@example.com emails because students have been routed there with questions and we have gotten a variety of questions.
- We have received many CARE reports about students who are in crisis in some way due to the current situation and the case managers are reaching out to the students to provide resources and support. File a CARE report if you’re concerned about yourself or someone else.
- The Bruce & Kathy Pitman fund eligibility language is being finalized and should be up and running by Monday for students to apply.
- New emergency policy for students to extend P/F option and Withdraw deadline
- New emergency policy to extend upcoming faculty deadlines
- Drafting emergency policy to extend P&T timeline and inclusion/exclusion of course evaluations
- CETL stays busy trying to help faculty with online/remote deliver
- Campus custodians continue their focus on areas that are currently being used including residence halls, TLC, and some office spaces. They are using approved disinfectant agents. Custodians are working in shifts and on-call as needed.
- Custodians are limiting cleaning in private offices and research labs. Departments are encouraged to send Tom Fischer a notice of offices that are completely closed. Custodians will not go into spaces that are not occupied.
- EHS has provided a few ‘deep cleans’ in areas where there may be suspected contamination.
- Targhee Hall is ready to go in the event Gritman needs to house staff and EMTs. U of I is working closely with Gritman to move ahead if necessary.
- International community (students, scholars, faculty) —
- Ongoing regulatory changes/guidance in regard to international students, scholars and employers. We are continually updating the COVID-19 webpage for International Programs.
- All foreign nationals who are currently in the US that have or are planning flights to return to their home countries should contact their embassies in the US for support and assistance with flights. There is no guarantee that commercial flights will continue so foreign governments are attempting to support their citizens who are planning to return home.
- We will work on putting in place additional supports for our international populations who are trying to return home; students and their families are increasingly distressed and this will impact decisions to return in the future.
- Some students will likely extend academic programs in hopes of better post completion work opportunities.
- Welcome ideas regarding financial and/or logistical support that our institution might provide. Will work with senior leadership on some additional communication to this group.
- New international students — Fall 2020:
- US consulates are only processing visas for mission critical individuals. All other visa interviews are temporarily suspended. We anticipate that any students who do not already have visas to be in the U.S. will likely be unable to be on campus before January 2021 which means they would need the option to take courses online in the Fall.
- We don’t know how long this will be in place and need to make decisions re: issuing immigration documents; new international students may not be able to start in person classes before January 2021.
- We are exploring if U of I will prepare to provide online delivery options for new international students in fall.
- Ed abroad
- All students are back!
- Working on plans to accommodate students who need options to continue academic progress
- Cancelled all summer programs at this point — students are aware
- We are in the process of determining what we are able to reimburse
- Recommending that all travel plans be postponed until additional information is available
- Web updates following Friday’s communication about pass/fail and withdrawal. Detailed FAQs were added. We rebuilt the policy action section of the website to better convey the message and continue to make small edits as information changes.
- Large changes are also reflected in the Daily Register.
- Communicated our first associated positive diagnosis — 3/30/20
- We are compiling a list and starting to promote the positive things U of I is doing in support of the cause, including
- 3-D printing masks
- Sewing masks
- Donating supplies
- Partnering with Gritman to provide space for those who may need isolation
- WWAMI students working with Public Health
- ECHO telemedicine
- Moving beyond preparing campus for quarantine/isolation situations to focus more heavily on broader community preparedness and resource needs
- When cases are confirmed in Latah County, will develop a county Emergency Operation Center
- Finalized preparations for Gritman to use Targhee on campus for extra rooms for staff and/or patients
- HR working with federal and state guidance to develop U of I guidance regarding emergency sick leave, etc. for employees who need to use it — meeting 3/31 to further develop U of I guidance
- Clarifying the various details for different types of employees
- Worked on major procedural changes over the past week including offering a Pass/Fail option and extending the withdrawal date
- Looking at summer course offerings
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.