Dear East Georgia State College Faculty and Staff,
As each of you recalls vividly, in mid-March 2020 the University System of Georgia (USG) directed all 26 USG institutions to transition to fully online delivery of educational programs. This directive was given to protect the health and safety of faculty, staff and students as the COVID-19 pandemic intensified. Together, we carried out that transition successfully including a virtual Honors Night and Commencement.
More recently, the USG directed all USG institutions to submit a plan for the initial summer 2020 return to campus of faculty and staff. EGSC submitted its plan. EGSC’s plan was crafted by 11 subcommittees made up of EGSC personnel. The plan provides for a gradual and staggered return to campus of faculty and staff to campus over the course of summer 2020 with the intent to commence normal operations at the beginning of fall semester 2020.
It is now time to implement that plan for the initial return to campus of faculty and staff. This is not a process of simply turning a switch from off to on. The plan explicitly provides for the unique role and needs of each EGSC unit by establishing unique schedules for each unit. Your unit head will be in contact with you about the time and manner of your individual return.
Some elements of our spring 2020 plan will remain. For example, the EGSC police will remain at the main entry at both Swainsboro and Statesboro. They will have the schedules of all employees authorized to be on campus each day. Please understand that they are carrying out the plan to protect our health and safety.
When each of us is on campus this summer, we will each be expected to follow procedures designed to keep all of us healthy and safe. Wearing your own protective facial covering whenever you are not in an enclosed private work space is strongly encouraged. Compliance with social distancing standards (maintaining a least a 6 foot space between you and any other person) is required. We should all continue to conduct meetings via Zoom or telephone whenever possible. We should disinfect our own work spaces and tools (such as phones) and use the hand sanitizer stations around campus and hand washing procedures recommended by the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health. In the unusual circumstance requiring a face to face meeting, social distancing standards should be met. Plant operations will be installing plexiglass shields in areas specified by the plan.
Some of you may be a member of a group which is considered to be at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to your age or a specific health condition. If you are a member of such a group and want the college to modify the terms of your own summer 2020 return to campus, you should contact EGSC’s HR office to discuss the process to address that situation.
All of this is designed to assure that our community remains healthy and safe to the greatest extent possible. It will require that we each continue to demonstrate a high level of respect for our colleagues and a high level of personal responsibility. For example, I still find it uncomfortable and a bit awkward to put on my protective face covering. However, each of you should insist that I do wear a face covering to protect you. I will do it out of my respect for you.
You should also know that the USG has directed each USG institution to submit a detailed and extensive fall 2020 return to campus plan. EGSC has done that. As soon as we have feedback from the USG, I will update you about that fall plan.
Until then, please stay safe and healthy.
East Georgia State College