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Dear faculty and staff,
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced plans to move the State of Louisiana to Phase Two of the Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana on June 5 (Friday). The state entered Phase One of the plan on May 15, and since that time we have worked to continue gaining ground and slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Louisiana Tech will follow the governor’s mandate and move to Phase Two of the Return to Campus plan on June 8. As we have throughout this pandemic, Tech will make its primary focus ensuring the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff and ensuring students continue to achieve their academic goals.
Louisiana Tech University is committed to limiting the spread of COVID-19 on campus. This commitment must be shared among everyone on our campus, including faculty, staff, students, and all others. The University cannot eliminate the risk of this virus on campus. However, to reduce the risk posed on individuals, the University will adhere to CDC guidelines and follow recommendations of state and local health officials as much as reasonably possible. To that end, all faculty, staff, students, and others present on campus will also be expected to follow the same guidelines and recommendations.
During Phase Two, additional employees will be transitioned back to campus to increase the functionality of campus operations, and physical distancing and hygiene will continue to be a top priority. We aim to bring staffing up to levels that will support our students who are enrolled in summer school as well as end-of-fiscal-year campus operations.
If you are to begin reporting to campus during this time, your supervisor will contact you. If you are in a high-risk category or live with high-risk family members, please let your supervisor know so that we can make accommodations for you to continue working from home. I know that all our supervisors will be flexible with faculty and staff members who need to continue working from home for health reasons.
We are also issuing a number of guidelines to govern our return to campus in Phase Two:
- We will only use up to 50 percent of any room capacity.
- Zoom meetings will still be held to minimize the number of face-to-face meetings.
- Students and employees are expected to wear cloth face coverings when they are not in private offices and are not able to maintain physical distance of six feet or more.
- We will continue to focus on hygiene and thorough cleaning within public spaces.
Louisiana Tech will up to provide two cloth face coverings per employee and additional cleaning products for use in offices and classrooms.
A number of concepts have guided decision-making throughout this crisis, including work to:
- Maintain open, accurate and regular communications with faculty, staff, students, and the public
- Continue to telework as much as possible
- Provide flexibility for employees who are high-risk or live with high-risk family members
- Emphasize social distancing, handwashing, increased sanitation, staying home when sick, and use of cloth face coverings
- Be compassionate and flexible with faculty and staff
- Monitor guidance and campus conditions and adjust plans and policies as needed
For our campus to be restored to full capacity and support students this fall, we will all need to be committed to doing our part to continue to fight COVID-19. Our culture of caring for all members of the Tech Family means that we should take our personal and collective responsibility seriously.
Let’s all continue to mask up to protect others and maintain at least six feet of physical distance. Let’s remember to wash our hands and clean and sanitize our workspaces regularly.
The move to Phase Two also means that we should monitor our own health and stay home if we are showing signs of illness like:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New gastrointestinal symptoms
- New loss of taste or smell
As we move through this phase, a number of new committees will be formed to help guide administrative and academic response to the return to campus. I look forward to working with these committees, which will be composed of individuals from across the campus, to ensure we respond to the needs of our students as well as our faculty, staff, and visitors to campus.
Thank you for your attention today. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out, and I’ll do my best to answer. Have a great day.