KCTCS COVID19 Pandemic Return to Work Protocol | KCTCS




Administrative Procedure-Protocol

COVID-19 Pandemic return to work protocol
Updated May 29, 2020


On March 16, 2020, based on orders from Governor Beshear, KCTCS implemented a remote work program to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  On April 28, 2020, Governor Beshear announced guidelines to allow a phased reopening of many industries in Kentucky.   This plan defines the criteria for KCTCS to reopen for on-campus work in stages when permitted to do so by Governor Beshear.  The guidelines herein are subject to change based on federal or state orders or the end of the pandemic.

All employees, students and vendors are expected to fully comply with this policy.  Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action and/or removal from the premises.   


These requirements apply to all KCTCS employees, students, stakeholders, vendors, and visitors.


A. Remote Work

  1. Employees are encouraged to continue with remote work assignments where possible. KCTCS operations should continue via phone or Internet to the greatest extent practicable. 
  1. CDC guidelines define high risk individuals who may suffer greater impacts should they contract COVID-19. High risk individuals will be given special consideration to continue remote work.
    High risk individuals include:
    • People 65 years and older
    • People of any age who have underlying conditions, particularly if not well controlled including:
      • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
      • Serious heart conditions
      • Those who are immunocompromised (Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications)
    • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
    • People with diabetes
    • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • People with liver disease

    Employees who have been instructed to return to work on-site and have concerns about doing so due to a medical condition that places them in a higher risk group, those who are pregnant, or those who wish to seek ADA Reasonable Accommodations related to return to on-site work should contact their local Human Resource Director or Director of Employee Relations at System Office.

B. Staged Return to Work

  1. KCTCS colleges will have a staged return to work which includes: generous remote work, sick leave, and family leave policies for those employees who are not able to come into work due to illness, taking care of a family member(s), or lack of childcare options.  Employees who must be on campus to perform their job functions will return to campus first.  Employees who come on-site to work must follow the safety protocols listed in this plan.
  2. In accordance with the Phase I guidance, no more than 50% of employees may be physically present in the office on a given day, and building may reach no more than 33% of the occupational capacity of the facility. Administrators should ensure employees, students, vendors, and visitors are spread across facilities to ensure appropriate social distancing.  The percentages will change as we move through the different stages of reopening.
  3. Expanded staffing will be tightly controlled and coordinated to mitigate potential risks and ensure the safety of all. No supervisor should increase staffing without permission from the KCTCS or College President. 
  4. As staffing increases and operations expand, KCTCS administrators will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it. If localized outbreaks emerge, KCTCS will respond appropriately, such as returning to remote work and closing facilities.

C. Certification of Daily Temperature Checks and Employee Self-Screening
Prior to coming to their worksite, employees must undergo self-administered daily temperature and health checks, and certify that they have done so. The screenings will be accessible via MyPath (https://kctcs.sharepoint.com/sites/mypath) with a tile called “Employee Check-in”. After the screening is completed, you will receive notification that will approve you for on-site work for that day.  An employee who has a temperature and/or who answers “yes” to any of the self-screening questions MAY NOT come to their worksite. 

  1. Daily Temperature Checks.  Employees who are coming into the workplace are required to take their own temperature at home approximately 30 to 60 minutes before the employee comes into the worksite. Any employees who has a fever above 100.4° Fahrenheit should not report to work and is encouraged to seek medical attention.
  2. Employee Daily Self Screening. All employees who are coming into the workplace must conduct a daily health screening by answering the following questionsviaMyPath:
    1. Have you had any of the CDC-recognized COVID-19 symptoms since your last day at work or the last time you were here? 
    2. Is there anyone in your household who is showing COVID-19 symptoms or who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
    3. Have you been in close contact with anyone exhibiting sign or symptoms of fever, persistent cough or shortness of breath consistent with COVID-19 who has not been tested or is still awaiting testing?

D. Staffing Options

In order to meet the reopening requirements and maintain required social distancing measures by reducing the number of people within buildings and workspaces, supervisors should consider the following options for employees who are required to be on campus during Stage I:

  1. Alternating Days: Departments should schedule partial staffing on alternating days. Multiple employees should not be working in the same space at the same time.

2.  Staggered Reporting/Departing: The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 15 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements. Departments should not have multiple employees required to arrive or leave at exactly the same time. If employees notice others arriving at the same time, they should follow social distancing guidelines and ensure they sanitize their hands after touching doors, elevators buttons, etc.


E. Social Distancing

Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Employees at work on-site should follow these social distancing practices:

  1. Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people at all times.
  2. Do not gather in groups.
  3. Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
  4. Worksites will modify the office traffic flows to minimize contacts between employees.
  5. The number of employees, contractors, and constituents entering, exiting, or gathering at one time should be reduced. Employees working in warehouses and at loading docks must ensure minimal interaction with other employees or vendors when making or accepting deliveries and wear appropriate PPE.
  6. Activities should be limited that require employees, students, contractors, vendors, or visitors to enter within six (6) feet or less of another person, regardless of whether they have installed non-porous, physical barriers.
  7. Worksites will eliminate use of waiting rooms and lines for services to the greatest extent possible. Where lines are unavoidable, there should be a minimum six (6) feet of distance. This can be accomplished by marking six (6) foot distances with lines on floors or walls.
  8. Employees are prohibited from riding in a vehicle together unless there is no reasonable alternative. If riding in separate vehicles is not possible then employees should maximize social distancing and wear face masks in the vehicle. After each trip, each vehicle must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

F. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements

  1. Face Masks/Coverings.  KCTCS requires employees, students, vendors volunteers, and contractors to wear a cloth mask or face covering (a surgical or N95 mask is not required) when entering/exiting buildings, in public common areas, and when interacting with others.  Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread the virus to others even if you do not feel sick. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.

    a. Bandanas or other cloth coverings are acceptable as masks, as are plastic face shields.
    b. Individuals may be eligible for an exception to this requirement if wearing a mask creates a serious health or safety hazard for the individual. Students requesting an exception should contact their disability services office. Employees requesting an exception should contact their human resources office.
    c. If the employee/volunteer/contractor is working alone in an enclosed space, or when the employee/volunteer/contractor is working alone in an area with more than six (6) feet of social distancing they may remove their masks. Masks must be put back on when leaving the enclosed space.
    d. KCTCS encourages employees and visitors to use their own masks/face coverings. The CDC guidelines for cloth masks provide information on creating masks from common items, and instructions for the safest way to put the mask on, take it off, and how to clean and reuse cloth masks.
    e. Disposable masks may be provided by KCTCS, if needed. Disposable masks may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash. Because masks and other PPE are difficult to get at this time, we encourage individuals to provide their own.
    f. KCTCS may refuse to allow any individual who is not wearing a mask to come onsite and may refuse service. 

  2. Gloves.  Employees whose job duties include touching items often touched by others (e.g., credit cards/cash, paper, computers) must wear gloves that are regularly replaced. KCTCS will provide disposable gloves to employees who perform these job duties.  Employees should also follow the applicable CDC, OSHA, or other federal guidelines relating to gloves. However, according to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks (see below).

G. Healthy at Work Requirements

  1. Hand Washing/Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer (60% alcohol content or higher) is available for employees, students and vendors near high-traffic and high-touch areas (e.g., copiers, restrooms, doors/door handles).

Employees and others on site should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after having been in a public place, or after blowing one’s nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching one’s face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer, which works best by covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.

Remember, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.

2.  Working in Office Environments

a. Employees who work in an open environment should be sure to maintain at least 6 feet distance from co-workers. Employees must always wear a face mask or face covering while in any of the following spaces:

• shared workspaces
• reception/receiving areas
• narrow hallways
• break rooms
• conference/meeting rooms

b. KCTCS administrators should assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to physically separate and increase distance between employees, other coworkers, and customers, such as:

• Ensure employee workspaces are at least six feet apart.
• Place visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate to individuals where they should stand while waiting in line.
• Place one-way directional signage for large open workspaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between employees moving through the space.
• Consider designating specific stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows.

c. During Stage I, common areas such as break rooms, cafeterias, lounges, waiting rooms,and other such spaces will remain closed.

3. Using Restrooms
Use of restrooms is limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. The CDC guidance for handwashing should be followed whenever the restroom is used. Signage will be posted to guide employees on capacity restrictions at each facility.

4. Using Elevators
No more than one person may enter an elevator at a time, so please use the stairs whenever possible and if you are able. When using the elevator, wear your mask or face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator.

5. Meetings  

  1. Meetings should continue to take place using available electronic tools such as, Teams, via telephone, etc.
  2. In person meetings of employees or employees meeting with students, vendors, or guests may only be conducted if only absolutely necessary, and in accordance with social distancing measures and all participants must wear face masks/coverings.
  3. No KCTCS facilities may be used by outside entities until approved by the College President or KCTCS leadership.

6. Meals

  1. Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.  
  2. During Stage I, all Common Areas (cafeteria, breakrooms, meeting rooms) will be closed. If closing these areas restricts access to drinking water, alternative water sources will be provided for employees in lieu of water fountains.
  3. If common areas are opened in later Stages, the following requirements will be instituted:
    • If dining on campus, individuals should wear their mask or face covering until ready to eat and then replace it afterward.
    • Eating establishments must meet requirements to allow at least 6 feet of distance between each customer, including lines and seating arrangements.
    • Individuals should not sit facing one another.
    • Employees are encouraged to take food back to their office area or eat outside if that is reasonable for your situation.
    • Break rooms will be rearranged to follow social distancing requirements.
    • All surfaces in common areas, including tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines, etc. must be cleaned after each use.

7.  Laboratories
Specific criteria have been developed for faculty and staff working in laboratory environments.

8. Paper Documents
Employees should use digital rather than paper formats tot he greatest possible extent.

9. Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene
Remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Then throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

10. Contact Tracing Information
a. In order to be able to provide the required contact tracing information to the Healthy at Work Officer for each worksite, employees will maintain a log to document the following each time they work onsite:
   1) Employee's work schedule onsite
   2) Locations where employee spent time onsite for each time onsite
   3) List of people the employee came into close contact (within six feet for more than 30  
       minutes) with while onsite
        ◊ Consider employees who were working nearby, sitting in the same meetings, interacting   
           during breaks, entering or exiting the building together, or riding in a vehicle together.
         ◊ Consider students, customers, clients, or visitors who may have interacted with that
            employee based on visitor logs, invoices, billing statements, or meeting records.
         ◊ Sign in sheets are required for labs, office visits, etc. where students, visitors, or
           contractors come onsite and conduct business.

b. Employees should maintain the documentation in a location at their workspace or in a shared electronic location (such as SharePoint or OneDrive) that is accessible to their supervisor.

c. Should an employee test positive for COVID-19 or display symptoms, the supervisor must contact the Healthy at Work Officer and Director of Human Resources to provide the documentation to assist with contact tracing.


H. Worksite Sanitation

  1. While Maintenance and Operations staff will continue to clean office and workspaces based on CDC guidelines, during Stage I employees will have individual responsibilities for cleaning workspaces. Employees must wipe down their workspace before starting work, and upon leaving any room in which they have been working.  Cleaning materials will be provided in workspaces, in shared space locations or near equipment, such as copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, desks and tables, light switches, doorknob, etc.).
  2. Maintenance and Operations staff will sanitize frequently touched surfaces and areas a minimum of twice daily (e.g., doorknobs, credit card machines, shared computers).
  3. If an employee, student, vendor or visitor is identified as positive for COVID-19 or has associated symptoms, KCTCS will take the following action:
    a) Access to contaminated areas will be tightly restricted.
    b) SIgnage will be posted.
    c) The contaminated area will be cleaned in accordance with CDC guidance and will be off-limits to all but essential personnel for a minimum of 24 hours.

I. Individuals with COVID-19 Symptoms Onsite

  1. If an employee reports COVID-19 symptoms in themselves or other employees, KCTCS will not permit any symptomatic employee to work onsite until the symptomatic employee has been tested by a healthcare provider and/or cleared to return to work.  If the symptomatic employee refuses to be tested or seen by a healthcare provider, KCTCS may put the symptomatic employee on leave without pay. 
  2. Employees who test positive or are ill may use all available applicable leave in accordance with applicable policies and procedures.
  3. Individuals who have symptoms when they arrive onsite or who become sick while onsite should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home.
  4. The worksite may provide the affected person a disposable mask in order to limit the spread of secretions until such time as the person can leave the worksite.
  5. Any such instance should be immediately reported to the Healthy at Work Officer, who will then notify the local public health department of the suspected exposure.

J. Healthy at Work Officer

Each college and the System Office shall designate an employee as its Healthy at Work Officer. This employee will be responsible for compliance with this plan and any other guidance provided. Employees at each location will be notified who their Healthy at Work Officer is and how to contact that person to identify and communicate potential improvements and/or concerns.  Employees may also submit any recommendations through their normal chain of command. 

K. Contact Notification Responsibilities

  1. KCTCS must be prepared to assist public health officials if an employee tests positive for or becomes exposed to COVID-19. This assistance includes, but is not limited to, providing the employee’s work schedule, workstation, hours or shifts worked, when the employee was potentially exposed, and the names and contact information of any other employee or other party exposed to the virus.
  2. .  Additional information about Contact Notification Responsibilities can be found in the Contact Notification Responsibilities Section Below. If any KCTCS employee or entity fails to comply with this guidance, they can be reported to KYSAFER at 833-KYSAFER or kysafer.ky.gov.
  3. KCTCS shall keep documentation of work shifts, work locations, meetings, and in-person clients or visitor contacts.KCTCS should be prepared to answer the following questions about the employee who tested positive:
    • What was the employee's work schedule prior to testing positive?
    • Where was the employee working in the days prior to testing positive?
    • When was the last day that employee came to work?
    • Who could have come in close contact (defined as being within six feet for more than thirty minutes) with that employee in the two days prior to that employee testing positive? 
      ◊ Consider employees who were working nearby, sitting in the same meetings, interacting during breaks, entering or exiting the building together, or riding in a vehicle together.
      ◊ Consider students, customers, clients, or visitors who may have interacted with that employee based on visitor logs, invoices, billing statements, or meeting records.
    • Please provide contact information for the employee who tested positive and anyone who may have come into close contact with that employee.
  4. The process for contact tracing may change based on evolving government or health   department guidance. In the event of a change, KCTCS will follow the current guidance.

L. Building Entry/Exit Control

  1. To the greatest extent possible, building access points will be identified and limited.  Employee arrival and departure times should be managed in order to reduce congestion during typical “rush hours” of the business. Signage will be posted to direct employees to the identified access points. Employees’ arrival and departure times in the same building should be scheduled in at least 15-minute intervals to maintain social distancing and reduce personal interactions at building access points, hallways, stairs/elevators, etc.

  2. Employees should be directed to report to work or depart work through the designated building access and at the designated time to limit the number of people entering and exiting buildings at any one time.

  3. Once the college’s reopening Stages allow for students or visitors, restrictions will be in place to include but not limited to additional family members not needing services and pets that are not service animals. Employees are not to have children or family members onsite during the early stages of reopening.


M. Healthy at Work Training and Education

  1. KCTCS provides training to its employees on the Healthy at Work protocols through its normal training delivery method, Safe Colleges. Employees will be required to take the training as part of their regular duties. KCTCS or colleges may provide additional trainings through alternative means.  All employees are required to take the trainings within the specified time requirements.

  2. Worksites will post signage regarding requirements for being on-site for students, vendors, visitors, and contractors, including appropriate signage to inform employees and constituents about good hygiene and new office practices.


N. Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

KCTCS offers a great benefit to help employees--the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This benefit is free of charge and is available 24/7/365 for you, your spouse, and dependents. Contacting the EAP is anonymous and no identifying information is reported back to KCTCS. To reach the EAP, call 888-293-6948 or go to https://workhealthlife.com/Standard3.