Pomona Safe – Next Steps for Public Health on Campus (9/18/20)

Dear Pomona College Faculty and Staff:

With the campus closed and most faculty and staff working from home, Pomona College continues to discourage unnecessary visits to campus. We do recognize, however, that some faculty and staff may need to be on campus for specific reasons ranging from teaching online from a classroom to tending to the grounds. We should reiterate that only faculty and staff who do not have symptoms and have not knowingly been exposed to someone with COVID-19 can come to campus.

With the arrival of a new semester and more detailed guidelines from Los Angeles County, the College is now taking the next steps to support public health on campus for those who need to be there amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Working with healthcare provider Hamilton Healthbox (HHB), Pomona is putting in place new measures to help keep us all safe.

All staff and faculty will need to complete a few quick but important steps (detailed further along in this message) that will be available to access by Monday, Sept. 21.

By Monday, Oct. 5, if you plan to come to campus, whatever the duration or purpose of your visit, you will be asked to follow Pomona’s new health protocols. One key element will be having everyone self-check for COVID symptoms before coming to campus, even briefly. We’ve created a convenient method to do so online with our new COVID-19 Health Check Web App (single sign-on required). You’ll find more details as you read on.

To oversee these new protocols and consult with faculty and staff as they prepare to visit campus, HHB is providing a nurse, dedicated to the Pomona campus but employed and trained by HHB, who will establish and operate a new on-campus clinic to provide COVID-19 advising, testing and contact-tracing services for the campus community. The new clinic, located in Rembrandt Hall, is scheduled to open Monday, Oct. 5, with the new campus nurse, Stephanie Garcia-Barragan, available for consultations. Stephanie will be supported by the HHB medical team, including several experienced physicians, Dr. Anthony Rogers (Pomona Class of ‘95) and Dr. Glenn Davis.

Stephanie, in consultation with HHB’s medical team, will advise faculty and staff who report COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to someone who tested positive and will be able to administer a PCR test if necessary. Based on test results, Stephanie will advise faculty or staff members on the need to stay off campus and when they will be cleared to return to campus.

Stephanie will also be responsible for contact tracing if a faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and for alerting other members of the Pomona campus community as to possible exposure, as well as helping our community implement state and county public health standards and continue to develop appropriate health practices.

Further details are below, but first we wanted to let you know about two open forum meetings we’ve scheduled for you to ask questions and get information from campus nurse Stephanie Garcia-Barragan and the two doctors as well.

Open Forum | Pomona Safe – New Health Screening Protocols
Time: Sept. 24, 2020, noon Pacific Time
Zoom meeting: Information sent via Pomona email

Open Forum | Pomona Safe – New Health Screening Protocols
Time: Oct. 1, 2020, noon Pacific Time
Zoom meeting: Information sent via Pomona email

Here’s a quick guide to Pomona’s new COVID-19 protocols required for all faculty and staff:     

  1. All faculty and staff will take part in a required online training session about COVID-19 and related public health procedures. Next week, you will receive your link for this online training through an email to you from our training partner, EverFi.
  2. As part of the training session, all faculty and staff are required to sign a Community Agreement pledging to play a responsible role in preserving a safe environment on campus by following Pomona’s health-check and contact-tracing procedures and by complying with recommended public health-check when on campus. (This is not a legal waiver.) Everyone will be able to sign the agreement as part of the online training session that will come by email from EverFi.
  3. All faculty and staff are required to fill out an Authorization for Release and Use of COVID-19 Information for HHB that will allow the health provider to share any needed test results with the College. Next week, you will receive a separate email from DocuSign to sign this document.

Watch your email

On Monday, Sept. 21, faculty and staff will receive an email from EverFi with the link to the training module that will include the Community Agreement. Click that link and sign on through single sign on (SSO) to get to the training module. Also, on Monday, staff will receive an email via DocuSign for the Authorization for Release and Use of COVID-19 Information.

These requirements are only for faculty and staff who plan to come to campus for any reason:

  1. Daily health checks start on Oct. 5. Beginning on that date, faculty and staff who plan to come to campus for any length of time are required to use Pomona’s online COVID-19 Health Check Web App, located on the Pomona College portal, to check in. Prior to each visit to campus, they will perform a self-check for symptoms, including a temperature check, and document it on the Health Check Web App. (Faculty and staff who do not come to campus do not need to complete the daily health check.)
  2. If they attest that they are symptom-free and have not been knowingly exposed to someone with COVID-19, they may then come to campus, following all public health protocols while on site.
  3. If they are not feeling well, they should not come to campus and should, instead, contact their health provider and the campus nurse for consultation.

Procedures for those who know or suspect they may have COVID-19

The new protocols also provide for a process to follow if a faculty or staff member knows or suspects they may be COVID-19 positive, including the following steps:

  1. Any faculty or staff member who is in any way symptomatic must not come to campus.
  2. If a faculty or staff member knows they are COVID-19 positive through a test, suspects they have COVID-19 through symptoms or knows they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they should fill out the Health Check Web App and/or contact Stephanie Garcia-Barragan at 909-742-4762 to be advised of next steps.
  3. The results of the daily health screen app will alert the nurse, who will follow up immediately).
  4. Should the nurse advise that a COVID-19 test is in order, the College will provide that test, on site and free of charge. The nurse will receive the results.
  5. If the individual tests positive, Stephanie will:
    • advise the individual regarding next steps (typically to consult with their physician for follow-up and isolate until symptom-free)
    • initiate the Contact Tracing Web App to determine close contacts with other members of the Pomona College community
    • alert the COVID-19 compliance officer in Human Resources that an individual will be off-campus for a period of time;
    • monitor that individual with regular checks;
    • alert the individual and HR when that individual is cleared to come back to campus
    • HR will contact the person’s direct supervisor about the absence. In the case of faculty, HR will contact the department chair and the dean of the college.

Contact tracing and campus notifications

If a faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19, Stephanie will initiate contract-tracing procedures. Using the Pomona Contact Tracing Web App, the nurse will alert those in the Pomona community who came in close contact with the COVID-positive individual and advise them on next steps.

Stephanie will also create a case file and alert Pomona’s COVID-19 compliance officer in Human Resources. While Stephanie tracks the progress of the affected individual from testing to quarantine/isolation to eventual permission to return to campus, Pomona’s compliance officer will alert other offices, such as housekeeping, as necessary to activate any collateral actions such as the need for special cleaning, etc. For employee cases that are confirmed to be COVID-19, the nurse will also notify local health officials.

Throughout this process, the campus nurse and Human Resources will protect the privacy of all affected individuals. If potential clusters of cases should emerge, Pomona College will notify the campus community in a timely manner about the number of existing cases.

Timeline

Monday, Sept. 21

  • Online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training module available through email from EverFi
  • Community Agreement available for signature through EverFi training module
  • Authorization for Release and Use of COVID-19 Information available for signature through DocuSign email

By Friday, Oct. 2:

  • All faculty and staff should have signed and completed the:
    • Online COVID-19 Health and Safety Training
    • Community agreement
    • Authorization for Release and Use of COVID-19 Information available for signature

Monday, Oct. 5

  • Starting this date, daily health checks required for faculty and staff coming to campus
  • HHB health clinic opens at Rembrandt Hall
  • Campus nurse Stephanie Garcia-Barragan available for consultation


Best,

Rob Goldberg, VP, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer
Brenda Rushforth, AVP, Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer