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Follow Up: Important Staff Info

March 10, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As you saw in President Walk’s message to the community this afternoon, the College is transitioning to a state of remote instruction as of Thursday, March 19, 2020. Please read the following message closely, as it includes a great deal of important information regarding the College’s change in operations as it relates to staff members. More information will be coming over the next few days.

What Remote Instruction Looks Like for Staff

Our transition to remote instruction for students is not a campus closure; business operations on campus will continue as usual. Please also note that there continue to be no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the MMC community, and the current guidance of the CDC and NYC Department of Health does not call for a closure without confirmed cases.

The College’s top priority is to maintain a safe work place for our students and employees while sustaining academic programs and continuity of business. As we transition to a state of remote instruction, all staff are expected to report to work as normal unless otherwise notified. Please keep the following in mind:

  • Many other institutions of higher education in New York City have adopted a similar format—transitioning to a state of remote instruction and continued on-campus business operations.
  • We understand that in some cases individuals may have to stay home to care for themselves or a family member. Individuals may use sick or personal time to do so, and the College fully intends to be flexible with our paid time off policies
    • Please contact your supervisor if you have extenuating circumstances and are unable to come to work. 
  • Do NOT come to work if you or a family member are sick.  Please contact your supervisor if you are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness and he/she will work with you on next steps.

In the Event of a College-Wide Closure

Should the College be required to close entirely, essential employees will be required to provide services that are essential to the continued function of our community and operations. Supervisors will speak with employees directly if they are considered “essential employees” who will need to work either on-site or remotely in the event of a College-wide closure.

Advanced Preparation for Alternative Work Arrangements

You or your director has likely received a template for continuity of operations plans. These plans are designed to get our staff prepared to move toward remote operation should the need arise. We will continue refining these plans in the coming days. Please take this time to continue considering the following:

  • What technology access you would require to complete your job remotely;
  • What materials and/or files you will need to have access to in order to work remotely;
  • What functions, if any, you absolutely could not perform from home;

Please work with your supervisors to ensure that you have what you need to work from home in the event that it becomes necessary. The next several days will be a crucial preparation period.

What If There’s a Case of COVID-19 at MMC?

  • Should a confirmed case of COVID-19 be identified at MMC, the College will close completely for at least two days to disinfect and thoroughly sanitize any campus location the individual may have accessed. From that point on, the College would work closely with the Department of Health and will follow any and all directives they provide regarding how long the school should remain closed thereafter, providing remote instruction in the interim.
  • Any individual who is identified to be a “close contact” of a confirmed case will be instructed to isolate and self-monitor for a period of 14 days to minimize further spread of the virus.
  • This plan is, of course, subject to change at any time depending on the current guidance from local, state, and federal health authorities. Please continue to check your MMC email and monitor mmm.edu/coronavirusfor timely updates from the College.

Monitoring Your MMC Email & Staying Connected

  • It remains crucial for you to closely monitor your MMC email during this period of remote instruction and during any closures that may follow.
  • If you have not yet registered for ConnectED, MMC’s emergency notification system, please do so here.
    • If you did not receive a text message notifying you of President Walk’s email to the community yesterday, you are not fully registered for this system and must update your contact information immediately.

Important Health Reminders:

  • If you have any cold or flu-like symptoms, please stay at home and do not come to campus. If you are symptomatic, you should also avoid contact with others and avoid using public transportation.
  • The best tools for prevention of COVID-19 and all respiratory viruses are frequent and thorough handwashingand staying home if you are sick.
  • Cleaning Information: A deep cleaning will take place according to the following schedule—please lock up any valuables:
    • Wednesday March 11: Carson Hall, Nugent Hall, Faculty Center, and Martha Graham
    • Thursday, March 12: 55th Street Residence Hall common areas
    • Friday, March 13: Cooper Square Residence Hall common areas

I want to thank you for your tremendous effort in helping us transition during this exceptionally trying time. We will continue to remain in close contact and collaborate on making this as smooth a transition as possible.  Please contact safety@mmm.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

Regards,

Bree Bullingham
Associate Vice President for Human Resources