Information for Keene State Employees
What are my options now that my child’s school is closed due to COVID-19?
We understand that schools in New Hampshire and beyond our state borders are canceling classroom instruction, sending children home, and are instead offering remote instruction. These are unprecedented times, and therefore we are looking for new ways to support faculty and staff who are affected, while ensuring continuity of business. More will be shared soon. In the meantime, please know that if you cannot report to work due to childcare needs, you have the option to use Family Leave for now.
I live in Massachusetts and work at Keene State, and I’m healthy and haven’t been to a high-risk area. Can I come to work on campus?
At this time, commuting to and from work (including to/from Massachusetts) is not prohibited for our employees. However, at this time we encourage faculty and staff to work remotely.
Will I have to use my accrued time if I am diagnosed with COVID-19?
No, just use the new temporary code “COVID” when reporting time away from work for your base schedule/appointment. The use of “COVID”, when approved, is considered paid excused time and any accrued paid leave will not be charged. The “COVID” code will be available through April 3, 2020, when a reassessment will be conducted.
If I am required to self-quarantine for 14 days as directed by the CDC and USNH criteria, can I work remotely instead of taking accrued time off? What if my work can’t be done remotely?
Yes, you may work remotely if that option is available to you. Please follow these steps:
- Think about if and how your work can be successfully completed remotely.
- Request to work remotely in writing to your supervisor.
- The written approval of your supervisor is necessary. In some cases, supervisors will need higher level approval to ensure coverage.
- Supervisors need to ensure there is adequate on-campus coverage and support to meet the university’s mission.
- This approval process will be in effect through April 3, 2020.
If your role cannot be performed remotely or via technology, use the new, temporary code “COVID” when reporting time away from work for your base schedule/appointment. The use of “COVID” is considered paid excused time. The “COVID” code will be available through April 3, 2020, when a reassessment will be conducted.
I have a son/daughter who is returning from a location outside the United States or a higher-risk area and he/she will be in our family home. Do I need to self-quarantine?
As long as your child does not have any symptoms, then no, you do not need to self-quarantine. This is according to CDC guidelines. However, if your child does begin to experience symptoms, contact your state public health office immediately for advice on what to do next - most states have hotlines in place. In New Hampshire, you may dial 2-1-1. Please note that quarantine guidelines could change, and if they do, we will communicate the changes.
How can employees remain informed about changes to operations during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Keene State employees should frequently check their email, and also make sure their KSC Owl Alert account, through a service called RAVE, is up to date. This service sends emergency notifications and updates from the College on an ongoing basis for a variety of potential situations. Sign in at https://www.getrave.com/login/keene.
Is coronavirus testing covered by my medical insurance?
If you are a USNH Cigna customer, CIGNA will waive all co-pays and cost-shares for Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing as recommended by your health care provider. If you are covered by our health plan, we also recommend using telehealth services through AmWell or MDLive, to help prevent potential infection with office visits. Dr. Steve Miller, Cigna’s Chief Clinical Officer, also offers advice and resources for coping with stress, recommendations on when to refill your prescriptions, and more. View Coronavirus Resources
What if I am not able to work remotely for health reasons due to COVID-19 or because my children’s school is closed?
Employees will be paid in these situations, and will need to use the “COVID” code. This decision will be reviewed on April 3 and it may change.
Who do I report a coronavirus diagnosis to at work?
You are encouraged to report a COVID-19 diagnosis to your supervisor/HR. This is not only for your welfare but for the protection of your coworkers and community.
What resources are available if I am stressed about the coronavirus?
Employees are encouraged to contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1.800.424.1749 or www.eaphelplink.com, Code: USNH. USNH will support increased flexibility in teleworking, where applicable, to ease employee concerns regarding reporting to work in an unstable environment.
Would closure of the campuses interrupt payroll?
No, USNH essential functions would continue.
Can sick leave policies be more flexible (borrow from future accrual) during this pandemic?
No, Human Resources will review these on a case-by-case basis.
If a coworker makes me sick, is that covered under Workers’ Compensation?
No, it is not covered.
If I am sick with the coronavirus, will Short Term Disability and Family Medical Leave Act apply?
Yes, standard rules regarding STD and FMLA will apply.
What options are available for faculty and staff who have incurred expenses for upcoming travel?
Please work with your manager to cancel your travel commitments and request refunds or credits to use on future University travel. If you are unable to secure refunded expenses or travel credit for future use, there will be no financial impact to you; we will cover cancellation costs.
Are there IT requirements I must follow while working remotely?
Yes. Most requirements are common sense, but here are some of the parameters:
- Use USNH-issued equipment when possible (i.e. USNH laptops)
- The equipment must meet KSC IT security requirements found at https://www.KSC.edu/it/information-security-services
a. Anti-malware software installed/operational/updated
b. Operating system patches applied
c. Host-based firewall installed and enabled
d. Screen lock requiring password or PIN
- Don’t share equipment (i.e. with other family members) and protect from theft
- Protect all USNH data and printed material from unauthorized access
- Log into the KSC VPN (Pulse Secure) prior to logging into university systems remotely
- Store all USNH information on university servers, BOX, or equipment (i.e., hard drive)
- Do not use public machines to log into USNH systems containing restricted information (i.e. Banner) or public networks and do not use passwords for restricted environments on public machines
- Report any IT security breach or equipment compromises immediately at 862-4242 during customary work hours or 862-1427 outside customary work hours