July 1, 2020: Phase 2 Reopen Plans
As you know, Tri-County’s reopen plan has three phases, and each phase gets us closer to our goal of returning to full campus operations in August. Progress through these phases is contingent upon directives of the governor, myself as president of TCTC, and guidance from health authorities such as the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This week, the South Carolina Department of Administration announced all state agencies will move to Phase 2 re-entry and published a modified Phase 2 re-entry to the workplace. Phase 2 guidelines are based on a return to normal service levels while taking into account the COVID-19 environment. Accordingly, state agencies like TCTC are expected to return to normal service levels while still adhering to physical distancing guidelines. Because the mission of and services provided by each agency vary, it is up to each agency to decide which employees need to return to the workplace and how we deliver our programs and services.
At Tri-County, we must continue to advance our vision to transform lives and build strong communities one student at a time. To improve the economic mobility of citizens in our area, we must educate them, and we cannot do that entirely from our homes. Therefore, based on the guidance provided by the Department of Administration and the health and safety measures we currently have in place, I have decided to advance TCTC to Phase 2 beginning Monday, July 13. A modified version of our Phase 2 plan will be published next week.
Employees deemed essential who can report to work during Phase 2 are:
• Faculty members teaching on campus during the summer
• Support staff for faculty teaching on campus in the summer
• Employees supporting fall enrollment efforts
• Other employees as defined by their supervisor
All other employees will continue working remotely.
Prior to returning to campus, employees must complete an online training course and complete a weekly health symptom survey. This information can be found on the Human Resources section of our website. Remember, if you feel sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and do not report to work until symptoms resolve. Symptoms of COVID-19 include shortness of breath, coughing, fever of 100.4°F or greater, chills, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and/or new loss of taste or smell. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your supervisor or Human Resources.
Additionally, anyone approved to be on campus is required to wear a face covering/mask and follow physical distancing guidelines. These safety measures are consistent with CDC guidelines and other colleges and universities in our area, and we anticipate they will remain in place through the fall term. More information about the face covering/mask requirement can be found on the coronavirus section of our website.
The health and safety of our employees and students is of the utmost importance. As a college, we are taking the appropriate steps to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses using guidance from state and federal agencies; however, reducing COVID-19 transmission is a team effort. It is up to each and every one of us to model safe behavior and follow the rules.
Thank you in advance for your support and adherence to these important health and safety guidelines. Our communities need us now more than ever. By working together, we can ensure TCTC remains open and continues to meet the needs of those who need us most.
In your service,
Galen DeHay, Ph.D.