Coronavirus Information for Employees

March 13, 2020

Given the continuing spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to provide answers to questions that Human Resources has recently received about illness and work absences.

What happens if I become ill?

Please stay home from work if you have symptoms that are common to a cold or flu, including sneezing, coughing, sore throat, runny nose and fever.

Do I need a doctor’s note to return to work?

Not at this time. To help healthcare professionals focus on providing care to patients, the county Department of Public Health has recommended that employers not require doctors’ notes for employees to return to work. Once this situation has abated, we will let you know via email when doctor’s notes are again required after an absence.

What are the best illness prevention tips?

Mary Manuel, director of our Student Health and Wellness Center, sent a college wide email March 2 that explains the symptoms of the Coronavirus and how they differ from a normal flu/cold. She also provided illness prevention tips, including:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds) with soap and water after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60 percentalcohol. Help young children do the same.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Limit close contact, like kissing or sharing cups/utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Get a flu shot – it’s not too late to be protected against influenza.
  • Be aware that facemasks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and people who are ill.
  • Monitor your symptoms.

What if I develop symptoms of the COVID-19 illness?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and suspect you may have contracted the virus, please call your healthcare provider or the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at (888) 397-3993.

What if someone tells me that they believe they have been exposed to the Coronavirus?

If someone reports to you that they have been exposed, but are not exhibiting symptoms, please have them call their health care provider or the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at (888) 397-3993. 

What if one of my employees is ill at work?

If someone is unable to work due to an unspecified illness, please ask them to go home. From home they should call their healthcare provider.

What if a person is sick at work and believes they may have the virus, or have been exposed to the virus?

Stay in your workplace, away from others if possible. Contact the Student Health and Wellness Center at Ext. 3259, and they will conduct an assessment by phone. If Student Health staff determine there is a likelihood of exposure, they will contact Los Angeles County Public Health, as well as provide the individual with further instructions. 

Can employees work from home?

We are in the process of developing work-from-home procedures that would be used if the Los Angeles County Public Health determines school or workplace closures are needed. We will email all employees with detailed information if that becomes necessary.

Should I cancel any upcoming college-related travel?

Please determine if your meeting or conference is still being held as planned. We are hearing of large events being cancelled. If your event is still being held, consider whether or not it is essential that you attend. Think about driving instead of flying. Or, if you can attend the event remotely, make arrangements to do so. Please note that the State Chancellor’s Office has not restricted travel at this time, therefore any cancelation of travel would be considered voluntary.

Please share this information with your short-term employees and college assistants as many of them do not have a canyons email address.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we work together to address a changing, dynamic situation. The college is carefully monitoring details to ensure we provide employees with appropriate guidance. We are in regular contact with public health officials to receive timely updates and their recommendations for responding to the coronavirus. We will be moving forward with the best interests of our students and employees in mind, and will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Distributed March 13, 2020