Union Where You Are: Plans for 2020-21

Return to Campus Plan for Employees

All employees (faculty, staff and administrators) are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols and guidance outlined in this plan as part of workplace expectations and guidelines. Please see the Health and Safety Protocols section of this site for specific information about expectations. Employees who fail to comply may face disciplinary action.

Employees who are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 or who are concerned about returning to work, should consult with their supervisor and Human Resources about the possibility of working remotely or pursuing other options that are available.

The College understands and recognizes that these can be stressful times. Employees seeking support are encouraged to talk with their supervisor, Human Resources or contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), New Directions, (reminder company code is Union College and password Guest) or the Employee Resource Network (ERN) Success Coaches Danielle Williams (518) 709-8575 dwilliams@schenectadyworks.com or John McCarthy (518) 344-8905 jmccarthy@schenectadyworks.com.

Safety Plan for Administrative Units

Prior to employees returning to campus, each administrative unit must provide a COVID-19 Safety Plan specific to their work areas by completing the COVID-19 Safety Plan for Administrative Units. The completed form will be submitted to EHS and the vice president for your area for review and approval. Instructions for completing this form will be provided to supervisors and managers. The plan must be communicated to employees in the area to ensure they understand the scheduled date to return to campus and the requirements for working safely.

There are several options departments should consider to maintain required social distancing measures and to reduce density within buildings and workspaces. Managers and supervisors will be provided training on employee safety and guidance on the information below.

  • Staggered work schedules to reduce the number of people in the office space.
  • Remote Work - Employees who can work remotely to fulfill some or all of their work responsibilities should continue this practice to reduce population density on the campus.
  • Flexible scheduling to allow employees to accommodate special circumstances.

Training for Return to Campus

All employees will be required to complete a Union-provided COVID-19 training course prior to starting work. Those who are already working on campus will be required to complete the training; this will be coordinated with their supervisors.

Training will include responsibilities for members of our campus community, available resources and safety policies.

COVID-19 Care Kits

Employees will receive 2 cloth masks, a CDC face-covering information sheet, 1 oral digital thermometer, and 1 2 oz. refillable hand sanitizer container. Care kits and hand sanitizer refills are available at ISEC 183.

Alcohol Wipes

Wipes are intended for disinfecting frequently touched surfaces of electronic equipment check with the manufacturer to confirm alcohol wipes are compatible. 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes are available in boxes of 80 wipes at ISEC 183.

Disinfection Kits

The disinfectant spray is a non-hazardous hydrogen peroxide solution that is effective against the COVID-19 virus. It is intended to be used on frequently touched common surfaces such as door handles, desks, chairs, and countertops. It is not intended to be sprayed on electronic equipment.

Disinfection kits will be available in each classroom, EHS will coordinate delivery prior to the start of winter term.

Faculty members and staff can help by reminding students to follow instructions on the kit bucket for applying the disinfectant, which requires a 1 minute wait time before wiping, and making sure the kit is in the designated location at the end of class, and securing the room when leaving.

Kit refills (paper towels, hand sanitizer, disinfectant solution) are available at ISEC 183.

Other areas that require disinfection kits can contact James Ropitzky at ropitzkj@union.edu, the number of kits available are limited and should be shared in work areas.

Disposable Face Masks

Each department will receive 1 box of 50 disposable face masks to provide a single mask to students, employees or visitors who don't have a face covering with them. Departments should maintain a list of who gets a mask, including the person's name, email address and date. If the same person forgets their mask 2 times, please notify Human Resources. Additional boxes of disposable face masks are available at ISEC 183.


The College produced official COVID-19 signage, which was installed by Facilities Services. If a department wishes to install additional signs or floor markings in their work area, EHS can meet with them and assess what is appropriate.


Staying home is the best way to prevent yourself and others from getting sick. If you are considering travel for personal reasons in the United States, you will need to adhere to CDC, state and local health department guidelines for traveling and isolation requirements after travel.

CDC recommends all travelers avoid non-essential international travel.

The College will continue to prohibit all non-essential business travel. Please secure approval from your supervisor before making essential business travel plans.

Visitors on Campus

Departments are responsible for getting approval from senior staff or their designee in writing, and managing the approved visitors and ensuring communication about the College’s expectations and requirements.

The following principles and priorities guide the approach to campus visitors:

Protecting the safety and health of the campus community

  • Delivering essential services
  • Recruiting the Class of 2025
  • Preserving the physical campus

Designated visitors include the following categories:

  • Service personnel-this includes contractors, service & maintenance vendors.
  • Admission candidates and families
  • Visitors with an invitation from Union’s Senior Staff or Senior Staff’s designee.

Visitor Policy and Procedures
This policy does not apply to delivery personnel who are on campus briefly (< 15 minutes) to deliver mail, parcels and other items. However, all delivery personnel must wear an approved face covering and maintain social distance when on campus.

Prior to arriving on campus
Union is required to have a continuous log of visitors as required by the NYSDOH guidance for higher education during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Employees who are responsible for scheduling a designated visitor to campus must contact the person in their department who is responsible for managing the department's Visitor and Attestation Form and log to request a copy of the department's form.

The Union College employee (campus contact) who is designated to manage the visitor approved to be on campus must email a copy of their department’s Visitor & Attestation Form to the visitor and request they complete it on the day they’ll be on campus, prior to arriving on campus. If the visitor does not have access to the electronic form, the campus contact must provide a paper copy for the visitor to complete upon arrival.

All responses will be stored in the shared drive and managed by EHS.

Confirm the date(s) the visitor will be on campus and remind the visitor they must not come to campus if they are experiencing new or unusual health symptoms that day.

Provide contact information in case the visitor becomes ill before or during their campus visit. This includes the name and telephone number of the campus contact, and Campus Safety (518) 388-6911.

Remind the visitor to bring a face covering that covers their nose and mouth that fits snugly against the side of their face and is secure. Acceptable face coverings include cloth masks, bandanas and disposable masks. Masks with an exhalation valve and face shields without an acceptable face covering are not allowed. The campus contact must have a supply of disposable face masks available to provide to the visitor if they arrive without a face covering.

When on campus

  • Upon arrival, the campus contact must confirm they have received the completed Visitor Information & Attestation form
  • Review face covering, social distancing and hand hygiene practices with the visitor.
  • Ensure the visitor has campus contact information in case they have questions or start to feel ill while on campus.
  • At the end of the visit, the visitor should check out with the campus contact and report if any other locations were visited during their time on campus.

For More Information

These guidelines are the framework for providing a safe environment at Union College during the COVID-19 pandemic. Comments or questions may be directed to EHS (ehs@union.edu) or Human Resources (hr@union.edu).