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COVID-19: Guidelines for Summer Return to Campus

Dear Colleagues,


Attached, please find guidelines for returning to campus for work this summer. We are currently operating under an executive order from Governor Kemp that encourages telework for those who are able. That order is set to expire on May 31, at which point—assuming no new restrictions are put in place—we encourage employees to begin working on campus again. All employees should check with their supervisors to determine if any special precautions need to be taken for their particular office. Those with health concerns that would prevent them from working on campus should raise their concerns with their immediate supervisor or with Human Resources.


We expect that all those who would normally work on campus in the summer will be back on campus full-time by July 1. Please have your return-to-campus plans finalized and approved by your supervisor no later than Friday, June 5, to ensure that we are back at regular, on-campus staffing levels by the end of June. Some offices will need to be at full-strength much sooner than July 1, particularly as we begin preparing for the fall semester and hosting campus visitors. For all of us, it is important that we begin to get into the groove of operating within new campus health guidelines as we look forward to the return of students in August. 


Please note that our Facilities team is currently understaffed, with two positions vacant (searches ongoing) and two key staff members out on temporary leaves of absence. Consequently, we will not be reopening all of our restroom facilities. Please observe posted signs and refrain from using restrooms that are closed as we are unable to ensure their cleanliness.


Finally, as you read over the attached document, you will see explicit guidelines for things such as social distancing and face masks. There are a host of different opinions circulating on these matters. In developing our guidelines, we have spent significant time evaluating examples from other organizations and vetting ideas with medical professionals. The guidelines we are providing are our best attempt at creating conditions under which the members of our community can pursue their work on campus without imminent threat of a viral outbreak. To some, these guidelines may seem too restrictive. To others, they may not seem restrictive enough. I hope you will all accept them as our best effort at creating a healthy environment for everyone and that you will abide by them while you are on campus.


It will feel odd for us to return to campus with public health guidelines in place. We are used to hugging and gathering around tables and enjoying a good, hearty laugh in close proximity to one another. For the time being, it's just going to be different. But, despite the unusual circumstances, I am very much looking forward to seeing many of you back on campus. As beautiful as this place is, it is a lot more beautiful with all of you here.


Thank you for the patience and tenacity you’ve demonstrated over the last ten weeks and for your ongoing commitment to serving our students and the church well.


In Christ,


J. Derek Halvorson, Ph.D.
Covenant College


  In omnibus Christus primatum tenens 


Attachment: Summer Return to Campus for Employees