We need to hear from you!

To return to in-person classes this fall, Saint Martin's must follow Washington state's guidance regarding higher education vaccination reporting. To meet these requirements, which would allow us to remove masking and social distancing, we must have a 100 percent response from all students, staff and faculty. Until we meet this, we must abide by current mandates maintaining masking and social distancing for all of campus. While Saint Martin's strongly recommends getting the COVID-19 vaccine, students, staff and faculty can choose to be exempted from getting the vaccine for religious or medical reasons using the form links below.

Whether you've been vaccinated or you choose an exemption (medical or religious), the important thing is we need to hear from you! 

  • All students, even if they are only taking classes online, must either (1) report their COVID-19 vaccination status or (2) choose an exemption by using this Student form. Students can use this form if they've begun and/or are partially vaccinated. Students who fail to report vaccination status or submit an exemption will jeopardize their ability to attend classes this fall. 
  • All staff and faculty must also report their vaccination status or choose an exemption, using this Employee form.

Please visit this page for information regarding continued planning and support for our community. Below are links to community messages, community resources, and answers to frequently asked questions, including more details regarding our vaccination policy and exemptions.

Important information

Community messages COVID-19 dashboard WA State vaccine locator

Community resources

FAQs

Health and safety

To be able to open safely and return to in-person instruction, all Saint Martin’s undergraduate and graduate students will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to fall, even if they are taking online classes only. Students are required to report their vaccination status via Dropbox to the Student Health Center once completed. Students who fail to report vaccination status or submit an exemption will jeopardize their ability to attend classes this fall. 

To report vaccination status: Students must fill out the Student COVID-19 Immunization Report form and upload it, along with a scanned image or photo (JPEG or PDF) of their vaccine card, to this Dropbox: (https://smu-dropbox.stmartin.edu/index.php/s/iwMJB2p3jH5XYNF) by August 1. Note that summer residential students planning to return for fall semester will need to re-submit their vaccination information using this new form. Files should labeled with student's first name and last name.

While this COVID-19 vaccine policy is new, Saint Martin’s already requires that students be immunized for measles, mumps and rubella prior to attending and recommends several other vaccines as well. State and local health officials have encouraged colleges to require vaccinations, and the majority of public and private colleges in the Pacific Northwest are requiring vaccinations of students for the fall.

Please know that we will work with international students and others who may not have access to vaccines before arriving in fall to help them meet the university’s requirement. Students with documented medical or religious exemptions can submit a request for exemptions using the above Immunization Report form and email a copy to the Student Health Center (healthcenter@stmartin.edu). For medical exemptions, a letter from a licensed health care professional (MD/DO/PA/NP), on their office letterhead, must also be sent along with the request. If approved, students will be sent a Liability of Exemption for them to review and sign.

Students should get vaccinated and report their status by August 1 to ensure they are prepared for fall. 

To be able to open safely and return to in-person instruction, all Saint Martin’s staff and faculty will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to fall. 

To report vaccination status: Staff and faculty should complete their vaccination as soon as possible and report their status by July 15 using the Staff and Faculty COVID-19 Immunization Report form. Use your Saint Martin’s email and password to access the form and be prepared to upload a picture (JPEG or PDF) of your vaccination card. Staff and faculty can also use this form to request any medical or religious exemptions. Those claiming an exemption will need to read and sign an additional Liability of Exemption form.

We strongly encourage staff and faculty to get vaccinated and report their status as soon as possible to ensure you are prepared for fall.

Students, staff and faculty can choose to be exempted from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine for medical or religious purposes. Exemptions for medical reasons will require additional documentation; religious exemptions do not. To choose an exemption, students should still use the Student form and staff and faculty should use the Employee form. Individuals who choose an exemption will also be required to review and sign a Liability of Exemption which includes information regarding what the individual might need to do in case there is a campus outbreak. Individuals who choose to be exempted will be expected to follow current health and safety guidelines regarding masking and social distancing.

COVID-19 vaccines are now available to everyone 12 and older. In Washington state, use the Vaccine Locator site or the COVID-19 resources page.

  • To be able to open safely and return to in-person instruction, all Saint Martin’s undergraduate and graduate students will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to arriving on campus in the fall. Students will be required to report their vaccination status using the new Student COVID-19 Immunization Report form. Students should complete the form and upload it, along with a scanned image or photo of their vaccine card, to this Dropbox. (Note that summer residential students planning to return for fall semester will need to re-submit their vaccination information using this new form.) We will work with international students and others who may not have access to vaccines before arriving in fall to help them meet the university’s requirement. Students with documented medical or religious exemptions can submit a request for exemptions using the Immunization Report form and email a copy to the Saint Martin’s Student Health Center at healthcenter@stmartin.edu.
  • We ask that all students voluntarily quarantine, if possible, at home for two weeks (14 days) prior to traveling to campus.
  • For students coming from outside of the U.S., CDC guidelines require a two-week quarantine upon arrival in Washington state. We are not developing additional protocols around this initial quarantine for those international students set to live in the residence halls and with roommates. If there are additional questions regarding international students, please reach out to the Office of International Programs and Development at intladmissions@stmartin.edu.
  • Students should also consult with their local healthcare provider about being tested for COVID-19 approximately 10 days prior to traveling to campus. We ask that students communicate the results, positive or negative, by emailing them to our Saint Martin’s Student Health Center at healthcenter@stmartin.edu.

The University will follow Washington state policies regarding face mask exemptions and requirements: 

As of July 15, face masks will no longer be required inside university buildings for students, faculty, staff, abbey members or visitors who are fully vaccinated. Anyone unvaccinated is still required to wear a mask. Masks in general are still welcomed on campus and people can continue to wear one if they so choose to even if they are already vaccinated. A face mask is not required outdoors, but people should still try to maintain social distancing of at least three feet when possible. 

Those required to wear a face mask must wear them at all times when inside any campus building, except when alone in an enclosed room, such as an office or study room, or while participating in activities in which a face mask or shield cannot practically be worn, such as when eating and drinking or playing a musical instrument or singing, as part of work. Community members should make every effort to eat and drink only when appropriately distanced from others, or in designated areas.

It is the responsibility of all of the campus community to address students and others on campus who are not following the mandate for face masks. Any student, instructor or visitor who is required to and not wearing a mask will be directed to: (1) the Office of Public Safety or another designated location for a disposable mask; or (2) Public Safety, Disability and Support Services (DSS), or Human Resources to clarify the guidelines and need for compliance. All exemptions must be cleared in advance, similar to other classroom accommodations, with Disability and Support Services Office, or the Human Resources Office.

Designated locations for masks:

  • Public Safety (second floor of Old Main)
  • JBLM: Night monitor in Stone Education Center kiosk
  • We are currently looking into additional locations

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus, and to show care and respect for one another, all members of the Saint Martin’s community (staff, faculty and students) will be asked to do the following:

  • Wear a face mask if they are unvaccinated or require a mask for other health reasons. People who are vaccinated but would feel more comfrtable wearing a mask can choose to do so. Per CDC guidelines, a face shield should not be used to replace a cloth face covering or mask unless such use is necessary for ADA accommodations or special approved circumstances.
  • Maintain appropriate physical distancing from others, including following gathering limitations and campus directional signage as required.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer when hand washing is not feasible and following other good hygiene guidance.
  • Conduct daily self-health screenings, (student athletes should use the Sway app to conduct their daily self-health checks) and staying home if they feel sick.
  • Contact the Saint Martin’s Health Center or personal or local healthcare provider if they develop COVID-19 symptoms, and if recommended, get tested.
  • Agree to self-isolate or quarantine based on the directive of a public health official and/or a medical professional and participate in contact tracing efforts, when requested.
  • Hold themselves accountable to these health and safety guidelines and encouraging their peers to do the same.

Sign the Saint Martin's University Community Agreement >>

  • We have implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocol throughout campus, in classrooms, offices and residence halls.
  • We have installed physical barriers, such as plastic screens, and additional hand sanitizing stations in high-contact areas.
  • We are posting signage and markings with appropriate physical distancing guides across campus, including any entrance or exit markings.
  • In addition to enhanced cleaning protocol for residential common areas, we will have restrictions limiting access to the residence halls to residential students and residence life staff.
  • More guidelines including signage directing traffic within and to the dining hall and the café are being developed. 
  • We ask that all students, staff and faculty read and sign the new Saint Martin’s University Community Agreement. This agreement includes a list of shared expectations, including safety measures, that all staff, faculty and students are being asked to follow to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • We are no longer able to offer walk-in appointments and all students must have paperwork and insurance information emailed to the office manager prior to appointment arrival. Students will be screened for COVID symptoms when scheduling and offered testing if needed. Many visits can be shifted to telehealth, and that will be offered. If labs or other testing are needed, that can be arranged via appointment as well.
  • Download and complete paperwork. It will need to be emailed to our office with copies of your insurance cards prior to your appointment. We need all of this information to be current and up to date so please know your medication dosages if expecting medication refills.
  • Students who are ill will be pre-screened with touch-less temperature checks and one of our rapid tests before being allowed entrance into the clinic after a telehealth triage visit. If negative, they will be then have a physical exam and any additional testing required. Rapid tests are scheduled to arrive Sept. 2. All positive rapid tests will be followed up with a LabCorp swab and the student will be isolated pending results.

For telehealth appointments, visit doxy.me/smushc. Our RD will have a separate account and that will be emailed prior to the appointment.
 
For mental health appointments, we ask that you please start with the Counseling and Wellness Center and if they feel labs or medication are appropriate then to schedule with our office.

Visit stmartin.myahpcare.com/covid19 resources for COVID-19 resources offered through the University health insurance.

We encourage you to seek reliable information. Current updates are available from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including updated travel notices for countries with community transmission. Independent Colleges of Washington is also providing COVID-19 campus resources.

Testing and quarantining

For spring semester, Saint Martin’s Health Center has multiple testing options available for COVID-19 for students, staff and faculty (see below):

  • Rapid test (best if you have symptoms) with 15-minute results;
  • PCR (LabCorp) with results in 2 – 3 days;
  • SalivaDirect protocols, currently primarily for athletes, but we will be testing non-athlete residents by floor for surveillance-type testing (not diagnostic).

Think you or a family member have symptoms? Request a 15-minute rapid test!

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, but aren't sure, you can now take a rapid test through the Saint Martin’s Health Center. Also, if you are living on campus or coming to campus often and want to test as a precaution, this is a great resource for you. The test is available for students, faculty, staff and Abbey members. We also welcome your family members to use this resource if they need to take a test! 

The rapid test takes only 15 minutes to get results and there is no limit to how frequently you can get tested. Sign up using this link:
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d49acaf2aa1ffc07-covid2

You can always email healthcenter@stmartin.edu or call 360-412-6160 if you have a question. While we are pivoting to surveillance testing of the residence halls with the SalivaDirect protocols, we will continue to conduct on-going random testing of staff and faculty on a consistent basis. We can use the rapid test on campus for this. The purpose of the surveillance testing and random testing is to identify early on anyone who is positive, but asymptomatic so we can try to reduce or mitigate any spread.

If you are a student, please email healthcenter@stmartin.edu to arrange a testing time with in the next few days. Until our rapid antigen testing kits are in, we are using LabCorp for this screening. We will need current insurance information emailed prior to your test (or you can call to confirm correct information if you have had visits/testing with us prior).
 
If you are faculty or staff and have the University offered Kaiser Permanente health plan, please follow previously sent directions on how to test through them and forward us your results to the same email.
 
LabCorp results can take up to 72 hours to return. When our rapid tests arrive (hopefully by mid-September), there will be results within 15 minutes.
 
Given the timeline between testing and results, we ask that you isolate yourself from other people until negative results return.
 
If you are found to have COVID-19, the providers will educate you on next steps.
 
If you have not been on campus, nor plan on being on campus in the next 10 days, please email us with that information so we can cross you off our follow up list.
 
Participation in this spot testing program is not mandatory but is helpful in maintaining the safety of our campus community.
 
We deeply appreciate your support of this program and all University measures that aim to keep our campus healthy.   
 
Please remember to wash your hands often, stay home if you do not feel well, wear a mask when in public, and maintain six feet of social distance. 

The Thurston County Department of Public Health and Social Services has posted information for COVID-19 testing resources for those without Kaiser or other health insurance here.

 

  • Students residing in the residence halls should bring their own thermometer to campus for the daily checks. There will also be touchless wall-mounted thermometers available in the lobby of Parsons, Spangler and Baran Halls.
  • If a resident student is symptomatic, they should remain in their room and contact the on-duty housing professional staff. Professional staff will assist in following university protocols and making necessary arrangements to contact the Saint Martin’s Health Center.
  • If a resident student displays symptoms, they will need to remain in their room and follow the reporting protocol. The same will apply to a roommate deemed to be at risk of exposure. The student will stay in place until a lab confirmed result of negative is received.
  • A student testing positive will be relocated to designated housing specifically set aside for COVID-19 isolation/quarantine. The student will need to remain until medically cleared to return to normal activities. The student will need to comply with requests for contact tracing.

Students residing off campus will follow the same daily self-health screening process to include a daily temperature check. If they experience any symptoms, they must stay home and not come to campus. The student is asked to contact Saint Martin’s Public Safety at 360-438-4555. The student should also contact the Saint Martin’s Health Center or call a local healthcare provider to obtain additional directions for care. 

Per the Saint Martin’s COVID-19 Emergency Notification Process, the staff or faulty member is asked to contact Cynthia Johnson, Associate Vice President of Human Resources at cjohnson@stmartin.edu or 360-688-2290. The staff or faculty member should also contact their local healthcare provider to obtain additional directions for care.

Classrooms and instruction

Saint Martin's is continuing to work with local health authorities to make sure we are following best practices in preparation for the fall semester. Our intention is to offer primarily face-to-face classes this fall.

Courses that are being offered remotely will be labeled in one of two ways in Self-Service:

  • Under Section, online classes will be labeled as "WEB" or "BOL" (blended online)
  • Or, under Classroom, designated as "Online"

Students and faculty should perform a self-check each day before coming to campus, and stay away from campus if they are ill. Students who are ill should inform faculty. Faculty who are ill should arrange for a communication plan with students if they need to miss class. Faculty are encouraged to give a gentle reminder at the beginning of each face-to-face class that students experiencing symptoms listed on the checklist should elect to remove themselves from campus. Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, or living with/caring for someone diagnosed with COVID-19, should notify the Office of Public Safety.

This attendance policy consists of two elements. One relates to support of contact tracing efforts throughout this period of COVID-19 potential threats. The second relates to the use of attendance as a course grading element.

  • For tracking purposes, if needed, in all face-to-face courses faculty should maintain a record of attendance throughout the semester.  The attendance needs to be taken by voice call or faculty recognition of students attending each individual session. Records should be kept via the Self-Service attendance feature or some other record the instructor maintains and can produce on demand should an inquiry be necessary for tracing purposes.  Attendance should not be taken by passing around an attendance sheet or having students sign in as they enter the classroom as this handling could compromise attendees.
  • In an effort to support students who are considered high-risk or vulnerable as defined by public health officials and/or are unable to attend due to concerns about illness, campus safety, or need to care for familial obligations, attendance should not be used as a grade element during the Fall or any subsequent semesters affected by continuing COVID-19 requirements. 

Faculty should attempt to make reasonable accommodations for students who are unable to attend classes or complete coursework due to the pandemic. Students adversely impacted by COVID-19 should notify their faculty and academic advisor to arrange for accommodations as soon as they become aware that they will be needed. Another alternative is to submit a Saints Care form.

Faculty, students, and guests must maintain minimum physical distancing whenever possible of six feet between all on-campus personnel, including with visitors, and where physical distancing cannot be maintained, implement administrative or engineering controls to minimize exposure.

Classroom arrangement: Desks and tables will be placed in a fixed manner to allow for a minimum of six feet between students seated in their desks, and from the faculty leading the class. Desks may not be re-arranged or shifted. When directing students into smaller discussion or work groups, faculty need to ensure that students maintain the six-foot physical distancing standard. Students also need to continue to use PPE (cloth facial coverings or face shields) during these activities. Recognizing that use of small group activities while enforcing physical distancing may have an impact on classroom volume, faculty are encouraged to take this into consideration when planning classroom activities.

Passing out/collecting paper materials: Faculty should avoid distributing and collecting “handouts” or printed materials by hand. Ideally, the materials are uploaded to the class Moodle site before class. Some classes may need to have students bring digital devices to class. Exceptions will be made for tests that cannot be delivered electronically. When tests are hand-administered and hand-collected, faculty and students should take precautions to reduce the risk of transmission. For example, faculty may wish to use disposable gloves while handing out and collecting tests. Students should not pass tests to other students. Students and faculty may wish to use hand sanitizer before and after handling tests.

Cleaning: Classrooms and laboratories will be cleaned and disinfected regularly and thoroughly by custodial staff. However, because many people will be using these spaces throughout the day, students and faculty should protect themselves by disinfecting the area and objects they will come into contact with. Students and faculty should also be considerate of others and clean up and disinfect their work area as much as possible before they leave the room.

  • Upon entry into the classroom, faculty and students should disinfect surfaces in their immediate area where they will be sitting: chair, stool, desk, table, computer workstation, etc., using the appropriate cleaning products available in the classroom as follows:
    • Copy machine/computer screen/smartboards: screen cleaning solution
    • Other surfaces, including keyboard/mouse: disposable wipes (e.g., Clorox wipes); 
    • Used wipes should go in the garbage receptacles provided in the classroom
  • Special instructions for laboratories: department-specific laboratory cleaning and disinfecting protocols must be followed. In addition, students and faculty should disinfect their work area upon arrival, as indicated above
  • Before leaving the classroom, faculty should disinfect the whiteboard, computer/electronic equipment, and other surfaces they have touched (faculty will be provided with their own whiteboard markers and erasers material)
  • Sanitizing stations will be available at building entrances and exits, as well as other designated areas. Students and faculty are encouraged to wash hands frequently and/or carry their own hand sanitizer.

Note: each classroom will have a cleaning/disinfecting kit with appropriate solutions and applicators (spray bottle, sanitizing wipes, towels, hand sanitizer). Faculty and students are encouraged to also bring their own hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.

Because consuming food and beverages require removal of the mask, no food or beverages can be consumed in the class. If students or faculty must drink water or eat during class, they should step outside the classroom. Faculty may wish to consider giving refreshment breaks during courses that meet longer than 50 minutes.

Items such as backpacks, bags, umbrellas, and articles of clothing, should be kept in areas close to their owner. Shared lockers or common storage areas should not be used since these areas could lessen social distancing.  Spaces under student chairs or desks are the best places to store these types of items.

Compliance with these policies is covered by regulations stipulated in the University contract signed by students. Students who violate these regulations repeatedly or egregiously may be referred to the Dean of Students.

Yes, training opportunities and exercises will still continue. The COVID-19 environment provides trainers a real-time opportunity for training students, faculty and staff.

We will need to remain nimble and flexible if COVID-19 cases surge and we are required to return to online or remote learning earlier than Thanksgiving. Our faculty are preparing for this possibility and a large number of them have signed up for training workshops this summer on how to better utilize technology and teach online. If we do need to move to remote learning earlier, we will make every effort to keep the residential halls open to continue to house students.

Housing, dining and residence life

  • Rooms will be double occupancy, unless a private was requested/granted as part of a DSS accommodation. There will be no triple occupancy rooms.
  • Roommates/suitemates will be viewed as “family units”, to allow for closer than six feet contact/living conditions; this is similar to the congregate housing guidelines via the CDC.
  • Masks will be required of all who enter the residence halls, everywhere they are, with the exception of:
    • When within their own room
    • When the activity performed cannot be done so while wearing a mask, e.g., using the bathroom, eating.
  • Student residents will be assigned bathrooms in areas where communal bathrooms are being utilized.
  • Community spaces will have furniture configured to allow for social distancing.
  • Non-residential persons will not be permitted in the residence halls; including commuter students. 
  • Students who violate COVID-19 expectations will be subject to the Student Conduct Process, and may not be allowed to remain within the residence halls. 
  • While classes and instruction will move to remote instruction after Thanksgiving, students will be able to stay in the residence halls for the final three weeks of the semester. 
  • If residential students plan to travel and visit with large groups over Thanksgiving break, we recommend that they do not return to the residential halls after the break but instead continue remote learning from home through the end of the semester. 
  • If you have any questions regarding housing, including if you need to request a different or earlier move-in date, please email housing@stmartin.edu

In addition to enhanced cleaning protocol for dining areas, we will continue with “to-go” options for meals for both St. Gertrude’s Café and Monk’s Bean. We will extend hours of operation for meals to spread out the volume of people going to the Café and the Monk’s Bean. There will be limited seating for both St. Gertrude’s Café and Monk’s Bean, which we want to prioritize for students. We are asking that staff and faculty use the "to-go" option and take their meals to their offices. We are looking at alternate options for students to take their meals to during lunchtime, including Cebula 3rd floor. We will post signage on where those alterate spaces are and when they can be used for eating by students.

Yes, full room and board will be billed for fall. Credits for the last three weeks of the semester will be made to student accounts at the end of the semester for students who are not in residence following the Thanksgiving break.

We have set aside designated temporary on- and off-campus housing to use for any residential student who tests positive and/or needs to be quarantined.

  • Students residing in the residence halls should bring their own thermometer to campus for the daily checks. There will also be touchless wall-mounted thermometers available in the lobby of Parsons, Spangler and Baran Halls.
  • If a resident student is symptomatic, they should remain in their room and contact the on-duty housing professional staff. Professional staff will assist in following university protocols and making necessary arrangements to contact the Saint Martin’s Health Center.
  • If a resident student displays symptoms, they will need to remain in their room and follow the reporting protocol. The same will apply to a roommate deemed to be at risk of exposure. The student will stay in place until a lab confirmed result of negative is received.
  • A student testing positive will be relocated to designated housing specifically set aside for COVID-19 isolation/quarantine. The student will need to remain until medically cleared to return to normal activities. The student will need to comply with requests for contact tracing.

A residential student testing positive will be relocated to designated housing specifically set aside for COVID-19 isolation/quarantine. The student will need to remain until medically cleared to return to normal activities. The student will need to comply with requests for contact tracing.

Students residing in the residence halls should bring their own thermometer to campus for the daily checks. There will also be touchless wall-mounted thermometers available in the lobby of Parsons, Spangler and Baran Halls.

Financial support and payments 

Tuition and fees will cover added costs, including any necessary investments in technology upgrades, health monitoring, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine spaces, and other needs. We will not assess any additional tuition or increase fees for students because of the pandemic. No tuition or fee refunds beyond our stated tuition refund schedule will be given based upon how courses are completed. We recognize the challenge this has placed on our students and are working to reduce our expenses in order to continue to address affordability now and into the future.

If you are making your payment online using your bank account, you can select “new bank account” in the dropdown and make your payment using an electronic check. You need to enter your bank routing number and bank account number. This is the same as using cash from your account, only there is no service fee. The service fee is charged by our provider, not the school.

Human Resources guidelines

Sick employees

The general rule: If you are sick, stay home. Faculty and staff who have symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath (unless a cough or shortness of breath is known to be from another ongoing medical issue such as allergies, acid reflux, asthma, etc.) must stay home and should contact their health care provider to determine if they should be tested for COVID-19. 

Coronavirus

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Symptoms appear two to 14 days after exposure

Flu

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Chills and sweats
  • Congestion
  • Sore throat

Allergies

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose, eyes or roof of mouth
  • Runny, stuffy nose
  • Watery, red or swollen eyes

Supervisors (with the support and involvement of HR) should ask employees who are exhibiting such symptoms to go home and stay home until 24 hours after they are free of symptoms without the aid of medication. Please cooperate with supervisors who are taking on this uncomfortable responsibility for the wellbeing of all. Supervisors must not pressure anyone to come to work if they are ill or need to stay at home to care for ill dependents. Conversely, if employees are well, they should not be pressured to stay away from work for reasons such as their ethnic or racial background, home address, having cared for a sick family member (without any indication of COVID-19) or recent travel to an area not identified as CDC Level 3

Accrued leave

Saint Martin’s provides personal days, paid sick and vacation leave, which is available for use to care for immediate family members, for all benefits-eligible staff. 

Paid time to care for immediate family members

Employees who must provide care to immediate family members who are ill are urged contact the Office of Human Resources to determine their eligibility for Saint Martin’s University Paid Family and Medical Leave or contact the Employment Security Department regarding the Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance benefit.

Self-isolation or self-quarantine

Employees who choose to or are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine (by public health officials or guidelines, healthcare providers or the University), and whose work is not suitable for working from home, are to notify their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources. Staff will use accrued leave during the period they are in isolation or quarantine. 
 
Non-illness related care

Employees should use personal days, sick or leave to care for immediate family members who are not ill but need care due to any COVID-19 related closures of schools or daycare centers, or for other breakdowns in care arrangements. Employees are not permitted to bring family members to work with them, even if the family member is well.
 
Insufficient sick leave

Employees with insufficient accrued leave for the uses outlined in any of the above sections should contact the Office of Human Resources. 

Reporting use of accrued leave

Staff members who are out sick are asked to enter absences (sick leave taken or leave taken for family/dependent care) in the appropriate timekeeping system promptly. Supervisors have the authority to record the staff member’s leave on their timesheet if necessary. 

Return to work

Written medical certification will be required for those diagnosed with COVID-19, documenting that they may return to work without risk of spreading infection. This medical certification must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources prior to returning to work.  

Employees at higher risk

Employees who are at increased risk for developing COVID-19 (should they be exposed to the virus) due to underlying health conditions or other factors are urged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. If increased risks are certified by their physician, employees should contact the Office of Human Resources about potential accommodations. 

Other considerations and preparations

For those who will continue to work on campus – because their jobs require it and they are well, are urged to practice social distancing measures (keeping at least a 6-foot distance between people) to avoid exposure to or infection by the virus causing COVID-19. If they have an underlying health condition or concern, they should contact the Office of Human Resources about potential accommodations.

Telework options are intended to help maintain normal business operations. Any questions regarding telework should be directed to the Office of Human Resources.

Telework refers to an arrangement between a supervisor and an employee where an employee works from home or from another location away from the usual workplace. 

Telework/telecommuting works best when employees and supervisors communicate clearly about expectations. The following checklist will help you establish a foundation for effective teamwork, continued productivity, and service to the Saint Martin's community.

Review technology needs and resources

Identify technology tools staff use in their daily work and determine whether the resources will be accessible when working from home and ensure employees know how to access your team’s local technical support should they need assistance. Contact ITS for VPN access.

  • Ensure employees know how to set up call forwarding and how to access their Saint Martin's email and voicemail from home.
  • Determine which platform(s) you will use to communicate as a team, clarify expectations for online availability and confirm everyone has access to the technology tool(s) and support resources. Saint Martin's employees have free access to Zoom video conferencing and Skype for Business.

Review work schedules

Telework sometimes get confused with flex work. Supervisors and employees are to be clear about expectations for maintaining current work schedule or if there will be flexible scheduling based on employee needs.  

  • Employee expectations: A teleworking employee is expected to account for all time worked and to take appropriate leave (paid or unpaid) to account for time spent away from normal work-related duties (e.g., to care for dependents or family members, or in the event of illness). Employees are responsible for the same performance and conduct expectations, including communications with supervisors and employees whom they supervise, while teleworking as they are during normal business operations. An employee should always have a sufficient amount of work to perform throughout the workday when he or she teleworks. An employee performing telework who does not have enough work should notify his or her supervisor so that more work can be assigned, if possible. Employees should consult with HR with any questions relating to this provision. Employees’ status under Teleworking Continuity may be subject to change as the University’s needs and workloads evolve.
  • Supervisor expectations: Employees are responsible for the same performance and conduct expectations, including communications with supervisors and employees whom they supervise, while teleworking as they are during normal business operations. An employee should always have a sufficient amount of work to perform throughout the workday when he or she teleworks. An employee performing telework who does not have enough work should notify his or her supervisor so that more work can be assigned, if possible. Supervisors should consult with HR with any questions relating to this provision. Employees’ status under Teleworking Continuity may be subject to change as the University’s needs and workloads evolve.

Draft a work plan

Supervisor should review the questions below with staff and work through answers together.

  • What routine responsibilities/tasks cannot be fulfilled while working from home and how will it impact operations or other people? What are ways to reduce the impacts?
  • What routine responsibilities/tasks require regular communication and collaboration with others? Proactively contact each partner to confirm how you will communicate with others while working from home.
  • Oftentimes employees experience fewer interruptions while teleworking. Are there any special projects or tasks that you can advance while working remotely?

Make a communication and accountability plan 

Supervisors should tell employees how often they should send updates on work plan progress and what those updates should include. Supervisors should also communicate how quickly they expect the employee to respond while working from home and the best ways for the employee to contact the supervisor while working remotely.

Be positive

A positive attitude toward teleworking and a willingness to trust employees to work from home effectively is key to making such arrangements successful and productive. Teleworking presents an opportunity for managers to become better supervisors. Instead of focusing on how many hours your employees are working, re-emphasize a focus on measuring results and reaching objectives—regardless of work arrangement. The employee’s completed work product is the indicator of success, rather than direct observation. By focusing on the employee’s work product, supervisors of teleworkers will improve their organizational abilities and their own skill in managing by objectives.

Debrief after normal operations resume

Employees and supervisors should review work plans when work returns to normal, assess progress on the employee’s work plan and prioritize any unresolved or new work that resulted from temporary operational disruption.

Here are helpful checklists for managers and employees returning to on-campus work:

University events

Athletics

Visit smusaints.com/sports/2020/8/28/covid-19-updates.aspx for updates and important information for student athletes.

Do you have additional questions?

If you have specific questions, including questions about missing classes or work, or other questions regarding campus resources, we have set up the following points of contact:

Other key resources: