COVID-19 Prevention Program
As we return to our campuses and workplace locations, the Rancho Santiago Community College District (“District") continues to keep employee health and safety as its top priority, in adherence to the federal, state, and local guidelines specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The District began the transition of employees returning to on-site work starting July 6, 2021 with the expectation that all employees will be fully back to work on August 16. The information below outlines expectations and guidelines for returning to the workplace to promote a safe working environment for employees and students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every employee plays a key role in avoiding exposure and limiting infection!
What is the Corona Virus Disease (COVID)?
The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, causes a viral respiratory illness called COVID-19, which can make people sick with flu-like and other symptoms. The virus spreads easily when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or speaks, sending tiny droplets into the air. These droplets can land in the nose, mouth, or eyes of someone nearby and cause illness. This viral illness can also be caught from airborne virus, when small particles of infectious virus remain suspended in the air and people inhale them. People can also become infected if they touch an infectious virus on a surface and then touch their own nose, mouth, or eyes.
Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fever, shortness of breath, and new loss of taste or smell. Some people with mild cases may have no symptoms at all yet still can spread the virus. Avoiding crowded indoor spaces, improving indoor ventilation, covering your nose and mouth with a face covering, and washing hands often with soap and water can help stop COVID-19 from spreading in the workplace.
Designation of Responsibility
The Director of Workplace Safety and Risk Management has the authority and responsibility for implementing this plan in our workplace. All managers and supervisors are responsible for implementing this plan in their assigned work areas and ensuring employees' questions are answered.
All employees are required to follow the policies and procedures laid out in this plan, use safe work practices, and assist in maintaining a safe work environment.
Identification and Evaluation of COVID-19 hazards
We will evaluate our workplace and operations to identify tasks that may have exposure to COVID-19. Assessments include employee interactions with all persons who may be present in the workplace including contractors, vendors, students, and other members of the public.
We encourage employees to participate in this evaluation. They can contact their supervisor to share information on potential COVID-19 hazards at our workplace or to assist in evaluating these hazards.
Correction of Covid-19 Hazards
The District shall continuously evaluate existing COVID-19 prevention controls in the workplace and the need for different or additional controls related to correction of COVID-19 hazards and engineering controls. Additionally, each area supervisor shall conduct workplace-specific identification and inspections of all interactions, areas, activities, processes, equipment, and materials that could potentially expose employees to COVID-19 hazards. Unsafe or unhealthy conditions, work practices, policies, and procedures will be corrected in a timely manner based on the severity of the hazard.
Early in the pandemic, Facilities took the following measures to improve ventilation systems in campus buildings:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fever – Greater than 100 degrees
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
If you have any symptoms, we encourage you to call your primary care provider for assessment and/or COVID-19 testing. You should self-isolate and remain off work/school until your doctor has determined that your symptoms are not COVID-19 related or you have recovered and met criteria for release from isolation as if you had tested positive.
- at least 10 days after your symptoms started; and
- 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications (e.g., Tylenol, Advil); and
- your respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough shortness of breath) have improved.
Employees who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or have a confirmed case must follow the steps below:
- Employees who believe they may have COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19 must immediately isolate themselves, go home if at the office, and notify their supervisor.
- If the employee has been in the office, the employee will compile a list of each person the employee has come in contact with and the areas of the campus or offices they have visited.
- Risk Management will notify the affected individuals of a potential exposure
- Facilities will ensure the surfaces are cleaned and disinfected
Returning to work after positive test or exposure
Criteria for returning to work after testing positive for COVID-19 are as follows:
Employees who tested positive and had symptoms can return to work when:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms began, AND
- At least 24 hours have passed with no fever (100.4°F or above) without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND
- Other COVID-19 symptoms have improved.
Employees who test positive but never have symptoms can return to work:
After at least 10 days have passed since the date of positive specimen collection.
We will make COVID-19 testing available at no cost and during paid time to employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated. COVID-19 testing will be made available to employees who have close contact in the workplace as outlined in the INVESTIGATING AND RESPONDING TO COVID-19 CASES IN THE WORKPLACE section below.
Required Face Coverings
We provide face coverings to all employees and ensure they are worn when indoors or in vehicles, and by all employees as required by orders from CDPH. The face coverings provided will be cloth or woven material of at least two layers, fit snuggly, have no holes or openings, and completely cover the nose and mouth. Face coverings must be clean and undamaged. Face coverings are not respiratory protection. Face shields are not a replacement for a face covering, although they may be worn together.
When employees are required to wear a face covering, the following exceptions will apply:
- When an employee is alone in a room or vehicle.
- While eating or drinking at the workplace, provided employees are at least six feet apart and outside air supply to the area has been maximized to the extent feasible.
- When employees cannot wear face coverings due to a medical or mental health condition or disability. This includes a hearing-impaired person or someone using sign language to communicate. Employees exempted from wearing a face covering due to medical conditions, mental health conditions, or disability must wear an effective non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom that we will provide, if their condition or disability allows.
- When a specific task cannot be performed with a face covering. This exception is limited to the time period in which such tasks are being performed.
Signs are posted at the entrance to the workplace to communicate face coverings requirements for any non-employees entering the workplace. We provide face coverings to members of the public if necessary.
If an unvaccinated employee wishes to voluntarily wear an N-95 mask for more protection while working, they will be provided to you at no cost. Just ask your supervisor. You can view the proper steps to wear these masks here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUOfWbB9-e4
Face covering requirements outdoors are optional for those who wish to continue wearing them, but are recommended for people who are not fully vaccinated if six feet of distance between people cannot be maintained.
Employees are encouraged to wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer stations and hand hygiene signage are placed throughout the workplace. Custodians are responsible for ensuring hand hygiene stations are readily accessible and stocked with soap and paper towels, or hand sanitizer.
C leaning and Disinfection
The District has instituted regular COVID-19 compatible sanitation and housekeeping practices, which includes daily cleaning and disinfecting of common surfaces, workplace common areas, frequently used tools and equipment, and other frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g. doorknobs, elevator buttons, equipment, handrails, handles, and bathroom surfaces). A daily deep disinfection of every building in use is typically conducted at night. The district uses disinfectants that are EPA approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Employees are responsible for cleaning their own work surfaces, phones, and computers. Shared equipment may require more frequent cleaning depending upon use. Disinfecting wipes or other cleaning products will be provided. Contact your supervisor for supplies.
Employees are trained on the hazards of the disinfectants, to use only in well-ventilated areas, any PPE that is required, and to never mix chemicals.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Respirators for voluntary use will be provided upon request at no cost to those employees who are not fully vaccinated. You can view the proper steps to wear these masks here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUOfWbB9-e4
Any PPE used to protect from COVID-19, such as gowns, face masks, and gloves, is selected based on function, fit, and availability. Employees are trained when and why PPE is necessary, how to properly put on and take off PPE, and how to clean, maintain, and store reusable PPE. Job hazard assessments are performed by supervisors to identify any PPE required for a specific job. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that adequate supplies of PPE are available.
INVESTIGATING AND RESPONDING TO COVID-19 CASES
Illness at the Workplace
We investigate all COVID-19 cases in the workplace. Our investigation includes seeking information from employees on COVID-19 cases and close contacts, obtaining information on COVID-19 test results and symptom onset, identifying and recording COVID-19 cases, and reporting when required by the regulations.
We will not reveal any personally identifiable information or employee medical information to any person or entity unless required by law (such as Cal/OSHA, local health department, and local law enforcement).
Employees must alert their supervisor if they are having symptoms of COVID-19, had close contact with a COVID-19 case, were diagnosed with COVID-19, or are awaiting test results. We do not discriminate or retaliate against employees for reporting positive test results or symptoms.
Following notification of a positive test/diagnosis, we will immediately take the following actions:
- Determine the day and time the COVID-19 case was last present at the workplace, the date of the positive test/diagnosis, and the date the COVID-19 case first experienced symptoms.
- Determine who may have had close contact with the COVID-19 case by reviewing the case's activities during the high-risk period. The high-risk period for persons who develop symptoms is from two days before they first develop symptoms until 10 days after symptoms first appeared and 24 hours have passed with no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and symptoms have improved. The high-risk period for persons who test positive but never develop symptoms is from two days before until 10 days after their first positive test for COVID-19 was collected.
- Within one business day of knowing, or should have known, of a positive test/diagnosis, the Director of Workplace Safety and Risk Management will notify in writing all employees and other employers who were at the worksite during the high-risk exposure period, that they may have been exposed. The notice will include our disinfection plan. When providing notice under this section, we will not disclose the identity of the infected person(s).
- Within one business day of knowing, or should have known, of a positive test/diagnosis, the Director of Workplace Safety and Risk Management will provide notice required by Labor Code section 6409.6(a)(2) and (c) to the authorized representative of any employee at the worksite during the high-risk exposure period.
- We will make COVID-19 testing available to our employees who had close contact with the COVID-19 case at no cost during working hours, and information on COVID-19 related benefits, with the following exceptions:
- Employees who were fully vaccinated prior to close contact and do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
NOTE – Fully vaccinated or recovered COVID-19 cases listed above will have testing made available to them if they develop symptoms following close contact in the workplace.
6. Investigate whether any workplace factors contributed to the infection and how to further reduce that potential exposure.
We will provide information about COVID-19 related benefits at the time of excluding an employee from the workplace due to becoming a COVID-19 case or having close contact.
Disinfection after Positive Test/Diagnosis
If it has been less than 24 hours since the COVID-19 positive employee has been in the facility, we will close off any areas used by the sick individual and thoroughly clean and disinfect. If greater than 24 hours will pass before the area is accessed by others, the routine cleaning procedures will be followed.
Exclusion from the Workplace
The following employees will be excluded from the workplace:
- Employees who test positive for COVID-19 until the Return to Work criteria in the next section are met.
- Employees that have had close contact with the COVID-19 case until the Return to Work criteria in the next section are met. This will not apply to the following:
- Employees who were fully vaccinated prior to close contact and do not develop COVID-19 symptoms.
- COVID-19 cases who have met the return to work criteria and remain symptom free for 90 days after the initial onset of symptoms or the first positive test for asymptomatic cases.
Employees excluded from work due to a positive test/diagnosis from workplace close contact, or identified as having close contact in the workplace, will have their earnings, wages, seniority, and all other rights and benefits maintained by the District. Wages during exclusion will be paid at the regular rate of pay on the regular pay day for the pay period.
- If symptoms develop, all of the following must be met:
- Negative PCR COVID-19 test taken after onset of symptoms, AND
- At least 10 days have passed since last known close contact, AND
- The employee has been symptom-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.
- Employees who have completed the required time to isolate, quarantine, or exclude ordered by a local or state health official can return to work. If the exclusion time period was not specified, one of the symptom based criteria above will be used to determine when to return to work.
REPORTING, RECORDKEEPING, AND ACCESS
Reporting to the Local Health Department (LHD). This requirement also complies with AB 685.
Within 48-hours of knowledge, the Director of Workplace Safety and Risk Management will notify the Orange County Health Care Agency of any workplace outbreak of COVID-19. An outbreak reportable to our LHD is defined as at least three COVID-19 cases among workers at the same worksite within a 14-day period. We will work with the LHD to carry out contact tracing and follow all LHD recommendations including temporary closure of our business if advised.
Reporting to our Claims Administrator – SB 1159
the Director of Workplace Safety and Risk Management will report to our workers' compensation carrier when an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This report will be made within three days of knowledge of an employee's positive test result.
We will report any serious COVID-19 illness that required inpatient hospitalization or resulted in death to our local Cal/OSHA office as soon as possible, but in no case more than eight hours after knowledge.
The District maintains records of the steps taken to implement this written program. These records include but are not limited to training, inspections, hazard identification, etc.
We keep a record of and track all COVID-19 cases. These records include the employee's:
· Contact information
· Location where the employee worked
· Date of the last day at the workplace
· Date of positive COVID-19 test
All medical information will be kept confidential. The log of COVID cases, with names and contact information removed, will be made available to employees, authorized employee representatives, or as otherwise required by law.
This program will be made available at the workplace to employees, authorized employee representatives, and to representatives of Cal/OSHA.
We ask all employees to confidentially report, without fear of discrimination or retaliation, any symptoms, potential exposures, and possible hazards relating to COVID-19 at the workplace. Employees should make these reports to their supervisor.
If an employee is suspected of having a workplace exposure to COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is not fully vaccinated, we will provide information about access to COVID-19 testing at no cost and during paid work hours. We will also provide information about testing to vaccinated employees who develop COVID-19 symptoms after a close contact
We communicate information about COVID-19 hazards and our COVID-19 policies and procedures to employees and other employers, persons, and entities that come in contact with our workplace. Other employers must ensure their employees follow our plan or equivalent to ensure protection of both their and our employees.
APPENDIX A - MULTIPLE COVID-19 INFECTIONS AND OUTBREAKS
The following procedures will be followed in addition to our CPP whenever three or more employee COVID-19 cases within an exposed group (as defined in section 3205(b)) have visited our workplace during their high-risk exposure period within a 14-day period. These procedures can be stopped only after no new COVID-19 cases are detected in the exposed group for a 14-day period.
The District will make testing available to employees within the exposed work group at no cost during working hours except for:
- Employees not present during the outbreak period defined above.
- Employees who were fully vaccinated before the outbreak and do not have symptoms.
- COVID-19 cases who have returned to work after meeting the Return to Work criteria and do not develop symptoms for 90 days since their initial symptom onset or first positive test.
This testing will be made available immediately after determination of an outbreak, and then again one week later; negative test results will not change the quarantine, exclusion, or health order status of any individual. Following these two tests, we will make testing available to employees in the exposed group during the defined outbreak period at least once a week, or more frequently if recommended by the LHD. We will provide additional testing as required by the Division in accordance with any special order from Cal/OSHA.
Additional Controls to Correct COVID-19 Hazards
In addition to the controls listed in our CPP, we will do the following:
- Require employees in the exposed group to wear face coverings when indoors or when outdoors and less than 6' from another person unless one of the exceptions to face coverings listed in our CPP applies.
- Notify employees in the exposed group that they can request a respirator for voluntary use if they are not fully vaccinated.
- Evaluate whether to implement physical distancing of at least 6' between people, and where 6' of distance is not feasible whether to use cleanable solid partitions of sufficient size to reduce COVID-19 transmission.
- In buildings or structures with mechanical ventilation, we will maximize the outdoor air supply, and filter recirculated air with MERV 13 or higher efficiency filters if compatible with the ventilation system. If MERV 13 or higher filters are not compatible we will use filters with the highest rating that are compatible. We will further evaluate whether portable or mounted HEPA filtration units or other air cleaning systems would reduce the risk of transmission and if so implement their use where feasible.
Workplace Investigation, Review, and Hazard Correction
We will investigate all workplace illness to determine potential factors in the workplace that could have contributed to the COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, we will review our relevant COVID-19 policies, procedures, and controls and we will implement changes needed to prevent further virus spread.
All investigations and reviews will be documented to include:
· Investigation of new or continuing COVID-19 hazards.
· Review of our leave policies and practices, including whether employees are discouraged from staying home when sick.
· Review of our COVID-19 testing policies.
· Investigation of the sufficiency of outdoor air.
· Investigation of the sufficiency of air filtration.
· Investigation into feasibility of physical distancing.
These reviews will be updated every 30 days that this appendix is in effect with new information, new or previously unrecognized COVID-19 hazards, or as necessary. We will make changes based on investigations and reviews to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and consider such actions as moving work tasks outdoors, allowing employees to work remotely, increasing outdoor air supply to our indoor workplaces, improving air filtration to the highest MERV rating compatible with our air handling system, increasing physical distancing as much as feasible, requiring respiratory protection in compliance with section 5144, or other applicable control measures.
APPENDIX B – MAJOR COVID-19 OUTBREAKS
The following procedures will be followed in addition to our CPP and Appendix A – Multiple COVID-19 Infections and Outbreaks, whenever 20 or more employee COVID-19 cases within an exposed group (as defined in section 3205(b)) have visited our workplace during their high-risk exposure period within a 30-day period. These procedures will apply until there are fewer than three COVID-19 cases detected in the exposed group for a 14-day period.
The District will continue to provide testing as described in Appendix A of our CPP except that testing will be made available to all employees in the exposed group, regardless of vaccination status, twice a week or more frequently if recommended by the Local Health Department (LHD).
Additional Controls to Correct COVID-19 Hazards
In addition to the controls listed in our CPP and Appendix A, we will do the following:
- Provide respirators for voluntary use to employees in the exposed group and determine the need for a respiratory protection program or changes to our existing program to address COVID-19 hazards and be in compliance with section 5144.
· Any employee in the exposed work group not wearing a respirator required by the District in compliance with section 5144 will be separated from other people by 6' except when demonstrated to not be feasible or when they are momentarily closer than 6' during movement. When it is not feasible to maintain 6' of distance, individuals will be as far apart as feasible. Methods for physical distancing include:
- Reducing the number of persons in an area at one time (including visitors)
- Visual cues such as signs and floor markings to show employee locations and paths of travel
- Staggered arrival, departure, work, and break times
- Adjusted work processes (such as reducing production speed) to allow greater distance between employees
- Telework or other remote work arrangement
- At workstations such as cash registers, desks, and production lines, where an employee is assigned to work for an extended period of time and physical distancing is not maintained at all times, we will install cleanable solid partitions that will effectively reduce transmission.
- Evaluate whether to halt some or all operations at the workplace until COVID-19 hazards have been corrected.
- Take other control measures deemed necessary by the Division through the Issuance of Order to Take Special Action, in accordance with Title 8 Section 332.3.