Mercersburg Academy has established this policy to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to reduce the risk of exposure to all community members.
Symptoms and Symptom Checking
Mercersburg will consider the following as possible COVID-19 symptoms:
- Fever of 100.0° F or higher
- Chills or sweating
- New or worsening cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Aching throughout the body
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- New loss of smell or taste
- Sore throat
All employees are required to regularly monitor their personal health status. Each day an employee or community member will be on campus, including those who reside on campus, are required to take their temperature and complete a daily health check questionnaire either via the AUX app or via the online questionnaire to determine if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. If they answer “no” to all the questions, they will receive a message that they are cleared to report to work. If an employee answers “yes” to any of the questions, they cannot report to work and will be instructed to stay home and contact their supervisor. Employees may be eligible to use Families First Coronavirus Response Act personal sick leave, depending on eligibility and the reason for the positive response.
Pennsylvania Governor Wolf announced on July 2, 2020 a recommendation that Pennsylvania residents quarantine for 14 days if they travelled to specific high risk states. In Level 3, the school will follow this requirement in accordance with this policy for all employees. In Level 2, we will follow the 14-day quarantine requirement for anyone working or living in a dorm. For those not working or living in a dorm during Level 2, you will not be required to quarantine IF you did the following:
- Wore your mask when in public.
- Maintained physical distance when in contact with people who are not immediate family members.
- Did not attend a gathering of more than 25 people indoors or more than 250 people outdoors where you did not physical distance or wear a mask.
Additionally, the CDC considers large social events, such as a wedding or concert, a higher risk activity and recommends quarantine for 14 days following attendance. The school will require either quarantine for 14 days OR quarantine for five days and retesting for any employee who attended a social event with more than 25 people indoors or more than 250 people outdoors.
Affirmative Response to Symptoms/Not Exposed to COVID: Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are also symptoms of other illnesses. If an employee has not been or does not suspect they have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, they should contact their supervisor and stay home until they feel better. If they are not feeling better in a day or two, they should call their medical provider. Employees who are feeling better in the next day or two should complete the Daily Health Check questionnaire to determine if they can return to work.
Affirmative Response to Symptoms/Positive COVID-19 Test/Possible Exposure to COVID: If an employee answers “yes” to having symptoms of COVID-19, had a positive PCR test, and/or has been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, follow the procedures in the “Quarantine at Home” section below.
Contact with COVID-19: The COVID-19 virus is suspected to spread by close person-to-person contact. The CDC defines “close contact” as being near an individual in less than a six-foot distance for more than 15 minutes over a period of 24 hours. Employees who have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 symptoms (suspected) or a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 must quarantine at home. Follow the procedures in the “Quarantine at Home” section below.
Quarantine at Home
Known or Suspected Direct Exposure to COVID-19/Positive PCR Test: The Academy will follow CDC guidelines regarding quarantining at home when an employee has been in contact with an individual suspected or confirmed with COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19. Employees will be required to stay home and not report to work or come to campus for 14 days after the last exposure or close contact. Employees should self-monitor for symptoms and follow CDC guidelines if symptoms develop. Faculty who live in the dorms will be required to quarantine outside of the dorm.
Known or Suspected Secondary Exposure to COVID-19: If an employee’s household member was in close contact with an individual suspected or confirmed with COVID-19, the employee will be required to stay home and not report to work or come to campus for seven days after the last exposure or close contact. Employees should self-monitor for symptoms and follow CDC guidelines if symptoms develop.
Known or Suspected Tertiary Exposure to COVID-19: A tertiary exposure is a person in close contact with someone who, in turn, was in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. In these situations, employees will not be required to quarantine. Employees should self-monitor for symptoms and follow CDC guidelines if symptoms develop.
Contact tracing is a process in which an interview is conducted with an employee who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19, or direct exposure, secondary exposure, or tertiary exposure to COVID-19. The purpose is to identify and notify any coworkers who may have been in close contact with the employee to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Human Resources will conduct all employee contact tracing interviews.
Questions asked will include date of onset of symptoms or illness, known contacts at the workplace, buildings accessed, and off-campus contact such as outside employment. For direct, secondary, or tertiary exposure, information about exposure to household members may be required.
All information gathered will remain confidential and shared only with the Heads’ Council. Information will be stored separately from an employee’s personnel file. Close contacts of the employee will only be informed of the potential exposure; no identifying information of the employee will be disclosed.
The Employee Handbook, located in the staff and faculty portals, provides guidelines for employment outside of the Academy. Additionally, employees may not work a part-time position in a potentially hazardous work environment that could have the potential for exposure to the campus. Hazardous work environments include nursing homes, hospitals, and other medical facilities in which the employee would be providing direct care to patients with COVID-19.