As you probably have heard, the U of I is beginning the process of returning to work in early June. The main priority in this will be the safety of our faculty, staff, researchers, and students, as well as their family, and our community overall.
The Astronomy Department will be following the guidelines of campus during the transition with processes to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 . Campus wants a phased approach to on-site work. At this time, the period of discussion is up to August 15th. We will inform everyone about the Fall semester when we have more guidance from campus (see the recent email from the Provost).
For Astronomy, we will generally request that everyone continue to work at home as much as possible. If your duties or circumstances (e.g., unsuitable working conditions at home) require you to come into the office, follow the guidelines below. Even if your duties require occasional returns to the office, if you are uncomfortable with return to work or unable to do so due to other circumstances (e.g. childcare), we will make accommodations so that you do not need to return to the office during this time. Please let me know about any of your concerns.
Once Campus has given the go ahead for working on Campus, then we must abide by the following:
- If anyone shows any signs of respiratory illness, they must work from home.
- The Department will be locked. If you have food deliveries, you must meet them outside.
- Facemasks will be required in the Department at all times in any shared, open, or public spaces, including hallways and restrooms. Masks can be removed in your private office with closed doors. Campus will be providing masks to those who want to return to the office during this time period.
- All meetings will be conducted online until Aug 15th.
- The Kaler Classroom, Atlas room, Library, and printer room meeting spaces will be closed through Aug 15th.
- Any special colloquiums or seminars will be conducted online until Aug 15th (in general we expect a Zoom Fall colloquium series).
- The lunchroom is closed through Aug 15th. If we can acquire wipes, we may reconsider the use of appliances in the lunchroom. We encouraged everyone to bring their lunch from home and consume it at their workspace or outside.
- The water fountain will be closed until Aug 15th.
- The elevator should only be used by one person at a time.
- Only essential out of state business travel should occur through Aug 15th (with pre-apporval from the Chair).
- If you have a shared office, establish shifts to limit occupancy or contact me for other options.
- The copier will be closed until we have acquired wipes.
- Shipping/receiving/mail will be very limited. Incoming U.S. Mail is being picked up weekly. There is no outgoing U.S. Mail pickup or regular UPS parcel pickup. Since the front office is closed and the building locked, incoming deliveries should be routed to a private address, held for pickup at UPS/FedEx, or scheduled to be met at the door to the building.
- Please continue to wash your hands carefully.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Please check the University COVID page for more information: https://covid19.illinois.edu. The F&S recommendations for social distancing can be found at: https://files.webservices.illinois.edu/9170/fs_healthsafetyresponseteam_covid-19socialdistancing526.pdf, and the Building Services-Cleaning and Disinfecting Strategies, and Service Levels can be found at: https://files.webservices.illinois.edu/9168/building_services_h.pdf. Also F&S has set up firstname.lastname@example.org for questions and feedback regarding cleaning and disinfecting activities.
Thanks to everyone for their diligence and understanding during this difficult time. Stay safe.