SMPH Summer 2021 Work Modality and Operations Plan

The following guidance outlines SMPH operational procedures for summer 2021. Elements of this plan:

Health and Safety

Members of SMPH serve as role models during the pandemic for practicing behavior that lowers the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Abiding by UW–Madison’s health and safety measures and the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy is a shared responsibility of every SMPH learner, staff and faculty member.

All members of the SMPH community are expected to:

  • Understand that choosing to become vaccinated is the single most effective means of protection from COVID-19. Vaccine is readily available to all employees, students, and members of the public through University Health Services. Find out more information and schedule an appointment.
  • Use your face covering when required: As of June 2, 2021, fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear face coverings in most indoor spaces on the UW–Madison campus. Unvaccinated people should continue to wear face coverings indoors. The chancellor’s previous order on masking has been rescinded. Face coverings are required regardless of vaccination status when engaged in patient care, clinical simulations, and interacting in person with participants in human subjects research. Face coverings are required in specific areas of Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) and Health Sciences Learning Center (HSLC) where these activities occur. Click here for a map (pdf).
  • Keep your distance, particularly indoors: As of June 2, 2021, physical distancing is no longer required outdoors for vaccinated people. Those who are not vaccinated should maintain 6 feet physical distancing and if physical distancing is not possible, wear a face covering. The indoor physical distancing requirements remains at least 6 feet, regardless of vaccination status. Follow the campus guidance for the number of people per room. In SMPH buildings, the maximum number of people per room is clearly marked. For more information, see “Physical Space Modifications” below.
  • Be aware: Make self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms part of your daily routine. If you have symptoms, stay home and get tested.
  • Practice consistent hand hygiene: Frequent hand hygiene is the key to stopping infectious droplets from getting to you. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting a common space used by others.
  • Promote a safe culture: Care for your safety and that of your coworkers.
  • If you oversee workplace safety for on-site work units, order personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed. All PPE can now be ordered through the normal MDS ordering system.

As the pandemic unfolds, be receptive and responsive to the guidance of public health entities such as the Wisconsin State Department of Health Services and Public Health Madison & Dane County as they assess current conditions. Guidance can change frequently depending on local and state situations.

  • SMPH learners, staff and faculty will follow the health and safety guidelines. All UW–Madison employees are expected to follow the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy.
  • Refer to the UW–Madison Graduate School for COVID-19 operational guidance about instruction and research activities related to graduate studies. Read more
  • Follow guidance regarding Lab Course Instruction. Read more

Cleaning & Prevention:

  • Contact the Facility Manager who is assigned to your SMPH building for details about the cleaning protocols that are currently in place at your facility. Submit safety concerns or ideas about measures to improve health and safety to the appropriate Facilities Manager.
    • Health Sciences Learning Center (HSLC) – Doug Pollard – drpollard@wisc.edu (608-235-1024)
    • Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research (WIMR) – David Downing – djdowning@wisc.edu (608-516-3070)
    • Medical Sciences Center (MSC) – Mike Sauk – msauk@wisc.edu (608-220-7384)
    • Wisconsin Psychiatric Institute and Clinics (WisPIC) – Brian Ringelstetter – ringelstetter@wisc.edu (608-516-2975)
    • 24-hour emergency phone number – (608-263-0792)

Changes to Key Services

  • Most SMPH buildings are accessible on the basis of ID card only. WIMR entrances are open during weekday business hours to facilitate access to patient care and clinical research in the facility.
  • Refer to Ebling Library for information on availability of face-to-face services. Read more
  • Refer to University Book Store for information on hours for the store located in HSLC. Read more
  • Refer to Wisconsin Union for information on the Badger Market in HSLC. Read more

Workplace Plans

Summer 2021: Department On-Site Work Transition Guidance

We anticipate that some employees who have been working remotely may want to begin the transition to working on-site during the summer and that departments would like to begin the transition of employees who are currently working remotely to at least some on-site work over the course of the next few months. As the Chancellor stated in her May 19 message, reopening physical offices is an undertaking that we do not expect to happen overnight.

Many SMPH employees have remained on-site throughout the pandemic for duties that must be performed on campus or have returned to on-site work through the Research Reboot or the Smart Restart processes. As we move into summer with an eye towards more employees reuniting on campus to work in a common physical environment, the following sets forth expectations for the coordination of efforts. The process outlined here is for employees working onsite between June 1 and August 1, who:

  • Are currently working remotely and not working on-site;
  • Do not currently have an on-site plan filed with the Dean’s Office; or
  • Have an on-site plan currently on file with the Dean’s Office, but their plan for summer is different than that which was previously outlined.

We have worked to streamline the existing SMPH Return to On-site Work Form so that it is tailored for this summer’s transitional phase. Ultimately, this transitional phase should help inform long-term plans. By August, SMPH employees should expect to either have returned to on-site work modality in full, or have a formal remote work agreement in place. The university’s Remote Work Policy goes into effect August 1, 2021, which is the earliest date on which one could formalize a remote work arrangement. August 31, 2021 marks the last date on which any current remote work arrangements are viable. Therefore, if there is intent for a modality that is currently hybrid or remote to continue in that manner during the fall and beyond, that agreement would need to be formalized no later than August 31.

SMPH departments should take the following steps to create their plans for employees returning on-site and to allow notification of intent to work at campus locations between June 1 and August 1, 2021:

Step 1: Evaluate the work unit and the need for on-site work this summer.

Step 2: Discuss returning to on-site work locations with the employee.

Step 3: Prepare and submit return to on-site work plan to the SMPH Dean’s Office and inform employee of official return to on-site work decision and expectations.

The decision to return employees to onsite work is delegated to SMPH departmental leadership and tracked by SMPH Dean’s Office. SMPH HR is available for consultation in this decision-making process. This process is meant to track return to on-site work decisions where an employee will be on campus on a regular basis (e.g., once per week for three hours; twice per week for two hours; five days per week for eight hours).

  Step 1: Create a draft summer on-site work plan

    • Review the campus COVID-19 Workplace Safety policy, which sets forth broadly the expectations for supervisors and employees working on-site.
    • Review the campus Remote Work Policy , which becomes effective August 1, 2021, and outlines mechanisms for the approval of off-site work agreements. Review the SMPH Remote Work Guide, which describes how the campus policy will be implemented in our school for case-by-case consideration of remote work agreements.
    • Consider your work unit’s function, how work is currently being performed and how you might use the summer months as a pilot phase to inform future work modality changes within your unit (e.g., increased on-site presence, shifting from primarily remote to hybrid modality within a team, etc.).
    • Consider the following in developing your on-site work plan:
      • When would the affected employee need to return to on-site work?
      • What duties should be performed at the campus work location?
      • How frequently will the employee be working on-site this summer?
      • What percentage of the time or how many hours per week will the employee be working on site this summer?
      • If multiple employees in your unit will be on-site this summer, how will their time in a common physical workplace be coordinated?
      • Does the proposed workspace allow for adequate physical distancing based on current public health protocols? As of May 27, the indoor physical distancing requirement remains at 6 feet, regardless of vaccination status.
      • Will the workspace need to be altered during this transition period? If so, how?
      • Do you share space with other groups outside of your department? If so, are you aware of their space use and return to on-site work plans?
      • Have you defined and identified who will be responsible for common spaces (e.g., entry and exit doors, printers, copiers, conference rooms, and break rooms)? If work spaces will be co-shared among multiple employees, have you set an expectation for surface cleaning at the end of a work session?
      • Have you confirmed that your unit’s needs for on-site IT support can be addressed?
      • Will your unit have appropriate signage (e.g., hand washing, wearing face coverings, and maintaining physical distancing in the workplace) in areas that will be visible to employees working on site?
      • Will the department chair/director approve of the proposed on-site work?

    Once you’ve created a draft on-site work plan, proceed to Step 2.

  Step 2: Discuss returning to on-site work locations with each affected employee.

  • Even if you are considering returning a group of employees in the work unit to perform on-site work, you should have individual conversations with employees about the proposed return to on-site work this summer.
  • While a unit may desire an increased onsite presence during the summer transition, units should consider modifying on-site work schedules to reduce the number of employees in a given place at one time, especially as we continue to adjust various public health and safety requirements. This is particularly important for areas with a high number of shared space environments.
  • Remember: Your employees have unique situations that may call for Accommodations and Workplace Flexibilities.
  • DO NOT attempt to identify and target employees who you believe may be in a high-risk category based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. In accordance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protections, employees are not required to disclose if they have an underlying medical condition.
  • Discuss the proposed plan regarding when, where, and how often the employee will be expected to work on-site this summer. If there is a proposed schedule, share that with the employee. Speak with them about their ability to return during that timeframe. To the extent that is operationally reasonable, provide flexibility to employees regarding the timeline to return to on-site work. Especially for employees who have been working remotely full-time, routines and circumstances may necessitate a larger degree of flexibility.
  • Inform the employee that this arrangement is subject to change based on many factors, such as operational needs and evolving public health information.
  • Summer 2021 is a great time to discuss long-term plans and expectations for onsite presence, and to begin conversations regarding the possibility of remote work arrangements. Resources and tools to support these conversations and to aid in developing formal work agreements under the UW–Madison Remote Work Policy will be released in early June.
  • Listen for hesitancy for the employee to return to the workplace.

Once you’ve familiarized the employee with the tentative return to on-site work plan for Summer 2021 and any accommodation or other concerns have been resolved, proceed to Step 3.

  Step 3: Prepare and submit return to on-site work plan to the SMPH Dean’s Office and inform employee of official return to on-site work decision and expectations.

  • Departments within SMPH are delegated the authority to return employees to onsite work during this time. Departments are responsible for considering guidance from the school and public health officials when finalizing these transitional summer plans.
  • If after completing Steps 1 and 2, the unit plans to move forward with a summer return to work plan, the relevant unit should submit a SMPH Return to On-site Work Plan Submission Form – Summer 2021, which will be tracked by the Dean’s Office.
    • The employee returning to on-site work will receive a copy of the completed SMPH Return to On-site Work Plan Submission Form and a copy will be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
    • SMPH Human Resources will retain this information for audit purposes and tracking of on-site staff.
    • The department chair/director will receive a report of all department submissions for employee return to on-site work.

Submit on-site work plan

  • Prior to the employee’s return, emphasize the following with the employee:
    • Clear expectations regarding workplace entry/exit, break/lunch, scheduling, face coverings, physical distancing, and other revised workplace expectations related to COVID-19 and their return to on-site work.
    • Resources and expectations for all UW-Madison employees who work onsite during this time.
    • Information about how the employee may safely return any equipment to the worksite that was transferred from the office and used while working remotely.

There are ongoing obligations for all supervisors and employees working onsite this summer:

The supervisor is responsible for compliance with the university’s COVID-19 Workplace Safety policy, including ensuring adherence to symptom self-monitoring, face covering, physical distancing and other hygiene requirements. The supervisor is expected to:

  • Direct the employee to leave the workplace immediately if they are exhibiting observable symptoms and/or behaviors of a severe cold, flu or COVID-19.
  • Explain to employees that standard guidelines to request use of sick leave and to report time off are in effect. If an employee is unwell and unable to work, they should use sick leave.
  • Provide any information in connection with an employee request for leave based upon a medical condition to the DDR.
  • Encourage a healthy workplace by ensuring that the employee is aware that free vaccine is available to all employees as well as their families and others in the community, promoting compliance with the current campus face covering policy and requiring that employees wear face coverings (note updates to the policy effective on June 2), practice hand hygiene, and regularly clean and disinfect their workstations.

The employee is responsible for compliance with the university’s COVID-19 Workplace Safety policy, and expected to:

  • Maintain green Badger Badge status throughout the summer, either through vaccination status or routine testing.
  • Stay home or leave the workplace immediately if they have one or more symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19, following unit procedures for notifying the employee’s supervisor of the absence.
  • Report to the workplace only if directed to do so by their supervisor and if not subject to isolation or quarantine requirements, or if those requirements have been completed.
  • Adhere to the most current workplace safety guidance.
  • Stay up to date regarding changes in workplace safety expectations, guidance or procedures.

If there are questions about this guide, please consult with your SMPH HR Representative. 

Physical space modifications

The following modifications have occurred in SMPH buildings under the direction of the SMPH Facilities Group.

  • Room layouts and barriers have been installed per Environmental Health & Safety guidelines.
  • Floor markers and building signage have been posted to promote physical distancing, personal hygiene, and symptom monitoring.
  • Barriers/shields have been installed at all customer service desks.
  • Classroom and instructional spaces have been modified to promote physical distancing and follow the room occupancy limit tables for each room. UW-Environmental Health and Safety calculates the room limit by a physical inspection process. For example, the maximum occupancy of lecture hall HSLC 1306 is sixty-one.
  • Follow reservation priorities as follows:

SMPH learners, staff and faculty should follow these practices as a means of staying safe and mitigating risk of COVID-19:

  • Whenever possible, people in SMPH facilities who can physically access stairs should use stairs instead of an elevator. Elevator capacities will be indicated.
  • Keep to your right in stairways and corridors to promote physical distancing and minimize contact.
  • Keep doorways and corridors clear to reduce congestion.
  • Avoid congregating in lobbies, corridors, and in front of elevators and doorways.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands after touching handrails, doorknobs, and elevator buttons. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed in many building common spaces.
  • In restrooms, maintain an unused sink or urinal fixture between individuals to maintain physical distance from others.
  • Keep restroom doors closed. Do not prop open doors, as this compromises ventilation and code compliance.
  • During or after periods of low occupancy, prior to consuming or using water from drinking fountains, bottle fillers, or sink taps, it is best to let water run for a few minutes.
Change log:

Updated on June 5, 2021: Renamed as “SMPH Summer 2021 Work Modality and Operations Plan.” Changes to Workforce Planning section to reflect summer 2021 procedures and operations. Changes to Health and Safety and Physical Spaces section to reflect current campus policies.

Updated on May 26, 2021: changes to Health and Safety, Key Services and Support, and Physical Spaces (buildings and facilities) sections to reflect summer 2021 operations

Updated on August 19, 2020: Added links to OHR Workplace Flexibilities guidance documents for employees with childcare needs.

Originally posted on August 4, 2020 as “SMPH Smart Restart Plan”