COVID-19, the virus responsible for the current global pandemic, is a highly contagious and potentially lethal virus. Current research suggests that the virus primarily spreads through respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. However, the full extent of how the virus transmits is unknown. Community spread of COVID-19 is occurring nationally, including in Salt Lake County, Utah, meaning the virus is spreading through the community in a way that cannot be attributed to travel to a specific location or exposure to a person known to be infected. In addition, many people who contract the virus may be asymptomatic and unknowingly spreading the virus. There is no vaccine currently available for the virus. There is no known treatment for all the adverse effects attributed to COVID-19.
The college is engaged in numerous efforts to reduce – as much as possible – the risk of COVID-19 infection on campus. The college is following directions and best practices articulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and other applicable federal, state, and local governmental authorities. Efforts include increased cleaning, implementation of mask-wearing protocols, social distancing measures, and other recommended mitigation strategies. The CDC website and the college's coronavirus resource page contains all current recommendations for this evolving situation.
Before Fall Semester 2020 begins all employees will be required to complete a training module about coronavirus safety protocols and shared responsibilities for campus safety. Staff and faculty will receive an email invitation to complete the training in Bridge. In addition, all employees will be required to perform daily symptom checking and participate in contact tracing as requested by the college, using proprietary software which adheres to privacy regulations and does not collect private health or location data.
Despite the college's best efforts, it is impossible to eliminate the risk of positive cases or an outbreak on our campus. We cannot guarantee that people present on our campus will not be exposed to and become infected with COVID-19. There is a risk of infection in and from many different places away from the campus and in many different ways, and even if the college follows the practices recommended by CDC, OSHA, and other recognized authorities, there is still a chance that community members may become infected. The risk of exposure and possible infection is real and present in any community environment where large numbers of people are regularly interacting, including college campuses. As a condition of continued employment, you are acknowledging the risk of COVID-19 infection on campus and the effort the college is making to mitigate the risk consistent with health-authority-recommended practices.