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Governor issues stay-at-home order (Mar. 27, 2020)


Today, Friday, March 27, Gov. Roy Cooper issued a stay-at-home order for the state of North Carolina in an effort to combat the ongoing spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, March 30, and will remain in effect for 30 days.

The statewide order is similar to the citywide order given on March 25 by Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines that goes into effect at 5 p.m. today. There are more than 700 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina and at least 24 cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, according to public health officials. There are currently no COVID-19 cases on the UNCSA campus.

Previous measures implemented at UNCSA still apply:

  • Online instruction is defined as an essential service. Faculty are strongly encouraged to deliver their online instruction off-campus, if possible. If the delivery of their online course requires access to campus, faculty should report their schedule to their dean.
  • All shops, practice and rehearsal rooms, theaters and studios on campus remain closed.
  • All non-mandatory employees are expected to telework where possible.
  • Mandatory employees should consult their supervisor regarding their requirement to continue reporting to campus.
  • Residential students who remain on campus as granted by exception for extenuating circumstances may stay on campus, but must adhere to this stay-at-home order.
  • Student Affairs will allow students to pick up essential belongings through Sunday, March 29, as planned. To schedule an appointment, please email Kathryn McMillan for high school and Nick Gawlik for college.

There are several exemptions to the stay-at-home orders. Some of them are: for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity, for certain types of work, and to take care of others. For more detailed information, see the governor's office's FAQs regarding this order.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. Please regularly check uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates.

Stay-at-home order for Winston-Salem (Mar. 25, 2020)

Dear UNCSA Community,

Today, Wednesday, March 25, Mayor Allen Joines issued a stay-at-home order for the city of Winston-Salem in an effort to combat the ongoing spread of COVID-19. This order includes members of the campus community who reside in Winston-Salem and goes into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, March 27, and will remain in effect until Thursday, April 16.

There are currently no COVID-19 cases on the UNCSA campus. There are at least 17 cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, according to public health officials. Previous measures implemented at UNCSA still apply:

  • As specified by the mayor's order, online instruction is an essential service. Faculty are strongly encouraged to deliver their online instruction off-campus, if possible. If the delivery of their online course requires access to campus, faculty should report their schedule to their dean.
  • All shops, practice and rehearsal rooms, theaters and studios on campus remain closed.
  • All non-mandatory employees are requested to telework where possible.
  • Residential students who remain on campus as granted by exception for extenuating circumstances may stay on campus, but must adhere to this stay-at-home order.
  • Residential students who are not currently on campus must schedule an appointment with Student Affairs to pick up their belongings before Friday, March 27 at 5 p.m., if possible. Student Affairs will allow pick up of essential belongings through Sunday, March 29 as planned. To schedule an appointment, please contact Kathryn McMillan for high school and Nick Gawlick for college.

There are several exemptions to the mayor's stay-at-home order. Some of them are: for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity, for certain types of work, and to take care of others. For more detailed information, see the mayor's official order and the city's FAQs regarding this order.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation, Please regularly check uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates.

Rising to the challenge together (Mar. 23, 2020)

Dear UNCSA Community,

Today we mark a significant moment where we take our first steps forward in these unprecedented times. This morning we resumed classes at UNCSA, all of which are now taking place exclusively in an online environment. While the moment is one that carries a significant level of sadness and disappointment for all of us, it is also one that brings resilience and hope as this community of artists together begins to move forward.

It wasn't that long ago that we had to make the initial announcement that we would be extending Spring Break and transitioning to online instruction, and yet so much has happened since then. The rapid pace of the change and disruption we have faced has been disorienting for everyone, and the required adjustments are substantial and impactful. On Saturday I came to campus to check in with the dedicated Student Affairs team that is doing everything they can to assist students and parents with a difficult transition. While there, I spoke with students and parents as they collected belongings and prepared for a much different conclusion of our semester than we had planned. There was a lot of sadness on those faces, but there was also strength and perseverance. I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone – students, parents, faculty and staff – for the diligence, faith and resolve that have been evident throughout our community over these last days. You have each been instrumental in helping UNCSA move forward.

Nothing – not even the novel coronavirus – will deter us from our mission to train artists and enrich the cultural and economic prosperity of the people of North Carolina and the nation. Now, as we enter a new and unprecedented chapter in the history of our school, we will focus on the core goals and outcomes for our students and continue to do everything possible to position you to be successful in your programs, as well as next steps in your careers. Today is a step forward, but I know that things will likely get harder before they begin to return to any sense of normalcy. Recently I heard UNC System Interim President Bill Roper say, "We will get past this, but to get past it we first have to go through it." The strength of the UNCSA community is what will make that happen. We will do that together with patience and a deep commitment to each other.

One of the principal things that defines us is the art that we create and how we share it with the world every day. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a physical distance between us, and in the past weeks we have been left with a silence and a darkness in the absence of the art that usually overflows from this campus and its people.

Today let's commit to filling that silence with more music, poetry and storytelling than ever before. Let's bring our light back into the world with more dance, painting, and sculpture. From wherever you are currently sheltered, please share the images and videos of the art that you are creating with #poweringcreativity as well as a new hashtag especially for this time: #poweringcommunity. We'll be actively reposting and sharing the work from our students, faculty, staff and alumni through the UNCSA media channels more meaningfully than ever.

I have never been more proud to be a part of UNCSA. This is an incredible family that has unparalleled talent, creativity and grit. What our community of artists does is not only important for the arts industry – it is crucial for our society. Our world desperately needs the empathy and joy that only art can create, and none of that is possible without you. I know that you will all rise to the challenge.

#poweringcommunity #poweringcreativity

Very best regards,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

 

Administrative Leave (Mar. 19, 2020)

 The following are special emergency provisions authorized by the interim president of the University of North Carolina in response to the COVID-19 event. These provisions will be subject to modification or discontinuation by the interim president at any time based on COVID-19 developments and the operational needs of the university. Special paid administrative leave provisions are per the employee's regular work schedule (or typical work schedule for temporary employees as determined by management) and do not include overtime or other special pay provisions.

Administrative Leave (including student and temporary employees) - Administrative paid leave for all mandatory and non-mandatory employees, including temporary and student employees, will be in place for the following situations related to COVID-19 through March 31:

High-Risk Mandatory Employees: Mandatory employees who are determined to be "high risk" for contracting COVID- 19 or experiencing greater complications (i.e., over 65 years of age; have underlying health conditions, including heart disease, lung disease or diabetes; or a weakened immune system) or who are providing care to someone at high risk will be given special consideration for teleworking or administrative leave.

Example: Pat is a mandatory employee who has been assigned to report to work at a particular date and time. Pat is 65 years old and has an underlying lung condition. Because Pat is in a high-risk group for COVID-19 infection, they should be allowed to telework, if feasible; if teleworking is not an option given the nature of the work, then Pat should be granted paid administrative leave.

Employees with Child Care and Elder Care
Issues: Mandatory or non-mandatory employees (including temporary and student employees) who cannot work because they have child care or elder care needs due to COVID-19-related facility closings will receive paid administrative leave for the period of time they are unavailable.

Example: Kim is a non-mandatory employee and a single parent to a kindergarten-age child. With the closure of the public schools, Kim is the sole caregiver to the child during the day. Kim cannot telework during the day due to childcare responsibilities arising from COVID-19 facility closures, but Kim can complete some of work duties by teleworking. Kim arranges with her supervisor to telework 20 hours per week outside her regular work schedule and will receive 20 hours of paid administrative leave for the period of time dedicated to childcare.

Employees Unable to Telework: Non-mandatory employees (including temporary and student employees) who are unable to telework will receive paid administrative leave if they cannot telework because their position duties cannot be performed remotely and reasonable alternate remote work is not feasible or productive.

Example: Sam is a temporary employee who averages about 15 hours of work per week. Sam's duties cannot be performed remotely and are not considered mandatory. Sam would receive paid administrative leave for their regular hours of work using 15 hours per week.

Please note: For part-time employees with irregular schedules, paid administrative leave should consider the employee's average hours per week over the course of a month. In no case shall paid administrative leave exceed 40 hours per week.

Employees Who Are Ill from Cold, Flu or COVID-19: Any mandatory or non-mandatory employees (including temporary and student employees) who are sick due to symptoms of a cold, flu or COVID-19 or who are caring for a dependent with such symptoms will receive paid administrative leave. All other medically related absences will utilize regular forms of leave such as sick, vacation and bonus leave, or shared leave if previously approved.

Example: Terry is a non-mandatory employee who is assigned telework. After two days of working from home, Terry has an accident resulting in injuries that require hospitalization.
Because Terry is unable to work during this time due to nonCOVID-19-related health issues, Terry must take sick leave for the time they were unable to work.

• An Important Note About Those Not Eligible: Non- mandatory employees who were on other pre-approved leave, choose not to work or are unavailable for reasons other than provided for in the special COVID-19 provisions must use available and applicable leave types; e.g. vacation leave, parental leave, bonus leave or compensatory time.

• A Note for Mandatory Employees: There are no special compensation provisions for mandatory employees in effect at this time. This means mandatory employees who must report to campus will be compensated at their regular rate of pay at this time.

• Leave Report Instructions - https://www.uncsa.edu/mysa/human-resources/leave-administration.aspx

From: Angela Mahoney, UNCSA Director of Human Resources

Non-mandatory employees strongly encouraged to telework (Mar. 17, 2020)

Dear Staff and Faculty,

As you know, the federal and state government’s response to COVID-19 continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Given recent changes, the UNC System has updated its guidance to campuses to include a directive to substantially reduce the number of students in campus housing and to encourage non-mandatory employees to telework if possible. Below is how this will affect UNCSA:

SHRA and non-faculty EHRA non-mandatory employees are expected to work remotely, if possible.

  • Supervisors should allow employees whose jobs can be performed remotely to telework. Teleworking may not be possible for some positions depending on the impact on university operations and especially positions that impact essential functions, such as student services. However, telework is expected where possible. UNCSA has resources for remote working available.
     
  • It is expected that student-facing offices will remain operational remotely, with sufficient onsite staffing to support students who must remain on campus, and all other phones forwarded and email monitored. 
     
  • If not already communicated, supervisors should now inform mandatory employees of their requirement to either work remotely or continue reporting to campus. Due to the unforeseen impact of COVID-19, mandatory status may change throughout the course of the next several weeks and clear communication of employee expectations is vital.
     
  • The UNC System continues to prohibit all university-related travel following CDC guidelines and the further direction of public health officials. University-sponsored travel outside the state of North Carolina, or within the state to gatherings of 100 or more people, shall be suspended unless prior written authorization to travel is given by the chancellor or the provost. This prohibition includes student organizations.
     
  • Refer to this webpage for more information and for instructions regarding self-quarantine.

As we adapt to the rapidly evolving situation, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, as well as our community at-large, and the delivery of our core academic mission, remain our priority.

Staff, please direct questions about teleworking or administrative leave to Director of Human Resources Angela Mahoney

Faculty, please direct questions to your dean and Director of Faculty Affairs Kim Pauley.

NC Governor's Executive Order (Mar. 15, 2020)

Dear SHRA and EHRA non-faculty employees,

Yesterday Gov. Roy Cooper announced an Executive Order that directed all North Carolina K-12 public schools to close through at least March 30 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We realize that this will present additional challenges for our campus community.

The governor’s Executive Order does not alter the guidance we have received from the UNC System Office, nor any of the instructions we have communicated to you over the past several days.

  • UNCSA and all other UNC institutions remain open, although transitioning to online and alternative course delivery. As indicated in our other communications, we still strongly recommend that all students remain home or return home for the time being, if possible.
  • The Executive Order does not require us to close university housing or suspend dining facilities or other student services. Our dining services are offering takeout options at campus dining facilities.
  • All conferences on campuses that will assemble 100 or more people in a single room for a meeting continue to be suspended.

At this time, it is up to your supervisor/management to decide which employees may telework based on the nature of their work and which may not. Teleworking may not be possible for some positions depending on the impact on university operations and especially positions that impact essential functions, including student services. However, telework is encouraged where possible. UNCSA has resources for remote working available.

Regardless of mandatory or non-mandatory employee status, maximum consideration should be afforded to granting teleworking flexibility to those individuals who are identified by public health authorities as at high risk or who are caregivers for such individuals.

The following provisions apply with reference to employees who need to be out of work due to caring for school-age children or elder care:
When UNCSA is open but an employee, who is a parent (or guardian), is required to stay home with a child or elder (as defined in the FMLA) because of the closure of a day care facility, public school or care institution, the non-mandatory employee may, with approval of the supervisor, be allowed to work at home OR elect to:

  • use vacation leave,
  • use bonus leave,
  • use sick leave,
  • use compensatory leave,
  • take leave without pay, or
  • make up time in accordance with the parameters for making up time during adverse weather. 

These guidelines apply equally to SHRA or EHRA employees and whether an individual is designated as a mandatory or non-mandatory employee.

Given the added anxiety that may be caused by developments associated with COVID-19, we want to remind you of the availability of the UNCSA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - ComPsych. Call  888-311-4327 TDD:800-697-0353 or register online at guidanceresources.com using Web ID: UNCSA

As always, it is critically important to stay connected and informed during this time. Please regularly check uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates. Also, monitor your email and UNCSA social media channels as we will update information as frequently and quickly as possible. 

For questions, please contact the Director of Human Resources Angela Mahoney.

Sincerely,
Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor