July 6, 2021 (11:00 a.m.)
COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Update
In June 2020, Rasmussen University released its COVID-19 Preparedness Plan outlining the protocols and precautions the University will follow to provide a safe and healthy learning and working environment during the pandemic.
The Preparedness Plan is a living document that is subject to change as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and the recommendations and guidelines set forth by local, state, and federal health agencies, as well as the mandates set forth by local, state, and federal government agencies.
A summary of the major changes and how they affect campus operations is outlined below. The current version of the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (“the Plan”) can always be accessed online by clicking here .
Work Study Students
- Added two classifications of work study students to the Physical Presence Protocol outlining when work study students are permitted to be physically present and at which facility type work study students are permitted to be physically present. The classifications added are: (1) Employees who are classified as work study students in the role of student ambassadors and (2) Employees who are classified as work study students placed in off-campus student work study sites.
- Added information to the Personnel to Ensure Implementation of the Plan section detailing a work study student’s role in staffing the front desk, but ensuring ultimate responsibility for compliance with the Preparedness Plan remains with the manager on duty.
- Added prospective students as a separate classification to the Physical Presence Protocol outlining when prospective students are permitted to be physically present and at which facility type prospective students are permitted to be physically present.
- Added the Diagnosis of COVID-19 Following a University Facility Visit sub-section to the Prompt Identification of Sick Persons requiring authorized visitors who have a one-time visit to a University facility to report COVID-19 diagnoses made in the 14 day following their one-time visit so that Rasmussen can perform contact tracing and notify others who were exposed.
- Removed the requirement to wear a mask or face covering while present indoors or outdoors at campus facilities, learning center facilities, and central and regional offices.
- Separated the Masking Protocol into two sub-sections related to Non-Healthcare Facilities and Healthcare Work Sites as required by the OSHA ETS covered in Section 4 of this email.
- Added a requirement that all persons are required to follow any masking protocol imposed by an off-campus instructional site with a non-healthcare purpose, community-based practicum, clinical, or externship site with a non-healthcare purpose, or off-campus student work study site with a non-healthcare purpose.
- Added a strong recommendation that masks or face coverings continue to be used by those that are not fully vaccinated and those that are fully vaccinated who have a condition that weaken the immune system.
- Added a requirement that no person can be prevented from wearing a mask or face covering if they choose.
- Added a prohibition on harassment and/or retaliation based on a person’s choice to wear a mask.
OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard
- Added the Types of Facilities and Work Sites sub-section to the Introduction defining the types of facilities and work sites where Rasmussen University employees report for work. These defined spaces were then updated throughout the document, which may impose different protocols and requirements based on facility type.
- Added the Masking Protocol at Healthcare Work Sites to the Infection Prevention Protocols, which establishes the following requirements:
- Students must follow any masking protocols imposed by a healthcare work site.
- Employees must wear a facemask indoors at Healthcare Work Sites.
- Employees must change their facemask at least once per day or when soiled/damaged.
- Supervisors of employees reporting for work at a Healthcare Work Site must ensure employees have been provided an adequate supply of facemasks to meet this requirement at Rasmussen’s cost.
- Outlines allowable exemptions the Masking Protocols at Healthcare Work Sites.
- Added the Respirator Protocols at Healthcare Work Sites and Other PPE Requirements to the Infection Prevention Protocols, which establishes the following requirements:
- Students must follow any respirator protocols and other PPE requirements imposed by a healthcare work site.
- Employees must wear a NIOSH-certified respirator if providing healthcare services to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 at Healthcare Work Sites.
- Employees must wear gloves, isolation gown or protective clothing, and eye protection if providing healthcare services to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 at Healthcare Work Sites.
- Supervisors of employees reporting for work at a Healthcare Work Site must ensure employees have been provided NIOSH-certified respirators, required fit testing, and other required PPE at Rasmussen’s cost. If Rasmussen is unable to procure and supply these required items, then the Healthcare Work Site cannot be used.
- Revised the Personnel to Ensure Implementation of the Plan section to add more detailed information related to personnel responsibilities required by OSHA’s ETS, including how employees can contribute to the plan’s development, who is responsible for compliance with the plan at each facility type, identifying who the COVID-19 leads are with contact information, establishing requirements for employee training, and establishing a non-retaliation statement for employees exercising their right to the protections required by OSHA’s ETS.
Please direct any questions you may have to your campus’s local COVID-19 Lead.