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Important Information for Eastern Reopening

Employee Health

Eastern will continue to follow all State of Connecticut policies and CDC instructions regarding employees impacted by COVID-19.

  • Employees who feel unwell or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not report to work; if symptoms develop or worsen during the workday, they should leave campus and seek medical care.
  • Unscheduled absences for any reason should be reported directly to the supervisor at or prior to the start of an employee’s scheduled shift, or if there is a need to depart during the workday.
  • If an employee is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, supervisors are authorized to request the employee leave campus and seek medical attention.
  • Supervisors uncertain about or uncomfortable with this option should consult Ken DeLisa at (860) 465-5267,, or Maria Weinberger at (860) 465-0654, for assistance.
  • Employees diagnosed with COVID-19 must contact Maria Weinberger at the earliest possible time to report a positive diagnosis
  • Human Resources will notify impacted departments and other constituencies regarding diagnosed COVID-19 cases
  • Employees who test positive for COVID-19 should quarantine and follow guidance from a medical provider
  • Employees who test positive for COVID-19 cannot return to work until a Medical Certificate is submitted from their physician showing they have been released to return to full duty; medical documentation must be faxed to Human Resources (HR) at (860) 465-4652 or emailed to Employees will be advised they are cleared to return to work.
  • Medical certificates can be obtained from the HR website, or by contacting HR at or
  • HR will provide information to impacted employees regarding COVID-related absences.
  • Employees seeking a medical exemption from returning to work on campus for the fall 2020 semester should contact Maria Weinberger to obtain the requisite medical exemption form.

Testing, Monitoring and Contact Tracing

Eastern has planned for the testing of residential students and certain staff such as hall directors, as well as monitoring and contact tracing.

Sandra Rose-Zak, Coordinator of Wellness Education and Promotion, has been appointed as the COVID-19 Care Coordinator. Ms. Rose-Zak will:

  • Organize student testing, contact tracing, data sharing and other day-to-day operations
  • Manage plans for testing to support the health of students
  • Assist with the University’s containment strategies in collaboration with Public Safety and Facilities Management and Planning
  • Serve as a campus resource for public and community health issues, and liaison with the COVID-19 coordinators at other colleges and universities across the state
  • Oversee reporting for the State’s shared COVID-19 database and other data recording requirements

Face Masks

Pursuant to an executive order from Connecticut’s Governor, masks must be worn by faculty, staff, students, and visitors while on campus

  • Individuals alone in a private office may remove their face mask
  • Individuals maintaining requisite physical distancing may remove masks to eat or drink during lunch and/or break periods
  • Upon request, one washable, cloth face mask will be provided to each employee
  • Face shields and gloves can be provided to staff whose duties require certain person interactions such as monetary transactions or other “high touch” activities
  • Signs reminding people to wear a face mask have been installed at building and office entrances, in corridors, bathrooms, breakrooms and other areas
  • Limited supplies of disposable face masks will be made available for emergency situations upon request to individuals who have forgotten to wear a face mask to work
  • The Board of Regents policies also provide that “Wearing of masks is a requirement per the Governor’s Executive Order and will be treated as a work rule. The University will take immediate action if employees do not comply with the face mask requirements. Repeated instances of non-compliance will result in discipline up to and including discharge, in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement . . .” and/or related HR policies and procedures
  • The Board of Regents has implemented Student COVID-19 Mask & Social Distancing Guidelines, effective for the 2020-21 Academic Year; that policy can be reviewed at
  • Concerns about employees who are not in compliance with the face mask policy should be referred directly to Human Resources
  • Concerns about students who fail to wear a face mask should be referred to the Office of Student Conduct
  • Guests and visitors who do not comply with the face mask policy will be directed by the supervisor in charge or Public Safety to leave campus

Physical Distancing

CDC and other guidelines recommend that at least six (6) feet of distance between individuals be maintained at all times.

  • Signage has been posted throughout the campus showing requisite physical distancing, and reminding people to maintain this distance in offices, common spaces, when in line for service, and in other locations throughout the campus
  • Tape has been installed on floors showing six (6) feet of social distancing in queues for service and in other locations as necessary
  • Meetings of three (3) or fewer people may be conducted in person where physical distancing can be maintained, with all participants wearing face masks
  • Meetings of more than three (3) people must be conducted via Webex or Microsoft Teams
  • Plexiglass dividers installed in areas with person to person interactions, including service windows, certain desk locations, and reception areas
  • Protective shields installed at classroom podiums
  • Signage installed to show appropriate physical distancing, ingress and egress control, directional signage for stairways, max occupancy signs for conference rooms
  • Services will be provided in person by appointment or appropriate queuing outside of offices, i.e., waiting in line, maintaining six (6) feet of physical distance
  • Furniture has been removed or rearranged to deter congregating in classrooms, the library, computer labs, and common areas
  • In addition to reduced seating in traditional classrooms, larger spaces such as auditoriums and several common areas have been reassigned for use as classrooms

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Extra cleaning and sanitizing protocols implemented in accordance CDC and DPH guidelines and recommendations include:

  • Additional hand sanitizing stations installed at building entrances, outside of classrooms, and other heavily traveled areas throughout buildings
  • Buildings deep cleaned using approved cleaning chemicals and disinfectants
  • Public bathrooms with high-traffic volume, such as classroom buildings, will be cleaned twice daily as well as sanitized each night; all other bathrooms will be cleaned and sanitized daily
  • All buildings will be cleaned daily and sanitized each evening
  • “High touch” areas will be cleaned daily and will receive additional disinfecting/cleaning each evening
  • Disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray and paper towels available at copiers, in classrooms, and at other “high touch” equipment/areas
  • Fresh air intake in buildings adjusted to increase the number of air changes per hour; and, nightly purges of air intake will occur
  • HVAC filters replaced on a quarterly basis

Dining options

  • Hurley Dining Hall and the Student Center Food Court will open on August 23, 2020, with limited seating based on current Connecticut restaurant guidelines; the Library and Shafer Hall cafés will remain closed
  • All plates and utensils will be disposable; food will be single-portion and packaged in real time by Chartwells Food Services staff, with takeout meal options available
  • Face masks must be worn while ordering or selecting food, but can be removed when seated in designated dining areas to eat
  • The Student Center Food Court will be open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. and from 2– 9 p.m. on weekends; modified dining options will be available, with increased offerings of prepacked food for takeout
  • A new, mobile preorder/pre-pay app for dining services can be downloaded onto customers’ cell phones.


A full semester is planned from August 24 to December 15, 2020.

  • Instruction will be delivered in a combination of on-campus and online classes, with a hybrid model of students alternating between in-class and remote learning
  • Instructional technology has been upgraded in classrooms to support hybrid course delivery
  • Faculty office hours/visits will be conducted virtually, and academic support services, such as tutoring and advising, will be offered remotely when possible
  • On-campus instruction will conclude on November 24th, with the balance of the semester – including exams – moving completely online following the Thanksgiving Break
  • Residential students will vacate the residence halls at the beginning of the break, and continue to take classes online through the remainder of the semester

We will continue to follow state and CDC guidance, and will implement policies and best practices associated with preventing, identifying and addressing the COVID-19 virus on campus. Regular communication with updated information related to the virus and campus operations will also continue, and the “Reopening Eastern” webpage will continue to be the official source of timely and accurate information. Should Eastern or the State of Connecticut need to shut down temporarily, we will adhere to policies, directives and guidelines issued by the Governor of Connecticut and revert to online delivery of instruction and services.

In the meantime, University offices will continue to work on the alternating workday schedules we have established, with each office’s staff divided into two distinct groups. When health conditions allow, we will gradually increase the number of employees who work on campus.