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UNC Eshleman School of Pharmacy Return Plan for Fall 2021

Learn more about the UNC Eshleman School of Pharmacy Return Plan for Fall 2021


Operations

Dean’s Priorities for Operational Return

The priorities for the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy are to safely return faculty, staff, and students to campus buildings to provide a robust on-site education and research experience for our PharmD, MS, and PhD programs, and to support our research enterprise.

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy: COVID 19 Operational Return Framework

Operational Return Committee – On June 10, 2020 our School leadership shifted focus from pandemic crisis management to operational return. This committee consists of 15 members, with representation from faculty leadership, operational staff, and PharmD and PhD students. The Operational Return Committee is comprised of 3 subcommittees focusing on general operations, education, research, and health and well-being. Given the operational focus of returning to campus, the committee is managed by the ESoP COO and CFO, Scott Savage. Team Members: Amanda Corbett, Angela Kashuba, Jason Martin, Josh Fowler, Libby Powell, Mary McClurg, Merrill Froney, Mollie Scott, Roy Zwahlen, Scott Savage, Stan Parker, Stephen Eckel, Kim Brouwer, Wendy Cox, Michael Jarsfter, and Sara Pettaway.

During Fall 2020, the charge to the Operational Return Committee was to manage all operational return issues with the specific deliverables of (a) developing and delivering a plan to the Provost and (b) implementing the plan for January 2021 return to campus, with subsequent adjustments into the Spring 2021 academic year. The Operational Return Committee will continue to meet as we Return to Work on Campus during Fall 2021.

 

General Operations Enterprise

Enterprise General Operations Subcommittee

This subcommittee is charged with discussing and implementing operational return practices for a successful student, faculty, and staff return in Fall 2021. The team is taking the guidance developed by the University on returning to campus and determining the measures that will work best for our School (e.g., health and safety guidance, workplace signage/wayfinding/capacity, human resource support) as students, faculty, and staff return to campus. The recommendations and updates from this subcommittee are discussed with the School’s Operational Return Committee for inclusion in this Spring reopening plan. Team Members: Chris Allen, Dave Maldonado, Jason Martin, Corey Parker (UNC Housekeeping), Stan Parker, Herb Richmond (UNC Housekeeping), Matt Rivenbark, Greene Shepherd, Randy Stutts, Jason Whitley. Reports to Scott Savage.

Return to the Workplace

All faculty, staff, and students are expected to honor and self-govern compliance with our standards and principles. As we plan for near normal campus operations, we request and expect that we will operate out of compassion, understanding, and concern for each other. We will work to balance individual needs with the broader needs of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and the overall University mission.

The University has also approved our School’s participation in the Flexible Work Location Pilot. Human resources and/or supervisors have contacted participants with further information. This program is effective through December 2021. Employees unable to return to campus by July 19, 2021, because of a health condition that precludes a return should request an ADA accommodation through the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office on the COVID-19 accommodations webpage. The COVID-19 accommodations process has been updated for fall 2021.


Education Enterprise

Education Enterprise Subcommittee

This subcommittee is charged with discussing and implementing strategies for successful student return in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Fall 2022. The team took the guidance developed by the University on returning to the learning environment and determining measures that work best for our School (e.g., numbers of students in classrooms and labs, how to implement a flexible teaching model, types of courses that can be offered in person) for return to campus. The recommendations and updates from this subcommittee are be discussed with the School’s Operational Return Committee. Team Members: Amanda Corbett (Co-Chair), Jason Martin (Co-Chair), Mike Jarstfer, Melissa Jones, Rachel Parry (PhD student), Chris Pippen, Libby Powell (PharmD student), Chris Parish (PharmD student), Greene Shepherd, Colleen Wernoski, Will Taylor. Reports to Wendy Cox.

Fall 2021 Semester Plan:  Consistent with the University’s guidance, the plan for the Fall 2021 semester is a normal semester and in person classes with a requirement of face coverings in the classroom. We will closely follow the University’s recommendations for courses and follow trends in COVID-19 infections transitioning to a hybrid model if necessary.

If students indicate that they cannot attend classes in person, they will be referred the University’s Accessibility Resources and Service (ARS) Office to be evaluated for accommodations.

Admissions (PharmD and PhD)

Due to COVID-19, our ability to travel, interact with prospective students in-person, and host and attend traditional recruitment and admissions events both on- and off-campus may be limited. As a result, we are focusing our efforts on a combination of in person and digital recruitment and enrollment strategies for this admissions cycle. Our admissions processes will remain the same except for our interview days, which will be conducted either in person or virtually through the fall or spring semester, providing the student the option of attending the interview in person or connecting via Zoom. The School was able to successfully simulate an on-campus interview day virtually via Zoom for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. Our candidates have opportunities to tour the School virtually, connect with current students, and hear from staff and faculty at the School regarding all the School has to offer. We also plan to host Admitted Student Days in the spring of 2021 either in person or virtually.


Research Enterprise

Consistent with the guidelines provided by the UNC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (https://research.unc.edu/covid-19/), our research laboratories and facilities remain open and operating, with appropriate safety measures in place. UNC researchers must follow specific guidelines while working on campus, including monitoring health and reporting onset of symptoms, wearing University-approved face masks inside facilities, and adhering to specified sanitation and hygiene practices. Occupancy restrictions have been lifted in our research laboratories and facilities and the 6’ distance requirement has been eliminated except while eating/drinking.

Laboratory and Human Subjects Research Guidelines

Principal Investigators are no longer required to submit plans for operating a safe laboratory environment during COVID-19, and the Guidelines for Operating a Safe Laboratory Environment in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy during COVID-19 document has been retired. Principal Investigators conducting human subjects research should follow the streamlined guidelines provided by the School of Medicine Clinical Research Support Office (CRSO; https://www.med.unc.edu/crso/covid/som-guidelines-and-processes/), or the facility in which the human subjects research activities will be located.

T­he UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is closely aligned with community standards listed on the University’s Carolina Together website, with the exception of types of masks worn and when to wear those masks. In addition to reinforcing our School’s community standards and safety protocols, we have now implemented distancing while individuals are unmasked (e.g., while eating). In-person School of Pharmacy events will also now require masking, even while outdoors, and event food must be served as boxed, individual meals, with limited queues. We also recommend that all eating occurs outdoors and distanced, if possible. We are also asking faculty to wear their masks while teaching.

Please closely review our standards below.

Community standards at UNC-Chapel Hill campus:

  • Get Vaccinated – Getting an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccination is the best way for members of the Carolina community to protect themselves and others.
  • Face Masks – Masks are not required outdoors. You must wear a face mask at all times while inside any University building, and while attending School of Pharmacy outdoor social events. Our School of Pharmacy faculty are asked to wear a mask while teaching.
  • Practice Healthy Habits and Be Respectful – Monitor your health; respect those who wish to maintain social distance; do not ask others for their personal health information, such as vaccination status. Also, do not come to work, class, the lab, or immersions if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and get tested.
  • Carolina Together Testing Program – Unvaccinated students, faculty and staff will be required to participate in the Carolina Together Testing Program on a weekly basis. Voluntary, asymptomatic testing will remain available for all students, faculty and staff at the Student Union Carolina Testing Center.
  • Contact Tracing and Quarantine & Isolation – Quarantine and isolation requirements are in place for unvaccinated individuals and vaccinated individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This includes students, faculty and staff who are contacted as part of local or University contact tracing.
  • Sanitizing – Within our School, offices and classrooms are cleaned and disinfected daily. Supplies of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are in all classrooms and common spaces to clean spaces before and after use.

Community Expectations at UNC Asheville Campus: Members of the UNC Asheville campus are asked to follow the UNC Expectations of Mutual Respect and Care for All. These expectations as members of the community include:

  • Wash my hands frequently following CDC standards and to use the hand sanitizer that will be available throughout campus.
  • Wear face coverings consistently and appropriately in all public spaces including classrooms, labs, academic, athletic, and student union buildings.
  • Carefully follow physical distancing and room or building capacity guidelines.
  • Monitor any symptoms as outlined by the CDC, stay home if I have symptoms, get tested as needed.
  • Consult with a medical professional if anyone around me shows symptoms and follow isolation and quarantine protocols as needed.

UNC ESOP MASK GUIDANCE: UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy approved masks include a University-supplied surgical mask, or University-issued sock mask.  These have been tested and shown to minimize droplet spread, unlike many other commercially available face masks.

N95 masks (N95s or KN95s) may not be worn by University students, faculty and staff under the Return to Campus Guidelines.  An individual member of the ESOP Community may seek an exception to wear N95s from UNC Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).  If the exception is granted, the individual needs to be registered with the EHS program, ensuring NIOSH certification and proper fitting. Please provide documentation of that approval to the School’s Director of Compliance, Nathan Simms, prior to coming onsite wearing an N95/KN95.  Please go here for additional information.

Double masking is not required but is permitted under the University and ESOP Return to Campus GuidelinesIf you choose to wear a double mask in ESOP buildings, you must have an approved University mask (surgical or sock) underneath any other outer mask of your choice. See the below quick reference guide below for clarification:

ESOP Facility Mask Policy

There are limited circumstances where a face mask is not required while inside a University or ESOP building.

  • In your residence hall room/suite/apartment: Students living in Carolina Housing or in Granville Towers are not required to wear a mask while in your assigned residence hall room/suite/apartment but must wear a face mask while in residence hall lobbies, hallways, elevators and other common areas.
  • In your private office: University employees are not required to wear a mask while working alone in your private office. A face mask must be worn in common workspaces or when others are present in the employee’s workspace and in all common areas including elevators, hallways, restrooms and break rooms.
  • Eating or drinking on campus: While actively eating or drinking on University property. Please maintain social distancing if others are present while unmasked/eating. We also recommend that all eating occurs outdoors and distanced, if possible.
  • While exercising in certain University facilities: Comply with all facility-specific requirements.
  • Accommodations: An exemption to the mask wearing community standard will not typically be considered as a reasonable accommodation. Individuals with a disability or health condition that prevents them from safely wearing a face mask may seek alternative accommodations through the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (faculty and staff) or Accessibility Resources and Service (students).
  • Medical attention: An individual who needs medical attention or services requiring temporary removal of the face mask.
  • Such other limited exceptions as may be expressly approved by the Chancellor or Provost or their designees in consultation with public health and infectious disease experts or as may be required by law.
  • Sanitizing: Within our School, offices and classrooms are cleaned and disinfected daily. Supplies of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are in all classrooms and common spaces to clean spaces before and after use.

Students, staff, and faculty are also expected to comply with any requirement to wear a face mask issued by state and municipal authorities for any off-campus location.

Vaccination requirement: Carolina’s infectious disease experts have emphasized emphatically the efficacy of the vaccines to reduce the contagion period, as well as the severity and length of illness if you become infected. Vaccines are readily available and usually do not require an appointment. You can find vaccine sites around the state on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.

Effective Monday, August 23, students who have not attested they are vaccinated will be tested twice a week as part of the Carolina Together Testing Program. The University will monitor this expansion of the testing requirement through September 15 to assess its effectiveness. If you are unvaccinated, have chosen not to provide your information or have yet to respond in ConnectCarolina you will be subject to this updated requirement in HallPass.

Employees: The University is extending the deadline for employees to receive vaccines from Sept. 15 to Oct. 1 because they are seeing a positive trend in the overall number of faculty and staff who have attested to vaccinations. Once you receive your vaccine, you must fill out the COVID-19 Vaccine Certification form in order to be exempt from required weekly testing. Following completion, you will be automatically exempt from the weekly testing that will begin on October 1.

Carolina Together Testing Program

Students and Post-docs:
Effective Monday, August 23, students who have not attested they are vaccinated will be tested twice a week as part of the Carolina Together Testing Program. The University will monitor this expansion of the testing requirement through September 15 to assess its effectiveness. If you are unvaccinated, have chosen not to provide your information or have yet to respond in ConnectCarolina you will be subject to this updated requirement in HallPass.

Faculty/Staff:
Effective October 1, 2021: The University is extending the deadline for employees to receive vaccines from Sept. 15 to Oct. 1 because they are seeing a positive trend in the overall number of faculty and staff who have attested to vaccinations. Once you receive your vaccine, you must fill out the COVID-19 Vaccine Certification form in order to be exempt from required weekly testing. Following completion, you will be automatically exempt from the weekly testing that will begin on October 1.


Exposure

Students and Post-docs: Campus Health offers COVID-19 testing and supports the Orange County Health Department with contact tracing for UNC students, post-docs and eligible partners and spouses. Those who are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone with the virus should receive diagnostic testing at Campus Health. Learn more about testing (including what to do if you test positive or negative), and contact tracing, on the Campus Health website.

Students who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have tested positive should:

  1. Contact Campus Health (919-966-6573)
  2. Contact the Eshelman Care Team line (919-813-0481) or utilize the Eshelman Care Team Referral form

Faculty and Staff: Employees who are symptomatic, being tested for COVID-19, have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are asymptomatic with a household member who has tested positive for COVID-19 should contact UNC Environment, Health and Safety at 919-966-9119 or submit information online to speak with an occupational health nurse about your situation. The nurse will advise you of how to proceed with returning to campus and if there is a need for contact tracing on campus.

Please do not return to campus until you are cleared through Environment, Health and Safety. Also, review and follow the employee health guidelines on the UNC Environment, Health and Safety webpage.

If you are advised not to return for work please:

  1. Notify your supervisor immediately and communicate how long you must be away from campus.
  2. If you are feeling well enough to work, you may also arrange with your supervisor to work remotely, at your supervisor’s discretion.
  3. Refer to the benefits and leave information page to review leave options.

Faculty and staff, there is no need to contact Human Resources unless you need to discuss leave options.

Asheville-based students, faculty and staff members who are diagnosed with COVID-19, please also complete this confidential form to notify UNCA in addition to taking the steps above.


Testing Locations

For a list of COVID-19 testing locations, visit the Carolina Together website for locations on campus, or the Orange County Health Department website for locations off-campus.

Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms:

Students who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have tested positive should:

  1. Contact Campus Health (919-966-6573)
  2. Contact the Eshelman Care Team line (919-813-0481) or utilize the Eshelman Care Team Referral form

The Office of Curricular and Student Affairs will work with Campus Health and the student to plan for how their classes and immersions will be handled.

Faculty and Staff: Employees who are symptomatic, being tested for COVID-19, have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are asymptomatic with a household member who has tested positive for COVID-19 should contact UNC Environment, Health and Safety at 919-966-9119 or submit information online to speak with an occupational health nurse about your situation. The nurse will advise you of how to proceed with returning to campus and if there is a need for contact tracing on campus.

Please do not return to campus until you are cleared through Environment, Health and Safety. Also, review and follow the employee health guidelines on the UNC Environment, Health and Safety webpage.

If you are advised not to return for work please:

  1. Notify your supervisor immediately and communicate how long you must be away from campus.
  2. If you are feeling well enough to work, you may also arrange with your supervisor to work remotely, at your supervisor’s discretion.
  3. Refer to the benefits and leave information page to review leave options.

Faculty and staff, there is no need to contact Human Resources unless you need to discuss leave options.

Asheville-based students, faculty and staff members who are diagnosed with COVID-19, please also complete this confidential form to notify UNCA in addition to taking the steps above.


Contact Tracing, Quarantine and Isolation:

Unvaccinated individuals will be subject to all quarantine and isolation protocols. If you are in close contact with someone who has tested positive and you are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccination you will most likely not be subject to quarantine. You will be subject to isolation if you test positive.

Both isolation and quarantine mean staying physically apart from others to prevent the spread of infection. The Orange County Health Department sets the amount of time recommended for quarantine for students, faculty and staff, and works closely with UNC EHS, Employee Occupational Health and Campus Health. Visit the Carolina Together website for more information on contact tracing.

Anyone who has completed quarantine or isolation should consider vaccination. Those who have been fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine if identified as an asymptomatic close contact. 

For the most recent information or to read specific definitions of quarantine and isolation, visit the Campus Health COVID-19 resource page.

Health and Safety Compliance and Enforcement

Know the Standards:  Each one of us – students, faculty, and staff – must follow the Community Standards to contribute to a safe and healthy environment for us to teach, work, learn and live. We will expect everyone to know and follow our W’s – wear a mask, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands often — every day.

Hold Each Other Accountable:  The School is working on creating a streamlined mechanism for reporting non-compliance with community standards. Currently, if a member of our community notices a failure to comply with our community standards, they should:

  • Politely ask the person to comply.
  • If the person refuses to comply,
    1. If a student in a classroom is non-compliant with University community standards for COVID-19, the following process should be followed:
  1. Politely ask the student to comply with the community standard (mask, social distancing) or leave the classroom.
  2. If the student refuses to comply, call the Eshelman Care Team line at 919-813-0481.
  • OCSA staff member on call will respond in person and ask the student to leave the classroom. The OCSA staff member will remind the student that refusal to leave may result in their de-enrollment from the course or a referral to the Scholastic Achievement and Progressions Committee.
    1. For students inside the building, notify OCSA by utilizing the ECT online referral form who will take appropriate action.
    2. For employees and graduate students in non-classroom settings, report the violation to your supervisor and/or anonymously through the Carolina Ethics Line at 866-294-8688. Managers will respond to any complaints as a violation of University policy and work with HR to take appropriate action.

For students, compliance with this guideline is a condition of continued in-person enrollment. Failure to comply with this policy may result in administrative action, including, but not limited to, restriction of access to, or use of, University facilities, dis-enrollment from one or more in-person courses, transition to remote-only instruction and/or other interventions necessary to effect compliance and protect the well-being of the campus community. In the case of willful failure to comply with the provisions of this policy and/or repeated violations, the University may pursue additional disciplinary actions in accordance with relevant University policies.

For UNC employees, compliance with this guideline is a condition of your employment. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action.


VIOLATIONS REPORTING:
Faculty and Staff:
 If you notice someone not adhering to safety guidelines, politely ask the individual to comply with the community standard, report the violation to your supervisor and/or Human Resources or submit a report online. We are monitoring and addressing each concern that comes through.

Students: Please utilize the Eshelman Care Team Referral form to report violations. The Office of Curricular and Student Affairs receives these reports and will take appropriate action.

Events:

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy events:

  • In-person School of Pharmacy events require masking, even while outdoors.
  • Event food must be served as boxed, individual meals, with limited queues.
  • We recommend that all eating occurs outdoors and distanced, if possible.

Off-campus events:

Students who attend any indoor, off-campus events or activities of registered student organizations must wear masks at all times.