Communications to Employees

COVID-19 Employee Newsletters

May 2020

Thursday, May 28, 2020  |  Thursday, May 21, 2020  |  Thursday, May 14, 2020  |  Wednesday, May 6, 2020

April 2020

Thursday, April 30, 2020  |  Friday, April 24, 2020  |  Tuesday, April 21, 2020  |  Friday, April 17, 2020  |  Tuesday, April 14, 2020  |  Friday, Apr. 10, 2020  |  Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2020  |  Friday, Apr. 3, 2020

March 2020

Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020  |  Friday, Mar. 27, 2020  |  Monday, Mar. 23, 2020


COVID-19 Emails to Employees

See below for the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) communications from Maricopa Community Colleges to faculty and staff. Please continue to check back regularly for the most recent updates and advisories.

Dear Maricopa,

Earlier today, the Arizona Board of Regents and the three state universities issued a statement that they will be requiring all employees to receive the COVID vaccine by December 8, 2021.  

The Maricopa County Community College District continues to strongly encourage our students, faculty, and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to protect ourselves and the greater community.  We are reviewing COVID-19 vaccination mandates based on provisions in President Biden's Executive Order and will make the appropriate policy decision to ensure compliance.

If you are interested in learning more about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Arizona Department of Health Service’s website for more information or to sign-up.

Sincerely,

Steven

Dear Colleagues, 

I am excited to provide you with key updates regarding MCCCD’s district-wide efforts with FranklinCovey’s Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX). 4DX is a behavioral framework that brings together teams to focus on Wildly Important Goals, or WIGs. A WIG sets a shared, common focus, so we know precisely what outcome we are collectively working to improve, what our role is, and when we plan to meet the goal. 4DX is not a new initiative. Rather, utilizing 4DX will help our system focus on matters of greatest impact, and empower all employees to participate in crafting grassroots, innovative, and scalable solutions for student and employee success.

MCCCD’s WIG

The Chancellor’s Executive Council (CEC) worked with the District Institutional Effectiveness Office to identify where, based upon national research, MCCCD could have the greatest impact in improving student social and economic mobility and civic engagement outcomes. Since national studies show that average salary earnings significantly increase with the completion of a postsecondary certificate and/or degree, the agreed-upon WIG was identified.

Rooted in our current efforts with Guided Pathways and strategic priorities, MCCCD has committed to the following WIG:

  • Increase equitable two-year completion / transfer rate for students of color from 9.8% (730) to 15% (1,118) by fall 2023. Cohort = 7,454.

4DX Implementation, Additional Resources, and Information

The Enterprise Performance Office (EPO) has developed a 4DX Resources Site as a hub for all of our Colleges and the District Office to share updates and lessons learned on 4DX implementation across the System. I encourage you to review these materials for a more thorough understanding of this work. Each college will set its own WIG aligned to the MCCCD WIG, based upon its own student data. Each of our Colleges and the District Office will begin implementing 4DX in phases by 12/31/21. Please contact your college or district point person for additional details (included in the 4DX Resources Site above).

It is no surprise that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted our enrollment and retention efforts. While the last two years have taught us several lessons and pushed us to step out of our comfort zone, we still find ourselves asking how to move forward and make a greater impact for our students and community. Our day-to-day activities have consumed much of our mental and physical energy in recent months, leaving little time to intentionally focus on our most important goals. 4DX is a tool that will help us refocus on these important goals for our students.

I am looking forward to our collective journey with 4DX and strongly believe our efforts, commitment, and cadence of accountability will help MCCCD become a results-driven, future-focused, agile, and innovative enterprise.

Please contact Dr. Alka Arora Singh, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enterprise Performance, or Jake Ormond, Senior Project Manager, if you require additional information. You can also submit questions via the online questions and contact form

Thank you!

Steven

Dear Maricopa,

Yesterday, the Maricopa County Superior Court ruled the current ban on face-mask mandates as unconstitutional and unenforceable.

As we look forward to welcoming more students, faculty, and community members to our college campuses and locations, we will continue to require that all individuals — faculty, staff, students, and visitors — wear facial coverings while indoors at any of our facilities. The continuance of this mask mandate provides the best chance to maintain our in-person learning experiences as well as the health, safety, and security of our students, faculty, and staff.

Also, as a reminder, MCCCD continues to strongly encourage members of our community who are able to do so to receive the vaccine. If you have yet to be vaccinated, we encourage you to join the many faculty, staff, and students who have already done so and help us protect our community. We are committed to remaining in-person and open for in-person services to support our students and community.

If you are interested in learning more about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Arizona Department of Health Service’s website for more information or to sign-up.

Sincerely,
Steven

Dear Colleagues,

The Maricopa County Community College District continues to strongly encourage employees and students to become fully vaccinated. If you have yet to be vaccinated, we encourage you to join the many faculty, staff, and students who have already been vaccinated and help us protect our community’s health and safety. At this time, we remain committed to returning to in-person and remaining open for in-person services to support our students and community.

The past few weeks have brought new information surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines:

  •  On August 18, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a statement outlining the Administration’s plan to start offering COVID-19 boosters shots to the general population beginning the week of September 20. Booster shots are recommended for eight (8) months after an individual’s second dose of the vaccine. There are some areas beginning to offer booster shots earlier due to vaccine availability.
  • On August 20, 2021, the CDC announced its recommendation that people who are moderate to severely immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine after the initial two (2) doses. They do not recommend an additional dose or booster shot for any other population at this time. The CDC’s independent advisory committee is continuing to meet to discuss the booster shots leading up to the HHS release date.
  •  On August 23, 2021, the FDA announced the full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which will now be marketed as Comirnaty. Previously the Pfizer vaccine, along with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, was available under emergency use authorization.

If you are interested in learning more about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Arizona Department of Health Service’s website for more information or to sign-up.

Federal Vaccine Mandate Information

On September 9, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees and an Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. These two executive orders require vaccinations for all federal workers, and for federal contractors to provide adequate COVID-19 safeguards to their workers performing on or in connection with a Federal Government. We are currently evaluating the implications for our district and currently monitoring OSHA and the federal and state governments to determine if there will be a need to adjust our policies and practices. At this moment, there has not been a formal rule to meet the requirements outlined in the White House COVID Plan. It is also not apparent if the rule would impact MCCCD.

On September 9, the White House also released its six-point COVID Plan. Part of the plan requires “all employees with 100+ employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly.” The guidance is directed toward private sector businesses. However, there is also guidance regarding “keeping schools safely open” that calls for governors to require vaccinations for teachers and school staff. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing “a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure the work is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.”

An update will be provided to you once more information is made available regarding this new rule.

REMINDER

Also, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind employees that The Telecommuting Due to COVID-19 Policy is separate from The Remote and Virtual Work Policy that was approved by the Governing Board this past June to help MCCCD step into the future of work. One policy does not impact the other as they address two different needs.

 Telecommuting Due to COVID-19 Policy

  •  If an employee must work remotely due to COVID-19 the employee must follow the Telecommuting due to COVID-19 policy.
  • This policy should be used for employees who have or have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus and are able to complete work remotely. It may also be used to support employees who need accommodations for health purposes (depending on the individual situation).
  • The policy is in effect as long as the pandemic persists and is available district-wide to support employee health and safety.

 Remote and Virtual Work Policy

  •  The Remote and Virtual Work Policy was established as a permanent structure for use as the organization moved into a post-pandemic environment. The policy offers flexible work arrangements that support employee engagement, morale, recruitment, and retention while increasing MCCCD’s ability to support the flexibility students need.
  •  This policy should be used to provide flexible options for employees while still meeting business needs. Each College and District Office agency will determine how the policy will be operationalized.  Employees shall keep in mind that deployment dates for the policy may fluctuate because of the changing dynamics of our current environment.
  •  This policy is permanent and is geared to our post-pandemic work structure.
  •   Additional information about the Remote and Virtual Work Program is available on the program webpage on the district-wide employee portal.

Each College will have the autonomy to operationalize and determine any necessary local adjustments for our transition back to in-person working and learning, given each College’s unique characteristics. These characteristics include physical spaces, number of employees, number of ongoing face-to-face classes, number of students, city mandates, and other location-driven variables. The same autonomy will be afforded to our five District Office department leaders. It is important to remember that the options will likely vary by College, campus location, and department.

As new information becomes available, health and safety restrictions may be updated.

Sincerely,

Steven

Dear Colleagues,

As we continue to assess plans for a safe return this fall, our highest priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. 

We have been able to safely deliver our teaching and learning environments this past year due to the protocols we put in place, including requiring wearing a mask at our Colleges. This policy has enabled us to continue our classes and programs and help students continue to earn credentials and certifications to succeed in our current and future workforce. As we monitor the current public health situation, including the recent increase in COVID-19 diagnoses, the presence of the Delta variant in Maricopa County, and current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, we believe it is time to reevaluate the best ways to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

We will therefore again require that all individuals -- faculty, staff, students, and visitors -- wear facial coverings while indoors at any of our facilities. We believe this decision will provide the best chance to maintain our in-person learning experiences for our students. We will also continue to monitor the evolving mask and face-covering guidelines and update the Maricopa community of any changes as we move into the Fall Semester.

Because this requirement applies to all individuals regardless of vaccination status, it is in line with both the Governor’s Executive Order (2021-15) and Arizona Revised Statutes 15-1650.05, which will go into effect on September 29, 2021. We understand that not everyone may be able or willing to be vaccinated, and our intent is to respect each individual within our community while also addressing the safety concerns associated with the current circumstances.

Also, as a reminder, MCCCD continues to strongly encourage members of our community who are able to do so to receive the vaccine. If you have yet to be vaccinated, we encourage you to join the many faculty, staff, and students who have already and help us protect our community. Beginning August 21, 2021, we will be hosting vaccine clinics on each of our college campuses for students and their friends and families.  As an added incentive, students receiving the vaccine at one of our college campuses will receive a $50 grocery gift card while supplies last.

Thank you for all that you have done to ensure student success during the past year. I appreciate your patience and flexibility during a very transitional time, and please continue to stay healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Steven

Dear Colleagues,

Workplace safety guidelines from federal, state, and local authorities are rapidly changing in response to the COVID-19 Delta variant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently recommending that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors if they are in locations with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission rates.

This week the CDC upgraded most parts of Arizona, including Maricopa County, to a High level of community transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Employees can view an integrated view across the country, state, and county using the CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracking Map.

While we will continue to abide by all state laws and governor-issued executive orders, it is important that MCCCD takes every possible measure to help protect our community’s health and safety.

  • Face coverings - MCCCD continues to strongly encourage the use of face coverings for staff, faculty, students, police, and guests inside all Maricopa buildings.
  • Physical distancing - MCCCD is also requiring 3-foot social distancing at all times to support our staff who are required to be on-site. Supervisors will work with team members to create alternating schedules for in-person workdays as needed to help ensure we are meeting social distancing guidelines.

The following Health and Safety factors have not changed:

  • Cleaning standards - Colleges will be expected to maintain a minimum of one daily deep disinfection of every building in use (typically conducted at night), and one separate daily deep disinfection of high-touch areas (such as stair rails, door handles, etc.). Employees are responsible for cleaning their individual workstations and cleaning supplies will be provided for this purpose. Managers may consider staggering shifts and working to create additional physical separation between staff where possible.
  • Elevators remain the same at two people maximum.
  • Stairwells There are no requirements for one-way directional stairways and walkways.
  • Reporting requirements remain the same. All employees (even those who are vaccinated) must report potential exposure, symptoms, and confirmed cases of COVID-19 through the existing reporting forms on the Together Maricopa website, per the Maricopa County Department of Public Health guidelines.

Each College will have the autonomy to determine any necessary local adjustments for our transition back to in-person working and learning, given each College’s unique characteristics. These characteristics include: physical spaces, number of employees, number of ongoing face-to-face classes, number of students, city mandates, and other location-driven variables. The same autonomy will be afforded to our five District Office department leaders. It is important to remember that the options will likely vary by College, campus location, and department.

As new information becomes available, health and safety restrictions may be updated.

The Maricopa County Community College District continues to strongly encourage employees and students to become fully vaccinated. If you have yet to be vaccinated, we encourage you to join the many faculty, staff, and students who have already been vaccinated and help us protect our community. We remain committed to returning to in-person and remaining open for in-person services to support our students and community.

If you are interested in learning more about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Arizona Department of Health Service’s website for more information or to sign-up.

Sincerely,
Steven

Dear Colleagues,

Last week, Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order that will impact how we return to the Fall 2021 semester. Executive Order 2021-15 states that public universities and community colleges may not mandate that students who choose to be unvaccinated or those who choose not to disclose their vaccination status obtain a COVID-19 vaccine, show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations, comply with selective mask mandates, or have placed upon them any additional conditions related to their attendance or participation in classes or academic activities. 

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) will not require students or employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. However, we continue to strongly encourage all students, faculty, and staff to obtain a vaccine before the Fall semester begins so that we may maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and safeguard our community’s health from infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. If you have yet to be vaccinated, we encourage you to join the many faculty, staff, and students who have already been vaccinated and help us achieve this goal. If you are interested in learning more about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Arizona Department of Health Service’s website for more information or to sign-up.

Additionally, in alignment with Governor Ducey, the Arizona Department of Health Services and CDC, mask-wearing requirements have been lifted for the state of Arizona and our general public, stating that in most settings, indoors and outdoors, face coverings are no longer mandatory. This change reflects the continually improving conditions we are seeing in Arizona and across the country.

Health and safety remain our number one priority, and we want our employees and students to feel safe and comfortable. While we will no longer require masks to be worn on campus or the 3ft social distancing effective July 6th, we continue to strongly encourage our community to wear a face covering and practice social distancing while inside a college building. Any individual(s) who prefers to wear a mask on campus is supported to do so.

Our Colleges and locations are also continuing to maintain cleaning and health standards. Colleges will be expected to maintain a minimum of one daily deep disinfection of every building in use (typically conducted at night) and one separate daily deep disinfection of high touch areas (such as stair rails, door handles, etc.). Employees are responsible for cleaning their individual working area and cleaning supplies will be provided for this purpose. 

Cross-functional teams from Human Resources, Risk Management, General Counsel, Facilities, and VPAAs are working hard to continue to adjust our return to onsite work and classroom plans to ensure we meet the intent of the Executive Order while maintaining the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. 

As new information regarding COVID-19 becomes available, our health and safety protocols are established with flexibility in mind. We will continue to keep you informed as we plan for a Fall semester that is reinvigorated with activity from students on campus, working in labs and learning environments, and gaining the in-person experience that paused during the global pandemic. If conditions worsen in the future, we are also prepared to adjust our safety protocols as appropriate. 

Again, thank you for your dedication to our extraordinary System. Our students and employees are the heart of our institutions, and we will continue to act in our community’s best interest. 

Sincerely,

Steven

Dear Colleagues,

As we come to the end of the academic year and our communities emerge from the pandemic, we know that Together We Can! For the past 14 months, during a most difficult time, we were able to rise above our circumstances to achieve great success. We must celebrate and continue to leverage this resilience as we plan for our future, especially as we prepare to transition back to on-site work starting July 6, 2021.

With COVID-19-related workplace restrictions lessening for those who are fully vaccinated, the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) continues to strongly encourage employees and students to become fully vaccinated. The delivery of in-person learning and support services is imperative to meet our commitment to student access and equity. We understand that the shift to a primarily virtual presence, necessitated by the global pandemic, has presented challenges for both employees and students. It is our goal to continue to provide high-quality academics and services while continuing to maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and to safeguard the health of our community from infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, that may be reduced by vaccinations. If you have yet to be vaccinated, we encourage you to join the many faculty, staff, and students who have already been vaccinated and help us achieve this goal. If you are interested in learning more about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Arizona Department of Health Service’s website for more information or to sign-up.

During the coming weeks, you will receive additional information from your College campus or District Office location for returning to on-site work. The Division of Human Resources will be kicking off an educational campaign that includes FAQs and an updated Return to Workplace Guideline to help you plan and prepare for the transition back. In the meantime, there are several critical Health and Safety factors that you must be aware of:

Face coverings are still required for staff, faculty, students, police, and guests inside all Maricopa buildings. While the CDC guidelines state that fully vaccinated individuals do not need face-coverings in certain situations, it still asks individuals to wear face coverings around others indoors until more people are vaccinated, as this provides protection for those at high risk. However, face coverings are no longer required when an individual is alone in a closed office space or when outside.      

Physical distancing is necessary to support our staff who are required to be on-site; employees should be aware of their proximity to other people and maintain 3 feet of distance at all times. Supervisors will work with team members to create alternating schedules for in-person workdays to help ensure we are meeting social distancing guidelines.        

Cleaning standards: Colleges will be expected to maintain a minimum of one daily deep disinfection of every building in use (typically conducted at night), and one separate daily deep disinfection of high-touch areas (such as stair rails, door handles, etc.). Employees are responsible for cleaning their own workstations and cleaning supplies will be provided for this purpose. Managers may consider staggering shifts and working to create additional physical separation between staff where possible.        

Elevator use guidelines remain the same at two people maximum.      

Stairwells: There are no requirements for one-way directional stairways and walkways.    

Reporting requirements remain the same. All employees (even those who are vaccinated) must report potential exposure, symptoms, and confirmed cases of COVID-19 through the existing reporting forms on the Together Maricopa website, per the Maricopa County Department of Public Health guidelines.      

The travel ban has been rescinded. Travel within and/or outside of the United States is now permitted. However, should COVID-19 cases increase, the travel ban may be reinstated at a later date. These decisions were based on CDC and OSHA guidelines as of today. As new information becomes available and health and safety restrictions can be relaxed, additional information will be forthcoming.

More details on our process for returning to on-site work will be shared in the coming weeks, and this communication is intended to provide initial guidance and information so that you may begin to prepare for such a transition. I look forward to the coming year with excitement, and I wish everyone a safe, restful, and enjoyable summer.   

Sincerely, 

Steven

Dear Colleagues,

Based on the recent updates from the CDC, the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the decline in COVID-19 numbers, the MCCCD travel ban in place through the completion of the 2021 Spring semester has expired and will not be reinstated at this time.  At any future point, if COVID-19 cases rise significantly or the CDC recommends that travel be restricted, MCCCD may reinstate travel restrictions as needed.

CDC recommendations for Domestic Travel

  1. Do NOT travel if you were exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, you test positive for COVID-19, or you are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test.
  2. Continue adhering to the 6 ft. social distancing and face-covering requirements.
  3. Quarantine for 14 days after travel (Rationale: The CDC recommends avoiding people who are at increased risk of severe illness for 14 day and due to HIPAA and ADA laws, it is unlawful to asks individuals if they are high risk)
  4. Self-monitor symptoms during quarantine and isolate if you develop symptoms.

NOTE: If you have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 within three months, you do not need to quarantine upon return. You will need to isolate if you begin experiencing symptoms after your return.

Recommendations for International Travel

International travel is different in that, in addition to the following CDC “ORDER” employees must follow Administrative Regulation 1.15.8 International Travel which states:

  • “All international travel, regardless of funding source or designation, must follow the International Travel Policy. The Chancellor or their designee has final approval of all international travel, regardless of funding source or destination.”

All travelers should pay close attention to the conditions at their destination before traveling as well as any airline and destination requirements.

Prior to return, the CDC Order states that travelers returning to the US “...will need to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States (US) and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery.” This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.

Upon return from international travel, the CDC recommends that both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

In addition, unvaccinated persons also are recommended to:

  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
  • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

If you have questions about the appropriateness or approval of your travel, please ask your supervisor for guidance. Any questions related to clarification of COVID-19 guidelines should be directed to the  Covid Lead at your worksite or to Risk Management. 

Thank you for your continued patience,

Steven

Dear Colleagues, 

Over the past year, our District has closely monitored CDC guidelines and local and national COVID-19 data and planned how our Colleges and District Office would move our operating environments back to the workplace and in person. Vaccination is essential in the fight against the pandemic, and we encourage MCCCD employees and students to take this important step to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of one another. You may sign-up for a COVID-19 vaccination through Arizona Department of Health Service’s website.

Our primary goal remains to ensure our students, employees, and surrounding communities' safety, and we will continue to adjust, as needed. 

The Maricopa Community Colleges will start to transition employees back to on-site work starting July 6, 2021. Each College will have the autonomy to determine the degree to which working and learning environments can transition back to in-person, given the College’s unique characteristics. These characteristics include: physical spaces, number of employees, number of ongoing face-to-face classes, number of students, city mandates, and other location-driven variables. The same autonomy will be afforded to our five (5) District Office department leaders. It is important to remember that the options will likely vary by College, campus, and department. All of our safety guidelines will be maintained for in-person services, and Colleges will implement strategies to continue online services as the pandemic continues. Colleges and the District Office will notify faculty and staff at least three (3) weeks in advance of the date they will be expected to return.

Additional resources have been developed to provide clarity and support as employees begin to return to the workplace. They can be found on our Together Maricopa website, and some resources are highlighted below:

Our District and College Leadership continues to understand that some employees may have varying needs in transitioning back, we ask supervisors to remain flexible and work closely with those employees to ensure their concerns are considered as part of this process.

If you have questions regarding this policy or reasonable accommodations, please contact the HR Solutions Center at dssc-hr-solutions-center@domail.maricopa.edu

I want to thank everyone who has worked continuously to support our MCCCD community and continue our mission of helping our students succeed. I also recognize that many of us have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus, and my heart is with you, understanding that the past year has been an extremely challenging time. 

Please continue to take time for yourself and your loved ones. Thank you for staying connected and keeping our Maricopa community strong. 

Sincerely,

Steven