Michigan Medicine launches new resource to help employees safely return to work

June 24, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

As restrictions begin to lift throughout Michigan to allow restaurants, hair salons and soon gyms to reopen, many Michigan Medicine employees wonder when they will be returning to the office — and what returning to work will look like during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, U-M earlier this week announced plans to offer a public health-informed in-residence semester in the fall.

For now, the university, Michigan Medicine included, continues to remind all of faculty and staff that unless specified by your supervisor, everyone who can work from home must continue to do so. This is consistent with the governor’s most recent executive order.

However, as services and clinics begin to ramp operations on the medical campus and off-site locations, more faculty, staff and learners are returning to the workplace. The Michigan Medicine COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan for Employees has been developed to support the re-engagement of faculty and staff, and adopt specific processes and procedures to prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus. These requirements are subject to change as the state returns to full operation, and as knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve.

Please note, the new Michigan Medicine Return-to-Work Guide is for health system faculty and staff only.  It will be updated to include U-M Medical School return-to-work protocols for both research and education.  If you are in the medical school, please use your current policies.

“Our first priority is protecting the health and safety of our Michigan Medicine community — faculty, staff, learners and our patients,” said Debbie DeNapoli, director of Safety Management Services. “We continue to adapt policies and plans that will ensure we’re providing a safe work environment for our team.”

Robust guidelines

The Michigan Medicine COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan for Employees includes guidelines related to symptom monitoring, phased staffing options and physical space management, including office configuration to allow for proper social distancing and to ensure that high-frequency touchpoints are sanitized regularly.

All employees should continue to follow the recommended personal safety measures of:

  • Maintaining six feet of distance between staff members whenever possible.
  • Not gathering in groups that exceed 50 percent of a room’s capacity.
  • Wearing a mask in all public spaces, shared enclosed spaces, and where six feet of distance from other people cannot be maintained. This includes all Michigan Medicine buses and shuttles.
  • Self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 at all times.
  • Maintaining a clean work environment.
  • Using proper respiratory etiquette: cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Washing hands or apply hand sanitizer before eating, touching your face, and before and after patient care. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds after using the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

New health screening tool

A new tool has been developed to replace verbal health screenings to expedite entry and avoid delays at Michigan Medicine building access points. The tool asks questions about symptoms, risk factors and job function. Based on the employee responses, users will either see a green screen with a check mark, indicating they can proceed through the screening point and report to work, or a red screen, indicating that they should stay home and contact OHS.

Employees returning to work should answer the online screening questions before leaving for work. By not closing the browser, the green screen will be available to display to security once employees are on-site. This can be accessed at healthscreen.umich.edu. Should employees not have a phone readily available, they will be screened verbally by Michigan Medicine personnel.

For questions or issues regarding the preparedness and response plan, please email coronavirus-info@med.umich.edu.