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Information for Faculty and Staff

This page was last modified on May 6, 2021 at 12:48 pm. This page will keep the TCC community informed of the college’s actions and any operating schedule changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates will be posted daily.


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The FAQ information below serves as guidance for faculty and staff returning to work. For specific questions and situations please work directly with your supervisor.

Faculty and Staff FAQs – Returning to campus

In preparation for returning to in-person staffing at all campus locations by June 1, 2021.  We have compiled and answered frequently asked questions (FAQ) below.

Additional FAQs will be added below following the college-wide Virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

Please explain the increased cleaning schedule?

  • In keeping with the CDC guidelines, restrooms are cleaned at least twice a day including all touch points.
  • Touchpoints on all doors/elevators/stair rails/common spaces are being cleaned at least once per hour.
  • Fogging done nightly on rooms that frequently used; sometimes nightly and on request.
  • All buildings will have an ample supply of cleaning supplies and PPE available.
  • Contractors are being brought in to supplement existing custodial staff at the Regional Health Center, the ATC, and the Job Skills Training Center in Portsmouth.

How often are Faculty offices cleaned?

  • Faculty offices are cleaned once a week, or on request if the faculty member would like it sooner.  Each faculty member is responsible for disinfecting their own phones, desks, etc.  Offices that meet with students are provided with cleaning supplies.

What if the staff person is still fearful about coming into the office due to personal health risk concerns? What is the recourse or options for this type of employee?

  • If employees have underlying medical condition(s) that make them more vulnerable or at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, employees are encouraged to self-identify and notify their supervisor and HR.  The supervisor and HR will work with the employee to reduce their risk of exposure on a case-by-case basis.  
  • We understand that employees may be experiencing increased feelings of stress and anxiety.  Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) stands ready to provide help.  Full-time employees covered under one of the Commonwealth of Virginia health insurance plans have EAP benefits.  You may find information about accessing your EAP benefits on the back of your health insurance card.  Many employer sponsored health insurance plans include EAP coverage.  Do not hesitate to take advantage of this important employee benefit.  If you do not have access to an EAP, residents of Virginia who may be struggling to cope with the effects and circumstances such as isolation, fear, grief and anxiety around COVID 19 can contact VA C.O.P.E.S.  Crisis Counselors are available Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. and on Saturday-Sunday from 5-9 p.m. VA C.O.P.E.S can be reached by phone or text at 877-349-6428.  Spanish speaking counselors are available. https://vacopes.com/

Are meetings going to be in-person or by Zoom after June 1? 

  • ZOOM meetings will continue.

Are staff going to be required to wear masks all day at their desk if they are in a cubicle?  If they are in a private office?

  • Per the Governor’s mandate all Virginians aged five and over are required to wear masks over their nose and mouth in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person All employees, not just those in customer facing areas must also wear masks while working if 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained between others. If you are in your office alone, no mask is required.

What if the staff person is concerned about potentially bringing home an illness that could be transferred to a loved one?

  • Talk with your supervisor and HR about your circumstances to determine what options are available based on your specific situation.  Options include flexible work schedules, change in onsite work location to ensure social distancing, physical rearrangement of work spaces, installation of shields, utilizing available leave options, and even temporarily performing other work duties/assignments.  For example, if an employee is at high risk for severe illness and their job usually requires a great degree of interaction with the public, the employee may be reassigned temporarily in their area to perform a less public facing function to reduce their risk.  Flexible work schedule does not include telework.
  • Ensure you follow all safety precautions such as wearing your mask, frequent handwashing, and maintaining social distancing.  The college is adhering to workplace safety best practices provided by the Virginia Department of Health, the CDC, and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.

Are they going to allow Summer Flex schedules as they have done in previous years? Normally it ran from the second Saturday in May until July.

  • Yes, summer flex schedules will be allowed. Summer flex schedule does not include telework. 

How are faculty to maintain 6 feet in the faculty suite here at the RAC, if they are all here at the same time (the faculty bullpen at the RAC does not allow for social distancing of 6 feet)?

  • Provide clear communication and signage for physical distancing in areas where individuals may congregate, especially at entrances, in seating areas, and in check-out lines. Limit the occupancy of physical spaces to ensure that adequate physical distancing may be maintained.  Temporarily move or stagger workstations to ensure six feet of separation between co-workers and between members of the public.

Faculty and staff not following social distancing or mask protocol.

  • If you are uncomfortable with behaviors of a colleague, you are encouraged to have an open dialogue.  If you are not comfortable doing that, then report the behavior to your supervisor and/or HR.  We all have some level of accountability and must take responsibility for keeping one another safe.  In cases where an employee repeatedly does not comply with safety measures and precautions, progressive discipline may be used in consultation with HR.

Understanding that there is not enough office space available for all staff, I am concerned about staff and student interaction.

  • Supervisors may consider implementing staggered shifts (work hours) for both work periods and break periods and may consider cohort scheduling where groups of employees only work with employees in their group as options.

Will vaccinations be mandatory, and if not, how do you ensure the safety of the staff?

  • No.  Whether to get the vaccine or not is an individual decision and the college will not mandate that anyone be vaccinated.  While we are not mandating the vaccine, we do strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID 19.  The college reduces the risk of employee exposure by asking employees to self-monitor their symptoms and having employees sign in each day to attest that they are symptom free.  Additionally, the college instructs employees who are sick to stay at home and not report to work.  The college is adhering to workplace safety best practices provided by the Virginia Department of Health, the CDC, and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.

Will each supervisor need to be aware of which of their staff got vaccinated or would staff need to report this to their supervisor/Director or HR? 

  • The college is not mandating employee vaccinations and will not be tracking who has been vaccinated and who has not.  We strongly encourage employees to get vaccinated.  If an employee is exposed to COVID, HR will ask the employee if they have been vaccinated to determine appropriate actions needed in regards to quarantine and isolation using the most up-to-date CDC and VDH guidance.

What happens if most office staff are vaccinated and one staff member that is not vaccinated actually catches COVID? What action would office staff need to take then? Would the same type of leave still be available for staff to be out (I do not remember when it ends)?

  • Up to 80 hours of Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) is available for employees to use to attend to their own medical needs, or those of an immediate family member related to COVID-19.

Will work from home accommodations be made for employees who would like to be vaccinated against COVID before returning to the office full-time?

  • Talk with your supervisor and HR about your circumstances to determine what options are available based on your specific situation.  Options include flexible work schedules, change in onsite work location to ensure social distancing, physical rearrangement of work spaces, installation of shields, utilizing available leave options, and even temporarily performing other work duties/assignments.

What is the plan for the faculty and staff who have to care for the elderly or for those with childcare concerns? 

  • Talk with your supervisor and HR about your circumstances to determine what options are available based on your specific situation.  With the June 1st return to work date and many schools getting out for summer break later in June, employees may request to use appropriate available leave to address their childcare issues.

How many guests can come to campus with a student?

  • Guests are allowed to attend with the student. However, we will follow CDC guidelines when the student and guests are meeting with staff and are in the buildings. The recommendation is that students limit guests and attend by themselves if possible.

What is the procedure to handle students in small spaces? Understanding that there is not enough office space available for all staff, I am concerned about staff and student interaction. Considering confined office space, how will spacing and student overflow be determined?

  • We will follow CDC guidelines and practice social distancing when meeting with students in small spaces. Staff should work with their supervisors to address additional concerns.  

When will the plexiglass be installed in the respective office spaces?

  • Plexiglass is already in place in most common service areas. Campus deans have received additional requests for plexiglass and PPE needs for individual offices from all Student Affairs departments. Please check with your supervisor if you have additional requests.

How do we communicate our reopening to students?

  • There will be focused marketing, communication, and outreach efforts for students, faculty, and staff promoting college expectations as well as the college’s adherence to health and safety guidelines. This communication will also promote continued virtual services for students to include enrollment support and access to resources.

Will there still be social distancing and a limit on gatherings in building? (our lobby gets busy especially during Fall registration).

  • We will limit the occupancy of physical spaces to ensure that adequate physical distancing may be maintained.
  • Signage will be posted throughout the college and at entrances that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, if they have a positive diagnostic test for the virus that causes COVID-19, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted in the establishment. 
  • Signage will also state that patrons must wear a mask in accordance with Fourth Amended Executive Order 72.  Individuals must wear masks over their nose and mouth in accordance with Section II of Fourth Amended Executive Order 72. We will limit the occupancy of spaces to ensure that six feet of physical distance can be maintained between all faculty, staff, students and community.
  • We will reconfigure seating areas to allow six feet of physical distance between individuals by eliminating or closing select tables or seating areas, or by spreading them out to allow for adequate spacing. Maintain ten feet of physical distance when attendees will be participating in activities that increase respiration, including exercising, swimming, cheering, or singing.
  • Lastly, we will ensure exits are configured to reduce the occurrence of bottlenecks.

How many students will have in-person classes for Spring? Fall? 

  • Summer – 25% and Fall – 50%

Will the cafeteria be open as students have inquired when I have called about registration?

  • Vending machines will be available College-wide as of June 1. The College is transitioning from a Coke vendor to a Pepsi vendor.  The transition timeframe is in July 2021; the college will limit downtime of the beverage vending machines as much as possible.
  • Campus Cups are in the process of reopening for the fall.

What do you do if a student in your classroom refuses to wear a mask?

  • Students are required to wear masks as stated in the Student Code of Conduct. Students who refuse to wear a mask should be reported to the interim Dean of Student Life and Conduct. 

Does this include opening college back up to students, guests, foot traffic? And will they be required to wear masks? 

  • Yes, everyone who enters a TCC building will be required to wear a mask.

Can I encourage my students to get in-person assistance on campus, or are we expected to try to keep as many students off campus as possible? 

  • Yes, students can come to campus to get in-person assistance.

How do we get the Signage needed to enforce physical distancing to help direct traffic, like in other buildings? 

  • Signage will be provided by Marketing. Please contact your campus dean if additional signage is needed.

Is the ultimate goal to, at some point, to return to 100% live teaching for both lecture & labs, with no Covid-related class size limitations or PPE required? 

  • Yes, and PPE will continue to be required. 

Will students be able to receive in-person advice from advising as of June 1?  If so, what will be the hours of operation? 

  • Students will be able to receive in-person advising. However, we strongly recommend utilizing virtual services and making appointments for in-person services. We will continue to maintain our normal hours of operations: 

Monday and Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Will we still require different doors for exit and entry?

  • In order to continue to comply with CDC and the Governor’s directives, one main entrance has been designated at each building for each campus. You are required to enter that designated door for contact tracing.
  • You may exit through other doors, ensuring you do not allow someone else to enter the door you are exiting. There are a couple of buildings where the entrance and exit, based on necessity, are the same. Security will be posted at each main entrance to assist with enforcing wearing masks and maintain social distancing.