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COVID-19 Alert

Highland Community College is closely monitoring the COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) illness in our district and state. The Highland emergency management team has established a COVID-19 Task Force... continue reading

Human Resources

It is the mission of Human Resources to contribute to the achievement of the College’s mission by providing quality services for its most valuable resources – the employees and communities we serve.

Announcements

COVID Update

Beginning Monday, March 21, masks will continue to be required in classrooms, labs, meetings, and service areas such as the library, bookstore, advising, and campus offices. Masks will be recommended in all other areas such as hallways and common areas. Social distancing, vaccination or testing requirements, and other COVID mitigations remain unchanged at this time. Phase II of the guideline modifications will be finalized and shared on or before March 31 with an anticipated implementation date of April 4.

The Testing date for next week during Spring Break is Wednesday, March 23, from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Throughout this pandemic, the Highland community has worked together to keep each other safe. Please continue to show each other courtesy and respect when it comes to individual preferences for masking in common areas.

New Temporary Order

The Illinois Department of Labor adopted an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 Vaccinating and Testing effective January 24, 2022. The standard adopts the same vaccination/testing requirements as the Governor’s order. In addition, the ETS provides time for employees to obtain a vaccination of up to four hours each time they have a COVID vaccination (first dose, second dose, booster).  ETS also provides the use of up to two sick days immediately following vaccination from side effects that prevent employees from working (if employees aren’t provided sick days or are out of sick days, two additional sick leave days following each dose are granted). The full policy can be found  here: Illinois Department of Labor Emergency Temporary Standard Policy.

Employee Vaccination Message

On Friday, August 27, 2021, the College sent an email with information about the vaccine or test mandate issued by the Illinois Governor. The mandate requires all faculty, staff, and students in higher education throughout the State of Illinois to either be vaccinated (for the purpose of this mandate, vaccinated is considered two weeks following two dose vaccination such as Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose vaccination such as Johnson & Johnson) or complete a weekly COVID-19 screening test. Employees should continue to socially distance, wear a mask, and self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Please do not come to campus if you are ill or have symptoms.

Human Resources has a process to collect employee COVID-19 vaccination information. It is stored confidentially within ADP. Only Human Resources staff has access to the information. In order to comply with the Governor’s order, employees are asked to either bring their vaccination card to Human Resources or email it to christie.lewis@highland.edu or karen.brown@highland.edu.

The College is working with SHIELD Illinois to provide on-campus screening tests. These tests are free. They are saliva based tests and take just a few minutes to complete. It will take about 24 hours to get the results. Individuals can work and be on-campus while waiting on test results.

Employee FAQs

Must I be vaccinated to come to campus?

Under the Governor’s Executive Order, vaccination is the standard.  If you are unable or unwilling to receive the vaccine due to a medical or religious exemption, you have the option to do a weekly screening test. For employees who need a medical or religious exemption form, it may be found here.

How do I provide my vaccination record?

Employees may submit a copy of their vaccination record and status to Highland Human Resources staff or email a copy to christie.lewis@highland.edu or karen.brown@highland.edu. The Governor has requested employees have their first vaccine by September 19, 2021. To help us determine as quickly as possible who will eventually be a part of the testing process, please submit or send this information by September 15, or sooner if possible.

Where can I get vaccinated?

There are locations including pharmacies and health department vaccination clinics offering the vaccines. You may use this link (also found on the Highland website) to locate clinics and locations for vaccination: https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/vaccines/vaccination-locations.html

Where should I test?

Highland is working with SHIELD Illinois to conduct on-campus testing. This is a free test. This SHIELD Illinois test is a saliva-based test that takes just a couple of minutes to complete and about 24 hours to get results.  Testing days/times are as follows and is located in H-210.  Employees testing through SHIELD must complete an Authorization to Share COVID-19 Information form and submit to christie.lewis@highland.edu.

For the week of Tuesday, Jan. 18th:

Tuesday. 3 pm – 6 pm.
Wednesday. 7 am – 1 pm.
Thursday. 7 am – 1 pm.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 24th:

Monday. 8 am – 1 pm. 2 pm – 5 pm.
Tuesday. 3 pm – 6 pm.
Thursday. 7 am – 1 pm.


Testing Instructions

Individuals should not eat, drink (including water), brush teeth, chew gum, smoke, or use tobacco products prior to 60 minutes of providing a saliva sample. Doing any of these things prior to 60 minutes of providing a sample could produce an inconclusive result and require the individual to re-test. Test results will be posted in the patient portal after the lab results are completed.

Create your SHIELD IL Portal account
In order to view test results, individuals should create an account on the SHIELD IL portal. Please use the URL and Agency Code below to create your portal. If you are the parent or guardian of a minor(s) and wish to see their results, please first create a portal for yourself then add your minor(s) as dependents to your account. Do not delete this email until you have set up your account.

Website: Portal.shieldillinois.com

Agency Code: 7rkl19t9-emp

Can I come to campus right away or do I have to wait on the results?

The weekly testing is a screening process. Therefore, you do not need to wait for results before going to work or being on campus. You should continue to self-monitor for symptoms, and do not come to campus if you are sick.

How often do I need to test?

Employees should test a minimum of once per week until they are considered fully vaccinated. In general, people are considered fully vaccinated: two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

What if I have a medical reason for not wanting to be vaccinated?

Karen Brown, director of human resources, will review medical exemption requests. Employees who are unable to receive the vaccine may utilize the weekly testing process to meet the State of Illinois requirement.

What if I have a religious reason for not wanting to be vaccinated?

Requests for a religious exemption will be reviewed by Karen Brown, director of human resources. Employees who choose not to take the vaccine for religious reasons may utilize the weekly testing process to meet the State of Illinois requirement.

Are building entrances going to be limited?

No, the College will be monitoring vaccination and testing records to ensure employees and students are meeting the requirement. If someone does not meet the requirement, they will be contacted by the College and given the option to receive the vaccine or test on a weekly basis.

Employee COVID-19 Reporting Protocol

Below is information on the protocol to follow if you test positive for COVID-19 or have risk contact/close contact with someone who tests positive or has symptoms.  Different protocols are in place for high risk contact for those employees who have been boosted or received their two dose vaccination within the last 6 months (or one dose vaccination within 2 months).

Tested Positive (Everyone Regardless of Vaccination Status). 

Do not come to work. Contact HR. Telecommute if possible. If unable to telework, use paid time off as appropriate.  Return to work once cleared by SCHD/local health department or healthcare provider.

Been in high risk contact with someone who is testing or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.*  

Do not come to work. Contact HR. As directed by Stephenson County Health Department (SCHD)/local health department or healthcare provider, seek testing. Telecommute if possible. If no telecommuting work, use paid time off as appropriate.

If you have been boosted OR Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months OR Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months and have no COVID-like symptoms, you do not need to quarantine or be restricted from work following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. It is recommended you test 5 days following the date of your exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 10 days.  If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

Been in high risk contact with someone who has tested positive.*

Do not come to work. Contact HR. As directed by SCHD/local health department or healthcare provider, seek testing. Telecommute if possible. If you are unable to telework, use paid time off as appropriate.

If you have been boosted OR Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months OR Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months and have no COVID-like symptoms, you do not need to quarantine or be restricted from work following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. It is recommended you test 5 days following the date of your exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 10 days.  If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

*High risk and COVID-19 symptoms are defined by the CDC and local health departments.

Please contact Karen Brown or Christie Lewis if you have questions.  Below is a link to IDHP’s Guidance for Employers and Employees on Works’ Rights and Safety.

https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/workplace-health-and-safety-guidance/employee-employer-rights-and-safety

COVID-19 Campus Readiness information is available at https://highland.edu/hcc-advisory/

HCC Active Violence Preparedness Video

Click on the link below to view a video that was created in collaboration with the Stephenson County Sheriff’s Office on actions to take if active violence occurs on campus.  Highland Community College has adopted a philosophy on reaction to a violent situation on campus that we will no longer “lock down” but rather take steps outlined in the ALICE training and the HCC Active Violence Preparedness video.

HCC Active Violence Preparedness Video

SURS Return to Work

Public Act 97-0968 creates a new funding mechanism targeted at SURS-covered employers that employ SURS annuitants under certain criteria. A SURS-covered employer is to make a contribution to SURS if it employs an “affected annuitant” on or after August 1, 2013. The contribution will be equal to the affected annuitant’s annualized retirement annuity payable on the day on which the employer employed the “affected annuitant”. Click here for more information regarding this Public Act.

Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act

While everyone should be concerned about child abuse and neglect, certain individuals are required by law to report suspected instances. These individuals are mandated reporters. In June 2012, the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA) was amended to include all personnel of higher education institutions as mandated reporters. Mandated reporters are required to report suspected child maltreatment immediately when they have “reasonable cause to believe” that a child (minor under the age of 18) known to them in their professional or official capacity may be an abused or neglected child (ANCRA Sec.4). This is done by calling the DCFS Hotline at 1-800-252-2873 or 1-800-25ABUSE. Click here to learn more about the ANCRA requirements and procedures.

Requests for Special Accommodations in the Workplace

Title I of the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination in employment and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Highland
Community College strives to make its services and facilities accessible to all people. In compliance with this Act, employees who require special needs or “reasonable accommodations” in order to perform the essential functions of their job, or to enable them to “enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by similarly situated non-disabled employees,” are encouraged to request such accommodations through their supervisor or the Human Resources Office, utilizing the
Employee Request for Reasonable Accommodation form.

Comments or suggestions on content of the Staff Portal? Contact Christie Lewis

Highland Campus

2998 W. Pearl City Rd. Freeport, IL 61032

815.235.6121

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