COVID-19 FAQ - For Employees

Common questions from Faculty and Staff with answers collected by release date. All answers are current.

Internet

  1. Free Internet Access in North Carolina

Free Internet Access in North Carolina

Are there any available free or low cost internet access options in North Carolina?

Yes. NCBroadband.gov/covid19broadband provides a list of North Carolina internet providers that are offering free internet service for 60 days, with some variance in price and availability period by provider, to those who qualify. Based on your address, the list identifies providers in your area and contact information for your use. Some of the offerings (AT&T for instance) are not just responsive to COVID-19 and may provide more long-term, low-cost offerings for households.

Students who need proof of enrollment may email kara.weimer@salem.edu. For questions about internet access, please contact Salem IT at helpdesk@salem.edu with any questions.

March 18, 2020

Remote Workforce Transition-Related Inquiries and Support

  1. Employees Considered Essential Personnel to Provide On-Campus Support
  2. Employee Access to Campus Offices/Buildings During Remote Workforce Period
  3. How to Receive Updates from the COVID-19 Task Force
  4. Tracking Hours Worked During Remote Work Period
  5. Use of Special COVID-19 Two-Week Paid Administrative Leave During Remote Work Period
  6. How to Record Use of Special COVID-19 Two-Week Paid Administrative Leave
  7. Notifying Salem of Inability to Work Remotely Due to Illness
  8. Notifying Salem of Inability to Work Remotely Due to Family Obligation Related to COVID-19

1. If I need IT support while working remotely, what should I do?

Please contact the Salem Academy and College IT Help Desk. You can send an email 24/7 to helpdesk@salem.edu, or visit https://support.salem.edu and log in with your Salem G Suite account.

Nights, evenings and weekends may take IT extra time to respond, but Monday – Friday IT will get back to you within an hour, and will do their best to resolve issues within 24 hours. Please understand that some problems may take longer to fix and your patience is appreciated. IT will also be monitoring phones, but may not always be able to answer: On-Campus Phone Line: 4357; Off-Campus Phone Line: 336-917-5899.

Please remember to include a description of the problem (including what software are you having a problem with, what computer equipment are you having a problem with, etc.), and your contact information (including phone number).

2. If I need to check out a Salem device in order to participate in the remote testing and/or to be able to work from home until on-campus work resumes, how can I do so? 

Please contact the Salem Academy and College Help Desk (helpdesk@salem.edu) to arrange for a device to be checked out.

3. If I check out a computer from the library, will it be configured with everything I need to work remotely?

Loaner laptops (much like lab computers) are preconfigured with all of the tools that students may need to complete assignments. It is likely that loaner laptops for employees will be configured with most of what you need. If they do not have a specific piece of software you need, please contact IT to provide you with support in configuring the laptop to meet your specific work-related needs.  If you check out a Salem laptop and need other software installed, please contact IT by emailing helpdesk@salem.edu and explain the tools you use to do your job (e.g., use of the H drive, use of PowerCampus, etc.).  Please remember to include a day-time phone number. IT will respond to coordinate a time for configuring your laptop to meet your needs. 

4. What is a VPN and why might I need it to work remotely?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It allows a user to remotely connect to electronic files located on the Salem server on campus that are not available to external, off-site users otherwise. Basically, VPN makes your computer think that it is on campus even if it is not, thereby giving you access to electronic files stored on Salem servers (e.g., files stored on your H:\ drive; files stored on the S:\ drive; or PowerCampus – but not the web-based self-service version).

5. If I need to be able to use documents stored on the Salem server (e.g., documents saved on the H drive), will I be able to access them from home?

Yes, but only if you have VPN installed on your computer.  If you need VPN software and profiles installed on your computer, please email the IT Help Desk at helpdesk@salem.edu to coordinate a time to receive assistance. Please include your contact phone number so that IT can coordinate with you more quickly.

6. If I do not know how to use VPN to access documents stored on the Salem server remotely, what should I do?

 Contact the Salem Academy and College IT Help Desk at helpdesk@salem.edu to receive guidance. An IT staff member will be able to provide you with instructions and/or assistance.

7. What will IT be able to help support when working remotely?

Salem IT will be able to help with most software and some equipment-related problems you may have. For instance, IT will not be able to help with printing from your home unless there is an underlying software issue. IT will be able to tell you if the problem is one they can help you resolve.

8. Where can I find IT support resources and information?

You can find a number of resources on IT’s MySalem page, including instructions on how to check your voice mail from off campus and what software IT supports, among other items.

Visit: Salem IT Page on MySalem  

9. If I need training on how to use Zoom or other remote communication tools, how can I get training and support?  

Zoom has online videos, written walkthroughs, and Dean of Undergraduate Studies Richard Vinson ( richard.vinson@salem.edu ) and Dr. Paula Young, College Professor of Mathematics and Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation (paula.young@salem.edu), have been in contact with tech savvy faculty to assist in providing one-on-one and group training sessions for faculty. For additional support, please contact Salem IT at helpdesk@salem.edu to coordinate a time for training.

10. How do I transfer my office phone line to my remote work phone line?

Contact the Salem IT Help Desk at helpdesk@salem.edu for support transferring your phone line during the remote work period.

11. What groups of employees are considered essential personnel?

Essential personnel are employees who are needed to provide on-campus (rather than remote) services in order to support students and staff living on campus and to ensure the continued operations of the Academy and College. At this time, essential personnel include: food services, public safety, residence life, information technology, physical plant, and postal service. Essential personnel will receive information regarding work schedules and support services needed from their direct supervisors and primary campus contacts.

12. Will employees be able to access campus facilities and offices during this remote work period?

Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. all campus buildings with card access functionality transitioned to card access only and will remain card access only through the extended Spring Break and remote learning and working period.  Buildings without card access functionality will remain locked with access available through Public Safety if necessary.

If any employees must come to campus to retrieve materials or access your office, please contact Public Safety at 336-917-5555 (1) to check-in, (2) to identify the spaces you are accessing within campus buildings, and (3) to check-out when you leave. As we work to monitor the spread of COVID-19, to engage in frequent and thorough cleaning of accessed areas to prevent cross-contamination, and to protect the health of those individuals who are continuing to live and work on our campus, we request that you please follow this process. Unless you are essential personnel, we ask that you please do not come to campus unless it is absolutely necessary.

13. How will employees continue to receive campus updates and information during this remote work period?

The COVID-19 Task Force will continue to send regular updates to the Salem community via Salem email and by frequently updating the Academy and College COVID-19 web-pages and the FAQs for Employee accessible on those sites. Please check your email, the Salem COVID-19 web-pages, and the FAQs for Employees regularly.

14. How do I keep a record of my hours worked from home during the remote work period?

Non-exempt, hourly employees should coordinate with their immediate supervisor regarding timekeeping and continue to track their hours worked; this will need to be done manually, as you will not have access to the online timekeeping system if you are away from the Salem campus. Hourly employees’ records of their hours worked should be sent to their immediate supervisor and the Payroll Manager, Debbie Sullivan, on a weekly basis by close of business on Friday to ensure that the hours are keyed and paid on the appropriate paycheck.

15. Under what circumstances can I use the special COVID-19 two-week paid administrative leave provided by Salem?

The special COVID-19 two-week paid administrative leave is reserved for employees who are too ill to work due to COVID-19 or similar communicable diseases; who have family obligations related to COVID-19 that prevent them from working; or who are in quarantine and cannot perform the essential functions of their positions from a remote location. The special COVID-19 administrative leave is also available for non-essential personnel who cannot perform the primary functions of their positions from a remote location after conferral with their supervisor. If you are unable to work remotely for any of the aforementioned reasons, you will be permitted to use the special COVID-19 two-week paid administrative leave that Salem has extended to employees. This paid administrative leave is separate from any accrued sick or vacation leave balances you currently have available to you. Please contact Director of Human Resources and Benefits Emily Young (emily.young@salem.edu) with any questions.

16. If I need to use paid administrative leave, how do I record it for timekeeping purposes?

Non-exempt, hourly employees should send records of their paid leave used to their immediate supervisor and the Payroll Manager, Debbie Sullivan, on a weekly basis by close of business each Friday to ensure that the hours are keyed and paid on the appropriate paycheck. Exempt, salaried employees should continue to document their time off via their calendar card provided by the payroll office. Use the code AL to denote Administrative Leave on your calendar card.

17. If I fall ill during the remote work period and am unable to work remotely, who do I notify?

If you are unable to work during the remote work period as a result of illness, notify your immediate supervisor and Director of Human Resources Emily Young (emily.young@salem.edu) as soon as possible for further guidance.  If the reason you cannot work is related to COVID-19 or other similar communicable diseases, you will be able to access the special COVID-19 two-week paid administrative leave for the time you are unable to work. It is imperative that you communicate any changes to your work schedule with your immediate supervisor so that we can ensure any of your critical tasks and functions are handled by another person in a timely manner.

18. If I have a family obligation that arises related to COVID-19 and prevents me from working remotely, who do I notify?

If you are unable to work during the remote work period as a result of a family obligation related to COVID-19, notify your immediate supervisor as soon as possible for further guidance.  In this scenario, you will be able to access the special COVID-19 two-week paid administrative leave for the time you are unable to work. It is imperative that you communicate any changes to your work schedule with your immediate supervisor so that we can ensure any of your critical tasks and functions are handled by another person in a timely manner.

March 15, 2020

On Saturday, March 14, 2020, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper enacted an executive order directing K-12 public schools to close for two (2) weeks starting Monday, March 16, 2020. We understand that this directive comes with very little notice and that it may affect the work schedules for some of our Salem employees who have children in the public school system; as such, we will work to provide flexibility for our faculty and staff who are not able to come to campus due to child care obligations. Please email your requests for remote work arrangements to Emily Young, Director of Human Resources, at emily.young@salem.edu (Academy and College staff and faculty) or Richard Vinson, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, at richard.vinson@salem.edu (College faculty). They will work diligently to review and respond timely to any requests for remote work arrangements submitted by faculty and staff.

1. If I do not have child care arrangements in place and cannot come to campus for work due to the K-12 public schools closing, can I work remotely?

Remote work arrangements must be pre-approved by conferring with the Director of Human Resources and your immediate supervisor or Dean Richard Vinson and your immediate supervisor. Requests for telework may be submitted to Emily or Richard via email and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If approved, Emily or Richard will connect the employee with the Director of IT, Kris Kelley, for any support needed for remote working.

2. If I am approved to work remotely, how do I keep records of my hours worked?

Non-exempt, hourly employees should coordinate with their immediate supervisor regarding timekeeping and continue to track their hours worked; this will need to be done manually, as you will not have access to the online timekeeping system if you are away from the Salem campus. Employee’s records of their hours worked should be sent to their immediate supervisor and the Payroll Manager, Debbie Sullivan, on a weekly basis by close of business on Friday to ensure that the hours are keyed and paid on the appropriate paycheck.

3. If I do not have child care arrangements in place and cannot come to campus for work due to the K-12 public schools closing, do I have to work from home or can I use paid administrative leave?

Paid administrative leave is reserved for employees who are too ill to work, have family obligations related to COVID-19 that prevent them from working, or who are in quarantine and cannot perform the essential functions of their positions from a remote location (i.e. groundskeepers, custodians, etc.) If you are unable to work due to childcare obligations because of the K-12 school closures, you will be permitted to use the two week special paid administrative leave that Salem has extended to employees in response to COVID-19. 

4. How do I record paid administrative leave for timekeeping purposes?

Non-exempt, hourly employees should send records of their paid leave used to their immediate supervisor and the Payroll Manager, Debbie Sullivan, on a weekly basis by close of business each Friday to ensure that the hours are keyed and paid on the appropriate paycheck. Exempt, salaried employees should continue to document their time off via their calendar card provided by the payroll office. Use the code AL to denote Administrative Leave on your calendar card.

5. If I do not have child care arrangements in place but want to work from campus, can I bring my child(ren) with me to work?

No, in order to protect the health and well-being of children and our campus community, children will not be permitted on campus during the extended Spring Break and remote learning period. Please contact Human Resources with any questions about this response.

6. How will Salem respond if the K-12 public schools in North Carolina remain closed beyond two (2) weeks?

Salem will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates should that occur.

March 13, 2020

1. Can students return to campus to retrieve coursework or other materials?

No, students who leave campus for the extended Spring Break and remote learning period will not be permitted to return to campus to retrieve coursework or materials.

2. What should I do if I feel like I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath)?

Please call your healthcare provider and notify your healthcare provider of your symptoms before going to the healthcare facility. Also refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Novant Health has set up a 24/7 Care Connections hotline (1-877-499-1697) designed for patients without a primary care physician who are experiencing symptoms and have questions about how best to seek care.

3. If I feel like I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or have been exposed to COVID-19, should I notify Salem Academy and College?

Yes, please refer to the memo that you received by email from Director of Human Resources and Benefits, Emily Young, on March 12, 2020, which describes the process you should take in notifying Salem of any COVID-19 related concerns. The Office of Human Resources will work with you to notify your supervisor should you need to self-quarantine (if exposed or symptomatic) or isolate (if sick with COVID-19) and to discuss the possibility of remote work arrangements as appropriate.

4. Will I be notified if Salem learns that I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

Salem will be directed by local health officials regarding who must be notified in the event of known COVID-19 exposure. For employees, local health officials and/or Human Resources (as directed by local health officials) will make such notifications without revealing the identity of infected persons.

5. Should I notify Salem Academy and College of any domestic (out of state) and international travel that I am taking during the extended Spring Break and/or remote learning period?

Yes, if you are traveling out of North Carolina during this period, please email the Office of Human Resources with your travel dates, destination(s), and modes of public transportation. We recognize this is an unusual request, but the safety of our campus community requires our vigilance and careful attention to travel risks contributing to the spread of COVID-19. As we continue to monitor and assess the spread of COVID-19 and how best to protect campus members, we will review your travel plans and notify you should Salem request that you self-quarantine before returning to campus.

6. Can I check out a computer or other device from IT or Gramley Library for remote working or testing of remote working plans?

At this time, unless you are needing to be quarantined or isolated due to COVID-19, we request that you please refrain from asking IT or Gramley Library to check out devices. The student device check-out process concludes on Tuesday, March 17 at 5:00 pm. After that time, should you wish to check out a device, please notify the Director of Human Resources or Dean Richard Vinson, who will coordinate with IT to facilitate any remote working assistance needed.

7. Can I continue to ask my student worker to work during the extended Spring Break or remote learning period?

No, per the message issued by President Sandra Doran and Head of School Carol Killebrew on March 12, 2020, the campus will remain open for faculty and staff, excluding student workers. Student workers will not be eligible to work during the extended Spring Break and remote learning period.