HelpDesk/COVID

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Revision as of 19:32, 20 August 2021 by Mbaney (talk | contribs) (→‎High)
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Overview

Beginning with the Fall 2021 semester, the help desk will be operating with varying levels of health and safety precautions based on the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The level that we are operating in is analogous to the current community transmission level reported by the CDC COVID Data Tracker. We are following Prince George’s County specifically.

We are using the CDC's Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People as guidance for what precautionary steps we are taking in each level. It is implicit on all restrictions/lack thereof that are described below, that we will follow UMD guidance as a bare minimum — regardless of the CDC’s transmission status for Prince George’s County — since we fall under UMD’s immediate administrative umbrella.

We will assess the CDC level for Prince George's County at 9am on the first business day of each week and adjust the precautionary level we are in accordingly. Unless mandated by UMD, the safety precautions will not change any further until they are reevaluated at 9am on the first business day of the following week.

The below sections detail what the current community transmission level is and what the precautionary steps we are taking in each level are. We will also post signage on the door of the help desk (changing at 9am on the first business day of every week, if applicable) detailing the same.

As a reminder, our business hours are 9am-5pm M-F. We observe all UMD-observed holidays.

Current Level

The current precautionary level that the Help Desk is operating at / level of community transmission in Prince George's County as of 9am on the first business day of this week is:

HIGH

Precautionary Levels

The two indicators used by the CDC to determine the level of community transmission (and therefore used by us to determine our precautionary levels are):

  • Total new cases per 100,000 persons in the past 7 days
  • Percentage of Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs, hereafter referred to as just "tests") that are positive during the past 7 days

If the two indicators suggest different transmission levels, the higher level is selected.

High

This is defined by the CDC as the county having more than 100 new positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per week OR more than 10% overall positive COVID-19 tests per week.

If we are in the High precautionary level, the help desk will:

  • Require masks for all technical staff working anywhere onsite indoors, other than in their own personal office with all doors closed
  • Leave the doors to the help desk closed at all times
  • Only perform scheduled equipment pickup/drop-off at the help desk (outside of the front door)
  • Not be able to guarantee immediate response to walk-bys or phone calls
  • First try to solve things remotely until we have exhausted our ability to do so - if we are not able to do so, all synchronous in-person interactions will take place at designated areas and should be scheduled ahead of time
  • Not enter offices or labs if they are currently occupied or have been occupied within the last hour

Substantial

This is defined by the CDC as the county having between 50 and 99.99 new positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per week OR between 8% and 9.99% overall positive COVID-19 tests per week.

If we are in the Substantial precautionary level, the help desk will:

  • Require masks for all technical staff working anywhere onsite indoors, other than in their own personal office with all doors closed
  • Leave the doors to the help desk closed at all times
  • Prefer virtual consultations to in-person ones - if you prefer to interact with us in person (as the person seeking help), all synchronous in-person interactions will take place at designated areas and should be scheduled ahead of time
  • Not enter offices or labs if they are currently occupied or have been occupied within the last hour

Moderate

This is defined by the CDC as the county having between 10 and 49.99 new positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per week OR between 5% and 7.99% overall positive COVID-19 tests per week.

If we are in the Medium precautionary level, the help desk will:

  • Have an optional mask policy for technical staff in all places
  • Leave the front door to the help desk open for unscheduled interactions during business hours
  • Prefer virtual consultations to in-person ones
  • Enter offices or labs regardless of occupancy status

Low

This is defined by the CDC as the county having less than 10 new positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per week OR less than 5% overall positive COVID-19 tests per week.

If we are in the Low precautionary level, the help desk will:

  • Have an optional mask policy for technical staff in all places
  • Leave the front door to the help desk open for unscheduled interactions during business hours
  • Prefer virtual consultations to in-person ones
  • Essentially be operating at normal capacity (pre-COVID levels)