Employee Announcements – April 9, 2020

Greetings to All Employees – from More than 6 Feet Away!

Remote/Online Update

This announcement confirms what you probably have read by now.  Governor Murphy has extended the Executive Order to stay at home for another month.  Although this may be hard, it is the most effective thing we can do to stop the spread of COVID-19, for ourselves, our loved ones, and all the courageous health care, emergency response, and other essential workers who continue to provide services needed in this new normal.

For Brookdale, it means that we will continue to work remotely for another month and that the semester will finish online.   We are extraordinarily grateful to all those who will help to get our students to a successful finish line for their Spring 2020 courses and who will encourage them to continue through the summer and fall terms!!

Governor’s Order for the Use of Masks/Face Coverings

We are also now required to wear face masks/face coverings when in places such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and other places of business.  This measure is meant to reduce the risk of the virus spread by individuals who have the virus but are asymptomatic.

As a result of this order, access to campus by employees or contractors will be conditioned on them using a face mask or face covering.   Executive Order 122 describes the CDC’s requirement for face coverings as follows:

“The CDC has stated that such cloth face covering must fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layer of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.”

“The CDC has also stated that cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.”

College Grounds Closed to the Public

As you may know, the Governor closed all State and county parks to ensure social distancing.  Since Thompson Park is adjacent to our campus and because Brookdale’s campus is a beautiful location, we are concerned for our employees and police on campus that the public will begin to use our campus more frequently for leisure walking/visits than in the past.  As a result, our digital boards at the entrances will begin to include signage that closes our grounds to the public.

If you field this complaint from members of the public, please explain that we are trying to ensure the safety of all our county residents.


Time Accountability

Please be sure that you continue to request time in a remote environment just as you would if you were in your physical work space.   We all understand the need to disengage and take some time for yourself, especially as we address the personal stresses associated with a pandemic.

Employees are expected to be personally accountable for their work.   If you are unavailable to work for any reason, you need to request leave for that time.

We do not plan to extend vacation caps for FY21.   Employees are encouraged to use vacation and personal time as needed while we are working remotely.

Family First Time Off

If you are sick with COVID -19 related illness or caring for someone with COVID, or caring for children whose school are closed related to COVID, you are eligible to use Family First sick leave up to 2 weeks’ time that will not affect your current sick balance.  Please refer to the March 27th message on the BCC COVID page.  The form needed to access this leave is on SharePoint on the Employee Benefits page.  All employees using this benefit should contact Michelle Kneute for further information.

Regarding Notifications When Testing Positive for COVID-19

Brookdale has always followed the protocols established by the Departments of Health for the State, County, and local townships.  Normally, the DOH notifies the college when a person who has a contagious disease is identified and has identified the college as a place where the person has had close personal contacts.  We either provide contact information for them to notify close contacts or, on occasion, they ask us to do so.

Based on the unusual circumstances related to this pandemic, we were informed yesterday that employees testing positive for COVID-19 are being asked to notify their employers directly and to identify close contacts for notification.  The definition used for “close contacts” is anyone who may have been within 6 feet of the infected person for 10 minutes or more.  This determination should go back 3 days before the person became symptomatic.

If you have tested positive, please contact HR and your supervisor.  Please identify any co-worker with whom you had close contact, using the Dept. of Health’s definition of close contact, noted above.

Resources – Thank you to Ed Johnson for providing the following:

Community Resource Information:

TIAA Personal Meetings and Webinars

See attached flyers for information about remote individual meetings and about webinars scheduled for April 15, 17, and 20.

A TIAA Financial Essentials webinar

APB Financial Consultants available by phone or virtual meetings