Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance for managing COVID-19 related issues. Among the changes are definitions for people who will need extra precaution due to age and underlying medical conditions. In response to those changes from the CDC, Denmark Technical College is providing the following guidelines regarding requests for alternate work arrangements based on an employee’s “high risk” status due to age and/or underlying medical conditions. Additionally, more specific information regarding the required use of face coverings is provided below.
Use of Face Coverings Required
Effective July 6, 2020, Denmark Technical College requires all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.
Face coverings are not required in one’s residence hall room, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.
Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in the discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff, or students.
Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face-covering for documented health reasons.
People of Any Age with Underlying Medical Conditions
According to the CDC as you get older, your risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases. For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older. However, the CDC no longer gives a minimum age for those considered at high risk. For those employees with concerns related to “high risk” based on age and/or underlying medical conditions requests for alternate work arrangements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. These employees should consult with the Office of Human Resources regarding available options and any required documentation.
Currently, the following underlying medical conditions are recognized by the CDC as placing an individual in the high risk category:
Chronic kidney disease
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
Sickle cell disease
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
Hypertension or high blood pressure
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
Type 1 diabetes mellitus
As members of the Denmark Technical College community, we care for the health and safety of each other as well as ourselves. These guidelines are necessary in order to keep us safe and healthy. Thank you for your continued dedication to following the health and safety guidelines and protocols.
The College will continue to provide updates throughout the summer. Please continue to check your email and follow our official social media platforms for updated information.
Willie L. Todd, Jr., Ph.D. | President and Chief Executive Officer