The health of the Diné College community is our priority.
This website will be updated regularly with information about the Novel Coronavirus affecting the Diné College community. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has the most up-to-date information about the status of the Novel Coronavirus in the US.
Latest Updates for Faculty/Staff
Novel Coronavirus (COVID -19)
FAQ for Employees (Staff, Faculty, Student Employees)
Established: 03/20/2020 @ 9:46 AM
1. Do we return to work?
That depends on your current assessment and determination by your Supervisor.
Spring Break 2020 was extended for an additional week, March 16-20, 2020. During this time, the College continues daily (limited) operation so that the Institution may begin transitioning face-to-face classes to online delivery, as well as changing student service delivery (i.e. advising, tutoring, residential) to continue meeting the needs of those on and off campus.
Classes will resume (online learning) on Monday, March 23, 2020.
2. How will my daily active status be determined?
To help employees and supervisors make an informed decision of whether an employee should continue to work on or off-site, the COVID-19 Screening Form for School and Workplace has been implemented as a mean of a decision-making tool.
Download: Daily Health Screen Form
The decision will be render between the Supervisor and the Employee (Staff/Faculty) in consultation with the Director of Human Resources. Other socioeconomic impacts that limits access to resources or to report on-site are also considered, such as Child Care. Examples of factors include the following:
- COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, difficult breathing)
- Recent Travel to hot zone with confirmed cases of COVID-19
- Recent Travel from an Airport
- Age Group target: older population of 50+ years old
- Those with underlining health issues
- Was in contact with someone who is a carrier of CONVID-19
- Family factors: children (closed schools and child care) or care of a senior within the household
- Common Cold not relating to COVID-19 symptoms
These are just some of the factors that may impact the decision of an employee to continue working on-site at the College. Each employee’s determination to be on-site will be handled by the Supervisor on a case-by-case basis following the Guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
3. If I have symptoms, what should I do?
DO NOT come to work. Isolate yourself and contact one of the following hotlines to seek a COVID-19 medial assessment.
- Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center: 1-844-542-8201
- New Mexico COVID-19 Hotline: 1-855-600-3453
- Navajo Nation COVID-19 Hotline: 1-928-871-7814
Once you have received recommendation from the medial advisor, contact your supervisor to determine the appropriate form of work status or accommodation to your schedule (if needed).
To avoid a potential spread of either COVID-19 or Seasonal Flu, the employee must not return to work if coughing. Sick leave or Admin leave will be determined based on the circumstance your Supervisor in consultation with the Director of Human Resource.
4. How do I know I need to go into 14-day quarantine or self-isolation?
CDC defines quarantine and isolation as the following:
- Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
- Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
If you have the following, you must self-isolate immediately for 14 days:
- Coughing or have a cold, regardless if it does not meet the symptoms of the COVID-19. Seek medical attention.
- If you were in contact with someone who was tested positive for COVID-19.
5. What if I am okay, but due to my Target Age that COVID-19 is impacting, how can my supervisor increase safety measures for me?
Supervisors must work with employees to provide accommodation to ensure the safety of the employee, in consultation with the Director of Human Resource. Telecommunication, flex schedule, or office isolation can be considered depending on the assurance and status of the employee. We ask for cooperation between Supervisors and Employees to work together with DHR on identifying the best plan to accommodate the safety of the employee and the work environment.
6. When do I use Admin or Sick Leave?
Must be in consultation with the Director of Human Resource to determine the form of leave issued.
Admin Leave will be issued to someone who has answered yes to the following questions and enters a 14-day self-quarantine:
- Symptoms of COVID-19
- Recent travel to and from an airport
- Recent travel to a Hot Zone where COVID-19 out-break occured
- Contact with someone who has COVID-19
Sick Leave will be issued to employees who have other non-COVID-19 aliments and need to take a few days off to recover from a common cold or seasonal flu. Ensure doctor statements for 3+ days of leave if occurs.
Annual Leave requests will be issued for non-sick related leaves.
7. What if I am experiencing Child Care issues due to schools and child care centers shutting down?
Supervisor must allow employees to telecommute if they have children to care for at home. Due to the recent directives issued by the Navajo Nation government for Child Cares to close down, many employees will experience challenges with Child Care at home. Therefore, Supervisors must allow accommodation and allow telecommunication.
8. What does Telecommunication mean?
Telecommunication is the concept of reporting to work either from home or elsewhere during your regular working hours, devoting your time and effort to completing assigned tasks. Attention to phone calls and email communication will be vital as it will be a primary method of communication to your worksite.
Because a Supervisor is not on-sight to provide management, it will be at the responsibility of the Employee to ensure Time and Effort to attend to work tasks and/or assignments. Periodic updates and check-in with your Supervisor will need to be performed. Based on the daily status of COVID-19, it will be the agreement between the Supervisor and Employee on the length and duration of Telecommunication.
9. What is the college doing to address the preparedness of COVID-19 potentially happening at Diné College?
The Office of the President has activated the Diné College Incident Command System (ICS) to manage the efficiency and response of the campus threat of COVID-19 impacting the community. Our ICS will allow networking among all major departments on a delivery plan through varies communication levels for adjustment of facility use, campus ground management, equipment accessibility, Point of Contact with Police Department, Health Centers, Fire and Rescue, and ERS, procedure development, and communication response.
Velveena Davis, Executive Director of Institutional Planning and Reporting, has been appointed by the President as the Incident Commander to address the response to COVID-19. All communication and coordination efforts are centralized with the Incident Commander working in close coordination with the President, Provost, Vice Presidents, Center Directors, Academic Deans, and other key Administration.
The Incident Command Center has been established at the Tsaile Campus, Office of Institutional Planning and Reporting, SUB Room 209. Questions and inquiries regarding plans and decisions pertaining to the response to COVID-19 can be directed to the DC Incident Command Hotline 928-724-6900 or emailed to officeofthePresident@dinecollege.edu. Phone call will be monitored by the ICS Point of Contact, Sharonna Yazzie-John, OIPR Office Manager.
10. What must I be aware of when coming on-site for work?
Enforcement of Employee ID badges to be carried on your person and made visible at all times. This is a mandatory enforcement by the College Administration and Campus Security. Access to the College is now limited to only Employees and Students.
The General Public is granted limited access to the campus/centers. We are encouraging the community to call for questions or services if they wish to seek answers (registration, admission, financial aid inquires). Keep in mind that some students may come on campus with family members (spouse, children or family members), their access to campus grounds and services will be limited/restricted and are subject to abide by the Safety protocols put in place (COVID-19 Screening and access restriction).
At each Campus and/or Center location, One Access Control has been implemented to control traffic flow into each building. Only one entrance into a building has been identified and used at each Campus Location. Be watchful of signage on campus that provides necessary instructions on where these One Access Controls are located. Individuals may exist closed doors but cannot return using the same door. Propping or blocking restricted doors is prohibited as it is needed for Egress during emergency and fire drills.
Each Campus location has identified Restricted Areas and closed off portions of buildings access completely to Employees, Students and the Public. This is to ensure that no one is populating or creating traffic in areas to prevent a potential spread of COVID-19. This will also help us direct all cleaning efforts in high traffic areas.
If you do not have an Employee ID, visit Student Programs at the Tsaile Campus or ask your Center Directors how one can be obtained. Some buildings will provide COVID-19 Screening and questionnaires prior to entry. To control and maintain the health and safety of our campus community, we ask for your cooperation when conducting these screening. Retain the Screening form with you if you are visiting multiple departments. The screening form may be downloaded from the College webpage Daily Health Screen Form and present electronically to your Supervisor.
Some Building Services, such as Libraries and Compute Labs will be restricted to only students and employees.
11. Why is decision changing daily and impacting operations?
The COVID-19 is daily evolving and the Institution must adjust its approach and plans to continuously meet the safety needs and response to the current threat. A decision one day may change the following day, again, based on the ever-changing development of COVID-19.
Those involved in the ICS conduct daily 10am meetings to obtain the latest update and approved processed to any immediate changes aligned with the most recent threat to the college community. Official notices are issued from the email officeofthePresident@dinecollege.edu.
12. Who is ensuring the on-going communication to the Community about Diné College?
External information will be charged to the Marketing & Communications for the office to handle media communications per guidance from the Incident Command Team, and post announcements via website and electronic board, radio (KXWR), and social media.
Send all information that needs to be communicated to the Marketing Team.
Official approval for community and public communication will come from the Office of the President.
13. What are classrooms, lobbies, computer labs or workplace being re-arranged?
To abide by the CDC’s Guidelines of Social Distancing, ICS is ensuring that all seating areas and tables are meeting the 6 ft or more spacing.
If students or employees gather for meetings or lobby areas, be mindful to ensure space is kept between each individual.
14. What can I do to contribute to the prevention of a COVID-19 Spread?
CDC has set-forth guidelines for Schools to follow, as well as individuals to put into practice:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you are coughing, wear a mask, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Maintain Social Distancing from one another (6 feet recommended by CDC).
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
15. I need cleaning supplies, where can I obtain supplies and contribute to a clean working environment?
Contact the ICS Center at 928-724-6900 to request for cleaning supplies. Keep in mind that nationally there is a shortage in cleaning supplies and we are currently facing a 2-month backorder. What is currently on inventory is being used smartly among all Centers and Campus sites.
Each employee must contribute to cleaning the workspace and not solely depend on O&M staff to clean high traffic areas.
16. I am a non-native employee; what if I need medical attention?
The Indian Health Service can provide medical service to non-native employees through the Emergency Room (ER admit). Note that the Tsaile Health Clinic in Tsaile, AZ does not have an ER room.
17. If I need medical care; where can I go?
If you have symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus, please contact the local health care center prior to your arrival to a hospital facility:
Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility
Crownpoint Health Care Facility
Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board, INC
Gallup Indian Medical Center
Kayenta Health Center
Northern Navajo Medical Center
Tuba City Regional Health Care
Utah Navajo Health System
Winslow Indian Health Care Center
Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center
New Mexico Coronavirus Hotline
18. Can campus events and activities still continue?
No. Due to our response to safety and ensuring the well-being of our College Community, all College events and activities have been cancelled for Spring 2020.
All Facility Use Request forms must be cancelled and the Office of the President has restricted the approval of future requests being approved.
19. I need training with online tools to deliver a course – where can I obtain training?
Academics hosts training sessions for faculty on the use of Zoom and Blackboard. However, if you need additional training, contact Michele Vecenti at 928-724-6682 for technical support services. Any issues with computer units or software, contact IT immediately and submit an IT Ticket.
20. If I need to host a face-to-face meeting with students, what must I be aware of?
Any meetings required with students will need to enforce the use of the COVID-19 Screening Form to determine a decision. This is to ensure proper safety measures among students and their peers, Students must be instructed on CDC requirement and encourage strong Social Distancing (seating arrangements and avoid any possible contact-activities).
21. If I need to complete Office hours with Students?
As we transition to online delivery, changes to service delivery with students must also take place. We are encouraging Employees to implement the options of phone-call advising hours and increase email contact.
However, if a student does arrive in person on Campus/Center, DO NOT turn the student away. Follow proper CDC guidelines and provided quality service to the student.
22. How long will these changes be in affect?
For the duration of the Spring 2020 Semester. Depending on the development of COVID-19 worldwide, future planning will be developed to continue meeting the educational needs of the institution.
23. What travel restrictions are in place?
Off-reservation travel are restricted by the College for employees and students. If travel is necessary, it must be reviewed and approved by the Vice President or Provost (such as driving to pick up or deliver student to hospital, or picking up package delivery at Centers or boarding towns).
24. Is the Bookstore open for Tsaile and Shiprock?
Only for Students and Employees. Community members is restricted.
25. Is the Gym and Weight room open?
No, both locations will be closed and restricted to all students, employees and the community.
26. Can community vendors/sellers come on campus?
No. Community vendors/sellers will not be allowed on campus due to safety concerns and management control.
Company vendors, such as Coca-Cola and Water Works are allowed to deliver to campus locations but must be educated on Campus Guidelines and One-Access Point. If a delivery cannot be done at the One-Access Points, contact your Center Director and/or Campus Security to identify an alternative route.
27. What if we have a COVID-19 case developed within our College Community? What do we do?
The College will issue the following EMERGENCY CODES:
CODE GRAY: Campus Lock-Down (lock doors, do not allow anyone in or out of buildings, turn off lights, get away from windows).
CODE ORANGE: Shelter In-Place (Enclose yourself in an isolated area and wait until instruction is issued. Stay put and do not leave the office/area).
Employees WILL NOT evacuate the campus but go into Shelter In-Place. The ICS will contact all key services department (PD, IHS, State COVID-19 Hotline, and Fire & Rescue) to response on-site. Road access and entrance will be closed to ensure containment of a spread.
To control a potential spread or someone who is a potential carrier, DO NOT LEAVE THE AREA.
It is important that NO ONE LEAVES the campus grounds until testing can be completed by Emergency Response. It is important NOT TO PANIC but ensure cooperation.
All employees (including students) must separate themselves from one another (6 ft or more apart) and notify your Supervisor and Co-workers of your whereabouts. Buildings must complete a headcount of all employees without violating CDC Guidelines of Social Distancing.
All employees must take steps to cover their mouth and avoid touching surfaces with bare hands.
To avoid a community-wide panic, DO NOT resort to posting the Emergency Response on Social Media.
28. What can I do to prepare for CODE GRAY and CODE ORANGE?
Ensure you and your department or neighboring employee(s) have a plan put in place should an Emergency Code be activated.
Keep a headcount sheet and first aid kit within your office or department.
Keep on-site supplies needed during a potential lock down (time may be lengthy).
Collect and house face masks, cleaning supplies, cell phone, snacks, gloves, something to stay warm (blanket), or flashlights within your area.
It is important that we all have a preparation plan in place within our department/office.
If you still have questions, contact your department supervisor or manager.
SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO COVID-19 DEVELOPMENT & IMPACT WITHIN THE COMMUNITY!