DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY’S PLAN FOR REOPENING CAMPUS LOCATIONS
Steps for Reopening DTS Campuses on a Site-by-Site Basis:
The following outline is DTS’s process to gradually return our institution to normal working conditions at each of our locations, in holding with federal and state guidelines. Governor Abbott’s newest executive order for the State of Texas, issued on April 27, 2020, announces Phase 1 of his plan to reopen Texas. This executive order, while focused primarily on retail services, sets the upper boundaries not to be exceeded for reopening and allows businesses to take a more conservative approach. Therefore, DTS may, at times, choose to implement our plan in a more conservative manner. DTS’s current process to reopen assumes that any federal, state, and local government plans will continue to be implemented in stages, versus an all-at-once reopening. However, should an all-at-once approach be allowed at a future date, DTS will still follow a more conservative approach as outlined below.
Step 0 (Current situation): Seminary offices closed except for employees deemed necessary for essential operations per our earlier communications. All other employees work in a virtual office mode. Essential employees will follow the Mask Requirements on DTS Property.
Step 0.5: Beginning Monday, May 4, in addition to the “essential services” that have remained open and operational, the following services will be reopened at significantly reduced occupancy levels and following social distancing practices.
- Library Services:the libraries at both Dallas and Houston will open to students and faculty at 25% occupancy levels. The Houston library will be open from 9am to 3pm Monday – Thursday. The Dallas library will be open from Monday – Friday from 9am to 4:30pm. Those who come to the Library are required to follow the Mask Requirements on DTS Property.
- DTS-Dallas Bookstore:the Bookstore will reopen to students and faculty at 25% occupancy levels and mask requirements (see Mask Requirements on DTS Property). The online presence will be restored to receive and ship orders. Customers may come to the store but must wear a mask and follow the social distancing signs posted.
- Hope Coffee:Hope Coffee will be opened at 25% occupancy with social distancing and mask requirements.
- Luke’s Pantry:Luke’s Pantry will continue to fill food orders (while supplies last) every week through the month of May. Place your order online anytime at students.dts.edu/lukes-pantry-distribution. Your food order will be ready for you to pick up the following Wednesday. Bags will be labelled with your name and apartment number on carts/shelves on the patio area outside Luke’s Pantry. If your last name begins with the letters A-L, come between 12-1pm. If your last name begins with the letters M-Z, come between 1-2pm. Masks and social distancing are required and only one person per family is allowed to pick up each order.
All other employees and departments will continue to work remotely until DTS moves to Step 1 of our plan.
DTS leadership will determine when a move from Step 0 to Step 1 is warranted based on the available local and state government recommendations and public health data available at the time. This date will be communicated on the website, and via email and text alert to students and employees.
Step 1: This phase is a gradual relaxation of Step 0 where the great majority of employees continue to work remotely (including all employees with underlying health conditions) while a small number of additional key people are allowed to work on site.
- Supervisors will ensure that employees work in staggered shifts to minimize close contact. (e.g., one group of employees in a department might work Mon/Wed while another group works Tues/Thurs). These would be departments that have direct interaction with students, residents, and core infrastructure.
- Certain departments that can accomplish 100% of their job duties remotely will be encouraged to continue to work remotely.
- Meetings will continue to be conducted through teleconference software when possible, even when held on campus. Any meetings that must take place in person should be small (less than 5 people) and social distance must be maintained.
- Employees who come into the office will be asked to take their temperature each morning before work, and if they have a fever they must not come in.
- Additionally, those who work on campus must wear a mask when leaving their private work areas or anytime they might come into contact with others. (Please see the document Mask Requirements on DTS Property.)
DTS leadership will determine when a move from Step 1 to Step 2 is warranted based on the available local and state government recommendations and public health data available at the time. This date will be communicated on the website, and via email and text alert to students and employees.
- Employees who come into the office will be asked to monitor their temperature each morning before work, and if they have a fever or present any other symptoms, they should not come in.
- Depending on the medical and health recommendations at the time, limits may be placed on the size of groups that can meet together and social distancing measures will likely remain in effect, such as having employees use stairs over the elevators, etc…
- DTS will also continue to request that employees to wear a mask when in proximity to others or in the common areas (Please see Mask Requirements on DTS Property).
Step 3: When DTS is finally able to return to pre-COVID-19 operations, there will likely remain in place enhanced cleaning protocols as well as other precautions as recommended by public health officials as well as government entities.
In short, DTS will move slowly but methodically to ensure that we are protecting our students and employees while still providing and maintaining excellent customer service to our community.