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School Reopening Data, OSHA Revises Policies, Employee Screening, Tuition Drops

By Net Assets posted 06-01-2020 09:08 AM


(from the Wall Street Journal) Schools in Denmark, Austria, Norway, Finland, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and most other countries that have reopened classrooms haven’t had outbreaks in schools or day-care centers. The schools have changed operations in notable ways. Denmark, for example, has imposed a number of precautions on teaching establishments, from maintaining air circulation to rules on distancing and hygiene. In some countries, sporadic infections have happened among schoolchildren and staff, but none have been reported to have resulted in bigger infection clusters. In France, after schools reopened on May 11, several closed after around 70 reported infections in schools and preschools nationwide. Almost all were adults, local authorities reported.

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(from Bolton & Company) The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently adopted revised policies for enforcing requirements concerning the coronavirus. OSHA has issued two revised enforcement policies and will increase on-site inspections for all types of workplaces. The guidance emphasizes that employers must make reasonable efforts, based on the evidence available to the employer at the time, to determine whether a particular case of coronavirus is work-related. Employers will not be expected to undertake extensive medical inquiries, given employee privacy concerns. In most circumstances it is sufficient for an employer when they learn of an employee’s COVID-19 illness to ask the employee how they believe they contracted the coronavirus. While respecting the employee’s privacy, discuss with the employee their work, and out-of-work activities that may have led to the coronavirus illness. Review the employee’s work environment for potential coronavirus exposure. 

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(from Goulston & Storrs PC) Attorneys at Goulston & Storrs have developed a six-question survey to determine if employees can return to work. Employees must answer appropriately to all six questions before they can return safely. The questions cover time spent self-isolating, symptoms, contacts, testing, and use of public transportation.

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(from Inside Higher Ed) Colleges that have offered tuition deals for the coming fall have seen increases in enrollment, but the financial payoff remains to be seen, as payment for tuition discounts are coming out of established financial aid budgets. In April, before more generous aid offers were made, applications at the University of Nebraska were down 5%, but with increased aid applications increased 15% in one month. The smaller Albion College has seen a 20% increase in applications following an announcement to provide more aid, which may result in 50 more students actually enrolling. Budget reshuffling and philanthropic help will pay for some of the changes, but more restructuring will be needed to cover costs. 

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