March 24, 2020
To Local K-State Research and Extension Councils, Partners, and Clientele
TO: Local K-State Research and Extension Councils, Partners, and Clientele
FROM: Gregg Hadley
Director for Extension
SUBJECT: COVID-19 Safety Protocol
Beginning March 14, 2020, guidelines for addressing the safety issues of COVID-19 in regards to employees and volunteers were sent to all KSRE employees, including Extension agents in local Extension units. These directives were developed from larger KSU and state policy developed over the last several days. Following these protocols is for the benefit of the communities we work with, as well as our fellow colleagues. We strongly encourage you to endorse these standards for the same reasons. More than 43 local units have already closed offices with more doing so every day. The following are standard procedures at our affected offices.
1. ALL local, regional, state, national, and international K-State Research and Extension face-to-face events (for example: workshops, club meetings, shows, etc.) conducted by Extension employees or our volunteers and targeted for our constituents and stakeholders between March 15 and May 16 must be cancelled, postponed, or held via Zoom or other distance technology.
2. All K-State Research and Extension professionals and volunteers who have been invited by external partners to make presentations or conduct workshops in a face-to-face manner must either cancel, postpone, or conduct the activity using Zoom or another distance technology.
3. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE that all local, regional, and state internal K-State Research and Extension meetings (for example: staff, Program Development Committee, Program Focus Teams, Extension Boards, task forces, professional development, program planning, volunteer training meetings, etc.) that are scheduled between March 15 and May 16 should be held via Zoom or other distance technology. In cases where local unit or Kansas Farm Management Association offices remain open, individual face-to-face interactions and meetings have to be conducted in a manner that each individual can practice sound social distancing practices. For example, every member at the meeting needs to be a minimum of 6 feet away from each other. If social distancing practices cannot be maintained, the meeting must be held via Zoom or some other distance technology.
4. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE all K-State Research and Extension employees and volunteers to work via telecommuting (work-from-home) whenever possible between March 15 and May 16. Employees should seek the guidance of their supervisor to determine if telecommuting is appropriate for their position. If it is not appropriate, work needs to be conducted in a manner that conforms to social distancing. For those offices under the direction of an Extension or Kansas Farm Management Association Board, we ask that the supervisors consult with the board or board chair about these decisions.