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Executive Order 72 guidelines for faculty and staff


Faculty and staff,

Yesterday, Thursday, December 10, Governor Ralph Northam announced new, targeted measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 as new cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in all areas of the Commonwealth. Executive Order Seventy-two provides updated direction relevant to all JMU employees and becomes effective Monday, December 14 at 12:01 am and continues through January 31, 2021.

The purpose of this message is to communicate what the Governor’s announcement means specifically for JMU faculty and staff.

JMU has established standards that can be found in the Return to Workplace Guidelines located on the Stop the Spread website. The items noted below represent some modifications to the guidelines based on the Governor’s executive order. 

Universal mask requirement: All JMU employees are always required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors in the presence of others. It is unnecessary to wear a face-covering when working alone in a private office, regardless of whether the door is open or closed. If another person enters the office, both parties should wear a mask. (This does not apply if you are actively eating or drinking)

Reduction of social gathering size: Social gatherings should be limited to the restrictions of this most recent Governor’s Executive Order (Seventy-two). Now, social gatherings should not exceed 10 people in total (down from 25 people) and should never exceed 50% of a room’s capacity. Individuals should always adhere to the appropriate physical distance requirements. (This rule does not apply to work-related activities and instruction at educational institutions)

Remote work: JMU faculty and staff are encouraged to work remotely to fulfill their job duties without being physically present on campus. While we acknowledge that not all jobs can be performed from another location, we encourage all managers and unit leaders to be as flexible as possible when working with employees in considering remote work. Therefore, many people who returned to work over the summer will be asked to work from home.

State employee travel: Currently, state employees are not permitted to travel out of state for business purposes.

James Madison University will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and additional relevant information that may be communicated from the Governor’s office. JMU will provide more specific Spring semester guidance to all faculty and staff prior to the resumption of classes on January 19, 2021.

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and will help JMU overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic. If you have questions, contact Human Resources. 


-Rick Larson

Assistant Vice President, HR, Training and Performance

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Published: Friday, December 11, 2020

Last Updated: Friday, December 11, 2020

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