Faculty and staff play a critical role in supporting the health, safety, and well-being of the entire Ohio Wesleyan campus community. The following guidelines, created in compliance with the latest public health information and State of Ohio orders, are designed to help us care for and protect students and the campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Policies and Protocols for Safe Campus-Based Work
Our goal is to offer students a full schedule of in-person classes and a vibrant campus experience while also providing a campus environment that is safe and healthy for the entire campus community.
Our Safe Campus Opening Task Force has developed a fall semester plan that is thorough, rigorous, and well-conceived; however, the nature of this virus and the pandemic necessitates that we must be nimble and our plans must be flexible. We recognize the need for flexibility in providing teaching options for faculty and work schedule options for staff, and we will continue to explore these options before the semester begins and as situations may change.
Phased Return to Work
Staff will return to campus in phases beginning July 13. All staff should be back on campus on or before August 3, except those granted exemptions for health concerns. Supervisors, in consultation with their co-workers and Vice Presidents, will create and share plans for how individual offices operate between July 13 and August 3.
By August 3, we expect the campus to be fully operational and preparing for the return of students. It will be a semester like none we have ever experienced with new health and safety protocols and equipment. By working together, we can provide a vibrant campus experience while protecting our community from the coronavirus.
Universal Viral Testing
Faculty and staff are able to register for a free PCR viral test before fall semester classes begin. PCR tests provide a definitive COVID-19 diagnosis and take 12-24 hours to process at the local laboratory that is analyzing all of our tests.
Our goal is to identify cases of the virus as quickly as possible and then to isolate those affected to prevent the virus from spreading. The university is contracting with an external testing service provider, and the tests will be administered by properly licensed healthcare providers.
Faculty and staff testing days are planned to begin Aug. 6 and will continue for several days.
If the PCR test confirms a diagnosis of COVID-19, the employee must place themselves in isolation until they receive clearance from public health officials to come out of isolation.
In order to provide a safe campus environment, individuals must abide by OWU’s COVID-19 testing requirements in order to be on campus this fall.
All employees working on campus will be required to complete a daily self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms. Everyone will be able to use a mobile app to help with this assessment. The self-assessment will include the following:
- Taking your temperature with a thermometer and monitoring for fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher).
- Assessing for any coughing or trouble breathing.
- Based on CDC recommendations, any employee showing coronavirus symptoms must remain at home for at least 10 days after their symptoms first appear and for at least 3 days (72 hours) after having their last fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) improve.
- See Monitoring Your Health.
All employees must wear a facial covering that covers the nose, mouth, and chin while traveling through any campus building. This includes entering and exiting the building and using the restroom.
Employees working in an enclosed private office do not need to wear a facial covering while working in their private office unless another person enters.
Employees working in a shared office space must wear a facial covering that covers the nose, mouth, and chin the entire time they are in the space. Facial coverings must be worn even when individuals are more than 6 feet apart.
OWU will provide facial coverings for all employees, and they may use their own, if desired. Those who need a covering should contact the Department of Public Safety.
Any employee with a medical or industry-standard concern about wearing a facial covering should talk to their Vice President or Provost before returning to work on campus. See Physical Distancing and Use of Face Coverings.
All employees must maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others on campus. Employees also should avoid congregating in general or gathering in groups of more than 10 people.
All employees are asked to minimize touching common surfaces in campus buildings and should practice proper hygiene such as frequently washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, sneezing or coughing into one’s sleeve or elbow rather than into one’s hands, and avoiding touching one’s face after having touched common surfaces and before washing hands.
Evidence shows that proper air flow and ventilation can be important in minimizing risk. However, avoid air flow that pushes air across multiple individuals, such as fans in open spaces.
Holding meetings in an online format is encouraged for groups of all sizes.
ABM will conduct enhanced cleaning by providing additional resources to daily cleaning of entrance doors, lobby areas, seating, elevator hardware and interiors, stair rails, locker rooms, and cafeteria areas. Increased frequency of cleaning will occur in high-touch areas based on CDC guidance, such as conference rooms, copiers, lounges, dining areas, cashier areas, break room appliances and vending machines, fitness equipment, locker room benches and seating, door hardware, restroom door hardware, counters, dispensers, toilets, and urinals.
ABM will increase the number of hand sanitizer stations on campus and will provide Oxivir disinfectant wipes for members of the campus community to use to disinfect surfaces in classrooms, offices, conference rooms, and other spaces. Employees should clean and disinfect personal workspace surfaces, including desks and tabletops, door handles, light switches, and computer keyboards and mice. Employees should disinfect shared office equipment. ABM will provide electrostatic spraying once per week.
While drinking fountains will not be available, touchless water bottle dispensers will be available and will be cleaned frequently.
If any employee develops coronavirus symptoms and has been on campus within the past 14 days, they must notify their supervisor immediately. Their supervisor must then notify the Assistant VP for Human Resources (740-368-3394) and the Director of Public Safety (740-368-2222) immediately so proper contact tracing and cleaning protocols can be implemented.
ABM will disinfect all tabletops and horizontal surfaces in classrooms at least once each day. ABM will disinfect high-touch surfaces, such as light switches and door handles, three times a day. Once per week, ABM will do complete electrostatic spraying of all classrooms.
ABM will provide large canisters of disinfecting wipes in the classrooms and department offices for individuals to wipe their own workspace (student desk or instructor lectern). These canisters hold 700 wipes.
Limits on Campus Events and Group Sizes
In general, large campus events should not occur this fall. Attempts should be made to hold smaller-scale events, break-up larger events into smaller gatherings, hold some portions virtually, etc. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of 50 people. Exceptions may be granted by a Vice President or the President with specific safety measures in place. All individuals attending a group event must wear a facial covering and maintain a 6-foot distance from each other.
To promote safety, the University has prohibited university-sponsored international travel for all faculty, staff, and students for the fall 2020 semester. Domestic travel should occur only when necessary. All members of the community are encouraged to carefully monitor available public health information to determine the level of risk in contracting coronavirus during travel.
Employees who test positive for the virus will be interviewed as quickly as possible to identify individuals with whom they have had close contact within the past 4 days. “Close contact” is defined by public health officials as a 15-minute encounter within 6 feet of each other.
Delaware public health officials will conduct the contact tracing process and will communicate with the University as appropriate regarding individuals who need to be quarantined or isolated. They will monitor the condition of those individuals to determine when they can be removed from quarantine or isolation. The University will provide information necessary for county officials to properly conduct contact tracing, including data such as classroom rosters, roommate rosters, athletic team rosters, etc.
See Campus Visitors.
For specific information for faculty returning to campus please see Fall 2020 Faculty Expectations.
Remote work approvals
- Staff must receive approval to work remotely. Interested employees should complete the Temporary Work Adjustment Form (PDF) and send it to their supervisor. Approval will be required from the employee's supervisor and vice president as well as the Human Resources Office. Those who are eligible are:
- Any staff member who has a verified underlying medical condition that places them in a high-risk category for serious complications as defined by the Centers for Disease Control should they contract the virus. Documentation must be provided from an appropriate healthcare professional and will be evaluated by the Human Resources Office. The employee should complete the Temporary Work Adjustment Form (PDF) and send it to Human Resources for consideration.
- Any staff member who has a verified household member who is in a high-risk category for serious complications should they contract the virus, and there are no safer alternative housing solutions available. Documentation must be from an appropriate healthcare professional and will be evaluated by the Human Resources Office. The employee should complete the Temporary Work Adjustment Form (PDF) and send it to Human Resources for consideration.
- Any staff member who regularly and consistently acts as a caregiver for a family member who is in a high-risk category for serious complications should they contract the virus. Documentation must be from an appropriate healthcare professional and will be evaluated by the Human Resources Office. The employee should complete the Temporary Work Adjustment Form (PDF) and send it to Human Resources for consideration.
- If there are other reasons, staff should discuss the situation with their supervisor prior to their return to work in consultation with Human Resources.
- The employee must be able to accomplish their assigned responsibilities and fulfill the number of hours expected of the position while working remotely. Any usage of vacation time to cover hours less than expected should be discussed with your supervisor and Human Resources.
- Expectations for accountability must be established with the employee’s supervisor, with consultation with Human Resources.
- Continuation of the approval to work remotely will be evaluated monthly and is subject to change based on evolving risk factors.
These policies and protocols will remain in place until further notice. As directives from state authorities change and conditions become more favorable for campus work environments, we will revise these policies and protocols and issue updates to employees.