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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Faculty and Staff

Return to Work Location
Distancing and Disinfection Plan
for SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19

Current Version: September 8, 2021. Prior versions: Updated September 3, 2021; Updated August 30, 2021; Updated August 19, 2021; Updated July 14, 2021; Updated July 1, 2021; Updated June 16, 2021; Original August 21, 2020.

NOTE: This plan has been approved by Voiland College leadership and is now in effect. This plan may be altered as necessary to reflect changes in the response of Covid 19 by USA Center for Disease Control, Washington State Governor’s Office, Whitman County Department of Health, and/or Washington State University. This plan has been reviewed by the WSU Public Health Emergency Planning Task Force and the WSU Risk Management Advisory Group. This plan is an updated, less restrictive plan, from the original version approved by the WSU President’s Cabinet December 14, 2020.

Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture (VCEA) provides essential services in support of education, research, and outreach. This Distancing and Disinfection plan has been developed to ensure Voiland College and its personnel are responsive to, and meet, Washington State and WSU requirements to minimize potential exposure to SARS-CoV2, the virus causing COVID-19.

All Voiland College personnel shall adhere to the Voiland College Distancing and Disinfection Plan. This document shall receive updates as conditions change. Depending upon requirements for research, academic, and operational activities, as well as the Washington State County Status and Safe Start Phase (PDF), the policies for operating at WSU work locations will vary. Revisions will be provided and distributed via email.

1) Workplace Expectations

Per WSU HRS Workplace Expectations & Guidelines “WSU employees are expected to fully comply with statewide and university COVID-19 health and safety requirements as a condition of employment for the health and safety of themselves, their colleagues, and the WSU community. Failure to do so may result in corrective and/or disciplinary action. Supervisors should contact HRS, as certain violations may require the employee to immediately leave the work location.”

2) Return to Work Location

  1. All VCEA employees are being requested to return to their workplace as of Monday July 12, 2021.
  2. Telework
    1. Employees currently teleworking to comply with the state of Washington “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, with an approved accommodation, are exempt from completing a formal telework agreement in accordance with BPPM 60.34, Telework Agreement.
    2. If an employee wishes to continue working remotely after July 12, 2021 employees will need to contact their supervisor for approval. If a supervisor approves the employee’s request to work remotely (HRS Supervisor Guide for Returning to a WSU Work Location), the supervisor and employee must complete a WSU Telework agreement, BPPM 60.34.

3) Covid-19 Vaccination Required

  1. All WSU employees are required to be fully vaccinated for Covid 19 by October 18th, 2021, as a condition of employment.
    1. All employees must submit their vaccine status within Workday by October 18th, 2021, and provide proof of vaccination to their supervisor. The steps are:
      1. Complete the “COVID-19 Vaccination Verification” process within Workday. Instructions are provided in the COVID-10 Vaccination Verification for Workers.
      2. Show (do not give a copy) the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or other acceptable supporting COVID-19 vaccination documentation (PDF) to their appropriate supervisor/manager.
    2. An employee can update their vaccine status within Workday should their vaccination status change.
    3. Exemptions may be allowed for sincerely held religious beliefs and documented medical reasons. Persons requesting these exemptions are to follow the COVID-19 Vaccination Verification process through Workday and provide the supporting documentation to HRS by Monday, October 4, 2021. Any employees, contractors, or volunteers who receive exemptions may be subject to COVID‑19 testing and/or other COVID‑19 public health measures.
    4. Providing falsified information regarding vaccination status is grounds for disciplinary action, which may include actions through student conduct, removal or trespass from WSU locations, up to and including termination from employment.
  2. All WSU students are required to be fully vaccinated for Covid 19 by September 10th, 2021.
    1. Exemptions will be allowed for medical or sincerely held religious reasons. Exemptions need to be submitted by October 4, 2021. Student employees need to submit proof of vaccination in both the WSU Student Health system (required as a student) and in WSU Workday (required as an employee).

4) Face Coverings

  1. As of August 23rd, all employees, students and visitors are required to wear a face covering while inside a WSU location.
    1. Vaccinated employees may remove their masks only while in office spaces not easily accessible to the public, such as in a private office or vehicle while alone.
    2. Unvaccinated employees will still be required to wear a mask while indoors, even if the position is not public facing.

5) Social Distancing No Longer Required

  1. Social distancing requirements no longer apply to anyone working at a Washington State University worksite, indifferent of their Covid-19 vaccination status.

6) Supervisor Vaccination Verification Responsibility

  1. Supervisors (including laboratory Principle Investigators) are responsible to confirm the vaccination status of all their employees.
    1. View the employee’s CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or other acceptable supporting COVID-19 vaccination documentation (PDF) – do not take or make a record of it as this would be a HIPPA violation.
    2. Complete their verification process within Workday. Instructions are provided in the COVID-19 Vaccination Confirmation for Managers.
  2. Supervisors (including laboratory Principle Investigators) must ensure employees are following WSU policy for masking.
  3. Supervisors (including laboratory Principle Investigators) must provide employees that have an HRS approved vaccination exeption with a safe work environment. (References below in Section 8. Breakrooms and Section 9. Shared Spaces.)

7) Sick Employee

  1. If an employee is feeling sick, they should not come to a WSU work site.
    1. Stay home.
    2. Following departmental call-out procedures for leave, contact the supervisor remotely, by phone or electronic mail.
    3. Get tested if experiencing Covid-like symptoms. Employees that have been to a WSU work site that have tested positive need to contact WSU’s Environmental Health & Safety’s Jason Sampson at 509-335-9564 or Shawn Ringo at 509-335-5251 for guidance and contact tracing.
  2. Employees who begin experiencing COVID-19 symptoms while at work must:
    1. Following departmental call-out procedures for leave, contact the supervisor remotely, by phone or electronic mail.
    2. Leave work while maintaining 6 feet of distance between themselves and others.
    3. Get tested if experiencing Covid-like symptoms. Employees that have been to a WSU work site that have tested positive need to contact WSU’s Environmental Health & Safety’s Jason Sampson at 509-335-9564 or Shawn Ringo at 509-335-5251 for guidance and contact tracing.
  3. Coworkers &/or supervisors that believe an employee is obviously sick at work must:
    1. In event a WSU employee comes to work and becomes obviously sick report the matter to the employee’s supervisor.
  4. Close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19:
    The Washington Department of Health defines a close contact as any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes in a 24 hours period.

    1. For employees follow the guidance at WSU Environmental Health & Safety.
    2. For students follow the guidance at WSU Cougar Health Services.
  5. What to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19:
    1. For employees, including student employees, follow the guidance at WSU Environmental Health & Safety.
    2. For students follow the guidance at WSU Cougar Health Services.

8) Training

  1. Employees are no longer required to complete Coronavirus return to workplace training. Rather, they can visit Environmental Health and Safety website for a complete account of current guidance.
  2. All Voiland College employees, indifferent of position or work location, are required to take the following online safety training courses.

9) Cleaning and Disinfection

On April 5, 2021, the CDC revised their guidance concerning the risk of infection from touching a contaminated surface is low. As of May 17, 2021 WSU changed its disinfection and cleaning policy to follow the updated CDC guidelines.

  1. Apply standard daily cleaning requirements for the work environment, and maintain good hand hygiene.
  2. Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or crook of elbow. Immediately dispose of tissue and wash your hands.
  3. WSU commits to continue providing hand sanitizer and disinfectants for departments and areas at no cost, including delivery, for all WSU personnel at all WSU campus locations through WSU University Stores.
    1. The disinfectants and sanitizer provided are: a surface disinfectant solution (Alpha HP), an electronics disinfectant (a 70% alcohol solution), and FDA approved hand sanitizer (made at WSU by EH&S). Disinfectants must have a 5-minute contact time for Alpha HP and 20 seconds contact time for 70% ethanol to be effective.

10) Breakrooms

  1. Fully vaccinated persons may use breakrooms with other fully vaccinated persons.
  2. Unvaccinated persons should continue alternating break schedules to permit distancing, or eat in alternate locations. COVID infections have been linked to breakroom interactions and unvaccinated persons should maximize distancing and limit breakroom activities for their protection.
  3. Unvaccinated people should avoid using communal items such as refrigerators, coffee pots, dishes, microwaves, etc.… Using individual lunchboxes with their own ice packs and/or insulated thermos are strongly encouraged. Do not wash dishes at work: take dishes home to wash.

11) Teaching Face to Face (Undergraduate & Graduate Courses)

  1. Refer to the WSU Provost’s Office Covid-19 policies and procedures for Fall 2021 operations and course delivery linked here.
  2. The Access Center will manage any medical accommodation requests where a student is not able to wear a mask. Students will request this accommodation through their campus’ respective Access Center, to include documentation to support their accommodation request. If it is confirmed that the student cannot wear a mask, and once reasonable accommodations are in place, an access advisor will communicate to the instructor. If you have not been contacted by an access advisor about an approved accommodation, you can assume accommodations for a student are not in place. The time between when a student requests an accommodation and when their request can be fully evaluated will vary by campus. If you have questions, please reach out to your campus’ respective Access Center:

12) Research

  1. Principle Investigators no longer need to submit plans following the Office of Research’s Staged Return to Research guidelines.
  2. Individuals accessing or managing WSU facilities must adhere to the WSU EH&S Coronavirus minimum requirements. This central WSU resource incorporates cognizant public health recommendations and is compliant with state, federal, and other guidelines.
  3. All individuals accessing or managing WSU laboratories must follow the WSU Laboratory Safety protocols.
  4. All Voiland College employees, visitors, guests, and students working within laboratories are required to take basic lab safety training courses.

13) Events

Units looking to host events are free to do so. No review or approval is necessary. Restrictions and recommendations are:

  1. For events under 10,000 persons there are no venue restrictions indoors or outdoors – all venues can be held at 100% capacity and without social distancing. Contact VCEA Facilities Operations and Safety Services if you wish to hold an event over 10,000 persons indoors.
  2. All individuals need to wear a mask while indoors.
  3. COVID infections have been linked to interactions with food/beverage. For the safety of others, it is recommended food and/or beverages not be provided while indoors.
  4. If hosting an event or activity with food or beverages, ensure a hand washing station is available and/or hand sanitizer is readily available.
  5. Masks of both vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals can be removed while ingestion occurs (eating/drinking) however masks must be worn indoors otherwise.
  6. It is recommended that individuals maintain distance from others while eating or drinking for their safety. Providing a bit of space at events for persons to distance themselves while eating/drinking is advised.

14) Reference Information for Consideration

In addition to this document, the following links provide valuable sources for important details and updates. Please review them at your convenience.