Return to Work Location
Distancing and Disinfection Plan
for SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19
Updated August 4, 2020
NOTE: This plan has been approved by Voiland College leadership and is now in effect. This plan may be altered per recommendations from the WSU Incident Command System for Covid-19.
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 number of Voiland College employees required on campus will vary. Revisions will be provided and distributed via email.
1) Work Location
- All work which can be done remotely should still be performed remotely. Remote work includes working from home, or from a location other than a WSU campus or WSU work location.
- All Voiland College personnel must have approval from their supervisor before coming to work at a WSU campus and/or WSU work location.
- Employees may be requested to return to work by their supervisor as job duties necessitate. This may include rotations, staffing teams, shift work, alternating day/s hours, or other means to maintain social distancing and complete the necessary work at the work location.
- There is no pressure or penalty for employees unable to be physically present due to quarantine, high-risk/vulnerable populations, or isolation needs (e.g., childcare concerns), or any other personal needs/concerns.
- Employees who have been instructed to return to their work location and have concerns about doing so, due to a medical condition that places them in a higher risk group, those who are pregnant, or those who wish to seek ADA Reasonable Accommodations related to returning to the work location should visit the HRS Disability Services website or contact the HRS main line at (509) 335-4521.
- All Voiland College personnel approved, or seeking approval, to return to a WSU work location will complete the Voiland College Return to WSU Work Location survey. This form ensures current information, process, and procedures have been shared with each employee, and confirms the employee agrees to follow these processes, when returning to a WSU work location.
- Research activities being resumed at a WSU work location require the approval of Voiland College Associate Dean Dave Field before research activities can commence.
2) Sick Employee
- If an employee is feeling sick, they need to stay home, and contact a healthcare provider. Make advance arrangements for non-emergency in-person health care visits.
Employees who begin experiencing COVID-19 symptoms while at work must:
- Contact their supervisor remotely, by phone or electronic mail.
- Leave work while wearing a mask or cloth face covering and maintaining 6 feet of distance between themselves and others.
- Contact their healthcare provider; they should not show up in person without advanced contact.
Coworkers &/or supervisors that believe an employee is obviously sick at work must:
- In event a WSU employee comes to work and becomes obviously sick report the matter to the employee’s supervisor.
- The employee’s supervisor should report the matter to HRS immediately. In consultation with HRS, the supervisor may have a conversation with the employee to determine whether they are sick. If the employee is sick, they should be separated from other employees immediately and directed to self-isolate at home and to call their health care provider for assistance. If the employee may meet the criteria the state DOH has identified for suspected COVID-19 cases, consult with HRS if Whitman County Public Health department should be notified.
Note: In event an employee begins experiencing symptoms at work the supervisor coordinates disinfecting procedures contact your local EH&S representative for assistance, in Pullman call 335-3041. This includes disinfecting potentially affected common areas and/or isolating affected private offices/areas.
3) Employee Attestation
- All WSU employees will be required to attest they are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms prior to returning to a WSU work location. This attestation will be required each day the employee is reporting to a WSU work location. Sign into wsu.edu and click on the COVID-19 Employee Attestation tile. If you are attesting as an employee, ensure you are on the employee homepage by selecting “homepage” from the dropdown list at the top of the screen. All employees reporting to a WSU work location are to complete the attestation form. Instructions on completing the attestation form and FAQs are available on the HRS Employee COVID-19 Attestation page.
- Supervisors must also log into their myWSU page and select the Supervisor Attestation Report tile to ensure employees arriving to WSU locations completed attestations.
- Before returning to work on campus, all WSU employees must complete two training courses available through Human Resource Services’ Learning and Organizational Development website. The courses are Disinfecting the Workplace and WSU COVID-19 Safe Return to Work.
- After successfully completing each course (with a score of 80% or better) employees must provide the certificate of completion to their department/school/unit. Each department/school/unit director will share the process for submission with their employees.
- Before returning to work on campus employees must read and understand this document, the Voiland College Distancing and Disinfection Plan.
- Employees working in laboratories must review all standard operating procedures (SOPs) for equipment and chemicals, as well as corresponding job hazard assessment (JHAs) before performing a job function/task. For more information on performing a hazards assessment, please visit EH&S Personal Protective Equipment webpage.
- Hand washing is one of the most effective means of combatting COVID-19. Wash hands often with soap for a minimum 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed or unsanitized hands.
- Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or crook of elbow. Immediately dispose of tissue and wash your hands.
- Hand sanitizer is provided at no cost through WSU University Stores. Contact your unit or laboratory purchasing representative to place the order to have sanitizer delivered. (FDA approved hand sanitizer is made at WSU by EH&S. It will be available for free through Fall semester 2020. Please do not order more than needed for immediate use.)
6) Maintain Social/Physical Distancing
- Maintain 6 feet distance between people, allow only infrequent intermittent passing within 6 feet. Avoid lingering in hallways or other common areas. Take breaks and lunch outside, away from the building/campus or in your personal office. Clear plexiglass guards have been installed to protect personnel where short periods of close distance interactions are most likely to occur, specifically at VCEA reception counters, as well as in designated advising and tutoring spaces.
- Face coverings must be worn by all employees working at any WSU work location when in the presence of others and in public settings.
- Employees should not hold, or prop open exterior doors for any other person.
- Building occupants are expected to follow signage on traffic flow through building entrances, exits, elevator usage, and similar common use areas.
- When walking through campus areas please stay on right side of the hallway, stairwells, sidewalks, and corridors.
- Stairwells may only have one-way traffic depending on width. If staircase is marked up or down only, please follow instructions.
- Please follow floor markers indicating appropriate social distancing.
- Observe the occupancy limitation of elevators, per the signage posted at each elevator.
- If faced with another occupant wishing to get on an elevator out of necessity, and you are riding the elevator for convenience, and room does not allow for them, please courteously step off.
- If using break rooms maintain 6’ social distancing and 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 strong encouraged. Do not wash dishes at work: take dishes home to wash.
- Avoid using conference rooms and participating in meetings in person, use electronic meeting formats whenever possible. If you must meet in person, use a space that can accommodate a safe distance of 6 feet or meet outside.
- Do not meet or linger in other’s office.
- Work with your office door closed to limit person-to-person interaction.
- Stagger departmental pickups and drop offs to avoid congestion.
- Departments will encourage the use of drop boxes or bins instead of physically handing items between persons.
- Install physical barriers such as sneeze guards and floor markings in departmental spaces and advising areas that might form a line or require a queue.
- Units will stagger personnel arrival and departure schedules as needed to enhance distancing, as well as to reduce traffic volume at entries, exits, restrooms, and break areas.
- If working in a shared office environment, separate workstations by 6’ (i.e. reception areas, cubicles, offices with multiple desks). If seating is too close together and 6’ social distancing cannot be maintained the occupants sharing the area must work with their supervisor to schedule work shifts that ensure 6’ of social distancing can be met. Examples of implementing social distancing in the office (PowerPoint).
- Only use elevators if necessary or moving loads. If personnel must use an elevator, make sure to observe the new COVID 19 elevator occupancy signs and follow the number of persons allowable in the cab together. Cover coughs and sneezes and consider limiting conversation. Most elevators in Sloan, Dana, EME, ETRL, Carpenter, Paccar, and Wegner allow only 1 or 2 individuals at a time.
- Maintain spatial awareness. If in an area outside of your normal workspace, pay attention to distancing, particularly at entry points, lines, public bathrooms, etc.
- Buildings are currently locked. Coordinate pick-ups and deliveries with your lab or unit purchasing representative.
- Limit sharing of equipment whenever possible to reduce the need for disinfection.
- Plan work in the laboratory in such way that will allow for 6’ social distancing. It may be necessary to establish shifts to meet the needs of all users.
- One person per vehicle. When campus or off-site tasks require two or more people, take separate vehicles.
- Areas that have the possibility for multi-user interactions, such as service centers, should schedule client activities and/or isolate activities that involve personal interactions as much as possible to avoid congestion and maintain social distancing.
- Alpha HP, a 70% alcohol solution, and FDA approved hand sanitizer are available at no cost, including delivery, for all WSU personnel at all WSU campus locations. WSU units and laboratories should place their orders for disinfectants through the WSU University Stores catalog. Follow instructions on EH&S website for disinfectant application.
Note: Disinfectants must have a 5-minute contact time for Alpha HP and 20 seconds contact time for 70% ethanol to be effective.
- WSU units and laboratories should recycle all empty disinfectant containers. Disinfectant recycle stations will be located next to hallway recycling areas, with signage indicating disinfectant bottle recycling only. Used containers will be sanitized, refilled, and provided to units placing orders for disinfectant (without charge) through WSU University Stores.
- All Voiland College employees are responsible to disinfect all shared surfaces such as reception counters, work room tables, conference tables, chairs, door handles, as well as shared items such as tools, staplers, pens/pencils, work room supplies, etc. before and after use. For non-electronic equipment, use Alpha HP, available in spray bottles in all laboratories, copy rooms and conference rooms.
- All Voiland College employees are responsible to disinfect shared electronics such as the copy machine, conference room equipment, lab touch pads and control equipment, computer keyboards, mice, and AV equipment, etc. before and after use with a 70% alcohol solution.
- All VCEA units will provide disinfectants to their communal departmental/unit spaces such as work rooms, conference rooms, break rooms, shared officing areas, etc. to include Alpha HP, 70% alcohol, and hand sanitizer. The disinfectants in these areas will be ordered and resupplied by the department. Areas need to be cleaned before and after each use by the occupants using the space.
- VCEA Principle Investigators (PIs) will provide and restock their laboratories with disinfectants in a designated area within the laboratory, as appropriate for each lab.
- Disinfectants will be located and restocked in each WSU General University Classroom (GUC), as well as Departmental Teaching Classrooms and Laboratories that have courses offered in the Fall semester 2020, by WSU Facilities Operations.
- Faculty and students using a GUC or Departmental Teaching Classroom/Laboratory will be responsible for cleaning their area (table, bench, seat) before and after each use.
- Daily cleaning of GUCs will be provided by WSU Facilities Services. Daily cleaning of Departmental Teaching Classrooms and Labs will be coordinated with the department and WSU Facilities Operations on a case-by-case basis.
- During your work shift, try to schedule all travel on campus in one department vehicle. When you first use the vehicle and when you are done for the day disinfect common touch surfaces in the vehicle, such as the steering wheel, gear shift, and door handles with Alpha HP.
8) Teaching Face to Face (Undergraduate & Graduate Courses)
- All courses teaching Face to Face have to be confirmed by their Department Chair/Director, and approved through the Provost’s Exception Request prior to meeting face to face.
- VCEA personnel teaching face to face courses must follow the WSU Classrooms and Teaching Labs Distancing and Disinfection Plan for SARS-CoV2 and COVID19 (PDF).
- Principle Investigators must receive written approval from their school director or department head, and approval from Voiland College Associate Dean of Research (Dr. David Field), before returning to work at a campus laboratory.
- Principle Investigators must create plans for their respective laboratories and implement those plans following the Staged Return to On-site Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities guidelines (PDF).
- Faculty, staff, and students planning to work in a research laboratory must review the Staged Return to On-site Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities guidelines (PDF) and their respective laboratory’s State Return to On-Site Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities guidelines plan.
10) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Wearing a mask or cloth facial covering, particularly when worn by everyone, and maintaining 6 feet distance between people protects against mucous membrane exposure to SARS CoV2, the virus causing COVID-19. As reference visit EH&S PPE webpage.
- When working in the laboratory practice workplace hazard assessment to identify task specific PPE.
- When using disinfectants, use the PPE identified on the product Safety Data Sheet, for example:
Product Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Alpha HP (diluted/ready to use product) No PPE required 70% alcohol (30% water) Avoid eye contact, safety glasses You may prepare your own bleach disinfectant making 1 to 10 dilution household bleach ~0.5% sodium hypochlorite Safety glasses, nitrile, or rubber gloves
Note: Bleach may damage some surfaces. Provided Alpha HP common touch surface disinfectant is recommended to use instead.
- Respirators are not recommended during social distancing measures because maintaining 6 feet between people supports respiratory protection. Cloth face masks are not PPE and cannot replace social distancing. They primarily protect others from getting sick from exposure to infected individuals without any known COVID-19 symptoms.
- All laboratories must be equipped with safety glasses, protective gloves and other necessary PPE based on the information provided in SOPs and SDSs for chemicals and equipment used in the laboratory. Purchase of the PPE is a responsibility of the laboratory PI.
11) Reference for Disinfecting Shared Equipment
|Copiers/scanners||Disinfect copier and scanner controls or other touched surfaces e.g. paper loading tray handles, bypass tray before and after use. Disinfectant is 70% ethanol.|
|Shared/borrowed/ equipment, teaching equipment, conference room equipment, laptops and computers, computers connected to the equipment, shared equipment||Disinfect computer keyboard, mouse, touch control surface, device on/off button, clicker, document camera touch points (on/off, head adjustment, base adjustment), whiteboard markers, before and after use. Disinfectant is 70% ethanol. Provide hand sanitizer for all attendants.|
|Dangerous Waste bins, bottles, and containers||Do not disinfect collection bins, wear nitrile gloves, do not touch face and wash or sanitize hands after removing gloves.|
|Load carts and gas cylinder trucks||Disinfect load cart and gas cylinder truck’s handles with Alpha HP before and after use. If cart remains in your possession, disinfect at beginning and end of your shift.|
|Shared carboys with distilled and deionized water||Disinfect with Alpha HP all touched surfaces before and after use. If there are no other people present at the laboratory, disinfect at the beginning and end of work.|
|Shared scientific, test and sampling equipment in the laboratories and in the field (includes but not limited to stir and hot plates, ovens, SATEC and Tinius-Olson machines, mixing bins and containers, buckets, tools, refrigerators and walk-in coolers, analytical balances, etc.)||May be limited to a single assigned user per faculty advisor’s discretion. If sharing use must occur, disinfect all pieces that need to be touched for your experiment before and after use. Use Alpha HP disinfectant on doors, handles and other general surfaces.
Disinfects all dials and buttons on the equipment with provided 70% ethanol solution.
|Shared use spaces, conference rooms, reception counters, work rooms, mail rooms, waiting areas, collaboration areas, break rooms||Disinfect door handles, tabletop surfaces, door handles, drawer pulls, shared touch points (pens, staplers, tape dispensers, etc.) using Alpha HP, before and after use. Sanitize desk and chair’s armrests with Alpha HP before and after use. Provide hand sanitizer for all attendants. Remember that capacity of each area is significantly diminished due to social distancing measures. Disinfect all used and shared equipment with provided 70% ethanol solution.|
|Oven mitts and other shared reusable hand PPE||Wear nitrile or other disposable gloves before wearing reusable hand protection.|
|Safety glasses||Every laboratory user must have their own pair of safety glasses.
They need to be purchased by the laboratory PI.
|Microscopes||Strongly recommend limited use. If shared use must occur, disinfect eyepieces, coarse and fine focus, illuminator on switch, objective lens rotator and exterior surface (not lenses), stage and arm. If applicable also disinfect injection syringe, thermal switch, etc. Disinfectant is 70% ethanol.|
|Other non-disposable sampling and monitoring equipment||Disinfect electronic equipment with 70% ethanol and non-electronic equipment with Alpha HP before and after use.|
|Storage/lockers||Strongly recommend limited use. If lockers are necessary, avoid shared use. Disinfect door, door handle, and interior using Alpha HP.|
|Safety glasses||Safety glasses are required in every Voiland College laboratory. Bring your pair every time you are working at the laboratory. You can disinfect you pair with Alpha HP disinfectant if necessary.|
|Splash goggles||This is shared PPE. Please disinfect all outside and inside surfaces
with 70% ethanol solution before and after each use.
|Face shields||This is shared PPE. Please disinfect with 70% ethanol solution before and after use.|
|Respirators||Must be assigned to a single user. No sharing is to occur. Disinfect with a 1:10 solution of a household bleach. This solution needs to be prepared by the users of the laboratory. Disinfect respirators before and after use.|
|Lab coats||Do not share lab coats to prevent possible spread of COVID-19. Every laboratory user who uses a lab coat as necessary PPE must have their own. This PPE must be purchased by the faculty advisor and provided to the student. It may need to be necessary to attach a name tag to each lab coat in use.|
|Chemical resistant aprons||This is shared PPE. Please wear nitrile or other kind of disposable gloves before putting on an apron as a part of your PPE gear for lab work.|
|Chemical and reagent bottles, squirt bottles and glassware in the laboratory||Please always wear nitrile or other kind of disposable gloves before touching chemical and reagent as well as any other type of glassware to prevent spread of COVID-19. If any glassware or bottles were accidentally touched without gloves, disinfect them with Alpha AP solution.|
|Use of shared sinks and faucets in the kitchen and laboratories||Avoid use. If use is necessary, disinfect handles or knobs before and after use with Alpha AP solution.|
|Use of shared appliances such as kettles, coffee makers, microwave ovens, toasters, refrigerators, etc.||Avoid use.|
|Vehicles||Disinfect common touch surfaces e.g. keys, steering wheel, door handles, seat adjustment, window adjustment, gear shift, signals before and after use. Alpha HP is preferred disinfectant. If you have the vehicle checked out for the day, disinfect before use and at end of day.|
- Limit shared equipment to the extent feasible to reduce need for disinfection.
- All shared equipment shall be disinfected before and after each use unless otherwise noted and use is controlled/limited to specific individuals.
- This list is not all inclusive. Additional shared equipment may be identified and shall be disinfected before and after each use.
- Alpha HP requires a 5-minute dwell time for disinfection and 70% Ethanol requires 20-30 seconds. Reference the EH&S Disinfection webpage for additional information.
- Wash hands with soap and water or sanitize after disinfecting.
12) 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.
- Voiland College Safety Committees
- WSU HRS Return to Work Guide
- WSU HRS Daily Attestation
- WSU HRS Covid-19 Leave and Work FAQs
- WSU Office of Research Staged Return to On-Site Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (PDF)
- WSU EH&S Distancing & Disinfection
- WSU EH&S Personal Protective Equipment
- State of Washington’s Safe Start Washington (PDF)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Washington State Department of Health
- Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
- Washington State Local Health Departments and Districts