The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to shift the way we work and live, and things are no different at WSU Health Sciences Spokane (WSU Spokane). WSU Spokane leadership continues to work closely with the WSU system to plan for an eventual return to campus.
As a reminder, most faculty and staff will not physically return to the WSU Spokane campus until Phase 4 of Governor Inslee’s order. WSU Spokane employees who can telework without hampering essential operations should continue to do so. Buildings on campus are currently locked, but still accessible with ID card. If a non-essential employee intends to enter a building, they should notify their manager of their plans. The manager is responsible for determining if the visit is essential and ensuring appropriate training and attestation is accounted for.
In the meantime, WSU Spokane created a document with 10 things to know about returning to campus. Bookmark this document for future reference. Those 10 things include information on:
- Through Phases 2 and 3, teleworking or working at an alternative work location remains the preferred work option
- Certain groups may be at higher risk for COVID-19 infection
- In addition to teleworking, your department may consider additional social distancing strategies including alternate days or shifts or staggered reporting/departing
- Employees returning to work must complete online training and conduct symptom self-attestation every day
- Face coverings must be worn by all employees
- Social distancing and personal protection
- Adequate distance will be maintained between open work environments, i.e. cubicles
- In-person meetings should be avoided as much as possible
- Specific criteria exist for faculty and staff working in laboratory environments
- Mental and emotional well-being
More detailed information is included in the document.
Employee COVID-19 attestation in effect
Once employees are approved to report physically to work, they are required to attest that they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. This is required at the beginning of each day an employee reports to work at a WSU location. Employees working from home do not have to complete the attestation.
Managers and supervisors are responsible for reviewing attestation reports to ensure all employees have completed the required attestation.
COVID identification and contact tracing: A reminder for campus community
- If a staff or faculty member tests positive for COVID-19, they should follow directions given to them by public health officials. It is optional to notify their direct supervisor or contact HRS Disability Services. However, the employee does need to follow their department’s protocol for use of sick leave.
- If an employee optionally discloses their positive result, the staff or faculty member who received the information can notify their respective dean or the Chancellor, who will notify the campus ICS. Names of employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be kept confidential.
- The vice president/chancellor’s office works with members of the campus Incident Command System (ICS) team to confirm positive test results with Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD).
- SRHD remains the agency responsible for confirming a positive case, as applicable and appropriate, with campus ICS.
- In the event of a positive COVID-19 case specific to a staff or faculty member, the campus ICS team will follow SRHD guidance specific to case investigation and contact tracing. Only those individuals who were potentially exposed will receive notification and instructions on next steps. There will be no campus-wide messaging regarding suspect or confirmed cases unless staff are instructed to do so as part of SRHD’s case investigation.
- WSU Spokane custodial staff will continue to take precautionary measures to clean and disinfect many areas on campus, including deep cleaning of areas potentially affected by a suspect or confirmed case.
- The campus ICS team also remains in close contact with the WSU system ICS team and collaborates with them closely on matters involving operations and communications.