Safety Guidelines & Protocols for the COVID-19 Pandemic

Introduction

The health and safety of the College’s faculty, staff, students, and visitors is its highest priority and the shared responsibility of the College and the college community. Wake Tech is committed to altering its physical environment to help the college community feel protected in accordance with safety measures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Occupational Safety and Health Act’s general duty clause requires employers to provide worksites free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious bodily harm. Wake Tech is guided by this standard as it makes decisions pertaining to resuming on-site operations and a seated learning environment. Wake Tech will alter this plan as circumstances change.

Purpose

This plan provides general guidelines to enable Wake Tech to safely reopen its campuses following guidance from the governor, public health officials, and the North Carolina Community College System Office. Additionally, it presents a summary of procedures for responding to incidents of direct and indirect contact with COVID-19.

Objectives

  • Protect the health and safety of the college’s faculty, staff, students, and visitors
  • Advise employees of protocols for social distancing
  • Monitor conditions and immediately take steps to limit and mitigate safety risks

Social Distancing

  • The College is taking intentional actions to decrease density and alter traffic patterns within the workplace with the goal of maintaining at least six feet of space between persons present.
  • Campuses will be open, but common areas will remain closed and locked – i.e., cafeteria, gyms, atriums, student activity areas, conference center.
  • Signage supporting social distancing requirements will be posted on all campuses. One-way directional signage is being installed, including floor markers to direct foot traffic where maintaining social distancing is difficult.

  • The number of building entrances will be reduced while maintaining code compliance.
  • Access to common areas will be restricted.
  • Employees will be encouraged to use stairs rather than elevators, especially when descending; elevator capacity should be reserved for disabled persons.
  • All food service will be suspended, including food trucks, but vending machines will be available.
  • To provide protection at water fountains, dispensers for disposable, plastic gloves and paper cups will be mounted at each. Signage will also be posted to encourage the use of these items, and high-touch parts of water fountains will be sanitized regularly.
  • Plexiglas shields have been installed in public-facing areas such as reception desks and welcome centers.
  • Building capacities will be controlled with reduced student capacity per classroom or lab, and seated class meetings will be staggered.
  • Campus bookstores will be open physically but will practice social distancing and encourage online ordering and delivering.
  • Cashier offices will be open physically but will practice social distancing and encourage electronic payments.
  • Travel will be limited, and except as needed by Campus Police, Facilities, and the Warehouse, the use of college vehicles will be prohibited.
  • Meetings, including faculty office hours, will be held virtually through Microsoft Teams.
  • The Environmental Health & Safety and Facilities Teams will conduct safety risk evaluations of physical workspace layout to determine areas where modifications may be needed.

Building Cleaning

  • SMO will clean at available intervals during the day and complete a deep cleaning of buildings every evening.
  • SMO will continue to wipe down high touch areas during the day, such as doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, restrooms, water fountains, and push bars.
  • Should any positive COVID-19 cases be reported, the impacted facilities will be assessed, closed where needed, and cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines before re-entry will be allowed.

Personal Hygiene

Keeping the college community safe must be a collective effort.

  • Know Your Ws guidance:
  1. Wear a cloth face covering.
  2. Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.
  3. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
  4. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  5. Avoid physical contact between employees, i.e. handshakes and hugs.
  6. Clean, sanitize, and disinfect frequently touched services at least daily and shared objects between each use.
  • A reminder of these guidelines will be posted in key areas and distributed widely.
  • All faculty, staff, students, and visitors will be required to wear a cloth or disposable mask, not only in classrooms but in hallways and in places where people may congregate to conduct college business, such as cashier lines.
  • All individuals should provide their own masks, but the College has a limited supply of disposable masks available as a backup.
  • Masks will be required when employees step outside of their offices, cubicles, and office suites.
  • Failure to wear a mask and maintain social distancing will result in removal from class or campus.
  • Individuals with health conditions that prohibit the wearing of a mask and where no other form of personal protective face covering or equipment is suitable based on their health condition should contact Human Resources at [email protected]  or 919-866-7890.
  • If you are at high risk and scheduled to work on campus, contact HR at [email protected] or
    919-866-7890

Direct & Indirect Contact

COVID-19 Campus Exposure Procedure

Wake Tech recommends that everyone take a daily assessment to determine if
self-quarantine is necessary. The assessment is located here:
https://landing.google.com/screener/covid19

Download PDF

Possible Exposure

 
 
 1.

If you have:

  • Been within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

   OR

  • Been less than 6 feet from an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 (laboratory confirmed) but has not had any symptoms

You should:

  • Immediately report this possible exposure to your instructor (if you are a student) or to your supervisor (if you are an employee).
  • Isolate yourself from all other people, including those in your household.
  • Contact your healthcare provider or county health department for evaluation and testing.
  • Stay away from campus for 14 days from the date of exposure. After 14 days you may return to campus as long as you do not have any symptoms or a positive test result.

Positive Test but No Symptoms

 

 
 
 2.

If you have:

  • Been tested for
    COVID-19 and received a positive diagnosis but are currently not experiencing symptoms

You should:

  • Immediately report this diagnosis to your instructor (if you are a student) or to your supervisor (if you are an employee).
  • Isolate yourself from all other people, including those in your household.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s directions for follow-up testing + CDC guidelines for monitoring your symptoms. Monitoring includes watching for symptoms and checking your temperature every 12 hours.
  • Stay away from campus for 10 days following your diagnosis and healthcare provider's directions for follow-up testing. After 10 days you may return to campus as long as you do not have any symptoms.

Positive Test with Symptoms

 

  
 
 3.

If you have:

  • Been tested for
    COVID-19 and received a positive diagnosis and are currently experiencing symptoms

You should:

  • Immediately report this diagnosis to your instructor (if you are a student) or to your supervisor (if you are an employee).
  • Isolate yourself from all other people, including those in your household.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s directions for treatment of your symptoms.
  • Stay away from campus until:
    • you have gone 3 days with no fever without using fever-reducing medication during that time,
    • your respiratory symptoms have improved,
      AND
    • it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

Negative Test With Symptoms

 4.

If you have:

  • Been tested for
    COVID-19 and received a negative diagnosis and are currently experiencing symptoms

You should:

  • Immediately notify your instructor (if you are a student) or your supervisor (if you are an employee) that you are experiencing these symptoms.
  • Stay away from campus until your symptoms have improved.

Communication

 
 
 
 5.

If you have:

  • Upon receiving a report, instructors and supervisors will immediately notify Human Resources (at [email protected]) and their direct supervisor.
  • Human Resources will communicate with executive leadership and maintain appropriate confidentiality while promptly notifying anyone who may be impacted so that they can self-monitor.
  • Individuals who initiated the response will be asked to assist with contact tracing. This information will be tracked separately from personnel and student records, and names will remain confidential.
  • The college may elect to close an impacted classroom, office or building space for a period up to 72 hours following a confirmed case to allow for disinfection and natural deactivation of the virus.
  • Individuals who were possibly exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19 may be asked to provide documentation from a healthcare provider that they are cleared to return to campus.
Updated: 7/31/2020

The college recommends that everyone take a daily assessment to determine if self-quarantine is necessary. The assessment is located here:  https://landing.google.com/screener/covid19.