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, facilities will be closed, cleaned, and remain closed in accordance with CDC guidelines.

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.
  • High Risks individuals are urged to stay at home and travel only for absolutely essential purposes. The CDC defines high-risk individuals as people 65 years or older, and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions, including people who are immunocompromised or who have chronic lung disease, moderate-to-severe asthma, serious heart conditions, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, or liver disease.

Direct or Indirect Contact with COVID-19


Employee Guidance

Direct Contact:

  1. Employees must call Human Resources immediately to provide detailed information including the location of the contact, duration of contact, and names and phone numbers of persons with whom they were in contact.
  2. Employees may contact HR at [email protected] or the HR Help Desk at 919-866-7890. The email inbox and the Help Desk messages are monitored throughout the day, and the employee will be contacted in a timely manner.
  3. Employees will be quarantined for at least 14 days.  
  4. Employees should contact their medical provider or the Wake County Public Health Department (WCPHD) for guidance and testing.
  5. The Wake County government maintains a website listing the locations of free, drive-through testing sites at https://covid19.wakegov.com/testing/.
  6. Employees must notify HR when they receive their test results.
  7. If the employee lives in Wake County the WCPHD will conduct the tracing process. If not, the college will conduct the tracing process.
     

Indirect Contact:

  1. Employees must call Human Resources immediately to provide detailed information as outlined above.
  2. Employees will be asked to self-monitor for symptoms and to contact HR immediately if they become symptomatic.

 

Student Guidance

Direct Contact:

  1. Students must notify their instructor, who in turn, will notify his/her supervisor and Human Resources (HR) at [email protected] or the HR Help Desk at 919-866-7890.
  2. HR will contact the student, gather detailed information, and follow recommendations from the Wake County Public Health Department (WCPHD).
  3. Students will be quarantined for at least 14 days. Instructors will accommodate students (to the extent possible) to allow them to make up assignments and tests. 
  4. Students should contact their medical provider or WCPHD for guidance and testing.
  5. The Wake County government maintains a website listing the locations of free, drive-through testing sites at https://covid19.wakegov.com/testing/.
  6. After receiving their test results, students must notify Human Resources via email at [email protected] or the HR Help Desk at 919-866-7890.
  7. If the student lives in Wake County the WCPHD will conduct the tracing process. If not, the college will conduct the tracing process.
     

Indirect Contact:

  1. Students must notify their instructor, who in turn, will notify his/her supervisor and Human Resources (HR) at [email protected] or the HR Help Desk at 919-866-7890.
  2. HR will contact the student, gather detailed information, and follow recommendations from the Wake County Public Health Department (WCPHD).
  3. Students will be quarantined for at least 14 days. Instructors will accommodate students (to the extent possible) to allow them to make up assignments and tests. 

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.