Weatherford College is preparing for the safe return of students and employees to its campuses for the fall semester. The College has put several practices in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This plan relates to the time frame beginning August 17, 2020, and extends indefinitely. The College reserves the right to modify these guidelines as needed.
To avoid confusion and promote consistency, the policy in effect for the Weatherford College campuses is that masks (face coverings) are a requirement for presence anywhere on WC campuses.
Each WC employee and student is first and foremost personally responsible for their health and wellbeing. All must always use good judgment and respect for the wellbeing of others in any and every activity they undertake. This is a personal responsibility that is expected of everyone in our community. The following information will explain what is required of each of us. The College is relying on your good judgment and goodwill.
Workplace Safety Practices and Expectations
All individuals are required to wear face coverings when on WC campuses unless one is alone in a private office. The College has furnished employees who regularly work onsite with washable and reusable masks. If you share an office space, offices should provide enough space for employees to distance themselves from each other. Recent studies have indicated that face coverings provide protection from contracting the virus, and that wearing a face covering in public settings helps protect others and materially slows the spread of the virus. Face coverings do not replace physical distancing. Employees who have trouble breathing, cannot tolerate wearing masks or are unable to remove their masks without assistance must get clearance from the Department of Human Resources to wear an alternative face covering.
The College has installed transparent dividers in several locations where the employee’s work places them in a face-to-face exchange with another person at close proximity. Each of you is expected to respect those dividers and keep them between yourself and others.
Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds multiple times throughout the day. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Keep space between you and others. This is one of the best tools we have to avoid exposure.
- Stay at least 6 feet from other people.
- Stay out of crowded spaces and avoid mass gatherings. Always wear your face covering.
- Avoid meeting in groups of 10 or more. Schedule virtual meetings when possible.
Stay at home when sick.
Employees and students are asked to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms daily before arriving on campus.
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If an employee or student has any of these symptoms, they should speak to their health care professional, and employees should call their supervisor. Symptomatic students should contact their instructors by email or phone call to report that they are sick. Students and employees are not obliged to discuss symptoms when reporting illness. Employees and students will need to stay home and not come to WC campuses until they have met the CDC criteria for symptom-based recovery, which is currently defined as:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and
- At least 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and,
- Symptoms have improved.
Employees may be eligible to use COVID-19 leave if they meet certain federal requirements. Please contact the Department of Human Resources with any questions. Students are encouraged to contact their instructors to receive advice on learning alternatives.
REMINDER: Employees should not discuss personal medical history with supervisors. Calls to supervisors are to notify them that the employee will be out sick.
Interior doors for occupied spaces should remain open throughout the workday to allow for maximum air circulation and reducing touching of door handles.
Food and drinks brought onto WC’s campuses should be individually packaged and not generally shared or consumed where wearing a face covering is required. Gatherings of groups of greater than 10 individuals should be avoided. Always practice social distancing.
Each department should have a supply of disposable masks for those visitors not wearing a face covering. Contact the Purchasing Department for a box of masks. Contact the Creative Services Department for posters indicating the face-covering requirement for WC facilities.
Employees will log their appointments daily using tools such as Outlook calendar or Canvas scheduler should contact tracing need to occur due to possible exposure.
Workplace Safety Practices and Expectations – Classroom/Lab Environment
Employees and students are required to wear face coverings in the classroom/lab.
Faculty office hours will be by appointment only and in a setting where social distancing may be maintained at all times. Use the Canvas scheduler to create appointment opportunities for students.
Classroom/Lab Capacity: The maximum occupancy capacity for a classroom will be 50%. Participation in F2F classes will be limited, with a cap of 50% of maximum room capacities. Large enrollment classes will be arranged to reduce F2F populations to accommodate social distancing. Assigned seating will be required. Eating/drinking will not be allowed in classrooms/labs.
Until further notice, there will be no institutional travel unless approved by the employee’s area Cabinet member.
Reporting a Positive COVID-19 Case
Employees are expected to immediately notify their supervisor and the Department of Human Resources. Supervisors are expected to report on behalf of employees if the employee is not able to self-report. Employees should contact the Department of Human Resources once physically able to do so. Employees may be eligible to use COVID-19 leave if they meet certain federal requirements. Employees who have tested positive may return to work as recommended by their health care provider, normally after a 14-day isolation period. Supervisors will be responsible for assistance with contact tracing. This is critical to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Supervisors will be expected to retrieve the employee’s daily log of appointments with the help of Technology Services and report the information to the Department of Human Resources.
Students are expected to report positive tests to the Student Services Department. The Student Services Department will work with the student to develop contact tracing in the event the student was on a College campus while COVID-19 positive. Students who have tested positive may return to F2F classes as recommended by their health care provider, normally after a 14-day isolation period. All medical information collected will be held in strict confidence in accordance with legal requirements.
Name/severity of conditions will not be identified in any notification the College is required to release. The Department of Human Resources will be responsible for notifying employees of information; Student Services will be responsible for notifying students of COVID-19 positive contacts.
Employee and Student Emotional Well-Being
WC is committed to supporting the emotional wellbeing of its employees and students. Each employee is eligible to access the College’s Employee Assistance Program – Alliance Work Partners (AWP). Employees are encouraged to take advantage of the many resources available from this program. Students may contact the counseling office on the main campus for any emotional needs at email@example.com or 817-598-6246.