Washington State University
Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 Work Plan

COVID-19 Work Plan

WSU remains committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment; which includes preventing COVID-19 infections in the workplace. After contact tracing since March 2020, including cases involving pre-symptomatic but infectious employees occupying the workplace, EH&S has learned that masks and distancing very effectively prevent workplace infections. With the vaccines now available statewide and to anyone accessing WSU facilities, COVID cases in the state and on campus continue to decline. As prevalence decreases, the need for controls, such as those identified in the following sections also decreases. Meanwhile, anyone accessing or managing WSU facilities must adhere to the following minimum plan requirements:

 

Get Vaccinated

WSU is requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for all students and employees system-wide, with the option for individuals to file a medical or non-medical exemption. Employees will be required to declare their vaccination status in Workday. WSU anticipates the process for filing an exemption will be available in July 2021.

Attestation

Effective June 15, 2021, WSU will no longer require daily attestation. See Sick? STAY HOME below.

Sick? STAY HOME

People should not enter a WSU location if they feel ill. WSU strongly discourages self-diagnosis of symptoms and recommends testing. Leadership, supervisors, faculty, and instructors are encouraged to foster a  flexible workplace and learning environment that allows for students and employees experiencing illness. We all must do our part to protect public health.

See also DOSH directive 1.70, section IV.A.5

Face Coverings AND DISTANCING

WSU employees who wish to no longer wear facial coverings or socially distance at a WSU work location must be fully vaccinated and declare their fully vaccinated status through Workday. Students, contractors, vendors, and visitors not wearing face coverings may be asked to show proof of vaccination upon entering a WSU location. Anyone unable or unwilling to provide proof of vaccination must either put on a face covering and distance or leave the WSU location.

Return to Workplace Process

Each college, campus, or area must have their vice president, chancellor, dean, leader and/or their designee perform the following steps:

  • Designate a COVID coordinator for their respective campus, college, or area. This person is responsible for monitoring this webpage for updates to COVID operational guidance and communicating those updates to their respective areas. Additionally, this person should ensure area compliance with the most current guidance.
    • Designated COVID coordinators will only be required at the college, campus, and area levels; however, some units or departments under those areas may choose to also designate a COVID coordinator. For example, the College of Arts and Sciences will be required to have a COVID coordinator, and the School of Music may also choose to have a COVID coordinator.
  • Direct all units under their purview to follow the current WSU COVID Workplace Guidance (listed on this page).
  • Document the name and contact information for their COVID coordinator as well their agreement to follow the most current guidance online.
    • All COVID coordinators will receive an email confirming their role and expected duties and an invitation to join Microsoft Teams COVID Coordinators. Updates to return to workplace and campus guidance will be provided via the COVID Coordinators team.
  • If the above steps are completed, campuses, colleges, and areas do not need to complete an RMAG review for returning to campus/workplace. However, RMAG is available to provide an optional review to anyone who requests it.

Return to Workplace Training

Due to changing guidance and WSU’s plan for a robust in-person experience in the fall, COVID return to workplace training is no longer necessary. Individuals should follow relevant informational signage and reference this webpage for more information.

See also DOSH directive 1.70, section IV.A.1

Remote Work

Employees may continue working remotely when mutually beneficial to the employee and department or area. Employees working remotely must enter into an approved telework agreement.

Disinfection

WSU has adopted the CDC recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility. As such, disinfectant products will remain available and stocked in classrooms, labs, and offices for individual use. In some communal spaces, like dining halls, game rooms, exercise rooms, and lounges, occupants should continue to disinfect touched surfaces between uses. Facility WSU custodians will continue cleaning facilities daily, with some additional focus on high touch common areas, but will not be cleaning in between classes or activities. Additional cleaning will be performed if a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 ois identified in a WSU facility.

Capacity Restrictions

Capacity restrictions are determined by industry guidance. In the event a particular industry is not listed, WSU units should follow the gathering guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. This means that in WSU facilities not covered by industry guidance, gathering limitations for vaccinated persons defaults to the fire code capacity. For gatherings of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons, occupancies must be limited to allow 6-feet of distancing for unvaccinated persons. COVID-19 restroom and elevator capacity restrictions have been removed.

Breakrooms and Drinking Fountains

Fully vaccinated persons may use breakrooms with other fully vaccinated persons. Unvaccinated persons should continue alternating break schedules to permit distancing, or eat in alternate locations. COVID infections have been linked to breakroom interactions and unvaccinated persons should maximize distancing and limit unmasked breakroom activities for their protection. Drinking fountains restrictions will be removed and returned to full service. The fountains will be cleaned and disinfected daily.

Classroom Distancing

Current guidance calls for 6 feet of distancing for unvaccinated persons. Right now, classrooms are operating with this distance in place, but WSU anticipates this will change when new Higher Education Guidance is released this summer.

Industry Guidance

Employees and units working in areas covered by industry specific guidance, such as eating and drinking establishments or fitness facilities, must adhere to Washington State Industry Guidance for COVID. Contact Jason Sampson at 509-335-9564 or Shawn Ringo at 509-335-5251 for assistance if needed.

Signage

Facilities Operations will be removing existing COVID-specific generic signage (unless required by industry guidance) and replacing it with updated signage. WSU adheres to L&I workplace COVID communication and education requirements, and uses signage to inform individuals about workplace policies. Currently, signage at WSU should communicate the following:

  • Don’t come to campus sick.
  • If unvaccinated, wear a mask and maintain 6 feet social distance.
  • If vaccinated, wearing a mask and distancing are optional.
  • For additional information please visit ehs.wsu.edu/workplan.

Events

If any of the following criteria apply to an event, then the event needs to be submitted to Risk Management Services for RMAG review:

  • Includes overnight travel
  • Includes primarily attendees/participants who are minors (excluding current/enrolled WSU students who are minors)
  • Includes greater than 100 attendees/participants
  • Includes food service
  • Is open to, and anticipates at least 50% of the attendees/participants, will be from outside of the WSU student, staff, faculty community

Events that do not include any one of the above criteria do not need to go through RMAG review prior to area approval.

For facilities or units that host multiple similar events, the hosting unit or facility owner need only do RMAG review for an initial event, the plan for which would then serve as the master plan for subsequent similar event.