Procedure for Special Rule 1: Covid-19 Response
The purpose of this procedure is to provide specific guidance to assist the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (“WVSOM”) with implementation of and ensure institutional compliance with WVSOM’s Special Rule 1: COVID-19 Response.
This procedure applies to all employees (full-time, part-time, and temporary), students, vendors and other guests accessing WVSOM’s campus and sites.
WVSOM reserves the right to amend this procedure at any time, as necessary or appropriate.
3. Employees On Campus
All employees working on campus or in a statewide campus office or other WVSOM site will conduct symptom monitoring each day, monitor their temperature, practice social distancing and will wear face masks in any work situation where they cannot adequately physically distance themselves from others.
Employees must follow WVSOM’s policies and procedures concerning COVID-19 response at all times.
As operations are expanded, supervisors will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it.
4. Staffing Options
Departments may utilize the following options to maintain required social distancing measures and reduce population density within buildings and work spaces.
4.1 Remote Work.
Any employee who has been approved to work remotely to fulfill some or all of his/her work responsibilities will be required to complete work from home logs. These arrangements can be done on a full or partial day/week schedule as appropriate.
4.2 Alternating Days.
In order to limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on campus, departments may schedule partial staffing on alternating days. Such schedules will help enable social distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces.
4.3 Staggered Reporting/Departing
The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements.
4.4 Flexible Work Schedule
Employees may request a temporary change in their work schedules from their supervisors if their job duties and the needs of their department permit. During this period, the quantity and quality of work provided must either exceed or be equal to that accomplished during the normal work period. The employee’s schedule will be returned to normal should the efficiency of the office decrease or the demands placed on the department necessitate a change. Flexible work periods, including Flex Time, should occur within the workweek, specifically for non-exempt employees.
4.5 Temporary Offices.
If employees are sharing office space, it may be determined to temporarily relocate one person to a separate office.
5. Safety Protocols
WVSOM will continue to notify employees and students of evolving safety protocols put in place for their protection. Employees and students will be required to follow WVSOM’s policies and procedures concerning COVID-19 response and safety protocols at all times.
Certain areas of campus will be restricted as necessary. All employees and students should continue to utilize personal safety practices including – washing hands often, avoiding close contact, covering coughs and sneezes, and covering mouth and nose with a face covering/mask when around others.
Employees will conduct symptom monitoring every day before reporting to work. Employees with symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 should work from home until the symptoms resolve or be cleared by a health care provider before reporting to work. No-contact thermometers will be available on campus for those employees who do not have a thermometer at home.
All employees must wear face masks in any work situation, both on and off campus, where they cannot adequately physically distance themselves from others and must continue to keep at least six feet away from others if possible. WVSOM Office of Human Resources and the respective supervising Vice President will distribute masks to employees as needed. Employees are responsible for maintaining and sanitizing their masks. Paper masks will be available from the President’s office or any Vice President’s Office should the need arise. N95 Masks and face shields will be provided by each Vice President based on the duties and responsibilities of the individual employee. Employees may also bring their own face coverings if desired.
WVSOM campus service worker crew must continue to use disinfectant spray daily on high-touch surfaces. Employees are encouraged to minimize the sharing of office equipment to the extent possible. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be available throughout campus and employees are encouraged to sanitize common work spaces throughout the day. Employees should take care of any additional desired cleaning in their workspaces including wiping down their desks, tables, phones, keyboards, light switches, etc.
Entry to buildings will be monitored. Prox cards will be required for entry to all buildings at all times.
Guidelines and restrictions for the WVSOM Founder’s Center and the WVSOM O’Cafe will be posted in the appropriate areas.
Out-of-state business travel remains suspended. Employees required to travel for business should contact their Vice President for approval. To ensure proper physical distancing, only one employee per WVSOM-owned vehicle is permitted for travel.
Employees who are travelling out-of-state are responsible for working with their supervisor, Vice President and Human Resources to determine if they should self-quarantine/work from home for 10 to 14 days before returning to work on campus, based on the area to which they travel and the activities they engaged in during that travel.
Mental and Emotional Well-Being Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group, operates an Emotional-Support Help Line. Professionally trained, mental health staff are available to support people who may be suffering from fear or stress created by COVID-19. Optum’s Emotional Support Help Line number is 866-342-6892 and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free of charge and open to all PEIA members.
6. Working On Campus
At this time, all employees must return to their campus offices. For those employees who have specific medical conditions that require job-related modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WVSOM will address those modifications as ADA accommodations. Those employees requesting job-related modifications due to COVID-19 will need to submit a COVID-19 Modification Request Form, which is available in the Office of Human Resources, as well as any required medical documentation from the employee’s health care provider. These requests will be reviewed on a caseby-case basis by HR to determine eligibility, reasonableness, and approval.
6.2 Requirements for working on campus
All employees, students, vendors, and guests must wear face coverings/masks when in indoor public spaces on campus or at any WVSOM site, ex. hallways, bathrooms, meeting rooms. Individuals do not have to wear a face covering/mask when they are in their office alone, but must wear one when meeting with someone in their office.
All employees, students, vendors, and guests must wear face coverings/masks when outside on campus or outside at any WVSOM site if they are unable to socially distance at least six feet from others.
c. Off Campus:
All employees and students are to follow the directives of the Governor of West Virginia and other governmental authorities to wear face coverings/masks inside public buildings and when in public places where they cannot socially distance. Everyone needs to set an example for others in the community by following these directives for as long as they are in effect.
d. Instruction on proper user of face coverings/masks:
All employees are required to watch a series of videos on signs and symptoms of COVID-19, hand washing, and proper use of face coverings/masks and other ways to keep employees, students, and others safe at https://moodle.wvsom.edu/course/view.php?id=52.
All employees are required to either self-monitor or undergo a temperature scan upon entry to campus. A temperature scan is available in the Welcome Center Conference Room and other designated on-campus stations. Employees who have a temperature higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or other COVID-19 symptoms should NOT come on campus or should leave campus upon determining they have a temperature higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or other COVID-19 symptoms. Employees should notify their supervisor immediately to determine how to proceed. The employee or supervisor may call HR or their Vice President to resolve any remaining issues.
COVID-19 symptoms to be aware of include cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and fever in the last 48 hours, new loss of taste or smell, and vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours. Any employee who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms should not come to campus and needs to make his/her supervisor aware of the situation. Every attempt will be made to maintain confidentiality of any and all health information to the extent possible.
All employees and students may be required to be tested for COVID-19 infection in accordance with a mandate by the Governor of West Virginia, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the county health department, or the President of WVSOM.
Whenever possible, employees must conduct meetings virtually, either by phone or video conference. If employees choose to do a “live” meeting, then they must use a meeting room that will accommodate everyone attending with proper social distancing. The number of people allowed to meet in each meeting room/area is posted. This includes both on-campus and off-campus meetings.
a. Work related travel:
All work-related travel, both in-state and out-of-state, is currently restricted and must have prior approval by the employee’s supervisor and respective Vice President. Statewide campus staff may travel if essential to maintain clinical training sites.
b. Personal travel:
Employees and students are strongly encouraged to minimize personal travel in the coming months. The following guidance will apply to employees returning from out-of-state personal travel (i.e. vacations) that resulted in an overnight stay:
As of August 10, 2020, employees who travel and stay overnight outside of the state of West Virginia for personal travel (i.e. vacations) will be required to telecommute and/or self-quarantine for 10-14 days before returning to work on campus.
Employees should work with their supervisor to determine a return to work plan prior to traveling.
Supervisors, with the assistance of Human Resources, will work with employees to determine the necessary course of action regarding the employee’s ability to work from home for 10 - 14 days. Following the employee’s return to West Virginia, if the employee does not have meaningful, work-related tasks to complete at home, he/she will need to take annual leave and/or unpaid leave. As of August 10, 2020, the Work from Home Task List (i.e. training videos) will no longer be utilized.
Employees and students may be required to quarantine for up to 14 days if they travel to a hot spot upon return to the area. Employees should work with their supervisor to determine a return to work plan prior to travelling and returning to campus. The following site may be helpful in determining hot spots: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/individual-states/usa.
6.2.6 Situations to avoid.
In general, employees, students, vendors, and guests should avoid closed indoor spaces, close contact with others and large gatherings of people.
6.2.7 Large group gatherings on campus and at WVSOM sites:
Large group gatherings of over 25 persons is not permitted on campus or at any WVSOM site until further notice. Employees, students, vendors, and guests are advised not to attend any large group gatherings in the community without wearing a face covering/mask and social distancing at this time for their own protection and the safety of the community.
6.2.8 Hand washing:
Everyone must wash or sanitize their hands on a regular basis and for at least 20 seconds each time and especially when they come in contact with surfaces and others. Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the campus if employees, students, vendors, and guests are not able to wash their hands; personal hand sanitizers are also available upon request.
6.2.9 Face touching:
Everyone must try not to touch his/her face, especially the mouth and nose areas.
6.2.10 Social distancing:
Everyone must maintain at least six feet between themselves and others, including in any meeting spaces. Rooms will have signage indicating the number of people allowed in a room for a meeting.
6.2.11 Public on Campus:
In general, the public is discouraged from being on campus at this time, but can be invited as a guest by appointment. Visitation by individuals for reasons other than to conduct WVSOM official business should be limited to the greatest extent possible. Guest are to be met at the Welcome Center and undergo a temperature scan before being escorted to other areas on campus. Guests who have a temperature higher than 99.5 degrees F and /or have other COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to leave campus immediately and return to campus when they no longer have symptoms. All guests are to abide by WVSOM's COVID-19 related policies and procedures, including the requirement to wear a face covering/mask. If guests do not have a face covering/mask, they may obtain a disposable face mask at the WVSOM Welcome Center. Guests will be asked to leave campus if they do not abide by WVSOM's policies and procedures.
Children are not permitted on campus at this time.
6.2.12 Access to WVSOM facilities
WVSOM facilities will continue to be locked down and will only be accessed using prox cards.
b. Cleaning/sanitization of WVSOM facilities:
The WVSOM Campus Service workers have been instructed on-site b the West Virginia National Guard on effective cleaning of surfaces, both for routine, daily cleaning and for sanitizing areas that are exposed to COVID-19. Employees are responsible for keeping their personal work area clean. Employees who need assistance with cleaning their personal work area may contact Jeff Dowdy.
6.3 Compliance required.
All WVSOM employees, students, vendors, and guests are required to follow WVSOM's COVID-19 related policies and procedures, including all reopening and safety protocols. Failure to comply may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, expulsion, or immediate removal from campus as applicable.
6.4 Revert to previous phase(s).
It may become necessary to revert to previous phases, or parts thereof, at the directive of the WVSOM President, the Governor of West Virginia, or other governmental authority.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding making, wearing and cleaning cloth face coverings, located at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.