Spring Employee Guide

* Updated May 5, 2021 *

NOTICE: Wichita State University will be returning to pre-COVID operations June 1.

As we continue to coexist with COVID-19 and face the challenges with optimism, our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our entire university community. We strive to maintain goals of educational excellence, research and innovation. To that end, the protocols and procedures we put in place at the start of the pandemic remain in place, in accordance with federal, state and local public health and governmental guidance. Frequently Asked Questions are listed below this guide


Health and safety

Self-Checks Before Coming to Campus

All members of the university community should monitor their health, check their temperature each day and use the COVID-19 Self-Observation Questionnaire before coming onsite. For more information on what to do if you have symptoms or think you have been exposed, please contact your health care provider, your county health department or the Sedgwick County Health Department COVID-19 triage hotline at 316-660-1022.

Responsibilities While on Working Onsite

While working onsite, in alignment with CDC guidance, we recommend, but do not require, that employees: (1) practice social distancing; (2) wear a face mask; (3) wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer); (4) avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; (5) avoid close contact with people who are sick and put distance between yourself and others; (6) cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash; and (7) clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your personal space.

Wichita State is not prohibited from requiring masks under SB 40. However, the university is in the unfortunate position of trying to navigate Sedgwick County’s rescission of all COVID health orders and how we would enforce a campus-wide mandate without supporting governmental restrictions. We continue to strongly encourage our entire campus community to engage in COVID-healthy practices whenever possible and we absolutely support our students, faculty, and staff should they choose to continue wearing masks. As you come on campus in the next few weeks and months, you may notice some facilities and events have mask and/or social distancing requirements, or limited attendance. We ask everyone for their cooperation in these cases.

We will continue to monitor the spread of COVID on our campus and will be prepared to pivot back to mandatory restrictions if necessary. And of course, we will follow all local public health and governmental orders. 

Face coverings

WSU recommends but does not require that students, faculty, staff and visitors wear face masks or face coverings over their mouths and noses while on Wichita State University campuses in all hallways, public spaces, classrooms and other common areas of campus buildings unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space; in their individual room, suite, or apartment in campus housing;  actively engaged in eating/drinking in a designated area (i.e., RSC, Shocker Dining, etc.). If you need a mask, you can purchase reusable masks from the Shocker Store or Central Services (010 Morrison Hall). There may also be free masks available, (while supplies last). Get all the details here.

Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

Facilities Services is providing daily cleaning and disinfecting for all classroom spaces, common areas and public spaces. Offices and individual staff are responsible for daily cleaning of office desks, tables, shared equipment, personal items and space within the office environment. Disposable masks, hand sanitizer (in 24/32-ounce spray bottles), surface disinfectant (in 24/32-ounce spray bottles), non-latex gloves, paper towels, blue painters’ tape and safety glasses are available through Facilities Services. Please submit a work order. These items can be picked up at the Gaddis Physical Plant 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Facilities Services will maintain an inventory of these supplies sufficient to ensure a regular cleaning and disinfecting program in accordance with accepted health and safety practices, such as CDC guidance for schools and workplaces. Hand sanitizer will be placed in all occupied classroom spaces. We ask that the bottles remain in these spaces. Please notify Facilities Services if refills are needed.

Emotional Wellness

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a special service provided for State of Kansas benefits eligible employees and their dependents at no charge. The EAP provides information, short-term counseling, advice and referrals from licensed professionals who understand the typical stresses we all face. You may reach out to these professionals directly for confidential discussion at www.guidanceresources.com or 888-275-1205 (option 1), TDD 800-697-0353 (Company ID SOKEAP). For emergencies, please dial 9-1-1.


COVID-19 Testing, Tracking and Vaccinations

COVID-19 Testing

Wichita State University is offering optional on-campus COVID-19 testing to all university employees (faculty and staff) who have an on-campus presence. The university is pleased to offer this testing free of charge to our employees.

Learn more about Employee Testing

Wichita State has launched a COVID-19 Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing Program to monitor and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus. It also is offering testing to students with a known exposure or presentation of COVID-19 symptoms AND also mandating testing of all students living in and employees working in Housing and Residence Life, student athletes and certain students and employees, including but not limited to those associated with clinical programs. Those individuals required to undergo mandatory testing will receive additional information via email.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Vaccinations are now open to all WSU and WSU Tech employees and students, ages 18 and up.

Wichita State and WSU Tech students and employees can schedule vaccination appointments through WSU Student Health Services (SHS). Individuals may also schedule vaccine appointments at any one of Sedgwick County’s vaccine locations or other local vaccine providers found at vaccinefinder.org.

Second dose scheduling for COVID-19 vaccinations for those who received their first dose in SHS is now available, as well.

To schedule an appointment at WSU Student Health Services, sign into myWSU and go to the home page tab. The “Schedule Your COVID Vaccine Appointment” link on the left-hand side of the home page. Vaccinations at SHS are currently available to only WSU and WSU Tech students and employees. No family members at this time.

Contact Tracing

The Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD), in conjunction with KDHE, “will investigate COVID-19 positive people (cases) tested through the Health Department, cases from reported clusters and potential clusters, cases reported from schools, cases in school-aged children not reported from schools, and other cases as resources allow.” SCHD has provided information on the COVID-19 modified quarantine process.

The university only conducts contact investigations as coordinated through Student Health Services and in support of the Health Department. We have adopted procedures and protocols to alert members of our community, including our students, employees and campus partners, if the university has knowledge of potential COVID-19 exposure. The university relies heavily on students and employees to let us know if they believe they may have COVID-19.

See the Contact Tracing FAQ Section

Staffing and Employee/Supervisor Information

Academic Calendar/Classes

The regular spring semester will begin two weeks later than normal, on Monday, February 1. Courses will be offered in several formats: online, hybrid-online, and hybrid. There will be an online-only pre-session in January with options for one-, two-, and four-week classes. This session will begin January 4 and end January 29 and will include an observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 18. Like previous spring pre-sessions, this is an optional session in which faculty may choose to offer courses to allow for continuous learning for students before the start of the regular spring semester.

The last day of this semester will be Thursday, May 6, with finals proceeding as originally scheduled from May 8-13. Commencement remains scheduled for May 15, but the date and format are subject to change based on applicable health and safety guidelines in effect at that time. Before the first day of class, students should be instructed to go here to learn more about what to expect for each of their courses. They should also log on to Blackboard to view other information about their courses.

Office hours

While students will be able to access all services during normal business hours, many campus offices will be operating with modified in-person office hours. All supervisors should have submitted schedules to their supervisor and begun implementing their staffing plans. Please keep in mind that not all office and individual schedules will be the same. Your office hours may look different from another colleague’s – and that’s okay. Increased flexibility will result in increased safety.

Employee/Supervisor Training

All supervisors and employees are encouraged to complete COVID-19 training. Additional information for employees and supervisors can be found on the Human Resources website.

Time Off Policies and Guidance

Wichita State is committed to supporting our employees during this time. For more information on available leave, please visit the Employee Leave FAQ section below, consult the Human Resources website or email totalrewards@wichita.edu.


Travel

Domestic Travel

University-sponsored domestic travel by students, faculty and staff is permitted. Travelers should follow all guidance issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The university also encourages faculty and staff to evaluate whether the travel could be handled online/remotely, or whether the travel could be delayed.

International Travel

University-sponsored travel outside the United States by faculty and staff is allowed, but only under the following provisions: Faculty and staff may travel internationally only if the travel is essential to fulfilling their job’s core function, or if it provides essential support to the university (e.g., research, etc.). All university-sponsored international travel must be approved by the divisional vice president and must also comply with all university international travel pre-approval requirements. Please note: international travel will not be approved to those countries designated as Level 3 or Level 4 by the U.S. State Department and/or the Centers for Disease Control..

Personal Travel

There are no current restrictions for personal domestic or international travel by university employees. Individuals who do travel should follow all CDC and KDHE guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation upon their return. Because employees may be required to quarantine upon returning to Kansas, employees should work with their supervisor to predetermine if they can work from home during any period of required quarantine. Employees who travel internationally are encouraged to complete the International Travel Form prior to departure. 


University Dining and Events

Dining and Rhatigan Student Center hours

WSU Dining will have modified hours, layouts and cleaning schedules. Please click here for more details about dining options, including dining options at Braeburn Square. 

Athletics

Please check goshockers.com for details and attendance modifications. 


The pandemic requires all of us to be active participants in protecting our health, as well as the health of our family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. While the university continues to plan for your safety, we ask that each of you cooperate with these updated measures and remember that we all share the responsibility for protecting the health and safety of our community.

We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and have open conversation with you about any necessary changes or modifications as the semester progresses.

In the meantime, our deepest appreciation for all you do and for your unwavering commitment to the health, safety and future of Shocker Nation.


NOTE: This is a complex, challenging, and fluid situation which continues to evolve rapidly. All information on these pages is subject to change as deemed necessary by University leadership in accordance with guidance and recommendations issued by federal, state, and local public health and government officials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Information for Employees


Personal Responsibility of Employees While on Campus


What are WSU’s expectations for employees while on campus to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

WSU recommends, but does not require, the following for all employees while on campus:

  • Perform a daily personal wellness check before coming to campus and do not come to campus if they feel ill.
  • Practice social distancing while on campus.
  • Wear any personal protective equipment required by your department.
  • Wear a face covering, except when alone in an office or alone walking outside.
  • Wash hands when arriving and leaving the campus, wash hands frequently during the day and upon returning to their workspace.
  • Disinfect your personal workspace and common or high-traffic work areas they are accountable for in their area or department.
Why would WSU want to establish these expectations?

The university is interested in the well-being of each person on our campus, and each of us have a personal accountability to be a conscientious community member.

How will employees be informed about these expectations while working on campus?

To assist in establishing expectations, WSU has developed two trainings: one outlining the expectations for every employee (including you), and one that provides support and guidance to supervisors. Please review the supervisor training in the next two days, prior to the employee training release. Please make sure your direct reports view the employee training as soon as possible. If it is not possible for an employee to view the training electronically, please make accommodations to provide the employee a printed copy.

View the HR training page

This webpage, as well as the Curriculum Design and Teaching Methods page, will also be regularly updated with information about expectations.

Is there other guidance or training that employees may need?

Yes, some departments may establish additional guidance not covered in the WSU training. This additional guidance is specific to the employee’s area or department and may be driven by accreditation or best practice for their specific work. Employees are expected to follow all guidance provided by their supervisor for their work area/department.


General Wellness


Do student employees of the University need to follow the employee or student processes for COVID-exposure-related concerns?

Student employees should follow and be included in the employment processes, with the exception that they may utilize Student Health Services. Student employees should seek guidance from their supervisor if they have any questions related to COVID exposures.

Can employees get tested for COVID-19 at WSU?

Wichita State University OFFERS optional on-campus COVID-19 testing to all university employees (faculty and staff) who have an on-campus presence. The university is pleased to offer this testing free of charge to our employees.

Learn more about Employee Testing


Reasons for Quarantine and Isolation

Below is a nonexhaustive list of circumstances that may necessitate quarantine and isolation protocols.


What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Quarantine is for people who were in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case but currently do not have any symptoms. Quarantine is also required for people who recently traveled to a location identified as high risk for COVID-19 by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) (https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/175/Travel-Exposure-Related-Isolation-Quaran)

Isolation is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19 and are waiting for test results.

What should I do if I think I am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

Notify your supervisor and do not report to your work location. If you have not yet done so, call the Sedgwick County Health Department COVID-19 triage hotline at 316-660-1022 (or your local health department if you are not a resident of Sedgwick County, Kan.). Follow any instructions provided by appropriate public health officials.

What should I do if I think I have been exposed to COVID-19?

To be exposed a person must have had close contact. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within approximately 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time (e.g., 10 minutes or more), or having direct contact with infectious secretions from someone with a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on).

Call the Sedgwick County Health Department COVID-19 triage hotline at 316-660-1022 (or your local health department if you are not a resident of Sedgwick County, Kan.). Follow any instructions provided by appropriate public health officials.

What should I do if I have been notified that I have been in contact with someone with COVID-19?

If you have been notified by an official of a public health agency, you should follow the instructions provided to you by the agency. This may include a request for you to isolate or quarantine for a specific number of days. Notify your supervisor and discuss the specific instructions provided including instructions for you to isolate or quarantine. Your supervisor will make a determination regarding your ability to work from a remote location or you may request COVID-19 leave, if applicable.

If you have been notified by an individual (non-official public health agency) that you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, call the Sedgwick County Health Department COVID-19 triage hotline at 316-660-1022 (or your local health department if you are not a resident of Sedgwick County, Kan.). Follow any instructions provided by appropriate public health officials.

What if a member of an employee’s household displays one or more symptoms of COVID-19, but the employee does not display any symptoms?

If a member of an employee’s household displays one or more symptoms of COVID-19 the employee is asked to take the following steps:

  • Notify their supervisor in accordance with their department procedures/guidelines prior to reporting to campus. The supervisor will let the employee know if they may work remotely, and if not, how they should record their time away.
  • Contact their physician, their county health department, or the call the Sedgwick County Health Department COVID-19 triage hotline at 316-660-1022 for guidance on their risk. Be prepared with information about the symptomatic individual, including when the employee was last in contact, what symptoms are present, and when they first appeared.
  • Immediately complete the COVID-19 Request Form Ii the employee is a caregiver for the symptomatic individual, and submit to TotalRewards@wichita.edu, as they may be entitled to additional paid leave benefits related to recent legislation (FFCRA).
If I have a possible exposure to COVID-19 or illness and am required to go home for self-isolation, will I get paid?

If you are required to self-isolate, you may be eligible to receive COVID-19 Administrative Leave.

What should I do if I have recently traveled internationally or in the U.S.?

If you have recently traveled, please check to see if the location of your travel destination has been placed on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) COVID-19 travel restriction. This information can be found at: https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/175/Travel-Exposure-Related-Isolation-Quaran. Locations included on the list require a 14-day quarantine after your return to Kansas. Follow any instructions on the KDHE web site related to reporting your travel and quarantine. Notify your supervisor and discuss specific instructions provided including instructions for your quarantine. Your supervisor will make a determination regarding your ability to work from a remote location or you may request COVID-19 leave, if applicable.

See more travel-related questions

What should I do if I attend a mass gathering of 500 people or more??

If you attend a mass gathering of 500 persons or more out of the state of Kansas on or after August 11, 2020, you are required by KDHE to fulfill a 14-day quarantine beginning on the first day following the gathering. Notify your supervisor and discuss specific instructions provided including instructions for your quarantine. Your supervisor will make a determination regarding your ability to work from a remote location. If you are unable to work remotely for some or all of your normally scheduled hours, please complete the COVID-19 Report Form and submit to TotalRewards@wichita.edu to determine the anticipated return to work date and leave benefits, if applicable.


Personal Wellness Checks


Will WSU require employees coming to campus to do a personal wellness check?

No. WSU is recommending that each employee to conduct a personal wellness check each day prior to coming onto the campus to check for symptoms that could possibly be related to COVID-19.

Do employees have to record or report the results of their personal wellness check to myself or others at WSU?

There is no need for an employee to report their results to anyone and there is no need for your employees to report their results to you.

What does a personal wellness check consist of?

WSU recommends that each employee check themselves for one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Temperature of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills, repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain, headache, sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
What should I do if I have one or more of the above symptoms?
  • Do not come to campus until you have been cleared as a transmission risk for COVID-19.
  • Notify your supervisor in accordance with department procedures/guidelines.
  • Ask your supervisor if you may work remotely or record a sick day.
  • Complete the COVID-19 Request Form as soon as practical and submit to totalrewards@wichita.edu to determine the anticipated return to work date and leave benefits, if applicable
  • Contact your primary care physician or the Sedgwick County Health Department for guidance on testing and/or quarantine.

Social Distancing


What is social distancing?

Social distancing, also called physical distancing, means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups larger than 10.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
  • Refrain from physical contact.
What do social distancing practices look like for employees that will be on campus?

Every location and job function are different and require careful consideration on the best way to incorporate social distancing.

  • Supervisors will consider a combination of staggered schedules, shifts and virtual arrangements for employees and communicate with their staff regarding expectations for work schedules.
  • Employees should talk openly with their supervisor so they may coordinate to mutually meet the needs of the employee as well as the department.
  • Conduct regular meetings or serve customers through virtual communication forums (telephone, email, skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and webinars) rather than face-to-face interactions.
  • If an employee can’t access or doesn’t know how to use the technology available to all employees, he or she should let their supervisor know. Additional information is available on the Resources for Remote Work webpage.
  • If face-to-face interaction can’t be avoided, consider how to arrange furniture or to remain standing to allow a 6-foot distance between all people at all times while communicating. Also utilize face masks or face coverings, whichever is appropriate for the situation.
  • Keep interactions short to avoid prolonged exposure.
  • Refrain from entering areas where it is normal for people to congregate — such as break rooms, restrooms and social areas — until you may do so safely. Consider attaching a sign to a closed door to designate if the space is occupied or vacant.
  • Minimize the length of meeting to avoid prolonged interactions.
  • Limit your movement on campus as this will help limit exposure. Continue to practice social distancing during activities such as going outside for a walk or sharing a larger conference or break room space during breaks or lunch.

Personal Protective Equipment


What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

PPE refers to protective clothing, gloves, face masks or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from the spread of illness

Will PPE be provided to employees if required?

Any required personal protective equipment will be provided to employees by their supervisor

What is the difference between a face mask and a face covering?

A face mask is specialized equipment worn by employees to protect them against infectious materials. A face covering, is mainly worn to prevent those people who may have the virus and may not know, from spreading the infection to others. A face covering (required while on campus) may be a cloth or similar material made to cover your mouth and nose. It fits snugly, but comfortably, against the side of the face. It is secured with ties or ear loops which may include multiple layers of fabric which allow for breathing without restriction.

What are the expectations for wearing face masks?

The university recommends, but does not require, students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear face masks or face coverings over their mouths and noses while on Wichita State University campuses. If you need a mask, you can purchase reusable masks from the Shocker Store in Braeburn Square or Central Services (010 Morrison Hall). There are also a limited number of free masks available (while supplies last). Get all the details here.

Are employees required to wear disposable gloves while on campus?

No, but disposable gloves may be required by certain departments. Your supervisor will communicate that expectation to you and ensure the appropriate type of gloves are provided and glove safety instructions.

What if I feel I need to use PPE, even if it is not required?

Employees may use personal protective equipment even if not required by the university if they deem it appropriate for themselves and desire to do so. WSU requests the employees use any such equipment according to established safety guidelines and standards.


Practicing Personal Hygiene in the Workplace


What is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

The best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to practice proper hand-washing techniques.

  • Employees are expected to properly wash their hands immediately upon reporting to their work area on campus.
  • Wash hands frequently throughout the course of the day.
  • Wash hands before you leave work.
  • Hand sanitizer can be used when soap and water is not readily available.
What are other personal hygiene practices that can I can use in the workplace to reduce the spread of COVID-19?
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with tissue or by sneezing into the bend of your elbow. Immediately discard the tissue.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid physical contact (hand shaking, hugging, etc.).
What are employee expectations related to cleaning and disinfecting their workplace?

Our custodians disinfect all work, classroom and lab areas daily with industrial-strength products. In addition, employees are expected to clean and disinfect the following:

  • Employees are expected to wipe down their immediate work areas and any high-traffic areas they are accountable for, or after any in-person contact by using the cleaning or disinfectant products provided.
  • If you need supplies, contact your supervisor to make arrangements to replenish.

Communications, Questions and Concerns


What should you do if a student tells you they have tested positive for COVID-19, has been instructed to isolate because of symptoms and/or testing, or is in quarantine or isolation related to COVID-19?

If a faculty or staff member learns directly from a student that the student has tested positive for COVID-19, has been instructed to isolate because of symptoms and/or testing or in quarantine or isolation, the faculty or staff member should encourage the student to self-report via the Maxient portal. Student Health will receive this information and will reach out to the student to determine what the student’s current status is, and what, if any, services from the university the student may require.

Per Kansas HB 2016, faculty and staff SHOULD NOT:

  1. ask the student any questions about where the student has been or who the student has been around, or
  2. report the positive case to the class members.

Given the restrictions of HB 2016, which was enacted to protect the privacy and confidentiality of information collected through contact tracing, any necessary“contact tracing” is conducted through the state and local county health departments. The Sedgwick County Health Department, in conjunction with KDHE, determines the required follow up for individuals who test positive and collects information on their close contacts, if needed. Accordingly, the university is unable to conduct contact tracing and cannot and will not (by law) mandate contact tracing for any person.

What should employees do if they have concerns about a co-worker who exhibits possible symptoms of COVID-19 (such as a cough) while they are working on campus?

Employees should notify their immediate supervisors if they have a concern regarding a co-worker with possible COVID-19 symptoms. The supervisor will observe and discuss the observed symptoms with the individual.

What if an employee does not feel comfortable coming to campus?

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is of the utmost importance. WSU will continue to closely monitor the status of COVID-19 and updates specific to Wichita State University will be provided on wichita.edu/covid19news. We understand that members of the Wichita State University community may be experiencing heightened levels of anxiety as we discuss employees coming to the campus. The employees who feel anxious or worried about COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the State of Kansas Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, which is available to help. Kansas EAP is available 24 hours-a-day at 888-275-1205, press option 1.

How will WSU notify employees if there is a need to change operations?

WSU recognizes that this is a very fluid situation, and we may need to adjust quickly. The most up-to-date information about how the university is handling programs in response to COVID-19 will be posted in WSU Today and wichita.edu/covid19news.In addition, routine town halls are conducted by university administration.

Is the university reporting positive COVID-19 cases to the public?

Yes. The University has created a COVID-19 Dashboard that is updated weekly. University officials, in conjunction with the Sedgwick County Health Department, are closely monitoring all information as it relates to the health and safety of its campus community. The university is prepared to take all action necessary in the event that students, faculty or staff are believed to be faced with heightened risk of exposure, including, but not limited to, closing housing facilities and pivoting all classes to remote or online.

What is the university doing with reports of positive tests?

The university has adopted and implemented policies, procedures and practices regarding reports of known exposure or positive cases on campus. The university continues to follow the guidance of federal, state and local health officials in combating the spread of COVID-19 by requiring masks be worn on campus, limiting classroom sizes, encouraging frequent hand washing, postponing large events, promoting remote work, installing Plexiglas barriers in public offices, providing sanitizer to the campus community and in buildings, requiring social distancing, and increasing sanitization of targeted areas. Health officials agree that these measures are the most effective way to combat the spread of this disease.

More information about the number of positive cases in the area can be found on Sedgwick County’s website.

Will the university tell me if I may have been exposed to COVID-19?

Recent Kansas legislation enacted to protect the privacy and confidentiality of information prevents the university from engaging in contact tracing efforts. As a result, all contact tracing is conducted through the state and local county health departments. The Sedgwick County Health Department, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, are responsible for contacting individuals who test positive, providing instructions for isolating, and collecting information on close contacts.

In the event of a positive test, employees are encouraged to contact Human Resources, and students are encouraged to report at wichita.edu/reportit.

What if an employee would like to provide feedback, share a concern or report an issue related to COVID-19 practices at WSU?

If the feedback, concern or issue is within an employee’s department, please contact the immediate supervisor. If this does not resolve the matter, email the HR.ServiceCenter@wichita.edu or reach out to the HR business partner assigned to the department.

What if an employee has questions regarding their benefits or leave reporting?

If an employee has questions regarding benefits or the use of leave, please contact the HR Total Rewards team at TotalRewards@wichita.edu.

What if an employee has questions about reporting their time?

Please email the payroll team within Financial Operations at timekeeping@wichita.edu

What if an employee or an employee’s family member is part of a medically vulnerable population?

If the employee or a family member are part of a medically vulnerable population and are concerned about contracting COVID-19 by being on campus, please contact the Human Resources office at 316-978-3065 or e-mail TotalRewards@wichita.edu to discuss leave benefits that he or she may qualify for under the FFCRA, Family and Medical Leave Act and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Contact Tracing


Is Wichita State University allowed to conduct contact tracing?

No. Wichita State is not allowed to conduct contact tracing

On June 9, 2020, Kansas enacted HB 2016. This legislation created the “COVID-19 Contact Tracing Privacy Act.” Under this Act, only the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the local health officer are authorized to conduct contact tracing. Only the KDHE and the local health officer can grant permission to other state entities to do contact tracing.

In other words, the Act prohibits other state entities, such as Wichita State University, from performing any “contact tracing” activities unless this tracing is specifically authorized by KDHE or the local health officer.

How does HB 2016 define contact tracing and how does that affect Wichita State University?

Under the HB 2016, “contact tracing” has its own definition. And that means that the University has to follow and rely upon that definition – not how “contact tracing” is commonly understood or defined by the CDC or by any other state.

For purposes of HB 2016, “contact tracing” means identifying persons who may have been exposed to an infected person for the purpose of containing the spread of COVID-19 by notifying the contact that the contact may have been exposed, should be tested and should self-quarantine.

Since we are a state entity, the University is prohibited by law from notifying any student, employee, or visitor of any potential known exposure – even in general terms.

What entity is responsible for contact tracing?

In Sedgwick County, contact tracing is the sole responsibility of the Sedgwick County Health Department. This includes any contact tracing that must be done on the Wichita State campus. SCHD, in conjunction with KDHE, are responsible for contacting individuals who test positive, providing instructions for isolating, and collecting information on close contacts.

Contact tracing is a specific process that is conducted through local and state public health authorities. When an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the lab where the test was completed and the provider who ordered the test are required to report the positive test results to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). This report is used to initiate the contact tracing process by local and/or state public health authorities.

Why is it important to self-report potential exposure or positive test for COVID-19?

Wichita State University has adopted procedures and protocols to alert members of our community, including our students, employees and campus partners, if the University has knowledge of potential COVID-19 exposure. It strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to self-report if they believe they may have been exposed to, or tested positive for, COVID-19. Reporting can be done as follows:

  • Employees should contact HR Total Rewards (totalrewards@wichita.edu)
  • Students should complete the COVID-19 Report Form found on the wichita.edu/reportit website. Completing this form will connect students with the campus resources through the care coordinators and Student Health Services for support during isolation or quarantine periods
How should students in residence halls react to close contact or positive test for COVID-19?

Students living in the residence halls are required to contact Housing staff if they test positive for COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case. Housing staff will work with students to facilitate quarantine and isolation spaces on campus, if needed.

How does KDHE define “close contact?”

KDHE defines a “close contact” as being within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes or having direct contact with someone with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19.

If you are not a close contact, you do not have any special precautions to take, though everyone should follow prevention measures to keep themselves healthy. These measures include practicing good hygiene and social distancing, wearing a face covering, monitoring your health, and staying home if you are sick.


University Operations


How will WSU notify us if operations are changed?

The most up-to-date information about university announcements and all aspects of COVID-19 will be posted in WSU Today and wichita.edu/covid19.


Employee Leave and Benefits


What should I do if I’m not feeling well or I am ill?

If you are not feeling well or are ill, you are encouraged to stay home from work. Notify your supervisor and use any leave that you might be eligible to use for an illness. This will help keep our workforce healthy.

If you feel that you need to seek medical attention, you are encouraged to contact your primary care physician, the local health department, or use telehealth services through your health plan, if available.

What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or FFCRA?

The FFCRA was legislation that was passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It required certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administered and enforced the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions expired on December 31, 2020.

Has the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) made any special provisions for plan participants related to COVID-19?

Yes, Governor Laura Kelly announced four (4) provisions on March 13, 2020 that are effective immediately and until further notice.

  1. SEHP will cover medically necessary diagnostic tests that are consistent with CDC guidance related to the COVID-19 at no cost share to member, where it is not covered as part of the Public Health Service response.
  2. SEHP will allow early refills on 30 or 90-day prescription medications and/or allow members to use their mail order benefit. .
  3. Given the nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, seeking in person medical care has the potential to further spread the virus. SEHP partners with Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas to provide Telehealth services with a virtual doctor’s office. There is 24/7/365 access to this service. The member cost share will be waived for any Telehealth service.
  4. For plan participants that reside in the Topeka area, the HealthQuest Health Center available to members enrolled in the health plan, is located at 901 S. Kansas Ave., Topeka.
    • Phone screening is recommended before going to the center: 785-783-4080.
    • If a patient walks into the clinic, they will have them put on a mask and clean their hands with hand sanitizer. The health center staff will evaluate the patient’s symptoms and recommend they isolate if the initial findings and/or symptoms present are a positive indicator for the virus.
    • Testing is not available at the health center for COVID-19 and the clinic will refer all patients that meet the risk criteria to the local health department for testing and further evaluation.
What are telehealth services?

Telehealth services are virtual doctor’s office visits and are available in the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) medical plans. Aetna provides telehealth services through Teledoc and Blue Cross Blue Shield provides telehealth services through Amwell. If you are covered by another health plan, please check with your health plan provider to see if telehealth services are available.

What should I do if I have if I don't have a medical condition, but I am concerned about workplace exposure to COVID-19?

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is of the utmost importance. We are closely monitoring the status of COVID-19 and updates specific to Wichita State University will be provided on wichita.edu/covid19news.

We understand that members of the Wichita State University community may be experiencing heightened levels of anxiety during this time. The HR Total Rewards team encourages employees who feel anxious or worried about COVID-19 to contact the State of Kansas Employee Assistance Plan, or EAP, which is available to help. Kansas EAP is available 24/7 at 888-275-1205, press option 1.

What if I still have questions regarding leave and work options?

If you have questions regarding the use of leave, please contact the HR Total Rewards team at TotalRewards@wichita.edu. If you have questions about telecommuting or other employment concerns, please contact your supervisor or your department’s HR Business Partner. You may also email HR.ServiceCenter@wichita.edu.


Childcare Interruption


What are my options if I am unable to work because I do not have childcare?

If you are experiencing an interruption in childcare, you should discuss with your supervisor your ability to work from a remote .

Are there options for childcare?

There are child care providers in the greater Wichita region (Sedgwick, Butler, Cowley, Harvey and Sumner Counties) with immediate openings for children especially for health-care providers, first responders and essential employees.

People may call 1-877-678-2548 (toll-free) or begin an online search at www.childstart.org.

Many of the vacancies are in family childcare homes, which are licensed by KDHE and serve no more than 10 children. Many other child caregivers who usually limit enrollment to five or six children are volunteering to open their enrollment to serve eight or ten in order to support first responders and health-care providers. Many of the openings come from families who have a caregiver now staying home.

A local non-profit organization, Child Start, provides a statewide database through its Early Childhood Connections program. It just completed contacts with all licensed providers in the area so local information is accurate as of March 30.


Telecommuting / Remote Working


Can I choose to work from home or an alternate location?

Upon prior authorization from your supervisor and if business operations allow, employees may request telecommuting from home or an alternate location. Faculty members should seek approval from the appropriate department chair, head or dean.

If you request to work from home/alternative location, you should discuss with your supervisor to identify the location you wish to work from and for how long. The supervisor will either approve or deny the request, based on business needs. The supervisor should also clearly identify the expectations for the work and the time period approved. You should be in regular contact with your supervisor during this time about your work, productivity, etc. Supervisors may, at any time, adjust the arrangement for employees to work from home/alternate work location.

Who determines if I may work from home or an alternate location?

During the COVID-19 period, departments have been authorized to make this decision. Factors to consider are type of job duties and whether they can be performed remotely and/or if the employee is considered at high risk of serious illness if infected with the illness.

Am I required to have a dedicated home office for telecommuting?

Employees can work from any alternative work site that allows them to perform the duties of their position.

Where can I find tips and resources for working at home or an alternate work location?

If you need tips for working from home or an alternate work location, you can find information on the wichita.edu/covid19news webpage.

If you need guidance on remote work tools, please go to the Working Remotely Resources website. The site includes instructions regarding how to stay connected from a remote location (VPN access to your work computer), web conferencing options, and telecommunications options for voicemail and forwarding calls.

What if I need to work from home or an alternate location, but I do not have resources to work at home?

The University has leased 200 dell laptops that are expected to arrive on March 25, 2020. It will take ITS two to three days to have all the laptops ready for distribution. Of the total, 170 are prioritized for faculty use, and 30 are prioritized for staff use. Please go to the Working Remotely Resources website to submit a ticket to request a laptop. Once approved, the faculty / staff member will receive an email regarding when and where they can pick up the device. It is possible that not everyone submitting a request will be approved. The laptops are required to be returned back to ITS when we return to normal operations, unless the College / Department chooses to continue the lease arrangement.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A LIMITED SUPPLY AND IS INTENDED FOR THOSE WITH NO OTHER OPTIONS AVAILABLE.


 

We’ve heard that both students and faculty/staff may have limited or no internet access. We have purchased 150 cellular hotspot devices from Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. The timing of delivery is not yet known. We will be adding link to the Working Remotely Resources website to request a device once they are received. These are cellular based, so keep in mind that if in an area with limited cellular access, these likely will not provide the needed internet service.

PLEASE NOTE: LIKE THE LAPTOPS, THIS WILL BE A LIMITED SUPPLY WHEN RECEIVED AND IS NOT INTENDED FOR THOSE WITH EXISTING INTERNET ACCESS AVAILABLE.

If I am having issues with any IT resources, who should I contact?

Your initial contact should be the University IT HelpDesk at helpdesk@wichita.edu or 316-978-HELP, Option 1.

Will the University cover the cost of my personal phone or internet for working at home?

The University is not prepared to reimburse for these costs. If this prevents you from working at home, please coordinate with your supervisor to determine if it would be appropriate for you to work on campus.


Guidance for Travel


What are university guidelines on university-sponsored domestic travel for students, faculty and staff?

University-sponsored domestic travel by students, faculty and staff is permitted. Travelers should follow all guidance issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The university also encourages faculty and staff to evaluate whether the travel could be handled online/remotely, or whether the travel could be delayed.

What are the university guidelines on university-sponsored international travel for faculty and staff?

University-sponsored travel outside the United States by faculty and staff is allowed, but only under the following provisions: Faculty and staff may travel internationally only if the travel is essential to fulfilling their job’s core function, or if it provides essential support to the university (e.g., research, etc.). All university-sponsored international travel must be approved by the divisional vice president and must also comply with all university international travel pre-approval requirements. Please note: international travel will not be approved to those countries designated as Level 3 or Level 4 by the U.S. State Department and/or the Centers for Disease Control.

What are the university guidelines on university-sponsored international travel for students?

University-sponsored travel outside the United State by students is allowed, but only under the following provisions: All university-sponsored international travel by students must be approved by the appropriate dean/director whose area is responsible for the student’s potential travel, and must comply with all university international travel pre-approval requirements (i.e. submit travel authorizations through Chrome River). Please note: international travel will not be approved to those countries designated as Level 3 or Level 4 by the U.S. State Department and/or the Centers for Disease Control.

Do I have to quarantine after travel?

Travelers should follow all travel quarantine guidance issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

Do I need documentation to travel?

Travelers should follow all travel documentation guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

What are the university guidelines for personal travel?

Travelers engaging in personal, non-university-sponsored travel should follow all guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). The university strongly encourages all faculty and staff who are engaging in personal travel to register your travel with the university. .

Information for Supervisors

Shockers United Reopening Plan for Supervisors


Increasing Employees Presence on Campus


Do I need to have plan for my area or department for employees who will be on campus?

All areas and departments are required to have a plan that supports social distancing and other safety protocols for employees who will be on campus. Leaders are encouraged to maximize the use of remote working arrangements to the greatest extent possible.

What else do I need to consider as I create my departmental staffing plan for social distancing?

Employees’ presence on campus will look different depending on the area or department’s function and an individual employee’s role. When developing the plan for your area/department consider the following items:

  • Can I continue to allow employees to telework and provide departmental services?
  • How do I incorporate safe social distancing into the area or department plan?
  • For employees on campus, is there a need for personal protective equipment (PPE)?
  • How will employees on campus interact with customers and other co-workers while maintaining safe social distancing protocols?
  • What additional cleaning and disinfecting needs to take place in the area or department and on what frequency?
What do I do when I have completed my departmental staffing plan for social distancing in the workplace?

When you have completed your plan, submit it to your direct supervisor, who will ensure that the college/division leader is in agreement with your plan.

If your department will not be operating “normal” business hours (M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m.), you will need to contact Bob Smith, Director Facility Services, at bobby.smith@wichita.edu to advise him of your schedule so they may adjust the cleaning/disinfecting schedules for your department.

How should I communicate to employees the plan for my area/department?

Each area should determine the most appropriate communication forums to communicate expectations regarding being on campus. Since employees want to understand how the plan will impact them personally, it may be appropriate to have an individual conversation with each employee.

What if an employee is reluctant or declines the plan for our area/department?

In a confidential conversation, seek to understand why the employee is reluctant to adopt the plan. Consider that it may be for some or all of the following reasons:

  • Consider themselves or a family member as medically vulnerable.
  • Concern about daycare issues.
  • Concern about adjusting their schedule due to family or personal issues.
  • Fear of being exposed to COVID-19.
  • Doesn’t trust that protocols such as social distancing will be practiced consistently while on campus.
  • General anxiety about their overall safety.

If it is for the above reasons, have the employee reach out the Total Rewards team at TotalRewards@wichita.edu or call Human Resources at 978-3065. The employee will be provided a confidential consultation by an HR professional to help them navigate their situation appropriately. If you need further assistance, contact your HR Business Partner for additional guidance.


Personal Responsibility of Employees While on Campus


What are WSU’s expectations for employees while on campus to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

WSU has set the following expectations for all employees while on campus:

  • Perform a daily personal wellness check before coming to campus and do not come to campus if they feel ill.
  • Practice social distancing while on campus.
  • Wear any personal protective equipment required by your department.
  • Wear a face covering at all times, except when they are alone in their office or alone walking outside.
  • Wash hands when arriving and leaving the campus, wash hands frequently during the day and upon returning to their workspace.
  • Disinfect their personal workspace and common or high-traffic work areas they are accountable for in their area or department.
Why would WSU want to establish these expectations?

The university is interested in the well-being of each person on our campus, and each of us have a personal accountability to be a conscientious community member.

How will employees be informed about these expectations while working on campus?

To assist in establishing expectations, WSU has developed two trainings: one outlining the expectations for every employee (including you), and one that provides support and guidance to supervisors. Please review the supervisor training in the next two days, prior to the employee training release. Please make sure your direct reports view the employee training as soon as possible. If it is not possible for an employee to view the training electronically, please make accommodations to provide the employee a printed copy.

View the training page

Is there other guidance or training that employees may need?

Yes, some departments may establish additional guidance not covered in the WSU training. This additional guidance is specific to the employee’s area or department and may be driven by accreditation or best practice for their specific work. Employees are expected to follow all guidance provided by their supervisor for their work area/department.


Wellness Checks


Will WSU require employees coming to campus to do a personal wellness check?

No. WSU recommends, but does not require, employees to conduct a personal wellness check each day prior to coming onto the campus to check for symptoms that could possibly be related to COVID-19.

Do employees have to record or report the results of their personal wellness check to myself or others at WSU?

There is no need for an employee to report their results to anyone and there is no need for your employees to report their results to you.

What does a personal wellness check consist of?

WSU asks that each employee check themselves for one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Temperature of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills, repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain, headache, sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
What should I do if an employee that reports to me indicates they have one or more of the above symptoms?

If the employee has one or more of the indicated symptoms:

  • The employee is not to come to work onsite until they have been cleared as a transmission risk for COVID-19..
  • Employees are to notify you, in accordance with your department procedure. You will need to let the employees know if they may work remotely or if they need to record a sick day.
  • On the same business day, employees should complete the COVID-19 Report Form and send to TotalRewards@wichita.edu to determine the anticipated return to work date and leave benefits, if applicable.

Social Distancing


What is social distancing?

Social distancing, also called physical distancing, means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups larger than 10.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
  • Refrain from physical contact.
How do I incorporate social distancing practices for employees who will be on campus?

Every location and job function are different and will require careful consideration by you on the best way to incorporate social distancing in your specific work areas and while we are on campus. Make sure your employees know what is appropriate and be available to answer any questions they may have. The following are suggestions to consider while planning for successful social distancing in your work area and the workplace:

  • Consider a combination of staggered schedules, shifts and virtual (telework) arrangements for those who report to you and communicate with each employee regarding expectations for their work schedule, including if they will be working on campus.
  • Please talk openly with your employees and be as flexible as possible so both their needs and those of the department can be met.
  • Remember, our top priority is safety. If the work can be accomplished in ways that don’t involve coming to campus, you should continue to allow your employees to work remotely.
  • If your employees are required to be physically on campus to do their work, please make sure they know their work is appreciated and ensure they feel safe and have what they need for that purpose.
  • Consider how your employees can serve your customers through virtual communication forums (i.e., telephone, email, skype, zoom, Microsoft teams and webinar meetings, etc.) vs. face-to-face interactions.
  • Talk to your employees and make sure they have access and know how to use the technology available from the university to do their work in the most efficient manner. Additional information is available on the Resources for Remote Work webpage.
  • If face-to-face interaction can’t be avoided, consider how to arrange furniture or to remain standing to allow a 6-foot distance between all people at all times while communicating. As an alternative, use masks or face coverings.
  • Advise your employees to refrain from entering areas where it is normal for people to congregate such as breakrooms, restrooms and common social areas until they can do so while social distancing.
  • Use virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings. If in-person meetings must take place, ensure the room is large enough to allow 6 feet between individuals and no more than 10 people in a meeting.
  • Recommend that your employees limit movement on campus as this will limit exposure. Employees can continue to practice social distancing during activities such as going outside for a walk or sharing a larger conference or break room space during breaks or lunch.
What if an employee is reluctant to accept the area or departmental plan developed for social distancing?

You should have an individual conversation and seek to understand the employee’s concerns.

  • If appropriate, ask the employee if it is anything related to an issue involving COVID-19. If so, please direct him or her to the COVID-19 Request Form. The employee will get a confidential consultation to help them navigate their situation appropriately.
  • If the employee qualifies for leave, you will receive notification from HR only that the employee qualifies, not why they qualify. This is to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our employees.
  • If an employee has not been successful or does not like working remotely, work with him to come up with a plan in which he can comply with the university’s expectations for working on campus.
  • If an employee has general anxiety about COVID-19, please provide them the contact information for Employee Assistance Program.
What if employees are not following social distancing protocols in the area or department, or while of the campus?

You should have a private conversation with your employee to make sure he or she understands the expectations that have been set.

  • If the employee understands but does not agree, listen to understand the employee’s concerns.
  • Ask for the employee’s cooperation.
  • If you are unable to resolve the issue, seek the guidance of your supervisor or the HR business partner assigned to your area.

Personal Protective Equipment


What is personal protective equipment (PPE)?

PPE refers to protective clothing, gloves, face masks or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from the spread of illness. All employees are expected to wear a mask or face covering while on campus unless they are in an office alone or walking on campus alone. Please make sure all your employees have a mask or face covering.

 

What is the difference between a face mask and a face covering?

A face mask is specialized equipment worn by an employee to protect them against infectious materials. A face covering is mainly worn to prevent those people who may have the virus and may not know from spreading the infection to others. A face covering (required while on campus) may be a cloth or similar material made to cover your mouth and nose. It fits snugly but comfortable against the side of the face. It is secured with ties or ear loops which may include multiple layers of fabric to allow for breathing without restriction.

Are employees required to wear disposable gloves while on campus?

Disposable gloves may be required by certain departments.

  • If gloves are required in your department, communicate that expectation to your employees.
  • Ensure the appropriate type of gloves are provided for their use and they have been provided with glove safety instructions.
What if an employee feels the need for PPE, even if it is not required?

Employees may use personal protective equipment, even if not required by the university if they deem it appropriate for themselves and desire to do so. WSU requests the employees use any such equipment according to established safety guidelines/standards.


Practicing Personal Hygiene in the Workplace


What is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

The best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to practice proper hand-washing techniques.

  • Every employee is expected to properly wash his or her hands immediately upon reporting to a work area on campus.
  • Every employee should wash hands frequently throughout the course of the day.
  • Employees should wash their hands before they leave work.
  • Hand sanitizer can be used when soap and water are not readily available.
What are other personal hygiene practices that can be used in the workplace to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

Here are other personal hygiene practices employees should use in the workplace:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with tissue or by sneezing into the bend of your elbow.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid physical contact (hand shaking, hugging, etc.).
What if employees are not practicing personal hygiene in the workplace?

Have a private conversation with the employee to make sure she knows the expectations that have been set.

  • You may need to post signage as a reminder.
  • If the employee understands but does not agree, listen to understand the employee’s objections. There may be an issue of which you are not aware.
  • Ask for the employee’s cooperation.
  • If you are unable to resolve the issue, seek the guidance of your supervisor or the HR business partner assigned to your area.

Cleaning and Disinfecting the Workplace


What are employee expectations related to cleaning and disinfecting the workplace?

Our custodians disinfect all work, classroom and lab areas daily with industrial-strength products. In addition, employees are expected to clean and disinfect the following:

  • Employees may choose to wipe down their immediate work areas and any common or high-traffic areas they are accountable for or after any in-person contact by using the cleaning and disinfectant products provided.

Travel Guidelines for Supervisors


Is WSU setting expectations related to travel?

Employees are still encouraged to refrain from all nonessential travel. If employees do travel:

  • To an area identified as high-risk, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment mandates self-quarantine for 14 days.
    • Employees are not permitted to return to work until the end of these 14 days (or longer, in the event they develop COVID-19 symptoms).
    • Employees should notify their supervisor in accordance with their department procedure.
  • If employees travel internationally, they are required to fill out the international travel form.
  • To an area not identified as high-risk, employees are permitted to return to work (subject to all other restrictions).

Keeping our Workplaces Safe


What else can I do to support employees in my area or department to create a positive and safe work environment?

Communication is key to ensuring employees are practicing protocols that support a safe work environment. Engage your employees on the following topics:

  • How are the social distancing protocols working in our area or department?
  • Is the additional cleaning and disinfecting for our area or department being done enough?
  • Does everyone understand proper handwashing techniques?
  • Is the required PPE being used appropriately?
  • Ask what other suggestions or concerns they have to assist in a safe work environment.
  • Finally, remember that our top priority remains the health and safety of our entire campus community. These are stressful and unique times. This is a time for us to have grace with one another while making sure we do what is best for everyone.
What if an employee continues to be hesitant to work onsite?

Even though the university is taking multiple steps to ensure the safety of employees, an employee may continue to be hesitant to work onsite. While every employee has a right to do what they feel is best for their health and safety, any employee who is required to report to work, but chooses to remain away from work will be required to use accrued leave or may record that time as leave without pay. If you cannot accommodate your employee being away from their scheduled work, seek the guidance of your supervisor or the HR business partner assigned to your area.


Managing Employees


What should I do if I have an employee(s) that states they are not feeling well or are ill?

If an employee is not feeling well or is ill, please encourage the employee to consider staying home from work. This will help keep our workforce healthy. Employees should use available leave for time away from work.

What should I consider in order to establish a telecommuting working arrangement with an employee(s)?

During this time, WSU encourages supervisors to be flexible and creative in considering temporary telework situations so that the work of your department can continue. As the supervisor, and if business operations allow, you may consider allowing an arrangement in which an employee(s) telecommutes from home or an alternate location. Faculty members should seek approval from the appropriate department chair, academic leader or dean.

If an employee has the ability to work from home/alternative location, the employee should discuss this with their supervisor to identify the location that the employee wishes to work from and for how long. The supervisor should either approve or deny based on the business needs. The supervisor should clearly identify the expectations for the work and the time period approved. The employee should be in regular contact with their supervisor during this time about their work, productivity, etc. Supervisors may, at any time, adjust the arrangement for employees to work from home/alternate work site.

See more information on telecommuting

Who determines if an employee can work from home or an alternate work location?

During the COVID-19 period, departments have been authorized to make this decision. Factors to consider are type of job duties and whether they can be performed remotely and/or if the employee is considered at high risk of serious illness if infected with the virus.

Are there other things I can consider to manage staffing?

Depending on your department needs, as well as the employee, you may also want to consider flexible/adjusted work hours. In order to create more distancing, you may consider staggering work shifts. Be creative. You know best how to get the work done in your department.

Can an employee on an H1-B visa request to perform their work via a telecommuting arrangement?

Yes, and we encourage supervisors to be as flexible as possible.

Is an employee required to have a dedicated home office for telecommuting?

Employees can work from any alternative work site that allows them to perform the duties of their position.

What do I need to consider for Student Workers?

Supervisors should work with these students on a case-by-case basis given individual circumstances. If they are required to work, please consider whether they can perform their essential work functions via telecommuting. Whenever possible, we encourage supervisors to allow them to telecommute or adjust their work method in another manner to avoid financial hardship.

What should I do if I have an employee(s) that indicates they or a family member has/have a medical condition that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19?

If an employee(s) shares with you they or a family member are part of a medically vulnerable population and are concerned about contracting COVID-19 by working onsite, please discuss with them if they have the ability to work from a remote location or some other type of alternative work arrangement. You may wish to seek the guidance of your supervisor or the HR business partner assigned to your area.

What should I do if I have an employee(s) that has indicated they do not have a medical condition, but they are still concerned about workplace exposure to COVID-19?

The health and safety of our student, faculty and staff is of the utmost importance. We are closely monitoring the status of COVID-19 and updates specific to Wichita State University will be provided on wichita.edu/covid19news.

You may also encourage the employee(s) with concerns or anxiety related to these events, to contact the State of Kansas Employee Assistance Plan, or EAP, which is available to help. Kansas EAP is available 24/7 at 888-275-1205, press option 1.

Finally, you may also encourage the employee(s) to reach out to their primary care physician.

What are telehealth services?

Telehealth services are virtual doctor’s office visits and are available in the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) medical plans. Aetna provides telehealth services through Teledoc and Blue Cross Blue Shield provides telehealth services through Amwell. If you are covered by another health plan, please check with your health plan provider to see if telehealth services are available.

What if an employee has an illness not related to COVID-19?

Employees should follow current applicable call-in procedures for their department and should use available leave to cover time away from work.

What should I do as a supervisor if an employee notifies me that they have COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in close contact?

If the employee is at their work location, send them home immediately. If they are not at work, instruct them not to come into work. Instruct the employee to call the Sedgwick County Health Department COVID-19 triage hotline at 316-660-1022 (or the employee’s local health department, if they are not a resident of Sedgwick County, KS). Follow any instructions given by appropriate public health officials and/or the employee’s medical health care provider. Additional information on actions you should take are in the Supervisors Procedures for COVID-19 at: https://www.wichita.edu/services/humanresources/HR_Service_Center/COVID19_Employee/index.php#supervisor.

What should I do if I have an employee(s) returning from a location that the CDC advises self-quarantine and not returning to work?

Employees and supervisors should follow the KDHE COVID-19 travel restriction list to determine when self-quarantine or not returning to work for a period of time is advised. If an employee is required to self-quarantine and/or stay at home based on these guidelines, they should use approved leave and monitor their health during travel and for the recommended 14 days after returning from travel. In addition, employees should complete the COVID-19 Request Form to determine the anticipated return to work date and leave benefits, if applicable.

During the COVID-19 period, will I still need to approve time and leave reports?

Yes, in order to accurately pay employees, validation and approval of time and leave reports is required to meet audit standards. If a supervisor does not have access to approve in self-service, a delegation should be made to someone who can validate and approve.

What if I have an employee that has a circumstance not addressed in these FAQ’s?

We recognize there may be times when employees require additional support that our current policies do not foresee or accommodate. If you confront a particularly difficult circumstance, please reach out to the HR business partner assigned to your area.


Recruiting / Hiring


If we have scheduled on-campus interviews for job openings, what do we do?

In response to COVID-19, in-person interviews will not be conducted at this time. Hiring departments/units and search committees are to move to an alternative format, such as conference calls or through supported video conferencing (Zoom, Skype, etc.). As a result, the search committee should notify candidates as soon as possible, to reschedule the interview in the selected alternative format. For assistance please contact Human Resources Talent Acquisition at employment@wichita.edu.

Our unit has already made travel arrangements for interview candidates. Must the interview be rescheduled to an online format?

Contact Human Resources Talent Acquisition for guidance at employment@wichita.edu. HR will work with search committees faced with this issue on a case-by-case basis.

What if our candidate does not have resources or online technology for video conferencing?

Although it is generally advised to make the interview process as consistent as possible for all candidates, in response to COVID-19, it is important to take measures to prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, it is recommended for searches that need to switch mid-process to an alternative format, that search committees keep as many elements of the process as consistent as possible.

Our search committee has already conducted a portion of our interviews in-person. Is it OK to move to an online format since it is not consistent with previous arrangements?

Search committee members may still choose to meet in a conference room that has video or conference call capability for the remote interview or may decide that members will also participate remotely. If the search committee chooses to meet in person, they should secure a room large enough to allow social distancing among the team members. Individuals who have been exposed to the virus, who potentially may have been exposed, who have a chronic health condition or who are ill should only participate remotely. It is encouraged to have as many members participate in the interviews as possible, whether that is in-person or via remote participation, in order to effectively make a recommendation for hire. The most recent COVID-19 guidelines must be followed at all times.

Should the search committee still meet in person, or should they meet independently, through video conferencing technology for meetings and interviews?

Yes, you can put the interview process on hold. We recommend that you contact the candidate(s) and inform them that, due to COVID-19, you are delaying interviews at this time. A specific timeline as to when in-person interviews can resume has not yet been made and will be forthcoming. Please note a delay may result in losing a top candidate(s). As a result, conference call or video conferencing options should be considered before postponing a search.

Our candidate has already accepted an offer of employment with a designated start date but has informed us that they are ill, under self-quarantine, or is caring for others and will not be able to begin work as originally specified. What options do we have?

Units can allow the individual to delay their start date or look at telework options if appropriate. Contact HR Talent Acquisition at employment@wichita.edu for assistance or if an adjustment to an offer letter may be needed.

Will my new hire need to complete onboarding in person?

New hires will continue to utilize electronic onboarding process to complete most of their new hire paperwork. Your candidate must provide supporting documents for the Form I-9 in-person, by the third day of employment, because the document requires visual verification. Human Resources Talent Acquisition will be in touch with you and your candidate about that process to ensure it is completed timely.