CURRENT PHASE:

Reopening Phase/Summer • May 26-July 31

Overview

  • All classes will remain in an online/remote format.
  • Telework encouraged for faculty and staff.
  • Employees expected to conduct a personal wellness check each day prior to coming onto the campus.
  • Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are expected to wear mask and appropriate PPE at all times, unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space.
  • Gatherings of no more than 15 people through June 8. (Gathering size limits will be determined based on state of Kansas guidance.)
  • Maintain 6 feet of social distancing.
  • Facilities will provide daily disinfecting for 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.
  • The university will maintain an adequate supply of soap, hand sanitizer, cleaning and disinfecting supplies.
  • Nonessential travel is discouraged.
 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/shockers_united/phase_1.php#su_everyone

What everyone should know
What documents does the Shockers United plan draw from?

Shockers United follows the phases and timelines as outlined by “Ad Astra: a plan to reopen Kansas,” and the federal government’s “Opening Up America Again.”

The three phases are:

  • Preopening Phase: Through May 25
  • Reopening/Summer Phase: May 25-July 31
  • Fall Semester Phase: August and Beyond
What health and safety practices are expected to protect each other from coronavirus infection?
In the Reopening Phase (through July 31), everyone is expected to maintain daily wellness self-checks, social distancing, limited congregation, wearing face coverings or masks (as appropriate), disinfecting spaces and limiting non-essential travel. Employees are expected to continue staggered work schedules and remote working as determined by each department or unit.
What social distancing practices are expected?
In the Reopening Phase (through July 31), all members of the campus community are expected to practice social distancing (6 feet minimum) at all times, indoors or outdoors. PPE must be used in clinics and laboratories for any approved exceptions to social distancing requirements.
What are the expectations for wearing face masks?

Beginning immediately and until further notice, all members of the campus community are expected to wear face masks or face coverings at all times, unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space. Reusable cloth masks or coverings are acceptable and preferred, unless N-95 is required for specialized environments. One cloth mask per employee will be available through Facilities Services, however, be advised that we are still waiting for a stock of masks to be delivered to campus.

Departments can order masks for their office. Please submit your request online via the following link: wichita.edu/services/physical_plant/workorders.php

Priority will be given to areas that have remained open during the campus shutdown and areas opening for in-person access May 26.

For cloth masks, please be advised that offices can only order one per employee. We are still waiting for our stock of masks -- made by GoCreate -- and will communicate to campus when they are in. But it's best to submit your work order as soon as possible.

Each department should submit a work order request online, including the number of staff in their department. Your department will be notified when your order is ready.

Masks can be picked up at the Gaddis Physical Plant complex, by appointment, or Facilities Services can deliver them. Please include your preference in the work order request.

Do visitors also have to wear face masks?
Visitors are encouraged to wear a mask or face covering at all times while at Wichita State, unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space. If you do not have a mask, most offices will provide you with a disposable mask.
What materials and equipment will Wichita State provide?

Facilities Services will begin distributing COVID-19 safety “Starter Kits” on Monday, May 18. These starter kits are intended to help staff returning to campus on May 26 get through the first week or two. Priority delivery will be given to areas that have remained open during the campus shutdown and areas opening for in-person access May 26.

At a minimum, starter kits will include the following: cloth face coverings/disposable surgical masks, hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant in spray bottles, paper towels, blue painter’s tape and a limited number of non-latex gloves. Cloth face coverings are limited to one per WSU employee.

After the May 26 reopening of campus, we anticipate staffing for the summer will become more clear. Upon receipt of a work order request, we can quickly supplement the starter kits with items that are essential for daily operations. Please limit additional orders to quantities that correlate with the number of staff actually working on campus.

Facilities Services will continue to build and install plexiglass shields upon receipt of work order requests. To date, we have installed more than 150 plexiglass shields on campus. These should be utilized for high-traffic campus areas providing customer service or other activities with frequent and regular access by the campus community and visitors.

As a reminder, Facilities Services has built inventories that will allow us to provide the following items to our WSU campus community, as needed:

  • Plexiglass shields (for desks, counters, etc.)
  • Cloth masks
  • Disposable masks
  • Hand sanitizer (in spray bottles)
  • Surface disinfectant (in spray bottles)
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Safety glasses
  • Blue painters tape (This is for floor markings and to hang signs with. Please don’t use other types of tape. A unified plan to provide sign templates to campus will be communicated soon.)

This is for floor markings and to hang signs with. Please don’t use other types of tape. A unified plan to provide sign templates to campus will be communicated soon.

What resources are available if I feel anxiety?

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 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 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.

Wichita State’s Care Team helps students and employees with health or mental health concerns, academic struggles, financial stressors, housing and food concerns and more. Contact the Care Team at care@wichita.edu or at (316) 978-3149.

For students. If you suffer from anxiety and need to talk to someone, please contact Counseling and Prevention Services. Student Health Services is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday to provide health care services to students. You can find help at our website at wichita.edu/shs.

Student Affairs has also developed an FAQ of emergency and self-care resources, includes emergency assistance resources

In response to the COVID-19 safety orders, the Student Government Association's Shocker Support Locker physical space is closed until further notice. However, to ensure the Shocker Support Locker continues to serve the WSU community a virtual order form has been created.

To access the Locker resources, the client needs to submit an order form. Once the client notes their needs and submits the form, the Support Locker staff will coordinate with the client to establish a pick-up date and time. Orders are distributed on Wednesday and Friday from 1-4 p.m.

Questions can be directed to sga.supportlocker@wichita.edu or 316-978-6715. Go to the SSL Order Form.

 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/shockers_united/phase_1.php#su_students

What students and their parents should know
What are the expectations for wearing face masks?

Students are encouraged to wear their own masks or face coverings (such as a bandana) when on campus at all times, unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space. As of May 26, there will be a limited supply of free cloth masks for students in the Shocker Support Locker, at the Shocker Hall front desk and at the Rhatigan Student Center information desk, while supplies last. Students are also welcome to make their own masks. The CDC offers instructions on wearing and making masks. More information regarding the fall semester will be made available this summer.

Wichita State's Student Government Association is working with the Division of Student Affairs to purchase face masks for students.

How will Wichita State prepare for possible disruptions of the fall semester?
Faculty will need to design flexibility into course delivery (e.g. hybrid, online or modified schedule) for next fall that limits disruption and assures quality learning outcomes.
How will Wichita State continue to help students?

In early May, Wichita State started to distribute to our eligible students the $4.4M in CARES stimulus funding received from the federal government. Over 2,800 Pell-eligible students will immediately receive $1,000 for unforeseen emergency expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.

Our Financial Aid office is working with additional eligible students who also have financial needs and will process their applications soon.

Many of our students, including our international students and undocumented students, do not qualify for this federal stimulus and are in dire need of financial aid for basic items such as food, health insurance, rent etc.

The Wichita State University Foundation established the WSU COVID-19 Emergency Fund for our students in need.

Learn more

How will faculty approach designing classes for the fall semester?
Faculty will need to design flexibility into course delivery (e.g. hybrid, online or modified schedule) for next fall that limits disruption and assures quality learning outcomes.
What mental and physical health resources are available to students?

Wichita State understands this is a stressful time and we want to help students through this process as best we can. If you suffer from anxiety and need to talk to someone, please contact Counseling and Prevention Services.

Student Health Services is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday to provide health care services to students. You can find help at our website at wichita.edu/shs.

Student Affairs has also developed an FAQ of emergency and self-care resources.

What is the financial impact of the pandemic on Wichita State?

As of early May, Wichita State is projecting a $6.8 million budget shortfall for the new fiscal year beginning July 1. This is from anticipated lower enrollment, especially of international students, who represent about 10% of our student population. This does not include financial impacts to our athletics department, student life and other lost revenue streams, nor does it include the millions of dollars we refunded to our students and families for housing, dining and parking during this spring semester. The university’s top priorities are to ensure that we continue to deliver the most impactful possible student experience, minimize impacts to our faculty and staff, and continue to partner with our community as we work together for the economic recovery of our region.

Our initial efforts to address the budget gap include:

  • Campus-wide hiring freeze, with rare exceptions.
  • Executive leadership furloughs or equivalent salary reduction, for the president, president's executive team, deans, athletics senior administration and coaches.
  • Halting discretionary spending.
  • An initial across-the-board 2% budget reduction.
  • Examining additional mitigation steps.

We will continue to monitor the situation. The biggest impact to our students and families will be if there is a state budget cut to higher education. That would necessitate further mitigation strategies.

How will Wichita State communicate changes on campus?
WSU recognizes that this is a very fluid situation, and we may need to adjust quickly. For students, the most up-to-date information about how the university is handling programs in response to COVID-19 will be posted in Shocker Blast and wichita.edu/covid19news. In addition, university administration will communicate through email blasts and routine virtual town hall meeting.
Should students apply for CARES funds?

As previously communicated by the university, students who need financial assistance during the COVID-19 crisis are encouraged to apply for emergency funds provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act by Friday, May 8. The deadline for applications is May 15; however, priority will be given to those who apply by Friday, May 8. Apply here.

Faculty and staff who work directly with students should encourage them to apply now. To date, $2.8 million of approximately $4.4 million has been awarded to students with the most need as determined by their latest FAFSA filing, said Sheelu Surender, director of the Office of Financial Aid at Wichita State University.

“We are grateful for the CARES Act funding and the immediate relief it can provide many of our students,” Surender said. “For other students who still have a need, we encourage them to submit the application as soon as possible, but urge them to complete it by the May 8 priority date.”

 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/shockers_united/phase_1.php#su_facultystaff

What faculty and staff should know
Increasing Employees’ Presence on Campus
When will Wichita State University (WSU) start to increase employees’ presence on campus?
Wichita State will slowly start to increase employees’ presence on campus beginning May 26, 2020.
Why is WSU choosing to slowly increase employees’ presence on campus?

Slowly increasing employees’ presence on campus provides the following advantages:

  • Mitigates the risk of resurgence of the virus.
  • Provides additional protection for the most vulnerable among us.
  • Allows state and local health authorities time to monitor for potential resurgence.
  • Allows us to adjust and respond to any changes/guidelines provided by the federal, state and/or local government authorities who are closely monitoring developments.
How will I know if I am to work on campus starting on May 26, 2020?
Your supervisors will provide information regarding your work assignments and if you will work on campus.
Personal Wellness Check
Will WSU require employees coming to campus to do a personal wellness check?
Yes, WSU is asking 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 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 an employee do if they have one or more of the above symptoms?
  • Do not come to campus until such time as their symptoms subside.
  • Notify their supervisor in accordance with department procedures/guidelines.
  • Ask their supervisor if they may work remotely or record a sick day.
  • Complete the COVID-19 Request Form as soon as practical, as they may be entitled to additional paid leave benefits related to recent legislation (Families First Coronavirus Response Act – “FFCRA”).
  • Do not include the specific symptoms being experienced on the request form.
  • Find more information on the symptoms related to COVID-19 on the CDC website.
  • Do not return to campus if you run a fever until such time as you have been free of a fever, without assistance of temperature-altering medication, for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Consider a telehealth appointment with a healthcare provider if necessary.
COVID-19 Related Leaves
What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or FFCRA?
The FFCRA is new legislation that was passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It requires 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) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.
What coverage does the act provide eligible employees?

Generally, the act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the secretaries of the treasury and labor; and
  • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
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 United Way 211 line 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).
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.
What are an employee’s options if they are unable to work because they do not have childcare?

The FFCRA may provide additional leave benefits and protections for employees whose childcare has been interrupted due to COVID-19 related reasons, including:

  • School closures
  • Daycare closures
  • Other sources of childcare no longer available due to COVID-19

If an employee is experiencing such an interruption in childcare, she or he should immediately complete the COVID-19 Request Form and submit to TotalRewards@wichita.edu to determine whether he or she is eligible for such leave benefits.

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, facemasks 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?
Face coverings are expected to be worn by all employees except when you are in your office alone or walking outside alone. We ask that each employee take personal responsibility and adhere to the guidelines for wearing a face covering
Are employees required to wear disposable gloves while on campus?
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.
Cleaning and Disinfecting the Workplace
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.
Travel Guidelines
Is WSU setting expectations related to travel?

Employees are 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.
  • If they travel to an area not identified as high-risk, employees are permitted to return to work (subject to all other restrictions).
Additional Information
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.
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
 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/shockers_united/phase_1.php#su_supervisors

What supervisors should know
Increasing Employees Presence on Campus
When will Wichita State University (WSU) start to increase employees’ presence on campus?
Wichita State will slowly start to increase employees’ presence on campus beginning May 26, 2020.
Why is WSU choosing to slowly increase employees’ presence on campus?

Slowly increasing employees’ presence on campus provides the following advantages:

  • Mitigates the risk of resurgence of the virus.
  • Provides additional protection for the most vulnerable among us.
  • Allows state and local health authorities time to monitor for potential resurgence.
  • Allows us to adjust and respond to any changes/guidelines provided by the federal, state and/or local government authorities who are closely monitoring developments.
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?
Yes, WSU is asking 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.
Can I, as a supervisor, ask employees if they are conducting their personal wellness check?
It is OK to inquire of your employees if they are conducting this self-check. We need to ensure employees are being diligent and continue with this very important safety screening so we may each safeguard our health.
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 indicates she have one or more of the above symptoms?

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

  • The employee is not to come to campus until such time as his symptoms subside.
  • If employees have had a fever, the employees should not return to work until such time as they have been free of a fever, without assistance of temperature altering medication for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • 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 Request Form, as they may have additional paid leave benefits related to recent legislation.
  • The specific symptoms being experienced do not need to be included with the request form. Information on the symptoms related to COVID-19 is also available on the CDC website.
  • Information on the symptoms related to COVID-19 is also available on the CDC website.
  • Employees have been advised to consider a telemedicine appointment with their healthcare provider if they deem that to be necessary.
Is there other information that I need to consider related to employee leaves and COVID-19?

If any of the following apply, please refer to the "What faculty and staff should know" FAQ on this page under the "COVID-19 Leaves for Employees & Families" section for more information:

  • An employee or a member of employee’s household has been exposed to someone who displays COVID-19 symptoms.
  • A member of employee’s household is displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
  • An employee or employee’s family member is part of a medically vulnerable population.
  • An employee is unable to work because they don’t have childcare.
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.
How can departments order PPE?

Facilities Services will begin distributing COVID-19 safety “Starter Kits” on Monday, May 18. These starter kits are intended to help staff returning to campus on May 26 get through the first week or two. Priority delivery will be given to areas that have remained open during the campus shutdown and areas opening for in-person access May 26.

At a minimum, starter kits will include the following: cloth face coverings/disposable surgical masks, hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant in spray bottles, paper towels, blue painter’s tape and a limited number of non-latex gloves. Cloth face coverings are limited to one per WSU employee.

After the May 26 reopening of campus, we anticipate staffing for the summer will become more clear. Upon receipt of a work order request, we can quickly supplement the starter kits with items that are essential for daily operations. Please limit additional orders to quantities that correlate with the number of staff actually working on campus.

Facilities Services will continue to build and install plexiglass shields upon receipt of work order requests. To date, we have installed more than 150 plexiglass shields on campus. These should be utilized for high-traffic campus areas providing customer service or other activities with frequent and regular access by the campus community and visitors.

As a reminder, Facilities Services has built inventories that will allow us to provide the following items to our WSU campus community, as needed:

  • Plexiglass shields (for desks, counters, etc.)
  • Cloth masks
  • Disposable masks
  • Hand sanitizer (in spray bottles)
  • Surface disinfectant (in spray bottles)
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Safety glasses
  • Blue painters tape (This is for floor markings and to hang signs with. Please don’t use other types of tape. A unified plan to provide sign templates to campus will be communicated soon.)
What are the expectations regarding the use of face coverings while at WSU?
Face coverings are expected to be worn by all employees except when you are in your office alone or alone walking outside.
  • Communicate this expectation to your employees and ensure the appropriate type of face covering is available for their use.
  • Each employee needs to take a personal responsibility and adhere to the guidelines for wearing a face covering.
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.
What if employees are not following established and required personal protective equipment expectations?

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

  • 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.
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 COVIDf-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 are expected 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.
  • Please ensure employees have the appropriate cleaning supplies.
What if employees are not following the expectations of cleaning and disinfecting the workplace?

Have an individual conversation with the employees to make sure they know 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.
Travel Guidelines
 
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 be on campus?
Even though the university is taking multiple steps to ensure the safety of employees, an employee may continue to be hesitant to come to campus. 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 and has not been approved for a COVID related leave 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.
 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/shockers_united/phase_1.php#su_researchers

What WSU researchers should know
What should my lab consider for its plan to maximize social distancing?

Consider which of the following guidelines are relevant to your lab:

  • Determine the maximum number of researchers that may be present in the lab at any time in order to allow more than 6 feet of social distancing and gatherings of less than 10 people at a time.
  • For laboratories with at least two doors, establish a route of entry and exit that use different doors and a one-way traffic flow.
  • Move equipment to create more than 6 feet between users.
  • Use tape to mark out 6-foot workspaces for high-traffic areas or bottlenecks.
  • Stagger work schedules and create a lab schedule that minimizes the number of people in the lab at any one time. This may require some people coming to the lab at times other than 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A shared calendar or other online tool may be helpful.
  • Distribute a list of duties to be performed by critical personnel with location and designated time of day.
  • Develop a means of signifying who is present in the lab space at any given time, preferably using an online sign-in tool to minimize touching items such as a physical sign-in sheet, or other mechanism of controlling the number of people in the lab at the same time.
  • Stagger break times.
  • Use the hallway or other designated area outside of the lab to transfer items with people who do not work in your lab.
  • Contact those in other labs using a phone or other electronic means except in cases of emergency.
What should my lab consider for its plan to sanitize our workspace?

Consider which of the following guidelines are relevant to your lab:

  • Disinfect door handles, handrails, faucets and surfaces such as lab benches, worktables, instruments, desks, stools and chairs after use and before the next shift begins. Focus on high-touch surfaces. (Visibly dirty surfaces should be cleaned with a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.)
  • Disinfect equipment that makes direct physical contact with the skin, including eyepieces for microscopes, keyboards, touchpads, etc.
  • Identify the disinfectant to be used. Options include:
    • Greater than 70% ethanol in liquid, spray, or wipe form.
    • 10% diluted bleach solution (5 tablespoon bleach per gallon of water).
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, including upon entering the lab, after any break, before and after using any face coverings, after removing disposable gloves, and after touching shared equipment and devices. (Minimize the use of shared items, such as pens, notebooks, reagent bottles, etc.)
  • Determine when and under what circumstances alcohol-based (greater than 60%) hand sanitizer should be used.
  • Use paper towels or light-duty cleaning wipes when possible to handle door handles, common laboratory items, and equipment, especially those that cannot be disinfected.
  • Consider footwear and clothing as a possible transmission source, and consider using a separate pair of shoes for using only in the lab. Identify where outside footwear and clothing will be stored while working in the lab.
What PPE should the researchers in my lab consider?

The following guidelines should be considered:

  • Determine if all researchers must wear cloth face coverings, especially if the maximum number of researchers is surpassed or a minimum of 6 feet distance cannot be maintained between researchers.
  • Identify when disposable gloves should be used, in addition to while using disinfectants.
  • Identify when eye protection should be used if this is not a standard requirement for your lab.
  • Identify if lab coats, aprons or gowns should be used if this is not a standard procedure in your lab.
Can research projects involving face-to-face interactions with human participants resume?
A proposal must be submitted to IRB and be approved before resuming a study involving human participants with face-to-face interactions. If you have a protocol in place for in-person interactions and you want to convert to a remote study, you must file a modification request with IRB.
Will Skeleton Acres (SARF) be available for research activities? If so, have any special procedures been implemented for its use?

Yes, SARF will be open. .

  • Skeleton Acres is a research facility that is specific to Wichita State Biological Anthropology research and investigations. SARF is not an open research facility and is largely limited to research conducted by the site director and students, colleagues, and law-enforcement. No access or research activity is allowed without prior approval of the site director. Research proposals and visits to SARF must be scheduled in advance and in a timely manner, in accordance with the restriction listed above.
  • For safety reasons, all visits MUST be in groups of a minimum of TWO and visitors must carry cell phones in working condition. Student investigators are responsible for maintaining research projects throughout the time of the experiment. This includes the cleaning of research sites and proper disposal/disposition of any associate materials.
  • Individuals traveling to SARF must do so in separate vehicles to adhere to the social distance requirement. When at SARF, social distance must be maintained, and face masks, gloves and any necessary protective gear are required. Wearing of safety vests is required.
  • The SARF student assistant and maintenance crew are charged with moving and other maintenance.
What students and their parents should know
What documents does the Shockers United plan draw from?

Shockers United follows the phases and timelines as outlined by “Ad Astra: a plan to reopen Kansas,” and the federal government’s “Opening Up America Again.”

The three phases are:

  • Preopening Phase: Through May 25
  • Reopening/Summer Phase: May 25-July 31
  • Fall Semester Phase: August and Beyond
What health and safety practices are expected to protect each other from coronavirus infection?
In the Preopening Phase (May 4-25), everyone is expected to maintain daily wellness self-checks, social distancing, limited congregation, wearing face coverings or masks (as appropriate), disinfecting spaces and limiting non-essential travel. Employees are expected to continue staggered work schedules and remote working as determined by each department or unit.
What social distancing practices are expected?
In the Preopening Phase (May 4-25), all members of the campus community are expected to practice social distancing (6 feet minimum) at all times, indoors or outdoors. PPE must be used in clinics and laboratories for any approved exceptions to social distancing requirements.
What are the expectations for wearing face masks?

Beginning immediately and until further notice, all members of the campus community are expected to wear face masks or face coverings at all times, unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space. Reusable cloth masks or coverings are acceptable and preferred, unless N-95 is required for specialized environments. One cloth mask per employee will be available through Facilities Services, however, be advised that we are still waiting for a stock of masks to be delivered to campus.

Departments can order masks for their office. Please submit your request online via the following link: wichita.edu/services/physical_plant/workorders.php

Priority will be given to areas that have remained open during the campus shutdown and areas opening for in-person access May 26.

For cloth masks, please be advised that offices can only order one per employee. We are still waiting for our stock of masks -- made by GoCreate -- and will communicate to campus when they are in. But it's best to submit your work order as soon as possible.

Each department should submit a work order request online, including the number of staff in their department. Your department will be notified when your order is ready.

Masks can be picked up at the Gaddis Physical Plant complex, by appointment, or Facilities Services can deliver them. Please include your preference in the work order request.

Do visitors also have to wear face masks?
Visitors are encouraged to wear a mask or face covering at all times while at Wichita State, unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space. If you do not have a mask, most offices will provide you with a disposable mask.
What materials and equipment will Wichita State provide?

Facilities Services will begin distributing COVID-19 safety “Starter Kits” on Monday, May 18. These starter kits are intended to help staff returning to campus on May 26 get through the first week or two. Priority delivery will be given to areas that have remained open during the campus shutdown and areas opening for in-person access May 26.

At a minimum, starter kits will include the following: cloth face coverings/disposable surgical masks, hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant in spray bottles, paper towels, blue painter’s tape and a limited number of non-latex gloves. Cloth face coverings are limited to one per WSU employee.

After the May 26 reopening of campus, we anticipate staffing for the summer will become more clear. Upon receipt of a work order request, we can quickly supplement the starter kits with items that are essential for daily operations. Please limit additional orders to quantities that correlate with the number of staff actually working on campus.

Facilities Services will continue to build and install plexiglass shields upon receipt of work order requests. To date, we have installed more than 150 plexiglass shields on campus. These should be utilized for high-traffic campus areas providing customer service or other activities with frequent and regular access by the campus community and visitors.

As a reminder, Facilities Services has built inventories that will allow us to provide the following items to our WSU campus community, as needed:

  • Plexiglass shields (for desks, counters, etc.)
  • Cloth masks
  • Disposable masks
  • Hand sanitizer (in spray bottles)
  • Surface disinfectant (in spray bottles)
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Safety glasses
  • Blue painters tape (This is for floor markings and to hang signs with. Please don’t use other types of tape. A unified plan to provide sign templates to campus will be communicated soon.)

This is for floor markings and to hang signs with. Please don’t use other types of tape. A unified plan to provide sign templates to campus will be communicated soon.

What resources are available if I feel anxiety?

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 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 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.

Wichita State’s Care Team helps students and employees with health or mental health concerns, academic struggles, financial stressors, housing and food concerns and more. Contact the Care Team at care@wichita.edu or at (316) 978-3149.

For students. If you suffer from anxiety and need to talk to someone, please contact Counseling and Prevention Services. Student Health Services is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday to provide health care services to students. You can find help at our website at wichita.edu/shs.

Student Affairs has also developed an FAQ of emergency and self-care resources, includes emergency assistance resources

In response to the COVID-19 safety orders, the Student Government Association's Shocker Support Locker physical space is closed until further notice. However, to ensure the Shocker Support Locker continues to serve the WSU community a virtual order form has been created.

To access the Locker resources, the client needs to submit an order form. Once the client notes their needs and submits the form, the Support Locker staff will coordinate with the client to establish a pick-up date and time. Orders are distributed on Wednesday and Friday from 1-4 p.m.

Questions can be directed to sga.supportlocker@wichita.edu or 316-978-6715. Go to the SSL Order Form.

What students and their parents should know
What are the expectations for wearing face masks?

Students are encouraged to wear their own masks or face coverings (such as a bandana) when on campus at all times, unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space. As of May 26, there will be a limited supply of free cloth masks for students in the Shocker Support Locker, at the Shocker Hall front desk and at the Rhatigan Student Center information desk, while supplies last. Students are also welcome to make their own masks. The CDC offers instructions on wearing and making masks. More information regarding the fall semester will be made available this summer.

Wichita State's Student Government Association is working with the Division of Student Affairs to purchase face masks for students.

How will Wichita State prepare for possible disruptions of the fall semester?
Faculty will need to design flexibility into course delivery (e.g. hybrid, online or modified schedule) for next fall that limits disruption and assures quality learning outcomes.
How will Wichita State continue to help students?

In early May, Wichita State started to distribute to our eligible students the $4.4M in CARES stimulus funding received from the federal government. Over 2,800 Pell-eligible students will immediately receive $1,000 for unforeseen emergency expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.

Our Financial Aid office is working with additional eligible students who also have financial needs and will process their applications soon.

Many of our students, including our international students and undocumented students, do not qualify for this federal stimulus and are in dire need of financial aid for basic items such as food, health insurance, rent etc.

The Wichita State University Foundation established the WSU COVID-19 Emergency Fund for our students in need.

Learn more

How will faculty approach designing classes for the fall semester?
Faculty will need to design flexibility into course delivery (e.g. hybrid, online or modified schedule) for next fall that limits disruption and assures quality learning outcomes.
What mental and physical health resources are available to students?

Wichita State understands this is a stressful time and we want to help students through this process as best we can. If you suffer from anxiety and need to talk to someone, please contact Counseling and Prevention Services.

Student Health Services is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday to provide health care services to students. You can find help at our website at wichita.edu/shs.

Student Affairs has also developed an FAQ of emergency and self-care resources.

What is the financial impact of the pandemic on Wichita State?

As of early May, Wichita State is projecting a $6.8 million budget shortfall for the new fiscal year beginning July 1. This is from anticipated lower enrollment, especially of international students, who represent about 10% of our student population. This does not include financial impacts to our athletics department, student life and other lost revenue streams, nor does it include the millions of dollars we refunded to our students and families for housing, dining and parking during this spring semester. The university’s top priorities are to ensure that we continue to deliver the most impactful possible student experience, minimize impacts to our faculty and staff, and continue to partner with our community as we work together for the economic recovery of our region.

Our initial efforts to address the budget gap include:

  • Campus-wide hiring freeze, with rare exceptions.
  • Executive leadership furloughs or equivalent salary reduction, for the president, president's executive team, deans, athletics senior administration and coaches.
  • Halting discretionary spending.
  • An initial across-the-board 2% budget reduction.
  • Examining additional mitigation steps.

We will continue to monitor the situation. The biggest impact to our students and families will be if there is a state budget cut to higher education. That would necessitate further mitigation strategies.

How will Wichita State communicate changes on campus?
WSU recognizes that this is a very fluid situation, and we may need to adjust quickly. For students, the most up-to-date information about how the university is handling programs in response to COVID-19 will be posted in Shocker Blast and wichita.edu/covid19news. In addition, university administration will communicate through email blasts and routine virtual town hall meeting.
Should students apply for CARES funds?

As previously communicated by the university, students who need financial assistance during the COVID-19 crisis are encouraged to apply for emergency funds provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act by Friday, May 8. The deadline for applications is May 15; however, priority will be given to those who apply by Friday, May 8. Apply here.

Faculty and staff who work directly with students should encourage them to apply now. To date, $2.8 million of approximately $4.4 million has been awarded to students with the most need as determined by their latest FAFSA filing, said Sheelu Surender, director of the Office of Financial Aid at Wichita State University.

“We are grateful for the CARES Act funding and the immediate relief it can provide many of our students,” Surender said. “For other students who still have a need, we encourage them to submit the application as soon as possible, but urge them to complete it by the May 8 priority date.”

What faculty and staff should know
HR Information and Benefits
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Financial Operations & Payroll
What if an employee has questions about reporting their time?
Please email the payroll team within Financial Operations at timekeeping@wichita.edu
Is WSU setting expectations related to travel?

Employees are still encouraged to refrain from all non-essential 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).
Increasing the Employee Presence on Campus
When will Wichita State University (WSU) start to increase employees’ presence on campus?
Wichita State will slowly start to increase employees’ presence on campus beginning May 26, 2020.
Why is WSU choosing to slowly increase employees’ presence on campus?

Slowly increasing employees’ presence on campus provides the following advantages:

  • Mitigates the risk of resurgence of the virus.
  • Provides additional protection for the most vulnerable among us.
  • Allows state and local health authorities time to monitor for potential resurgence.
  • Allows us to adjust and respond to any changes/guidelines provided by the federal, state and/or local government authorities who are closely monitoring developments.
Do all offices on campus need to be open beginning May 26, 2020?
Not necessarily. Offices that have the ability to provide services virtually will continue in this manner. Decisions on opening or altering operating hours will be dependent upon many factors, such as the arrangement of the physical space, office square footage and the ability of the staff to be on campus. Where feasible, providing services virtually allows us to maintain operations while protecting our WSU community from the spread of COVID-19.
How will I know if I am to work on campus starting on May 26, 2020?
Your supervisors will provide information regarding your work assignments and if you will work 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 they are on campus:

  • Perform a daily personal wellness check before coming to campus, and do not come to campus if they feel ill. You may use the Self-Observation Questionnaire. as a resource when conducting a personal wellness check.
  • Practice social distancing while on campus.
  • Wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) required by your department. See the supervisor section for information on what PPE is available to your department.
  • Wear a face covering at all times except when you are alone in an office or alone walking outside.
  • Wash your hands when arriving and leaving the campus, wash your hands frequently during the day and upon returning to your workspace.
  • Disinfect your personal workspace and common/high traffic work areas you are accountable for in your area/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 an online training outlining the expectations for employees currently working on campus and those employees approved to return to campus. If it is not possible for you to view the training electronically, your supervisor will make accommodations to provide you a printed copy.
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 department and may be driven by accreditation or best practice for a specific work. Employees are expected to follow all guidance provided by their supervisor for their work area or department.
Will WSU require employees coming to campus to do a personal wellness check?
Yes, WSU is asking each employee to conduct a personal wellness check each day prior to coming onto the campus. (See Wellness Checks section below.)
Wellness Checks
Will WSU require employees coming to campus to do a personal wellness check?
Yes, WSU is asking each employee to conduct a personal wellness check each day prior to coming onto the campus.
Why is WSU asking employees to perform a personal wellness check prior to coming onto campus?
A personal wellness check is a way for each individual to check for any symptoms that could possibly be related to COVID-19.
Do employees have to record or report the results of their personal wellness check to anyone else?
There is no need for employees to report their results to anyone else.
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 an employee do if they have one or more of the above symptoms?
  • Do not come to campus until such time as their symptoms subside.
  • Notify their supervisor in accordance with department procedures/guidelines.
  • Ask their supervisor if they may work remotely or record a sick day.
  • Complete the COVID-19 Request Form as soon as practical, as they may be entitled to additional paid leave benefits related to recent legislation (Families First Coronavirus Response Act – “FFCRA”).
  • Do not include the specific symptoms being experienced on the request form.
  • Find more information on the symptoms related to COVID-19 on the CDC website.
  • Do not return to campus if you run a fever until such time as you have been free of a fever, without assistance of temperature-altering medication, for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Consider a telehealth appointment with a healthcare provider if necessary.
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.
COVID-19 Leave for Employees & Families
What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or FFCRA?
The FFCRA is new legislation that was passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It requires 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) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.
What coverage does the act provide eligible employees?
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and
  • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
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 United Way 211 line 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).
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.
What are an employee’s options if they are unable to work because they do not have childcare?

Recent legislation (FFCRA) may provide additional leave benefits and protections for employees whose childcare has been interrupted due to COVID-19 related reasons, including:

  • School closures
  • Daycare closures
  • Other sources of childcare no longer available due to COVID-19

If an employee is experiencing such an interruption in childcare, she or he should immediately complete the COVID-19 Request Form and submit to TotalRewards@wichita.edu to determine whether he or she is eligible for such leave benefits.

Social Distancing, PPE and Hygiene
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 will require careful consideration on the best way to incorporate social distancing while we are on campus.

  • Supervisors will consider a combination of staggered schedules, shifts and virtual (telework) 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 both the employee and the department.
  • Conduct regular meetings or serve customers through virtual communication forums (telephone, email, skype, zoom, Microsoft teams and webinar meetings) vs. face-to-face interactions.
  • If an employee can’t access or doesn’t know how to use the technology available to all employees, they 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 common social areas until you may do so while socially distancing. Consider attaching a sign to a closed door to designate if the space is occupied or vacant.
  • Minimize the length of meetings 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 breakroom space during breaks or lunch.
What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to protective clothing, gloves, face masks or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from the spread of illness. 
What materials and equipment will Wichita State provide?

Facilities Services will begin distributing COVID-19 safety “Starter Kits” on Monday, May 18. These starter kits are intended to help staff returning to campus on May 26 get through the first week or two. Priority delivery will be given to areas that have remained open during the campus shutdown and areas opening for in-person access May 26.

At a minimum, starter kits will include the following: cloth face coverings/disposable surgical masks, hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant in spray bottles, paper towels, blue painter’s tape and a limited number of non-latex gloves. Cloth face coverings are limited to one per WSU employee.

After the May 26 reopening of campus, we anticipate staffing for the summer will become more clear. Upon receipt of a work order request, we can quickly supplement the starter kits with items that are essential for daily operations. Please limit additional orders to quantities that correlate with the number of staff actually working on campus.

Facilities Services will continue to build and install plexiglass shields upon receipt of work order requests. To date, we have installed more than 150 plexiglass shields on campus. These should be utilized for high-traffic campus areas providing customer service or other activities with frequent and regular access by the campus community and visitors.

As a reminder, Facilities Services has built inventories that will allow us to provide the following items to our WSU campus community, as needed:

  • Plexiglass shields (for desks, counters, etc.)
  • Cloth masks
  • Disposable masks
  • Hand sanitizer (in spray bottles)
  • Surface disinfectant (in spray bottles)
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Safety glasses
  • Blue painters tape (This is for floor markings and to hang signs with. Please don’t use other types of tape. A unified plan to provide sign templates to campus will be communicated soon.)
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 sides 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?

Beginning immediately and until further notice, all members of the campus community are expected to wear face masks or face coverings at all times, unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space. Reusable cloth masks or coverings are acceptable and preferred, unless N-95 is required for specialized environments.

One cloth mask will be provided per employee through Facilities Services, however, be advised that we are still waiting for a stock of masks to be delivered to campus. Your supervisor is responsible for placing a work order for the masks.

Priority will be given to areas that have remained open during the campus shutdown and areas opening for in-person access May 26.

Are employees required to wear disposable gloves while on campus?
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.
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?

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

  • 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 area and any common/high traffic areas they are accountable for, or after any in-person contact by using the cleaning/disinfectant products provided.
  • If an employee needs supplies you do not have, contact your supervisor to make arrangements to replenish
What supervisors should know
Increasing Employees Presence on Campus
When will Wichita State University (WSU) start to increase employees’ presence on campus?
Wichita State will slowly start to increase employees’ presence on campus beginning May 26, 2020.
Why is WSU choosing to slowly increase employees’ presence on campus?

Slowly increasing employees’ presence on campus provides the following advantages:

  • Mitigates the risk of resurgence of the virus.
  • Provides additional protection for the most vulnerable among us.
  • Allows state and local health authorities time to monitor for potential resurgence.
  • Allows us to adjust and respond to any changes/guidelines provided by the federal, state and/or local government authorities who are closely monitoring developments.
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?
Yes, WSU is asking 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.
Can I, as a supervisor, ask employees if they are conducting their personal wellness check?
It is OK to inquire of your employees if they are conducting this self-check. We need to ensure employees are being diligent and continue with this very important safety screening so we may each safeguard our health.
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 indicates she have one or more of the above symptoms?

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

  • The employee is not to come to campus until such time as his symptoms subside.
  • If employees have had a fever, the employees should not return to work until such time as they have been free of a fever, without assistance of temperature altering medication for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • 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 Request Form, as they may have additional paid leave benefits related to recent legislation.
  • The specific symptoms being experienced do not need to be included with the request form. Information on the symptoms related to COVID-19 is also available on the CDC website.
  • Information on the symptoms related to COVID-19 is also available on the CDC website.
  • Employees have been advised to consider a telemedicine appointment with their healthcare provider if they deem that to be necessary.
Is there other information that I need to consider related to employee leaves and COVID-19?

If any of the following apply, please refer to the "What faculty and staff should know" FAQ on this page under the "COVID-19 Leaves for Employees & Families" section for more information:

  • An employee or a member of employee’s household has been exposed to someone who displays COVID-19 symptoms.
  • A member of employee’s household is displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
  • An employee or employee’s family member is part of a medically vulnerable population.
  • An employee is unable to work because they don’t have childcare.
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.
How can departments order PPE?

Facilities Services will begin distributing COVID-19 safety “Starter Kits” on Monday, May 18. These starter kits are intended to help staff returning to campus on May 26 get through the first week or two. Priority delivery will be given to areas that have remained open during the campus shutdown and areas opening for in-person access May 26.

At a minimum, starter kits will include the following: cloth face coverings/disposable surgical masks, hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant in spray bottles, paper towels, blue painter’s tape and a limited number of non-latex gloves. Cloth face coverings are limited to one per WSU employee.

After the May 26 reopening of campus, we anticipate staffing for the summer will become more clear. Upon receipt of a work order request, we can quickly supplement the starter kits with items that are essential for daily operations. Please limit additional orders to quantities that correlate with the number of staff actually working on campus.

Facilities Services will continue to build and install plexiglass shields upon receipt of work order requests. To date, we have installed more than 150 plexiglass shields on campus. These should be utilized for high-traffic campus areas providing customer service or other activities with frequent and regular access by the campus community and visitors.

As a reminder, Facilities Services has built inventories that will allow us to provide the following items to our WSU campus community, as needed:

  • Plexiglass shields (for desks, counters, etc.)
  • Cloth masks
  • Disposable masks
  • Hand sanitizer (in spray bottles)
  • Surface disinfectant (in spray bottles)
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Safety glasses
  • Blue painters tape (This is for floor markings and to hang signs with. Please don’t use other types of tape. A unified plan to provide sign templates to campus will be communicated soon.)
What are the expectations regarding the use of face coverings while at WSU?
Face coverings are expected to be worn by all employees except when you are in your office alone or alone walking outside.
  • Communicate this expectation to your employees and ensure the appropriate type of face covering is available for their use.
  • Each employee needs to take a personal responsibility and adhere to the guidelines for wearing a face covering.
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.
What if employees are not following established and required personal protective equipment expectations?

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

  • 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.
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 COVIDf-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 are expected 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.
  • Please ensure employees have the appropriate cleaning supplies.
What if employees are not following the expectations of cleaning and disinfecting the workplace?

Have an individual conversation with the employees to make sure they know 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.
Travel Guidelines
 
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 be on campus?
Even though the university is taking multiple steps to ensure the safety of employees, an employee may continue to be hesitant to come to campus. 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 and has not been approved for a COVID related leave 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.
What WSU researchers should know
What should my lab consider for its plan to maximize social distancing?

Consider which of the following guidelines are relevant to your lab:

  • Determine the maximum number of researchers that may be present in the lab at any time in order to allow more than 6 feet of social distancing and gatherings of less than 10 people at a time.
  • For laboratories with at least two doors, establish a route of entry and exit that use different doors and a one-way traffic flow.
  • Move equipment to create more than 6 feet between users.
  • Use tape to mark out 6-foot workspaces for high-traffic areas or bottlenecks.
  • Stagger work schedules and create a lab schedule that minimizes the number of people in the lab at any one time. This may require some people coming to the lab at times other than 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A shared calendar or other online tool may be helpful.
  • Distribute a list of duties to be performed by critical personnel with location and designated time of day.
  • Develop a means of signifying who is present in the lab space at any given time, preferably using an online sign-in tool to minimize touching items such as a physical sign-in sheet, or other mechanism of controlling the number of people in the lab at the same time.
  • Stagger break times.
  • Use the hallway or other designated area outside of the lab to transfer items with people who do not work in your lab.
  • Contact those in other labs using a phone or other electronic means except in cases of emergency.
What should my lab consider for its plan to sanitize our workspace?

Consider which of the following guidelines are relevant to your lab:

  • Disinfect door handles, handrails, faucets and surfaces such as lab benches, worktables, instruments, desks, stools and chairs after use and before the next shift begins. Focus on high-touch surfaces. (Visibly dirty surfaces should be cleaned with a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.)
  • Disinfect equipment that makes direct physical contact with the skin, including eyepieces for microscopes, keyboards, touchpads, etc.
  • Identify the disinfectant to be used. Options include:
    • Greater than 70% ethanol in liquid, spray, or wipe form.
    • 10% diluted bleach solution (5 tablespoon bleach per gallon of water).
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, including upon entering the lab, after any break, before and after using any face coverings, after removing disposable gloves, and after touching shared equipment and devices. (Minimize the use of shared items, such as pens, notebooks, reagent bottles, etc.)
  • Determine when and under what circumstances alcohol-based (greater than 60%) hand sanitizer should be used.
  • Use paper towels or light-duty cleaning wipes when possible to handle door handles, common laboratory items, and equipment, especially those that cannot be disinfected.
  • Consider footwear and clothing as a possible transmission source, and consider using a separate pair of shoes for using only in the lab. Identify where outside footwear and clothing will be stored while working in the lab.
What PPE should the researchers in my lab consider?

The following guidelines should be considered:

  • Determine if all researchers must wear cloth face coverings, especially if the maximum number of researchers is surpassed or a minimum of 6 feet distance cannot be maintained between researchers.
  • Identify when disposable gloves should be used, in addition to while using disinfectants.
  • Identify when eye protection should be used if this is not a standard requirement for your lab.
  • Identify if lab coats, aprons or gowns should be used if this is not a standard procedure in your lab.
Can research projects involving face-to-face interactions with human participants resume?
A proposal must be submitted to IRB and be approved before resuming a study involving human participants with face-to-face interactions. If you have a protocol in place for in-person interactions and you want to convert to a remote study, you must file a modification request with IRB.
Will Skeleton Acres (SARF) be available for research activities? If so, have any special procedures been implemented for its use?

Yes, SARF will be open. .

  • Skeleton Acres is a research facility that is specific to Wichita State Biological Anthropology research and investigations. SARF is not an open research facility and is largely limited to research conducted by the site director and students, colleagues, and law-enforcement. No access or research activity is allowed without prior approval of the site director. Research proposals and visits to SARF must be scheduled in advance and in a timely manner, in accordance with the restriction listed above.
  • For safety reasons, all visits MUST be in groups of a minimum of TWO and visitors must carry cell phones in working condition. Student investigators are responsible for maintaining research projects throughout the time of the experiment. This includes the cleaning of research sites and proper disposal/disposition of any associate materials.
  • Individuals traveling to SARF must do so in separate vehicles to adhere to the social distance requirement. When at SARF, social distance must be maintained, and face masks, gloves and any necessary protective gear are required. Wearing of safety vests is required.
  • The SARF student assistant and maintenance crew are charged with moving and other maintenance.