Have questions or concerns related to Western’s COVID-19 precautions and preventive measures? Contact Western's COVID-19 Monitoring Team:
We look forward to having you back on campus! And, our Western team has developed a Phased Return Plan to do it as safely as possible. Things will most certainly look different when you do come back. There will be processes and protocols that focus on health and safety of everyone who visits our campus locations. Although we cannot guarantee a COVID-19-free environment, we are taking precautions to minimize the spread. This effort is a shared responsibility, and every member of the Western community must do their part.
Please review the information on this website to understand the expectations and safety protocols. If you have any questions about our preventative preparations and procedures, please email the COVID-19 Monitoring Team at firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will respond to you.
In the interest of student and employee safety, courses will be offered in alternative formats wherever possible through December. Courses that require face-to-face labs, clinicals, or other training will be offered with reduced class sizes to allow for social distancing. Please watch your student email for course-specific updates.
Western has implemented a Phased Return Plan to bring employees and students back to campus safely. Our COVID-19 Monitoring Team has outlined four phases that include criteria and safety restrictions:
Safer at Home Phase
Implemented on March 19 when we closed campuses and moved to strictly online or alternative format offerings. In May, programs that qualified as training for “essential careers” were able to complete spring term and begin limited summer on-campus training with size and safety restrictions.
Phase 1 – Current Phase
There are minimal differences between the Safer at Home Phase and Phase 1:
- The maximum number of people together in one area increases to 10, while maintaining a distance of 6 feet.
- Additional programs that are unable to provide online instruction may be brought back to campus while adhering to the safety requirements.
- Some student services areas may be open in a limited capacity to meet the needs of students.
All other restrictions remain in place, including social distancing, the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), temperature screenings and designated entrances for buildings that serve students, and identified no-go spaces to reduce the areas that need to be sanitized more often.
Phase 2 – Transition Date TBD
This phase has more significant changes. The timing will depend largely on any actions by the state and the counties that we serve.
- More courses resuming face-to-face instruction.
- Maximum group size will be 50, while still maintaining a distance of 6 feet.
- Revised safety guidelines and restrictions.
Phase 3 – The New Normal – Transition Date TBD
A time when we are back to having all courses and services at full capacity and can increase the number of face-to-face learning and co-curricular opportunities. The temporary safety guards and precautions will be removed.
If you have any questions or concerns about our phased return, you are encouraged to email the COVID-19 Monitoring Team at COVID19@westerntc.edu.
Before coming to campus, it’s important that you consider the following checklist to help Western maintain a healthy environment.
- Perform a self-evaluation each day
Are you feeling different? Stay home if you have symptoms of COVID-19:
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Body or muscle aches
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Loss of smell or taste
- Wear a face mask
- Be courteous and respectful, you are protecting others. Western employees will be wearing face masks to create a welcoming and safe environment. This is one of the many layers in our health and safety protocols.
- Ensure that face masks cover your nose, mouth, and chin and is worn at all times in buildings when around other people.
- Face shields alone are not an adequate replacement for face masks.
- Honor social distancing
- Work and study at least six feet away from others.
- Do not gather in groups.
- Wash your hands
- Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer after contact with high-touch areas or items.
- Make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Screening practices at designated building entrances will be implemented for all students and employees prior to entering any Western facility. These processes may change, depending upon the phase of our return to campus, new guidelines, and available technology.
For the current process, see the Screening Procedures.
For a list of designated entrances to buildings, see Screening Locations.
Western’s Physical Plant department has been working hard to implement a cleaning plan that follows the recommendations of state and national health departments and uses EPA compliant disinfectants. The current Cleaning and Disinfection Plan, effective June 1, 2020:
- In addition to standard cleaning, teams of custodians will work in zones to disinfect twice a day all restrooms and high-touch points areas (such as like elevators, entrances, drinking fountains, etc.).
- Disinfecting products have been placed in the classrooms for instructors and students to use as needed. These items include a bottle of disinfectant and a roll of shop rags for wiping down tools/equipment, computer keyboards/mice, tabletops.
If someone reports symptoms after having been on campus, cleaning and disinfecting of the work space will follow procedure:
- Close off areas used by the person who was sick.
- Contact facilities and request a deep cleaning and disinfection of the areas where that person might have been.
- Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who was sick such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment such as computers, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and telephones.