Dear WMU community,
Thanks to all who joined us for Wednesday's Back to Campus Briefings, where President Montgomery and others reviewed the University's Safe Campus Strategy, the health and safety portion of our Safe Return Plan.
- COVID-19 case counts will be posted in a dashboard on the Safe Return Plan website each Friday—beginning today;
- Section 14 (Harm to persons) of the Student Code of Conduct has been updated to include sanctions for violating COVID-19 safety rules related to off-campus activities; and
- All students, faculty and staff are required to complete a daily health survey before arriving on campus and may be asked to show clearance status to a supervisor, faculty member, Sindecuse Health Center staff member or others through the survey's badging system.
It's useful to think of our Safe Campus Strategy as resting on four pillars—protect, monitor, test and isolate. The University will provide the tools and guidance—examples include the student mask distribution event, which begins Monday, Aug. 31, and the Safe Return Plan itself—but all of us must also do our part to individually stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. Please find more detail about each of the pillars of the Safe Campus Strategy below our signatures.
We are confident the measures outlined in the strategy will mitigate the spread of COVID-19. But each of must make the commitment through our behavior to help keep ourselves, our neighbors and our campus safe—all together, all of the time. In this challenging period, we have the strength and the resilience to thrive and prosper as a community. We can do this.
Associate Vice President for Community Partnerships
COVID-19 Response Coordination Team chair
Gayle Ruggiero, M.D.
COVID-19 Response Coordination Team co-chair
Lt. Andrew Bachmann
WMU Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management
COVID-19 Response Coordination Team co-chair
Safe Campus Strategy Overview
Here's an overview of those four foundational strategies, which are detailed on the Safe Return Plan website.
- Wear a mask: Masks are required in indoor spaces and outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible.
- Practice vigilant hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Maintain physical distance: Stay at least 6 feet away from others while in public spaces.
- Stay home if ill: If you are experiencing even the slightest COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and call Sindecuse Health Center at (269) 387-3287 for next steps.
Take the daily health survey: Students, faculty and staff must complete a self-monitoring questionnaire each day before arriving on campus. Find this health survey at wmich.edu/survey. The survey is integrated into the Sindecuse patient portal, which includes every WMU community member. You can also access it through GoWMU.
Here's how it works:
- Login directly through wmich.edu/survey using your Bronco NetID and password—or access the survey through GoWMU.
- You will answer a series of screening questions.
- Once completed, you will receive a "badge" that can be visible on your mobile device. You may be asked to show your badge before entering a class or event. Sindecuse staff also use the badging system to admit employees and visitors to the health center.
Green = Cleared. It's OK to visit campus on the date shown.
Yellow = Survey is overdue.
Orange = Quarantine. You answered "yes" to a screening question and should contact Sindecuse for further assessment, or you have been identified as a close contact through contact tracing.
Red = Isolation. You have tested positive, are being monitored by the health center and may live on or off campus.
This time-stamped badge is accessible from the main screen of .
- Rapid-result testing: No-cost, rapid-result antigen testing for COVID-19 is available to the WMU community at Sindecuse.
- Pre-fall mass testing: Ahead of the semester, a five-day, free testing event began Thursday and runs through Monday, Aug. 31, at the Student Rec Center. Call (269) 387-3287 to make an appointment. Due to the volume of tests and social distancing, walk-ins will not be accepted.
- Always use Sindecuse for testing: Sindecuse offers an advantage in our fight against COVID-19 spread through dedicated, highly accurate testing, contact tracing and care exclusively for the WMU community. That means faster isolation of outbreaks. But we only get that protection if Sindecuse clinicians know about all the cases.
- COVID-19 case communications: WMU will balance communicating information necessary to keep individuals and the community safe while also protecting privacy and abiding by federal law (HIPAA). All four strategies in this plan are designed to limit COVID-19 exposure. Case communication is one of many protections.
- Chain of notifications: If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 through on-campus testing, Sindecuse will quickly notify the patient and will inform close contacts about their exposure to an infected individual. Those exposed must quarantine for 14 days. Sindecuse staff will also alert local and state health officials.
- If the patient is a student: The student's name and isolation dates will be communicated to the dean of students and faculty. If the student gives consent, their diagnosis will also be shared with the dean of students and faculty. The director of housing will be notified if the student lives on campus. Sindecuse will direct Facilities Management to spaces that require special cleaning, if needed.
- If the patient is an employee: The employee’s name, positive test result and isolation dates will be confidentially communicated to their supervisor. Sindecuse will direct Facilities Management on spaces and University vehicles that require special cleaning, if needed. Depending on the circumstances, colleagues who share a space with the employee may be notified that a co-worker tested positive. No other information will be shared.