Be smart. Be Safe. Be Broncos. Collective selflessness, being gracious with one another and remaining vigilant are our greatest tools for fighting COVID-19. Staying safe requires taking protective measures at all times—not just in class or on campus. Attentiveness is required all day, every day, on campus and off.
What You Can Do
Masks: Masks are required indoors (see information on expectations for students in residence halls below) and in outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible. Wear them inside public spaces whenever you are not alone. Accommodations for individuals who cannot safely wear masks will be arranged. Students who need accommodations should contact Disability Services for Students. Faculty and staff should contact the Office of Institutional Equity. The facial covering (mask) policy is available on the policies webpage.
The University will provide each student with two face coverings upon arrival. Consider bringing additional face coverings because a clean one should be used each day.
The success of the health and safety plan, such as our mask policy, relies on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of each individual. All members of the University community share the responsibility of adhering to mask wearing and encouraging the same in others.
It is the intent of this policy that enforcement will be achieved primarily through education, awareness and a spirit of cooperation. As we all become adjusted to the new policy, it may become clear that there are repeated reports of non-compliance despite friendly and respectful reminders. We are developing and refining enforcement guidelines.
No-cost testing and monitoring: Testing at Sindecuse Health Center is available to all students and employees with no out-of-pocket costs. Testing claims will be filed with the student’s insurance provider, consistent with federal law requiring insurance providers pay for testing. This means we will charge insurance for those who have it, but there will be no cost to you. Those without insurance will be tested at no charge. We strongly recommend that all students get tested upon arriving on campus through this no-cost option at Sindecuse.
Monitor your health and watch for symptoms. Do the same for those with whom you come into contact. Get tested immediately upon experiencing the earliest symptoms. Do not go to class or work sick—or if you think you may have been exposed—until you have consulted your doctor. Take care of yourself: exercise regularly, eat well, sleep and monitor your physical and mental health. Make an appointment for your well-being.
Testing and in-person or telehealth primary care appointments can be scheduled by calling (269) 387-3287. In-person primary care and nursing appointments have fully resumed at Sindecuse.
Counseling and psychiatry services continue to be offered to students through telehealth visits. We encourage any student who needs counseling and psychiatry services (crisis or initial) to call (269) 387-1850.
Physical distancing: Maintain 6 feet of distance between you and others at all times: in class, at work, while eating, when meeting up with friends, even at indoor and outdoor social gatherings. Avoid travel that requires close contact with those outside your immediate social circle.
Vigilant hygiene: Wash your hands frequently and correctly. Clean work spaces and high-touch surfaces thoroughly and frequently. Don’t share food or drinks. When sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth with a tissue or sneeze into your elbow.
What We'll Do
No-cost testing and monitoring: Testing is available to all students and employees with no out-of-pocket costs. Testing claims will be filed with the student’s insurance provider, consistent with federal law requiring insurance providers pay for testing. This means we will bill insurance for those who have it, but there will be no cost for testing for those without coverage. Those without insurance will be tested at no charge. We strongly recommend that all students get tested upon arriving on campus. Everyone should get tested immediately upon experiencing the earliest symptoms.
Sindecuse Health Center now offers rapid-result antigen testing, which offers results in 15 minutes, to detect active COVID-19 cases for University students, faculty, staff, retirees and their dependents, along with Kalamazoo College and Kalamazoo Valley Community College employees and students.
Enhanced cleaning protocols: Custodial staff are on top of cleaning procedures throughout the University. We are using specialized cleaning products such as Clorox 360, Aqueous Ozone (no hazardous odors or toxic chemical residues) and UV light, and we have increased focus and intensity on high-touch areas such as switches and door knobs. We have also upped the number of hand sanitizers across campus. The University is also hibernating some buildings so that cleaning can be focused and intensified.
Enforce employee self-monitoring: WMU employees must complete a daily online health screening before or upon arriving on campus. The employee screening questionnaire can be found at GoWMU. Log in and you will see the survey in a section titled "COVID-19 information." AFSCME employees will also have a call-in protocol.
Department-level safety plans: Each unit must submit a return-to-campus safety plan, which includes procedures for utilizing space in a way that limits the potential for novel coronavirus spread and exposure, and allows for required physical distancing; training in the usage of personal protective equipment; how the unit will receive visitors and related topics. Each plan is being reviewed and approved by the COVID-19 Response Coordination Team.
Remote work for employees when feasible: Working remotely is encouraged whenever it is practical. This strategy reduces the number of people physically present on campus and in offices. Each unit is developing a return-to-work plan. University leaders are also assessing which buildings will and will not be open this fall so that cleaning personnel and resources can be consolidated to provide enhanced cleaning. Preparations for fall return and the adaptations departments have made to accommodate remote work have supplanted the need for limited work schedules in many cases. Employees should consult with their supervisors on how and where they will continue their work through the summer and into the fall.
Altered academic schedule to limit travel that spreads disease: Following the Sept. 2 start of classes, students will work through the fall without the usual October break, and in-person instruction for most classes will end on Nov. 20, about a week ahead of Thanksgiving. The last weeks of classes and final exams will be conducted remotely for most classes, and the semester will end on Dec. 19. Forgoing fall break and ending in-person instruction early reduces the public health risk associated with employees and students potentially bringing the coronavirus back to campus after traveling.
In the event someone tests positive for COVID-19, if Sindecuse Health Center performed the test, health center clinicians will notify the Kalamazoo County health department. Staff will work with county health officials to assess the patient's close contacts. As with Sindecuse, any establishment that conducts COVID-19 testing is required by law to report positive cases to the health department.
A WMU campus community member who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 should isolate at home and not return to campus until informed by a health care provider that it is safe to end isolation.
If the individual is a student who lives on campus, that student will be asked to isolate. The University will take appropriate precautions to restrict access to the living space of the isolated person.
Sindecuse clinicians will determine whether those in contact with confirmed cases should be sent home. Those who were in close contact with someone who was positive will be asked to quarantine. Those who test positive will isolate where they live.
Clinicians also will help determine the need for temporary, full or partial closure of a facility and what cleaning protocol may be needed. Locations impacted by a positive case will be cleaned in accordance with Occupational Health and Safety Administration standards for cleaning and disinfection.