Wildcats Return to Campus
As Western Nevada College prepares to reopen our campuses, we will uphold our mission to serve our community. This is why the heart of our reopening plan is the recognition that the safety and well-being of our students, faculty & staff is the top priority.
Updated: June 4 at 8:59 a.m.
Commitment to Safety
Campus Updates & Messages
Needless to say, the last few months have brought tremendous change to all of the lives of members of the Western Nevada College family. The unprecedented circumstances created by COVID-19 pandemic have caused many disruptions and changed the college in ways we could not have imagined. We can all agree that at some point, life goes on regardless of what is happening in the space in which we operate and we adjust as needed to the circumstances shaping our environment.
The same is true of moving WNC forward in our mission to serve our community, and this is why it is important for us to ready the college and its students, faculty, and staff to reopen our college. At the heart of our reopening plan is the recognition that the safety and well-being of our team members and our students are the top priorities. This will be an essential aspect of how we reopen the campuses.
With this in mind, the following will be used to guide the work of reopening the college.
- We will coordinate our reopening with other NSHE institutions, the system office, and state offices.
- Where and when possible will be flexible in our approach. Events change daily and we need to be ready to adjust as needed. In this rapidly changing environment, even the best of plans are tentative at best.
- We will be prepared to transition to remote operations in all areas of the college if needed. We did this once when we had to go remote in March of this year, and we will be ready to do this again should the need arise.
- We will follow state and local government directives. As these directives change, our plans may be impacted.
- WNC will consider continuing temporary remote work or alternate accommodations on a case-by-case.
- Most of WNC’s summer classes will be online, although there will be some opportunities to be on-site during the summer. This is especially true of courses in our health professions and our career / technical areas.
The plan to reopen our campuses will occur in three phases
Campus leadership returns to campus – June 1
We will follow the directives of the Governor and the Chancellor in determining when this phase will begin. During this phase, all members of the executive team, academic and program directors, all members of facilities and grounds, and all unit leaders will return to the college. This group will be tasked with deploying the return-to-work plans for each of the campus areas, units and departments, in preparation for other team members to return to campus.
Additional team members make transition to campus – June 15 (~10 working days after first group arrives back to campus)
Return to work plans will start each area with a skeleton crew on each campus with the rest of the services, where possible, being delivered remotely. The date for this phase will be determined in coordination with other NSHE institutions and in compliance with state directives. The Child Development Center may resume operations during this phase.
Campus operations resume – July 1-27
Students and community members will be welcomed back on WNC’s campuses starting July 27. Phase 3 also includes remaining employees who didn’t return in Phases 1 and 2 coming back to campus on July 1.
At the heart of WNC’s reopening plan is ensuring the safety and well-being of its students, faculty, staff and visitors. To provide that safety the college is asking visitors to practice social distancing and to wear a face covering while on WNC’s three campuses.
Students or anyone visiting the campus not wearing a mask can be told to do so and will be asked to leave if they do not comply. Exceptions will be made for individuals who can’t wear a face covering due to a medical condition, disability or who are unable to remove a mask without assistance. Persons exempted from wearing a face covering should wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as face shield.
Because plans are in flux and match mandates from Gov. Steve Sisolak, refer to this webpage for updates.
All employees return to work as “normal” as possible in Phase 3.
WNC will work to secure as much PPE as possible, although supplies are limited. Employees who need PPE should contact the Office of Human Resources.
WNC is working on being as flexible as possible with the various needs of our employees. The HR office, led by Melody Duley, will be the point of contact for requesting return to work exemptions.
Commitment to Safety
At the heart of our reopening plan is the recognition that the safety and well-being of our students, faculty & staff is the top priority. This will be an essential aspect of how we reopen Western Nevada College. The college door signs and TVs on campus will display safety messages, although our commitment to safety is the responsibility of all of employees to practice and model.
- Staying home when you are not feeling well, have a fever or may have been in contact with someone who is presenting symptoms of illness is important. Please do not enter college buildings if you suspect you are sick.
- Handwashing and using hand sanitizer before and after touching common surfaces helps the spread of many diseases, including COVID-19.
- College departments and cleaning crews will take extra measures to clean and disinfect surfaces throughout the day
- Face coverings must be worn when WNC team members are outside of their personal office, but still in the workplace.
- Face coverings must be worn when WNC team members interact with students or members of the public.
- Face coverings must be worn by faculty in a classroom setting.
- Face coverings must be worn by students/participants on campus and face-to-face classroom setting. Social distancing must be adhered to.
- Students who do not have access to masks, should contact the Office of Wildcat Student Life, located in the Dini Student Center.
- Faculty and staff who do not have personal face coverings should contact Human Resources.
- Drinking fountains and water filtration systems will be closed to the public.
- Social distancing is imperative. Maintaining at least a distance of six feet from each other is an important practice. When it comes to gatherings, risk is not just based on how many people there are, but rather how closely they are gathered and how they are interacting with each other. The risk does not disappear in smaller gatherings. It’s the distance and precautions that will make the difference.
- Buildings, offices and classroom capacity should be 50 percent or less capacity presently allowed by the fire marshals. Fewer people in a room with a larger distance between them is the only way to decrease the risk of spread.
- All college departments will implement measures to ensure social distancing is in place in all student/staff interactions and will include increasing physical distance between employees in the work space and between employees and students, the installation of physical barriers, and visual cues such as floor decals and signage to indicate where to stand.
- Employee break rooms may be used if six feet is maintained between occupants. Face coverings may be removed for eating and drinking in the break areas, provided six feet of distancing is maintained. Communal refrigerators, coffee makers, microwaves, dishes, etc. may not be used.
- No more than two people are allowed in a college or vehicle. Face coverings must be worn at all times except when alone in office.
- Employees should be especially aware of social distancing in restrooms. When entering a restroom, assess the occupancy and, if social distancing cannot be achieved, wait outside the restroom until other people exit.
- College common space furniture will be configured in order to create natural social distancing in areas where students typically congregate.
- Signs and floor decals on campus will help guide social distancing in areas where students tend to form lines or congregate.
Most of WNC’s summer classes will be online, although there will be some opportunities to be on-site during the summer.
Instructional Plans for Reopening
As we move into the fall semester, classes will be scheduled similar to past years with online, on-site and hybrid (mix) options. However, the college will offer most on-site classes with a remote learning option (Zoom, Meet, others) to allow flexibility. This will not only serve as a backup in the event that another health crisis emerges, but will expand accessibility to remote students who are unable to travel to campus for a variety of reasons. All classes must have a remote learning option to serve as a backup. Classes in the nursing and allied health programs will be conducted primarily as usual this fall semester. Also, training programs that have a significant part of instructional time in labs (auto, welding, applied tech, etc) will be scheduled as usual, with possible remote options for lecture components where possible.
Classes – Fall 2020 Modalities
Students attend fully online asynchronously via Canvas
Students attend synchronously via video tech (Zoom)
Students attend synchronously in-person or via video tech (Zoom)
Students attend synchronously via Zoom with onsite, low-residency discussion meetings at defined times during semester
Students meet in person; class has remote backup option
These are getting Zoom (other) remote options
Nursing and Allied Health
Lectures: Students attend synchronously in-person or via video tech (Zoom)
Labs: Onsite using state-approved protocols
Lectures: Students attend synchronously via video tech (Zoom)
Labs: Onsite using state-approved protocols
Lectures: Students attend synchronously via video tech (Zoom)
Labs: Onsite using state-approved protocol
Team Member Wellness, Work Accommodations and Mental Health
WNC will work with team members who self-identify as high-risk under CDC guidelines for COVID-19 or who live with or care for someone who is high-risk under CDC guidelines. When and if possible, WNC will consider temporary remote work for those whose positions are conducive to remote work. Temporary remote work or other accommodations will be approved on a case-by-case basis. An employee may request temporary remote work by submitting a completed form to their supervisor and Human Resources. An employee may be asked to submit supporting documentation to supplement the temporary remote work request or to aid in determining an alternate accommodation.
High-risk under CDC guidelines includes:
- Individuals who are 65 years of age and older;
- Individuals with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma;
- Individuals who have serious heart conditions;
- Individuals who are immune-compromised;
- Pregnant women; or
- People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- People with liver disease
- Individuals determined to be high risk by a licensed healthcare provider
When possible, WNC will permit temporary remote work or appropriate leave use for employees who care for a child whose school or place of care is closed. Temporary remote work will be approved on a case-by-case basis. An employee may request temporary remote work by submitting a completed form to their supervisor and Human Resources.
Team Member Wellness
Team members who display symptoms of COVID-19, as defined by the CDC, will not be permitted in the workplace and will be permitted to work remotely until the symptoms reside. Employees who are too sick to work remotely will be placed on appropriate sick leave as defined by current leave policies. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 must self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days and employees in contact with a known positive case must self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days or until a negative test result is received.
Returning to Work
- All team members returning to work must complete the STANDARDIZED EMPLOYEE SCREENING QUESTIONNAIRE and submit it to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. All team members must have supervisor approval before returning to work. Supervisors must ensure the team member has submitted the appropriate items and completed the needed training prior to having team members return to work.
The questionnaire can be found at: https://www.diversifynevada.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/coronavirus_employeequestionnaire_final.pdf
- Employees must complete “COVID-19 in the Workplace” orientation modules before they may physically work on campus.
- Employees are responsible for completing a health screening review each day they work on campus.
- Daily Screening Questions include:
- Are you currently experiencing, or have you experienced in the last 7 days, COVID-19 symptoms (listed below) that cannot be attributed to another known health condition?
- Have you had contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
- Have you been told by a physician or government agent to quarantine or self-isolate due to COVID-19?
- If the answer to any question is “yes”:
- An employee must notify their supervisor and not report to work.
- If the employee has already reported to work, the employee must immediately notify their supervisor by email or phone and leave the workplace.
- The supervisor must notify Employee Health & Safety and Human Resources for further guidance.
- The employee will be placed on appropriate leave or approved to temporarily work remotely.
- An employee who answers “yes” to any of the screening questions may return to work when:
- The employee has had no fever for at least three days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND
- Any COVID-19 symptoms that cannot be attributed to another known health condition have improved; AND
- At least ten days have passed since symptoms began; OR
- A doctor confirms the cause of the employee’s symptom(s) is not COVID-19 and provides a written release for the employee to return to work
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – Lifeworks
The EAP is accessible by phone and online twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The EAP program is a confidential and specifically designed to assist employees and their families in handling personal and work-related issues. All services are free and completely confidential. You may contact the EAP by calling Lifeworks EAP at 1-877-234-5151 or by visiting www.lifeworks.com with the User ID: NSHE and Password: eap. Please note, these are both case-sensitive: “NSHE” (all caps) and “eap” (all lowercase).
Office and Building Configuration
Office and teaching spaces will be individually assessed and configured in accordance with Nevada OSHA guidelines, with a focus on the following:
- Developing communication methods to physically maintain separation between persons in all areas of the facilities including work areas and other areas such as meeting rooms, break rooms, parking lots, entrance and exit areas, and locker rooms.
- Using signs, tape marks or other visual cues such as decals or colored tape on the floor, placed 6 feet apart, to indicate where to stand when physical barriers are not possible.
- Replacing high-touch communal items, such as coffee pots, water coolers, and bulk snacks, with alternatives such as pre-packaged, single-serving items. This includes drinking fountains, break rooms, and other social spaces. Non-essential group activities continue to be discouraged.
- Providing additional signage to communicate risk of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace as needs arise and hazards are identified.
- Implementation of communication methods to promote frequent and thorough handwashing, routine cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces.
- Adjusting seats, furniture, and workstations to maintain social distancing of 6 feet between employees.
- Arranging reception or other communal seating area chairs by turning, draping (covering chair with tape or fabric so seats cannot be used), spacing, or removing chairs to maintain social distancing. A Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) may be completed for tasks, procedures, or instances identified where distancing is impractical.
- Installing transparent shields or other physical barriers where possible to separate employees and visitors where social distancing is not an option.
Improved ventilation in college buildings will focus on the following:
- Increase the percentage of outdoor air.
- Increase total airflow supply to occupied spaces, if possible.
- Disable demand-control ventilation (DCV) controls that reduce air supply based on temperature or occupancy, as applicable.
- Use natural ventilation (i.e., opening windows if possible and safe to do so) to increase outdoor air dilution of indoor air when environmental conditions and building requirements allow.
- Provide 100% outdoor air “flushes” of air handling systems as conditions allow, including running building ventilation systems during unoccupied times to maximize dilution ventilation.
- Maintain central air filtration inspection programs.
Nevada OSHA continues to emphasize the need for business leadership to be working with and aware of the health and well-being of its staff, and the College will continue to develop collaborative solutions to minimize risk of COVID-19 transmission in its office and classroom environments.
WNC is following guidance from the Center of Disease Control, the USDOL-OSHA, Nevada OSHA, and Nevada’s Health Response team including the Governor, as well as NSHE officials to ensure essential processes and protocols are in place to understand the dynamics of the COVID-19 virus and how to operate within established parameters safely. Informing and educating our college community about how the virus spreads, and how to mitigate the spread is critical to WNC’s plan to reopen our campuses safely. Students, faculty, and staff can access important COVID relates resources by visiting:
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY DIVISION OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY & HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
NEVADA HEALTH RESPONSE
GOVERNOR’S OFFICE STATE OF NEVADA DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY DIRECTIVE 016
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