Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina has prepared an overview of its COVID-19 Strategic Plan, describing portions of its plans for Fall 2020. According to the school, the plan contains information on changes made to accommodate social distancing, new residence hall policies and changes to move-in day, including requiring students to sign up for arrival time slots.
KWU’s COVID-19 Task Force has been meeting regularly since March, and has spent the last few months focused on policies and procedures necessary for “reopening”. The Task Force includes the campus emergency manager, the chair of the Nursing Department and multiple members of the President’s Council, along with representatives from Sodexo, Plant Operations and Marketing and Communications, among others.
Perhaps the most pressing detail announced in the plan involves move-in days, which remain scheduled for August 5 and August 7.
To help control traffic and crowds on those days, students will need to sign up for a scheduled time to arrive to campus. This can be done through the Student Development Office.
Prior to entering any campus building on move-in days, individuals will be temperature-tested using non-contact thermometers to make sure all in attendance are under the CDC-recommended figure of 100.4 degrees (F). If someone should test high, they will enter a temperature-controlled holding area for 15 minutes before being retested. If they fail the second test, they will need to leave campus and will not be allowed to enter any campus building. A similar plan will be in place for other, appropriate campus events.
It is expected that, although temperature checks may not be in place for certain events, all visitors to KWU events in 2020-21 will be asked to review standardized set of health-related questions and not come to campus if they have negative answers.
When students arrive to campus for move-in day, they — along with all faculty and staff members — will receive a welcome kit that will include a face covering, gloves, hand sanitizer, a pen and a thermometer. The kit will also contain instructions to conduct a self-check each day before coming to campus or class, and students with positive symptoms should contact the athletic trainer. Faculty or staff with positive symptoms during the self-check should contact their supervisor or appropriate faculty member.
Two of the changes that students will notice quickly are in food service and residence halls. In The Den, the food service option located in the Student Activity Center, customers will now order through the window to relieve potential congestion inside. To-go service will also be possible, both at The Den and in Shriwise Dining Hall, through the use of an Android and iPhone application. Increased PPE and increased cleaning will be hallmarks of the food service experience.
Any residence halls that have community bathrooms will have an occupancy limit of six individuals. All cleaning will be done according to CDC recommendations.
On the athletics side, student-athletes, coaches, staff and game officials will be screened daily due to the close contact required for participation and workouts. That screening will take place both with temperature checks and a standardized verbal screening similar to that mentioned above. In addition, spaces that are generally shared (i.e. locker rooms) will be adjusted and stadium/arena entry procedures will be altered to avoid excessive lines.
Finally, student travel during the semester — particularly non-essential travel that ventures outside the state of Kansas — will be strongly discouraged. If a student does travel outside the state, they must notify the Student Development Office in advance and it may result in a two-week quarantine upon return, depending upon KDHE regulations.
“This plan describes our day-to-day efforts moving forward, and how we will address what have become common concerns in our world today,” said Dr. Matt Thompson, KWU President. “Due to our small class sizes — 91 percent of our courses last year had less than 30 students — we are in a position to have to make fewer adjustments than some of our peers. However, some adjustments are certainly necessary and we have come together as a campus to identify and begin to implement those. While we did not include it in this document, we also have multiple action plans in place to isolate/quarantine those who may be exposed to the virus during the academic year. All of us at KWU appreciate how Saline County leadership has proactively provided assistance and is supporting us this academic year.”
- Move-in days will be August 5 (new students) and 7 (returning students), and screening processes will be in place. In addition, all students must sign up for an arrival time. Students will sign up for a time block to facilitate social distancing.
- KWU will provide faculty, staff and students with a Fall Welcome Kit containing a thermometer, face covering and other items to aid in personal safety and protection.
- All students returning will be required to complete a free, non-credit class (less than 15 minutes) on illness prevention and proper hand hygiene habits through Canvas.
- Faculty are preparing fall classes using hy-flex plans, to accommodate both in-person and online learners. Classrooms have been equipped with cameras to allow synchronous instruction. This means that if a student must quarantine or isolate, they may continue to participate in live classes.
- Classrooms have been assigned to allow the best social distancing. (By design, nearly 80% of KWU’s classes are typically less than 20 students.)
- Cleaning is taking place in accordance with CDC recommendations. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer are being provided in many areas, including classrooms. The wipes kill the virus faster than the disinfectant used during a full “deep” clean.
- Due to the close contact required for participation in games and workouts, student-athletes and other athletic personnel will be screened daily before practice.
- Enhanced cleaning and changes in procedures will be implemented in the residence hall bathrooms and food service locations. This includes cleaning all residence halls twice a day and monitoring air flow and filtration systems throughout the buildings.
- Nonessential student travel outside Kansas during the Fall semester is being strongly discouraged.
- Attendees coming to campus for certain events will be asked a series of screening questions. For certain events, including move-in days, temperature testing will be in place.
- Stadium/arena entry procedures will be changed as indicated with signage and by event staff.
- Both virtual and on-campus visits will continue as currently in place, with social distancing and the wearing of face coverings, as needed, being observed.
- Face coverings will be expected in public settings on campus, classrooms and other indoor areas where people cannot maintain social distance of six feet for at least the first two weeks of classes. KWU will reevaluate this expectation based on current conditions and guidance from the Health Department to determine whether to continue this precaution.