Personal Safety Practices

Facial coverings/masks

Face mask use is required by the College of everyone on campus. See the College’s guidelines for face masks/coverings (and limited, recognized exceptions), and information about obtaining face coverings if needed. Scientific and medical studies have demonstrated that face masks are one of the most effective measures for preventing the spread and contraction of COVID-19. Face masks or face coverings must be worn by all employees working on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings. This includes, for example, common work spaces, meeting rooms, when walking in hallways where others travel, including travel to and from restrooms, in break rooms, conference rooms, meeting locations, and even outside when you might be around people for a sustained period of time or where social distancing cannot be reliably maintained. Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical to minimizing risks to others near you and helps protect you against others that may be infected. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.

There may be employees “permitted not to wear a mask because (they) fit one of the criteria set forth by the State of Ohio that permits an employee not to wear a mask.” No further detail or reference to the health/medical or condition of the individual or other personal information will be shared. Employees who are granted permission understand that because the College is strictly enforcing the mask rule, the College reserves the right to make the above statement, without disclosing any detail, so as to remove any notion that enforcement of the face covering /mask policy is lax. There will also be an effort made to ensure that those “permitted” unmasked employees avoid as much contact with other persons as possible. Employees should not confront others that do not have a mask on. Instead employees should report that information to their supervisor. The supervisor will then notify Human Resources. humanresources@wooster.edu or call 330-263-2526. If there is an immediate safety concern the immediate supervisor should contact Security and Protective Services at 330-263-2590.

  Type and Intended Use of Face Coverings/Masks

Type

Cloth Face Covering

Cloth Mask

Disposable Mask

Disposable mask

Medical-Grade Surgical Mask

Medical/Surgical mask

N95 Respirator

N95 Mask

Description

Home-made or commercially manufactured face coverings that are washable and help contain wearer’s respiratory emissions

Commercially manufactured masks that help contain wearer’s respiratory emissions

FDA-approved masks to protect the wearer from large droplets and splashes; helps contains wearer’s respiratory emissions

Provide effective respiratory protection from airborne particles and aerosols; helps contain wearer’s respiratory emissions

Intended use

Required for campus community use in non-healthcare settings (office spaces, general research/work settings, shops, community areas where 6’ social distancing cannot be consistently maintained. Must be replaced daily. (While likely necessary for entering/exiting spaces/buildings, not required when working alone in an office).

These masks are typically used by healthcare workers and other staff with task-specific hazards identified by the College’s Environmental Safety Officer.

Social/Physical Distancing

Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we must avoid being exposed to COVID-19 and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they show any symptoms and know they are sick, it is important to keep distance from others when possible. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Employees working on-site should follow these social distancing practices:

  • Stay at least 6 feet from other people
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

Handwashing

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.

Gloves

Staff who work in higher-risk-of-contagion areas such as Custodial Services and Dining Services should use gloves as part of personal protective equipment (PPE). However, according to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use, and gloves do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often per the guidelines above is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks and reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

  • Goggles/Face shields
  • Cleaning/disinfection of work, shared, and personal spaces
  • Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene

Testing, Tracing and Tracking

The College of Wooster will soon announce details of a testing program for employees and students who are part of the phased on-campus return. If a medical provider affirms a legitimate medical or other reason for an employee not to be tested (nasal swab), the use of an alternative testing method, may be explored.

We believe it is important that all faculty, staff, and students, as well as vendors and campus guests, share the same values and behaviors in protecting the health of the community. To introduce these shared values and behaviors, we are developing a special community support module. We will share additional information about this process in the coming weeks.

Once on campus, any member of the College community who experiences COVID-19 or influenza-like symptoms will be required to undergo a COVID-19 test. Contact tracing will be used for any confirmed cases, and COVID-19-positive individuals will be required to self-isolate. We are designating spaces on campus for self-isolation of students who live in on-campus housing, and we are establishing systems to track disease prevalence and evolution. Employees will be asked to self-isolate at home.

Coughing/Sneezing/Hygiene

If you are in a personal, enclosed office setting and do not have on your face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Throw tissues in the trash, immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 70 percent alcohol.