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Campus Operational Norms for Fall 2020


The following normative behaviors, actions and strategies apply across WKU’s campuses. To request assistance achieving these norms or to report violations, please contact the WKU Emergency Management Group at 270-745-2019 or covid.help@wku.edu. 



Social distancing

The definition of Social Distancing regarding COVID-19 is a minimum distance of six feet in all directions. If you cannot always maintain that distance, you are required to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth.

Face masks 

Appropriate face masks include a cloth face covering or appropriate paper mask that covers both the nose and mouth. These coverings are required:

  • At all times when in public areas or shared spaces within buildings, including hallways and classrooms
  • Outdoors when near others where social distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained 
  • When in a vehicle with other persons, including cars, vans and buses

There are situations where a face mask is not required or cannot be worn due to the type of activity or factors related to the environment. Examples include:

  • While eating or drinking
  • While in your residence hall room or alone inside a university office 
  • In environments where hazards exist that create a greater risk by wearing a mask (engineering bays, biology research & instructional labs, etc.)
  • Performing physical exertion, such as manual labor, running and athletics training
  • Outdoors with more than six feet continuous separation between all people or there is only brief contact such as passing a person on the sidewalk
  • Other physical limitations or conditions that preclude an individual from wearing a face mask 

In all cases where a mask cannot be worn and social distancing cannot be maintained, alternative methods must be utilized to limit potential transmission of COVID-19. Specific guidance for the personal protective actions noted in this section will be included in a formal procedure document - WKU EHS-20-002 Personal Protective Measure for COVID-19.

Health checks

All employees are required to undergo daily temperature and health checks prior to reporting to campus. Specific guidance has been provided by supervisors once training begins. Any employees or students who feel unwell should stay home and contact their supervisors and/or healthcare providers.

Reconfiguration of areas to limit capacity and maintain social distancing

In all areas across university properties, and for university-led activities conducted off-campus, provisions shall be made to limit the number of persons in a given area to comply with a six-foot separation between persons. The following provides guidance on some common situations but should not be viewed as all-inclusive:

  • Relocate or isolate chairs, benches, couches or other seating, both inside buildings, outdoors and on vehicles transporting students, to limit available seats  
  • Temporarily close potential gathering spaces, excluding entrance lobbies or other building access points, to discourage people from congregating. If the area is part of the travel path to an exit, approval must be obtained from the University Fire Marshal prior to installation of any barriers 
  • Reconfigure classrooms, laboratories and other teaching/learning spaces to promote social distancing 
  • Reduce occupancy of dining, retail and event spaces to correspond to current state guidelines 

Installation of separation barriers

In situations where face-to-face interaction is required to conduct business transactions, food service, or other university functions, install barriers or physical control measures to reduce the risk of exposure from direct droplet exchange. To request a barrier, departments should complete a Project Request Form.

Modification of pedestrian traffic patterns

Environmental Health & Safety will conducted a survey of all pedestrian traffic pathways, to identify and assess areas where pedestrians cannot maintain social distancing. Where appropriate, physical barriers or other controls, such as transition to one-way traffic patterns or closures, to limit potential exposures will be deployed.

Cleaning and disinfection by area type

Operational requirements dictate minimum prescribed measures for cleaning and disinfecting areas to reduce the potential for spreading COVID-19. A university-wide cleaning and disinfecting plan for fall 2020 was developed to address specific area types, recommended procedures, and responsibilities. The following provides the recommended actions for common categories of spaces.

  • Private Offices and Other Individually Assigned Workspaces: Cleaning and disinfection of private offices and individually assigned workspaces will be the responsibility of the employee assigned to the space. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be available in the various departments to aid in completing basic cleaning and disinfection of surfaces. 
  • Public Operational Spaces: In all buildings serviced by the Department of Facilities Management, staff will clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in common areas, including primary entrances, hallways, primary restrooms, etc., twice daily.
  • Residence Halls: Housing and Residence Life (HRL), in conjunction with the Department of Facilities Management, will develop and communicate an operational plan for the cleaning and disinfection of all common areas of Residence Halls and HRL Apartments.
  • Retail Operations: Retail operations, such as the WKU Store, Athletic Ticket Office, and WKU Farm Commodities, will develop a plan to assure cleaning and disinfection of equipment, supplies, and if applicable, merchandise. These plans must be in place prior to resumption of public access retail operations.
  • Other Areas not Specified: Operational areas not specified in this document that have regular occupancy will follow the guidance for Public Operational Spaces. Specific questions or concerns about cleaning and disinfection procedures and practices should be directed to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Other preventive and protective measures

Additional measures will be introduced prior to the restart of operations in accordance with regulatory requirements and other identified health and safety practices, including: 

  • Placement of hand sanitizer stations at primary entrances to all university buildings
  • Promotion of frequent handwashing
  • Reduction of passenger loads on transit buses
  • Implementation of administrative controls, such as the use of technological solutions to process business and academic transactions or deliver remote customer service to eliminate the need for face-to-face interactions or the direct handling of paperwork, increased use of remote meeting and conference systems to reduce face-to-face gatherings, and reasonable accommodations for vulnerable populations
    • Individuals with an underlying health condition or who are otherwise members of populations that may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 may request an accommodation by contacting their department head or the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity: https://www.wku.edu/eeo/.

Testing for both active cases of COVID-19, as well as antibody tests for persons who may have contracted and recovered from the virus, are becoming more readily available and showing increased levels of reliability. WKU will work with local healthcare providers, Barren River District Health Department, Emergency Management, city and county governments and the Governor’s Office to develop access to appropriate testing. As testing programs are approved and specific implementation plans developed, they will be communicated to the WKU communities. 



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 Last Modified 5/17/21