Message from EHS Director and Emergency Manager David Oliver - Important Updates - COVID-19
- David E. Oliver
- Thursday, October 29th, 2020
The entire WKU community is to be commended on the collective actions taken to restart and move through the fall 2020 semester amid COVID-19. The high level of compliance with wearing of masks, social distancing, and other measures has helped to reduce the spread of the virus and allow us to effectively manage cases at WKU. The coming weeks and months are critical. The holiday season, coupled with winter weather and seasonal influenza,
presents additional challenges as we plan to gather with family and friends. We must continue our vigilant efforts and practices that we know are working to in order to reduce opportunities for the spread of COVID-19.
Steps to help keep everyone safe:
- Continue to follow basic precautions:
§ wear a mask;
§ practice physical distancing (maintain 6 feet distance);
§ wash hands and apply hand sanitizer frequently;
§ avoid touching your face;
§ watch for symptoms; and
§ get plenty of rest
- Get a flu vaccine. Preventing the spread of flu will help reduce emergency room visits and hospital admissions. WKU offers flu vaccines at the GGC Campus Clinic.
(Visit their website for current clinic hours of operation https://www.wku.edu/healthservices/). In addition, the GGC location on Nashville Road is open seven days a week from 7:30 AM – 7:30 PM.
Outside of the Bowling Green area, consult your doctor or your local clinic or public health department. Watch for announcements for additional walk up flu clinics on campus in the coming weeks.
- Limit face-to-face gatherings. Seek creative alternatives to spend time with your friends and family members.
- Take extra measures with those in high-risk groups as they may be more impacted by COVID-19 illness:
§ individuals over 70; and
§ individuals with underlying health conditions
- Consider donating blood during the holidays. Donating blood is safe. The pandemic has affected the current blood supply level, and the decline is expected to continue over the holidays.
Impact of Recent Recommendations from the Office of the Governor
Earlier this week, Governor Beshear announced recommended actions to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus for counties experiencing an increase in positive case rates. WKU continually monitors the case rates on our campuses, as well as across the region – with a specific focus on counties in which we have facilities. Based on the provisions of WKU’s COVID-19 Bid Red Restart, WKU leadership is prepared to make operational
changes based on a variety of data sources in consultation with state and local public health officials. If conditions dictate the need for modification to operational practices or schedules, appropriate communication will be initiated.
Public Health / CDC Revision to Definition of Close Contact with Persons Testing Positive for COVID-19
On October 21, 2020, the CDC revised its definition of a close contact for COVID-19. The CDC now defines close contact as “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes
or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.”
The previous definition of close contact was someone who spent at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of a person with a confirmed case.
Important Revisions to WKU Policy EHS-002 Protective Measures in Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic
It is imperative that any person who experiences symptoms consistent with COVID-19, tests positive for the virus, or has been in close contact with someone confirmed to having COVID-19, immediately self-quarantine.
All faculty, staff, students and contract employees who work or attend classes on any WKU campus are required to contact the WKU COVID-19 Assistance Line (270-745-2019) immediately upon:
- Receiving a positive test result; or
- Being made aware that they are a close contact with a person testing positive.
Important Note for Close Contact Quarantine: If a person is a close contact with a positive case, they must quarantine for 14 days. A negative test result for COVID-19 DOES NOT change the 14-day requirement.
The EHS-002 policy has been revised to address this direction and prescribes a maximum reporting window of four hours. The revised policy can be found at: https://www.wku.edu/ehs/documents/covid19/personal_protective_covid.pdf
If you have specific questions related to the revised EHS-002 policy, please feel free to contact me directly. As a reminder, the COVID-19 Assistance Line is available 24 hours a day to assist the WKU community with COVID-19 related questions and concerns.
David E. Oliver Ed.D, CSP, CEM
Director Environmental Health & Safety