Wayne State University COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan

In accordance with Executive Order 2020-59, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY ("WSU") institutes this COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan ("Plan").

WSU aims to protect its workforce by enacting all appropriate prevention efforts. WSU is continually monitoring guidance from local, state, and federal health officials and implementing workplace and Plan modifications where appropriate.

Employees with questions are encouraged to visit https://wayne.edu/coronavirus/.
You may contact Human Resources via phone at 313-577-3000 and/or email at askhr@wayne.edu.

To report concerns regarding occupational health and human safety and compliance with WSU Covid-19 policies, please contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (philc@wayne.edu, 313-577-9064).  To report concerns anonymously, please use the WSU Internal Audit Anonymous tip form at https://internalaudit.wayne.edu/report

All individuals coming on site to the WSU campus are required to complete the training module/course "Be Warrior Safe."  This course is comprised of the three modules listed below and will ensure a shared language around the coronavirus COVID-19 as well as introduce nine strategies for keeping individuals and our campus safe going forward.

  1. Coronavirus 101 for an overview of COVID-19 and how COVID-19 spreads
  2. Warriors Taking Care of Warriors, Part 1 for strategies prior to arriving on Campus
  3. Warriors Taking Care of Warriors, Part 2 for strategies to keep our Campus community safe

Additional elements of the WSU COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan for individuals authorized to return to campus are defined below.

Employees who are able to perform their essential duties remotely may be permitted to work from home in accordance with approved telework arrangements. 

  1. Prevention Efforts and Workplace Controls
    1. Cleanliness and Social Distancing

WSU abides by generally recommended social distancing and other safety measures, including  the following:

  • Large gatherings (defined as 10 or more individuals) are minimized whenever possible; staff meetings are postponed, cancelled or held remotely;
  • Employees are encouraged to maintain the recommended physical distance of six feet from other individuals at work, on breaks, and while moving from place to place during work hours, as well as before and after working hours;
  • Employees are required to maintain physical distance when reporting to work, clocking in, leaving work, and clocking out;
  • Employees' workstations are no fewer than ten feet apart;
  • WSU may utilize flexible work hours, wherever possible, to limit the number of employees simultaneously working on-site;
  • Employees' interactions with the general public are modified to allow for additional physical space between parties; and
  • Non-essential travel is postponed or cancelled. 

WSU provides employees with, at a minimum, non-medical-grade face coverings.

Employees' "worker exposure" is classified as medium risk by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's guidance because they frequently and/or closely interact with the general public.  WSU may thus also install physical barriers where feasible, limiting exposure of and to the general public, and minimizing face-to-face contact.   

In addition, WSU is instituting the following cleanliness measures:

  • Where possible, increasing ventilation rates and air circulation throughout work sites;
  • Separation of work spaces as necessary;
  • Performing routine environmental cleaning and disinfection, especially of common areas and bathrooms; and
  • Where available, providing hand sanitizer in high-traffic areas.

Employees are expected to minimize COVID-19 exposure by:

  • Cleaning workstations at the beginning and end of each shift;
  • Avoiding, when possible, the use of other employees' phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment;
  • Wearing face covering or face mask at all times on public spaces on campus;
  • Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after eating as well as after using the bathroom;
  • Frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds during the day;
  • Utilizing hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable;
  • Avoiding rubbing of eyes and touching their face with unwashed hands;
  • Avoiding handshakes or other physical contact;
  • Avoiding close contact with sick people;
  • Practicing respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes;
  • Immediately reporting unsafe or unsanitary conditions on WSU's premises;
  • Complying with WSU's "Campus Daily Screener" processes, by completing the screener each day before coming to campus;
  • Contacting the Campus Health Center if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms; and
  • Complying with self-isolation or quarantine orders, when necessary.
  2. Supplemental Measures Upon Notification of Employee's COVID-19 Diagnosis and/or Symptoms

An employee with a COVID-19 diagnosis or who displays symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must be immediately removed from the worksite. 

In response to a confirmed diagnosis or display of COVID-19 symptoms, the WSU Campus Health Center:

  • Conducts systematic investigation and contact tracing and informs all employees with and near whom the diagnosed/symptomatic employee worked of a potential exposure;
  • Keeps confidential the identity of the diagnosed/symptomatic employee;
  • Follows the current CDC guidelines for mitigation and quarantine based on the specific incident and contact tracing; and
  •  Reports the need for deep cleaning of the diagnosed/symptomatic employee's workstation, as well as those common areas potentially infected by the employee.

All employees who worked in sustained, close proximity to the diagnosed/symptomatic employee, as identified by contact tracing, are also removed from the worksite for at least 14 days; however, should these exposed employees later develop COVID-19 symptoms and/or receive a confirmed diagnosis, they may not report on-site until all return-to-work requirements are met, defined below.   

WSU completes an OSHA Form 300, as well as a Form 301 in accordance with OSHA guidelines for determining whether the precipitating event or exposure occurred in the work environment or elsewhere. If an employee infects a coworker, the coworker has suffered a work-related illness if one of the recording criteria (e.g., medical treatment or days away from work) is met.

  1. Identification and Isolation of Sick and/or Exposed Employees

Risk and exposure determinations are made without regard to employees' protected characteristics, as defined by local, state, and federal law.   

Any health-related information and documentation gathered from employees is maintained confidentially and in compliance with state and federal law.  

    1. Employees' Self-Monitoring

The following employees should not report to work and, upon notification to WSU, will be removed from the in-person work schedule:

  • Employees who display COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of smell or taste, and/or gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, whether or not accompanied by a formal COVID-19 diagnosis;
  • Employees who, in the last 14 days, have had close contact with and/or live with any person having a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis; and
  • Employees who, in the last 14 days, have had close contact with and/or live with any person displaying COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of smell or taste, and/or gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Such employees may only resume in-person work upon meeting all return-to-work requirements, defined below.   

    1. Daily Screenings

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the potential spread of the virus, WSU screens employees on a daily basis. 

Employees are required to complete the WSU Campus Daily Screener each day, which includes the following questions:

In the past 48 hours, or since your last visit to a University facility, have you experienced any of the following symptoms? (please check all that apply):

____A new fever (100.4 F or higher) or a sense of having a fever?

____A new cough that you cannot attribute to another health condition?

____New shortness of breath that you cannot attribute to another health condition?

____A new sore throat that you cannot attribute to another health condition?

____New muscle aches that you cannot attribute to another health condition or that may have been caused by a specific activity, such as physical exercise?

____New respiratory symptoms, such as sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion or sneezing, that you cannot attribute to another health condition?

____New chills or repeated shaking with chills that you cannot attribute to another health condition?

____New loss of taste or smell that you cannot attribute to another health condition?


Have you had close contact in the last 14 days with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19? *

Have you traveled via airplane internationally or domestically in the last 14 days? *

Have you had a COVID-19 test and are currently awaiting results? *

If an employee answers yes to any of the above, access is denied, an automatic notification is sent to the Campus Health Center and the employee is screened and tested for infection in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Employees who develop symptoms during their shift must immediately report to their supervisor and contact the Campus Health Center. 

c.   Return-to-Work Requirements

Employees who were themselves diagnosed with COVID-19 may only return to work upon confirmation of the cessation of symptoms and contagiousness.  The parameters for approved return to work for employees are continuously evaluated and adjusted based upon guidance from the WSU Public Health Committee and in accordance with CDC guidelines with updated information provided and implemented through the Campus Health Center.

Employees may discontinue isolation and return to work upon achieving the following conditions:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications;
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. 

Employees who came into close contact with, or live with, an individual with a confirmed diagnosis or symptoms may return to work after either 14 days have passed since the last close contact with the diagnosed/symptomatic individual.

Employees are typically required to submit a release to return to work from a healthcare provider; given the current stressors on the healthcare system, WSU may accept written statements from employees confirming all the factors supporting their release.  

3.  Workplace Flexibilities and Potential Benefits for Employees Affected by COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WSU has introduced flexibilities in work structure and associated benefits as defined and developed through WSU Human Resources https://hr.wayne.edu/coronavirus. Employees who are unable to report to work for reasons related to COVID-19 are referred to Human Resources for information on unemployment compensation benefits. 

Employees may be eligible for paid and unpaid leaves of absence and may be permitted to utilize available paid-time off provided under WSU policy concurrently with or to supplement any approved leave. For information related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA),  the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act ("EPSLA") and the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), please see https://hr.wayne.edu/coronavirus.

Employees who require leave beyond the EPSLA because of their own COVID-19 diagnosis/symptoms, or because they have had close contact or live with an individual with a COVID-19 diagnosis/symptoms, may be eligible for unpaid leave under Executive Order 2020-36 until permitted thereunder to return to work.

  1. Plan Updates and Expiration

This Plan responds to the COVID-19 outbreak.  As this pandemic progresses, WSU will update this Plan and its corresponding processes.

This Plan will expire upon conclusion of its need, as determined by WSU and in accordance with guidance from local, state, and federal health officials.


For a printable version of this Wayne State University COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, please visit here.