There is not a process to eliminate the risk and probability of COVID-19 introduction on our campus. However, through a multi-layered strategy and through shared community responsibility we can greatly diminish this risk.

Training

All faculty, staff and students who return to campus will be required to complete training on COVID-19 and adhere to the college’s safety guidelines and practice. Please contact Craig Kilburn, Director of Environmental Health and Safety (kilburn_craig@wheatoncollege.edu), for additional detail.

Social Distancing

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and to slow its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at a higher risk of acute symptoms.

New occupancy limits have been set for all classrooms, meetings spaces, elevators and residence hall common rooms.

The campus community should follow these social distancing practices:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ lengths) from other people at all times
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Avoid crowded places and large gatherings
  • Utilize virtual meeting options
  • Schedule office visits when needed

Hygiene

Everyone is expected to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public space, 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.

If you are in a private setting and do not have on your face cloth covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Then throw the tissues immediately into the trash and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

The college has added hand sanitizer stations throughout the college.

Face Coverings

Faculty, staff, students and visitors will be required to have a mask or face covering available at all times. Masks or face coverings must be worn inside any Wheaton facility where others are present and outside where social distancing cannot be maintained, except where unsafe due to a medical condition or disability. Students may remove their facemask in their dorm room even when a roommate is present.

All community members should bring their own mask when coming to campus, although the college does have a limited supply of masks for community members that on occasion require one. As a result of evolving guidance and research, masks with exhalation valves are not permitted. As some N95 masks have these valves, those will be permitted only with a surgical mask used over the N95 mask. Additionally, as they are not recommended as appropriate face masks by the CDC, bandanas and neck gaiters are no longer permitted to be used as a face covering on campus.

Cleaning and Disinfection

The Building Services team will increase their cleaning and disinfection in high-traffic areas following CDC guidance.

Community members are expected to wipe down commonly used surfaces in personal work space, residence halls and classrooms. These spaces are being equipped with disinfecting materials. Supplies should not be removed from these locations. They will be replenished as needed.