Saturday, April 18, 2020

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

In our ongoing effort to maintain the safety and well-being of our Wilkes community, I am writing to you about additional safety protocols we will immediately implement on our campus.

On April 15, Dr. Rachel Levine, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, issued new guidelines for businesses who are authorized to maintain select in-person operations. While the University already practices many of these protocols, the order issued by the secretary reinforces how important it is to maintain social distance while at work.

Effective immediately, all employees are required to wear a face mask while on campus. Masks may be homemade or manufactured and must remain on as you work, aside from at meals. Employees who are without a mask when they arrive on campus can obtain one from the University Police Department. The University will continue to only allow essential visits to campus that are preapproved by supervisors. You can review building access guidelines on our COVID informational web page.

Students who remain on our campus due to extenuating circumstances will also be required to wear masks. We will work directly with those students to ensure they have the materials to do so.

The order also establishes additional guidelines to help us maintain a safe work environment, including:

  • Staggering start and stop times to prevent gatherings of large groups of employees entering or leaving campus at the same time.
  • Providing sufficient space for employees to enjoy breaks and meals while maintaining six feet of social distance. This includes limiting the number of employees in common areas and arranging seating so that employees are facing in one direction.
  • Conducting meetings and trainings virtually. If a meeting must be held in person, limit the meeting to the fewest number of employees possible, not to exceed 10 at one time, while maintaining a social distance of six feet of space.
  • Ensuring we have a sufficient, but minimal, number of employees to carry out essential work, as well as employees who can help protect our campus and support social distancing requirements.

Supervisors will work directly with their employees to implement these practices and to address your questions or concerns.

It is not our hope that these measures alarm you, but rather help you feel as protected as possible while on our campus. It is clear that the coronavirus will continue to be part of our lives, so we will review emerging safety guidelines and implement them on campus as necessary.

Thank you for your continued dedication to our Wilkes University. I am eager to see you all as soon as we can safely be together again.