Warner Pacific University Health and Safety Update

August 5, 2020

Warner Pacific Students,

Each week we will be sharing information regarding our preparations for the Fall 2020 semester. As you know, WPU currently plans to hold in-person classes with some courses offered in hybrid and online formats for students that are registered for face-to-face instruction. Students who have registered in online cohorts will complete coursework entirely online. Our faculty has been hard at work over the summer to ensure delivery of excellent instruction to all students. We will continue to monitor guidance from local, state and Federal agencies regarding COVID-19 and will make needed adjustments if needed.

We’d like to share some additional information regarding our COVID-19 preparedness plan for Fall regarding Health and Safety protocols. All students coming to Warner Pacific campuses will be expected to follow these guidelines:

  • Knight’s Pledge: Upon return, each community member will be asked to commit to a shared standard of behavior outlining expectations for safety, cleaning & disinfecting, and personal conduct as outlined in the previous email. All students and employees will be expected to sign and abide by the Knight’s Pledge. Similar to the Community Agreement found in the Student Handbook or Bulletin, the Knight’s Pledge will ask students to conduct themselves as responsible individuals and actively contribute to the quality of social, spiritual, and intellectual life as you adhere to adjusted health and safety protocols. Many key parts of the Knight’s Pledge are also included below.
  • Daily Self-Screening: WPU is developing a COVID-19 self-screening questionnaire to be completed daily by all students and employees. Details will be provided in the near future.
  • Physical Distancing: Please keep 6 feet between you and others. Handshaking, hugging, or close personal contact are known to contribute to spread of the disease and should be avoided.

We have carefully assessed classrooms to determine safe physical distancing protocols. Seats will be spread apart and signs will mark off restricted areas to keep you a safe distance from others. Professors will also be teaching from a safe distance. Students must sit in designated seats to ensure required spacing.

  • Hand Washing: Regular handwashing and hand-sanitizing will be strongly encouraged. All students and employees should frequently wash their hands, clean & disinfect surfaces, and practice good hygiene.
  • Residential Dining: On-campus dining will be adapted to facilitate social distancing and other safety measures. Seating capacity at dining hall will be reduced for the Fall Semester, online ordering will be available, and most meals will be prepared for take-away without self-service options. Extended hours and expanded pick up locations will help reduce density at any given time.
  • Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfecting: In alignment with public health recommendations, the University is taking measures to prevent community spread of COVID-19, which include enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures focused on high-touch surfaces, such as residence hall communal rooms, public restrooms, exercise rooms, library tables, buttons, handrails, tables, faucets, doorknobs, and shared keyboards. Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting with attention to these areas helps remove bacteria and viruses, including the novel coronavirus.
  • COVID-19 Testing: At this point, WPU is not requiring employees and students to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus. However, employees and students will be expected to perform regular self-screening and should be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 prior to their return.
  • Virtual Healthcare and Mental Health Support: In order to provide easy access to health and wellness resources, every Warner Pacific student now has access to medical and counseling visits 24/7 at no additional cost to students. Similar to in-person campus health clinics, this is a service that does not rely on or impact students’ health insurance and provides an additional layer of support. Students may visit knights.care for more information or to speak with a healthcare or mental health professional.
  • Protective Face Masks: All persons attending class, working on-campus, or conducting business on WPU campuses must wear a protective face mask. All employees will be required to bring a face mask to work. Masks must be worn in all common areas (e.g., hallways, restrooms, conference rooms, kitchens). Masks are to be worn outdoors when 6-feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. Staff members in offices must wear face masks whenever distance between employees is less than 6 feet unless plexiglass, cubicle walls, or other solid barriers are in place. A staff member in a single occupancy office is not required to wear a facemask unless others are visiting the office and 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Contact Tracing: WPU will be coordinating contract tracing efforts with the Multnomah County Health Department and according to HIPAA protocol.
  • Accommodations: We recognize that while many students and instructors alike would prefer to be in person whenever possible, there will be many circumstances out of our control. That is why the faculty have worked diligently over the summer to redesign many of their courses to serve students (or instructors) who might need to continue the course remotely while the rest of the class meets in person. We are working on the best protocol to handle requests of this sort. More information about how to request an exception from in-person attendance requirements will be available next week.
  • Stay Home If You’re Sick: All persons feeling symptoms associated with COVID-19 must avoid coming to campus. Employees must contact Human Resources. Students must contact Student Services. COVID-19 symptoms include but are not limited to:
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Your safety is our highest priority. These health and safety requirements are intended to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We believe that Warner Pacific is at a particular advantage compared to many institutions in this time when small classes and distancing are required. The size of our student population and the campus spaces available, make us well-suited to respond to and weather these challenges together, in order to provide a safe environment for teaching and learning. We thank you in advance for your cooperation. The success of our plans and the safety of our community during this season depend on each of us taking actions to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In the weeks to come we will continue to share updates to our health and safety protocols as well as offer information regarding other areas of the University including but not limited to student life, technology, academics, and residence life. Please continue to check your university email account and the University website for updates.