Return to Campus Plan

Tri-Cities Campus Standards 

Prior to recommencing work and approved instructional programs WSU Tri-Cities will make every effort to create and model safe environmental practices. We will provide guidance, tools and supplies to support the safe occupation of our campus spaces.   

Personal health and safety remain an individual responsibility for each member of our community. Anyone who does not feel comfortable returning to campus should contact their instructor or supervisor to explore alternatives. High risk individuals and those with compromised immune systems are encouraged to weigh these risks based on their own situation and seek alternate access solutions if they are uncomfortable coming to campus.   

The following system- and campus-level mandates shall apply to all units:


This plan shall be an addendum to the Campus Safety Plan.  All employees should be familiar with the relevant section(s) of the full plan, and upon return to campus each unit identified therein must complete appendices B through D based on their particular location(s) and hazard(s). The unit- and campus-level Safety, Health, and Security Committees identified in the Campus Safety Plan will assist in identifying and addressing general safety concerns raised by students and employees. 

The following shall be in effect until the Governor’s COVID Emergency Declaration is terminated:

  • Activities and events (including meetings and conferences) should be conducted remotely when possible.  Participants who are not vaccinated or who have not provided evidence of vaccination must continue to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.
  • All employees must stay home or leave campus when feeling sick or when they have been in close contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case. If they develop symptoms of acute respiratory illness, they are encouraged to seek medical attention and inform their supervisor.  Students or employees who share a household with an individual sick with COVID-19 must also notify their supervisor and follow the isolation/quarantine requirements established by the State Department of Health. 
    • If an employee or student is confirmed to have COVID-19, they are asked to notify Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) so that campus can immediately begin on-campus contact tracing and necessary sanitizing.
  • Employees who have medical conditions that may prevent them from being vaccinated or from returning to campus should contact WSU Disability Services for an accommodation.   
  • Employees may continue working remotely, with supervisor approval, when mutually beneficial to the employee and the unit. Updated telework agreements are required for all remote work. 
  • Signage will be added near building entrances, restrooms, common areas, and other strategic locations to encourage proper handwashing and to provide instructions about requirements for unvaccinated persons to maintain social distancing and wear face coverings. 
Face Coverings
  • In accordance with direction from state and local authorities, face coverings must be worn inside any WSU building, and in any outdoor areas when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained from any non-household member.*  Additional details on these requirements, and exceptions to it, are included in the HRS guidance.  NOTE:  This requirement does not apply in areas where a specific respiratory hazard exists which requires separate protection (such as chemical vapors and/or particulates) as identified by the applicable hazard assessment.  
  • Coverings will be provided to all employees and will also be available for students.  Individuals may also elect to provide their own face covering, meeting CDC recommendations.  Employees and students will be responsible for care and washing their masks once provided.  NOTE: Respirators such as N-95 masks which have an exhalation port (generally a plastic square in the middle of the mask) do not provide filtration of the wearer’s breath and will not be approved for use on campus.  N-95 masks without the port are acceptable. 

* Individuals who have provided evidence of vaccination against COVID-19 are exempted from this requirement.  

Social Distancing
  • Except where activities are covered by specific guidance, capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements will be determined based on guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. For gatherings which include unvaccinated persons, occupancy must be limited to allow 6 feet of distancing for those individuals.* 
  • Sharing personal equipment including, but not limited to, shared computers/keyboards, mobile phones, writing instruments, radios, sports equipment, contact sport activities, etc. is likewise not permitted recommended unless those items are sanitized between users in accordance with CDC recommendations. 
  • Departments may coordinate work hours to reduce occupancy. 
  • Elimination of distancing requirements in classrooms is expected to occur prior to August 1.  However, classrooms and conference rooms may be subject to reduced seating and occupancy based on guidance from the Governor’s office and Department of Health.   
  • Plexiglass barricades have been installed in areas where significant face-to-face interactions are anticipated, such as the cashier’s window.  If additional areas are identified where such interactions cannot be reduced, notify, and the area will be evaluated to add barriers as needed. 

* Individuals who have provided evidence of vaccination are exempt from social distancing requirements.

Contact Tracing
  • To assist with contact tracing by local health authorities, a daily attendance log must be maintained for all classes, and visitor logs must be maintained by departments.  A Smartsheet template with all required information will be distributed for use in all areas.  This must be retained for at least four weeks. 
  • If an employee or student is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, the university will work with local health authorities to identify potential close contacts.  Local authorities will then inform fellow employees/students of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace (maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act), including guidance about how to proceed based on the CDC Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure. 
Cleaning & Disinfection
  • Custodial staff will conduct regular cleaning and disinfection of public areas and high-touch surfaces such as door handles.  Classrooms will be cleaned at least once per day, as room schedules allow.  Sanitizing materials will also be available in classrooms for use by occupants.  
  • Departmental work areas and individual offices must be cleaned by users.  Disinfectants will be provided by Facilities for this purpose. 
  • Shared equipment, including tools, conference tables, and other materials, should be cleaned by individual users before and after each use. 
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be provided near building entrances and in high-traffic areas. 
  • If a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, the spaces impacted by that individual will be identified.  If the infected individual has been on campus in the last 24 hours, impacted spaces will be closed for at least an additional 24 hours before cleaning.  If the individual has been absent for over 24 hours, cleaning will be conducted immediately. 
    • Individual work spaces, such as offices, will be left closed and will not be cleaned.  It will remain isolated for the duration of the individual occupant’s illness, recovery, and isolation periods or 14 days, whichever is greater.  If the space must be accessed by others, it will be treated as a shared work area as discussed below. 
    • Shared work areas will be closed for at least 24 hours prior to cleaning and sanitizing according to CDC and Dept. of Health recommendations. 
    • Classrooms will receive additional cleaning, including cleaning and sanitizing of floors and all contact surfaces. 
    • Public common areas and restrooms will be cleaned on an ongoing basis, and, unless a person  used the facilities prior to leaving for home due to illness, no additional cleaning is anticipated as a result of positive cases. 
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Face coverings are required to be worn on campus by all persons who have not provided evidence of vaccination against COVID-19.  Face coverings do not replace PPE required due to hazards associated with specific activities. Refer to job-specific hazard analyses in order to ensure proper PPE selection. 
  • Disposable, non-latex gloves will be made available for use in computer labs, due to the difficulty associated with disinfection of keyboards. 
  • Access to buildings will be limited to select doors, in order to minimize points of entry for visitors.
  • All departments must also maintain a daily log of visitors, including name, contact information, and time in/out.  Vendors, subcontractors, clients, etc. must be logged in the same manner. 
  • Campus events must be planned and submitted through 25Live.  The COVID Event Determination Form is no longer required.   
  • Most events can be evaluated and approved locally. 
  • Events which include one or more of the following must be reviewed by the Risk Management Advisory Group (RMAG): 
    • Overnight travel 
    • Participants are primarily minors 
    • More than 100 participants 
    • Food service 
    • At least 50% of attendees are from outside of WSU students, staff, or faculty 
Food Service
  • The Market in CIC provides only commercially packaged, single-serving items, and will continue to operate.  Custodial staff will conduct cleaning and disinfection of this area consistent with other public areas of campus.  Additionally, sanitizing materials will be provided for use by customers. 
  • The SUB Coffee Shop will be required to complete a specific re-opening plan addressing its particular operation.  It will not reopen until a specific reopening plan is completed and reviewed by EH&S and the Benton-Franklin Health District.  
  • Employee breakrooms, where provided, will be available for limited use. Appropriate PPE must be worn when entering and utilizing breakrooms and cafés. All touched surfaces must be disinfected. 
Status Monitoring

Conditions on campus and in the surrounding community will be continuously monitored to ensure that campus operations can safely continue.  If conditions deteriorate, it is possible that campus operations will return to a more restricted condition.  This may occur based on any of the following 

  • Direction from the Governor, Secretary of Health, and/or local public health officer; 
  • WSU System-wide operations guidance 
  • Unsafe campus conditions (determined by Chancellor and IC) 
  • Employee absenteeism impacting ability to maintain cleaning and disinfection of campus or other critical functions; 
  • Shortages of PPE and/or products necessary for cleaning and disinfection; 
  • Reduced ability of local medical services to support levels of local community spread; 
  • Significant failure by the campus community to comply with protective measures, particularly failure to report symptoms and/or stay home when symptoms are identified; 
  • Evidence of multiple instances of on-campus disease transmission within any 14-day period; 
  • Consistent increase in percentage of positive test results in the local community for 14 consecutive days. 

This is not an exhaustive list.  Campus operations may be impacted by other conditions which cannot be anticipated at this time. 


NOTE:  The information presented here describes campus operations leading up to the start of the Fall 2021 academic semester.  Where conflicts arise between this list and the activities allowed under the Governor’s Roadmap to Recovery plan, the more restrictive approach will apply.

NOTE 2:  All details described in this plan are subject to change based on guidance from Federal, State, local, and University authorities, health guidance, and local disease conditions.