Central Wyoming College is starting to slowly phase its employees back to work on campus. After the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a stay at home order for most of the country this spring, CWC was one to take quick action and move workers remotely in mid-March. Since the epidemic, CWC’s emergency response team has been working on a plan to safely move employees back to campus locations and prepare for students in the fall.
“We are working to build a safer, stronger CWC,” said Lori Ridgway, director of marketing and public relations for CWC. “We want to keep our employees and students as safe as possible from COVID-19. We are creating operational and academic plans that are dynamic, thorough and flexible. It is imperative that we remain vigilant in our efforts to take all necessary precautions to eliminate the spread of the virus.”
CWC employees received the plan and steps to return to work on June 3, a plan that is aligned with the set guidelines by local health officials in Fremont County and the state. The plan to return employees back to work is in three phases. The first phase, which is currently in place, has the majority of CWC’s employees working from home.
“We have had the majority of our employees working from home since mid-March with having minimal staff working on campus,” Ridgway said. “Those employees who have been working on campus have been practicing the required safety precautions set by health officials and have been maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask when they are within six feet of other individuals. Employees who have been working on campus have been essential to campus services such as security, physical plant, information technology, food service and housing.”
While CWC is currently in phase one, they have implemented health screening for those workers whose job is essential to be on location. The health screening requires each employee to have their temperature taken at the start of their shift. CWC has set up a station on main campus. Each employee must also fill out a form that asks three simple questions regarding their health. CWC’s health screening will start June 8, although CWC has already been testing the screening process since June 3. CWC’s outreach locations will also implement the health screening process.
Phase two of the plan will have a combined work from home and work on campus integration. CWC’s emergency response team will ask all employees who can maintain their work duties from home to continue working remotely while they start to infiltrate employees who need to be on campus to fulfill their duties. Employees will also be required to stay home if they have a temperature, are not feeling well, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days. CWC does not have a definite date as to when they will move employees to this phase, which will be determined by the Fremont County Health officials.
“Our hope is to be in phase two before fall semester starts. However, we are following the guidelines with Fremont County Health officials,” Ridgway said. “We continue to work closely with Fremont County Health officials as they monitor the number of active cases in this area. We certainly want to help decrease the number of cases and they may require us to stay in phase one for longer than we anticipated.”
Phase three will be the final phase for CWC employees, where all employees will be required to follow health guidelines by maintaining social distance and might mean some employees will work an alternate schedule. Employees will also be asked to wear a mask and to continue meetings through virtual means.
“We want all of our employees to be safe and stay healthy,” Ridgway said. “Should another outbreak occur we will be able to move quickly to working remotely. We know many people have mixed feelings about COVID-19 but the important thing is to take the necessary steps to keep our employees, students and the community safe.”
For more information about the Fremont County Health Recovery plan go to http://fremontcountywy.org/public-health/.
CWC also updates information regarding COVID-19 at https://www.cwc.edu/coronavirus/.