Health and Safety Protocols

Our multilayered health and safety strategy for opening this fall ensures that any possible illness is caught early and that we reduce the possibility of illness transmission. The strategy was developed with public health experts from the Ohio State University and Wayne County Health Department, and with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health, the American College Health Association, and local health providers.

  • Reduce density by modifying classrooms and other spaces across campus
  • Social distancing of at least six feet
  • Cleaning and sanitizing practices for shared public spaces and high-contact surfaces based on CDC guidance
  • Face masks to be worn by all students, staff and faculty when in the presence of others
  • Compulsory temperature and symptom monitoring
  • Contact-tracing protocols in collaboration with the Wayne County Health department
  • Broad-based testing on arrival and regularly thereafter
  • High-accuracy PCR (molecular) testing in case of symptoms or contact with people who are ill
  • Quarantine and isolation spaces, where students will be supported if they are ill or have been in contact with someone who is ill.

How are you preventing airborne and surface transmission?

We are optimizing our ventilation based on CDC guidance throughout our various HVAC systems, updating filters, increasing fresh air circulation, and optimizing humidity control. We are increasing cleaning of public spaces, shared restrooms per CDC guidelines, including restrooms and high touch areas twice per day, we are asking each person to wipe down multi-use spaces when they leave (i.e. classrooms, library, etc.) and we will utilize products as defined by EPA.

Are masks required?

Yes, masks or face coverings will be required at all times when outside of your immediate housing assignment and outdoors when six feet distancing cannot be maintained.

What is the requirement for wearing masks in your room?

If you have a roommate, you are essentially a family unit and do not need to wear masks in your living situation.

How will social distancing and masks work in residence halls?

If you are outside of your room in a more public space you will need to wear a mask. If you have common spaces in your Residence Hall, you will be required to wear masks in those spaces.

Will social distancing and mask wearing be required when doing laundry?

Yes, we are requiring everyone to following six foot distancing measures and masks in all common spaces. We may be installing plexiglass where social distancing cannot be achieved.

What will be the consequences for people not following the safety protocols?

Every member of the Wooster community will be required to sign our Community of Care Agreement to uphold campus health and safety rules prior to scheduling a move-in appointment. Failure to comply with the College’s required health and safety rules will result in referral to the College’s existing conduct processes. Click here to view our updated Campus Care Guidelines.

Will students and others be required to help with sanitizing and cleaning spaces?

We will be requiring that students, faculty, and staff wipe down their areas before leaving for the next person’s use. Sanitization will happen periodically a couple times per day using CDC approved methods and cleaning supplies. In between, we will be asking students, faculty and staff as they are going from place to place to wipe off an area after you leave it with College-provided wipes for the next person.

How will we make sure houses have the cleaning they need?

EPA recommended cleaning supplies will be provided to students in the houses and training on CDC cleaning guidelines will be provided.

Will we be requiring masks in outdoor public spaces?

The best public health information right now is that we should require masks in outdoor spaces when six feet distancing cannot be achieved. 

If I want to return to campus but have some personal health concerns will I be able to request accommodations?

We understand that many students may have health conditions that make the decision to study on campus difficult. Our planning is prioritizing the safety of all members of our community. If you need an accommodation to study on campus, please fill out an accommodation request through our learning center.

Are we communicating with members of the community as part of our safety planning? 

We have been in contact regularly with the mayor and the chair of the city council. They are excited to have students back and they are confident in our plans. We also have been in touch with the head of the local hospital and they are in a really good position to provide support to our campus should we need it. We are in weekly calls with the county emergency management association.

What do I do if I am on campus and there is an emergency?

The College of Wooster will alert you to any major emergency by sending an email to your Wooster email and a text message to the cellphone number on file.

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please contact the Wellness Center at 330-263-2319.

You can also call Campus Safety at 330-263-2000 to be connected with crisis services.