This digest is a compilation of important COVID-19 related news and updates for students, faculty and staff on the Danforth Campus. We’ll send this to our community as needed to share new information, including important steps members of the Danforth Campus community must take to help protect the health and well-being of our community. Thank you for your attention to these communications, and for your continued support of our response efforts.
Alternate operations extended
To be consistent with the Stay at Home orders for the states of Missouri and Illinois, alternate operations for employees will be extended through at least May 3. The university will review the policy at that time to determine next steps and a timeline for potentially returning to normal operations.
As an update to our interim policies, and consistent with Stay at Home orders and university domestic and international travel suspensions, university-sponsored travel is suspended until further notice as detailedhere.
On March 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel Global Health Advisory. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.
At this time, Washington University does not support any international travel. The international travel suspension condition will be reevaluated when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and/or Department of State change the level of their respective travel advisories.
New hours for Habif Center
Effective immediately, the Habif Health and Wellness Center will no longer be open on Saturdays. New hours are:
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Valuing WashU employee well-being during the pandemic
Last week, employees received an invitation to complete a survey on well-being during the coronavirus pandemic. The Healthy Work Center and Human Resources are trying to better understand the personal and family challenges employees are experiencing.
More than 3,600 faculty, staff and post-docs have completed the survey to date. The survey is anonymous and responses will give important information about how the university can better assist faculty and staff in these challenging times.
Workplace tips for social distancing
It is important to practice safe social distancing if you are an essential employee working on site. Your health and safety are a top priority, and social distancing in the workplace will help keep you and others from spreading COVID-19. Be mindful of these simple tips when you’re at work.
- Physically distance in the work environment, remaining at least 6 feet apart at all times.
- Avoid face-to-face in-person meetings, even if just one-on-one.
- Stagger breaks and meal times.
- Don’t congregate in break rooms, work rooms or other common areas.
- Do not share headsets or other objects that are near your mouth or nose.
- Facilities and custodial services are cleaning high traffic areas regularly, but do take precautions to wipe down areas where you’ve been.
- Always wash your hands before and after entering a shared workspace or break room.
- Remember to follow CDC guidance on hygiene, such as hand-washing and coughing into your elbow.
How to hold safe Zoom meetings
The university has to date hosted more than 90,000 Zoom meetings in the wake of social isolation protocols.
Last week a “Zoombombing” occurred during a student’s thesis defense. Zoombombing is when uninvited attendees break into and disrupt a meeting.
- The Office of Information Security and WashU IT offer the following tips to help ensure safe Zoom meetings:
- Screen sharing should default to “Host Only” – do not change to “Participants.” If someone besides the host needs to screen share, they can be elevated to co-host.
- “Require Meeting Password” is defaulted to on. This helps protect against unauthorized entries, adding a second layer of security on top of just having the meeting link.
- “Use Personal Meeting ID” is defaulted to off. Using these IDs is a key entry point for attackers.
- Keep links to Zoom meetings private. This will prevent unwanted participants. Do not share Zoom meeting links on public websites or on social media, such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Control who enters a meeting with the waiting room feature.
- Lock the meeting after it starts. When you’re in the meeting, click “Participants” at the bottom of your Zoom window. In the Participants’ pop-up box, you will see a button that says “Lock Meeting.”
See more Zoom tips on the IT website.
Learn about the university’s response to COVID-19
We appreciate your ongoing support and cooperation as we manage this unprecedented situation. Please continue to visit this site for the latest information.