Updated June 26, 2023
Face coverings that fit and filter well are an effective tool in reducing disease transmission.
Masking is optional for all students, employees, and contracted workers except in the following situations:
Recommended face coverings should be medical grade masks or respirators (KF94, KN95, N95). Face masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of the face. Disposable face masks should be discarded in the trash after use. They should also be removed and replaced when they become moist or visibly dirty.
Whittier College will continue to provide masks for any employee who requests them per Cal/OSHA requirements. Please use the PPE & Supply Request Form for this purpose. Other types of personal protective equipment (PPE) are available on a limited basis, if necessary, such as face shields, gloves, and gowns.
Gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hygiene. Washing hands often is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks. Gloves may provide a false sense of security and higher risk of cross-contamination. Misusing gloves poses a greater risk than not touching your face and washing your hands properly after completing a task.
Generally, if a task did not require gloves prior to the pandemic, gloves are not required now. If a task (e.g., laboratory) required a specific type of gloves as PPE prior to the pandemic, those requirements remain in place. Staff from the Health Center, Food Service, Athletics, Broadoaks School, and custodial staff will continue using and procuring disposable gloves according to their normal procedures.
Gloves are also permissible if a campus event or activity has been approved to include food and the food is not prepackaged. Staff engaged in serving food or preparing food for self-service should minimize bare hand and arm contact with non-prepackaged food that is in a ready-to-eat form by using gloves or utensils (e.g., tongs).
Non-Health Center employees who respond to COVID-19 cases or exposure, such as Campus Safety and Residential Life personnel, may also request disposable gloves. Similarly, gowns are reserved for designated staff responding to COVID-19 infections or exposures.
The Facilities Department is solely responsible for ordering and replenishing new PPE in order to streamline procurement and reduce cost through bulk purchasing. Departments are responsible for controlled distribution and monitoring. Departments are prohibited from ordering these items directly, including through College Office Depot accounts. Exceptions to these parameters have been established for the Student Health & Wellness Center.
Whittier College in collaboration with custodial services provider Flagship is cleaning and disinfecting administrative, academic, and residential buildings with products and practices recommended by the CDC. Cleaning high touch surfaces and shared objects once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces unless someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 has been in the facility. The Student Health & Wellness Center receives enhanced cleaning and disinfection as does the Campus Inn for food service staff.
When in a setting without a face covering, individuals should remember to always cover the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or use the inside of the elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. After sneezing, individuals should immediately wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, they should clean their hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
If wearing a face covering while sneezing/coughing and the face covering becomes contaminated with mucus, individuals should change the mask and launder it. If wearing a disposable mask, throw the contaminated mask in the trash and replace it.
Whittier College requires the use of face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) for all students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. Note: While the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order no longer requires, workers to wear a face mask while working indoors and in shared vehicles, it is still strongly recommended. Businesses may choose to continue to require indoor masking.
The Facilities Department is solely responsible for ordering and replenishing new PPE and cleaning and disinfection supplies related to COVID-19 prevention in order to streamline procurement and reduce cost through bulk purchasing. Departments are responsible for controlled distribution and monitoring. Departments are prohibited from ordering these items directly, including through College Office Depot accounts. Exceptions to these parameters have been established for the Student Health & Wellness Center.
Everyone should wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; when hands are visibly dirty; and after blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Whittier College has added hand sanitizer dispensers near entryways and building restrooms. All hand sanitizer and hand soap dispensers are checked regularly by Facilities and refilled as necessary.
Students, employees, and contracted workers are required to report a positive COVID-19 result or diagnosis to comply with the LA County Department of Public Health Exposure Management Plan for Institutes of Higher Education and Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Standards. Individuals should use the appropriate online report form to aid the College in containing the spread of infection. See Forms & Resources.
Whittier College recognizes that some members of our community may be at greater risk for COVID-19 or may live in a household with someone who is at increased risk. Please consult CDC Guidelines regarding people who should take extra precautions and the conditions that may increase risk of severe illness. Students or employees seeking accommodation should contact Student Accessibility Services or Human Resources respectively.
The Facilities Department has evaluated the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 through airborne exposure. The College is following guidance from the State and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) regarding maintenance and system modifications to maximize ventilation and filtration.
Keep windows and other sources of natural ventilation open to the greatest extent possible when weather and air quality conditions allow. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk to anyone using the facility.
Consult with Facilities before using fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows. Inappropriate placement of fans could potentially cause contaminated air to flow directly from one person to another. For buildings with both operable windows and mechanical ventilation systems, the interactions between the two need to be carefully considered.
According to State guidance, ceiling fans do not bring additional fresh air into an indoor space and are not considered to be equivalent to fresh air ventilation. Therefore, ceiling fans should remain off unless necessary for temperature regulation and the comfort of occupants.