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Western Tech Enforces Safety Guidelines and Protocols Upon Returning to the Campuses

May 29, 2020

On behalf of Western Technical College (Western Tech), I want to update you on the status of classes in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Western Tech has been in frequent contact with state and local authorities and, as a result, has determined that its programs requiring hands-on instruction that cannot be delivered online can continue to be delivered on its campus. Accordingly, Western Tech has decided to reopen its campus on June 1, 2020 for the hands-on components of the following programs: AAS Electronics Engineering Technology, AAS Physical Therapist Assistant, AOS Refrigeration and HVAC Technology, AOS Diesel Mechanics, AOS Automotive Technology, Certificate of Completion in Commercial Driver Training, Certificate of Completion in Advanced Welding Technology, Certificate of Completion in Medical/Clinical Assisting, Certificate of Completion in Diesel Advanced Technology Education, and Certificate of Completion in Massage Therapy. The BS in Nursing Program will re-introduce the hand-on components at the campus beginning July 6, 2020. Didactic hours will continue to be taught online for the foreseeable future. We hope the reopening of the campus for hands-on instruction provides you with an opportunity to return to a bit of normalcy.

I also want to inform you about the safety guidance and protocols Western Tech is implementing to help mitigate and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our campus community when we reopen. Please note that these protocols may be updated based on new guidance and information from the CDC, the State of Texas, or local officials. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the CDC’s or Texas Department of State Health Services’ website.

Western Tech Guidance and Protocols

Employees, Students, and Guests:

Avoid person-to-person contact such as shaking hands or hugs, large gatherings, and close quarters.
• If you are around other people, keep 6 feet between you when possible.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Wear face coverings over your nose and mouth.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover at all times while around other people.
• Adhere to public health hygienic recommendations by washing your hands often, including after touching commonly used items or coming into contact with someone who is sick. Proper hand washing involves scrubbing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash.
• Stay home if you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath until you are symptom-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing drugs.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

• The Western Tech campus has been and will continue to be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with CDC recommendations.

On-Campus Instruction

Individual programs may institute additional guidance and based on the specific needs and nature of their programs. Generally, all programs will adhere to the following:
• Labs are spread out, and the ratio of students to instructor per lab is 6:1.
• Desks or workstations will be at least six feet apart and ensure physical distancing and spacing of individuals.
• Instruction schedules will be staggered to limit contact between students as they arrive and leave campus.
• Students are allowed to take individual breaks in designated, regularly cleaned areas, versus scheduled breaks for the entire class. Only one student per table will be allowed in break areas at any given time.

Notwithstanding the above protocols, Western Tech cannot guarantee the virus will not be spread within our campus community. Therefore, we appreciate that not all students and staff will feel comfortable returning to campus. Please know that your return to campus is purely voluntary. Should you wish not to return to campus at this point, please contact your Program Director prior to May 30, 2020 to discuss alternate arrangements.

Respectfully,

Brad Kuykendall

CEO