Western Iowa Tech Community College
COVID-19 College Procedures and Guidelines

COVID-19 College Procedures and Guidelines

Western Iowa Tech Community College understands COVID-19 has created concerns for our entire campus community. We want you to know we are doing everything we can to keep our students and employees healthy. WITCC has developed the following guidelines and procedures to keep you safe. Please familiarize yourself with the information and remember - we are in this together!

  • The college insists that employees and students remain at home and do not come to campus if they:
    • Are experiencing symptoms.
    • Have been recently tested for COVID-19.
    • Have a household member who is experiencing symptoms.
    • Have a household member who has been recently tested for COVID-19.
  • For the safety of all, cloth face coverings that cover your nose and mouth are required while in the campus buildings.
  • Students and employees should maintain social distancing in classrooms and meeting areas and regularly sanitize their work space.
  • The college has reduced the amount of furniture and spread out chairs, tables, and seating to maintain a 6-foot distance.
  • Classrooms, counters, equipment, work spaces, and furniture in all campus buildings are sanitized often.
  • Campus events and activities are limited to college business only. Student activities have been adjusted to maintain social distance or are being held virtually.
  • The gym will be closed until further notice.
  • The college is using plastic barriers in areas where students interact with front-line employees.

Who should students and employees contact with COVID-related concerns and questions?

Students
Campus Safety / security2@witcc.edu / 712.274.6414.

Employees
Jackie Plendl, Human Resources / jackie.plendl@witcc.edu / 712.274.8733 ext. 1406.

What you should do if:

  • You/member of your household has been tested for COVID-19:
    • Remain at home and do not come to class until you/they receive the test results, even if you/they are not experiencing symptoms.
    • Notify your instructor or other WITCC employee that you will not be attending class.
    • If the test result is negative, you may return to class.
  • A member of your household tests positive for COVID-19:
    • Remain at home and do not return to class even if they are not experiencing symptoms.
    • Notify your instructor or other WITCC employee that you will not be attending class.
    • Follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines on caring for someone who is sick.
    • Students who do not take a test may return to campus on day 10 following the last exposure to a person with COVID as long as they are symptom free.
    • Students may also return to campus on day 7 following exposure to a person with COVID if a test is taken on day 5 or later, the result is negative and they are symptom free.
  • You test positive for COVID-19:
  • Remain at home and do not return to class even if you are not experiencing symptoms. 
    • Notify WITCC Campus Safety / security2@witcc.edu / 712.274.6414.
    • Notify your instructor or other WITCC employee that you will not be attending class.
    • Follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines on what to do if you are sick.
    • Students may return to class ten days after the date of their positive test AND when they no longer have symptoms.
    • Students will need to provide Campus Safety with a note from your medical provider that you are healthy enough to return to class.

What to do if:

  • You or a member of your household has been tested for COVID-19:
    • Remain at home and do not come to class until you/they receive the test results even if you/they are not experiencing symptoms.
    • Notify Jackie Plendl in Human Resources / jackie.plendl@witcc.edu / 712.274.8733 ext. 1406.
    • Notify your supervisor.
    • If the test result is negative, you may return to campus.
  • A member of your household tests positive for COVID-19:
    • Remain at home and do not return to campus even if they are not experiencing symptoms.
    • Notify Jackie Plendl in Human Resources / jackie.plendl@witcc.edu / 712.274.8733 ext. 1406.
    • You may be asked to provide Human Resources with a note from their medical provider.
    • Notify your supervisor.
    • Follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines on caring for someone who is sick.
    • Employees who do not take a test may return to campus on day 10 following the last exposure to a person with COVID as long as they are symptom free.
    • Employees may also return to campus on day 7 following exposure to a person with COVID if a test is taken on day 5 or later, the result is negative and they are symptom free.
  • You test positive for COVID-19:
    • Remain at home and do not return to campus even if you are not experiencing symptoms.
    • Notify Jackie Plendl in Human Resources / jackie.plendl@witcc.edu / 712.274.8733 ext. 1406.
    • You will be asked to provide Human Resources with a note from your medical provider. 
    • Notify your supervisor.
    • Follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines on what to do if you are sick.
    • Employees may return to campus ten days after the date of their positive test AND when they no longer have symptoms.
    • Employees will need to provide Human Resources a note from your medical provider confirming you are healthy enough to return to work.

Incidents of exposure and positive test results in student housing will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. The following guidelines have been established:

  • Students who have been exposed or tested positive have the option of returning home, but are strongly encouraged to remain in campus housing.
  • The college has reserved separate housing facilities for quarantining/isolating. Students who remain on campus may be asked to relocate to these facilities for a period of time.
  • Students in quarantine/isolation will be provided meals during normal cafeteria operating hours.

Students and employees will be notified directly by the college if they have been potentially exposed to COVID-19. The college will follow these communication procedures:

  • Confirmed cases are reported to Campus Safety (student cases) or Human Resources (employee cases).
  • If a student informs an employee of a positive test result, the employee should also relay the information to Campus Safety.
  • Campus Safety or Human Resources coordinates communication with the appropriate college departments and notifies students and/or employees directly regarding potential exposure.
  • This communication plan will be put into effect for confirmed COVID-19 cases only.
  • The College will respond to individual inquiries about the number of cases on campus as they arise.

Western Iowa Tech Community College has completed the necessary paperwork to receive federal funds through Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In compliance with federal guidelines, 50% of the funding received to date, will be distributed directly to Western Iowa Tech students in the form of emergency financial assistance grants. This equates to $1,011,809 in CARES Act funding to support student emergency financial assistance grants.

Based on federal guidelines, 2,001 Western Iowa Tech students are eligible to receive CARES Act emergency financial assistance grants. Emails were sent to all eligible students to notify the student of the CARES Act grant award and how the awards would be distributed. The amount granted to each student is a fixed amount of $500. The initial distribution of funds was processed on May 13, 2020 to all 2,001 eligible students, for a total initial distribution of $1,000,500. Additional grants will continue to be distributed to eligible students as long as funding is available.

Western Iowa Tech is using the following federal eligibility requirements to distribute CARES Act emergency financial assistance grants:

  • Be enrolled, as of March 13, 2020, in credit classes (not a high school student taking dual enrollment courses) at Western Iowa Tech for the spring 2020 semester.
  • Have a completed 2019-20 FAFSA application on file with a valid expected family contribution (EFC) indicating not in student loan default or overpayment.
  • And making satisfactory academic progress for 2020 spring semester.

As of September 30, 2020, CARES Act funding of $33,309 is available for emergency financial assistance grants and additional grants will continue to be distributed to eligible students as long as funding is available.

On November 5, 2020, additional emergency financial assistance grants of $200 each were awarded to 178 students through an application process.   The funding for these grants, totaling $35,600, was provided by CARES Act Student Funding of $33,309 and CARES Act Institutional Funds of $2,291. 

As of December 31, 2020, Western Iowa Tech Community College expended the full amount of $1,011,809 awarded through the Federal CARES Act student emergency funding.