Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a five-part series about how the WPI community remained strong, stayed the course, and innovated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part 2: The Health and Safety of the WPI Community: In 2020, WPI focused like never before on efforts to keep students, faculty and staff healthy during a global pandemic.
To protect the campus community and to stay in alignment with state and public health guidelines, WPI called upon its entire health team—and the whole campus—to work cooperatively in these unprecedented times. WPI’s Health Team developed and put in place a comprehensive COVID-19 testing program, quarantine and isolation protocols, and general safety rules, such as social distancing, wearing face coverings, and cleaning spaces. The university also expanded its health team staff, created a new respiratory clinic and testing trailer, and transformed Harrington Auditorium into a high-throughput testing operation. And to keep the community updated and connected, WPI also helped create a symptom tracker, and testing dashboard that is updated every weekday afternoon. It was a Herculean effort that combined promoting health-conscious behaviors, testing, and both physical and emotional care for our students, faculty, and staff.
- Helping the Community: WPI Donates Medical Supplies, Sews Face Masks
At the outset of the pandemic, WPI’s amazing community of inventors and problem solvers pitched in and used 3D printers to crank out face shields to help local folks protect themselves, while the university facilitated donations of extra medical supplies from labs and offices across campus.
- WPI Adds Health Services Facilities, Beefs Up Staff
WPI added to its staff and its facilities to take on the challenges that COVID-19 presented
- How Contact Tracing Helps Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission at WPI
Contact tracing has been a critical part of the strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19—globally and right here on WPI’s campus.
- Why “Soap is Magic” in the Fight Against the Coronavirus
WPI chemical engineers explained why something as ancient and simple as soap is our best weapon in this pandemic… and they even gave you a song to sing while you’re washing up.
- Building and Nurturing Community Through Virtual Yoga and Meditation Classes
As people sheltered at home during the pandemic, WPI’s “Be Well Together” initiative supported the community with the practices of yoga and meditation.
Local and national media captured snapshots of how the WPI community worked to prioritize health during a pandemic.
-MassLive.com – March 23: Coronavirus response: WPI collects thousands of gloves and masks
-Boston 25 News – May 5: Some tips for making your homemade face covering more effective
-MassLive.com - May 27: Mass. colleges release plan to reopen amid coronavirus in four-phased plan
Coming tomorrow: How students adapted to a global pandemic while re-engineering everything.