WKU Staff Senate expresses COVID-19 concerns to Caboni during monthly meeting

The faculty senate met over Zoom Sept. 3, 2020. Many expressed their concerns in relation to COVID-19.

The staff senate met Thursday morning via Zoom to address concerns related to COVID-19.

They were joined by WKU President, Timothy Caboni, who updated the senate on the university’s response to COVID-19.

Caboni said that he’s pleased with WKU’s return to campus, and that the key to controlling the spread is testing and increased safety protocols.

Many staff senate members were concerned about the cost of getting a test on campus.

WKU Director of Educational Telecommunications, David Brinkley, voiced concern that an employee was told their insurance may not cover the test.

Caboni said there’s no circumstance where a student, faculty member or staff will be charged for a COVID-19 test.

“I’ll reiterate it for everyone, they should not be billing for COVID test,” Caboni said. “No one will be charged for a COVID test on this campus. Period. You’re hearing it from the President. If someone sends you a bill, we’ll fix it. If you feel sick, get tested. If you stop smelling your breakfast, get tested. Go get tested everyday if you want, you will not be charged.”

Caboni also acknowledged the on-campus positivity rate cannot be derived by on campus testing, citing a data disconnect with the state and the university. He added, while people think that the university is trying to hide something, on the contrary it’s the opposite. There are two organizations involved with the data, the university and the healthcare system.

“We actually provided as much information as we can,” Caboni said. “Colleges cannot fix out healthcare system.”

Caboni says this is the new normal and the main issue with trying to deal with the challenges the university faces amidst the age of COVID-19, is an expectation of anonymity. He says the university cannot address issues if they aren’t given proper information about the concern.

“I appreciate the anonymous emails because sometime people don’t feel comfortable sharing information,” Caboni said. “It’s not real helpful when we get anonymous email that say, ‘in my building, I’m not going to tell you which one, because I don’t want you to know, this is wrong,’ and we can’t address that issue unless you give us a little more information.”’

The full meeting can be viewed here.


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