Service Learning COVID-19 Guidelines

6/26/23 – Service Learning Update 

Summary   Masks are recommended in clinical service learning settings and optional in non-clinical settings. However, if the patient is under investigation for COVID, full PPE is required or the patient should be triaged to an alternate site for care.

Clinical Service Learning (diagnose and treat clinics, screen and refer clinics, health fairs, testing activities and vaccinations):  The following steps need to be in place to allow students to continue UWSOM approved extra-curricular clinical service learning activities:

  • Triage procedures that consider common COVID 19 symptoms.
    • If the clinical partner/site is prepared to see patients under investigation for COVID (PUI), then students seeing PUI must wear medical masks (KF94, KN95, (non-fit tested)N95+surgical mask)*, eye protection, gowns and gloves.
    • If aerosolizing procedures are conducted students must wear fit tested N95 masks in addition to the above personal protective equipment (PPE) (instead of medical grade masks). *During patient care, masks supplied from home should be worn with a procedure mask because they have not been directly vetted by hospital supply chains.  UW supplied industrial models (e.g. 9205+, BYD, 8210) should be covered with a procedural mask whenever there is concern for spray/splashes.   See Mask Guidance from UWMC 
    • If the clinical partner/service learning site is NOT prepared to see PUI then patients should be triaged to other care sites.
    • All PUIs should be encouraged to get COVID testing.
  • Clear protocols for sanitization, social distancing, and glove wearing (when appropriate) in keeping with clinical practice standards.
  • UWSOM students, faculty and staff are recommended to wear medical grade masks (KF94, KN95, (non-fit tested)N95+surgical mask) for indoor clinical service learning events. PPE availability needs to be adequate for each site and clinical project.
  • This policy considers rates of viral respiratory infection. We anticipate that during cold and flu season, masks will be required in clinical service learning settings.
  • All volunteers should refrain from participation if they are symptomatic or have a high-risk exposure.
  • Discuss with community/clinical partners the above expectations and any additional community or project specific considerations.
  • If the community partner requires masks, participants must be adherent to that policy.
  • The UWSOM WWAMI Foundations site dean and Service Learning Champion may decide to place further restrictions on service learning participation based on their understanding of local issues.

Non-Clinical Service Learning (health education, mentoring, advocacy):  Masks are optional for non-clinical service learning settings unless required by community partner.

Respiratory Symptom Triage Questions

  • Do you have COVID/Influenza, or are you concerned that you might?
  • Have you been exposed to COVID/Influenza recently?
  • Have you had a fever above 101 in the past few days?
  • Do you have flu-like respiratory symptoms or a new cough?