Design and Printing Services during COVID
Design and Printing Services has been fortunate enough to stay operational during this time of COVID. Many of our staff have been working from home since mid-March, and while they are still working remotely, our production personnel are continuing to report to the Cooper Publications Building to keep the equipment running.
Since our building is spacious enough to accommodate the press and bindery equipment, the staff who do report to work on campus are able to keep their distance while working through the queue of incoming projects. When they are working in close proximity to each other, they are wearing masks.
Ken Sundvik, printing stockroom supervisor, said they’re taking a few extra measures to help keep everyone safe and healthy.
“We’re able to work most of the time socially distanced,” Sundvik said. “We’re cleaning more, we’re wearing masks. [Environmental Health and Safety has] been mixing up hand sanitizer and cleaning solutions…it’s good stuff and seems to work really well. Nobody’s gotten sick yet.”
While we’ve been able to keep our operations up and running during this time, it doesn’t come without its own set of challenges.
“It seems like to do the normal little things that we’re used to, it requires a lot more interaction,” Sundvik said. “There’s tons of emails and back and forth. You can’t just walk up the hallway and get an answer. After it’s done, it’s the same situation…the campus is also empty and locked and not working the way it normally does. It’s been challenging.”
Nick Borsella, printing stockroom worker, echoed Sundvik’s experiences. He said that even though we don’t know what the immediate future will hold, he is trying to be optimistic. In the meantime, he said he is doing his part by wearing a mask and being more aware of his surroundings.
In order to help minimize the number of people who are reporting into the Cooper Publications Building on a given day, Sundvik said they have taken an “on call” approach, particularly for the people who live nearby. Those who have further commutes have set up an alternating schedule to cover the basic operations unless the entire production team is needed.
Outside of what we’re doing internally to keep our staff safe and healthy, we are also playing a part in the system-wide campaign for preparing WSU campuses and locations statewide for people to return to physical locations.
We have created an array of approved COVID signage available for order. These vary from repositionable wall signage, to door signage, to floor decals. Messages range from alerting people to an elevator capacity limit, the requirements of face coverings, to staying 6 feet apart from one another.
Your building coordinator will be involved with placing the order for this signage, so be sure to check with them regarding need!
Washington State University, as well as the state of Washington, made the decision to require face coverings for people who are indoors or are outdoors and cannot maintain a physical distance of 6 feet. If you or your staff are in need of face coverings, we have 2 Coug-themed options in our promo store!
The first option is a mask with elastic ear loops. The mask itself is black, and there’s a white Coug head in the left corner. The material is antibacterial and features a filter pocket. They are individually packaged.
The second style is a neck gaiter. This version is crimson with a white Coug head toward the top of the covering. It has multiple uses outside of a face covering and features 4-way stretch and recovery. These are also individually packaged.
They are currently available for preorder in our promo store, and we will be fulfilling those orders as soon as the masks arrive, although we are currently anticipating early to mid August.
Checking in with UMC
University Marketing and Communications has been involved with many different aspects of campus operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our colleagues involved with strategic communications have been a part of the COVID response team since day 1, fielding inquiries and developing University messaging as things consistently change.
Mailing Services has seen an increase of roughly 84% to 125% outgoing packages monthly since March, so they have been processing more pieces while also doing their best to keep their staff safe. Robert Boren, a driver, described his time on campus since March as an extended winter break scenario—there’s still mail coming in and going out, but there aren’t a lot of people around on campus; departments are usually arranging for someone to pick up mail from Cooper.
CougPrints Plus, the printing and shipping store up in the CUB, has looked a little different this summer as well. While they would normally be bustling with Alive! students during this time, they’ve instead had to switch gears to make their store as safe as possible. Hans Abbott, program support supervisor, said they installed plexiglass as a guard between customers and the people helping them, and they’re taking extra measures to help mitigate any potential spread. As one of the handful of places open on the Pullman campus, they’re also serving as a central location for people to pick up their finished projects produced by Design and Printing Services.