Health and Safety

Non-Essential Travel

Travel Guideline

All FY21 non-essential travel is suspended, and any request for travel must provide justification that the travel is mission-critical, which is typically only the case in those positions that have travel as a major responsibility within the job description. Further, to protect the health and safety of the campus community, even mission-critical travel must be reviewed by Risk Management to evaluate all risk factors for the travel destination and mode of travel.

Face Masks and Coverings

Current CDC guidelines indicate face coverings greatly slow the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Appropriate face coverings include cloth covering the nose and mouth, such as a bandana, scarf, handkerchief or disposable surgical mask. 

All individuals must wear appropriate face coverings in all indoor areas on campus. Examples of indoor areas include hallways, offices, lobbies, restrooms, classrooms, teaching and research laboratories, shared spaces in residence halls, conference rooms, break rooms, game rooms and workout facilities.

There are three exceptions to this rule for staff:

  1. When you are alone in a workplace setting consisting of a private office or cubicles with walls that exceed 60” from the floor or with Facilities’ approved Plexiglas partitions: In these cases, the University recommends keeping office doors closed.
  2. When you are alone in a study room or testing room: The campus does not plan to use any non-monitored study rooms. If not in a monitored or secured reservation system, rooms will not be available for use.
  3. When a faculty member cannot medically tolerate a face mask or covering due to medical reasons: In these cases, faculty should contact Human Resources (HR) or Disability Support Services for possible accommodation measures.

Face coverings are required in outdoor spaces where 6 feet of physical distancing is difficult to maintain reliably. Face coverings are not required while exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors and maintaining a safe distance from others. Individuals will be asked to supply their own face masks.

The University has a limited number of face masks to distribute in the event individuals on campus forgot their personal masks. This strategic inventory will also serve in an emergency, but they are disposable face masks that should not be used more than three times. Some face masks are available through departments, but will primarily be stored for distribution through Mail and Receiving Services in CAB 117.

Face masks and coverings are not a substitute for social distancing and are required to help keep both the individual wearing the covering and those around them from transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

Social Distancing

Social distancing guidelines are to be observed throughout campus, including in elevators, classrooms, office suites and common areas. All campus community members should enforce social distancing protocols in common areas and where individuals are likely to interact. Handshaking and other forms of physical contact are discouraged.

A social distancing awareness campaign will help reinforce awareness. In addition to frequent health broadcasts, signs will display maximum occupancy in classrooms and elevators and floor markings as a reminder to maintain minimum physical distance. In some areas, furniture will be removed to help accomplish the goals of the campaign.

Everyone should follow these social distancing practices:

  • Stay at least 6 feet, or about two arms’ length, from others.
  • Do not gather in groups larger than the size allowable by the governor’s current executive order, which allows local authorities to approve the number.
  • Stay out of crowded places, and avoid mass gatherings.

Hygiene

Proper hygiene is the best everyday practice in disease prevention. The University has procured items that support effective hygiene practices, including disinfectant wipes and receptacles for widespread use. Wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed strategically throughout the campus primarily in classrooms, Dining Services and next to elevators and restroom entrances. Refillable pump dispensers containing sanitizer will be available for use in interior office settings. For high-risk activities, a supply of gloves will be available.

Housekeeping services by SSC will be the primary functional area to maintain these supplies. SSC will post the contact number for work orders to restock paper towel dispensers, sanitizer dispensers, etc. Departments needing additional supplies and refills on sanitizer should submit a work order request to SSC and pick up the order at Mail and Receiving Services in CAB 117.

Monitoring

The University has purchased touchless scan thermometers to help perform monitoring practices on temperature, as recommended by the Blueprint 2020 response plan. Anyone who wishes to check their temperature can use scan stations located throughout campus. A self-monitoring checklist is available for individuals when the temperature check is performed. Please note a touchless temperature check is not as accurate as one completed by a medical provider.

Public Health and Safety Awareness Programs

Marketing and Communications, in conjunction with other relevant University offices, is developing a public health and safety awareness program that will be part of the overall “Community. Safety. TOGETHER.” campaign.

Other health programs such as mobile flu clinics will be conducted in September for faculty and staff, with a small copay collected with proof of insurance. Human Resources (HR) is coordinating this effort. Free flu clinics are planned for students on campus in September and October. The Dean of Students is coordinating this effort.

Public Health & Safety Assistants

The University is hiring seasonal and temporary workers to support Campus Safety and Risk Management operations. The new workforce will distribute COVID-19 self-monitoring checklists, distribute face masks to individuals arriving on campus who do not have their own and perform touchless temperature scans. Additionally, the assistants will remind students, staff and faculty to keep social distance and wear masks, help control traffic patterns for social distancing purposes and answer general safety questions.

University HVAC Systems

While there have been no reported incidents of COVID-19 transmission through HVAC systems, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE), has issued general guidance for heating and cooling systems that complement CDC guidelines.  

The University has consulted with System Utilities and Energy Services to complete a review of air exchanges for all major permanent structures. Currently, all major permanent structures house increased outdoor air ventilation to meet or exceed ASHRAE guidance. 

Our HVAC system configurations meet or exceed ASHRE recommendations for fresh air. Therefore, 1) adjustments to outdoor air dampers at 100 percent are not being used, and 2) demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) has not been disabled. 

The University has met or exceeded ASHRAE guidelines and has additional mitigation measures in place (e.g. social distancing practices) including: 

  • Furniture placement to enhance social distancing and reservation systems for most rooms; and 
  • Plexiglas barriers in locations that have limitations in space distancing, required face coverings and other ingress and egress measures. 

Housekeeping and Disinfecting

General workspaces and public environments: SCC will continue to oversee day-to-day cleaning efforts taking place within buildings. Housekeeping staff will routinely clean workspaces, classrooms and public spaces. In addition to routine cleaning, frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, handrails, light switches and faucets, will be cleaned and disinfected more often. A cleaning schedule will be created before classes begin. The University will affix signage to hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipe dispensers, soap and paper towels displaying a direct contact number to call to report shortages.

After housekeeping has sanitized a classroom or study room that is not in use, the area will be secured to prevent contamination. All spaces outside of offices will enter a reservation system to allow for cleaning to prepare for the next group’s use. Secured classrooms are off-limits for meetings or study groups.

The primary disinfectant product in use, Spartan’s hdqC 2, is formulated to kill a broad spectrum of microorganisms, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Housekeeping staff will use electrostatic sprayers to help to disinfect high-traffic areas and classrooms between scheduled lectures.

The CDC recommends individuals bring their own water for personal use. Drinking fountains will be disabled, but the bottle-filling function within the water fountain will remain operational. There will be signage added to promote CDC recommendations for water fountains. Hand dryers in restrooms will be disabled and replaced with a sufficient paper towel supply.

For classrooms with two doorways, one doorway will be designated as the entrance and the other as the exit.

Feasibility analysis and additional research on effective options for aggressive disinfection of HVAC systems, as well as touchless door and light operation, are underway. When designing new facilities, these options will be considered during the planning phase. Some areas of campus already have light-activation sensors; use these features to avoid unnecessary surface contact.

Several building doors will be secured with notices to proceed to the preferred entrance to monitor traffic circulation and patterns inside buildings. All secured doors will be able to be used as an exit if needed.

Updated Room Occupancy Signs

The maximum occupancy of elevators is two individuals. As always, wearing face masks or face coverings is required indoors. Revised room occupancy signs are located outside all classrooms, labs, event spaces and computer labs, per CDC recommendations.

The University’s COVID-19 website will have an inventory of all gathering spaces and maximum capacities as reference. For throughways such as halls and stair rails, reminders to “stay right” will be posted to help create distance.

University Fleet and Mail Services

Except for the University Police Department fleet, using University vehicles must be minimized and approved by the President’s Office. Users are responsible for sanitation and disinfection after each use; Facilities will provide cleaning supplies.

The Campus Mail and Receiving Services window is open, but staff will no longer make desktop delivery or in-office deliveries until further notice. Mailroom employees will have enhanced sanitation practices in place while handling mail and packages. The mail service will contact departments for package pick-up at the service window.

updated: October 13, 2020