Maintaining a healthy and safe environment is more important than ever. Changes to campus buildings and outdoor spaces enable members of our campus community to use our spaces responsibly.
COVID-19 Signage System
A signage system has been developed to inform our campus community of health and safety requirements for safe use of our spaces. For example, signage at building entrances reminds those entering to review the daily health check, wear a face covering, and, at certain locations, maintain physical distancing. Arrows may indicate the recommended travel direction in some buildings to limit congregation in high-traffic areas.
Campus common spaces, including classrooms, conference rooms, labs, event spaces, break areas, elevators, and lounges, have been rearranged to reduce density and allow for physical distancing. A COVID-19 Safety Maximum Occupancy is posted at each of these spaces. Furniture has been adjusted to match the new occupancy. Any changes to the furniture or capacity of a space require advance approval from Event Management. During the summer, we expect Vermont rules and restrictions to diminish, and we will adjust capacities accordingly.
Tents are installed around campus for dining, studying, events, and activities. Tents identified for use as event spaces will require the same Event Management request and approval process as indoor spaces.
When weather conditions necessitate use of tent walls, special consideration is needed, and the tent will be managed as any other indoor space requiring precautions (face coverings, physical distancing, reduced capacity, etc.). Please note that tents should not be used during severe weather conditions.
All classrooms have been adjusted to reduce density and allow for physical distancing. A COVID-19 Safety Maximum Occupancy is posted at each classroom.
Classroom furniture has been adjusted to match the COVID-19 Safety Maximum Occupancy and to allow for all students and faculty to maintain physical distancing during class. Additional furniture may not be brought into any classroom. In spaces with fixed seating that cannot be relocated, only specific seats may be used, to ensure proper physical distancing.
Classroom ventilation has been assessed by Facilities Services in consultation with outside engineering and industrial hygiene experts. Improvements are specific to each building and space, with the goal of reducing the potential for airborne transmission of the virus. Examples of modifications include increasing fresh-air exchange, updating HVAC filters, and adding portable room air cleaners.
Custodial Services will clean and disinfect classrooms daily. Disinfecting supplies (wipes or spray disinfectant) are provided in each classroom to allow faculty and students to clean individual surfaces (podiums, tables, desks, etc.) as needed.
Visual and Performing Arts
All the spaces used for the visual and performing arts have been evaluated and assigned a COVID-19 Safety Maximum Occupancy rate to allow students, faculty, and staff to maintain physical distance. These adjusted occupancy rates are posted for the classrooms, studios, labs, critique spaces, and storage rooms for the visual arts and for the classrooms, rehearsal spaces, performance studios, concert hall, screening rooms, theaters, and equipment rooms for the performing arts. Any changes to the maximum capacity of these spaces require advance approval. Please contact Shannon Bohler at 802-443-2961 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restrooms, Elevators, and Stairwells
Working and living on campus require the use of shared spaces, such as restrooms, elevators, and stairwells. In any public or shared space, the health and safety measures of wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing, and washing hands will reduce exposure during interactions.
In high-traffic and high-density locations, plastic barriers have been installed so that necessary interactions can occur safely while reducing the risk of transmission. Some areas where you can expect to see these barriers include check-in stations in dining halls, cashier stations at retail locations (MiddXpress, the Grille), circulation desks, and customer service areas.
Installation of plastic barriers will be considered for additional spaces if physical distancing cannot be maintained or if a specific activity in a space requires it. Requests should be made through Facilities Services.
Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems
HVAC assessments and modifications are one piece of our multilayered exposure control plan to mitigate risks from COVID-19 and are intended to be implemented along with other protective practices, including the wearing of face coverings, physical distancing, and reduced density. A ventilation assessment team including outside engineering and industrial hygiene experts developed a plan to implement a number of modifications to building HVAC systems, prioritizing scheduled classroom spaces. These changes were implemented along with changes to the layout of rooms and to occupancy levels. Control strategies are specific for each building. Facilities Services works with individuals responsible for specific campus buildings to address particular issues.
Below are some of the control strategies being implemented in campus buildings to reduce long-range airborne transmission:
- Increasing fresh air exchange
- Increasing operation times and spreading out scheduled activities, to provide additional air changes per hour
- Installing updated HVAC filters, with higher efficiency ratings where possible
- Installing portable HEPA air purifiers
- Modifying HVAC control systems
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Cleaning and disinfecting campus spaces is an important part of maintaining a healthy campus. Custodial Services has modified its daily routines to give more attention to high-traffic and high-use areas. All work is performed following CDC recommendations.
In addition to regular cleaning by Custodial Services staff, our faculty, staff, and students must take active roles in cleaning and disinfecting, especially personal work areas and shared spaces that are used regularly and throughout the day. Supplies appropriate to the cleaning needs will be provided along with a short training on proper use. Supplies provided are approved by the CDC and are effective in killing the virus that causes COVID-19. In order to maximize Custodial Services time available to clean and disinfect, faculty, staff, and students are expected to return spaces they use to the original setup configuration.