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 complete their daily health check and notes the requirement to wear a face covering and, at certain locations, maintain physical distancing. Arrows will indicate the recommended travel direction in some buildings to limit congregation in high-traffic areas.
Tents will be 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. Activities in tented spaces will be planned in accordance with physical distancing requirements, and face coverings will be required while in the space. If a tent is used for dining or events/activities involving food or drink, physical distancing must be maintained to reduce exposure while face coverings are removed.
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.).
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. For health and safety reasons, the adjusted occupancy and layout must be adhered to for all activities held in the space.
All classrooms have been adjusted to reduce density and allow for physical distancing. A COVID-19 Safety Max Occupancy is posted at each classroom.
Classroom furniture has been adjusted to match the COVID-19 Safety Max 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, or adding portable room air cleaners.
Custodial Services will clean and disinfect classrooms daily. Common spaces, including bathrooms, and high-touch points in the building will be disinfected several times each day. Disinfecting supplies (wipes or spray disinfectant) are provided in each classroom to allow faculty and students to clean individual surfaces (podiums, tables, desks, etc.) upon arrival and departure from the classroom.
Face coverings must be worn during in-person instruction in classrooms. Students should sit in the same seats for each class to assist in the event of contact tracing.
Science labs have been evaluated and assigned a COVID-19 Safety Maximum Occupancy to allow for students and faculty to maintain physical distancing. The adjusted occupancies are posted for teaching labs, research labs, and instrument rooms. Any changes to the capacity of a space require advance approval from Sciences Technical Support Services (STSS).
Specific work tasks may require faculty, staff, or students to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as dust masks, disposable medical masks, N95 respirators, or other respiratory protection. Individuals who perform this type of work will change out of a face covering into the appropriate PPE prior to performing the task. A hazard assessment is required for any tasks that do not allow for physical distancing. In these situations, barriers or additional PPE may be required, such as a disposable mask and face shield.
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 distancing. 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 the advance approval. Please contact Shannon Bohler at 802-443-2961 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restrooms, Elevators, and Stairwells
Working and living on campus requires 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.
When using restrooms, maintain physical distancing even if this means waiting outside the restroom until others exit. Always wear a face covering, and do not place personal items directly on counters. Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, and do not linger inside the space after finishing using the restroom.
Elevator use must adhere with posted capacities to ensure physical distancing. Individuals with disabilities have priority for elevators. Anyone who is physically able to use stairs should do so whenever possible, leaving elevators for those who must use them. Maintain physical distancing while waiting to board an elevator.
When using stairs, stay to the right side while ascending or descending to allow for proper traffic flow. Do not congregate with others in entrances, exit areas, or hallways. If waiting in specific locations is necessary, maintain physical distancing from others. Follow instructions if signage has been posted to mark directional travel paths or waiting locations.
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.
Heating, 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, reduced density, and other actions. 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, and other changes. 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 an active role 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.
In order to ensure physical distancing and to allow our Custodial Services staff to safely perform their job duties, thorough cleanings will be provided, whenever possible, when spaces and buildings are least occupied. Spaces may be closed temporarily throughout the day to allow our staff to perform disinfecting.
If someone tests positive for COVID-19, cleaning of specific areas will be done in accordance with CDC recommendations.
Cleaning of Campus Facilities, Office Areas, and Event Spaces
This table shows the cleaning and disinfecting plan for academic, administrative, and event spaces. Custodial Services COVID-19 cleaning levels and individual responsibilities for users of the spaces are shown by space type.
|Space Type||Custodial Services COVID-19 Cleaning Level||Individual Responsibilities|
|Large academic/ administrative buildings, common areas/ bathrooms||Bathrooms and common areas thoroughly cleaned daily, with a second disinfection of high-touch surfaces and bathrooms. Weekend service provided based on building use and events scheduled.||Faculty/staff/students must practice personal safety precautions (face coverings, handwashing and sanitizing, physical distancing) when working in/occupying these buildings.|
|Classrooms||Classrooms cleaned daily Monday through Friday before 8 a.m.; classrooms used on Saturday and Sunday will be cleaned on these days.||Disinfecting supplies and hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom for faculty and students to allow disinfecting prior to use; e.g., on podium, tablet-arm chair, table, or chair.|
|Small administrative buildings (if occupied)||Bathrooms, kitchens, common areas cleaned once per week.||Faculty and staff perform their own disinfecting between service days. Cleaning supplies with instructions are available upon request.|
|Private offices||None. Custodial Services has shifted resources away from private offices, as these are low risk with one occupant. This allows increased cleaning service to be provided in high-risk areas.||Faculty and staff perform their own in-office cleaning. Cleaning supplies with instructions are available upon request. A thorough cleaning of offices will be conducted between sessions—after students depart from campus.|
|Shared equipment—phones, copiers, etc.||Disinfected when cleaning the building.||Eliminate shared phones; instruct staff to disinfect prior to using shared equipment such as copiers. Supplies to disinfect copiers will be available in these locations.|
|Public-facing operations; e.g., College Store, golf course, Dining Services operations, Student Financial Services, Parton Health Center||Spaces cleaned once per day (when open) with the exception of dining halls, which are cleaned twice per day—before breakfast and between lunch and dinner.||Staff will be expected to disinfect high-touch surfaces throughout the day and between Custodial Services visits.|
|Athletics||Bathrooms and common areas thoroughly cleaned daily with a second disinfection of high-touch surfaces and bathrooms in open areas. Locker rooms cleaned daily when used. Sections of the facility may be restricted when not scheduled to be in use.||Disinfecting supplies with instructions are available upon request.|
|Events||Cleaning and setups at event locations as scheduled.||Disinfectant and hand sanitizer will be provided to event coordinators to use for high-touch surfaces/items as necessary.|
Cleaning and Disinfecting Plan for Residential Buildings
Students are responsible for cleaning their own rooms and should follow CDC recommendations when cleaning their individual spaces. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces (e.g., tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, keyboards, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks). The CDC recommendations provide information for cleaning porous and nonporous surfaces, and electronics. Students are responsible for bringing appropriate cleaning supplies for their personal spaces.
The table below describes Custodial Services cleaning levels and resident responsibilities. A training program is available in SafeColleges to assist residents of small houses, suites, and townhouses who are responsible for cleaning their residential spaces.
|Space Type||Custodial Services COVID-19 Cleaning Level||Resident Responsibilities|
|Inside small residential houses/buildings (fewer than 10 residents), suites, and townhouses||Provide supplies and instructions to residents who perform cleaning and disinfecting of their spaces.||Regular cleaning and disinfection consistent with instructions provided by the custodial team.|
|Suites within a large building (Atwater A and B, Ridgeline View Suites, Ross and LaForce townhouses)||Provide supplies and instructions to residents who perform cleaning and disinfecting of their spaces; in large buildings, such as Atwater A and B and Ridgeline View Suites, common areas outside of the suites will be serviced by custodial staff—twice-daily disinfecting of touchpoints in common areas outside of the suites; e.g., handrails, door handles, light switches, chair rails, laundry rooms, and kitchens. Services provided daily.||Regular cleaning and disinfection consistent with instructions provided by the custodial team.|
|Large residence halls||Full cleaning of bathrooms, hallways, common areas, and kitchens daily, with a second disinfection of touchpoints between 2 and 5 p.m. Service provided daily.||Disinfect common space surfaces and items before use. Use proper hand hygiene and bathroom exit etiquette.|