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FAQ: Classroom and Lab Safety

Information for the University community

Updated July 20, 2020

Explore answers to common questions about safety issues related to classrooms, labs, and other instructional spaces, including COVID-19 sanitizing protocols, social distancing, and face mask requirements.

Sanitizing classrooms and labs

Facilities will perform daily cleaning and disinfecting, and additional fogging disinfecting in instructional areas as directed by University Health Service (UHS).

Faculty, staff, and students are responsible for cleaning high-touch surfaces and shared work areas such as desktops, keyboards, and chairs, both before and after use.

Environmental Services will continue to provide and replenish hand sanitizer in building entryways and common areas. The University is installing additional sanitizing stations in common areas of buildings.

Due to the complicated logistics of moving large numbers of students in and out of classrooms, the University requires that large lecture classes be held online. For in-person class meetings, all classrooms will have posted signage to make entering and exiting smooth and efficient, allowing time for proper sanitation.

University Facilities and Services, in conjunction with Environmental Health and Safety and University Health Service, have evaluated all academic and residential housing buildings on the River and Eastman campuses to determine what modifications can be made to potentially improve safety and reduce the chance of the spread of COVID-19. The evaluations focused on CDC guidance to increase fresh air in buildings and to improve air filtration where feasible. The evaluation of air handling systems has been completed and modifications are being implemented. Evaluation of filters in air-handling systems is still on-going and more efficient air filters have been ordered and will be installed, where applicable.

Social distancing and face masks

All individuals on campus, including students, faculty, and staff, should always endeavor to remain physically separated from others by at least 6 feet.

Face masks are required. Shields are sometimes worn in addition to face masks by health care workers for added protection, but shields do not replace wearing a face mask. Overwhelming evidence continues to show that face masks are the most reliable means of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The University has required face masks on campus. It is expected that students, faculty, and staff adhere to the University’s requirement that a face mask be worn when on campus, with very few exceptions. The University is in the process of developing a means of enforcement.

The College’s Dean of Students Office is prepared to initiate a conduct violation process when any student refuses to wear a mask.

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