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Rochester Restart and Recovery

Comprehensive plan for a phased reopening

Updated June 29, 2020

On this page you will find the University of Rochester’s comprehensive plan for a safe restart and recovery this fall. The plan was developed in close cooperation with New York State and thoughtfully created by the Coronavirus University Restart Team with assistance from several advisory committees and working groups. As our guiding principles state, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, patients, and guests are our highest priority.


Guiding principles and framework for creating a safer, resilient campus

The University of Rochester’s Coronavirus University Restart Team (CURT) has been developing plans for the University’s long-term recovery and redesign. CURT is focused on providing holistic guidance and strategy for the University’s nonclinical operations, including academic affairs, research, and general operations. The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) has additional guidelines applicable to its locations that may differ significantly from this document because of the need to deliver patient care.

To plan for a phased restart, the University created an overarching guidance and framework document: University of Rochester Redesigned: COVID-19 Guiding Principles & Framework for Recovery.

This document is intended to help the University of Rochester conform with local, state, and national laws, regulations and guidance documents related to phased restart of activity and to function as a planning tool for a coordinated and phased resumption of University operations. It is intended to outline our specific University rules and directives and to be flexible in order to accommodate changes in circumstances, laws, regulations, executive orders, and the advice of public health experts.

The Guiding Principles and Framework document served as the basis for this New York State Reopening Plan. This plan is subject to change as federal and state guidelines are amended.

COVID-19 Guiding Principles & Framework for Recovery

Recovery principles

We will base our decisions and plans on the following principles:

  • 1. The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, patients, and guests are our highest priority.
  • 2. We will comply with federal, state, and local authority operational and health mandates.
  • 3. We will sustain the teaching, learning, research, healthcare, and cultural missions of the University through both traditional methods and new avenues of endeavor.
  • 4. We will act responsibly as stewards of the University’s property, assets, and resources.
  • 5. We will continue to partner purposefully with the Rochester community, and to support our neighbors in the city and the region.
  • 6. We will base our decisions on scientific evidence and facts.
  • 7. In all of our decision-making, we will abide by our Meliora Values: Equity, Leadership, Integrity, Openness, Respect, and Accountability.

Coordination with public health officials

Any reopening activities will closely follow state guidelines and phased gateways for the Finger Lakes Region. The UR Guidance document is based upon several key sources. First, the phases outlined align with the New York State (NYS) “Metrics to Guide Reopening New York” and closely follows New York State recommendations outlined in Guidance for Higher Education, along with state guidance for other relevant industries.  In addition, this guidance builds upon framing outlined in the American Enterprise Institute Report National Coronavirus Response: a Road Map to Reopening (March 28, 2020) and the White House Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. This Plan is subject to change as federal and state guidelines are amended.

As reopening activities commence, the University will continue to work closely with the Monroe County Department of Public Health in monitoring infection levels in our community and University representative remain active participants in the Finger Lakes Regional Control Room.  In addition, we receive daily guidance from the University of Rochester Medical Center.


Surveillance, testing, and tracing

The University has developed a plan for surveillance, testing, and contact tracing which involves a combination of symptom tracking of all students, faculty, and staff; initial testing of all students living on campus, using an established priority order based upon departure location/point of origin and of any symptomatic individuals; and contact tracing of all positive cases.

Plan for students

The University plans to test all students living in campus housing upon arrival using a priority testing order which accounts for travel means, duration, and point of origin, and together with daily symptom tracking, conduct tests of symptomatic individuals thereafter. Students living off campus can request testing. Where not covered by a student’s health insurance, the University will cover the cost of testing for students.

On arrival for fall semester
The University plans to enact a staggered arrival of all students living on campus so as to allow them to be tested when they arrive to campus. We plan to use the University of Rochester Medical Center testing lab to conduct standard COVID-19 RT-PCR viral test, and, should demand exceed that lab’s ability, we will plan to send tests out to other labs. Students traveling to campus from nearby regional locations that are within one-day’s drive of campus will be encouraged to be tested in their home communities up to five days prior to traveling to campus.  Those students whose travel is more than one day, or who are traveling by air, will be tested upon arrival in Rochester. Testing priority will be for students in doubles and students arriving via air from domestic “hot-spots” or international locations, and student move-in to doubles will be spaced out to ensure we have a negative result back from the both students before moving the second student into the shared room.
In-session, ongoing monitoring
The University plans to deploy daily symptom checks using the Dr. Chat Bot tool for all University students, faculty, and staff. Dr. Chat Bot is an online tool that was implemented by the University’s Medical Center to screen Medical Center faculty, staff, and trainees for COVID-19 symptoms before reporting to work. It is currently in use by the medical center and University research labs that have restarted. The back-end feeds to University Health Services (UHS), and UHS staff follows-up with anyone who reports symptoms each morning to assess whether testing is needed.
Quarantine and isolation procedures for suspected or confirmed virus carriers
The University will reserve some quarantine and isolation space for suspected or confirmed virus carriers in its campus housing stock, as has been the practice since mid-March 2020. Our department of Public Health Sciences (PHS) is in the process of modeling scenarios of possible campus transmission, and these models will inform the number of isolation spaces reserved on campus. We are also working with hotels adjacent to campus for possible flex space to expand quarantine/isolation capacity.  Students housed on campus in single rooms with no shared bathroom facilities will be expected to quarantine or isolate within their campus housing as needed.

Students arriving from other states and countries will be required to quarantine on arrival if government restrictions apply to the location that the student is arriving from.

UHS will continue to support students in quarantine and isolation through the process developed this past spring semester. This will include having a nurse or physician make initial contact with the student as they are identified, and a plan will be arranged for routine follow-up phone calls. Telehealth visits can be arranged with our Campus Counseling Center. Students who require higher level health care will be referred to Strong Memorial Hospital.

When a student enters quarantine or isolation, relevant stakeholders including the Care Network and Dining Services, among others, are notified through a listserv. University Climate and Care team members notify the appropriate Care and Support representative to begin the outreach process for support. Dining will share all options for food which will be delivered to the student’s room. Care and Support Coordinators in each of the schools will coordinate support and services for students.

Plan for Workforce

Listed below are the requirements and guidelines for employees.

Symptom surveillance
All employees are required to take a daily Dr. Chat Bot symptom screening survey before reporting to work at the university or medical center. Employees should log in with their UR Active Directory credentials and report their results to their supervisors daily.
Testing
All individuals who are symptomatic will be tested and isolated until their test result is returned. Isolation will continue for individuals with positive test results in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Accommodations for vulnerable populations
The University continues to require employees to work remotely when possible; on-campus work locations are re-opening in a staged manner with approval from Cabinet-level leadership and school-based operations directors. Individuals who wish to return to their offices must receive approval to return and undertake training prior to return. As more offices open and employees return to work under physical distancing requirements, those individuals who have concerns should discuss these with their supervisors and/or their HR Business Partner. Supervisors who are asked for exceptions or accommodations, or who are otherwise aware of the need for them, should immediately contact their HR Business Partner for assistance with responding to such requests. Employees should not provide personal medical information to their supervisor in connection with an accommodation request.

Plan for response and notification to state and local health authorities of positive cases

The University will continue to notify local health officials upon confirmation of any positive case.

Contact tracing

Confirmed positive cases of students, faculty, or staff
Contact tracing after any confirmed positive cases of students, faculty, or staff will be done in coordination with Monroe County health officials. University Health Service (UHS) will conduct contact tracing for on-campus students, Monroe County will conduct contact tracing for students off-campus as well as for employees, and the two units will coordinate. Contact tracers will follow tracing protocols and utilize tools developed by NYS as well as complete an online training course.

Plan for tracking and responding to infection surge

Following state and county guidance
The University will follow state and county guidance if an infection surge is present in Monroe County. The university will track the numbers of symptomatic cases among students, faculty and staff, track the use and availability of isolation and quarantine rooms, and confer with local and state public health authorities. As warnings of an infection surge in Monroe County or among the University community become apparent, the Coronavirus University Response Team (CURT) and the University Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) would reengage in regular meetings if not already underway to coordinate University planning. We will respond to significant changes with consideration of additional control interventions (e.g., limitations on gatherings, limitation on in-person instruction, shutdown certain operations or areas) and/or enhanced surveillance (e.g. asymptomatic testing).

Shutdown plan

Widespread COVID-19 transmission and move-out process
If necessitated by widespread COVID-19 transmission and limited availability of open isolation and quarantine rooms, the University would begin a mandatory move-out process. This process would be coordinated by residence hall staff to accommodate a physically-distanced staggered departure of all students living on campus, with an accommodation process for domestic and international students unable to depart campus.

Facility density and physical distancing

Physical distancing principles

All individuals on campus (students, faculty, staff, visitors, and guests) should always endeavor to remain physically separated from others by at least 6 feet, acknowledging that hallways as well as exits to rooms and buildings will not accommodate a 6-foot separation. When in the presence of others, masks should be worn in addition to distancing measures. Masking exceptions include

  1. being out-of-doors while greater than six feet from others or
  2. while eating using social distancing guidelines.

Residence halls

The University of Rochester is focused on reducing the density of students in residence halls.

Double and single rooms
As such, all rooms that had accommodated triples have been reduced to doubles. The number of students in double rooms will be decreased and the number of single rooms increased. Those rooms that remain doubles will take into account student surveys recently conducted regarding room preferences in light of the pandemic. Students identified as immunocompromised or who have underlying conditions will be housed in single rooms. If there is inadequate space to provide single rooms or a student does not feel comfortable returning to campus, student may opt to continue their education remotely.
Moving in to residence halls
Student move-ins to residence halls will be pre-scheduled to accommodate distancing. We will limit the number of family members allowed to assist students with move-in. Both the student and helping individuals (e.g., a family member) will be required to complete a health screening prior to move-in.
Access to residence halls
Once on campus, access to residential facilities will be limited through key card access and students will not be able to enter residential facilities other than the building in which they reside. No visitors will be allowed to residential facilities. This will be articulated in the student housing code of conduct.
Residential bathroom facilities
For residential bathroom facilities, additional physical barriers (e.g. plexiglass) will be placed where feasible. Hand dryers are being replaced by touchless paper towel dispensers. Touchless soap dispensers have been ordered and planned for installation.

Classrooms

Each school is developing detailed classroom plans which adhere to the following principles: Classrooms, instructional space and lecture halls including auditoriums shall use 40 square feet per masked person for determining occupancy limits. Occupancy plans should account for space consumed by furniture. Hallways will be marked or provided with signage at 6-foot intervals to prevent gathering outside of classrooms. Classrooms having two doors will utilize one for entrance and the other for exit, which will be clearly marked. Classrooms having one door will utilize a process for loading and unloading similar to airlines: back to front for entrance; front to back for exiting.

Hybrid online and in-person approach
To meet standards for physical distancing this Fall, a hybrid online and in-person approach to classes will be necessary. All large lecture classes (e.g. those > 100 students) will be conducted online. Smaller classes will be a hybrid of online and in-person to reduce density and to accommodate students who will be unable to attend in person. Instruction will take a variety of different formats, ranging from in-person and hybrid to entirely online, and these differences will depend on faculty needs and accommodations as well as the possibility government restrictions may change and require adjustment for emerging safety recommendations.

Common areas and shared spaces

Each school is developing plans for these areas, adhering to the following guidelines: smaller areas used for breaks, common areas or study areas should be limited to 1 person in the space or no less than 40 square feet per person.

Dining facilities and services

Facility modifications
Dining Services is developing a plan adhering to NYS guidance for dining/restaurants and the following principles: Occupancies for dining should not exceed approximately 50% of the posted occupancy, and occupants should observe social distancing guidelines and wear masks while waiting in line. Markings on the floor will indicate where people should stand to maintain correct social distancing. Directions for where faculty, staff and students can eat will be posted (in private offices, breakrooms, outside while maintaining 6-foot distances, etc.) No food will be allowed in classrooms, general common areas not designated for dining, libraries, or laboratories due to masking requirements.
Service modifications
All managers and employees of Dining Services will go through both University mandatory training as well as dining-services-specific training. Health checks will be completed at the beginning of all shifts and face masks will be worn by employees at all times. Dining Services will remove all self-service options and will use disposables for utensils, plates, and trays to limit the spread of germs. We are redesigning our staffing and menus to maintain our commitment to local purchasing and our commitment to serving our diverse community while also being mindful of the need to simplify choices to minimize transaction times and maximize throughput.

Faculty and staff offices

The University continues to require the majority of employees to work remotely by indicating that all work that can be done remotely should continue remotely for the foreseeable future. Once in-person activities begin to resume, all meetings where social distancing cannot be maintained, project discussions and seminars should continue to be conducted electronically (e.g. Zoom, Phone, FaceTime).

The University is developing a new Remote Work Policy and building job assessment guidelines and processes for establishing a more effective remote workforce and environment where it is appropriate long term.

Physical distancing policies

All individuals on campus (students, faculty, staff, visitors, and guests) should always endeavor to remain physically separated from others by at least 6 feet, acknowledging that hallways as well as exits to rooms and buildings will not accommodate a 6-foot separation. Entrances and exits will be clearly marked. When in the presence of others, masks should be worn in addition to distancing measures. Masks are not required when outdoors while maintaining greater than six feet from others or while eating.

Shared transportation

To promote safety for shuttle riders and drivers, shuttle bus capacity will be reduced initially to 50% seated capacity and standing will be prohibited. Every other seat will be taped off to easily identify whether capacity remains. Shuttle bus routes will be adapted in order to accommodate greater physical distancing with available resources. Extra buses have been added to the heavily utilized shuttle lines to spread out rider capacity and service hours will be expanded to accommodate a greater number of shuttles. Passengers and drivers will be required to wear masks. Sanitizer stations will be located at each bus point of entrance/exit. Shuttles will be wiped down after each route. Shuttle operations will end between midnight and 5am in order to have proper sanitization and deep cleaning time.

Library facilities

Shared Spaces/Study Spaces
Restricting occupancy to 50 sf per person (and 6’ separation) for study and shared spaces will be promoted through removal of furniture, including lounge furniture, allowing only one person per small group study room, and additions of floor markings and signage. Personnel will regularly monitor the main library at the River Campus to encourage physical distancing.
Access to Collections
Access to open stacks will be allowed with signage to mandate physical distancing with signage to indicate patrons should not re-shelve materials. Materials for short-term course reserves will be electronic only with no circulation of high-demand technology devices. Contactless transactions using self-checkout kiosks and self-serve holds will be used in main libraries, employing cleaning protocols after each use. Returned or used materials will be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours. Specific protocols for the safe handling of rare and unique materials have been developed.
Service Points
Plexi-glass partitions will be erected to protect service staff and patrons during transactions. All service signage and floor markers will mandate the line-up protocol. Contactless procedures for item pickup and checkout will be used.
Hours of Service
Reduced hours of services from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the main library at the River Campus with auxiliary study space in Rush Rhees open until 2 a.m. to provide safe and secure late night, monitored study space. School and small departmental libraries will be open with reduced hours or by appointment only.
Programming
With the exception of programming with 10 or less people including the instructor, all instructional and research consultation programming will occur virtually.

Athletic facilities and athletic events

We will follow guidelines issued by New York State for reopening gyms and athletic facilities. Athletics staff are developing a plan for reopening the Goergen Athletic Center for recreational use based on University guidance for student life and best practices for fitness facilities. This will involve reduced occupancy loads in activity spaces (25% of the established maximum) and efforts to promote physical distancing. Facility access will be restricted to students. In general, occupancies of gyms or athletic spaces will be limited to one (1) team for outdoor practices and one-half (½) the team for indoor practices.

Event facilities

Performance and event facilities, which are not yet approved to open, will follow specific sector guidance developed by NYS, once that is available. Planning is underway, and in general, occupancies of large gathering spaces (greater than 400 people), such as Eastman Theater, Palestra, Prince Athletic Complex and Fauver, should be limited to 25% of the space’s posted occupancy limit or according to NYS rules, once those facilities are permitted to open. Venues containing seating should space seating (for example, plan to seat every other row and every third seat). For outdoor spaces everyone must maintain 6-foot separations.

Memorial Art Gallery (MAG)
The Memorial Art Gallery is opening to the public as the Finger Lakes Region enters Phase 4 and museums and cultural organizations are approved by New York State with specific reopening rules. Guests will be required to wear a mask at all times while visiting the museum. Signs will be posted at the entrances informing visitors about our policies. We will additionally add a second admission desk and add protective glass to these desks to assist with physical distancing. The Gallery will also implement a new ticketing and payment system to allow for a contactless admissions process.

Signage on the floor will give physical distancing prompts for guests, particularly in areas that could be congested. Interactive exhibits that involve touchscreens will be turned off and signage placed on them.

Events at MAG will be customized specifically for customer needs while maintaining physical distancing. This includes ensuring tables and seating are located six feet apart with wider aisles and theater-style seating will be set with proper spacing.


Academics and educational delivery

Modifications to academic year

The University of Rochester plans to adjust the academic calendar for Fall 2020 to reduce the potential risk from the spread of the virus with students traveling away from Rochester during academic breaks. This plan involves beginning the undergraduate academic semester as planned on Wednesday, August 26, but eliminating the fall break. The last day of in-person classes would be Tuesday, November 24, at which point we would break for the Thanksgiving holiday. After that date, all instruction would be moved online, and students would not return to campus for the remainder of the semester. Accommodations will be made for international and domestic students who are unable to return home.

Modifications to mode of education delivery/technology

To meet standards for physical distancing this Fall, a hybrid online and in-person approach to classes will be necessary. All large lecture classes will be conducted online. Smaller classes will be a hybrid of online and in-person to reduce density and to accommodate students who will be unable to attend in person. Instruction will take a variety of different formats, ranging from in-person and hybrid to entirely online, and these differences will depend on faculty needs and accommodations as well as the possibility government restrictions may change and require adjustment for emerging safety recommendations

Faculty at the University of Rochester have spent the summer developing online versions of their fall courses that leverage thoughtful and systematic approaches to organizing, planning, and designing effective learning experiences for our students. To support a multimodal form of instruction for Fall 2020, we have upgraded a significant number of classrooms so that required classrooms have streaming and online capabilities. The strategy of providing streaming capabilities covers a range of technology from additional high-quality microphones and speakers for smaller classrooms to newly fixed cameras with zoom infrastructure in mid-size and large instructional spaces. This is anticipated to significantly increase the quality of online education in a multimodal environment and to meet the increase in the demand for space due to overlaying physical distancing requirements.

Accessibility for students with disabilities

The University of Rochester respects and welcomes students of all backgrounds and abilities. In the event any student encounters any barrier to full participation in a course, our Office of Disability Resources will meet with the student to discuss the barriers and process for establishing accommodations. We recognize that additional concerns may arise from changes implemented to address physical distancing requirements. Guidelines are being developed specific to COVID-19 accommodations and include guidelines for arranging for additional proctoring and space for in-person accommodated exams, guidelines with respect to the use of online test proctoring services, guidelines around the provision of clear masks for instructors and peer educators serving students who are deaf or hard of hearing, and ensuring any approved tool for assessment or instruction does not interfere with assistive technology.

Clinical instruction

As New York State has approved the restart of clinical instruction, in-person learning will now include clinical learning and direct patient contact. All employees and students will be screened daily using our symptoms’ tracking app. Surgical face masks are required in all common areas of the medical center including education spaces. Masks are provided to everyone entering campus at main entrances as well as through department and program offices. For students working in clinical settings and for those who are conducting essential in-person education activities, face shields or glasses provided by the university may be required. Students will be informed if any PPE in addition to a face mask is needed. All lectures, mentorship and advising, and other learning activates will remain online.


Research procedures

Research lab density

Consistent with New York State phasing, research activities have been reactivated in a phased approach with careful considerations. All approved research activities must abide by strict physical-distancing guidelines to reduce any possibility of spreading COVID-19 within the research community. There are also new guidelines for conducting research with human subjects, which include physical distancing and masking, to promote the safety of study subjects and researchers. Any research that can be done remotely must continue to be done remotely in order to keep building and office occupancy to a minimum.

Physical distancing guidelines
Physical distancing guidelines recommend separation distances of six feet or more. No more than one person per 250 square feet of lab space will be allowed in a lab at any one time. This corresponds to one person per bay for laboratories with a modern bay structure, or for a 600 square foot laboratory, only a maximum of two people should occupy the lab at a time. These limitations are essential to avoid over-crowding of public spaces in research buildings, and limit potential cross contamination in research spaces with individuals with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic. Lab procedures requiring more than one person in close proximity should be minimized as much as possible, and when necessary, additional PPE, including gloves and eye protection, should be worn. Shift schedules are used to maintain lab occupancy at acceptable levels to ensure physical distancing. Those working with hazardous chemicals or materials are encouraged not to work alone and not to work at off hours when fewer people are present.

Research lab required PPE

Face masks and cleaning protocols
Surgical procedural face masks are required in all common areas (hallways, restrooms, break and eating areas) and while working in laboratories. Face masks must be worn in public and any time there is more than one person in a given space, including times of brief interaction between coworkers or friends, and anytime another person is within six feet. Personal and shared workspaces (desktop, keyboards, chairs, etc.) should be cleaned and disinfected before and after use. Office occupancy is limited to one person, and office work should be completed at home whenever possible. (Rare exceptions for higher occupancy of larger offices may be granted after review and approval by departmental administration to ensure that physical distancing can be maintained.)

Travel and visitor policies

Modifications to travel policies

With all travel, individuals are expected to follow all relevant social-distancing policies. Individuals must also adhere to standards and travel advisories set by New York State and the CDC and meet any additional restrictions required by the state and local jurisdiction to which they are traveling. It is incumbent upon the traveler to be aware of local social-distancing guidelines.

Travel remains complex due to various federal and NYS travel restrictions and quarantines. Those who are approved to travel internationally or to U.S. States that fall under NYS travel advisories should plan to remain away from campus for 14 days after their return and should monitor their health per CDC guidelines.

University-related travel
Through at least December 2020, the University continues to restrict University-related domestic and international travel (business/work/research/study). This is primarily a measure of fiscal responsibility during the University’s restart and recovery process, and it aligns with ongoing illness prevention efforts and NYS and CDC guidelines. University-related travel that is considered essential may resume with approval by a cabinet-level officer and after consultation with the director of global travel risk management (when international).
Personal travel
While the University does not impose restrictions for personal travel undertaken by UR employees within the U.S. or abroad, individual travelers and their managers should be aware that U.S. and international travel remains complex and due to various national and state border restrictions and quarantines. Therefore, travel should be undertaken with caution and with an awareness of these risks and possible restrictions. Those who travel internationally or to U.S. States that fall under NYS travel advisories should plan to remain away from campus for 14 days after their return and should monitor their health per CDC guidelines.
Restrictions on student travel
Students attending classes from Rochester should plan to remain in Rochester for the duration of the fall semester. If students must depart Rochester mid-semester, they should plan to remain away from campus for 14 days after their return and should monitor their health per CDC guidelines. Such student may alternatively choose to continue their semester remotely.

The University has suspended programs abroad for the fall semester, and University-related student travel away from the Rochester area will be prohibited in order to limit movement to and from campus and the Rochester area for the fall semester. Exceptions may be granted in limited circumstances by the relevant Dean, and notification of any exception should be made to the Provost’s office prior to travel taking place.

Restrictions on visitors coming to campus

In order to limit campus density, only essential visitors with formal appointments in units and invited guests with prior approval will be allowed to visit any facility at the River Campus and the Eastman School of Music Campus. Formal visitors and invited guests should have an obvious and documented relationship that overtly furthers the University’s academic and/or research mission. All approved visitors and guests will be required to complete the University’s COVID training and conduct daily symptom tracking. Casual guests and non-essential visitors are prohibited from these locations. Students may not host visitors or guests during fall semester.

All formal visitors and invited guests must register with the University to ensure that COVID-related training and University expectations regarding PPE is conveyed. Visitors and guests arriving from locations requiring quarantine by NYS or other health agencies must adhere to these quarantine requirements before coming onto campus.

Admissions tours will be adapted to maintain physical distancing for spaces on campus and student and guest numbers will be capped. Records will be kept regarding the staff and visitors in each session each day in the event that information is needed for subsequent contact tracing.


Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Ordering and distribution of COVID-related PPE and cleaning materials will be centralized for non-hospital units to avoid internal bidding wars and other supply chain disruptions which could affect hospital and other operations negatively. The Medical Center has a separate standard process for stocking and ordering PPE supplies. Environmental Services will continue to provide and replenish hand sanitizer in building entryways and common areas.

Availability to faculty, staff, students

Masks will be made available to all students and employees.

Requirements for PPE

Procedural or cloth face masks are required in all common areas (hallways, restrooms, break areas). Face masks must be worn in indoor public spaces any time there is more than one person in a given space, including times of brief interaction between co-workers or friends, and anytime another person is within six feet. Masks must be worn outdoors when 6-foot separation is not feasible. Employees working alone do not need to wear a mask.

Encouragement of flu vaccine

The University of Rochester will continue to encourage all faculty, staff, and students to receive an annual influenza vaccine. Health care providers are required to participate in the annual flu vaccination compliance program.


Cleaning and disinfecting procedures

The University has enhanced cleaning and disinfecting efforts across campus.

Building common areas and restrooms will be cleaned and maintained by University Facilities. In general, end users are responsible for cleaning high touch surfaces and shared work areas (desktop, keyboards, chairs, etc.) before and after use, as well as public surfaces before/after eating. Personal workstations should be cleaned at the start and end of each workday or shift. Facilities will perform fogging disinfecting as directed by UHS in classrooms and daily in dormitory bathrooms and other high touch points such as door, light switches, handrails and elevator buttons.

In dining facilities, a full sanitizing and disinfecting of food contact surface areas, serving areas, cooler door handles, points of service areas, etc. will be done at a minimum of every hour and before/after each service time utilizing Oxivir Tb wipes. Hand sanitizers will be available at all food service locations.

Extra buses have been added to the heavily utilized shuttle lines to spread out rider capacity. No standing on shuttles will be allowed, and all riders must have a seat. Shuttles are being disinfected regularly throughout the day and wiped down after each trip.

Special cleaning instructions for areas where an individual with suspected or confirmed coronavirus have been developed. These procedures include guidance on personal protective equipment that should be worn when cleaning and directions on disinfecting surfaces with approved EPA disinfectants, disposal of waste from cleaning, and laundering of items that have been in contact with an unwell individual.

Hand hygiene and hand sanitizer availability

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.

Building reactivation process

Many University buildings were closed due to state guidelines this spring. These buildings will be reactivated as state guidelines allow in regionally approved Phases. This reactivation process has already begun with the restart of some research activities and will continue as the University responds to NYS Phase 4 requirements for reopening.

The process for unit reactivation starts with a reactivation request and occupancy plan from a School Dean. University Facilities will follow a detailed checklist to open buildings including full review of all HVAC and water systems. This includes checking sewage ejection pumps, charging chilled water lines, flushing drinking fountains and restroom fixtures, checking HVAC filters, flushing HVAC water lines, lighting inspections, and checking handicap access. Temperature setbacks will return to operation and ID swipe access will be activated. Facilities will ensure the building is cleaned and disinfected. Upon approval, the Logistics Sector will ensure appropriate signage is displayed throughout the building and confirm installation of disinfectant/hand wash stations. The unit occupancy plan checklist will confirm the number of staff, faculty and students essential to work in-person, confirm classes scheduled, confirm physical distancing diagrams are complete, and confirm PPE source.


Communications plan

Communications plan for faculty, staff, students, and visitors

The Office of University Communications has developed a coordinated communications plan to provide information about our restart and recovery efforts to the University of Rochester community, including students and their families, staff, faculty, and the City of Rochester. This includes a series of leadership messages from the University President, Provost, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, chairs of the Coronavirus University Restart Team, and deans and senior administrators. A key channel for information is the University’s COVID-19 website, which includes a section on Restart and Recovery. The University’s communications will be clear, transparent, and consistent across the institution.

They will take the form of written emails, video messages, articles on the University Newscenter, blog postings on the COVID-19 site, podcasts, and infographics, as appropriate. All content will either live on the Restart and Recovery webpage, which will be regularly updated, or will be pointed to from that site to the appropriate host location.

We will also share information through a series of newsletters and on the University’s social media channels. In addition, University Communications will tag and track communications so that we can measure how effective they are at reaching audiences and adjust or amplify as needed.

Faculty, staff and student training

All University students, faculty, and staff will be required to complete mandatory COVID-19 training prior to returning to campus. Individuals who fail to complete the training should be restricted from campus. This training has been developed by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and will be available online in MyPath (faculty & staff) and Blackboard (students). It includes modules on the following topics: Introduction; What is COVID-19; Hierarchy of Controls; UR Requirements; Reporting Requirements; How to Wear a Mask.

Signage

The University will help maintain occupancy and avoid congregation by adding appropriate signage throughout campus. Managers, researchers, and supervisory staff will work with University Facilities in identifying locations for visual cues. Strategies may include placing visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate to individuals where to sit and stand and placing one-way directional signage for large open workspaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between individuals moving through the space. In addition to physical distancing reminders, signage has been created to encourage handwashing and the wearing of masks.


Planning committees

Senior Leadership Group

Sets institutional priorities and direction related to COVID-19 response and planning, such as when and how to open or close campus, suspend or restart travel, manage workforce needs, and direct financial strategy.

Committee members
  • Sarah MangelsdorfPresident and G. Robert Witmer Jr. University Professor
  • Robert ClarkProvost and Senior Vice President for Research
  • Holly CrawfordSenior Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
  • Thomas FarrellSenior Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer
  • Tony GreenChief of Staff to the President and Secretary to the Board
  • Donna Gooden PayneVice President and General Counsel
  • Doug PhillipsSenior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
  • Mercedes Ramírez FernándezVice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
  • Peter RobinsonVice President for Government Relations
  • Elizabeth StaudermanVice President for Communications
  • Mark TaubmanSenior Vice President for Health Sciences and CEO of the Medical Center

Cabinet and Dean’s Council

Affirms institutional priorities and direction related to COVID-19 response and planning. Provides consultation to the Senior Leadership Group on topics such as opening and closing campus and workforce needs. Coordinates high-level input on responses.

Committee members
  • Sarah C. MangelsdorfPresident and G. Robert Witmer Jr. University Professor
  • Andrew AinslieDean of the Simon Business School
  • Jonathan BinstockDirector of the Memorial Art Gallery
  • Brian BrentActing Dean of the Warner School of Education
  • Michael CampbellDirector of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics
  • Robert L. ClarkProvost and Senior Vice President for Research
  • Holly G. CrawfordSenior Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
  • Gloria CulverDean of the School of Arts & Sciences
  • Stephen DewhurstVice Dean for Research, Medical Center
  • Eli EliavDirector of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health and Vice President, Medical Center
  • Thomas J. FarrellSenior Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer
  • Mercedes Ramírez FernándezVice President for Equity and Inclusion
  • Jane GatewoodVice Provost for Global Engagement
  • Steven I. GoldsteinPresident and CEO of Strong Memorial Hospital and Highland Hospital and Senior Vice President, Medical Center
  • Tony GreenChief of Staff to the President and Secretary to the Board
  • Donald E. HallDean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering
  • Wendi B. HeinzelmanDean of the Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
  • Tony KinslowAssociate Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer
  • David E. LewisVice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
  • Mary Ann MavrinacVice Provost and Dean of University Libraries
  • Duncan MooreVice Provost for Entrepreneurship
  • Donna Gooden PayneVice President and General Counsel
  • Douglas W. PhillipsSenior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
  • Kathy RideoutDean of the School of Nursing
  • Peter G. RobinsonVice President for Government and Community Relations
  • Jamal J. RossiDean of the Eastman School of Music
  • Michael F. RotondoCEO of UR Medical Faculty Group and Senior Vice President, Medical Center
  • Jeffrey T. RunnerDean of The College
  • Joan SaabVice Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Elizabeth StaudermanVice President for Communications
  • Melissa Sturge-AppleVice Provost for Graduate Education
  • Mark B. TaubmanSenior Vice President for Health Sciences and CEO of the Medical Center
  • Sasha TulganDeputy to the President
  • Richard E. WaughVice Provost for Research

Coronavirus University Restart Team (CURT 2.0)

Focuses on providing holistic guidance and strategy for the University’s nonclinical recovery operations and informing the guidance and strategic coordination for the planning and redesign efforts of the University’s schools and units. This includes academic affairs, research recovery, financial recovery, student affairs, workforce practices, and general operations efforts, as well as dependencies that affect the entirety of University.

Download CURT 2.0 summary.

Committee members
  • Mark Cavanaugh (co-chair)Director of Environmental Health and Safety
  • Jane Gatewood (co-chair)Vice Provost for Global Engagement
  • Mike ChihoskiSenior Associate Vice President for University Facilities and Services
  • Holly CrawfordSenior Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
  • Rick CrumminsDeputy General Counsel
  • Teri D’AgostinoChief of Staff, Medical Center
  • Josh FarrelmanAssociate Vice President for Government and Community Relations
  • Paul GramanProfessor of Infectious Diseases
  • Tony GreenChief of Staff to the President and Secretary to the Board
  • Amy HappDeputy to the Provost
  • Tony KinslowAssociate Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Ralph ManchesterVice Provost and Director University Health Service
  • Liz MilavecAssociate Vice President for Financial Operations and University Controller
  • Sara MillerAssistant Vice President for Communications and University Spokesperson
  • Julie MyersDeputy CIO, University IT
  • Kathy ParrinelloCOO and Executive Vice President, Strong Memorial Hospital
  • Donna Gooden PayneVice President and General Counsel
  • Mercedes Ramirez FernandezVice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
  • Joan SaabVice Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Elizabeth StaudermanVice President for Communications
  • Melissa Sturge-AppleVice Provost for Graduate Education
  • Rick WaughVice Provost for Research

Emergency Operations Command

Oversees nonclinical University response functions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-April the EOC shifted focus to phased recovery planning. The group is made up of 85 faculty, staff, and administrators from across the University who serve on the CURT committee and/or one of its working groups.

Committee members
  • Mark CavanaughDirector of Environmental Health and Safety
  • Jane GatewoodVice Provost for Global Engagement

Advisory and working groups

Several working groups meet regularly to address key issues of institutional preparedness and planning around academic affairs, public health, research, student affairs, and University operations. Their work informs that of the Senior Leadership Group, Coronavirus University Restart Team, and the Emergency Operation Command.

illustration of the CURT 2.0 committee and its working groups

Academic Affairs and Planning

Develops a coordinated plan for phased campus reopening as it pertains to academic matters, including classroom teaching, instruction, pedagogy, and advising.

Public Health

Focuses on the acute, tactical, and operational planning should the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 threat present itself at Strong Memorial Hospital (in a patient) or at one of our other health or academic facilities.

Research Affairs and Planning

Develops a coordinated plan for phased campus reopening as it pertains to research activity, including lab safety and human subjects.

Student Affairs

Develops a coordinated plan for phased campus reopening as it pertains to student life, including onboarding and orientation, student conduct, mental and physical health, and student activities.

University Operations

Develops plans for facility use, space planning, and occupancy guidelines, as well as transportation and workforce guidelines and cost-recovery efforts.

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