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Restart: Provost webinar outlines health and safety protocols for fall

July 24, 2020
headshots of webinar panelists

“I am confident we can keep faculty and students very safe,” Michael Apostolakos, chief medical officer for the Medical Center, said of health and safety protocols put in place as campus reopens this fall.

As the University of Rochester finalizes plans for the fall 2020 semester, many questions have been raised about how to operationalize health and safety processes and protocols to keep the community safe during the pandemic. On July 23, Provost Rob Clark invited University medical experts and leaders in facilities and operations to join him for a recorded webinar that addresses a number of issues that are upmost in the minds of our faculty, staff, students, and parents.

Webinar: Video & transcript

A video recording (with captions) of the Reopening Webinar is available, along with an accessible transcript (PDF) of the conversation.

Restart updates

For more information on the University’s plans for fall 2020, visit the Restart website regularly for updated FAQs, leadership messages, and news. You can also sign up for the weekly Rochester Restart newsletter.

“I know this is a great time of uncertainty for people and there are many questions,” said Clark, “I think we can help our community understand more about our preparation.”

In a nearly hour-long recorded panel discussion, Clark was joined by medical experts and facilities leaders to discuss a range of topics, including current health guidelines and which COVID-19 test the University is employing; cleaning protocols for classrooms, labs, and public spaces; the science behind social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and indoor and outdoor ventilation; what happens if someone tests positive for COVID-19; community thresholds and factors the University is closely monitoring; and ways that to ensure that community members follow the guidelines to keep everyone safe and healthy.

“I think if we have a social contract among us, then we are all responsible,” said Clark, noting a code of conduct and community pledge that all students will be taking when they return to campus. “You want to be masked to take care of others, not just yourself. It’s a community responsibility.”

In addition to Clark, panelists included Michael Apostolakos, chief medical officer of the Medical Center; Patricia Beaumont, director of support operations; Michael Chihoski, senior associate vice president for facilities and services; and Brenda Tesini, assistant professor of infectious diseases and associate hospital epidemiologist at the Medical Center.

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