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    Protocols Keep Instructional Spaces Clean and Safe

    Classrooms have been adjusted to meet social distancing recommendations and hand sanitizers have been added near the doorway to classrooms. As part of Royals Safe Together, students and faculty are asked to apply hand sanitizer as they enter the class. In addition, EPA-registered disinfectant wipes will be available to students and faculty as they enter the classroom.
    August 5, 2020

    Throughout campus, Facilities Operations has already adopted cleaning and disinfection protocols that comply with guidelines from the CDC for preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Additional cleaning procedures have been put in place for the fall semester for instructional spaces such as classrooms, laboratories, as well as other spaces on campus that will be used for classes during the fall semester. Classrooms have been adjusted to meet social distancing recommendations.

    “The focus of Royal Safe Together – A Plan to Reopen Campus has been to provide our students with an education grounded in our Catholic and Jesuit mission in a safe manner at this unique time. Priority was given to the use of all spaces on campus for instruction and an extensive plan was developed to implement health and safety precautions to keep our campus safe for our students, faculty and staff. We realize this is a shared responsibility and the plan and procedures put in place take this into account,” said Jeff Gingerich, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

    Cleaning procedures for instructional spaces include custodial cleaning as well as protocols for students and faculty using these rooms. The cleaning and disinfecting procedures are in addition to the wearing of masks and room reconfigurations that allow for social distancing recommendations.

    The custodial cleaning program of academic areas will be increased in frequency and will follow the CDC’s cleaning and disinfection guidance of cleaning high touch-points such as door handles, banisters, elevator buttons, public areas and restrooms. Classroom cleaning will include the use of electrostatic cleaning and backpack sprayers after classes end each day. Log sheets indicating the date and time of cleaning protocols completed will be posted in classrooms and restrooms.

    The cleaning program was reviewed and confirmed by Michael Baltrusaitis, University health and safety officer, from Cocciardi & Associates, Inc., a recognized firm providing guidance on health and safety issues.

    In addition to the custodial staff, students and faculty will also play a role in keeping instructional areas clean. Students and faculty will be asked to apply hand sanitizer as they enter the class. Hand sanitizer is available by the door of every instructional space. EPA-registered disinfectant wipes will also be available to students and faculty as they enter the classroom. Each student will wipe down the surface area in front of them before and after they sit down. Faculty members or others responsible for instruction (e.g. laboratory staff or teaching assistants) will wipe down surface areas in front of them before and after class. This may include computer, podium, front table, etc.

    Signage of these procedures will be placed in instructional spaces as a reminder of the protocols.

    Facilities staff will restock cleaning supplies in instructional spaces throughout the day. Additional cleaning supplies, as well as masks, will also be available at the Dean’s Offices in Brennan Hall, St. Thomas Hall and Leahy Hall, and in the Dean of Students Office in the DeNaples Center.

    The University will determine alternate arrangements for faculty or staff who are unable to perform any cleaning tasks due to medical conditions. Students who are unable to perform any of these cleaning tasks outlined in this protocol due to medical conditions can contact the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE). Faculty will be informed of students who cannot perform these tasks.

    In addition to cleaning protocols, for classes with more than 20 students, instructors are asked to dismiss students in smaller groups for social distancing purposes.

    Royals Safe Together: A Plan to Reopen Campus complies with Pennsylvania’s Preliminary Guidance for Resuming In-Person Instruction at Post Secondary Institutions and Adult Education Programs as well with relevant guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH). The plan also recognizes the need to continue to adapt to changing circumstances, noting that the University “will continue to monitor the spread of the virus, especially within the broader region, and will respond accordingly.”

    Log sheets indicating the date and time of cleaning protocols completed will be posted in classrooms as will signage reminding students and faculty of recommended cleaning protocols.

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