COVID-19 Plan

 

These guidelines are a supplement to the University’s Returning to Campus plan and are intended to provide specific information with respect to E&G buildings and related support.  The guidelines outlined in this document were developed with the following assumption:

Faculty, staff, and students will take personal responsibility, and show care for others by following the Centers for Disease Control, Governor’s Executive Orders, Arkansas Department of Health and University of Arkansas directives and guidelines for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), including the use of appropriate face coverings. 

Building systems & Public spaces

Campus-wide initiatives

Several adjustments to spaces and services around campus have been made to help facilitate the safe return to campus. These adjustments will continue to be evaluated throughout the semester to ensure compliance with the latest CDC and ADH guidance. 

 

Seating should be arranged or removed to enable 6-foot separation and prevent groups from congregating. If the furniture is movable, the area will have to be reviewed periodically to ensure the tables and chairs are not being rearranged and placed close together. If they are, consider removing all furniture.

Classrooms have been arranged to allow for social distancing. University members may access the seating charts for their classroom online through box

Note: barriers do not replace the required use of face coverings or physical distancing protocols.

While it has been suggested that fresh air should be maximized for COVID-19 response, keeping building doors and windows open present additional problems such as security, pests, and interference with HVAC system operations. The HVAC systems are being optimized to support COVID-19 response, and to perform efficiently, doors and windows should remain closed. Opening windows also allows unfiltered air that contains dust, allergens, and mold to enter a space causing problems for susceptible individuals.

Note: barriers do not replace the required use of face coverings or physical distancing protocols.

Restrooms will be a focus area for high use disinfection throughout each day. While efforts are underway to provide touchless soup dispensers as quickly as possible, no delivery date has yet to be identified due to supply shortages. Currently, there is no plan to limit or reduce the existing occupancy of any restroom.

Except for drinking fountains with a touch-free bottle filler, all traditional drinking fountains are in the process of being disabled until further notice. There are over 300 traditional drinking fountains across E&G buildings. Facilities Management is working to replace at least 40 during the beginning of the fall semester based on a prioritization and equitable plan. The remaining traditional drinking fountains will be replaced with bottle fill stations over the next several months.

This online map provides the locations of bottle fillers around campus and is updated as new bottle fillers become available.

Hand sanitizer stations are in the process of being placed at all major entrances, most elevator lobbies, and in most classrooms. Additional stations may be installed in other public areas as needed.

Requests for barriers, such as Plexiglas®, will be prioritized for those locations where no option exists for physical distancing and interaction with others is required on a frequent basis such as teller locations, service department counters, or information desks. The requested location must be one that routinely interacts with people for extended periods of time and where a 6 foot separation cannot be maintained or routinely interacts with multiple people throughout the day and there are no alternatives to the direct interaction.

 

custodial services

 

Employee Kit Products

    • Disinfectant wipes
    • Disinfectant spray
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Paper wipes
    • Face coverings
    • Thermometer
    • HAZCOM notifications

Individual Employee Work Areas

Individual employee work areas such as offices and cubicles will not be entered by custodial staff for regular cleaning and servicing, including trash removal. Employees will be responsible for placing their trash in centralized collection areas. 

Employees will receive a personal cleaning and disinfecting kit to assist in maintaining their personal workspace. Departments will have the option to acquire similar consumer products locally or from FAMA to maintain their other non-public work areas. 

Public Areas and Common Space

Public areas  including lobbies, corridors, stairs, elevators, classrooms, and meeting spaces will be cleaned and disinfected each evening. High touch areas, including restrooms, will be disinfected several times during active class days.

Disinfection Activities

Individuals will be performing cleaning and disinfecting of their office areas, and in some cases, common use areas. This should be performed following the procedures listed on the product label. If disinfectant products are being used extensively, refer to the Disinfectant Product Information found on the Environmental Health and Safety (ENHS) website or contact the ENHS office to coordinate any additional training or use requirements.

hvac system operations

One of the significant challenges presented in developing an HVAC response strategy is the extremely wide variation in the age, functional purpose, system type, and level of sophistication of the HVAC systems in University buildings. The University makes use of facilities which have systems as simple as one found in a typical residence, all the way to highly hazardous research environments or clean room fabrication facilities. As such there is no singular group of specific actions that can be deployed that is appropriate across all facility types.

The variation in age, function, system type, and level of sophistication of HVAC systems across campus means there is no singular plan appropriate for all University buildings. However, several common strategies recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers are being used to reduce the potential for transmission of the coronavirus via HVAC systems. 

HVAC Operations

All HVAC systems have been operating 24/7 since early June to maintain stable control of indoor air conditions. The amount of outdoor or ventilation air brought into the buildings has been increased as much as practicable to increase indoor dilution and air changes. These will help mitigate the presence of any potential infection source. Additional filtration and disinfectant technology such as ultraviolet lights will be implemented where feasible, based on the buildings’ HVAC system capabilities. Finally, technicians will monitor and ensure that HVAC systems are operating correctly and maintaining the recommended temperature and humidity ranges.

 

Building Temperatures

To ensure HVAC systems run continuously, buildings must remain within the temperature set points and allow the units to cycle. For this to happen, building occupants should refrain from adjusting thermostats outside of the standard setpoints.

Summer: Between 71 and 75 degrees F

Winter: Between 68 and 72 degrees F

 

Restroom Exhaust Fans

Restroom exhaust fans will operate continuously for the foreseeable future. This will help ventilation and filtration as it brings fresh air into the building and helps dilute and remove possible contaminates. 

events

Outdoor Space Reservations

The University of Arkansas has issued a campus policy requiring a review of campus events based on public health considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy, which supplements the university's existing policy on facilities use, is intended to align with guidance issued by the state of Arkansas and the Arkansas Department of Health and is part of the continued effort to protect the health of the U of A campus community.

The new policy will be in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency or until otherwise determined by the chancellor. The policy covers on-campus gatherings hosted by an official U of A unit, registered student organization or approved through the university's reservation process. Scheduled classes and informal small groups do not fall under this policy.