How can we prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Follow These Public Health Expectations and Guidelines
Faculty, staff and students are required to conduct symptom monitoring and check their temperature every day before reporting to campus. Anyone experiencing a temperature of 100.4 degrees (F) or higher or who has any of the symptoms must stay home and NOT report to work. Learn more about symptoms >
Every person on campus must wear face masks/coverings (disposable or reusable cloth masks) in public settings (common workspaces, public spaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, breakrooms, restrooms, etc.). Faculty who are delivering on-campus instruction may remove their face mask/covering to teach, provided they are located within a delineated teaching area that is no less than 10 feet from students. If social/physical distancing is possible, individuals working in private offices or laboratory environments that do not otherwise require face masks/coverings may remove their face masks/coverings while in such space. Cloth face mask/covering must only be worn for one day at a time and must be properly laundered before use again. Disposable masks may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash. For more information about wearing, making and maintenance of cloth face coverings, visit the CDC website.
Maintaining space of at least six feet (about two arms’ length) between individuals is one of the best tools to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus, and it is required of everyone while on University premises, including outdoor campus spaces. Social/physical distancing is important for everyone, but especially to help protect people who are at higher (vulnerable) risk of contracting COVID-19. Detailed information about the office and classroom environment will be covered below. The following are some general guidelines related to social/physical distancing.
Groups/Gatherings: Gatherings of individuals should only take place in a manner that makes social distancing possible and must occur only in compliance with federal, state and local requirements. Groups/gatherings should never exceed 50% of a room’s capacity, assuming individuals can still maintain six feet of separation for social/physical distancing requirements. Students should communicate with friends, study groups and student organizations by videoconferencing, email, instant message, telephone or other available technology rather than face-to-face.
Elevators: Students and employees should use the stairs whenever possible given that elevator capacities may be challenging due to their size. No more than one person may enter an elevator unless it is larger than six feet. For elevators larger than six feet, multiple persons may ride at the same time, as long as proper social/physical distancing guidelines are maintained. Riders should anticipate having to wait, and whenever possible, should allow those with critical and accessibility needs priority use of the elevators. While using the elevator, face masks/covering must be used and touching the elevator buttons with exposed hands/fingers should be avoided whenever possible. Upon departing the elevator, hands should be washed with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl.
Restrooms: Restroom occupancy should be limited based on size to ensure at least six feet of distance between individuals.
Hands must be thoroughly washed before leaving the restroom to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.
Handwashing and Sanitizing: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after being
in a public place, after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or touching their
face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains
at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. All surfaces of the hands should be
rubbed together until they feel dry. Individuals should avoid touching their eyes,
nose or mouth, and should wash their hands after touching their face.
Gloves: Health care workers, childcare workers and those deemed in high-risk areas should use gloves as part of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene such as hand washing.
Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene: If students are in a private setting and do not have on their face mask/covering, they should always cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and then throw used tissues in the trash. They must immediately wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer as noted above.
COVID-19 vaccines now exist, but are very limited. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
How to Properly Wear a Face Covering/Mask
How to Make a Cloth Mask
Face masks are strongly recommended anytime you leave home to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Make homemade cloth masks to cover your face. You can use a bandana or old T-shirt to make one.
US Surgeon General demonstrates how to make a cloth face mask in this short video: