Improved Air Handling, Treatment and Ventilation [Updated July 15]
As part of a comprehensive approach to reduce the risk of COVID exposure to members of the Union community, the College has invested in substantial upgrades to its air filtration and ventilation systems.
The College will increase fresh air intake to aid in the ventilation of spaces and maintain relative humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent, the optimum range to minimize adverse health effects.
The College is using bipolar ionization (BPI) wherever possible and a mix of improved filtration and/or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), technologies that have been shown to be highly effective in breaking down harmful pathogens such as viruses, bacteria or mold.
Bipolar ionization uses high concentrations of ions (positive and negative) injected into the air stream.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate micro-organisms.
BPI will be installed in:
- Academic spaces with air handling systems
- Rathskeller, Reamer Campus Center and Alumni Gymnasium
- Administrative buildings including Grant Hall, Nott Memorial and College Park Hall
Filters/UVGI will be installed in:
- Administrative buildings: Silliman Hall, Feigenbaum Hall, Becker Hall, Abbe Hall and Kenney Community Center
- Hale House, Old Chapel and Memorial Chapel
UVGI or BPI will be installed in athletic buildings, including Viniar Pavilion, Memorial Field House and Messa Rink.
The College will continue to allow fan-based filtration (non-cooling/heating) units in residence halls. With the exception of Garnet Commons, residence halls depend on window ventilation.
The total occupancy for indoors is limited to 50 percent of the maximum occupancy for a particular area, as set by the certificate of occupancy. Facilities will partner with departments across campus on final layout and implementation.
Classrooms: Seating capacity will be reduced by 50 percent or more to ensure students and instructors are at least 6 feet from each other.
Labs: Similar to classrooms, smaller lab groups will be placed into larger rooms when possible and lab sections will be spread out across the day.
Common spaces: Furniture in common spaces will be removed or taped off.
Meetings: Meetings should be conducted remotely via Zoom or a similar platform. If an in-person meeting is required it must be limited to no more than the maximum amount of people allowed by current guidance provided by New York State. The meeting space must be large enough to allow a distance of 6 feet for all people in the meeting and masks must be worn.
Enhanced Cleaning Protocols
Enhanced facilities cleaning protocols: Facilities Services will be adding an additional shift to provide a second daily cleaning and disinfecting of high-use areas, including classrooms.
Additional enhanced cleaning will be provided to residential areas, including increased housekeeping staff on the weekends.
Sanitation kits: Sanitation kits will be available for employees and students to disinfect frequently-touched surfaces in their work areas and/or classrooms. This is an additional resource to the enhanced cleaning and disinfecting conducted daily by Facilities Services.
Plexiglass shield barriers will be installed at areas where interactions between people are less than 6 feet and cannot be conducted otherwise.