Union Where You Are: Plans for 2020-21

Key Elements for Preventing COVID

[Updated Oct. 6] As the season changes and the weather becomes cooler more activities and social gatherings begin to shift indoors. The CDC has guidance on how to stay healthy during this transition period and as we move closer to the holiday season.

Protective Equipment [Updated Sept. 17]

An illustration showing a face mask

Masks and Face Coverings
Wearing a mask is one of the key elements to reducing the spread of infection. Employees and students must have a face covering (cloth mask, bandana or surgical mask) with them at all times and it must be worn in all interior public spaces on campus and outdoors when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

In classrooms, students and instructors will be required to wear an acceptable face covering, even if social distancing exceeds six feet.

Face coverings are not required when an individual is alone in their residence hall room with the door closed, alone in their private office with the door closed, or when outside with at least a six-foot distance from others. If a residence room is shared by 2 students, they are not required to wear face coverings in their room, but the door must be closed.

Face coverings must meet CDC guidelines: The mouth and nose must be fully covered and the covering must fit snugly against the sides of the face with no gaps.

Union will provide two cloth masks to students and employees who are on campus. Individuals are responsible for regularly cleaning and maintaining their own masks.

Students who have a medical contraindication should notify Health Services.

Face shields: Faculty may wear face shields in place of other face coverings while teaching. When faculty members are using face shields in a class, they should maintain as much distance as possible from others and no less than six feet at any time. Face shields are not an acceptable face covering outside the classroom.

Specific guidance for employees on masks in the workplace:

  • Employees must wear face coverings at their work area if the space is shared with one or more people, regardless of distance between desks. However, face coverings will not be required if a physical barrier (cubicle walls or plexiglass) is present between employees. Physical barriers cannot affect air flow, heating or cooling.
  • If an employee’s role requires a different type of face covering (e.g. a face shield), they should speak with a supervisor or department chair to discuss that option.
  • Employees with medical conditions that may make wearing a face covering difficult can contact Human Resources to review possible accommodations.
  • Employees may request additional guidance pertaining to their individual role or work spaces. Employees who have a medical contraindication to wearing a mask should notify their supervisor.

Physical Barriers

Plexiglass shield barriers are installed at areas where interactions between people are less than six feet and cannot be conducted otherwise.

Social Distancing/Physical Distancing

An illustration showing social distancing

Social distancing, also known as physical distancing, must be practiced. This is one of the key elements for reducing the spread of infection. Individuals should maintain six feet distance when in public areas and from people who aren’t members of their residence. To help members of our community visualize six feet, the College will be placing signs and floor markings in densely populated areas.

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 is reduced by 50 percent or more to ensure students and instructors are at least six 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 has been 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 six feet for all people in the meeting and masks must be worn.

Hygiene, Cleaning and Disinfection [Updated July 24]

An illustration of a hand under a faucet

Hand washing and hand sanitizer: Proper hand washing is a key element of reducing the spread of infection. Individuals are expected to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water following CDC guidelines or use hand sanitizer when unable to wash their hands. Hand sanitizer stations will be posted across campus and individuals are encouraged to use them frequently.

Phone cleaning: Since we use our phones many times during the day, it’s important to clean phones to help stop the spread of germs. Wash your hands before cleaning your phone and use an alcohol-based disinfectant cleaner to disinfect your electronic devices. Refrain from sharing phones or computers.

Enhanced facilities cleaning protocols: Facilities Services has added an additional shift to provide a second daily cleaning and disinfecting of high-use areas, including classrooms.

There is also enhanced cleaning in residential areas, including increased housekeeping staff on the weekends.

Sanitation kits: Sanitation kits are 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.