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COVID-19 Response Guidelines

Resume Face-to-Face Operations

The overall strategy for physical return to the workplace will be gradual and driven by our business needs. At all times the strategy will be focused on minimizing risk while simultaneously optimizing our performance and the services we provide to our institutions. With this in mind, physical interaction will be minimized and the safety of the physical environment will be maximized.

General Requirements for All Locations

Our HR policy requires that the emergency response guidelines established by Risk Management be followed. This allows for the guidelines to mature as new information and new mandates are defined.

Telecommuting will be maximized in all areas where it has proven to be effective. This not only enhances the safety of our faculty, staff, students and visitors, it also frees up space to allow for effective social distancing in areas where physical presence is determined to be needed or more effective.

All locations are expected to follow the Risk Management Guidelines:

  • Social Distancing CRG-1
  • Use of PPE (Including Facial Masks) CRG-2
  • Building Cleaning Protocols CRG-3
    • Deep Cleaning
    • Routine Cleaning for Sanitization
    • Response Cleaning
  • Self-Assessment, Reporting, Testing and Tracing CRG-4
  • Travel CRG-5

Specific Requirements

Not all facilities have the same work unit exposure and each will require a specific plan to meet the specific needs.

Fall 2020 Plans

Social Distancing

Revised June 4, 2020

The intent of this guideline is to outline the framework for minimum required social distancing on our campus properties and within our campus facilities in response to the emergency event associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This guideline is intended to be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as federal, state and local authorities, and does not supersede any established regulatory requirements regarding personal protective equipment in the workplace for regular daily work.

Specific Requirements:

  1. Maintain a minimum physical separation between all individuals of 6 feet (~2 meters) wherever possible.
  2. Conduct meetings virtually whenever possible. If meeting virtually is not possible, then meeting settings should accommodate distance between participants.
  3. In general, limit large events and gatherings. If they are held, accommodate distance between participants.
  4. Use signage and/or floor markings to establish proper social distancing for where there is a potential to form lines or gather groups of people such as food facilities, retail stores and other similar areas. Where applicable, consider altering furniture arrangements and implementing administrative controls to allow for the required social distancing.
  5. Where possible, arrange workspaces to provide the minimum physical separation between individuals. If this is not possible, then consider alternating in-office work schedules or locations, or installing physical separators and/or requiring that masks be worn.
  6. Adjust classroom seating and capacities to ensure the minimum physical separation is accommodated.
  7. Consider establishing one-way traffic flow patterns that allow for proper spacing between individuals in areas with narrow corridors or walkways.
  8. Identify spaces or locations on site to isolate individuals who display symptoms of COVID-19. Take into consideration the distance from healthy individuals, essential services required for the isolation space, sanitation, ventilation, and any additional protective measures that may be needed.

References:

CDC Guidance: Social Distancing
CDC Guidance: Businesses and Employers
CDC Guidance: Institutions of Higher Education
Texas Minimum Recommended Health Protocols

Face Coverings & PPE

Revised June 25, 2020

The intent of this guideline is to outline the framework for minimum required personal protection equipment required on our campus properties and within our campus facilities in response to the emergency event associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This guideline applies to everyone on our campuses and in our owned and leased facilities including faculty, staff, students, contractors, tenants and visitors. This guideline is intended to complement the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as federal, state, and local authorities, and does not supersede any established regulatory requirements regarding personal protective equipment in the workplace for regular daily work.

Specific Requirements:

  1. Face Coverings:
    • Face coverings are required in all of our facilities.
      • Face coverings are also required (i) when outside and unable to maintain a consistent minimum of 6 feet separation from others and in vehicles with multiple occupants and on public transportation.
      • Faculty must use face coverings, shields or barriers during lectures. Faculty may temporarily remove their face covering while lecturing for demonstration purposes (e.g. when playing an instrument).
      • Face covering requirements may vary in campus facilities due to instructional requirements, occupancy and/or activities that occur within those spaces (e.g. classrooms, clinics, recreation facilities, some labs, etc.). Any facilities or areas that require an alternative to face coverings must request approval from their campus safety group.
      • Please be aware that some individuals are unable to wear masks for various reasons. If you are an employee and believe you require an exception to this requirement, please contact your Human Resources representative.
      • Face coverings are not required in single occupancy offices when no one else is present.
    • A face covering should:
      • Fit snugly, but comfortably against the front of the face, covering the nose and mouth.
      • Allow for breathing without restriction
    • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others.
    • Cloth face coverings should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use. A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.
    • When removing any type of face covering, individuals should not touch their eyes, nose and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing.
    • Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for appropriate social distancing. (See Social Distancing for social distancing guidelines)

  2. Gloves for Cleaning and Disinfection:
    • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces; gloves should be discarded after each cleaning.
    • Properly remove gloves and wash hands prior to donning gloves and after gloves are removed.
  3. Other Forms of Protective Equipment:
    • Specific additional PPE may be required based on specific work unit exposure. Please contact your campus health and safety team for job-specific risk exposures.

References:

CDC Guidance: Face Coverings
CDC Guidance: Businesses and Employers
CDC Guidance: Institutions of Higher Education
Texas Minimum Recommended Health Protocols

Minimum Guidelines for Cleaning and Sanitation

As of September 1, 2020

The intent of this guideline is to outline the framework for minimum required cleaning and sanitation of facilities in response to the emergency event associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This guideline is intended to be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as federal, state and local authorities, and does not supersede any established regulatory requirements regarding personal protective equipment in the workplace for regular daily work.

Specific Requirements:

  1. Prior to occupancy, all spaces will undergo a deep cleaning process.
  2. Upon occupancy in addition to the routine cleaning, all high-touch surfaces within occupied areas will be regularly disinfected. These include:
    • Classrooms (tables, chairs, door handles)
    • Common spaces
    • Conference rooms
    • Restroom fixtures
    • Door handles
    • Elevator controls
  3. As occupancy increases, the level of routine cleaning activities performed in classrooms, common areas and restrooms will increase accordingly and as a minimum will include:
    • Cleaning of floor surfaces (both carpet and hard surfaces).
    • Cleaning and disinfecting restroom floors, walls, stalls and fixtures.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting lobby or common space tables, chairs, floors, doors and drinking fountains.
    • Cleaning glass entrance ways and glass store fronts.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting/sanitizing all high-touch surfaces such as counter tops and door handles.
  4. In the event there is a presumptive or confirmed positive COVID-19 case within a facility, the custodial staff will follow the CDC and Risk Management recommendations, will use the appropriate protective equipment and will thoroughly disinfect the potentially contaminated space prior to the space being reoccupied.
    • Minimum personal protective equipment to be used during this work will include:
      • Gloves
      • Mask
      • Gowns or disposable suits
    • When disinfecting a potentially contaminated space, manufacturer’s guidelines for disinfectant usage will be followed including:
      • Product mix requirements
      • Dwell time of the product on surfaces prior to wipe down
  5. Elevated levels of cleaning may be required for special-use areas (i.e., clinical space, food service, etc.) and will be determined and implemented on a case-by-case basis.

References:

CDC Guidance: Cleaning and Disinfecting your Facility
CDC Guidance: Businesses and Employers
CDC Guidance: Institutions of Higher Education
Texas Minimum Recommended Health Protocols

Self-Assessment, Reporting, Testing and Tracing

As of May 12, 2020

The intent of this guideline is to outline the Self-Assessment, Reporting, Testing and Tracing requirements during the emergency event associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This guideline is intended to be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as federal, state and local authorities, and does not supersede any governing regulatory requirements.

Specific Requirements:

  1. All faculty, staff and students are required to perform a self-assessment before coming on-site for the following potential COVID-19 symptoms:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  2. Faculty and Staff who have a potential COVID-19 symptom, should:
    • Contact their primary health care provider for preliminary screening and a determination of whether a referral to a testing site is required
    • Notify your supervisor and follow campus protocols for reporting
  3. Resident Hall Students who have any symptoms associated with a potential COVID-19 infection, should:
    • Notify the campus clinic
    • Contact their primary health care provider for preliminary screening and referral to a testing site
    • Follow further instructions from their residence hall coordinator concerning isolation
  4. Non-Resident Hall Students who have any symptoms associated with a potential COVID-19 infection should:
    • Notify the campus clinic
    • Contact their primary health care provider for preliminary screening and referral to a testing site
    • Not return to campus until cleared by a physician
  5. All Tracing will be done under the direction and guidance of the local department of health

References:

CDC Guidance: Symptoms of Coronavirus
CDC Guidance: Businesses and Employers
CDC Guidance: Institutions of Higher Education
Texas Minimum Recommended Health Protocols

Travel Guidelines

Revised May 20, 2020

The intent of this guideline document is to outline the framework for international and domestic work-related and personal travel in response to the emergency event associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This guideline is intended to be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as federal, state and local authorities, and does not supersede any governing regulatory requirements.

Specific Requirements:

  1. Until further notice, no university-sponsored or work-related international or domestic travel will be allowed. Any trips previously scheduled should be canceled or postponed. The restrictions apply to:
    • Faculty
    • Staff
    • Students
  2. Regardless of source of funding, all travel is prohibited for any professional or educational purposes, including but not limited to:
    • Conferences
    • Meetings
    • Academic lectures
    • Clinical commitments
    • Internships
    • Research collaborations
  3. Any exceptions to these travel restrictions must be submitted for review and approval. The approval process will be determined by the President/Chancellor for each institution.
  4. Personal travel – international or domestic – to areas of active community COVID-19 transmission is strongly discouraged.
    • Your decision to travel to these areas for personal reasons may affect your ability to return to campus and to your regular professional or educational activities.
    • Upon your return, any personal travel outside Texas must be reported in accordance with your institutional protocols prior to returning to campus.
    • You are not permitted to come to campus for any reason until authorized in accordance with your institutional protocols if you have traveled to a CDC Level 2 or 3 country.
    • Travel to a country with ongoing widespread or community-level transmission (CDC Levels 2 and 3) of COVID-19 will require self-isolation and self-monitoring for symptoms for 14 days without returning to campus.
    • Travel from specific states or regions identified as part of the governor’s executive orders as being subject to self-quarantine, will require self-isolation and self-monitoring for symptoms for 14 days prior to returning to campus.
    • Individuals who are unable to return to the United States or who are required to self-isolate following personal travel will be required to use available, applicable leave accruals or leave without pay pursuant to UNT System and institutional policies unless they are approved to work remotely.

References:

CDC Guidance: Businesses and Employers
CDC Guidance: Institutions of Higher Education
State of Texas Executive Order GA-18