For the latest information and updates on the University’s phased plan for return to campus, visit Carolina Together: The Roadmap for Fall 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How is the University cleaning and disinfecting campus?
- Housekeeping Services has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces in public spaces, including but not limited to: building entrances, door handles, lobby furniture, stair handrails, ADA door controls, elevator buttons, light switches, time clocks, and restroom surfaces and fixtures. These surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times daily. Visit Enhanced Cleaning Frequencies for a detailed list.
- What cleaning products and procedures are being used to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces?
- Housekeeping Services uses CDC/Environmental Protection Agency recommended cleaning products and according to CDC guidelines. Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) has reviewed and approved the cleaning products used by Housekeeping staff, and cleaning protocols were developed with EHS input and approval. All Housekeeping staff receive training in the appropriate and effective use of these products and are provided with PPE that is appropriate to their job duties and products used. Facilities Services is working with vendors, distribution partners and suppliers to ensure an uninterrupted supply of these cleaning supplies and the necessary staff PPE.
- How is the University reconfiguring classroom spaces to support physical distancing and other health and safety measures?
- The University is assessing campus spaces and reconfiguring in-person course instruction to support compliance with the physical distancing guideline, face mask guideline, and other health and safety measures as recommended by public health officials. When indoors, all individuals must wear a face mask and maintain 6 feet of physical distance in accordance with these guidelines. Some University buildings may have alternate or additional facility-specific requirements. Visit the guide to Classroom Spaces for more information.
- How can University staff keep shared workspaces clean?
- Employees should wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use. These surfaces include shared-space equipment such as copiers and printers, desks and tables, light switches, door handles, coffee makers and break room tables and appliance doors. EPA-registered 60% to 90% alcohol solution cleansers will be provided for this purpose in each workplace, classroom, dining facility, residence hall, library and other University facilities. Handwashing stations or hand sanitizer dispensers will also be installed throughout campus buildings, particularly at key building entrances and near elevators, restrooms and common areas.
- In addition to following University community standards, how will Facilities staff promote best practices within the workplace and when working across campus?
- Before returning to campus, all employees will be required to complete an online Protecting the Carolina Community from COVID-19 training course. This course includes information on mitigating transmission, guidelines for eliminating or minimizing hazards, and the appropriate use of and disposal of Community Protective Equipment (CPE).
Appropriate PPE will be worn by staff based on roles and responsibilities and in adherence to current guidance. All staff will be provided with face masks and required to wear them while on campus. Gloves will be provided to staff who provide housekeeping services or who are in direct contact with faculty, staff or students.
Facilities staff have been instructed to wash or sanitize their hands for 20 seconds every 60 minutes and after any of the following activities: using the restroom, touching the face, sneezing or blowing the nose, cleaning, eating or drinking, going on or returning from break, and before and after each shift.
Shared tools and equipment will be disinfected before, during and after each shift or whenever equipment is transferred to a new employee. This equipment includes but is not limited to: phones, radios, computers, cleaning equipment, tools, keys and other direct contact items used by Facilities staff.
- Are campus residence halls being cleaned and disinfected prior to the return of students to campus?
- Housekeeping Services will clean and disinfect all University residence halls and apartments prior to student move-in in accordance with CDC and Environment, Health and Safety guidelines.
- What steps are Facilities Services taking for reopening campus buildings?
- Building Services staff are changing air filters and performing preventive maintenance on building HVAC systems before they are brought back online. Building plumbing systems are also being flushed to remove stagnant or standing water.
- Should I be concerned about COVID-19 exposure from transmission through campus building HVAC systems?
- Current CDC guidance does not identify HVAC systems as a means of transmission, but does provide recommendations related to indoor air quality, including fresh air ventilation and air filtration. The University is taking a layered approach to protection, with physical distancing, face mask requirements and enhanced cleaning protocols being primary defenses, but will also address campus HVAC systems to ensure they are operating as designed.
- Does my campus building have adequate fresh/outdoor air ventilation?
- Most buildings on campus are supplied with fresh air through the HVAC system. Fresh air requirements are based on occupant density and space function, and campus buildings are designed to minimum ventilation rates as established by the North Carolina Mechanical Code. Specialty-use spaces, including labs and animal care areas, may have additional ventilation requirements, including ventilation that requires 100% outside air. These campus spaces are designed to established minimum air change per hour (ACH) rates as recommended by the National Institutes of Health.
- Is it possible to increase the outside air ventilation in my area?
- Many campus building systems are designed to increase outside air ventilation during favorable weather conditions, which typically occur during the milder spring and fall seasons. The ability to increase outside air ventilation is limited during summer and winter months due to the capacity of building HVAC systems. The University will be inspecting building ventilation systems for proper operation and will seek ways to increase outside air ventilation when appropriate and as weather conditions allow. Building occupants should not open windows, as this can increase the load on HVAC systems and/or create uncomfortable or unfavorable building conditions.
- Are high containment or HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters used in campus buildings?
- Specialty-use areas on campus, including labs and animal care areas, require high containment or HEPA filters and the HVAC systems in these areas are designed to work with these filter types. Other campus spaces do not require high containment filters and the HVAC systems are not designed for that filter type. The University is currently accelerating its filter replacement program and is also evaluating filter types across campus to determine if increased filtration is an option.
- If I have COVID-19 related questions about my building systems (HVAC, plumbing, electrical, etc.), who should I contact?
- Questions about campus building systems should be directed to Todd Going, director of Building Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Can departments continue to place standard work orders and maintenance requests?
- Departments can submit work orders and maintenance requests by calling Facilities Customer Service at 962-3456 or submitting an online Service Request. Response times will vary and may be extended due to reduced Facilities staffing and operations.
- Can Community Protective Equipment, or CPE, be placed in campus recycling collection containers?
- CPE, including face masks and gloves, should be disposed of in designated collection containers that will be available across campus. CPE should NOT be placed in campus recycling bins.