As university administrators continue to plan for a fall opening during a growing pandemic, safety is by far the biggest challenge they are facing
As university administrators continue to plan for a fall opening during a growing pandemic, safety is by far the biggest challenge they are facing. Not only do they have to make sure they comply with new health and safety guidelines, they have to ease the minds of anxious students, parents and staff. Creating an atmosphere that is both safe and welcoming is a delicate balancing act.
New control and prevention CDC guidelines for universities and colleges help institutions of higher education plan, prepare, and respond to the growing challenges of a changing world. These guidelines include guidance for cleaning and disinfection, COVID testing, student travel and other areas of concern.
Additionally, American College Health Association guidelines focus on minimizing exposure and the spread of Coronavirus on campus. They have equated university grounds to cruise ships for their ability to support the rapid spread of the disease.
While wearing face masks, using hand sanitizer and following social distancing rules are at the core of all of these guidelines, schools are expected to do much more on-site to be considered safe for reopening. As the Washington Post article Here’s the CDC Guidance on How Colleges and Universities can Reopen Safely states:
This includes areas such as the administrative center, common areas, food courts, campus housing and on-campus mini-markets and stores. The Avant Guarde Collection has been developed as a solution to ensure that students, faculty, and staff are safe. This comprehensive collection includes safety partitions, countertop barrier shields, sneeze shield guards, and table dividers and other items to help school and universities reopen responsibly. They are easy to assemble and install, are minimally invasive to students and are affordable for any size budget
Making Administrative Offices Safer
Administrative offices are a busy hub of a university. It is a place where many people from all over are in close contact – coming in and out throughout the day, waiting in lobbies and meeting with staff in their personal offices.
Administrative staff is just as susceptible to infection as your students and that requires the need for safety measures to ensure safer interactions.
Every time people interact and come in close contact, the risk of contraction increases. There is no predicting when a person might sneeze, cough, or bring the virus in other ways e.g., after having touched contaminated surfaces outside. The Avant Guarde countertop barrier shields enable staff to communicate with students and vendors while still maintaining a safe distance during these close interactions.
The sneeze guard and shield for counters is a freestanding unit that can easily be placed on any office and reception desk. The sneeze shield for desks also has a pass through window or door that is ideal for exchanging documents and assignments.
Managing Cafeterias And Food Court Spacing
Universities will have to limit the capacity of students allowed in cafeterias and food courts, enabling students to move about these areas while practicing social distancing. Buffet style service will be replaced with grab-and-go and individually plated meal options for greater hygiene practices. Disposable utensils will now be the norm as well as single serve plates and drinkware.
Install physical barriers such as safety partitions and room dividers between tables as well as table dividers and sneeze guards will allow for greater seating capacity while still adhering to new regulations. Cashier stations can use sneeze shields for cashiers, to add extra protection for all interactions between customers and staff.
Safeguarding Libraries, WorkSpaces And Common Areas
Libraries and common areas are the daily headquarters for students. Part of the college experience is socializing and being part of a unique community. While many establishments may close these areas completely for disease control and prevention, other campuses may choose to make them safe so that students still feel a sense of a social connection to their peers and professors.
Potential areas of contamination include tables, shelves, open seating areas, door handles, and common facilities like computers and vending machines. Avant Guarde Plexiglass Sneeze Shields can help safeguard tables, shared work and seating spaces and desks in these facilities. Install safety partitions and room dividers in between tables or use table dividers on farm style tables so students can still be together while following social distancing rules. Other shared spaces such as dining halls, gyms, and lounges should restrict the number of people using the facility at any given time to ensure adequate social distancing is maintained.