Tech attempts to implement new cleaning and social distancing measures on campus

Students study at a table in the new library area that opened this fall. Student, faculty and staff are required to wear masks at all times inside all campus facilities. // Photo by Garrett Shoemaker Student Publications

Currently, navigating campus is a daunting task. Never before have we totally avoided friends and colleagues, except perhaps our beloved crew athletes in the midst of recruiting.

Everything from elevators to dining halls and classrooms have been limited to hold a smaller number of people than they normally would to maximize on campus safety during this time.

The Office of Capital Planning & Space Management (CPSM), which oversees the maximization of Tech’s infrastructure and property, assessed classrooms and other spaces at the Institute to set some guidelines for the safest distancing practices.

In addition to CPSM, Tech is following health directives from the University System of Georgia (USG) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Below we have included the breakdown of COVID-19 safety measures for certain on-campus spaces that students usually frequent.

First, they outlined the guidelines for classrooms. In classes students are six feet apart and the instructor is positioned ten feet away from the closest seat.

Sites are posted on available seats by CPSM.

Everyone will be required to wear a face covering while inside campus facilities and buildings when it is impossible to keep six feet of distance between people.

Classrooms ideally will be cleaned once a day, and capacity has been reduced by as much as 65-70% in some cases.

There are also changes relating to dining halls. All salad bars, soup bars and buffets have been eliminated.

Capacity has been reduced in each on-campus dining location. Dining hall employees are required to wash hands every 20 minutes.

Elevators also have new guidelines. Six feet of distance must be maintained between riders. Buttons and rails will be cleaned four times a day.

In public spaces, people should not be gathering in groups of more than ten people when social distancing cannot be maintained. Lobbies, common spaces, and stairs will be cleaned two times a day.

In dorms, face masks are not required. However, in common spaces, like shared kitchens and lounges, students should stay six feet apart.

CPSM suggests limiting the use of shared appliances like coffee pots and microwaves. They also recommend cleaning these as often as possible.

Restrooms on campus will be cleaned four times a day.

Fixtures and flush valves are disinfected daily.

Every day throughout campus, according to the Office of Facilities Management, many surface touch points are disinfected.

These include all rails in stairwells and common areas, horizontal surfaces including tables, counter tops and desks, door handles, levers and push bars. It will also include access control push buttons as well as light switches.

With so many new rulings about distancing, it can be confusing to know what practices you should be following in different spaces.

Remember that masks are always a must when in close contact with other Jackets and to maintain distance whenever possible.

Not only that, but remember that one is responsible for upholding many of the published guidelines, so continue taking responsibility for your own health and the health of your community.