Students with fever or cough should not use university computer stations. These students should immediately contact the Student Health Center or their personal health care provider.
Students should use supplied cleaning products to clean keyboards, mouse, flat surfaces, and chair armrest before and after using computer equipment. The suggested contact time for surface cleaning is at least two minutes.
Following surface cleaning, students should wash their hands with soap and water before sitting at the workstation. An approved alcohol gel of at least 60% alcohol is a less preferred substitute.
As a social distancing measure, computer workstations should be separated by 6 feet to avoid cross-station exposure.
The CDC has issued guidance for higher education institutions to help college and university officials “prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students, staff, and faculty.”
Departments on campus are encouraged to develop business continuity plans to address potential impacts and coping strategies for increased employee absenteeism and cancellation or closure of services and events.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s COVID-19 website provides frequent updates and information for the public.
You may have heard the phrase “social distancing” in relation to COVID-19. According to the CDC, social distancing “means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”
Social distancing helps limit the spread of COVID-19, according to Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, an infectious disease expert at the Mayo Clinic.
“It’s transmitted through respiratory droplets generated when someone infected coughs or sneezes,” she says. “We know that these droplets extend about 3 to 6 feet from the person that generates them. If you breathe in the droplets, or they land on your eyes, nose, or mouth then you are at risk of getting infected.
“This is where the concept of social distancing comes in. If we stay away from someone who is sick, or in general, beyond that 6 foot margin, then the risk of being exposed drops dramatically. That’s why some of these recommendations about canceling large meetings and gatherings where people are in very close contact with each other.”
Our March 2020 decision to switch from classroom and lab settings to online teaching is a social distancing measure. Online instruction increases the distance between people and thereby decreases the chances they are exposed if someone around them is sick. “Social distancing has been shown to be effective in slowing the spread of infection during many outbreaks in the past,” says Dr. Rajapakse.