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Baylor University shares details on precautionary COVID-19 measures for upcoming year

Posted at 12:55 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 13:55:43-04

WACO, TX — Baylor University President Linda A. Livingstone shared details today of the extensive planning and precautionary measures – particularly relating to cleaning and sanitization – the school will be implementing across campus to prepare for the return of students.

The school already announced they were mailing mandatory COVID-19 tests to all students, faculty and staff and would require a negative COVID-19 test prior to return to campus for the fall semester.

President Livingstone says Aramark Facilities Services has developed an in-depth plan that focuses on many key areas of best practices and technological innovations while following or exceeding the most up-to-date recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health authorities.

Aspects of this plan include:

  • Adopting entry policies – instituting social distanced lines where queues would form (dining halls, bookstore, mailroom, etc.), clearly marked “entry only” and “exit only” signage on doors to allow for more effective social distancing;
  • Creating spatial separation – reducing room and building occupancy levels, adjusting seat density in classrooms, altering traffic flow patterns, adding robotic cleaning services;
  • Improving indoor air quality – increasing outside air circulation, per new CDC guidelines, flushing the air at the beginning and end of each day to reduce risk of airborne contagions, installation of state-of-the-art air filtration technologies like HEPA filters and UV-C light treatments, cleaning select air ducts;
  • Increasing cleaning and hygiene – mandatory use of face coverings across campus, providing hand sanitizer stations, increased manual cleaning of high-touch areas, utilizing electrostatic sprayers to augment disinfection of high-traffic and high-touch areas; and
  • Re-enforcing occupant understanding – frequent use of signage to help provide direction and information, recurring messages from campus partners.

Baylor University also announced they will be using UV-C air filtration systems.

These UV air purifiers use short-wave ultraviolet light to kill airborne pathogens and micro-organisms such as mold, bacteria and viruses.

The UV-C filtration systems will be installed in most residence halls across campus in time for the fall semester, with all other residence halls utilizing upgraded filters.

Baylor’s other cleaning and sanitizing efforts include:

  • 550+ hand sanitizer dispensers – installed across campus, focusing on building entrances, elevators, stairwell entry and outside large-capacity classrooms;
  • 550+ sanitizing wipe receptacles – installed alongside the hand sanitizer stations;
  • Drinking fountains – marked to not drink or use to prevent community spread;
  • Plexiglass barriers – installed in offices or anywhere that 6-foot social distancing cannot be achieved;
  • Distributing supplies – hand sanitizer, wipes, floor signage, elevator signage and mask signage; and
  • Hand dryers – turned off and/or being removed, replaced with paper towel dispensers.

Baylor’s classrooms and offices will also be cleaned at a level to meet the CDC Guidance for Disinfection with a model built to ensure maximum efficiency and reduce risk of exposure to students, faculty, staff and cleaning personnel.

These measures include:

  • Modified schedules built around building usage and traffic;
  • High-touch items in public areas disinfected multiple times a day; and
  • Classrooms and office spaces will have disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer stations nearby.

"As your personal COVID-19 test kits begin arriving over the next two weeks, I cannot stress enough for our students how important it is that you take the test as soon as you receive it and mail the sample back the same day as you take the test. This is a crucial step in ensuring a safe return to campus for all of us," said President Livingstone.