Following is a brief update on some of the planning that is taking place for Penn State Altoona's phased return to campus. Our main priority is to follow recommended safety precautions and to encourage our campus community to adhere to recommended health and safety precautions and actions.
Facilities and Maintenance
- Preparing buildings and grounds for return to campus
- Cleaning and sanitizing occupied spaces per Environmental Health Services directives
- Ordered sanitizing stations for building entrances and classrooms
- Adjusting occupancies in all learning spaces to maintain social distancing when classes resume
- Stay well signs ordered for all building entrances
- Hand washing signs for bathrooms
- Plexiglass shields for high-volume student contact areas
- Occupancy signs for classrooms and distancing signs for classrooms and offices
- Masks ordered to provide two masks for all faculty, staff, and students; working on a distribution plan for the masks
- Provision of telemedicine
- Emergency licensing in multiple states for medical providers to offer telemedicine outside of PA
- Procurement of COVID-19 testing and alternative plans
- PPE strategizing
- Contact tracing procedures and protocols
- Staggered schedules for staff
- American Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) reaccreditation
- All courses are now coded with the new instructional modes in LionPath.
- We continue to work on classroom space to accommodate faculty who plan to include face-to-face instruction in their courses. Currently, around 60% of our courses include in-person instruction.
- A process is in place for faculty to return to campus to prepare for fall 2020 courses as well as guidelines to allow faculty to return to research.
- 30 faculty, staff, and students returned to campus starting July 7 to conduct research activities that could not otherwise be done remotely. This required a rigorous return to research plan, the preparation of buildings and research spaces, and safety training for everyone returning to campus.
- Approximately 15 faculty will be returning to campus in the near future to prepare for fall courses by conducting activities that could not be done remotely, including the recording of lab experiments for hybrid and remote instruction.
- Another call for faculty who wish to return to campus before mid-August to prepare for fall teaching will be sent out by the end of July.
- Replacing lab computers
- Installing Webcams in classrooms
- Testing/ordering tablets and stylus pens
- Preparing loaner laptops for faculty and staff
- Preparing new systems for faculty and staff
- Spacing and social/professional distancing as related to office and general space use in our areas, including campus social space use
- Setting a schedule which will allow for in-person and remote presence and service delivery/programming for our staff
- Health services related concerns including planning for entrance, exit and waiting areas within the Sheetz Health Center
- Residential life concerns in conjunction with Housing and Food Services regarding student spacing in halls, programming, dining services, handling of ill students/isolation and quarantine plans (e.g., using Wingate Hotel)
Housing and Food Services
- Ensuring compliance with cleaning standards now and when students return; appropriate cleaning schedules for high-touch areas throughout the day
- Signage to be placed in all areas as part of the “Stay Well” campaign
- Rearranging lounge spaces in Residence Halls to allow for proper social distancing
- Working with students based on housing needs; in the process of releasing students from their contracts if they will be remote
- Rearranging dining rooms to allow for social distancing and 50% or 25% occupancy depending on what the guidelines will be when we open
- Finalizing details for quarantine and isolation spaces
- Focusing on distancing and masking protocols and will be kindly reminding students, visitors, staff and faculty of the university guidelines/policies during our patrols
- Continuing safety programming remotely (e.g., Run, Hide, Fight; Q and A sessions, etc.) and via face-to-face sessions when it is deemed safe to do so