Signage, Sanitizing Stations and Safety Procedures: Campus Updates for the Spring Semester

By Tim Ryan, January 22, 2021
A message from Tim Ryan, Assistant Director for Environmental Health and Safety.

IC Public Health Column video. 

Let me start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year, 2020 certainly was challenging, and I’m looking forward to a new year, a new semester and welcoming our students and employees back to a vibrant campus. The campus will undoubtedly look and feel different then last spring. Some of the changes you will see, and others will go unnoticed. I wanted to take this time to update the campus community on the work that Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), along with several other departments, have taken to prepare the campus for a safe opening.    

Planning, planning and then some more planning was the theme since the shutdown last March. Members of the Health and Safety Advisory Group and the Public Safety Advisory Group reviewed and provided guidance for the Ithaca College Reopening Plan developed as required by New York State. The planning and successful implementation of the Athletics and Events testing site was a critical component, and we tested an average of 1,200 IC community members per week for 21 weeks during the fall. Planning is now underway to provide a Point of Distribution (POD) for the COVID-19 vaccine, when it becomes available. We will continue to develop and adjust policies and procedures to protect the health and wellness of our college community.  

Faculty, staff and students returning this spring received an email notification from Human Resources and EH&S regarding mandatory COVID-19 training. New York State and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all Ithaca College faculty, staff and students approved to access campus for the Spring 2021 semester complete a COVID-19 online training course. This course, “Your Campus and COVID-19: The Road Back,” examines some of the challenges and changes that we are encountering as we resume in-person operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The course includes an overview of the virus, common health and safety procedures, and a reminder that we are all in this fight together.   

“Your Campus and COVID-19: The Road Back:”

To access “Your Campus and COVID-19: The Road Back:” 

Go to https://learn.ue.org/Login2.aspx  

If you already have an account with United Educators, then login using your existing credentials.  

If you are new to United Educators, then login as follows:  

Username: Your Ithaca College email address 

Password: Welcome1!  

The first time you log in, the system will prompt you to reset your temporary password and set a security question.  

You will receive a confirmation email upon successful completion of the course.

drinking fountain sign.

Facilities staff members developed and posted signage throughout buildings to provide visual cues and reminders. We made several changes to reduce face-to-face and bi-directional foot traffic. Most buildings, corridors, stairways, classrooms, and other locations where possible, will have one-way foot traffic. If no directional markings are present, please remember to always stay to the right. Building entrances and exits are designated (all doors are available as exits in the case of fire or other emergency). Where multiple stairways exist within a building, one stairway may be designated for traffic going up and another designated for traffic going down.   

We paid particular attention to signage in high-traffic areas and areas where individuals congregate (e.g., lines for dining halls, student services, etc.), indicating that face coverings are required, and 6 feet of distance must be maintained between persons. Each classroom or meeting space has a room diagram and occupancy number that takes into account physical distancing measures. Stickers on the floor, desks and tables indicate where people may sit. Restroom signage indicates occupancy/restroom etiquette and illustrates and explains proper handwashing techniques and physical distancing. Elevators are posted with occupancy restrictions.  

"It will take the entire community to remain vigilant, but by working together, 2021 will be a great year."  

Tim Ryan, Assistant Director Environmental Health and Safety

EH&S worked closely with the Hammond Health Center, the Office of Facilities and Public Safety officers to outfit certain staff with a higher level of personal protective equipment (PPE). Health Center nurses and physicians, Public Safety first responders, and a large number of facilities maintenance staff were outfitted in case of a building system emergency, and custodial services staff members were given PPE to use while disinfecting positive areas and during COVID transports. Specialized respirators were purchased, individuals were medically cleared to wear respirators, training was provided, and fit testing was performed to ensure critical operations can continue to be provided in a safe manner.    

As people return to campus, I would like to remind everyone of the importance of following public health measures — whether on or off campus — to reduce the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus:  

  • wear an appropriate face covering that fully covers your nose and mouth,   
  • maintain a physical distance of a minimum 6 feet when around others, if possible, to avoid being named as a close contact should someone be a positive case,     
  • use hand sanitizer before and after entering and leaving public spaces,  
  • minimize time spent in shared public spaces,   
  • limit elevator traffic to one person at a time,    
  • eat alone or only with members of your own household if possible,  
  • avoid drinking fountains, and   
  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.   

It will take the entire community to remain vigilant, but by working together, 2021 will be a great year.    

Sincerely, 

Tim Ryan 
Assistant Director Environmental Health and Safety