Updated 7/7/20

Based on what we know today, JMU is planning to resume its on-campus, residential operations this fall, with classes beginning August 26, 2020. Our planning efforts are underway to ensure that upon students’ return to JMU, the university is as proactive as possible in protecting our community’s health. A task force, including leadership from the University Health Center as well as representation from across all divisions, is working to address questions about what living, learning, and dining arrangements on campus may look like should public health guidance necessitate ongoing social distancing or other measures.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  1. Faculty, staff and students are required to wear face masks covering the nose and mouth when in classrooms, labs and other public settings (indoors and outdoors) where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • Students, faculty and staff who may have a religious belief or medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering will be exempt from this requirement. There may be other physical distancing strategies that can be put in place. Contact Human Resources (Benefits) to handle any needed exceptions.
  2. Physical distancing protocols must be followed in accordance with state and federal regulations.
  3. Face shields will be made available and may be required for faculty and students to address limited social distancing options in classrooms and labs for experiential learning activities where physical distancing is not possible.
  4. JMU is working to obtain N95 masks for faculty and staff over the age of 65 or those with certain conditions who may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. These masks have been challenging to procure. Once they become available, JMU will issue further guidance regarding how faculty and staff may acquire them.
    • The Governor has issued guidance that, at present, reserves N95 masks for Virginia’s health care workers. We believe this recommendation will be relaxed once hospitals have been able to procure adequate supplies.

 Building and Classroom Enhancements

  1. Facilities Management and Academic Affairs will partner to establish dedicated entrances and exits for buildings, classrooms and labs where feasible.
  2. Facilities Management will work with building coordinators to determine which doors may be kept open with doorstops to avoid unnecessary touching.
  3. Facilities Management will monitor air filters and building systems for optimal performance.
  4. JMU is procuring Plexiglas which will be used to create podium shields. Classrooms with the least distance between student seating and the podium will be given priority.
  5. Face shields will be available for all faculty to use during instruction.
  6. Classrooms are being configured with technology to allow for synchronous and/or recorded asynchronous remote instruction.
  7. Building coordinators will have thermometers available for students and faculty to monitor their temperatures should they feel ill.

 Classroom, Lab and Studio Scheduling

  1. Based on a thorough analysis of state and federal guidelines, classroom configurations and instructional needs, the university is limiting maximum instructional capacity to 50% of the room capacity listed in our Event Management System (EMS). Appropriate face coverings are required. This applies to all instructional spaces including classrooms, labs and studio spaces.

    While classroom, lab and studio configurations will generally comply with 50% of room capacity, some classroom, lab and studio spaces are large enough to allow for appropriate physical distancing and student capacity above 50% of the room capacity listed in our Event Management System (EMS).

    In instructional situations where appropriate physical distancing cannot be maintained, additional protective measures (i.e., PPE, barriers and safety protocols) should be used and/or creative hybrid approaches of instruction should be employed with approval from the AUH and dean.

  2. Classes held in lecture halls or classrooms where enrollment is greater than 50% of the classroom capacity will either be moved to larger spaces OR students will engage with the content through creative hybrid approaches that allow face to face time with the instructor at least once per week. The hybrid approach used will reflect the class space, the content, and the preferences of the instructor as approved by the AUH and dean.

 Housekeeping Enhancements

  1. Housekeepers will clean classrooms, labs, studios and public restrooms three times each day: Twice during the day and at the end of the day, after classes have ended, prior to the next day. Labs and studios will be cleaned intermittently throughout the day by university personnel or lab attendants and prior to the next day by housekeeping staff.
  2. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be available in each classroom for faculty and students to clean their work area, study area, or desk between formal housekeeping services. Housekeepers will provide cleaning and disinfecting supplies on a regular schedule.
  3. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance to each building and in every classroom and lab.
  4. Twice daily, housekeepers will clean and sanitize all high-touch surfaces such as stairwell handrails, water fountains, door entrance and exit handles, elevators, vending machines, and all other general-touch surfaces.
  5. Housekeepers will no longer clean white boards and chalkboards. This is a faculty responsibility. Appropriate cleaning supplies for white boards and chalkboards will be provided.

Research and Scholarship

  1. The Office of Research and Scholarship has issued new Standard Operating Procedures for resuming research activities on campus and off campus or fieldwork.


  1. Additional support for needs of students and faculty will be processed through departments and colleges in partnership with Human Resources as needed.


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