Updated 9/12/23

A task force, including leadership from the University Health Center and representation from across all divisions, collaborated to address questions about what living, learning and dining arrangements on campus will look like in light of public health guidance. This guidance is subject to change as new information is received.

Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  1. Masks are optional in university spaces. 

  2. JMU has a supply of N-95 masks, and they are available for any faculty or staff member. Faculty and staff should email N95maskrequest@jmu.edu to receive N-95 masks.
These requirements will be reevaluated as circumstances warrant.

Buildings and Classrooms 

  1. Facilities Management monitors air filters and building systems for optimal performance and maintains facilities to ensure a clean and comfortable environment.

  2. Building coordinators have thermometers available for faculty to monitor their temperatures should they feel ill. Students who feel ill should be referred to the University Health Center. 

Building Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

Facilities Management (FM) maintains and operates campus buildings in accordance with the design guidelines in place at the time of their construction or most recent renovation. In addition to regularly scheduled maintenance, Facilities Management has been inspecting, repairing and updating HVAC systems in response to COVID-19 since March of 2020 with increased frequency and vigilance.

As part of that effort, FM engaged third-party consultants to examine the ventilation, filtration, disinfection, humidity and air distribution in 251 air handlers across campus. The review concluded that “the majority of the AHU’s were in good working order overall and have been well maintained.” Facilities Management implemented the consultant’s short-term recommendations, which consisted mostly of minor repairs completed as part of ongoing maintenance, increased ventilation air, BAS control modifications and increased maintenance, all to provide the optimum amount of fresh air to spaces in the buildings. The consultant’s review generated an online database checklist so that FM can continue to track conditions and verify the completion of the additional recommended maintenance.

A brief overview is below, with more details on HVAC systems and specific buildings available here.


Filters are checked on a regular basis and and replaced as required. JMU uses two ratings of filters: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) 8 and 13. MERV 8 filters have 90 % efficiency on particles that are 3 to 10 micrometers in size; MERV 13 filters have 90 % efficiency on particles that are 3 to 10 micrometers; 80% and 85% efficiency for filtering particles between 1 and 3 microns and between 35% and 50% efficiency for filtering particles between 0.30 and 1 micron in size.

The size of the particles or droplets the COVID-19 virus is attached to is typically 0.5-16 microns so while the viral particle itself is smaller, it is attached to droplets or aerosols that are much larger. Therefore, the filtration JMU uses will trap most of these particles.

As FM continually monitors, change frequency will be adjusted to provide the maximum amount of fresh air and cleanest environments that the systems can handle while still meeting comfort needs of occupants.

Water Systems

Facilities Management is flushing all water systems on campus on a rotating basis and will continue to do so as building occupancy increases. This is the recommended procedure to ensure fresh, clean water is available for drinking and personal use.

Window Units

Facilities Management services the window units in classrooms twice a semester. They have cleanable screen filters with built-in ventilation. These units will be continuously disinfected in classrooms, with cleaning and disinfecting occurring throughout the day.   

Housekeeping Enhancements

  1. In anticipation of cold and flu season, housekeepers will begin cleaning and disinfecting classrooms at the end of the day, after classes have ended, upon students return from Fall Break. Labs and studios will continue to be cleaned and disinfected intermittently throughout the day by university personnel or lab attendants, and prior to the next day by housekeeping staff. Public restrooms will also continue to be cleaned and disinfected twice a day.

  2. Housekeepers will continue to provide cleaning and disinfecting supplies on a regular schedule.

  3. Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance to each building and in every classroom, lab and studio space. Facilities Management staff will monitor dispensers to ensure that they are re-filled with the aid of building coordinators and occupants through the work order system.


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