Posted 8/24/21

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.

Download or view the Faculty Guide for Classrooms

Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  1. Beginning August 16, all JMU faculty, staff and students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks that cover the mouth and nose in indoor spaces on owned or leased university property when in the presence of others.

  2. Employees are not required to wear a face covering while working alone in a private office regardless of whether the door is open or closed. 

  3. Individuals may wear a face shield if they have a valid accommodation attested to by a medical or mental health practitioner or if the academic or employment activity they are involved in cannot occur with a face mask. You can view types of acceptable masks online. Faculty and staff who have a religious belief that prevents them from wearing a face covering will be exempt from this requirement and other physical distancing strategies will be put in place. Contact Human Resources (Benefits) to handle any needed exceptions. JMU students who need to seek accommodation of disability related to the face covering policies should follow procedures to register with the Office of Disability Services. See the ODS Getting Started page.

  4. Face shields are available to faculty and students for use in appropriate situations when an academic activity cannot occur with a face mask, such as some lab or studio activities. 

  5. JMU has a supply of N95 masks, and they are available for any faculty or staff member. Faculty and staff should email N95maskrequest@jmu.edu to receive a set of five N95 masks intended last the duration of the semester.
These requirements will be reevaluated as circumstances warrant after students return to campus.

Building and Classroom Enhancements

  1. Facilities Management is monitoring air filters and building systems for optimal performance.

  2. Plexiglass podium shields continue to be in place in classrooms. Wearing a mask while teaching from behind the plexiglass shield is required.

  3. 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 to their original, renovated or commissioned design at the time of construction, renovation or commissioning/recommissioning. These designs were in compliance with building and ventilation codes that were in force at the time of the design. In addition to their regularly scheduled maintenance, Facilities Management has been inspecting, repairing and updating HVAC systems in response to COVID-19 since March.

FM also contracted with an outside company that specializes in mitigating construction risk. These consultants examined ventilation, filtration, disinfection, humidity, and air distribution in 251 air handlers across campus and reported, “the majority of the AHU’s were in good working order overall and have been well maintained.” Facilities management is implementing their short term recommendations, which consist mostly of increased ventilation air, BAS control modifications, and increased maintenance, all to provide the optimum amount of fresh air to spaces in the buildings. As part of their usual summer maintenance, many issues were fixed on site or were taken care of immediately after their visit. The process generated an online database checklist so that we can continue to track conditions, and verify the additional recommended maintenance.

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

Filters

Filters are checked and replaced if needed on a regular basis. 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. Housekeepers will clean classrooms 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. Public restrooms will be cleaned twice a day.

  2. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies are available in each classroom, lab and studio space for faculty and students to clean their work area, study area, or desk between formal housekeeping services. 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.

  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 has been provided. 

Travel

When traveling alone or with a group for official university business, Academic Affairs encourages these practices to limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • Where possible, use multiple vehicles to travel independently and avoid close contact with others
  • When traveling in a vehicle with two or more persons, face masks must be worn by all occupants
  • Limit your stops when traveling
  • Follow public health guidelines posted to the VDH Travelers site and CDC Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic site

When using a state vehicle, you must complete this form, have it signed by your supervisor, and submit it with your Travel Authorization.  

Miscellaneous

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

 

Please note that all guidelines are based on the best CURRENT knowledge we have based on the latest information from the CDC, WHO and VDH and will be updated accordingly.

Back to Top