Stay Safe

Phased return

The university recognizes the health and safety benefits of implementing a multi-phased return to campus in advance of the start of the Fall Semester on August 24. Each of the four phases of this stepwise approach is underpinned by a set of essential health and safety measures. All members of our community are expected to do their part to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others.

Phase One has been completed successfully. Phase Two has launched. Preparations for Phase Three and Phase Four remain on track.

High-risk populations

 

Faculty and Staff

Employees who meet the CDC’s definition of individuals at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 may be  eligible  to continue to work remotely. Please contact Human Resources at loaadm@uc.edu to submit a request to work remotely due to being at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19

Students

Students at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as defined by the CDC guidelines may be at greater risk if physically coming to campus and/or residing in UC Housing. Students at higher risk or students who are otherwise concerned about their medical risks related to COVID-19 should reach out to University Health Services (UHS) via COVIDHelp@uc.edu in order to obtain additional information regarding reporting requirements and monitoring.  

For assistance with academic or housing accommodations, visit the Accessibility Resources web site or email at accessresources@uc.edu.

Phase one

Phase One began on June 1 when UC researchers launched a gradual return to campus.  UC’s Office of Research has more information posted online.   

Phase two

Based on our learnings from Phase One, Phase Two launched on July 1. At this time, portions of our employee base returned to campus. Supervisors determined the employees to include in Phase Two based on institutional needs as well as on the health safety assessment for their respective area.

Phase three

Based on our learnings from previous phases, we plan to commence Phase Three on August 3. At this time, other portions of our employee base will return to campus. To effectively manage the density on campus, supervisors will determine the best schedules and modes of work for their respective areas.

Phase four

Phase Four will coincide with the start of Fall Semester on August 24. The semester will include online, hybrid, HyFlex and in-person courses. 

Key takeaways

  • Each of us must do our part to protect every member of our Bearcats Family by following the health and safety measures.
  • Maintaining a reduced density of individuals on campus at any given time is critical to mitigating potential risks.
  • Supervisors will continue to determine how best to leverage remote working schedules to maintain a lower density on campus.
  • If localized outbreaks emerge, tighter restrictions and specialized contingency plans may need to be implemented to sustain mission-critical endeavors on campus. 

Safety measures

In implementing UC’s Return to Campus plan, these safety protocols will remain in effect until further notice.

  • Before returning to campus for the first time, all employees and students must successfully complete a brief online information session to ensure awareness of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) guidelines. Employees may currently access the online information session at the top bullet located on the Safety Protocols page, while a tutorial link for students will be available via Canvas mid-August.
  • Before returning to campus for the first time, all supervisors and lab leaders must complete a health safety assessment of their workplace settings.
  • Before coming to campus each day or leaving one’s university housing living quarters to go to other parts of campus, all members of the campus community must complete a self-administered wellness check based on CDC and ODH guidelines. The UC COVID Check app provides a simple way to conduct that self assessment and report any symptoms to University Health Services. Already, approximately 12,000 campus community members have downloaded the app.
  • All members of the campus community must wear facial coverings on campus, except while eating or alone in a private space, or as otherwise exempted.
  • All members of the campus community must adhere to social-distancing requirements.
  • All areas must clean and sanitize their workplace settings throughout the day. These efforts will supplement cleaning and sanitizing activities that will occur after hours by our facilities staff. Facilities Management has posted information regarding supplies, cleaning practices and more.
  • All members of the campus community must continue to abide by restrictions on travel.
  • Employees who meet the CDC’s definition of individuals at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 may be eligible to continue to work remotely. Please contact Human Resources at loaadm@uc.edu to submit a request to work remotely due to being at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. All students with questions related to COVID-19 and risk factors should contact University Health Services via COVIDHelp@uc.edu

See more information on maintaining a safe campus environment as well as wellness and support  resources.

Good health practices

The same precautions that will protect you from the common cold and the flu will protect you from COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • Cover coughs/sneezes with your arm or a tissue.
  • Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are ill (except to visit a health care professional) and avoid close contact with others. See CDC guidelines on when to quarantine.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. And for those essential employees working on campus this summer as well as students living on campus, UC requires the wearing of a facial covering. The same holds true for employees or students currently coming to campus for any reason.  

We continue to closely monitor the guidelines from local, state and federal agencies. University Health Services works closely with and maintains coordination with local and state departments of health. UHS is able to screen for symptoms and follow all public health protocols should anyone with potential Coronavirus need care.

As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors is our top priority. We will continue to keep our community informed — and we encourage everyone to practice routine hygiene etiquette as this is the best way to prevent the spread of infection.

For more updates or information as they arrive, please visit University Health Services web page.

More information about COVID-19 can be found at The Ohio Department of Health.


Testing, tracing and case management

The best tools for COVID-19 risk mitigation consist of our own personal and community practices: Required use of facial covering, physical distancing, personal hygiene, attention to sanitization, self-monitoring and appropriate self-care, which includes staying home if ill.

These steps will do much to prevent the spread of COVID-19, decreasing the likelihood that members of our community will become ill.  

Testing

The university’s planning calls for diagnostic testing of symptomatic individuals and those who have had close exposure to infected individuals. This will be supplemented with a combination of both required and voluntary strategic surveillance testing (defined as testing that is not related to symptoms or suspected exposure) among students in order to help monitor trends and prevalence related to COVID-19.

Our testing and tracing efforts are under continuous review and modification based on the evolving scientific evidence and public health recommendations.

On-campus testing center

For symptomatic students and those who have had close exposure to infected individuals, one on-campus testing option is the Testing Center located at Commons Edge North, 55 W. Daniels Street. Students may call (513) 556-2564 for an appointment.

Also for symptomatic students and those who have had close exposure to infected individuals, University Health Services can arrange for testing at the UC Health Uptown Campus, 3120 Burnet Avenue (East Campus), which is by appointment only.

More options for testing, both on and off campus, are outlined below.

COVID-19 required surveillance testing

Since the spring term, the University of Cincinnati has used a combination of both required and voluntary strategic surveillance testing (defined as testing that is not related to symptoms or suspected exposure) among students in order to help monitor trends and prevalence related to COVID-19.

COVID-19 rates are rising in Hamilton County and Ohio, and the public health emergency continues. Because testing is a key strategy in control of transmission, along with all-important behavioral measures of social distancing, facial coverings, hand and surface hygiene and staying home when sick, our medical experts have recommended we institute required testing to ensure we have continued participation in our campus screening test program.

Starting the week of October 19, the university will expand its required strategic surveillance testing program among students as another means to monitor trends and promote good health. Getting tested for COVID-19 and becoming an active participant in public health efforts is an important way for members of our Bearcat community to work together. Testing paired with good health habits is an easy, quick and incredibly consequential way to make sure we're each doing our part to keep our community safer and healthier. It’s one way that all of us help to protect each of us.

Students will receive notice when they have been selected to participate in ongoing, weekly random surveillance testing. Participation in such testing will be required of students who fall into the following categories unless they meet the needed qualifications for a testing exemption.

Testing required for the following

  • Residential students living in UC Housing
  • Students attending face-to-face classes or hybrid classes on the Uptown Campus
  • Students who work or conduct research on campus

And even though we’re moving to require testing as outlined above and below, voluntary participation in testing will still be an option for students who don't meet the above criteria or who are not selected for required testing in a given week.

And, testing for those exhibiting symptoms that may be related to COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to the virus will still be available through University Health Services.

Why is UC expanding required strategic surveillance testing

The university’s student population is to be commended for participating in ongoing strategic surveillance testing and, importantly, for adapting and adhering to the vital personal and community behavioral practices that serve as the very best of tools for mitigating COVID-19 risk and spread.

The UC community of students, faculty and staff has been consistent in the required use of facial coverings, physical distancing, personal hygiene, attention to sanitization, self-monitoring and appropriate self-care, which includes staying home if ill.

Our overall planning is guided by recommendations of our medical experts with consideration of the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. And as has been stated many times, planning may evolve due to any number of factors, whether based on evolving science or proven effectiveness for a particular setting. Our testing and tracing efforts are under continuous review and modification based on the evolving scientific evidence and public health recommendations.

As such, the decision to expand the required component of strategic surveillance testing stems from several factors:

  • We are entering flu and cold season, with more time spent indoors.
  • Ongoing trends related to both the State of Ohio and the local region. Just this past Friday, October 9, Ohio reported more cases of coronavirus than ever before in a single day. Hamilton, Clermont and Butler counties remain at the red level on the Ohio Department of Health's public health advisory system.
  • The need to maintain momentum and consistency. To date, the voluntary component of strategic surveillance testing has generally worked well on campus, with hundreds of students voluntarily participating in strategic surveillance testing during most weeks. But, with required testing, we can better ensure the overall consistency (and statistical validity) of week-over-week turnout over the long term.
  • As we track national trends and consult our Academic Health Center epidemiologists and infectious disease experts, forecasts and analysis suggest participation in voluntary testing may be leveling off and becoming more uneven. Across the country, professionals who work on COVID-19 prevention and mitigation are hearing a new term: “testing fatigue.” Its meaning is self-explanatory, but the bottom line is that we need strategic surveillance testing to help prevent and mitigate the spread of the virus.

What to expect in the testing experience

  • Students selected for required strategic surveillance testing will be notified via their university email, along with instructions for next steps.
  • Strategic surveillance testing will be available on campus, but students may also fulfill the testing requirement via other, off-campus providers, such as private physicians, Kroger's Little Clinics or a variety of locales offered by the Hamilton County Health Department. See the Hamilton County Health Department's site for testing sites available in Hamilton County.
  • For students opting to fulfill the testing requirement on campus, strategic surveillance testing will be provided weekly (on Tuesdays) by Wild Health Laboratory of Lexington, Kentucky, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at the TUC Cinema. This will be the testing location as of October 20.
  • Students may also choose to participate in strategic surveillance testing provided by Hamilton County Test and Protect, which will come to campus weekly (on Mondays, Oct. 19-Nov. 23, 1-6 p.m.) in the banquet room at Stratford unit No. 16, 2634 Stratford Avenue (west side of Clifton Avenue). This testing is open to all. Please note that Test and Protect will ask for insurance information; however, if a student’s insurance does not cover the test, there will be no charge to the student.
  • Please expect to social distance and wear a mask during testing, except while the test is actually being performed.
  • Testing results are generally available within 72 hours of the test.
  • Students participating in the required surveillance testing will receive a $5 credit on their Bearcat Card and will received a free KN-95 mask.

Exemption process

Unless a student receives an exemption from required testing, failure to respond and obtain a test may result in loss of access to university spaces and services.

Exemptions from required strategic surveillance testing may be granted based on the following:

  • A student is currently in quarantine or isolation.
  • They have a disability that would preclude them from having the test done. 
  • They prefer to be tested by another source within a week, before or after, their assigned time. Note that UC will not reimburse for testing done at alternative facilities. Students must share the results with UC. 
  • They are currently sick and unable to get to the testing facility. 
  • They have a sincerely held religious belief.
  • They have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.
The exemption form can be accessed via the University Health Services home page.

Contact tracing

In addition to testing, contact tracing is a vital component to our efforts in limiting the spread of COVID-19. The university has developed an appropriately trained workforce necessary for contact tracing, working in collaboration with our local health departments. Members of the UC community can help, and it’s imperative that everyone contribute. All faculty, staff and students need to pay particular attention to their surroundings and those they come in contact with in order to make any needed contact tracing as effective as possible.

Individual monitoring

It is important that faculty, staff and students self-screen by taking their temperature on a regular basis and by performing a daily symptom assessment. Symptomatic individuals need to stay home and to seek appropriate medical care, including testing for the virus if indicated.  

The UC COVID Check app or a web-based survey allows members of the campus community to report symptoms to University Health Services (UHS). Any member of the campus community, including faculty and staff, may receive guidance from UHS and for those who test positive for COVID-19, that guidance will be provided in collaboration with the individual’s local health department. UHS is also available to provide care to students.

Isolation/quarantine

Quarantine applies to someone who has had close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19, but who does not have any symptoms of infection.  They need to be separated for a period of time to be observed for symptoms and to prevent accidentally infecting others. Quarantine lasts 14 days.

Isolation applies to someone who may be infected or has been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. They need to be isolated to prevent the spread of virus to the community while they are contagious. Isolation lasts 10 days in most instances.

Both are critically important to keeping campus safer.

If you are told to quarantine because you have been exposed to COVID-19:

  • Students in university housing will need to quarantine for 14 days from your most recent exposure. If instructed to quarantine, it's recommended that students in University Housing return to their permanent homes to do so. If that is not possible due to extenuating circumstances, UHS, Student Affairs and UC Housing will work with you to provide appropriate accommodations and medical care for the quarantine period. You may continue classes remotely. Meals will be delivered by Food Services (meal plan required). UC Housing may not be available for all quarantined or isolated students.
  • Students living in off-campus housing will be asked to stay home for 14 days.
  • All students in quarantine may attend online classes but not face-to-face classes or any university events and will need to avoid contact with others and stay in their single room or apartment. If you do need to go out for medical appointments or necessary supplies, you must avoid contact with others and wear a facial covering but leaving quarantine or isolation must be kept to a minimum.

If you are told to isolate because you may have, or definitely do have, COVID-19:

You must immediately isolate yourself from others and seek medical advice. UC clinicians will provide guidance. This includes:

  • Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • Anyone with symptoms and a pending test for COVID-19;
  • Anyone, with or without symptoms, with a positive test for COVID-19.

Remain in your room as much as possible.

  • Students in university housing will need to isolate for 10 days from either the day symptoms began or the day that you tested positive, whichever is earlier. If instructed to isolate, you are allowed to return to your permanent home to do so. In most cases, it is safer to remain in university housing for the 10 days because you are definitely or likely infected. UHS, Student Affairs and UC Housing will work with you to provide appropriate accommodations and medical care for the isolation period. You may continue classes remotely. Meals will be delivered by Food Services (meal plan required). Housing will contact you with details regarding your transfer to isolation.
  • Students living in off-campus housing will be asked to stay home for 10 days.
  • All students in isolation may attend online classes but not face-to-face classes or any university events and will need to avoid contact with others and stay in their single room or apartment. If you do need to go out for medical appointments or necessary supplies, you must avoid contact with others and wear a facial covering but leaving quarantine or isolation must be kept to a minimum. Most importantly, consider yourself contagious for the entire 10 days, even if you feel completely well. It is possible to carry and transmit the virus when you don’t have any symptoms of infection.

The university, through its contract tracing program and in conjunction with local health departments, will determine who has been exposed and when quarantine is required. All exposed students must report via the UC COVID Check app, which provides a simple way to conduct that self assessment and report any symptoms to University Health Services. UC's COVID Check app is free and easy to use. It can be downloaded through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. A web-based REDCap survey is also available as an alternative to using the app. Already, approximately 12,000 campus community members have downloaded the app.  

What to expect in isolation and quarantine

If isolating or quarantining on campus, a student will receive outreach from a member of the UC Housing team to assess the student's needs, situation and explain the process for temporary relocation.This will include

  • Students will be offered transportation to and from quarantine or isolation housing.
  • Students receive recommendations on what to bring with them to quarantine or isolation as relates to bedding, clothing, toiletries, schoolwork material, laptops, chargers, etc.
  • Information on meal options, via UC Food Services, as well a laundry service is reviewed.
  • This initial conversation is followed up with an email to the student containing their quarantine or isolation room assignment along with a listing of "what to bring" for their quarantine or isolation stay.
  • UC's Division of Student Affairs periodically calls students in UC quarantine and isolation and seeks to determine how those in quarantine and isolation are doing, how students might be staying active and engaged, physical activiites, in contact with family and friends, etc.
  • Resident education staff also provide UC quarantining and isolating students with their cell phone numbers to allow for immediate access and assistance.

Travel

The coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, remains a concern and will be present in the community for an extended period of time. All units and members of the campus community will follow the university’s travel policies, which are informed by appropriate federal and State of Ohio restrictions.

The goal of travel restrictions is to protect the health of the general public as well as that of our faculty, staff and students.

Faculty, staff and students involved in clinical care must follow the restrictions and guidance of any health system or clinical entity in which they participate in clinical activities.

These recommendations are subject to change as additional guidance is issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal authorities as well as state and local authorities.

At the time of this writing, the CDC’s recommendations are to avoid all non-essential travel globally.

This is also a reminder that anyone who is ill should not come to work, whether they have recently traveled or not.

Summary: Spring Semester travel & study abroad

  • Only essential international travel for official university business by members of the campus community is permitted through April 30, 2021. 
  • All international travel requires approval of the appropriate dean or vice president.
  • Domestic air travel will continue to be limited to business essential until April 30, 2021.
  • All study abroad is canceled and prohibited for the entire Spring Semester.
  • International and certain domestic travel as well as close contact and/or symptoms of COVID-19 require reporting to University Health Services.  

Travel policies

UC policy requires all travel to be requested in advance via Concur. Concur provides travelers information specific to every country considered for travel. Based on the uncertainty of future travel plans, it is strongly recommended that all travel be booked via UC’s contracted travel agency, AAA. Based on recent experiences, those units that did not so lost more money and experienced more difficulties when trying to cancel or rebook travel.

Finally, use of a university purchasing card is also strongly recommended. It simplifies the task of creating travel expense reports by those who perform those duties.

International travel

Only essential international travel for official university business is permitted through April 30, 2021. All international travel requires approval of the appropriate dean or vice president. Travel to countries that have CDC Level 3 or 4 travel warnings will only be approved under truly exceptional circumstances.

All study abroad is canceled and prohibited for the entire Spring Semester. Students who travel abroad despite this travel restriction are embarking on personal travel. As such, student personal travel abroad does not have university support; and therefore, UC cannot endorse travel documents nor provide assistance with insurance or other financial matters. There is there is no guarantee of credit transfer for personal travel abroad.

All international travelers, whether traveling on university business or for personal reasons, must report via the UC COVID Check app upon return and quarantine for 14 days. (UC's COVID Check app is free and easy to use. It can be downloaded through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. A web-based REDCap survey is also available as an alternative to using the app.)

Faculty and staff should consult with their supervisor and Human Resources prior to any international travel, either on university business or for other reasons, to determine how the quarantine period will be handled.

During the 14-day quarantine period, practice social distancing and take these steps to monitor your health:

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Use this temperature log to track your temperature.
  2. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  3. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work on site or attend in-person classes
  4. When around others, keep your distance (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
  5. Do not take public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.

Domestic travel

Only essential travel for official university business is permitted through April 30, 2021. Each unit will determine what is deemed essential travel. All domestic university travel requires the approval of the appropriate supervisor prior to travel.

Whether traveling on essential university business or for personal reasons, be aware that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States is evolving. The status of the outbreak varies by location, and state and local authorities are frequently updating their guidance.

Ohio's latest guidance and travel advisories are updated weekly. Currently, those entering Ohio after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

UC's travel protocols for students entering from states that are identified as having high rates of COVID-19 infection requires these students to quarantine for 14 days before arrival on campus. These students must also register with the university via the UC COVID Check app. (UC's COVID Check app is free and easy to use. It can be downloaded through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. A web-based REDCap survey is also available as an alternative to using the app. Already, approximately 13,000 campus community members have downloaded the app.)

At the end of the 14 days, if the student has remained without symptoms, UHS will provide notice to both the student and University Housing that the quarantine has ended, and the student may move into University Housing.  

Positivity rate is an indicator of how much COVID-19 there is in a community, and ODH is recommending against travel to those states with high positivity. If someone must travel, ODH is recommending 14 days of self-quarantine after leaving those locations. This advisory is intended for both leisure and business travel and should be heeded by both Ohioans and out-of-state travelers.

Parts of the country may have different guidance than other areas. All travelers are advised to check with state and local authorities on the prevalence of the virus and area-specific guidance at the starting point of their travels, along the route, and at the planned destination to be aware of any local circumstances and restrictions that may be in place.

Planning ahead is recommended: Wear a facial covering, practice social distancing, wash your hands, sanitize surfaces, and be properly and safely prepared.

Travelers who return from areas identified as hot spots or with significant COVID-19 activity should report via the UC COVID Check App for advice as whether any quarantine, testing and monitoring is required.

External travel links

Study abroad

There will be no faculty-led study abroad nor semester-long study / co-op abroad permitted during Spring Semester 2021. There is an exception for international students studying or co-oping in their home countries. Students are discouraged from taking part in any personal international travel during the semester, as upon return, they are then required to complete a 14-day self-quarantine prior to entering any university facility or attending any event or meeting on campus.


Self reporting

If you are having any symptoms you that may be related to COVID-19, please contact University University Health Services (UHS) immediately. The UC COVID Check app provides a simple way to conduct that self assessment and report any symptoms to University Health Services.

Any and all information gathered through the university's reporting process will remain as private as possible, as directed by state and local health departments.  See The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website for specific regulations around privacy and confidentiality. The reporting requirement will allow UHS to provide education, guidance and care monitoring.

University Health Services has a data capture system in partnership with the UC Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) that will help automate and streamline reporting and prevention of potential COVID-19 exposures for our faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

The following individuals from the UC community are required to report to University Health Services:

  • Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, a positive test result for COVID-19 or is being tested due to symptoms suggestive of the infection.
  • Anyone with close contact with an individual confirmed to have COVID-19 by laboratory testing or with a presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19, meaning not tested but diagnosed by a physician as likely to have the infection.
  • Anyone having symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including flu-like symptoms with chills, muscle aches, diarrhea, cough, shortness of breath or fever. In addition, the sudden loss of the sense of smell or taste can be an early sign of COVID-19 and should be immediately reported.
  • Anyone returning from international travel, regardless of country traveled from.
  • Anyone returning from travel by cruise ship.
  • Anyone entering Ohio after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19.

How to report

  • The UC COVID Check app provides a simple way to conduct that self assessment and report any symptoms to Uniersity Health Services.
  • You will receive an immediate response with a link to an online form. Your responses will be entered into a HIPAA compliant database through REDCapTM (Research Electronic Data Capture) and will be confidential in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Your responses will be reviewed by a clinician, and you will receive individualized guidance by email. You will also be contacted by phone as deemed necessary by the reviewing clinician.

In addition, you may hear from us via email regarding an exposure on campus. If asked to do so, please respond immediately with the requested information, and you will receive specific guidance on how to manage your risk.

We have developed this reporting system in close collaboration with the UC Health COVID-19 Core Team as well as partners in our local and state health departments, and in accordance with guidance from the CDC.

Please contact us at COVIDHelp@uc.edu if you have questions regarding the reporting process.


Facilities

During the Spring and Summer Semesters, UC Housekeeping took the opportunity to clean and sanitize every building using cleaning agents approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for killing the virus associated with COVID-19.

Items and areas cleaned included furniture (chairs, tables, desks, etc.), door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, accessibility buttons and plates, vending machine buttons, ledges and handrails, windowsills and trash/recycle cans as well as all carpets vacuumed.

All restrooms were power washed and sanitized throughout, including every handle, counter, sink, partition, door, floor, etc.

Effective June 1, 2020, Facilities Management modified cleaning procedures for labs, offices and suites – to ensure a focus on high-touch and high-traffic areas. The Housekeeping team is supported by building occupants who are cleaning their own personal workspaces within labs, offices and conference rooms.  In addition, occupants are asked to empty their personal trash and recycling containers into larger trash and recycling containers located on each floor of every building, and custodians will empty the large containers regularly. This not only helps our housekeepers maintain efficiency but also limits the amount of people within individual spaces.  

As the Return to Campus continues, Facilities Management will deliver an initial cleaning kit to all 370 mail locations. Other measures include:

  • Over 2,000 cleaning kits with paper towels and disinfectant will be placed in classrooms.
  • 1,500 free-standing and wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers are being installed throughout campus, located at building entrances and elevator lobbies. For instance, Tangeman University Center will have nine stations - one at each of the five entrances and at each of the four elevator lobbies.
  • Hand-sanitizer bottle refill stations will be installed in high-traffic buildings.
  • Water systems have been operated, maintained and will be tested to ensure safe drinking water.
  • HVAC systems have been maintained and are operating to meet American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers guidelines.
  • 500 additional garbage cans have been purchased.
  • Signage reminding people to practice safe habits will be installed in common areas such as restrooms and elevators.
  • Additional signage kits will be developed for departments to download and print out on their own.
  • Building circulation plans are being evaluated .
  • Alternative locations are being evaluated for classroom and student study areas uses such as TUC Great Hall, the Campus Recreation Center, and Nippert Stadium’s West Pavilion.

Ordering office cleaning supplies

COVID-19 supplies (sanitizing wipes and sprays) for individual and department offices can be acquired via UC contracted vendors such as GBEX and from the Facilities Management Stockroom with this form.

Find much more information on the Facilities Management website. Or contact Joyce Land-Whittaker, Director of Housekeeping, at landjm@uc.edu    

General workplace assessments

Units will evaluate workspaces and common areas according to university guidelines. Requests for modifications of space, if applicable, must be approved by the appropriate vice president, vice provost or dean. Provostal units should forward such requests to Vice Provost Chris Lewis (lewisct@uc.edu) for approval.

Managers should continually check with all returned employees to see if the work environment is adequately functioning, and all staff should continue to follow physical distancing guidelines.

Classroom cleaning

UC Housekeeping staff will clean each classroom daily five days per week and restock supplies. Ample cleaning supplies will be available in classrooms along with garbage cans so students and faculty can clean chairs, desks, countertops and keyboards at the beginning of each class. Faculty and staff should familiarize themselves with the recommended supplies and procedures posted on the Facilities Management website and all Safe Environment and Wellness resources posted on UC’s Coronavirus website. Contact Work Control at 558-2500 if classroom cleaning supplies are running low.

Classroom preparation

UC Planning, Design and Construction has posted classroom signage and resources on its website, including maximum occupancy signs and recommended seating diagrams for typical classroom configurations. Maximum occupancy signs will be posted outside classrooms of centrally scheduled spaces, and units can download the signs to post outside locally scheduled spaces. Maximum in-person attendance is not to exceed 50 persons regardless of the available space. Units can consult with PDC on seating solutions for local spaces by contacting Jamie Accurso, Director of Planning, at jamie.accurso@uc.edu.

Classroom scheduling

All UC campuses must comply with all relevant state and CDC guidelines. Best practices include ensuring 6-foot physical distancing capacity in all directions. Planning, Design and Construction (PDC) is providing computational analysis and conceptual space diagrams as guidance for classroom capacity and increased physical spacing. The registrar and colleges should use these guides to assign classroom space to course sections based on the needs of the course, the number of students enrolled, available space and physical distancing requirements.

Units can consult with PDC on potential solutions for labs, spaces where equipment is difficult to move, or spaces with other unique needs, by contacting Jamie Accurso, Director of Planning, at jamie.accurso@uc.edu. Colleges must seek approval for space modifications by the dean and Vice Provost Chris Lewis (lewisct@uc.edu) in the Office of the Provost. Colleges may place a work control order for materials after obtaining approval.

All costs are the responsibility of the unit. It is acceptable to use uncommitted Information Technology and Instructional Equipment (ITIE) funds for these additional expenses for student health and safety.

Classroom management

Maximum in-person attendance is not to exceed 50 persons. Courses meeting in-person where student enrollment exceeds 50 must make plans to ensure equal access for all students, either by staggering attendance or via other means. Classroom occupancy levels and diagrams exemplifying classroom types are available on the Planning, Design + Construction website. Students and faculty in classrooms should follow all safety measures outlined by the university, including facial coverings and maintaining 6 feet distance from others while in class.

A small supply of facial coverings will be available in the cleaning kits at the front of each classroom. Instructors may distribute these as needed to students who forget their own facial covering. When these supplies run out, students may purchase a facial covering at the UC Bookstore or at campus food service locations. Another small supply of facial coverings were provided to each Office of the Dean and departments may order packs of 100 masks from the Facilities Management stockroom.

Additionally, bottles of hand sanitizer have been added to the classroom cleaning kits for use by faculty after shared classroom audio visual equipment and other technology have been disinfected. Common work spaces and tools should be disinfected before and after each use. Facilities will also regularly clean spaces

What happens to a space if an on-campus member in a space contracts COVID-19?

UC’s Environmental Health and Safety will assess the space and determine a safe and effective course of action. Any cleaning and sanitization of that space would be based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Contact for UC Environmental Health and Safety is Director Jan Utrecht at
jan-arthur.utrecht@uc.edu

Please note that teaching spaces and other rooms may become unavailable for an extended period of time if an individual in the room subsequently tests positive for COVID-19. Faculty and staff, should prepare contingency plans in the event spaces become unavailable.


Events

Event restrictions and limits are mandated by the Ohio Department of Health during this pandemic.

These limits and restrictions will apply at all times until the ODH requirements are lifted or modified, though the university also reserves the right to apply its own event restrictions equal to or greater than ODH limitations at any time, as based on determinations around campus health and safety.

Please remember that any student who fails to abide by UC’s COVID-19 guidelines and state-issued mandates may be subject to charges under the Student Code of Conduct (SCOC). Students identified as not complying with guidelines risk being placed on interim suspension. This includes not wearing masks, attending parties or gatherings that occur on- or off-campus that exceeds safety guidelines, or engaging in behavior that may endanger the UC community. Students who are placed on interim suspension are prohibited from completing courses, being physically present on campus, and participating in university activities, events, and student organizations.

Large events can significantly increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19. As such, events must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis with consideration to the importance of the event as related to the mission of the university and the cultural life of the campus, as well as the ability to conduct in-person events within established safety protocols that include social distancing, facial coverings and sanitization.

The larger the number of persons that come into close contact in tighter spaces, the greater the risk of exposure to those in attendance. By comparison, outdoor events offer the benefit of fresh air and in many cases, increased social distance which typically improves the health and safety environment for all participants. Nevertheless, consideration will continue to be given to conducting events online whenever deemed appropriate to do so.       

As such, before buying tickets to physically attend any campus event, make certain that ticket refund policies are fully understood and agreeable as those will vary dependent on the respective venue at which an event is scheduled to take place. Athletics, theater and other campus events have different ticket refund policies and it is strongly recommended that all participants fully understand those policies because of the changing environment in which we currently find ourselves.

The safety and well-being of all UC students, faculty, staff and visitors will remain at the forefront of event planning and coordination during the 2020 Fall academic semester and beyond. That being the case, any large gathering of persons for any reason must be managed differently as compared to years past, whether those events might be ceremonies, concerts, theatrical and dance performances, conferences, movies, fundraising activities, exhibits/fairs, lectures, meetings, receptions and social gatherings. 

With priority given to the health and safety of event attendees, several guidelines established by ODH and CDC, including those listed below have been adopted by the university and will apply to campus events:

 Ohio Department of Health

  • 10 person gathering limit (p.2)    
  • Facial coverings (p.3)
  • Social distance requirements  (p.7)
  • Hand sanitizer (p.7)

CDC Guidelines for Events

Limitations on gatherings apply outdoors too

The limitations on gatherings in terms of social distancing (6 feet) and individuals (10-person limit) applies outdoors as well.

Moreover, the university has imposed use limitations on outdoor spaces in order to safeguard health and to promote social distancing. At the following outdoor spaces, you will find signage indicating the below overall limits to use of the space:

  • Gettler Field (outdoor track and its midfield): No more than 100 at any one time.
  • Nippert Stadium: No more than 100 on the field for recreational use at any one time.
  • Sigma Sigma Commons: No more than 100 in the greenspace at any one time for recreational use.
  • Sheakley Field: No more than 50 in the recreational space at any one time.
Please note that in addition to the above overall space limitations, all users are to maintain social distance and limit any individual grouping to no more than 10.

Prospective students and other visitors

UC is a public university that boasts campuses that are among the most beautiful in the country and especially welcoming to visitors.  

As such, our campus community is committed to assisting all persons who visit any UC locations, whether in Blue Ash, Center Hill, Clermont, Reading, Uptown or Walnut Hills.

During these challenging times, it is recommended that whenever possible, all wishing to visit campus to conduct business first attempt to do so online, by email or by phone.

If conducting business online, by email or by phone is not possible or visiting campus is preferred for other reasons, please be assured that health and safety remains a university priority.

Admissions and financial aid

Primary contact with Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid will remain online for advising,  events and virtual tours. The office will provide information for self-guided tours with physical distancing guidelines.

Advising and academic services

The Pathways Advising Center will offer online advising appointments and inquiries and will re-evaluate in September.

Bearcats Bound Orientation

Summer Orientation is being delivered online and includes town hall meetings for incoming students and parents, online communities to get to know fellow students, and meetings with academic advisors. Student Orientation Leaders (SOLS) facilitate a large part of the online experience through a Canvas course to introduce essential technology and prepare students for their online courses in the Fall.

One Stop Center

One Stop Student Service Center will continue to operate primarily online through at least August 24, 2020. Services are available via phone, email, chat and video chat. A few staff members will be on site in University Pavilion (Uptown Campus), Muntz Hall (Blue Ash Campus), and the Student Services Building (Clermont Campus) from August 17 through September 4, 2020, to support walk-in students returning to campus. Additional staff will be on site in the building for emergencies, staff relief and escalation of requests, though these staff will generally be housed in private offices and not accessible to the public. ,

As such, expect that online operations will continue to be the prevalent mode of operation for One Stop even beyond August 24. 

West Campus Welcome Desk

The Welcome Desk for Undergraduate Admissions and University Visits also functions as a university-wide information and welcome desk for students, families and other campus visitors. Beginning August 17, a staff member will be at the desk to answer questions and direct visitors. Up to two additional staff will be available for staff relief and escalated cases. UC will provide disposable facial coverings for visitors who do not have one. You can also reach out directly to your admissions representative and take advantage of UC’s Virtual Visit until campus visits resume.

Invited visitors or guests

University-sponsored or invited visitors must be approved by the vice president of the unit sponsoring or inviting the visitors. Contractors of the university must abide by established safety protocols while on campus.

All UC campus visitors are required to review and comply with the following prior to visiting campus:

Reporting requirements for campus visitors

All visitors returning from international travel must complete a 14-day self-quarantine prior to entering any university facility or attending any event or meeting on campus. Additionally, all visitors traveling from any foreign country should register with University Health Services prior to entering any university facility or attending any event or meeting on campus.

Finally, any campus visitors meeting the following criteria should also report via the UC COVID Check app. UC's COVID Check app is free and easy to use. It can be downloaded through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. A web-based REDCap survey is also available as an alternative to using the app.

  • Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is being tested due to symptoms suggestive of the infection.
  • Anyone with close contact with an individual confirmed to have COVID-19 by laboratory testing or with a presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19, meaning not tested but diagnosed by a physician as likely to have the infection.
  • Anyone returning from travel by cruise ship.