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Facilities Alterations Guidance

Executive Summary:

The purpose of this report is to identify best practices and document the recommended minimum approach to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 for common spaces and circulation within campus buildings.  This report strives to identify best practices which each college department or program should consider as they develop their unique restart plans.  The subcommittee developed minimum requirements for each category to maintain a degree of consistency across campus.

Minimum Requirements:

  1. Entrances – Post required signage at all entrances
  2. Corridors – Face coverings and physical distancing required

  3. Common Spaces – Face coverings and physical distancing required

  4. Stairs – Post Stay Right sign at each level

  5. Elevators –

    1. Post Elevator Courtesy sign at each level and identify occupancy of elevator

    2. Ensure exhaust fans serving elevator is functional and operating at full capacity

  6. Restrooms (General) –

    1. Maintain current fixture count

    2. Post Toilet Room Courtesy sign on exterior of bathroom door and indicate restroom maximum occupancy. Install Toilet Room Regulations sign in the interior of bathroom.

    3. Supply paper towels in restrooms

    4. Ensure toilet room exhaust fans are running and fully functional

    5. Remove restroom furniture

    6. Personal Care Items and Belongings – User belongings should be kept in a personal basket/tote with a cover and removed from the restroom.

  7. Residence Hall Restrooms –

    1. Same as general restrooms
    2. Do not store personal items in restrooms

    3. Post occupancy of each restroom

  8. Public Use Restrooms – Same as general restrooms

  9. Locker Rooms (General) – Post Locker Room Courtesy sign at entrances and within space

  10. Changing Areas/Lockers – Same as general locker rooms

  11. Communal Shower Areas – Same as general locker rooms

  12. Private Shower Areas – Same as general locker rooms

Introduction

President Pollack and Provost Kotlikoff have convened eight committees comprising senior leadership, faculty, and staff to work through the many details related to implementing the campus reactivation plan.  There are seven subcommittees under Facilities and Supply Chain including the subcommittee which authored this report focused on General Facilities Alterations.  The purpose of the General Facilities Alterations subcommittee is to identify best practices and document the recommended minimum approach to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 for common spaces and circulation within buildings.  The subcommittee focused primarily on administrative controls to effect human behavior due to both time and financial constraints.  The subcommittee reviewed best practices against building code, ADA and environmental health and safety requirements.  The spaces covered within this report include general circulation, restrooms and locker rooms.  General circulation includes building entrances, corridors, stairs, elevators and common spaces.  Restrooms cover residential restrooms, private use campus restrooms and public use campus restrooms.  Locker rooms cover changing areas with lockers, communal shower areas and private shower areas.  Intercollegiate sports locker rooms are not covered in this report.

There are a wide variety of buildings and spaces on campus with unique operational requirements.  This report strives to identify best practices which each college can consider as they develop their unique restart plans.  The subcommittee developed minimum requirements for each category to maintain a degree of consistency across campus.  These guidelines are for the benefit of colleges and units to be implemented in each building under the direction of the Unit Facility Director.  Building Managers and Unit Facility Directors should review the report and identify the appropriate approach for each of their buildings and coordinate the implementation. The report references previous guidance issued by the University via the COVID 19 website.  This report functions as a living document and we encourage colleges and units to share feedback on the performance of these recommendations and minimum requirements.  The subcommittee will provide updates to this report as we refine strategies to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. 

Team Members:

Lisa M Anderson, David Arquiza Barber, Wayne A. Davenport, Erik P. Eshelman, Travis Fisher, Tim Fitzpatrick, Nadine Hachmann, Andrea Haenlin-Mott, Levi James Harmon, Michael Niechwiadowicz, Matthew T. Reiter, Darrell A. Reynolds, J Shermeta, Taylor Thompson, Jessie Miller Wells, and Gary Norbert Wilhelm  

General References:

General Comments:

  • All sign information needs to be populated on a campus website that will be available for people with visual disabilities to understand building specific protocols regarding navigation, restroom access and requirements for entry.

Categories

1. Circulation

  1. Subcategory: Entrances

    1. Minimum requirements:

      1. Face coverings are to be worn when entering a building and while in the building unless you are alone in your own office.

      2. Sign all facility entrances with Face Covering Required at All Times sign, Restricted Access sign or Do Not Enter sign, if applicable, based on unit’s reactivation plan.

    2. Options to consider:

      1. Access Controls can be used to minimize access and reduce density in facility.

      2. Install signage inside major entryways to inform entrants and occupants of requirements for disinfection, distancing, face covering, hygiene practices, and other relevant information.

      3. Evaluate building entrances, exits, traffic flow, and volume to determine if unidirectional travel is feasible to prodbmote distancing and reduce density. Sign unidirectional traffic flow with Enter Here sign, Do Not Enter sign, and One Way floor markings as necessary. If facility only has one accessible entryway it cannot be signed as unidirectional. (View examples in Box)

  2. Subcategory: Corridors  
    1. Minimum requirement:
      1. Face covering and physical distancing required.
      2. Options to consider:

        1. Sign corridors and other major thoroughfares with Physical Distancing floor signs where applicable: Physical Distancing sign, One Way Floor sign, Please Wait Here sign, Do Not Enter sign, Please Stand Here sign, and Stay Right sign as necessary.

        2. Encourage traffic to stay right when walking and as closely to walls as possible to create maximum distance between two-way traffic.

        3. Consider modifying and staggering the class, work, and event schedules to reduce traffic density throughout the day.

        4. Paths of egress accessible to the public cannot be unidirectional. Evaluate secondary traffic flow, and volume to determine if unidirectional travel is feasible to promote distancing and reduce density. Sign unidirectional traffic flow with Enter Here sign, Do Not Enter sign, and One Way floor markings as necessary. Use floor plans to define circulation paths and post them on floors (View examples in Box).

  3. Subcategory: Common Spaces
    1. Minimum requirement:
      1. Face coverings required and maintain physical distancing.
    2. Options to consider:
      1. Close common areas and other shared spaces if not imperative use area.
      2. Post signage indicating maximum allowable occupancy with floor plan showing spacing of individuals within the space.
      3. Control occupancy
        1. Modify furniture configuration to set up single occupant areas and repurpose common spaces.
        2. Disable or remove and store any unnecessary shared use items or indicate by other means they are not for current use.
        3. Require space to be scheduled and only available for the designated number of occupants.
  4. Subcategory: Stairs
    1. Minimum requirement:
      1. Post Stay Right sign at each stair entrance.
    2. Option to consider:
      1. Paths of egress accessible to the public cannot be unidirectional. Evaluate building stairs to determine if unidirectional travel is feasible to promote distancing and reduce density. Sign unidirectional traffic flow with Up Only sign and Down Only sign as necessary. Consider how accessible routes could be impacted by these routes.
  5. Subcategory: Elevators
    1. Minimum requirement:
      1. Post Elevator Courtesy sign at each level and fill in occupancy of elevator based on physical distancing requirement of 6 feet minimum. Strongly consider single occupancy elevator use.
      2. Ensure exhaust fans serving elevator is functional and operating at full capacity. Exhaust fans should be set to run continuously to reduce stale air situations.
    2. Option to consider:
      1. Install Please Stand Here floor marking to designate physical distancing inside elevator cabs for greater than single occupancy.

2. Restrooms

  1. General Minimum Requirements:
    1. Maintain current fixture count.  Please refer to Cornell EHS’s Facility Guidance Restroom Access document for direction on re-opening restroom facilities. As indicated in Environmental Health and Safety’s Facility Guidance on Restroom Access, Facilities or their occupants shall not be permitted to restrict access, monitor access, or reduce occupancy below the existing number of toilets, urinals, sinks, and drinking fountains/bottle fillers in a particular location. (Per OSHA and NYS Building Codes).
    2. Install Toilet Room Courtesy sign on exterior of bathroom door and indicate maximum occupancy. Install Toilet Room Regulations sign in interior of bathroom. The maximum occupancy is determined by the number of toilet fixtures. Consider impacts to diversity and inclusion from limiting restrooms occupancy.
    3. Supply paper towels in restrooms which only have hand dryers. We strongly recommend installing dispensers according to building code and ADA requirements.
    4. Ensure exhaust fans serving restroom facilities are functional and operating at full capacity when the building is occupied. Review existing bathroom fan controls sequences to ensure exhaust fans are running continuously during occupied periods. Exhaust fans should be set to run continuously to reduce stale air situations.
    5. Restroom Furniture and Communal Areas - Furniture in restroom areas should be removed or labeled with Please Do Not Sit Here sign to reduce density.
    6. Personal Care Items and Belongings – User belongings should be kept in a personal basket/tote with a cover and removed from the restroom. Discourage placing personal items on high touch surfaces such as restroom fixtures, furniture, shelving, and countertops.
  2. General Options to consider:
    1. Note the available bathroom facilities location, room number, and occupancies with signage on the main floor. This could cut down on overcrowding and limit time in public spaces.
    2. For low occupancy restrooms, consider installing occupied/unoccupied sliders outside the restroom.
  3. Subcategory: Residence Hall Restrooms
    1. Minimum requirements:
      1. Follow restroom minimum requirements.
    2. Options to consider:
      1. Develop anonymous process for residence hall occupants to reserve or sign up for showers
      2. Assign students to specific restrooms within the residence halls.
  4. Subcategory: Public Use Restrooms
    1. Minimum requirement:
      1. Follow restroom minimum requirements.
    2.  Option to consider:
      1. Anticipating high volume during class turnover, provide floor markings near fixture to indicate 6’ separation where feasible. For example, at a sink/fixture where a line may form. 

3. Locker rooms

  1. General Minimum Requirements
    1. Install Locker Room/Shower Room Courtesy sign (currently being developed) on the exterior of locker room entrances and strategic locations within the locker room.
    2. Refer to restroom minimum requirements.
    3. Showers - Quantities can be reduced and/or restricted completely if maintaining physical distancing in shower areas is a concern. This does not include toilet, urinals, lavatories, or plumbing fixtures.

b. Subcategory: Changing Areas/Lockers

  1. Minimum Requirement:
    1. Install Locker Room Courtesy sign (currently being developed) on the exterior of locker room entrances and strategic locations within the locker room. Signage to urge patrons to not place personal items on sink or in common areas (block off or remove shelving).
  2. Options to consider:
    1. Provide floor markings to indicate six-foot distancing.
    2. Designate one-way traffic through the locker room where feasible.
    3. Take lockers offline that that are located adjacent to the circulation paths, high traffic areas, and corridors.
    4. Reservation system could be effective at keeping locker room occupants to those involved with Core Activities (training athletes, students with classes, etc.) and not those that can shower/change at home (retirees for example).
    5. Recommend closing locker rooms/showers that are poorly ventilated while keeping code required bathroom fixtures open).
    6. Consider locking out the public by key card access, if possible.
    7. Provide temporary hooks adjacent to shower for masks.

c. Subcategory: Communal Shower Areas

  1. Minimum requirement:
    1. Maintain physical distancing.
  2. Options Considered:
    1. Reservation of showers.
    2. Block times for high risk members immediately after scheduled cleaning.
    3. Remove shower heads.
    4. Close to public access.

d. Subcategory: Private Shower Areas

  1. Minimum requirement:
    1. Maintain physical distancing.
  2. Options Considered:
    1. Provide a privacy sign/slider at the entrance to the shower.
    2. Block times for usage within reservation.

Last updated 7/24/20