ECU requires face masks as students head back to class

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 1:01 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2020 at 10:19 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Students at East Carolina University returned to classes Monday morning for the first time since March.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the university is requiring everyone on campus to wear a face mask.

The university says face coverings will be worn in public spaces and in face-to-face meetings while on campus. This includes classrooms, labs, and on buses.

East Carolina students returned to campus on Monday.
East Carolina students returned to campus on Monday.(WITN)

ECU says masks are required where six-feet of social distancing is not possible, including outdoors.

Emily Fisher will be a senior this year and says, “I think it’s a good idea, I think if we have to come back to campus everyone might as well be wearing a mask for everyone’s safety”

ECU says it is also requiring social distancing of at least six feet whenever possible.

Students in health care are being encouraged to have a COVID-19 test before arriving back on campus, or before engaging in campus activities.

The university says no decision has been made on how fall athletics would work. A spokeswoman says they are working closely with state and local health officials, the UNC System, the American Athletic Conference, and the NCAA.

Alexander Nelson is a junior and says he doesn’t mind wearing a mask on campus and thinks there’s a way to make it work for sporting events too. “Providing masks at the entrance of games would also be a good idea.”

UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina State announced last week that masks would be required on campus in the fall.

Universal Facility Use Expectations

1. Require social distancing, defined as 6 feet apart (3–6 feet in classrooms) and face coverings in all public areas of campus

2. The university continues to encourage the use of approved platforms to conduct meetings virtually. If approved by the supervisor, teleworking may continue for performing job duties.

3. Follow approved guidelines for space/room capacity requirements and pre-function queuing.

4. Provide ongoing cleaning/sanitizing of high touch surfaces and utilize disinfecting wipes in between scheduled cleanings by building occupants (OSHA, 2020).

5. Install hand sanitizing stations in all public areas as well as hand-washing signage.

6. Implement easily identifiable social distancing signage and decals of a universal nature in or near all campus spaces.

7. Install plastic/plexiglass safety barriers for persons who have frequent, in-person contact with the public, e.g., reception/checkout locations, waiting areas, cash registers, bus drivers (OSHA, 2020).

8. Water fountains should be used only for bottle refilling. Signage should be posted at all water fountains as to denote other water options.

9. Position additional trash receptacles (with a large opening) specifically near sanitizing stations to accommodate the increase of disposable items.

10. Minimize opportunity for gatherings during employee shift changes (CDC, 2020).

11. Identify and clearly label traffic flow patterns for all internal/external pathways (hallways, entrances, exits, buses, outdoor paths, etc.) (Cushman & Wakefield, 2020).

12. Limit access to elevators and post new/reduced load capacities.

13. Provide training to all students and employees on facility sanitization strategies (ACHA Guidelines, 2020).

14. Implement an appropriate plan for each facility and bus to have seating/standing adjusted to comply with social distancing. Markings should be explicitly clear.

15. Adjust all HVAC systems to increase outside air intake and inspect filter banks for by-pass (OSHA, 2020).

16. Limit the scale of meetings and events to comply with NC and UNC System guidance.

You can read the entire ECU fall reopening plan by clicking this link.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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