Alfred University begins bringing employees back to campus
On Monday, July 13, Alfred University began bringing some employees back to campus as the University continues preparations for the Fall 2020 semester. All but essential workers have been working from home since late March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ALFRED, NY – On Monday, July 13, Alfred University began bringing some employees back to campus as the University continues preparations for the Fall 2020 semester. All but essential workers have been working from home since late March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approximately 50 employees returned to campus Monday to begin implementing safeguards contained in the University’s reopening plan. Physical Plant employees are undergoing initial training—following federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines—on cleaning and disinfecting buildings on campus; keeping proper records of cleaning; the use, distribution, and storage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs); and maintenance of handwashing and sanitizing stations.
Most of the workers who returned Monday are facilities staff from the University’s Physical Plant. Some researchers and technicians have also returned and will assist in cleaning and preparing for the arrival of students in August. Throughout the coming weeks, facilities staff will be cleaning and sanitizing all campus buildings, placing hand-sanitizing stations at critical locations, and installing COVID-19-related signage noting social distancing requirements, the need to wear masks/face coverings, and directional traffic flow.
“We are excited for the reopening of our campus,” said Mark Zupan, Alfred University president. “The return of employees is one of the first important steps in the process of ensuring a safe living, learning and working environment for our students, staff, and faculty.”
After safety measures have been implemented, the University will gradually bring groups of additional employees back to campus each Monday. Employees will return strategically, based on the roles they play in safely reopening campus. Some employees may continue to work from remote locations after the Fall semester commences on Aug. 24.
All employees returning to campus are required to complete a training program developed by Alfred University Office of Human Resources. Returning employees are also required to undergo an initial health screening as well as daily screenings. The University’s Information Technologies staff has developed a web-based application used to complete the daily screenings. The University is providing all employees with reusable masks, which must be worn when social distancing cannot be maintained.
Students will arrive on campus in a staggered schedule throughout the month of August, with Fall semester classes set to begin Aug. 24.
“We look forward to welcoming students to Alfred University in August,” Zupan said. “We will do so knowing that we have taken steps to protect the health and well-being of our students, staff, faculty, visitors to our campus, and members of the local community.”
Alfred University’s reopening plan was submitted to the New York State Department of Health on July 3. The plan—which can be viewed on the University’s Reopening Campus Fall 2020 website—meets New York State guidelines for institutions of higher education.