Return to Campus
Updated Covid-19 workplace guidelines can be found in the OHR's Toolkit for Supervisor's.
Hand Sanitizer Stations
Hand sanitizer stations have been placed in select public areas and entrances around campus. The free standing hand sanitizer dispensers will be refilled regularly.
Cleaning the Duluth Campus
Facilities Management Custodians have been deep cleaning and disinfecting every building using cleaning agents approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for killing the COVID-19 virus. Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing is being conducted in high-touch areas, such as furniture, door handles and plates, light switches, elevator buttons, ledges and handrails, and waste stream receptacles. As custodians continue to help protect the campus by increased cleaning and disinfecting, they need your help to maintain community health.
- FM custodians clean spaces such as building lobbies, restrooms, drinking fountains, door push bars, door handles, handrails, stair railings and elevator buttons at least once daily, and more frequently if deemed necessary.
- For shared departmental equipment, such as phones, keyboards, and copiers, individual users will be responsible to clean these surfaces prior to individual use.
- Departmentally owned spaces such as labs will continue to be primarily serviced by the lab occupants, as they had been doing prior to COVID-19.
- Personal offices will be serviced once a week, unless asked to stay out.
- Restrooms and office suites will be serviced daily.
- FM is supplying scheduled general purpose classrooms with disinfectant pop-up wipes.
- Covid cleaning stations have been placed throughout campus with disinfectant and directions. If you have questions about our cleaning products, please email [email protected].
- All cleaning products meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements.
For areas with confirmed or reported COVID-19 cases, see University Health & Safety - Cleaning Work Areas Occupied by a COVID-19 Case.
Covid-19 Special Cleaning Needs
If there are special cleaning needs required in spaces across campus related to positive covid-19 results, please contact Facilities Management. You may contact FM the following ways:
During business hours (7:30am-4:00pm, M-F):
1. Call FM at (218) 726-8262
2. Contact [email protected]
Evening hours (4:00pm - 11:30pm, M-F): Call (218) 726-8147
Weekend hours (Friday 11:30pm - Monday 7:30am): Call FM emergency cell phone at (218) 726-7007
Building Traffic Guidelines
Stay to the right in public traffic areas including building entrances, hallways, corridors, stairwells, lobbies and tunnels. Hallways and stairwells may not be restricted to one-way traffic due to building egress requirements.
- Restrooms: observe physical distancing particularly at restroom entrances and at close quarters
- Do not post individual/departmental signs restricting usage for public restrooms as single occupancy (this does not apply to departmental restrooms)
- Receptacles will be placed closer to restroom entrances wherever possible
- Elevators: Do not post individual/departmental signs restricting usage
- Some clinics may have masking and physical distancing requirements. Watch for signs.
For units who wish to keep COVID-19 restrictions in place, such as continuing to require masking of physical distancing, refer to and follow this process: COVID-19 Restriction Exception process.
HVAC System Analysis and Modifications
Shortly after the start of the SARS-COV-2 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) issued guidance for operating Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems with "epidemic conditions in place." This guidance has been updated frequently as more was learned about the spread of COVID-19.
The University formed a Campus Sunrise HVAC Workgroup that included Facilities Management (FM), University Health and Safety (UHS), and faculty experts to review the CDC and ASHRAE guidance and determine how that guidance applied to the various mechanical systems used across the University. FM implemented the mitigation strategies recommended by the Campus Sunrise HVAC Workgroup prior to the start of fall semester 2020 and those measures remain in place.
The Campus Sunrise HVAC Workgroup has recommended a cautious approach as the State and University anticipate a transition to post-epidemic operations. For now, based on these recommendations, FM plans to maintain a variety of mitigation strategies for HVAC systems. The strategies are outlined below followed by notes related to specific space types.
General HVAC Mitigation Strategies
Extended building operations
- Most building ventilation systems are again operating with their pre-pandemic time of day schedules with the addition of a 2-hour pre- or post-occupancy purge period. The purge cycle is intended to flush the space after occupants leave for the day and before occupants arrive the following day. This gives the HVAC system additional time to reduce the concentration of potentially infectious particles from the room.
- Demand control ventilation systems which provide outside air according to space CO2 levels and occupancy sensors have been bypassed. The systems operate only based on the time of day schedule and at the design ventilation rate.
Increased outdoor air and enhanced filtration
FM has started to receive shipments of high efficiency MERV 13 filters for our air handling units. We plan to upgrade all units across campus, as filters become available. This process will take up to one year to complete. Most units currently operate with standard efficiency MERV 8 filters, which have a capture efficiency of up to 85% for particles of 3-10 microns in size, but fall to under 20% efficiency for smaller particles of 1-3 microns. The new filters are over 90% efficient for all particles down to 1 micron in size.
- FM engineering teams have evaluated HVAC systems to validate they are functioning according to current ventilation standards.
- The amount of outdoor air provided by HVAC systems has been increased as much as practical given the capacity limits of each system. Increasing the outdoor air percentage limits use of recirculated air as much as possible.
- Reducing recirculated air is the primary mitigation strategy, but in some cases, filters were upgraded based on a combination of factors including; the application, system capability, and availability of filter media.
- Windows in naturally ventilated classrooms will be opened between classes as appropriate for the weather conditions.
- Portable filtration units that recirculate space air through HEPA filters and return it to the space have been installed in select rooms. Filtration units are typically used in classroom spaces that cannot meet the desired baseline ventilation rates or spaces that are considered at high risk for virus transmission (e.g. healthcare applications).
Office Environments - Requests for modifications may be placed through the Facilities Management Work Request form. Departments are responsible for the cost.
Use of Clear Partitions - Visit UHS Partition Guidance to learn about using partitions and barriers in University spaces to limit the spread of COVID-19. There are various options customizable to meet a variety of spaces and needs. Use the Partition Decision Checklist to determine if a partition is the best solution. Partitions may be ordered through the Facilities Management Work Request Form. Departments are responsible for the cost.
Classrooms - Click here for UMD Classroom Guidance FAQ.
FM staff is flushing building water fixtures (sink faucets, showers, drinking fountains and bottle fillers) ensuring they are within published standards. Departments are recommended to flush ice and coffee makers to ensure a fresh water supply.
Everyone’s Personal Responsibility
We all play a part in keeping each other safe. For more general Information on how to protect yourself, others, our University environment, and all other environments, visit the following: