General Infection Prevention Measures

As CDC guidelines change (both general and specific to Institutes for Higher Education), our recommendations will adapt to reflect the latest ideas for reducing the risk of transmission on campus.

Distancing

Physical distancing is the most effective preventative measure for COVID-19. Avoid close contact with others, and maintain 6’ distance between yourself and others, including between workstations, when possible.  The college will be implementing the following measures and policies:

  • Employees are asked to limit occupancy in elevators on campus
  • Employees are asked to limit occupancy in shared spaces whenever possible
    • Stagger breaks so that break rooms may be used by employees throughout the day
  • Maintain distancing where and when possible in hallways, stairwells, and on campus pathways
  • Schedule appointments to reduce lines and congested waiting areas
  • Limit employees to 2 people per utility cart or regular size college vehicle, with face covering required
  • No handshaking
Handwashing

Bates College promotes frequent and thorough hand washing by providing a place for employees to wash their hands and/or alcohol-based sanitizing products with at least 60% alcohol, located in numerous prominent locations throughout campus. Employees are encouraged to wash hands frequently, and particularly before/after eating, before using a shared coffee machine, after handling materials provided by vendors, and after using the restroom.  Hand sanitizing stations are distributed throughout campus, and bathrooms are stocked with appropriate soap and signage for good hygiene.

Enhanced Cleaning Practices

OSHA has indicated that “It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads.”  To reduce the likelihood of exposure and transmission, Bates is enhancing custodial practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and equipment, with more frequency in shared work areas.

Staying Home When Sick

As stated in communications throughout this pandemic, the college requires employees to stay home if they are sick. Additional details on what to do if sick are provided in “Self-Monitoring, what to do if you have symptoms, and returning to work”.

Respiratory Etiquette

As indicated by CDC signage in multiple locations on campus, the community is asked to practice respiratory etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes).

Meetings

In person meetings must not exceed the limits identified by the Governor’s executive order.  In general, managers are encouraged to conduct meetings electronically, even when working on campus. The college will not reimburse for communal food for campus meetings.  Employees are discouraged from bringing shared food.

Testing

The college has set up extensive PCR testing, mandatory for students, due to the congregate living environment in a residential college setting. Robust testing and contact tracing are critical to maintaining the health and safety of the Bates community. By identifying asymptomatic individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and limiting their interactions with others, the college can mitigate on-campus transmission of COVID-19. Testing, therefore, is very important for those who have frequent “close contact” with others in the Bates community, particularly students living in residence halls and other congregate settings.

The college strongly encourages faculty and staff with frequent close interactions with colleagues or students to test twice a week. Most faculty teaching on campus and staff in Campus Safety, Custodial, Dining, Ladd Library, and Student Affairs would meet this criterion. Those individuals who are frequently on campus, but have more limited close interactions, are encouraged to test once a week. Typically these would be individuals who are on campus at least two to three days per week. Faculty who are not teaching during a module or are teaching remotely, and staff who are working from home with limited on-campus activity and interaction, are discouraged from traveling to campus simply for the purpose of testing.