Face coverings must be worn by all employees working on campus when within 6 feet of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common work spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, vehicles, dormitory buildings, etc.). Even if you previously tested positive for COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, you must still wear a face covering. Appropriate use of face coverings is critical in minimizing the risk to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. A mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.
Anyone in a SUNY Poly (or affiliated) space is expected to wear a face covering that covers both nose and mouth at all times when social distancing is not possible (including areas such as buildings, grounds, shared laboratory areas, conference rooms, restrooms, elevators, hallways, corridors, entrances, common areas, lobbies, classrooms, etc.), except when alone in a private room, private office, private vehicle, or cubicle space when appropriate social distancing can be maintained, or when walking in a more isolated area with no other people in proximity, or when exercising outside when appropriate social distancing can be maintained.
EXEMPTIONS FROM FACE COVERINGS
Persons who are alone in an office space, are not required to wear a face covering. However, as soon as the person enters a common area where others may be present, a face covering is required.
If an employee sits in a cubicle environment and there are others within 6 feet of the employee, a face covering must be worn. However, if there are no co-workers in cubicles within 6 feet of an employee, this can be treated as if in a private office and not wear a face covering. Again, once the employee leaves the cubicle and enters a common hallway, walkway, or corridor where others may be present, a face covering must be worn.
Employees may wear their own cloth face covering, which will help SUNY Poly reduce the need to purchase additional face coverings, which are in short supply. Cloth face coverings must only be worn for one day at a time and must be properly laundered before use. Having a week’s supply of cloth face coverings can help reduce the need for daily laundering.
Upon request, cloth face coverings will be provided by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety. In Utica, please email your request to Sean.Clive@sunypoly.edu. In Albany, please email SUNYPolyEHS@sunypoly.edu.
USE AND CARE OF FACE COVERINGS
Tips on the use and care of face coverings:
How to wear and safely take off a cloth face covering:
Putting on the face covering/disposable face covering:
- Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering/disposable face covering.
- Ensure the face-covering/disposable face covering fits over the nose and under the chin.
- Situate the face-covering/disposable face covering properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
- Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
- Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face covering/disposable face covering.
Taking off the face covering/disposable face covering:
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face covering/disposable face covering.
- When taking off the face covering/disposable face covering, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
- Wash hands immediately after removing.
- For washable face coverings, place into a plastic or paper bag until laundered.
Care, storage, and laundering:
- Keep face coverings/disposable face covering stored in a paper bag when not in use.
- Cloth face coverings may not be used more than one day at a time and must be washed after use. Cloth face coverings should be properly laundered with regular clothing detergent when soiled and after each shift. Cloth face coverings should be replaced immediately if damaged (e.g. ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated.
- Disposable face coverings must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash after your shift or if it is soiled, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material) or visibly contaminated.
SOCIAL (PHYSICAL) DISTANCING
Keeping space between you and others is one of the best means of avoiding exposure to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you (or they) appear to have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Employees at work on-site should follow these social distancing practices:
- Stay at least six feet (about two arm lengths) from other people whenever possible.
- Do not gather in groups.
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.
If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Then throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Healthcare workers and a limited number of others in high-risk areas should use gloves as part of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). But according to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often is considered the best practice for common, everyday tasks.
Employees do not need to wear goggles or face shields as part of their general activity on campus. Good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient for non-healthcare environments.
DISINFECTION / CLEANING PROCEDURES
Custodial crews will continue to clean and disinfect high use common public areas and certain work spaces based on CDC guidelines for disinfection. Classroom spaces will also receive regular cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces (e.g. desks, table tops, chair arm rests).
The Facilities Department will maintain public hand sanitizer stations at primary building entrances and high-traffic areas. Additional hand sanitizer liquid is available in major office locations and in personal sized containers. These are available from the EHS office upon request.
Prior to reopening of buildings mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and monitoring systems will be assessed and readied by the Facilities Department staff.
Room occupants should wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.).
At periodic times, additional care should be taken by room occupants to wipe down and disinfect commonly used, public-facing surfaces used by multiple people (e.g. computer labs). Accordingly, those offices or functions with high traffic service counter areas will be provided with cleaning products for wiping down surfaces throughout the day by employees.
Common use equipment or locations (e.g. break rooms, time and activity entry work stations) must be cleaned and disinfected prior to and after each use. Users should always wash hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after using community equipment.
ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE CONTROL
Most buildings on campus will be open during normal business hours. At this time, entry to buildings will continue to be regulated. Your SUNY Poly ID Card is required for entry to all buildings, and you may not hold or prop open exterior doors for any other person.
Departments could stagger arrival, departure, and lunch times, which will reduce personal interactions at locations such as hallways, stairs, elevators, time clocks, etc. Employees are also encouraged to use alternate doorways to enter or exit buildings to reduce interactions.
In general, visitors and guests are not allowed on campus during this time. Any visitors, vendors, contractors, consultants, or others who are not part of the SUNY Poly campus community will be required to make appointments with the appropriate department contact, complete a COVID-19 related health screening and attest that they do not meet the criteria for restriction from campus. They are also required to sign in and out using the:
“Coronavirus (COVID-19) questionnaire and attestation
(SUNY Poly – Utica)” form: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jlz_G_yV67pAZA3gYAJz3361xpzQkyxx/view?usp=sharing
The online form: https://forms.gle/eEz4P1Rdf2oAvsem9 or by using an appropriate other department/office specific form.