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Building & Classroom FAQs

Will persons entering Tulane University buildings have to undergo temperature screening or symptom screening prior to entry?

Students and employees are expected to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms by completing a brief daily COVID-19 symptom questionnaire prior to coming to campus for class or work or participating in a Tulane sponsored event off campus.

Will drinking water be available in the building?

Traditional water fountains and hand-operated water dispensers have been taken off line, per safety recommendations. Foot- or sensor-operated water dispensers may still be used. Bottled water should be used in lieu of off-line water fountains and dispensers.

How do we know the building is safe? 

Tulane University enlisted JS Held, a global consulting firm with expertise in environmental health and safety, to assess all Tulane buildings. JS Held has assessed the Tidewater building and provided a 16-page report with recommendations on classroom setup, shared office restrictions, limitations for high touchpoint items such as coffee pots, signage in common areas, HVAC filtration and air turnover minimums, and much more. Crews from Campus Services, Emergency Preparedness, Occupational Health and Safety, the Dean’s Office, and individual departments have been working hard to prepare our buildings to meet and often exceed the JS Held recommendations. 

On Monday, August 3, an in-depth audit was conducted to ensure the JS Held recommendations have been implemented. The SPHTM was given high marks for preparation and we received approval to move forward with repopulating the Tidewater building and the return to on-ground classes.   

Tulane University has contracted with another vendor who performed a building-wide sanitization. Custodial staff will be wiping down high touch areas within the buildings on a regular basis, including elevators, elevator lobbies, primary door handles, and handrails. Faculty, staff and students will be responsible for disinfecting their own work and living areas frequently and clean frequently touched surfaces, such as computer keyboard, mouse, and phone. Department staff should setup a schedule to wipe down their own high touch points periodically during the day.

What are the safety procedures in the J. Bennett Johnston (JBJ) Building regarding elevator occupancy, masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning?

JBJ is managed by the School of Medicine, but SPHTM will work with them to ensure that there are adequate supplies and protocols.

Will stairwells be available?

Access to the stairs from the lobby is challenging because it bypasses the security desk. However, we are looking into ways we can make this possible. Stairwells will be designated one-way, with one set designated up and one designated down to reduce cross-traffic. Of course, in an emergency, all stairwells will revert to the safest direction, generally down.

Are there actual procedures for social distancing via the elevators: both inside and while waiting?

We have installed stanchions to queue people while waiting for the elevator. Everyone will be required to remain six feet apart. Only two people will be permitted per elevator and there are graphics in each elevator demonstrating where individuals should stand while inside. We have also added signage indicating that people should use the back elevators for trips between the first and twelfth floors. University engineers have been working over the summer to perform some upgrades to the elevators and have added an alert system to notify them when a cab is not functioning. We will also ask that anyone notify the Dean's Office if they see an elevator out of service as a back-up.

What are the mask requirements for Tidewater?

Masks will be required for everyone in the building outside of individual offices. Visitors will be given masks if needed at the front desk. Also, hand sanitizer will be placed in common areas.

Will Tulane provide me with masks? If so how can I get one?

Each student and employee will be provided with a cloth mask(s) at the start of the Fall semester. It is important to wash that mask daily. If you happen to forget your mask at home, please see the security desk in Tidewater for a temporary mask.

Are the one-way stairwells safe in terms of fire code?

Good question. The one-way stairwells only apply to normal use. In the case of emergency, all stairwells can be utilized for either up or down.

How are classrooms cleaned at the end of each day?

Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily using only approved EPA-registered cleaning products and disinfectants on the EPA’s list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, the Cause of COVID-19. High contact surfaces such as computers, mice, printers, copiers, tablets, and laptops and desks will be cleaned and disinfected with an appropriate EPA List-N disinfectant single-use wipe or rag.

What is the process for cleaning rooms between classes? What are the responsibilities of individual students and professors?

Students entering classrooms will be provided with a Ziplock bag that contains two disinfecting wipes (55% isopropyl alcohol). Student takes out both wipes and uses one to wipe their space (desk and chair) and discards this wipe in one of the Ziplock bags. At the end of class, the student wipes down their space with the second wipe and tosses out Ziplock bag as they leave the classroom.

How should cleaning wipes be disposed of in the classroom?

The wipes should be discarded into a garbage can located in the classroom.

What types of cleaning products are handled by students and faculty? What are the active ingredients in these products?

Disinfectant wipes containing 55% isopropyl alcohol will be provided to students and faculty for use in the classrooms.