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Building FAQs

Will drinking water be available in the building?

Environmental Health and Safety says that the water fountains should be taken offline because they have high touch points and could be vectors for COVID-19. Freestanding water dispensers (Kentwood) are also being taken offline. Bottled water should be used in lieu of water fountains and dispensers.

Will air circulation in Tidewater will be assessed as well?

Yes, environmental consultants are conducting a thorough review of air circulation systems in the building.

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.

Will masks and hand sanitizer be supplied?

We have ordered supplies with the university and will be prepared by the time the building begins to repopulate.

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.