Baruch College Fall 2022 Safe Campus Operations Plan
Last updated August 2022
Table of Contents
PART 1: INTRODUCTION
PART 2: PROTOCOLS
A. Campus Access: Vaccination and Testing Mandates
B. Reporting and Managing Positive Covid-19 Cases
— Isolate and Transport Those Who are Sick
C. Reclosing in the Event of an Outbreak
E. Physical Distancing
F. Operational Activity
— Vulnerable Populations
— Mental Health and Welfare
— Travel Domestic and International
F. Communications Plan
PART 3: GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR HEALTHY FACILITIES
A. Cleaning and Disinfection
B. Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Other Air Quality Measures
C. Water Treatment
PART 1: INTRODUCTION
Baruch College will return to normal campus operations fall semester 2022. We remain dedicated to providing a safe and healthy environment for our faculty, staff and students.
We will evolve and adapt our protocols based on internal and external conditions and any changes in CUNY, CDC, NYS, and NYC guidelines and mandates.
We have a communication hub on our website, Baruch Forward, for all matters COVID-related information concerning safety campus operations and will update it regularly. We welcome input from the campus community.
PART 2: PROTOCOLS
- All full time and part time faculty and non-instructional staff (which includes among others HEOs, ECP, NTAs, CLTs) must be fully vaccinated in order to be employed by CUNY and to access campus unless, unless they have requested and obtained a religious or medical exemption. For those staff with an approved medical or religious exemption, they must present a negative COVID test result from a CUNY Testing program prior to entering campus. The test is only valid if it was done within 7 days. Classified staff must either be fully vaccinated or present a negative test from a CUNY testing site done within 7 days.
- Fully vaccinated is defined as 2 shots of Pfizer or Moderna or one shot of Johnson & Johnson. Faculty and staff must upload their vaccination documents into CUNYfirst for review and approval by OHR.
- Baruch has on-site testing in the Newman Vertical Campus multi-purpose room. Testing is by appointment but walk-ins will be accepted. Results will be available to the individual and the campus within 24 hours on weekdays, 48 hours on weekends. You can be tested at any of the CUNY sites here.
- CUNY has instituted a random surveillance testing program for weekly testing of 10% of the vaccinated and unvaccinated faculty, staff and student population of the campus using CUNY testing sites. Participation is mandatory and failure to participate will result in removal of right to campus access.
- Weekly testing will be required for student athlete and dorm residents regardless of vaccination status.
- CUNY has detailed FAQs on testing for faculty and staff.
- More details provided on Baruch Forward website on the Faculty and Staff FAQs and the Campus Access pages.
- All students must be fully vaccinated to attend face-to-face classes or access the campus for any other resources unless granted a religious or medical exemption. Details here. If a student is granted a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination mandate, they may access campus but only by presenting a negative CUNY test from a CUNY testing site. The test is only valid for seven days.
- All visitors which includes vendors, contractors and attendees at external events must be pre-authorized by senior campus leadership and Public Safety must be informed of the date/location/purpose of the visit. Visitors must comply with CUNY Visitor’s policy on vaccination/tests. allow access to those who are fully vaccinated and provide pr. Visitors may either use a CUNY application (Clear4u) to upload their documentation or present a CDC card or Excelsior Pass or NYC Pass along with photo id or a negative PCR test conducted within 7 days of entry.
- CUNY will distribute rapid tests to the testing sites to accommodate an unanticipated requirement for an individual to enter campus.
- All faculty, staff, students and campus visitors who are sick must stay home or return home if they become ill while on campus.
- Before returning to campus, faculty, staff or students who have been sick with Covid-19, tested positive for Covid-19, or have been potentially exposed to someone with Covid-19 must follow CUNY guidance prior to returning to campus, including direction to report status to Coronavirus Liaison and follow instructions to isolate/quarantine and other guidance. More details here.
- Faculty, staff or students who have traveled must follow current CDC guidelines and NYS Department of Health guidelines, which may require quarantine when returning from certain locations before coming to campus.
- All faculty, staff and students will need a valid college identification card and will use it to swipe in at turnstile or card swipe device. We have limited entry points to campus buildings and all entry points are staffed by Public Safety officers who only allow entry to those who are authorized. Public Safety will assign sufficient staff at all entry points to facilitate screening and prevent congestion.
- Students in residence hall will be required to be fully vaccinated and follow all testing protocols for those population.
- Baruch College and CUNY have protocols in place for students, faculty and staff who have Covid-19 symptoms, a positive Covid-19 test result, or who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19. The protocols are detailed here and are summarized on these flowcharts for students and faculty and staff. The Coronavirus Liaison is the point person to receive reports of any individual on campus or in the student residence, including faculty, staff, students, or visitors who have been diagnosed with Covid-19. Details here.
- The Liaison will be report cases on the CUNY Covid-19 Safety Tracker, which is updated on a weekly basis and maintained.
- Based on the results of contact tracing, the Coronavirus Liaison will notify those who have had close/sustained contact with an individual diagnosed with Covid-19 the guidance to determine the required tracing based on the exposure.
- In the case of the students on campus and students in the residence hall, the Coronavirus Liaison will work with Dean of Student Affairs on tracking contacts and notice to those with close/sustained contact.
- Any individual who comes to campus or while on campus is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms (such as fever, shortness of breath) will be asked to return home.
- We have designated rooms 108B and 108C in the Field Building (17 Lexington Ave) and room 1-153 in the Vertical Campus (55 Lexington Ave) as isolation rooms to be used. Current practice is that Public Safety receives all reports of sick individuals on campus. An individual may self-report, an observer may report, such as an instructor in a class or friend of the sick individual, or Public Safety may observe the person exhibiting signs of illness or injury. Public Safety is responsible for assisting the individual. Public Safety will immediately separate and isolate any individual on campus exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms to the designated isolation until the individual is off campus.
- Public Safety will follow protocols currently in place for handling ill individuals. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the individual will return home or Public Safety will contact emergency medical services to take the person to the hospital.
- The College successfully moved to remote operations in a matter of days in March 2020 with no prior experience and little interruption in service. We delivered instruction, student services and almost all other campus operations remotely until reopening the campus August 16, 2021. We adapted and improved our remote operations during this period.
- We are prepared to return to remote learning for any of the onsite classes in this fall if necessary and scaling back of staff on-site except for essential staff. We have protocols in place for all campus operations to accomplish this task.
- We will follow CUNY guidelines established for reclosing.
- We will continuously monitor the local health situation by using NYC and NYS health agency resources for signs of a community spread in areas affecting our faculty, staff and students. We will refer to the key metrics on NYS Regional Dashboard.
- Another guide is the CDC data tracker for monitoring metrics of community transmission.
- We will also refer to CUNY COVID-19 Safety Tracker which contains data from our testing and reporting program here.
- All of these metrics will be used to detect early warnings of an infection surge and internal and external capacity to manage the surge.
- If we see such an outbreak, we will consult with CUNY and healthcare agencies for guidance on whether to reduce physical presence on campus and to what extent.
- We will also monitor signs of community or campus outbreaks of any other known influenza-like illnesses that may exacerbate the impact of Covid-19. We will use information from NYS and NYC health agencies or campus self-reported cases.
- The Chancellor in consultation with local and state authorities will make the final decision regarding a scaling back or shut down of operations. CUNY Central will continue to monitor campus and community infection rates and consider other factors identified in CUNY Guidelines.
- If we take any steps to close down some or all onsite activities. We will advise the campus community through all modes of communication channels.
- The August 2021 temporary mask mandate for indoor spaces has been lifted, effective March 7, 2022.
- Anyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status, can voluntarily wear an acceptable face or covering while in a campus building.
- Masks will continue to be available at building entrances at security desks for people who want them.
- The University urges the small number of faculty, staff, and students who are still not vaccinated, or those who have been granted a medical exemption or religious exception, to wear a mask.
- The only exceptions to wearing a mask inside are
- If you had close contact with someone with COVID-19 but you do not need to quarantine, as detailed here.
- Acceptable masks fit well and are worn correctly. Masks should fit smoothly on the face and be worn under the chin and over the nose. To ensure a good fit for 3-ply surgical masks, users could follow the knot and tuck method recommended by the CDC (demonstrated here.) For guidance on acceptable face covering please, refer to overall CUNY guidelines and the updated CDC guidance.
- The CDC offers the following guidance on care and cleaning of reusable face coverings. Additionally, individuals should follow care directions for commercially purchased face coverings from the manufacturer.
- Individuals should not share disposable masks.
- No physical distancing will be required for most outdoor activity. The campus does not have space to trigger CDC requirements for large outside group activities involving more than 5000 people.
- For indoor activity, physical distancing will not be required.
- Beginning this spring, our conference center and performing arts center will reopen for internal and external events. All participants must comply with our health and safety measures. Including strict compliance with NYS, CDS guidelines and CUNY guidelines for external visitors.
- Student Affairs Disability Office will actively engage with students with disabilities to identify issues they may be experiencing with remote learning and identify resources and possible solutions in partnership with BCTC.
- We will continue to offer the same service to vulnerable population that we have delivered prior to Covid-19 in both face-to-face and virtual formats.
- We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations and academic adjustments to allow qualified individuals the opportunity to participate in programs, activities and employment. The College will grant reasonable accommodations to students, faculty and staff related to Covid-19, and streamline the process, as needed, to handle the volume of Covid-19 related accommodations consistent with the CUNY policy here.
- The College partners with Mount Sinai to provide onsite health services for students at the Health Center.
- Student Affairs will offer virtual counseling and face-to-face counseling.
- For information about student support services, including international students, click here.
- Human Resources partners with an employee assistance program, Corporate Counseling Associates, which provides a wide array of free mental health and welfare services and referrals for faculty and staff.
- The President’s College Focused Goal #3 focuses on envisioning and enhancing the future of work and community well-being.
- Human Resources has created a Wellness Corner on its webpage that provides information to staff on workshops and training provided by CUNY.
- Faculty training on online instruction is ongoing and led by the Center of Teaching & Learning
- Baruch Computing & Technology Center (BCTC) is adding equipment, as necessary, to the classrooms that will be used for onsite instruction to support new requirements, including class discussions between a mix of onsite and remote students (“HyFlex”).
- The Deans of each of the schools surveyed their faculty to identify needs for equipment, software and support needs for online instruction; each request was addressed and will continue to be so.
- Individuals should follow the CDC domestic travel recommendations and international travel recommendations before reporting to work or campus and notify their manager in advance of the travel dates and should quarantine be required.
- Any students, faculty or staff engaging in official travel on behalf of CUNY must follow the latest approval requirements for domestic and international travel.
- We have a Baruch Forward website for up-to-date, one-stop shop for information about all aspects Safe Campus College operations. The site provides easy access to a variety of resources, support, and services for the campus community. Our recent transition to WordPress has led to significant improvements overall to user experience in terms of content and navigation.
- We will continue to promote the benefits of vaccination and encourage our campus population to receive vaccinations and boosters, highlighting vaccination information and resources on Baruch Forward website.
- In collaboration with VP for Communications and her staff, we developed an effective multi-platform communications strategy for providing information to faculty, students, and staff modalities.
- Student support services implemented communication plans, and will continue to improve those plans, to engage, support and advise all current and prospective students. We have implemented the Bernie Bot, an artificial intelligence technology.
- Human Resources sends out a regular newsletter containing relevant updates and benefit information.
- We have posted signs with reminders on proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and other health messages.
- If we determine it is prudent to shut down or scale back campus operations, we will:
- Notify all onsite staff of schedule change immediately.
- Notify all students and faculty in on-site classes immediately.
- We will use email, CUNY Alert, our webpage, social media, and text messages.
- In addition to general campus-wide communications, faculty will notify students in onsite classes; supervisors will notify staff.
PART 3: GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR HEALTHY FACILITIES
The CDC continues to update cleaning requirements periodically and the College will adhere to best advice available utilizing this as its primary guidance. Specifically, the College utilizes the following definitions and levels of “cleaning”:
- Clean: Routine, frequent, everyday removal of potential contaminants and debris through use of soap and water and or other mild detergent or cleaning products where required.
- Enhanced Clean: Routine, frequent, everyday cleaning of common areas with specific attention to enhanced cleaning to include high touch surfaces such as turnstiles, light switches, door handles, etc. and restrooms.
- We will implement a team of 1-2 custodians per shift, daily for each campus building to perform high touch cleaning continuously throughout the day. The remaining custodial staff will focus on enhanced cleaning of bathrooms as well as routine cleaning of common areas.
- Disinfect: Detailed cleaning, as needed, for an area suspected or known to have had a person with a positive Covid case. This will include the closure of the area per CDC guidelines and may employ the use of advanced cleaning techniques and EPA approved disinfectants. Any cleaning activities in these spaces will be performed specifically after that space is shut down for at least 24 hours and has been thoroughly ventilated.
- Cleaning frequencies shall be defined as at least 1x per shift, daily plus. Disinfection occurs if there is an area with a known or suspected Covid-19 case, where staff have been advised to quarantine.
When focused on high-touch surfaces, the CDC states in its latest guidance that “cleaning with soap or detergent should be enough to further reduce the relatively low transmission risk from fomites in situations when there has not been a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 indoors. In situations when there has been a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 indoors within the last 24 hours, the presence of infectious virus on surfaces is more likely and therefore high-touch surfaces should be disinfected.”
Surfaces frequently touched by multiple people, such as door handles, bathroom surfaces, and handrails, should be cleaned with soap and water or detergent. These surfaces will be cleaned at least 1x per shift, daily plus. More frequent cleaning may be required based on level of use.
- AVP for Campus Facilities, working with Chief Superintendent has developed cleaning regimens, including frequency, areas to be particularly addressed and products to be used. Building and Grounds will maintain a log of completed activities.
- Staff are reminded that hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds is more effective than the use of hand sanitizer through various communications strategies by the posters displayed in each restroom (training, signs, campus virtual messaging).
- Stations for hand sanitizer have been and will continue to be placed at building entrances and exits and other locations where restrooms are not conveniently available.
- Occupants of the campus will be responsible for cleaning their own workstation. We will provide workspaces with multi-surface spray cleaner and paper towels to support self-service of touch points, including copiers.
- Campus discourages sharing of supplies, equipment, workstations and food.
The College has disabled hand dryers in restroom and will keep restrooms stocked with adequate supply of paper towels. Cleaning will be consistent with enhanced cleaning described above.
- In preparation for safe reopening in fall 2021, Campus Facilities conducted a full assessment of building ventilation systems and made the necessary adjustments to those systems to ensure they are fully functional and meet CDC and ASHRAE (American Society of Heating. Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) recommendations for adequate ventilation for intended use of all our spaces. CUNY ventilation system consultants provided support for this process and on-site inspection of all of our systems. Prior to fall reopening, CUNY consultants provided a provide report on each building stating the ventilation systems are adequate for intended occupancy.
- Consistent with those CDC guidelines, we have implemented a multi-layered strategy.
- We have maximized the intake of outside air in the building wide HVAC systems in ITB, Vertical Campus, Administration Building and Newman. The Annex has 100% outside air intake.
- The Field Building (17 Lex) is served for the most part by window units. For those units, we have opened the fresh air intake vents. We have maximized air intake and air exhaust systems in the building and addressed any operational issues. As an added intervention in the Field Building, we installed window stops 4-6 inches from the bottom of the window so those windows can be opened without jeopardizing safety and security. As needed to meet minimum fresh air requirements in the Field Building, we have equipped those labs, offices, and rooms with additional freestanding HEPA units and UVU wall units that will assist the existing systems in meeting the minimum fresh air requirement as necessary.
- The College has upgraded filters to MERV 13 minimum, where applicable and necessary.
- We continue to and maintain all HVAC systems 24/7 in all buildings. We reduce load consistent with occupancy to minimize energy consumption and costs.
- HVAC system maintenance and filter replacement during the Covid-19 pandemic will abide by the following procedures:
- Workers performing maintenance and/or replacing filters on any ventilation system with the potential for viral contamination will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including a properly fitted respirator (N95 or higher), eye protection (safety glasses, goggles or face shield) and disposable gloves (to be disposed of immediately upon completion of task and before touching any eye protection or respirator PPE).Filters should remain snug in their frames.
- When feasible, filters will be disinfected with a 10% bleach solution or another appropriate disinfectant, approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, before removal.
- Filters (disinfected or not) will be bagged and disposed of in regular trash.
- Once maintenance tasks are completed, maintenance personnel are expected to immediately wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with greater than 60 percent alcohol.
Our toilet water systems are flushed more frequently and treated with bleach including each water closet, urinal and sink.
All utility water systems including cooling towers are maintained regularly by internal engineering staff and inspected and tested yearly.