Meredith College plans to operate on a flexible schedule of face-to-face, hybrid, and online classes for fall semester. In preparation for the 2020-21 academic year, the College has made a variety of changes to campus facilities to help students, faculty, staff, and visitors stay healthy.
One of the most visible changes is the collection of signs that have been created and posted around campus to help everyone navigate the campus while abiding by the College’s Community Standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These signs include visual reminders of the “Three Ws.”
“The ‘Three Ws’, which are to wash hands frequently, wear a face covering, and wait at least six feet apart, are simple actions that every person should take to help stay healthy,” said Health Services Director Mary Johnson.
Meredith’s Facilities Services department, which includes housekeeping, maintenance, and grounds, has been closely involved in many of these actions, with support from other campus departments.
Facilities procured plexiglass shields for front facing offices, reception areas, and in customer service areas.
Another priority has been increasing cleaning and disinfection practices to keep all areas of campus, particularly high-traffic areas, clean. Housekeeping has also coordinated adding Sanitizing Stations in classroom buildings and other spaces to allow for self-service cleaning, and are adding stations at strategic areas that provide no touch hand sanitizer dispensing units.
In addition, a subcommittee of the Incident Response Team (IRT), including housekeeping and facilities representatives, have coordinated a system through which employees can request cleaning supplies that can be used to clean office/work space between the routine cleanings that the housekeeping staff provides.
“We know that feeling safe and being able to stay healthy in the work environment is important to everyone,” said Sharon Campbell, director of facilities services. “Maintaining a healthy environment during this pandemic requires that we all accept personal responsibility for behavior changes in our work areas.”
Another subcommittee rearranged classroom spaces and other public areas, including Belk Dining Hall, to help ensure appropriate distancing. Meredith leaders are making decisions that are based on the latest guidance and directives from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the State of North Carolina.
“Our primary focus is always on keeping our students and employees safe,” said President Jo Allen. “I appreciate the patience of our community members as we continue to work out details related to a fall semester like no other in Meredith’s history.”