As we gear up for the fall semester, CalArts has developed a comprehensive set of campus safety standards to help protect everyone’s health and well-being during the coronavirus pandemic.
We’ve honed these new provisions with the best guidance available from public health experts, adopting changes for our cleaning practices, logistics, and everyday routines. In short: For all of us, campus life this semester is going to flow differently.
To make these measures as effective as possible, we all need to be informed and aware of the details. I want to be sure you know what to expect.
First, we’re cleaning and sanitizing all areas of campus buildings and placing hand-sanitizer stations throughout campus. We’re creating key entrance points to the buildings to make sure that everyone who enters is wearing a mask. (Per LA County Public Health’s directive, mask-wearing is mandatory for all those inside CalArts buildings.) We encourage all staff members to maintain a supply of masks for personal use. For those that do not have masks when visiting campus, CalArts will provide masks in the campus safety or facilities office.
Among the other steps underway to prepare the buildings:
- Designated paths of travel will maximize physical distancing.
- Sneeze guards will be in place for areas with a lot of face-to-face interactions, including reception, food service, accounting, the registrar’s office, the mailroom, and other service-oriented areas.
- We’ve hired an engineering firm to assess our heating, ventilation, and cooling systems so we can improve air quality and reduce virus transmission risks.
To help everyone follow the six-foot physical-distancing standard, we’re refining occupancy limits for classrooms and other spaces. We’re calculating how many people will be allowed on campus at any one time, planning physical-distancing markers for high-congestion areas, and crafting circulation and walkway patterns and signage.
Formal published guidelines will be completed and distributed in time for the new semester.
CalArts has been following guidance from the State of California Public Health Department and LA County Public Health, and will continue to incorporate new directives and guidance into our COVID-19 planning. As required, we are developing an Outbreak Plan to define how the campus will act if there is an outbreak on campus. At this time, testing requirements have not been finalized, but we are exploring options in case they are a part of public health protocols.
For all employees, training will be in place to emphasize best health and safety procedures and cleaning practices for the pandemic era. Employees will see their shifts staggered to encourage physical distancing, and will be provided personal protective equipment as needed. Intensified cleaning will follow a public-health matrix and include sanitation atomizers.
In Steve’s Café, physical distancing will be in full effect. Lunch hours may be staggered, and we’re looking at mobile ordering apps. Attendants will make sure everyone in the dining area is wearing proper PPE (masks may be removed while eating), all café workers will undergo daily health checks, and we’ll no longer accept cash payment—a way to minimize physical contact.
These measures aren’t all-encompassing, and we will share more details on campus operations as we finalize them. Please check your emails regularly for new and additional information on parking requirements, mobile classrooms and modular buildings, transportation prospects, specific entrance and exit protocols, and other important information.
In these uncertain times, even the best-laid plans can be upended by necessity, but our commitment to your safety is unwavering. We’ll continue to take every opportunity to make the fall semester secure and comfortable, so everyone can focus on why we’re here: to create.
Chief Operating Officer