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COVID-19 FAQ

University Coronavirus Information can be found here.

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    Does BYU permit acrylic face shields in place of masks for lecturing and other activities?
    At this time, acrylic face shields are only permitted while teaching. Faculty must maintain a six foot distance from the students while lecturing. Face shields are not permitted at any other time on campus. Masks should be worn when six feet cannot be maintained during teaching and for all and research activities held indoors, even with proper physical distancing. See BYU Mask Policy.
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    Do I have to wear a face mask in my office?
    Face masks do not need to be worn in a private office if you are alone. Masks should be worn when meeting with individuals in your office. Masks should be worn at all times in common areas, study spaces, and labs.
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    What kind of face mask do I need to wear while at BYU?
    For most activities in the college, personal cloth face masks meet the guidelines given by both BYU and the Utah Health Department. Some laboratory work may require the use of disposable face masks in place of cloth face masks, based on risk analysis. This includes, but is not limited to, lab work involving radioactive materials, biosafety level 2 microorganisms, chemical or biological toxins, or highly reactive materials. For more information on the use of face masks in laboratory settings, refer to this document.
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    Will masks be provided by BYU?
    Students, employees, and visitors should provide their own face masks when possible. Supervisors may order cloth face masks for employees who are unable to provide their own through Risk Management and Safety.

    Disposable face masks are available for purchase through the Life Sciences Stockroom (1100 LSB).
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    Can Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) be shared?
    PPE can only be shared if it has been sanitized after each use. Hard to clean items such as leather gloves, heat and cryogenic gloves, lab coats, etc. should be not be shared when possible. Students should be assigned their own lab coat and leather gloves. Lab coats should not be shared by students if they have not been laundered between uses. Teaching labs can require students to provide their own lab coat, research labs should provide lab coats for each student. Wear disposable gloves as a base layer under shared heat and cryogenic gloves.
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    Will the technology in classrooms work? What do i do if it does not work?
    For immediate help with classroom technology, call the AV Support Help Line 2-7671 (2-SOS1). See the IT TEC Room Support page for more information.
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    What are the new hand sanitizing wipes in classrooms for?
    Hand sanitizing wipes are available in most teaching locations. These wipes are for students to wipe down chairs and small desks when they enter the room. It is the responsibility of the students to clean their chairs before class. Contact Building Care if wipe containers are empty.
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    How do I clean microscopes and other common lab equipment? Will cleaner be provided?
    The use of alcohol or lens cleaner is recommended for cleaning microscope lenses and other delicate lab equipment.

    Common laboratory equipment should be cleaned after each use in preparation for the next student.

    For laboratories that do not already have disinfectant available, departments can purchase spray disinfectant for use in offices, laboratories, and shops. It is recommended that Ecolab Peroxide Multi-surface Disinfectant (available for purchase through BYU Central Stores) be used to prevent damage to furnishings and fixtures.
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    How do I use Ecolab Peroxide multi-surface disinfectant?
    Mix 6 ounces of disinfectant per 1 gallon of water and mix well. Pour into spray bottle for easiest use. Disinfectant is only good for 7 days and must be made fresh weekly.

    Do not mix disinfectant with bleach or other chlorinated products as this could produce chlorine gas.

    Two gallons (1 case) may be purchased from BYU Central Stores for $56.00. Contact Brent Swasey (brent_swasey@byu.edu) to place an order.
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    Is my office cleaned after church use? Will cleaner be provided?
    Building Care is cleaning offices and conference rooms utilized for church purposes before use by faculty and staff the next day. Faculty and staff can clean their offices themselves; however, cleaning supplies will not be provided by BYU Facilities.
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    Who is responsible to clean department vehicles? Will cleaner be provided?
    Department vehicles should be cleaned after each use by the person who drove the vehicle. Cleaning supplies should be provided by the department or area that maintains the vehicle.
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    What is the policy for same-day travel?
    Same-day travel is permitted but only when there is one person per vehicle. All travel request must be approved by the department chair and the Dean.
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    Can students work in groups in class or research activities?
    Physical distancing should be followed whenever possible. If a task requires close contact (less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) to be completed safely, the minimum number of people needed to complete the task may work together in close contact. Any close contact must be documented for contact tracing and isolation protocols if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19.
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    What counts as close contact?
    You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more, even if you were wearing a mask.

    You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them).

    You shared eating or drinking utensils.
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    How do I document close contact?
    Documentation for close-contact activities can be kept either electronically or on paper. It is recommended that a seating chart be established for teaching classes where frequent close contact is anticipated due to the type of material taught. Documentation should be maintained for the semester.
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    If I keep a record of close contact, do I have to physically distance student and employee work areas?
    Documentation of close contact is not a substitute for physical distancing in teaching and research settings. Student work areas should be arranged to allow six feet between workstations. Student hours may need to be staggered to accommodate new workstation layouts and room occupancy recommendations. Close contact during teaching and research activities should only be permitted for safety reasons and not for convenience.
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    I tested positive for COVID-19 or have had symptoms, when can I come back to class or work?
    Individuals who test positive but show no symptoms, and individuals with mild to moderate infections should follow CDC recommendations and usually can be around others in class or work after:

    - 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND

    - 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND

    - COVID-19 symptoms have improved

    Individuals with severe COVID-19 or with severely weakened immune systems should follow the guidance from the Utah Health Department on when to return to work or class. It may be up to 20 days or more.
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    I was in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. How long do I need to self-quarantine?
    Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person. Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.). Get tested if you start to experience symptoms.
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    Someone in my class or a coworker tested positive for COVID-19. I did not have close contact with that person. Do I need to self-quarantine?
    If you did not have close contact with the individual who tested positive you do not need to self-isolate. You should self-monitor for symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) and self-isolate and get tested if you start to exhibit any symptoms.
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    I need to self-quarantine or isolate for 14 days. How do I teach my class?
    BYU has no set procedure for faculty who test positive or need to self-quarantine and cannot continue in-person teaching. Faculty can either find another faculty member to cover their class or move instruction to online for the quarantine period.  Talk with your department chair about individual concerns as this will be handled on a case by case basis.  
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    I have a medical condition that prevents me from wearing a mask. What should i do?
    There will be some individuals with health issues who need accommodations.  Students should work with the Accessibility Center. Hyeyoung Thompson in Faculty Relations will handle faculty accommodations. HR will handle staff/admin accommodations.  It is anticipated that mask accommodations will be rare and exceptional.
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    Can I bring in extra chairs or sit in chairs not designated as available in classrooms and conference rooms?
    Do not bring in extra chairs to a conference or classroom if not enough seating is available. Chairs have been spaced to allow for physical distancing of 6 feet in the room.

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    What happens if I don't wear a mask while at work or in class?
    Non-compliance with mask requirements will be treated in the same manner as any other non-compliance issue and will be subject to the college non-compliance policy. Multiple instances of non-compliance will result in removal of laboratory access.