As UCF prepares for the return to campus this fall, many staff members have been and are working hard to develop and enforce plans to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Here is a look at some of the new safety methods UCF has adopted and will continue using throughout Fall 2020.

Across UCF’s main, Downtown and Rosen campuses, 1,200 touchless hand sanitizing stations have been added to allow anyone on campus to quickly clean their hands after touching surfaces.

Everyone on campus is required to wear face coverings in all shared indoor spaces and outdoors in areas where individuals cannot physically distance at least 6 feet from others. UCF is providing one free, reusable face covering to each student, faculty and staff member.

Most fall courses will be fully online, with select classes also being offered fully face-to-face or through a newly developed BlendFlex Model, which includes online and face-to-face components. After the Thanksgiving break, UCF will transition all courses to fully online to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by anyone who travels for the holiday.

For courses that meet in person, architects and engineers have examined each of UCF’s 267 classrooms across its main, Downtown and Rosen campuses to develop plans for new seating arrangements that comply with CDC guidelines.

Auditorium classes, such as the one above, will have seats roped off to ensure students are within proper physical distance of one another. The seating in this classroom has been reduced from 454 to 73 and the average fixed-seating classroom will only allow about 22 percent occupancy.

Across classrooms on all campuses 600 disinfecting wipe stations will be available so that students and faculty are able to wipe down seats and other surfaces. The placement of these stations will comply with ADA guidelines.

The left image shows the average portable-seating classroom arrangement before the pandemic and the right image shows a new seating arrangement for these classrooms.

Space between desks have been increased to promote physical distancing. A number of seats have been removed, stacked together and tied up at the back of the room so no one may use them.

To prevent large groups of students from gathering in small spaces, seating will be reduced and/or removed from hallways. The Registrar’s Office is also evaluating the timing of classes and considering increasing time between them to reduce potential contact between students.

Staff members will now use disinfectant foggers to clean seats and other surfaces in each classroom. These tools will help promote more efficient cleaning.

More than 600 foot-operated door openers will be added to bathroom doors to reduce the need to touch these surfaces. More than 200 toilet valves and sink faucets will be upgraded to become touchless.

Motion sensors will also be added to 400 doors across UCF’s campuses.

Staff members have undergone training to ensure they are aware of proper cleaning and safety procedures. Touch points, such as elevator buttons, door handles, counters and other surfaces that people often come in contact with, will be cleaned twice throughout each day.

More than 530 Plexiglass panels will be installed in places, like the library, cashier stations and offices, to help reduce possible transmission of COVID-19 between students, faculty and staff.

UCF is upgrading filters in its HVAC systems to mitigate any spread of pathogens through the air. The left filter is a MERV 9, which captures bacteria, spores and viruses. The right filter is a MERV 14, which increase performance and capture rate while maintaining good ventilation.

UVC lighting will be added in the HVAC systems to help sterilize air inside of buildings. The strong light essentially stops pathogens from reproducing, thus reducing its potential for spreading. These lights will be added to systems in high traffic areas, such as the library and large classroom buildings, and will be continued to be used indefinitely.

In partnership with Aventus Biolabs, COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 antibody testing is available on UCF’s campuses. For more info, click here

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