Physical Distancing Measures
Physical distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained indoors and outdoors whenever possible
TXST has made the following changes to promote physical distancing:
- Face-to-face only courses may be delivered normally when the student enrollment is no more than 50% of the room’s rated maximum occupancy.
- For face-to-face courses, a mixture of face-to-face and remote instruction is required when student enrollment is more than 50% of the room’s rated maximum occupancy. In these cases, students attend in-person a portion of the time and participate remotely a portion of the time. The instructor or faculty member will determine the best way to divide the class and will communicate the specifics of how this affects class activities to the students.
- For example, if a class with 100 students enrolled is scheduled to meet on Mondays and Wednesdays in a classroom that holds 100 students, then 100 students may enroll in the class. The students will be divided into two groups of 50. One group may meet in-person on Mondays and another group may meet in person on Wednesdays. On the day that students are not in class, they may receive their instruction remotely via synchronous or asynchronous online delivery, or be provided with alternative instructional materials, discussions, or assignments.
- As another example, final exams given in-person may be implemented within the 2.5 hour time block per classroom by offering a one-hour exam for 50 percent of the class, then a one hour exam for the other 50 percent of the class with a 30 minute break in between groups.
- There are many other course designs and learning strategies that faculty may employ to meet health and safety standards as well as student expectations for engaging and robust learning environments. Training and consultations will be available to assist faculty: Faculty Training Opportunities
- Assigned seats and attendance tracking should be used in all classroom learning spaces to benefit contact tracing should a positive COVID-19 case emerge. Faculty should maintain an accurate seating and attendance chart in order to facilitate contact tracing, if needed. Signage will be posted in and around classrooms to display each room’s capacity. Seats in classrooms will be alternately color coded as being gold or maroon so as to facilitate classroom management and physical distancing. Thus, faculty have the opportunity to implement “maroon and gold days” whereby on gold days students will be seated only in seats with a gold color code leaving an unoccupied seat on either side that is maroon color coded. On maroon days, seats with a maroon color code will be occupied; those with gold color code will be unoccupied.
- In the classroom, students are required to sit with empty seats or space between one another, and wear face coverings.
- Faculty should dismiss the class one row at a time starting with the row closest to the door to avoid crowding/jostling.
- If a classroom has two doors, establish one as the entrance only and one as the exit only.
- Begin and end class on time to maximize time between occupied class space.
Students should exit buildings as quickly as possible upon class dismissal and not linger in hallways.
Outdoors, all of us should avoid crowded areas, not gather in large groups, maintain a six-foot distance, and wear face coverings when we are interacting with other people.
In shared indoor spaces, occupant density is limited to 50% of rated maximum. Occupancy signs indicate the total normal capacity of each space.
We are in the process of placing signs which indicate maximum occupancy and 50% occupancy in classrooms, with more signs bound for gathering rooms and common areas. On classrooms with two doors, signs are going up to differentiate which to use for entering or exiting. You will also see occupancy signs in elevator cars and on the call buttons.
Outdoor event participation should be restricted to a maximum number of 10 participants. Indoor event attendance should not exceed 50 percent of the capacity of the space where the event is being held. Participants must wear face coverings and follow physical distancing guidelines. Pre-registration is required for all co-curricular student activities or attendance must be recorded. More information on student events is in the Student page of the Roadmap.
Furniture may be reconfigured, reduced, or marked to achieve physical distancing in offices, classrooms, and shared spaces by the office or department who occupies the space.
- Students will sit in furniture with every other seat labeled maroon or gold, and will alternate each day of the week as a maroon day or a gold day to allow for distancing in classrooms and for furniture to be unused for 24 hours, enhancing the effectiveness of our nightly cleaning processes. Labeling of classroom seats will be handled by the Office of Environmental Health Safety and Risk Management.
- Additional study locations will be available, allowing for many more students than normal to complete online coursework on our campuses while appropriately physical distancing.
- The university has very limited storage capacity for furniture removal. Please contact Frank Gonzalez, Director of Materials Management and Logistics for help with furniture reconfiguration.
- With less furniture in the Albert B. Alkek Library and common areas in buildings, additional places have been transformed so that you can study and complete online coursework while physical distancing – including the LBJ Student Center Ballroom.
The shuttle bus schedule and occupancy has been modified to promote physical distancing. Students who utilize the transit system will be notified to plan for longer commute times and encouraged to walk or ride bicycles.
Staff will assess facilities and operational areas and make modifications in the following ways in high traffic areas and offices where lines form:
- Clearly demarcate (e.g., with blue painter’s tape) 6-feet of space in lines.
- Limit the number of people with a door monitor in large spaces like dining halls and the bookstore.
- When walking in corridors or hallways, stay on the right side according to the direction you are heading to maximize distance when passing others.
- Floor signage indicating traffic flow to the right will be included in classroom buildings and high-traffic locations.
- Students should exit buildings as quickly as possible upon class dismissal and not linger in hallways.
- Outdoors, all of us should avoid crowded areas, not gather in large groups, maintain a six-foot distance, and wear face coverings when we are interacting with other people.
Interior doors can be propped open to prevent the need for touching doorknobs and to increase airflow. However, closed doors can help with maintaining access control and limiting occupancy at any given point in time. This will be a local decision. Exterior doors should never be propped open.
Take the stairs, when possible. Limit the use of standard-size elevators to three individuals at a time, creating a triangle to avoid close contact. Face coverings must be worn in elevators and all individuals should face the elevator doors. As appropriate, individuals subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act may ride the elevator alone or accompanied by the individual’s caregiver.