Physical Distancing Measures
Physical distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained indoors and outdoors whenever possible
Texas State has made the following changes to promote physical distancing in Spring 2021:
- 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.
- In the classroom, students are required to sit with empty seats or space between one another.
- 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, and maintain a six-foot distance when we are interacting with other people.
In-Person Events. Through the end of the spring 2021 semester, in-person events, including classroom instruction, indoor and outdoor co-curricular and extra-curricular activities:
- Are for the Texas State community, not external groups*;
- May allow external guests, but the majority of the attendees should be university community members (in other words, in-person events for external groups are not allowed)**;
- Must follow existing COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, including promote appropriate physical distancing and practice proper hand hygiene;
- May not exceed capacity limits of 50 percent***; and
- May serve individually plated or boxed meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner (as long as they can be eaten while seated at tables with limited seating to ensure appropriate physical distancing) and individually wrapped food at other types of in-person events (e.g., receptions) as long as appropriate physical distancing can be maintained.
*Exceptions must be approved by the university president.
**Except for summer academic and athletic camps (which include children, who are the least susceptible to COVID-19 complications).
***Events larger than 200, even when capacity limit of 50 percent is not exceeded, will require approval by the president, divisional vice president, or athletics director; and attendance at intercollegiate athletic events will remain at 35 percent capacity.
Depending on the nature of the event, additional restrictions may be imposed by the president, divisional vice president, or athletics director.
Chartered/registered student organization events will require approval by Student Involvement.
Furniture has been reconfigured, reduced, or marked to achieve physical distancing in offices, classrooms, and shared spaces by the office or department who occupies the space.
- Students are required to sit with empty seats or space between one another.
- Additional study locations are 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 Ballrooms.
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, and maintain a six-foot distance 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. 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.