The University of Texas at Arlington is adopting a phased approach to safely resuming activity on campus, while encouraging social distancing to provide the healthiest possible environment for staff, faculty and students.
“To safely resume on-campus operations, every one of us must be committed to the health and safety of each other,” said Interim President Teik C. Lim. “As we continue to learn from and adapt to the pandemic, we will remain nimble and adjust as necessary while continuing to follow the recommendations of experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Texas and The University of Texas System.”
In accordance those recommendations, UTA will promote and strongly encourage social distancing.
“Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms,” said John Hall, vice president for administration and campus operations. “Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.”
To mitigate the spread of the virus, the Office of Facilities Management is placing signage at building entrances and in restrooms, dining areas, classrooms, elevators, common spaces, stairs and student engagement spaces. These signs promote properly wearing a cloth face covering, washing hands, social distancing, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when sick.
“Socially responsible conduct will be key to keeping UTA safe,” Hall said. “I think it’s going to be incumbent on all of us to create a culture that encourages people to behave in a socially responsible manner.”
To ensure safe social distancing, classrooms used for face-to-face or hybrid classes will only accommodate between 25-34% of room capacity. For example, in lecture halls and classrooms, certain seats, desks and rows will not be used. In addition, the Office of Facilities Management will provide Plexiglass screens/partitions in areas where it is feasible.
“We all have a responsibility to adhere to the recommended protocols for the safety and well-being of the UTA community and our communities at large,” Hall said.