Safety Guidelines for Classrooms

MSU recognizes all instructors face different circumstances that will impact their ability and willingness to teach in-person. An instructor may be immunocompromised or otherwise at a greater risk from COVID-19, per CDC guidance, or may have household members who are high-risk. If you are at high risk and haven’t notified your chair or dean, please do so as soon as possible if you need an alternative to the planned course delivery method for one or more of the courses you are scheduled to teach in the fall.

Academic units have been instructed by the Provost’s Office to be as flexible as possible with work arrangements. Deans, chairpersons, and directors will not request or gather personal or family health information but have been asked to work with the instructors who request alternatives to the planned course delivery method and to find strategies to meet all responsibilities. If such mutually agreeable strategies cannot be found, the unit administrator should contact the Dean, who will engage Academic Human Resources (AHR) to attempt to arrive at a resolution.

For those of you who will be in classrooms, we would like you to keep the following issues in mind and communicate them with your students.

  1. Modifications to classrooms have been made. As appropriate, desks, tables, and/or chairs have been removed and the remaining furniture has been placed to ensure physical distance; seats have been strapped to prevent use; visual cues have been installed to communicate appropriate distance. Please work with these modifications and ensure that students do as well.
  2. Share with students that IPF custodial will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, grab bars, hand railings) daily. Classrooms will be cleaned throughout the day depending on traffic and density. Floors will be spot vacuumed and mopped daily. Chalkboards and whiteboards will be cleaned daily. Disinfecting misting systems will be used in larger classrooms. Many classrooms will also have wipes or cleaning stations so that students can wipe down their personal space at the start of each class. They should be encouraged to do so.
  3. Realign lesson plans so communal objects (e.g., lab equipment, computer equipment, desks) are minimized when possible (e.g., assigning each student their own supplies, lab equipment, computers) and cleaned between use.
  4. Encourage students to keep their personal items (e.g., cell phones, other electronics) to themselves and clean.
  5. Encourage students to use disinfectant wipes to wipe down shared desks, lab equipment, and other shared objects and surfaces between uses and disposing these cleaning materials in the nearest trash bin. Cleaning supplies will be available near or inside classrooms.
  6. Ask students to bring their own closed top water container to minimize use of water fountains.
  7. Consider hosting class sessions outdoors if feasible.
  8. Identify for yourself and your students the closest restroom and hand sanitizer stations from your classroom.
  9. Contact IPF Custodial Services at 517-355-1855 if cleaning supplies are running low.
  10. If concerned about contamination, Contact Environmental Health and Safety at 517-355-0153 for assistance with disinfection procedures.

In addition, Environmental Health and Safety has posted safe return forms and FAQs for teaching laboratories and research.