As we learn to navigate the new normal during the coronavirus pandemic, changes are to be expected in the way we conduct day-to-day business in the physical spaces of the Mathematics Department. Following is an incomplete list of expected changes to some of our common daily activities, with the goal of minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
The health and safety of all members of our department is our priority, and depends on everyone's commitment to practicing these safety measures.
We know study spaces are an important part of the student experience, so several classrooms have been approved as study space rooms by the COVID-19 Executive Steering Committee. Room schedules for each space can be found outside the classroom. When in these rooms, students must social distance and wear a face covering.
For a list of classrooms available for study space, see this page on the Office of the Registrar website.
General Health and Safety Protocols
- Working from home is encouraged when possible.
- Practice physical distancing of at least six feet apart, as much as possible.
- Wear a face covering or mask at all times indoors on campus, except when alone in your private office. Also wear a mask outdoors when unable to maintain a suitable physical distance from other people. If you are unable to wear a face covering, please contact HR immediately.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially before and after touching surfaces in high-traffic areas. (Hand-sanitizing stations will be installed in multiple locations.)
- Self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms: if you experience fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of smell, or any other symptom associated with COVID-19, then do not come to campus. Stay at home and contact your medical provider immediately. If anyone in your household is experiencing these symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, stay at home and contact your medical provider immediately.
- If you are teaching, please prepare a contingency plan to ensure a smooth transition under these scenarios.
- Act promptly upon all requests from the university for COVID-19 testing
By consistently doing the right thing, we can protect each other's health.
Use common sense, always wear a face mask/covering, and maintain physical distance in any shared space.
- Mailroom and copier/print rooms: keep your visits brief and infrequent. Hand sanitizer will be provided for using before and after touching the printers/copiers. Note that announcements can be posted to the department via email rather than in the mailroom; contact the communications office for assistance with communications.
- Main office, business office, and IT office: to protect staff health, please avoid visiting in person. Instead, get in touch via email or phone, and schedule physical meetings only when necessary.
- Common room in Altgeld Hall will not be available, as gatherings are discouraged and the shared kitchen facilities pose additional risks for spreading COVID-19.
- Elevators will have a 2-person occupancy limit, to enable physical distancing.
- Elevator rooms in Illini Hall: the use of these spaces for meetings or discussions is discouraged, so that traffic to/from the elevator is possible while maintaining a suitable physical distance.
- Coble Basement shared computers and common area: use must be limited in order to maintain safe physical distancing. Congregating in this area is discouraged. Only students with assigned office space should enter Coble Basement. All others, please do not enter.
- Shared computers in 123 Altgeld Hall and in Coble Basement will mostly be removed, but can be placed in shared graduate student offices upon request. Contact Math IT with requests for a computer for your office.
- Shared offices will be expected to develop management plans to address health and safety concerns. Occupants of some shared offices may choose to implement a rotating or staggered work schedule. If more than one person is working in an office at a time, face masks should be worn.
- Fridges and microwaves in shared offices constitute a transmission risk for COVID-19. The university does not clean or sanitize these appliances, and it is recommended that they not be used.
- Restrooms: users should take personal responsibility for practicing physical distancing to the best of their ability, with the knowledge that many restrooms are not conducive to distancing. Masks should be worn in all restrooms at all times, except when washing one’s face.
- Locations where waiting in line can be anticipated will have floor markings installed to help maintain physical distance.
- To reduce foot traffic and help maintain a suitable physical distance, some halls and stairways may in future implement one-way traffic schemes; if so, this will be suitably indicated and announced.
- Frequent sanitizing of door handles and other high-touch surfaces is highly recommended. The department is committed to providing sanitizing supplies, such as sanitizing wipes, for department members to use.
- In-person meetings (e.g. with students, committees, study groups, etc) should be minimized, in order to maximize physical distancing and avoid spending extended periods of time in enclosed spaces.
- Before scheduling an in-person meeting, ask: Is it necessary to meet in person? Could the meeting be held online or by phone? Will attendees feel comfortable requesting online participation as an alternative? What options can be offered to attendees who prefer not to or cannot participate in person?
- Faculty members – please remember the power and status differential. Students may not feel they can refuse your suggestion to meet in person.
- Keeping a spare face mask or covering in your office is highly recommended, so that you always have one available when needed.