NC State implements a number of safety measures for employees returning to campus, including a constant supply of face coverings so faculty and staff always have them on hand.
As campus prepares to welcome thousands of Pack members, NC State University is trying to make it easier to provide them with face coverings.
Instead of units having to request them ahead of time, Emergency Management and Mission Continuity will provide face coverings based on the number of each unit’s faculty, staff and students, says Director Amy Orders. That way units can distribute them as they see fit, including during regular fall activities such as orientation and information sessions.
“Each college and unit is so different and so diverse, we’re shifting the distribution model so they can have them available to fold into existing programming instead of something that’s separate,” Orders says.
Units that aren’t colleges but see high traffic, such as NC State University Libraries and student centers, will receive a cache of face coverings for patrons who need one.
Emergency Management plans to automatically renew orders every six weeks so units have a constant supply of face coverings, Orders says.
The university will soon roll out community standards that outline expectations for faculty, staff and students when it comes to wearing face coverings.
“The community standards will help set the tone,” Orders says. “We hope it’s a shared understanding so that everyone — faculty, staff and students — has the same expectations.”
Protecting the Pack means implementing other best practices such as physical distancing; wiping down surfaces, even with just plain soap and water; and frequent hand-washing, Orders says — which hopefully people are doing anyway.
“Face coverings, at least 6 feet apart and hand-washing have to apply to your entire world,” Orders says. “If you practice the same behaviors outside of campus as you do on campus, then we reduce COVID-19 across the board.”
Orders encourages employees to visit the Protect the Pack website to keep abreast of campus reactivation plans. Along with guides about returning to work and pandemic resources, there is a lengthy FAQ page that is updated regularly.
“The hardest part about what we’re experiencing is comfort level. Everyone’s anxiety is so, so different, because you are bombarded with information at home, at work, on social media,” Orders says. “It’s hard to know the best source or the most current information. We as a university are trying our best to push everyone through this site. It’s timely, it’s current, it has the highlights of what we need people to know.”