COVID-19 Update: Information and resources can be found here.

Social Distancing Tools for Meeting & Conferencing

Businessman standing among cubicles in new office

In-Person Meeting Limit is 5 Participants

Effective Sunday, March 15, and until further notice, in order to reduce potential exposure and transmission of COVID-19, any gathering on campus including grand rounds, seminars, conferences, and other lectures and classes must be limited to five or fewer participants. 

Out of an abundance of caution and to promote social distancing, consider evaluating the importance of convening an in-person meeting of any size, which should be limited to only the most critical needs.  For meetings or other activities in which greater participation is necessary, these should utilize an online format. 

Overview of Social Distancing Tools

Ensure your online meetings stay secure from unauthorized access by following these best practices when setting up a virtual meeting or course.

If you are already using a tool and it’s working well, keep doing it.

If you are just starting to work or teach remotely, we recommend the following: 

For Conference Calls

If you can meet by phone and share any necessary visuals via email, that’s preferred because you will not bump into any capacity constraints. There are two phone only options:

Option 1 – Calls that Originate with One Caller on Campus
(Participant Maximum of 8)
View instructions for the on campus caller who dials in all participants.

Option 2 – Infinite Conferencing – On or Off Campus
(Participant Maximum of 100, or 250 with Advance Notice)
Please consult your department for existing conference line phone numbers, participant and leader codes, and their preferred mode of scheduling to use the conference lines. Infinite Conferencing offers both phone and online options for moderating your conference call.

Need your own conference line?

For Concurrent Audio and Visual Conferencing

Additionally, faculty and students may continue to utilize MediaSite and Desire 2 Learn (D2L) for web-based learning.

Use Zoom Securely

Zoom videoconferencing has recently been in the press for multiple security and privacy lapses including widespread reports of Zoombombing, where meetings are accessed and interrupted by uninvited persons displaying offensive materials. Zoom has reportedly now patched some of the most serious security vulnerabilities, disabled questionable data sharing practices, and halted code updates for 90 days to prevent introduction of new vulnerabilities.

When using Zoom, Information Security recommends the following safeguards:

  1. Use IR-managed Zoom licenses to ensure the configuration settings are secure. Please servicedesk@utsouthwestern.edu for Zoom licenses.
  2. Make sure your Zoom application is updated to the most recent version, if you are not using IR-managed licenses.
  3. Enable assignment of randomized Meeting IDs through Zoom setting and avoid use of your Personal Meeting ID.
  4. Set meetings to Private, not Public by:
    • Using the Waiting Room feature to moderate attendance
    • Requiring passwords for all meetings
  5. Do not share meeting invitation links or Meeting IDs through social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Please also follow UTSW’s best practices when setting up a virtual meeting or course and Zoom’s guidance on protecting your virtual event. For any questions, please informationsecurity@utsouthwestern.edu Information Security. 

For questions, please contact the IR ServiceDesk at 214-648-7600.