Cleaning & Hygiene for Your Safety
The foundation of personal safety within the context of COVID-19 is hygiene. An enhanced cleaning program that aligns with the most current CDC recommendations and guidelines is in place on campus to ensure a safe and sanitized environment in all areas (offices, individual workspaces, common spaces, dining areas, conference rooms). In support of these efforts, we should all do our part to promote and practice smart personal and office hygiene on campus.
The HVAC systems in all campus buildings are being closely monitored on a regular basis for proper operations.
- The majority of campus buildings are ventilated using 100% outside air and some (mainly buildings that are primarily administrative spaces) are ventilated using 20% outside air and return air.
- All campus buildings are equipped with pre-filters as well as secondary filters that are on a scheduled maintenance and replacement cycle.
- Facilities uses MERV 11 pre-filter media that is 65% efficient on 1.0–3.0 micron-sized particles and 92% efficient on 3.0–10.0 micron-sized particles.
- The pre-filter media also contains an antimicrobial agent that effectively controls the growth of any mold, mildew, algae, and fungi on the filter.
- For the secondary filter, Facilities uses MERV 15 filter media that is 88%–90% efficient on 0.30–1.0 micron-sized particles, 99% efficient on 1.0–3.0 micron-sized particles, and 100% efficient on 3.0–10.0 micron-sized particles.
- This type of secondary filter media is currently recommended for use in facilities and has been proven to increase indoor air quality and help effectively remove airborne contaminants.
- The number of air changes per building is also closely monitored and adjusted to meet code requirements, including any special criteria that may be issued by the CDC.
Facilities Management has your safety in mind. Increased cleaning of common areas includes daily sanitizing of high-traffic areas and high-touchpoint surfaces, based on CDC guidelines. Your individual department will supplement local cleaning of work surfaces in your work area. Measures are also in place to clean and disinfect high-touchpoint areas three to four times daily in all buildings.
These include high-touchpoint areas such as:
- Door push bars, push plates, and knobs
- Drinking water fountains
- Elevators (cab rails and interior and exterior call buttons)
- Information desks (counter space)
- Library tables and doors
- Light switch plates
- Magazine/side tables
- Public benches (interior)
- Public coffee stations (if open)
- Public registration spaces/counters
- Public waiting areas (surface chairs and tables)
- Restrooms surfaces
- Shuttles (interior disinfection of seats and handrail twice a day)
- Stair handrails
- Vending machines
These include shared department spaces such as:
- Breakroom and appliances like:
- Coffee/drink dispensers
- Exam rooms and lab benches
- Workstations and areas
- Other departmental spaces
For Your Workspace
Concerned about Touching Surfaces?
While SARS-CoV-2 has been cultured from surfaces, the virus is quite sensitive to standard cleaning methods, which is why UTSW has been aggressively cleaning high-touch areas. There are no reports of transmission from surfaces to individuals.
To do your part, please clean your personal workspace at the start and end of every day or shift.
Wipe surfaces using disinfectant.
- Frequently Touched Areas
Emphasize cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces (phones, keyboards, etc.) and objects in public places (staplers, sign-in pens, conference room remote controls, etc.).
- Individual Use Only Recommended
Unless necessary, employees should not share equipment, phones, desks, or other work tools. If tools must be shared, sanitizing protocols apply.
In patient care settings, it is not always possible to maintain safe distancing requirements from possible exposure to a person with, or suspected to have, COVID-19. Plexiglass shields or sneeze guards can be installed as protection against droplets from coughs or sneezes if your clinic or area meets the following criteria:
- Interaction with an individual takes place less than 6 feet away and lasts for 15 minutes or more.
- Interaction would otherwise require personal protective equipment (PPE) or create work restrictions.
For the installation of plexiglass shields, you can place a Facilities service request (link requires VPN) in PeopleSoft. Shield placement is reviewed by team members from either Infection Prevention (for those in the Health System) or the Office of Safety and Business Continuity in conjunction with Facilities Management.
The first step in an effective defense against spreading germs is good personal hygiene, including frequent handwashing and using common sense when in the restroom.
Please follow CDC guidelines for frequent handwashing.
Good common sense applies when using restrooms.
- Wear your mask
- Maintain social distancing of 6 feet whenever possible
- Avoid bringing personal/extraneous items into the restroom
- Wash hands
Automated or pump-style hand sanitizer stations are provided at main entrances to all campus buildings and high-traffic areas like elevator landings.
Please bring your own hand sanitizer for frequent use throughout your workday when you are not near a hand sanitizer station.
Consult your departmental leadership for access to sanitizing wipes for your workspace.