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Interim Protocols for Face Coverings and Social Distancing

June 2020

Purpose: These protocols are to ensure that all students, faculty and staff remain healthy and safe on Pacific’s campuses. They are based on the following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (May 2020): “COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Studies and evidence on infection control report that these droplets usually travel around 6 feet (about two arms lengths).”

Face Coverings: All individuals are required to wear face coverings when they are with other people as detailed below. Face coverings significantly reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, or talking and are important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to other people, and/or if you have contracted COVID-19 but are asymptomatic. Avoid touching the face coverings; if you touch or adjust them, wash your hands. Change or launder cloth face coverings if they become soiled or moist.

Social Distancing: All individuals are expected to stay six feet (two meters, two arm lengths) apart from one another in public settings. Generally, respiratory droplets can travel about this far when coughing, sneezing, or talking, although this distance can be increased by wind, vents, and other air currents.

Practice safe hygiene:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of the elbow.
  • Used tissues should be immediately thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water or sanitized as above.

 Location-Specific Guidelines:

  1. Inside – All individuals are required to wear a face covering when inside buildings (including classrooms and work spaces) or residence halls, unless alone in their own housing assignment, private office or in socially-distanced dining areas. Exceptions based on workspace configuration will be rare and require vice president approval.
  2. Outside - When in unstructured settings such as out of doors or when traversing campus, individuals should practice social distancing and wear a face covering when near other individuals.

When in doubt, wear a face covering.

Student Compliance: All students are required to comply with these protocols. Students who fail to comply with requests to socially distance or wear a face covering after a faculty or staff member has requested that they do so will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, which will prioritize education about the effectiveness of these measures, and their importance towards the general health and well-being of the campus. Formal discipline will be utilized for repeated or willful violations.

Tiger Lore lists two policies within the Student Code of Conduct that are particularly applicable to expectations for student responsibility:

  • Section A, letter B
    "Intentionally or recklessly causing physical or psychological injury or harm, or causing reasonable apprehension of, or threats of such injury or harm, to any individual at a time or place within the jurisdiction of this Code."
  • Section A, letter E
    "Failure to comply in a prompt fashion with the directions of, and/or verbally threatening, abusing, or harassing any University official, including but not limited to, student and professional staff members and Public Safety Officers. Additionally, failure to identify oneself to a University official when requested to do so."

Staff and Faculty Compliance: Staff and faculty will be required to comply with designated safety practices, includinguse of personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing and other protocols to keep all students, faculty and staff safe and healthy.

Pacific’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) states:

“To ensure compliance, the University:

  • Informs employees of the provisions of our IIPP; Evaluates the safety performance of all employees;
  • Recognizes employees who perform safe and healthful work practices. This recognition is accomplished by: informal recognition of safety practice, formal recognition of individuals or groups for safety performance, and recognition during annual reviews;
  • Provides additional training to employees whose safety performance may be deficient;
  • Takes disciplinary action for employees who fail to comply with safe and healthful work practices. This process includes a series of write-ups for unsafe work practices on an escalating scale, from warnings to termination.”

Employees who fail to comply with the terms of the IIPP, university compliance guidelines, and the policies as reflected in the Staff Handbook (for staff) and Faculty Handbook (for faculty), will be counseled or retrained as/if appropriate, and then may be subject to discipline pursuant to all applicable processes.