Enhanced cleaning, disinfecting part of plan to protect campus against coronavirus

KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney Facilities Management and Planning continues to take proactive measures to protect campus against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This includes enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of all campus buildings, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Two Rivers Public Health Department.

To further protect UNK students and employees, custodial staff increased the use of disinfectants in high-traffic areas, with an emphasis on “touch points” such as door handles, elevator buttons, faucets, light switches, railings, tabletops and chairs.

Similar to the cleaning protocol during flu season, these extra precautions help reduce the spread of illness on campus. Other UNK employees are also encouraged to routinely disinfect touch points in common areas, including conference rooms, waiting areas, service counters and shared workspaces.

In addition to the enhanced cleaning measures, UNK Facilities Management and Planning is following guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure best practices and training on the use of personal protective equipment should a COVID-19 case be reported on campus.

There have been 27 reported cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. None of those cases was in Kearney or Buffalo County.

Facilities Management and Planning continues to receive up-to-date information from health officials and will adjust its cleaning procedures based on the latest recommendations.

UNK is asking the campus community to practice social distancing during this public health risk.

The university will conduct classes via remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester, and faculty and staff who are able to work from home are being asked to do so beginning Monday.

Additionally, all UNK-sponsored events that involve more than 10 people will be postponed or canceled beginning Friday. This restriction, which continues through the spring semester, also applies to events hosted by outside organizations using campus facilities.

UNK is also recommending all business meetings be conducted using remote technology. In-person meetings should be limited to those that are mission critical and attended by 10 or fewer people.

Ongoing coronavirus information and updates will be shared at a specific UNK webpage: unk.edu/coronavirus.

The CDC recommends these guidelines to protect yourself against COVID-19:

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Social distancing

  • Avoid close contact with other people, especially if you’re at a higher risk of getting sick.

Stay home if you’re sick

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

  • If surfaces are dirty, first clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.