UH Hilo Physical Distancing Guidelines and Strategies

As of July 7, 2020.

UH Hilo guidelines supplement existing interim guidelines provided by the University of Hawaiʻi System issued on July 1, 2020.

General guidance for distancing

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs.

6 Feet of Separation

Physical distancing and maintaining space between individuals is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the virus. In all shared spaces, there shall be protocol to provide at least six feet of separation between individuals.

Face Coverings

Face coverings (cloth face coverings at a minimum) are required in public settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain, including outdoor spaces in densely populated areas (lanai, walkway, lobbies, etc.). Face coverings shall be worn indoors (classrooms, laboratories, computer labs, public office spaces, meeting rooms, restrooms, etc., not to include individual office spaces or non-public office areas). Face coverings are not required for employees if you are working in isolation and are able to practice safe physical distancing.

Reminders

Signs shall be posted at campus entrances, building entrances, classrooms, labs, and common areas informing individuals of face covering rules, self-checks for health, maintaining 6' distance, not to shake hands or engage in unnecessary physical contact, and proper washing of hands.

Best Practices

Social distancing practices include:

  • 6 feet of separation
  • Removing seating
  • Adjusting walking traffic patterns
  • Remote learning or working
  • Limiting large meetings and gatherings
  • Adjusting schedules and shifts

Two people, seperated by 6ft distance
Maintain 6ft physical distance.

Person wearing a mask
Observe face covering requirements posted at buildings.

Person with an elevated temperature
Stay home if you are feeling sick.

Functional Spaces

Capacity and seating will be adjusted to comply with a 6' separation between seats, reducing seating to between 1/3 and 1/2 capacity in most cases.

Classrooms

  • Classrooms with fixed desks will have desks blocked off with signage indicating the seat is not open.
  • Classrooms with non-fixed desks will have desks removed and remaining desks will be arranged in a configuration that maintains a 6' separation.
  • Front rows will be spaced 6' from the instructor. Where rows are immovable they will be blocked off to provide 6' distance from the instructor.
  • Classroom scheduling lists and room reservation systems are updated for new COVID-19 occupancy numbers.

Laboratories

  • Lab capacity will generally follow Classroom criteria.
  • Labs with movable tables will be reconfigured accordingly.
  • Labs with fixed lab benches will be marked to specify stations where students will sit and work.

Computer Labs

  • Computer Labs with fixed desks will have desks and computer stations blocked off with signage indicating the station is not open.
  • Computer Labs with non-fixed desks will be rearranged to allow for 6' separation between stations.

Office Spaces

  • Open office formats should ensure a 6' separation between one employee seat to the next. Where this radius cannot be met, alternate solutions will need to be considered, including but not limited to adjusting work schedules, work from home, temporary barriers.
  • Public-facing transaction counters will be modified to the extent reasonable to provide at least 6' distance between individuals at the counter. Where it is impractical to achieve this separation, a transparent shield or barrier will be installed to separate customers and service employees.
  • Reception areas shall limit the number of seating and arrangement to permit at least 6' separation between seats.

Meeting Rooms

  • Seats will be removed or blocked with signage to ensure room capacity complies with physical distancing

Library

  • Reading and study areas will have furniture arranged and appropriate signage to adhere to 6' separation.
  • Group Study Rooms will have signage to indicate limited to occupancy with appropriate distancing and/or transparent shield or barrier in place.
  • Library computer labs will follow the same protocol as general computer labs.
  • Public-facing transaction counters will be modified to the extent reasonable to provide at least 6' distance between individuals at the counter. Where it is impractical to achieve this separation, a transparent shield or barrier will be installed to separate customers and service employees.

Employee Breakrooms

  • Seating will be reduced to promote physical distancing and reduce gathering.
  • Units will develop schedules for breaks and lunches to reduce gathering.
  • Units will develop schedules for cleaning and sanitizing breakrooms.
  • During the initial phase of return to campus, breakrooms and common kitchens may not be available for use.

Common Spaces

Restrooms

  • Where possible, doors will be left open to limit touching of doors and door handles.
  • Signage or marking on the floor to indicate 6' spacing should lines develop.

Outdoor Seating

  • Tables will be rearranged to allow for 6' separation.
  • Tables with non-fixed seating will have chairs removed to limit the number of seats per table to allow for 6' distancing.
  • Tables with fixed seating that cannot be removed will have appropriate signage to limit seating.
  • Planter wall seating will have appropriate signage to adhere to 6' separation.

Food Services

  • Provide alternate pick-up sites for food to decrease concentration of people.
  • Provide grab and go options.
  • Establish cashless transactions.
  • All customers shall sanitize hands at entry. Hand sanitizing stations shall be available at each entrance.
  • To assist with lines, signage or floor marking will be placed on floors to indicate 6' distancing and pathways.
  • Cafeteria tables will be arranged to allow for 6' separation, with excess tables and chairs removed.
  • Public-facing transaction counters will be modified to the extent reasonable to provide at least 6' distance between individuals at the counter. Where it is impractical to achieve this separation, a transparent shield or barrier will be installed to separate customers and service employees.

Space Restriction

  • Units may close or restrict access to rooms or other indoor spaces in order to reduce usage where physical distance and frequency of cleaning and sanitizing are not able to be increased or maintained.

Special Facilities

Athletics

  • See Athletics facilities guidelines: (in development)

ʻImiloa Astronomy Center

  • See ʻImiloa Astronomy Center guidelines: (in development)

Student Life Center

  • See Student Life Center guidelines: (in development)

Theater

  • Large gatherings of more than 15 people are limited.
  • Theater square footage will be evaluated to determine ratio for people per square feet.
  • 6' distancing will be maintained for rehearsals, performances, and other activities.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be provided at entry point(s).
  • Masks required for patrons, performers and staff.
  • Signage for traffic flow at entrance/exit doors and lobby.

Campus Center

  • Large gatherings of more than 15 people are limited.
  • Lobby areas and meeting rooms will be evaluated to determine appropriate physical distancing in accordance with this guideline.
  • Hand sanitizer at entry point(s).
  • Masks required.
  • High touch areas such as lobby doors will be assessed to determine whether to leave open during hours of operation.
  • Directional signage for traffic flow entrance doors.

Cleaning and Disinfection

Functional and Common Spaces will have a schedule for increased routine cleaning and disinfection, especially for frequently touched surfaces (e.g., desks, door handles, elevator buttons, faucets, paper towel dispensers.)

Classrooms, Laboratories, Computer Labs

  • There will be cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces at least every other class period.
  • Cleaning supplies (e.g., disinfectant sprays, rags, paper towels) will be provided in classrooms for faculty, staff, and students to wipe down areas for additional precaution.

Meeting Rooms, Office Front Desk/Reception/Lobby

  • Cleaning and disinfection will occur with increased frequency, at least four times per day.
  • Cleaning supplies (e.g., disinfectant sprays, rags, paper towels) will be provided for each meeting room and in each office area to wipe down areas for additional precaution.

Office Spaces and Other Employee Areas

  • Cleaning and disinfection will occur with increased frequency, at least four times per day.
  • Cleaning supplies (e.g., disinfectant sprays, rags, paper towels) will be provided in each office area to wipe down areas for additional precaution.

Campus Signage

  • Signs will be posted in highly visible locations, including all classrooms, laboratories, computer labs, and common areas describing how to stop the spread of germs and to stay home when sick.
  • In densely populated areas, signage will be provided to remind of spacing, paths of travel, and congregating so as not to congest areas of traffic flow (e.g., walkways, stairways, and lobbies).
  • In areas where lines form, signage or marking will be placed on the floor to indicate 6' spacing, and stanchions will be placed to form lines to avoid congestion.
  • Elevators – Signage to limit occupancy, unless in same family or household, and encourage stairs where able.
  • Drinking Fountains – Signage to limit to one person at fountains and floor markings to indicate 6' distance for lines.
  • General circulation – Signage to keep 6' apart.

Please Kokua sign: physical distancing, masking, stay home if sick

Hand Sanitizing Stations

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided at building entrance points, front desk/lobby/reception areas, and common spaces.
  • All restrooms have soap and sinks where people may wash their hands.