New Air Filter System, Cleaning Protocols, Among Enhancements to Keep Campus Healthy

SMU Air Quality Improvement Strategy

SMU Facilities Planning and Management is upgrading all air filters in air handler units across campus, as a strategy to improve air quality in all University buildings. All air filters will be updated from the current MERV 10 level to the highest rated filtration level effective for SMU’s air handler system – MERV 13. This diagram details the filtration ratings, and the types and amounts of particles captured.

COVID-19 Facilities Custodial Response Guide

The Office of Facilities Planning & Management is committed to informing students, faculty and staff of steps and measures taken to protect the SMU community, as we prepare for the fall semester. This guide communicates the cleaning protocols and strategic communication plan developed specifically with regard to prevention of the spread of COVID-19 on our campus.

More resources links:
Enhanced Cleaning Protocol
https://www.smu.edu/-/media/Site/BusinessFinance/HR/welcome-back/enhanced-cleaning-operations-procedure-manual-for-office-and-education-environments

Enhanced cleaning coverage for all buildings
https://www.smu.edu/-/media/Site/BusinessFinance/FacilitiesManagementSustainability/Covid19_info/Enhanced-Custodial-Coverage-06-20-20.pdf

Three-Step Approach
https://www.smu.edu/-/media/Site/BusinessFinance/FacilitiesManagementSustainability/Covid19_info/EnhancedClean-Reentry-Guide-WORD-SMU_new.pdf

Facilities Communication Plan and Custodial Response Guide PDF
https://www.smu.edu/-/media/Site/BusinessFinance/FacilitiesManagementSustainability/Covid19_info/Custodialresponseguide_final.pdf?la=en

How does contact tracing work in identifying people who may have been exposed?

All individuals testing positive for COVID-19 are contacted and confidentially interviewed to identify people who came into close contact with the infected individual. University employees are trained on contact tracing by Johns Hopkins University and follow county, state, and federal guidelines. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

This trace assesses the class schedule, living situation, activities, work locations including offices and job sites, face-to-face meetings and any other situations that may have resulted in close contact from 2 days before the onset of symptoms or testing (if asymptomatic).

This process will evolve as we add technology to further support these efforts.

Why can’t I get more specific information about cases that might be near the area where I work or live on campus?

 Medical confidentiality must be maintained for everyone. Managers, supervisors and others who learn of positive cases must – by law – respect privacy by not commenting on any information that could identify the person with COVID-19. Refrain from social media posts about the case.

What requirements has the University set to hold an event?

Any event or other activity of University and non-University individuals and organizations scheduled in a venue. Events include but are not limited to meetings, conferences, study groups, rehearsals, practices, receptions, catered meals, screenings, ceremonies, performances, athletic games, and lectures. Events are further categorized by SMU’s Public Safety Standards.  Credit and non-credit academic classes are not “Events.”

  1. In-person meetings of SMU students, staff, faculty can occur as long as the most current county and state guidelines can be followed within the meeting space. There must be a way for attendees to participate remotely via Zoom, conference call, etc.
  1. No events (other than meetings as noted above) will take place on campus. Instability of sanitization supplies and the ability to adhere to cleanliness protocols is a leading factor. Exceptions to this recommendation may be requested by an Event Organizer/Sponsor.

Exceptions must be sent to the Events Group no later than 10 business days prior to the event for consideration. A recommendation to approve/disapprove will be made by the Group. If further discussion is required, the exception request will be brought forth to the EOC for determination. If PEC review is required, they will make the final determination. Find the event exception request online form here.

How is the location cleaned after a positive case is identified?

When a positive case is confirmed, within four to eight hours, SMU custodial workers deep clean and sanitize the area in which the person worked or lived, as well as adjacent rooms and public spaces in the building.

In addition to routine enhanced frequent high-touch cleaning protocol, a broad disinfection of the identified and unoccupied areas will take place via electrostatic spraying. All known touch points will be disinfected in the generally used public spaces such as all entrances, elevators, stairwells, door handles, restrooms, hallways, related break areas, conference rooms and common areas. The zone-disinfecting spraying will follow all paths of entry and exit points for the specific space.

The entire three-step process is outlined in this handbook.

How do I sign up to receive SMU alerts by text?

Parents may register for SMU Alert by texting SMUParent to 888777. Visitors may register for SMU Alert by texting SMUVisitor to 888777. Check out the Office of Risk Management site for more information.

SMU students, faculty, and staff should already be signed up, but may login to my.smu.edu to add/update their SMU Alert contact information.