Safety Modifications for Classrooms and Offices

Shields and rearranged furniture are among the changes
An auditorium in Royall Hall has taped off seating to allow for six feet of physical distancing.

No surprise, but classrooms and offices will look slightly different this fall due to safety precautions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We talked to Michael Graves, director of UMKC facilities operations, to find out about building modifications for in-person interactions.

"We're following CDC guidelines to help keep our students, faculty and staff safe," Graves said.

Classroom modifications

Following those guidelines, UMKC is using 25 percent capacity in classroom spaces.

To accomplish this, Graves' teams are moving furniture and taping off seats in auditoriums.

“The goal is for each student to have a 6-foot perimeter,” Graves said.

Faculty instructors in lecture spaces can wear clear face shields — vs. cloth masks — to promote more accessible learning. The transparent plastic material allows others to read lips and facial expressions more easily.

Desk shields
A desk at the School of Dentistry has
A desk at the School of Dentistry will have a shield to provide a barrier between patients and employees.

For extra safeguarding on the Health Sciences and Volker campuses, front desks and counters that don’t provide enough physical distancing will have plexi shields.

If you’ve been to the grocery store recently, you’ve probably seen shields in the checkout aisle as a barrier between cashiers and customers.

Office precautions

Departments throughout UMKC are making sure staff are sufficiently distanced from others. For example, Graves' team is building clear desk shields in between cubicles that are not 6 feet from others.

Common spaces

Floor markers are being added to areas where lines form to help remind everyone to keep a 6-foot distance from others. And seating is being separated 6 feet away from other seating.

Published: Jul 13, 2020

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