Skip to main content

Physical Spaces

Common areas

Physical distancing, while not currently required, can reduce the potential for exposure but can be hard in shared spaces on campus. Everyone can consider the following steps to keep others safe in common areas:

  • All students, employees, and visitors are instructed to wear a mask indoors on campus beginning August 5.
  • Consider bringing your own meal and employees should consider eating at their desks if physical distancing can be maintained to limit time in shared break rooms (see policy UA-21 for more details).
  • Consider maintaining physical distancing while waiting in lines. Look out for visible markings that illustrate safe distances if they are available.
  • Use stairs instead of elevators when possible.
  • Consider virtual meetings if you do not need meet in-person.


When possible, avoid using elevators altogether and take the stairs.

If you must ride in an elevator, please:

  • Use hand sanitizer after use when possible.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Maintain physical distancing and do not overcrowd elevators.

Guidelines for chemical and biological laboratories

In addition to taking typical safety measures for chemical and biological laboratories, you will need to follow specific guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19 in these spaces.


When working in hazardous chemical or biological laboratories, you may need to follow specific guidance set by regulatory agencies. Start with these guidelines:

  • When in a laboratory with chemical or biological hazards, do not wear cloth face masks or other forms of respiratory protection that have been worn outside of the laboratory.
  • Seal your non-laboratory mask inside a closable paper bag with your name on it when entering the laboratory area.
  • Wear a disposable surgical or isolation mask when working with colleagues inside laboratory areas containing chemical or biological hazards (unless laboratory hazards would require a higher level of protection, such as an N95).
  • When leaving, take off the disposable surgical/isolation mask and dispose of it or place it in a labeled paper bag for reuse if you plan to return to the lab. Masks worn inside the laboratory must stay in the laboratory area.

Lab coats

  • Assign lab coats to individuals.
  • Do not share your lab coat without washing it first.
  • Wash lab coats regularly. Use the warmest water possible when washing coats, and make sure they are dried completely.
  • Do not take lab coats home for laundering.

Other considerations

Many doors on campus will remain propped open so those entering and exiting don’t need to touch handles. Do NOT prop open fire doors in labs. These doors protect stairs, laboratories and buildings by containing fire and smoke. If propped open, you will be in danger using stairs to evacuate, and laboratory research can be threatened by fire or smoke spread. Keep these doors closed and use a paper towel to grab door handles.

Consider other safety-related factors associated with reentering labs where work has been paused due to COVID-19.

Guidelines for camps, childcare facilities, and programs with children

Childcare facilities on campuses follow the risk mitigation strategies outlined in this site, along with in-state Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) guidance and CDC Business Plans guidance.