Campus health and safety practices

Four key behaviors for limiting COVID-19

Limiting the spread of COVID-19 requires that employees adhere to the use of face coverings, maintaining physical distance, monitoring temperature, and thorough hand washing.

Masks and face coverings

Facemasks or face coverings must be worn by all faculty and staff working on campus. Masks should also be worn in spaces even where a Plexiglass barrier is present. Exceptions to this are when an employee is isolated in their personal office space, which is not shared with any other individual and at least six feet apart from another person, when an employee is eating meals, or driving a college-owned vehicle by themselves with no passengers, including equipment being operated by College employees.

Mutual protection

The College will provide each employee and student with a washable cloth mask; however, employees are permitted to wear their own cloth face coverings as long as they are workplace appropriate and fully cover the nose, mouth, and lower face. If an employee comes to campus without a mask, the College will provide a disposable mask. Extra masks will be available in each department or program office. If you have questions regarding face coverings, please refer to the CDC website for further guidance.

Employees who may be unable to wear face coverings due to a health condition or disability should contact Human Resources to discuss next steps.

Wear your face covering correctly

Adhere to the following guidelines when wearing your facemask:

  • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering.
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Make sure you can breathe easily.

How to properly wash your face covering or mask

Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use. It is important to always remove face coverings correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used face covering.

Washing machine:

  • You can include your face covering with your regular laundry.
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering.

Hand wash:

  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
    • 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water
  • Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
  • Soak the face covering in the bleach solution for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.

How to dry:

  • Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.
  • Make sure to completely dry cloth face covering after washing.

If you have questions regarding face coverings, please refer to the CDC Website for further guidance.

Social distancing

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and to slowing its spread locally, nationally, and globally (see what the CDC says about physical distancing).

Gettysburg College employees are expected to maintain physical distancing when on campus. This includes all College buildings, classrooms, office spaces, and outdoors.

Temperature taking and contact tracing

Employees are required to take their temperature on a daily basis prior to coming to campus.

When anyone tests positive for COVID-19, it is essential to identify and notify people who have had close contact with that person and determine whether the nature, timing, and duration of the contact constitutes a risk of transmission of the virus. “Close contact” means being within less than six feet of the person for a period of more than 15 minutes. Human Resources will interview employees who have a positive test to identify members of the campus community with whom that employee has had close contact. The contact tracers will then get in touch with all of those people and interview them to determine whether their risk of having been infected is high enough to require that they be tested and/or quarantine themselves to prevent further spread of the virus.

If an employee has Flu-like or COVID-19 related symptoms, they should immediately contact their supervisor and Human Resources.

Proper handwashing techniques

The Pennsylvania Department of Health provides the following recommendations relating to proper handwashing.

When to wash your hands

  • Before eating or touching food
  • After using the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose or coughing
  • After touching pets or other animals
  • After playing outside
  • After visiting a sick relative or friend

How to wash your hands properly

  1. Wet your hands with warm running water.
  2. Add soap, then rub your hands together, making a soapy lather. Do this away from the running water for at least 15 to 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing the ABC’s). Be careful not to wash the lather away. Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails where germs like to hide.
  3. Rinse your hands well under warm running water. Let the water run back into the sink, not down to your elbows.
  4. Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel, then turn off the water with a clean paper towel and dispose of it in a proper receptacle.
  5. Use hand sanitizer when there is no soap and water available (www.health.pa.gov).