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Return To Campus Guidance

During Fall 2020, we will need to balance maintaining the health of our community with providing an optimal student experience. Below are basic principles and guidance to assist with deciding how to cover a department's staffing/ physical presence on campus.


  • We will seek to foster a sense of community among our students, while staying within physical distancing guidelines.
  • We will provide a superior level of service to our student community.
  • We will strive to keep the density of people down in our buildings with the following considerations:
    • Onsite student-facing staff availability daily when students are likely to be in the building, especially when in-person classes are taking place, and
    • Adherence to a regular service schedule – for both campus and remote work.

Staff Scheduling Guidance

  • Managers should determine the minimal number of staff who need to come in the office per day to carry out the operations of the department and be available for students. The remainder of the staff will work remotely on the days they do not come to campus. Managers should work with the staff member to determine individual schedules.
  • Employee Schedule Options
    • Split shifts: A split shift is one in which a staff member can fulfill their work hours in two shifts. This can maximize physical distancing by having one or two staff members coming in for a morning shift and working the remainder of their hours remotely in the afternoon, while different staff work remotely in the morning and come to campus to work in the afternoon. This could work for both non-exempt and exempt employees.
    • Consider having employees rotate one week on campus and two weeks remotely with two different groups of employees.
    • Given the lean staffing of our departments and programs, you may consider sharing physical presence rotations with other departments and programs in your building.

As we work on this return to campus plan, please keep in mind that there are many factors and details we have to consider including, but not limited to: employee availability (as defined by central HR) and an equitable rotation of employees within departments. Our goal is to offer classes and a rich student experience that are within guidelines for the safety of all staff, students, and faculty in the buildings.

  • Will all campus buildings be accessible to faculty, staff and students?

    All Emory University buildings will remain under full access control for the fall semester, and all faculty, staff, and students will need to use their EmoryCard to access buildings. To enhance security and more easily identify each other please wear your EmoryCard ID visibly – either in a lanyard or displayed in a clip-on badge.

    Existing Access Levels

    Your current access level will not be altered. If you have 24/7 access to your assigned building, you will continue to have the same level of access.

    If you experience access challenges please send a note with the issue, including your EmoryCard ID number, to

    New Access Level

    We are adding a new access level to your EmoryCard that will include access to all open ECAS and Campus Life facilities. In ECAS buildings, these hours will be defined as 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. to roughly coincide with the class schedule. This access level will be extended to faculty, staff, undergraduate, and graduate students who have completed the onboarding process.

  • Where will signage be placed?

    Building signage is in place to help guide and support the Emory community as we navigate our current reality. Signs directing foot traffic are strategically placed throughout our buildings in an effort to prevent crowding in limited spaces. However, on the advice of Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO), in areas where such signs would create bottlenecks (e.g., building entrances and egresses, stairwells, etc.), we decided that it would be safer to allow foot traffic to flow naturally. If you notice issues with overcrowding in certain areas, please contact

  • Should I come to campus to teach an online course?

    Those who can perform their work remotely should continue to do so. ONLY those faculty and staff who have been approved to return to campus by their supervisor may return. If you choose to come to campus to teach a course, please do so from your office space. For visiting or other teaching faculty who do not have office space, please contact to receive your space assignment.

  • If I am teaching in person, what should I expect when I walk into my classroom?

    Room capacities will be posted outside of the classroom and must be strictly followed. There will be an “instruction zone” defined by floor tape in front of classroom. The tape will identify the area that is six or eight feet from the first row. An acrylic shield will be provided on or around the instructor podium, and defined locations for student seating will include the following guidelines:

    • In moveable furniture rooms, seating locations will be marked on the floor and will placed at least six feet apart. These chairs/desks cannot be removed or moved from their current locations.
    • In fixed furniture rooms, approved seats will be marked.

    Classrooms used for in-person teaching will have a consistent set of teaching technologies, which include the following:

    • Touch screen podium PC
    • Microphone, webcam, document camera with document camera software
    • Zoom or Canvas Studio for classroom recording
    If you are able to do so, please visit your assigned classroom space between August 13 – August 18 to test the equipment. If you have technical issues, please contact Classroom Technologies at or 404-727-6853.
  • What is the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) I should wear before, during and after class?

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, all Emory employees are required to wear face masks in public areas and while interacting with other individuals. ECAS is committed to providing each faculty and staff member with appropriate PPE for on-campus work.

    Instructors must wear a cloth face covering when entering a room until they are in the defined instruction zone. The instructor may then switch to one of the acceptable PPE combinations listed in the chart below. Students must wear face coverings at all times. Faculty and students should maintain six feet of separation at all times. This applies during entrance and egress.

    Face shields were delivered to all departments that have faculty members who are teaching in person.  Additional requests should be sent to

    Classroom PPE for Faculty Teaching In Person

    • Face Covering
    • 6’ physical distance
    • Clear Face Shield
    • Acrylic Barrier
    • 6’ physical distance
    • Clear Face Shield
    • 8’ physical distance
    • Cloth Face Mask
    • Clear Face Shield
    • Acrylic Barrier
    • 6’ physical distance
  • How do I purchase PPE?

    ECAS Business Operations will purchase PPE on behalf of faculty and staff who have completed the onboarding process and are approved to work on campus using the following guidelines:

    • All faculty and staff will be issued 2 cloth masks per month.
    • All faculty teaching in person will be issued one clear face shield at the beginning of the semester.
    • Research faculty who are required to work in close contact with others (e.g., human subjects) will be issued a clear face shield.
    • Other PPE needs will be considered on an as-needed basis.

    PPE for laboratory activities (e.g.: lab coats, gloves, goggles) should continue to be ordered through Emory Express. If you are experiencing supply chain issues, please send an email to and we will work with Procurement to assist if possible.

    • Faculty and staff are welcome to use their own cloth masks if they so choose.
    • To replace PPE before the next delivery to your department, please contact
    • PPE will be distributed to department offices based on the number of on-campus faculty and staff who have been approved to return to campus. Department staff members will be responsible for distributing to faculty and staff.
  • If staff are required to come to the office, will their spaces be updated with protective equipment?

    Yes, ECAS Facilities will install acrylic dividers in the reception area to protect faculty, staff and student visitors, if requested. Department staff should develop shifts and flexible scheduling to allow for only one person in the office at a time, and desks should be arranged so occupants maintain physical distancing.

    • Employees assigned to open workspaces will have appropriate protective accommodation created or continue to work from home.
    • For those who cannot work from home, alternate work options should be made available, including the following:
      • Reassigning workstations to allow for minimum six feet physical distancing with masks
      • Creating alternate workspace such as repurposing an unused office or conference/seminar room.
    • For staff who must work in-person and regularly interact with guests (e.g.: receptionists), please contact to obtain a desktop acrylic screen to aid in proper physical distancing.
  • Will communal spaces be available?

    Breakrooms, kitchens, computer labs, lounges and other communal spaces will be closed, and classrooms that are not being used for in-person teaching will be unavailable. It is preferable that all meetings continue to be conducted via Zoom. However, some conference and seminar meeting rooms will be available, and the signage on the entrance door will provide the maximum number of individuals who may occupy the space.

    For administrative and common spaces (e.g. lobbies, offices, break rooms, copy rooms, etc.), EHSO identified a maximum occupancy of 150 square feet/person. This value was determined to account for movement needed to conduct tasks/activities within the requisite space. However, the College will align with the maximum occupancy research square footage totaling 250 square feet/person. This prevents most faculty and staff offices from being used for one-on-one meetings, and require that meetings be held either remotely or in common spaces designated for this purpose.

    Departments experiencing office space issues associated with physical distancing guidelines should leverage seminar, conference, and meeting spaces to alleviate those concerns. Should a department need to convert a meeting space into temporary office space, please contact for assistance.

  • How often will the buildings be cleaned?

    Cleaning protocols are listed in detail on the Campus Services website.

  • What about the air flow in buildings?

    The university is implementing several HVAC system measures to support health and safety within facilities. Key measures taken include:

    • Maximizing Fresh Air – adjusting outside air dampers to allow maximum fresh air to occupy spaces based on the HVAC unit’s design;
    • Enhanced HVAC Routines – increasing frequency of tours and inspections, monitoring building management systems, and improving control parameters;
    • UV Lighting – improving indoor air quality by using UV lighting on the HVAC equipment
    • Air Return – reducing the amount of air that returns to the supply fan; and
    • Exhaust Return – removing air that is not returned to the supply fan.
  • Will there be on-campus food options available?

    Yes, several dining options for take-out will be available to faculty and staff. Please see the campus dining website for the most up-to-date information. Several tents are also being installed around campus to allow for covered outdoor space for eating and other physically distanced activity.

  • Where can I find additional information regarding in-person teaching for fall 2020?

    The Center for Faculty Development and Excellence have a robust Frequently Asked Questions area on their website, and have provided a short video demonstrating classroom etiquette to  optimize health and safety measures for faculty and students.