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NAU has released guidelines for those planning a return to campus for the Fall 2020 semester, which is currently planned to start amid the COVID-19 pandemic mid-August.

Guidelines that were issued to faculty, staff and students call for personal safety practices, such as physical distancing, face coverings and increased handwashing. Additionally, all members of the NAU community will be required to complete an online training course.

Employees are directed to perform self-checks for symptoms of the virus before commuting to campus. Many facets of the campus workplace will operate differently than past semesters; meetings are encouraged to take place remotely, open offices must ensure six feet of social distancing, and employees will be asked to consume meals outside or in their office when feasible.

Campus activities will look different for members of the community as well. Visual cues, signage and floor markings are likely to become commonplace throughout campus. Entry to buildings are to be regulated at various access points, where arrival and departure times may be coordinated during “rush hours” defined by the university. Employees must report to work adhering to any designated access points and timeframes issued.

Additionally, NAU transit will now require passengers to wear a face covering and wash their hands with sanitizer upon exit. Restrooms will follow similar sanitation and face covering guidelines. Elevator usage will also require a face mask but is discouraged — utilizing staircases is preferred and may be designated for one-way use.

NAU will begin “phased staffing” this week, where employees will gradually return to the workplace in a coordinated process. The university says that in order to meet physical distancing requirements, the need to reduce the number of people on campus “will probably continue for some time.”

Plans outlined in the guideline draw from recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arizona Department of Health Services and the Coconino County Health and Human Services.