man wearing a cloth mask

Personal Protective Equipment

Certain measures are needed to reduce the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19. Essential personnel in Phase I are required to wear a mask/face covering at all times when on campus except at a workstation/private office that is in an enclosed space where no other personnel are present. Cloth masks/face coverings may be used to minimize the risks to others near you. You can spread COVID-19 to others even when you do not feel sick. Cloth face masks must be laundered each day. If you do not have one, a face covering/mask may be obtained from your supervisor. N95 masks should be limited to first responders, health care providers and employees working with materials that require N95 masks as part of their ordinary safety plan. See CDC guidelines for the use of cloth face coverings. Employees working in the healthcare environment should follow the PPE guidelines for their specific area.

Social Distancing

Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slow its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are ill, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even when you have no symptoms. Students, faculty and staff should follow these social distancing practices:

  • Stay at least 6 feet apart (about two arms’ lengths) at all times.
  • When in open spaces such as labs, hallways, lobbies, maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet apart.
  • All workstations should be oriented to a minimum of 6 feet apart in all directions.
  • If you work in a private office, keep your door closed.
  • Do not gather in groups that cannot comply with social distancing.
  • Stay out of crowded places, and avoid mass gatherings.
  • Meetings should take place online instead of conference rooms. If you must meet in person, wipe down surfaces, chairs and equipment after each use, and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet.
  • Minimize the use of common breakrooms, coffee stations or refrigerators to store food.
  • Rearrange furniture in common areas to maintain social distancing.
  • Do not bring children, visitors, guests or pets to the workplace.
  • Minimize non-essential movement around campus. If duties require movement to other physical areas on campus, practice social distancing and follow all health and safety guidelines for those locations.
  • Some activities may require personnel to work within the 6-foot social distancing guidelines. It is critical to keep those interactions to a minimum.

Handwashing and Hand Sanitizers

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizers will be available at multiple locations in your building, and you should place a hand sanitizer in your workspace for easy access.

Gloves/Goggles/Face Shields

The CDC indicates that gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Students, faculty and staff do not need to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus. Health care workers and clinical and research personnel should follow the PPE guidelines for their specific work area.

Enhanced Environmental Health and Cleaning Procedures

More detailed information regarding UAB’s COVID-19 Prevention: Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols.

UAB buildings remain on badge-access only. Custodial and Environmental Services (EVS) have enhanced their cleaning protocols for cleaning methods and frequency while using appropriate personal protective equipment. Supervisors should assist in identifying workspaces that should have the highest priority for cleaning and disinfection (e.g., door handles, railings, restrooms, breakrooms). Before starting work and before you leave any room in which you have been working, you must wipe down all work areas with sanitizing wipes. This includes shared space or equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, keyboards, mouse, phone, equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.).

Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene

If you are in an enclosed workspace/private office and you do not have a mask, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with a hand sanitizer.