Teaching Lab Protocols

These protocols are intended to protect the health and safety of faculty and students in teaching labs, studios, field classes and other non-classroom teaching environments. COVID-19 conditions may change and cause USU to adapt and alter these procedures.

General Guidance

  • Plan for face-to-face with face coverings, hybrid with limited face-to-face, or online delivery.
  • Consider splitting 3-hour lab/studio sections into two cohorts to enable social distancing. Each cohort meets face-to-face less than half of the scheduled time period with additional online portion.
  • Consider alternative/new approaches to achieving learning objectives. Use time prior to fall classes to develop short videos of experiences not feasible for in-class student participation.
  • Plan for teaching assistant training.
  • Use field sites within close distance to campus to limit transportation needs.

Protocols for Labs, Studios, and Field Studies

Social distancing within learning environments

  • USU expects 6-foot social distancing in all instructional and learning spaces:
    • Assign individual spaces and tools/instruments. Create self-contained spaces within the laboratory/studio having all necessary equipment (including waste containers) to complete work.
    • Rooms with tables and chairs:
      • Mark the location for each student on the table with a sticker. In these types of environments, the chair would be placed at the location of these table stickers and used accordingly.
  • Social distancing may be adjusted in USU instructional and learning spaces where:
    • Seating is fixed to the floor
    • Seating varies in the width of and spacing between seats
    • Limitations due to instructional lab spaces
    • Course scheduling logistics necessitate flexibility
  • If the 6-foot social distancing standard is adjusted, the requirement will be to maintain at least 4 feet of separation between attendees (including instructor).
  • All students and instructors will be required to wear face coverings in the teaching environment
  • Erect physical barriers between workstations/areas when possible and appropriate.
  • Excess furniture that will NOT be conducive to the social distancing spacing and should be stored when not in use.
  • Consider ADA accommodations in laboratories/studios and in field work according to prior practices for the environment and the COVID-19 specifications outlined herein.
  • Maintain 6 feet of social distancing in field settings by establishing protocols; for example, use stakes and string to cordon off study areas

Appropriate PPE and Ensuring Personal Hygiene

  • All required PPE should be indicated in the syllabus and in the teaching environment (e.g. safety glasses, face shields, gloves).
  • Gloves should be available for using shared equipment and other high-contact zones.
  • A means should be provided for proper disposal and removal of used/soiled PPE.
  • Information is available from EH&S regarding washing lab coats

Signage for Teaching Environment

  • Each teaching environment will include:
    • Wall decals to indicate which door is to be used to enter/exit; Do Not Enter/Exit Only sign on the opposite sides of the doors (“wrong way”).
    • An ADA decal in blue for designated entrance/exits.
    • Signage indicating the door(s) to use in case of emergency.
    • Prevention Precaution signage that includes the following: (available at https://www.usu.edu/covid-19/operations/prevention-signage).
      • Hand Washing (if applicable)
      • Prevention Precautions: face coverings, avoid shaking hands, cover coughs and sneezes, practice social distancing, stay home when sick.
      • Stay Home When Sick
  • Signage that indicates laboratory/studio cleaning protocols.
  • A posted diagram of the room which includes the capacity, working layout, and traffic flow for COVID-19 conditions.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

  • Cleaning guidelines for non-infected areas by Facilities Management will depend on the common practices used for the space (e.g., laboratory environments, studios). Contact Facilities to confirm current practices and/or to establish new service.
    • Once daily Facilities may include:
      • Disinfect all door handles/knobs including outside
      • Disinfect light switches
      • Disinfect common use counter tops
      • Disinfect instructor and facilitator stations
      • Disinfect tables, desks, and high-touch areas
  • Frequent cleaning/sanitizing: Prior to each laboratory/studio use, each space must be wiped down for the practical purpose to sanitize commonly used areas—to include instructor station and equipment, student work areas, doorknobs, light switches, and chairs. Depending on how the department has arranged for regular cleaning, they should contact FM for cleaning solutions and recommendations on cleaning protocols.

Pedestrian Traffic Flow

  • Instructors should develop timing strategies to reduce time in lab/studio space to allow for transitions in/out of the space.