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University cleaning crews are major line of defense

Ahead of curve

Most students left before spring break, which began the week of March 16. OBSERVER Photo.

Even with most of the students leaving the campus about two weeks ago, the State University of New York at Fredonia is still taking numerous precautions with regard to the coronavirus.

According to Jeff Woodard, university spokesman, the college has an Infection Control Management Team that has been spearheading the preparation and planning in regard to the virus. The team has been meeting for several weeks, since early on in the situation, to develop plans to deal with any potential COVID-19 related issues. The team has come up with a plan that includes protocols, procedures, and policies.

“There’s an overall plan of dealing with any potential case on campus,” Woodard said.

And while many students have returned home, some have been forced to remain. “We have a very small percentage … on campus,” he said.

Before spring break, on March 11, all students were encouraged to move back home because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and all classes were to shift online. The college allowed some students to stay, if they had extenuating circumstances.

Janitors at the university are highly essential in a time like this — as cleaning and sanitation is one of the best ways to stop the spread of viruses. Some of the cleaners have indicated to the OBSERVER they are worried about their potential exposure to the virus and whether they’ll be prepared for that by the college, including masks and gloves.

“All of the procedures and precautions are in the plan from the team which is meeting every day and every day there’s a little tweak and adjustment,” Woodard said. “The goal is to make sure everyone involved with any situation has all the protections that they need.”

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