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5 Ways to Update University Spaces During a Pandemic

Office Systems
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As many academic institutions discuss reopening campuses for fall enrollment, they must find ways to ensure that their facilities promote sanitary, social-distancing compliant spaces for students and faculty. To do so, many have looked to reorganization strategies and novel seating designs, all featuring barriers of protection against COVID transmission. Find out more about the various ways that institutions have prepared to curb infection rates for incoming students.

1. Reduce On-Site Storage

One critical action to help provide adequate social-distancing space to academic spaces is to remove on-site storage of non-essential materials, such as backlogged books and other printed materials. Reducing or removing backlog catalogs from the floor of libraries or study halls provides ample space for reorganization or updates to seating and collaborative spaces.

In order to handle the multitude of varying storage requirements that many universities have, many have relied on mobile or high-bay storage solutions. Specifically, many large institutions have relied on Spacesaver’s ActivRAC and high-bay storage products to maximize off-site storage. They provide easy accessibility to desired materials via app-controlled hands-free movement and in-app organization tools.

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2. Limit High-Touch Surfaces

When opting for mobile book and print storage, one consideration to make is the human factor in its movement. With Spacesaver’s ActivRAC and Eclipse models, some can be outfitted with hands-free, remote movement technology. Through Spacesaver’s TUSC mobile control app, users can browse, locate, and open condensed mobile storage units to retrieve the necessary materials--all while avoiding unnecessary surface or human contact.

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3. Protect Belongings From Contact

As more and more students return to their campuses, storage space for personal belongings is also very important. If students can store belongings in day-use lockers, they can potentially limit contact traces of COVID-19 that could be carried back home on their backpacks or coats. Compact locker storage systems such as Spacesaver’s day-use lockers can maximize small, unused spaces for personal article storage.

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4. Implement Sanitizable Furniture

COVID-19 has changed many cleaning procedures for businesses and academic institutions alike. Many schools have employed rigorous disinfection strategies to reduce the chances of lingering viruses on furniture and doorways. However, chemical sanitation can quickly wear the upholstery or integrity of communal furniture, especially couches and upholstered chairs.

To protect the students’ health, and the durability of furniture, many universities have transitioned to glass paneling between study desks, high-durability, and sanitizable upholstery, and other hygienic solutions to curb further spreading of COVID. Glass paneling can help protect transmission via sneezing or coughing, and provide students with further reassurance of safety on campus. Global Furniture’s Performance Textile offers infection-control design and durability to further ensure maintained hygiene in public study/lounge spaces.

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5. Build Testing Centers on Campus

As COVID testing facilities become more commonplace, many institutions have established de facto testing sites outside of university hospitals or in student unions. With the high number of tests being performed each day, it is of utmost importance to protect the health of the frontline workers who run such sites.

Global Furniture created a new line of products, specifically aimed at protecting the health of medical workers from the transmission of COVID. Specifically, their Consultation Booth products can be implemented into any medical facility on-campus to provide students with proper medical care and access to testing, all while preventing further viral spread. The booths utilize a plexiglass screen with a protected vent to allow for face-to-face contact without compromising social distancing rules. Additionally, booths can be outfitted with computer terminals to further help medical staff record and access important medical information.

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Regardless of what method your institution chooses to employ, taking the proper precautions to guard dense student populations from COVID is paramount to creating a safe, operational learning space. Protect your students and faculty alike by providing proper furnishings and effective medical testing and treatment centers.

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