UToledo Announces Rocket Restart Plan for Returning Safely to Campus

May 29, 2020 | News, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

The University of Toledo is planning to begin a safe return to campus this summer in advance of resuming on-campus instruction and activities for fall semester.

University leadership shared Friday the first phases of the Rocket Restart plan with the campus community detailing plans for employees to return to campus. Employees, who have been working remotely since March 19, will return to campus in phases.

Using guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and pending no significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the region, the first staff members expected to return to campus on June 8 will include select employees from Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, Research and Sponsored Programs, Information Technology, and Athletics.

A second phase of employees will return to campus on July 6. This includes select employees from Diversity and Inclusion, Legal Affairs, and Marketing and Communications, as well as the continued transition of employees in the departments that previously began to return to campus in June. Supervisors will contact their employees at least one week prior to reporting back to work on campus.

The remainder of UToledo employees will return to campus Aug. 3 with nine-month faculty returning to campus as planned on Aug. 17. The University intends to resume face-to-face instruction with the start of fall semester in August.

Employees will be required to follow a set of Rocket Prevention Principles, which include self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms, wearing face coverings on campus, practicing social distancing, keeping a clean workspace, and following good personal hygiene practices, including frequent handwashing.

As part of our campus-wide health assessment, UToledo public health and infectious disease experts are examining facilities around campus to determine how best to reduce the population density in these spaces. Changes may include retrofitting spaces, moving classes to larger meeting spaces on campus or rotating attendance, as well as robust cleaning and disinfecting of all campus facilities.

The letter sent Friday, signed jointly by President Sharon L. Gaber, Provost Karen Bjorkman, and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Matt Schroeder, thanked employees in advance for their cooperation in returning safely to campus.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our UToledo community has proven that, together, we can accomplish anything,” the letter read. “We have remained focused on our academic mission to provide students an exceptional education. We appreciate your efforts and patience with the unpredictability of this virus and ask for your continued flexibility as we move forward to navigate the uncharted waters of this pandemic.”

Additional details on UToledo’s Rocket Restart plans for fall semester will be announced in early July. The University anticipates a return to campus using prevention and risk mitigation practices.

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