UNT Guide for Returning to Work

Personal Safety Practices

It will be important for each community member to understand what safety practices are recommended and how to best put those into practice.

Again, faculty, staff and students are expected to behave courteously toward each other and consider the safety of those around them. If a colleague or student is not following safety practices, it is recommended that they be kindly reminded of the safety precautions, as necessary and appropriate. A tips guide has been provided to help us negotiate incidents of non-compliance. Again, please note that UNT Police are not responsible for enforcing social-distancing or face-covering guidelines. Do not call the police to report these types of behaviors.

Social Distancing

Social distancing, also called physical distancing, means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. The practice encourages people to reduce the number of times they come into close contact with others. This guideline is intended to be consistent with the CDC, as well as federal, state, and local guidelines, and does not supersede any established regulatory requirements regarding personal protective equipment in the workplace for regular daily work.

Maintaining space between yourself and others is a simple way to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. People can spread the virus whether they have symptoms or not, so it is important to keep your distance from others when possible.

See more health and safety campaign materials.

Social distancing helps protect everyone, especially people who are at a higher risk of getting very sick. Faculty and staff on campus must follow the following social distancing practices:

  • Face coverings that cover the nose and mouth will be required inside buildings (except when alone in an office). Individuals may remove their face coverings outside if they are able to maintain 6 feet of social distance.
  • Stay at least six feet from other people at all times (Remember, an eagle’s wingspan is roughly six feet.).
  • Continue to conduct meetings virtually whenever possible.
  • Disinfect shared electronic devices such as presentation clickers, coffee makers or other equipment.
  • Limit your gatherings on campus and do not gather in large groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
  • Limit elevator occupancy to the number listed on the elevator signage and wear a face covering while on the elevator. Take the stairs if you are able.

It is important to have general awareness of the guidelines for UNT’s primary spaces.

  • Workspace: Adjust workspace seating and office capacities to have minimum of six feet of separation between individuals to ensure the minimum physical separation is accommodated.
  • Classrooms: Adjust classroom seating and capacities to ensure the minimum physical separation is accommodated.
  • Research Labs: Research labs are specialized spaces and may have more stringent requirements. Speak to the laboratory manager or the Principal Investigator to learn the requirements for each lab space.
  • Shared Spaces: For areas like the Pohl Recreation Center, dining halls and other common areas, please be mindful of posted signage and rearranged furniture to accommodate social distancing minimum of six feet of separation.

Face Coverings

UNT requires the use of face coverings by all community members inside buildings and in public settings outside, especially where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common work spaces, meeting rooms, laboratories, classrooms, etc.). Appropriate use of face coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. The CDC recommends the wearing of face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn more about the CDC recommendations for what to consider when wearing masks, including not wearing masks with exhalation valves or vents. While face coverings do help prevent the spread of COVID-19, they are not a substitute for social distancing. Everyone is strongly encouraged to maintain social distancing AND wear face coverings while transitioning in hallways, doorways, elevators, etc.

Learn more about UNT’s guidelines and resources for face coverings.

See more health and safety campaign materials.

Face covering recommendations may vary in campus facilities due to instructional requirements, occupancy, and/or activities that occur within those spaces. Here are a few scenarios to help you better understand UNT’s guidelines related to face coverings:

  • Face coverings must be worn by staff in reception/receiving areas.
  • Face coverings must be used in multi-occupant vehicles, including golf carts, and on university public transportation.
  • Face coverings must be worn when inside any campus facility where others are present, including walking in narrow hallways where others travel and in break rooms, conference rooms, and other meeting locations.
  • If you are in an area removed from other people, such as a single-occupancy office with no visitors, no face covering is needed.
  • When you are outside, you may choose not to wear a face coverings as long as you are separated from others by a minimum of six feet.
  • Faculty must use face coverings or barriers during lectures. Faculty may temporarily remove their face covering while lecturing for demonstration purposes (e.g. to play an instrument). In some spaces where the use of a face covering conflicts with required functions, such as vocal performances or playing an instrument, you should maintain at least the minimum social distancing requirement of six feet.

Please also keep in mind that some individuals are unable to wear face coverings for various reasons.

UNT community members are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines for the care and use of cloth face coverings, which only should be worn for one day at a time before being properly laundered prior to the next use. UNT will provide two face coverings to each faculty and staff member. Tips for Addressing Non-Compliance of Face Covering Requirement.

Use of Face Shields

Face shields should not replace the use of face coverings as defined by the CDC. Per the CDC, it is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. The CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. If face shields are used without a mask, they should wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend to below the chin.

There are currently few exceptions to this guideline:

  • Lectures — A faculty member may choose to use a face shield if close contact is avoided and the faculty member is more than 6-feet from students
  • Music — During activities such as singing where a visual of mouth movements is required
  • Clinics — For interactions with patients where transfer of bodily fluids is possible and/or a visual of mouth movements is required

Any exceptions to the face covering guidelines including the use of a face shield in lieu of a face coverings should be submitted to the Safety and Incident Management Advisory Team for review.


Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol – the recommended 70% for isopropanol-based hand sanitizer or at least 60% ethanol-based hand sanitizer. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

See more health and safety campaign materials.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and always wash your hands after spending time in a public place, blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. The university has sanitization stations located throughout campus for your use.


Gloves also can play a part in reducing the spread of COVID-19. You should wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Some jobs may have special requirements that require the use of disposable gloves, such as research, food preparation and health care. Your supervisor will notify you of any special requirements related to your job on campus

In most other situations, like running errands or regular office work, wearing gloves is not necessary. Instead, practice everyday preventive actions such as keeping social distance (at least six feet) from others, washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (alcohol-based hand sanitizer with the recommended 70% for isopropanol-based hand sanitizer or at least 60% ethanol-based hand sanitizer) and wearing a cloth face covering.

When using disposable gloves, remember to:

  • Wash your hands before you put on your gloves.
  • Remove your gloves properly when you are finished using them.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after taking your gloves off.
  • Be sure to discard your gloves after each cleaning.


Facilities’ Custodial Services staff members clean inside campus buildings each evening. This service includes cleaning and disinfecting all restrooms, disinfecting touch surfaces such as door handles to restrooms and entrance doors, and disinfecting common use areas.

See more health and safety campaign materials.

Additionally, restrooms in high-traffic buildings are serviced twice each business day. That service includes replacing supplies and disinfecting counter tops. Bathroom dispensers are stocked with anti-bacterial soap, and there are several sanitation stations located across campus.

All tables and hard surface chairs in classrooms and public areas of classroom buildings have been disinfected during the campus closure and will continue to be cleaned/disinfected on an ongoing basis. Upon occupancy in addition to the routine cleaning, all high touch surfaces within occupied areas will be regularly disinfected.

In addition, each classroom will have a cleaning kit for students and faculty to use as needed. Faculty and staff are encouraged to clean and disinfect their own work areas as they know their spaces best.

Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene

If you are in a private setting and are not wearing your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you do not have access to soap and water, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that is alcohol-based with the recommended 70% for isopropanol-based hand sanitizer or at least 60% ethanol-based hand sanitizer.