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July 20, 2020

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Summary Report

The UH Mānoa Space Planning, Preparation and Utilization working group was responsible for developing policies to maintain healthy classroom and work environments, reconfiguring classrooms and teaching laboratories so they adhere to recommended safe social distancing and developing cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

Policies for healthy classrooms and work environments

On June 8, the working group posted guidelines for buildings and facilities based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and input from the UH Mānoa COVID Health Committee. The same guidelines are utilized in the UH System Interim COVID-19 Guidelines for facilities and spaces and are designed for the most common space types, classrooms and offices, and include:

  • Establishing 6-feet of distance between people (students, faculty and staff)
  • Installing physical barriers, where feasible, such as clear sneeze guards and partitions where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart and/or at public-facing transaction counters
  • Positioning of furniture and cleaning of offices and classrooms of various sizes
  • Adjustments to entry and exit points, and flow of movement within buildings
  • Campus signage regarding guidance to stay healthy

The university is posting 4,000 signs at exterior building entrances and other interior locations throughout the campus. The signs were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and highlight physical distancing tips and health guidance instructions on enhanced hygiene and disinfection habits.

The working group is also involved in addressing specialized spaces, such as laboratories, food services, student housing and facilities for large public events.

Reconfigured classrooms and teaching laboratories

The working group assessed 435 classrooms and teaching laboratories and marked the government recommended 6 foot distance between each desk/chair so students and faculty are able to practice safe social distancing when in-person instruction resumes.

As expected, this significantly reduced the number of students that UH Mānoa’s classrooms and labs can accommodate. The Student Learning Working Group utilized the information to inform its decisions on changes to delivery formats of instruction (in-person to online or hybrid).

Cleaning and disinfecting protocols

Protocols for cleaning and disinfecting have been established for UH Mānoa Facilities and appropriate supervisors and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and the UH System Interim COVID-19 Guidelines for facilities and spaces. The protocols include:

  • A posted schedule for increased routine cleaning and disinfection
  • High-touch areas in general buildings, classrooms, common areas and restrooms including elevator buttons, door handles, restroom counters and faucets will be cleaned three times a day
  • Daily cleaning and trash pick-up for large classrooms and theaters.
  • Providing cleaning/sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer in each classroom
  • Hand-sanitizing dispensers located at classroom building entryways
  • Limiting use of shared objects such as lab equipment and computers when possible, or cleaning between uses
  • Using products that meet EPA disinfection criteria while being mindful of any storage and ventilation considerations
  • Monitoring and maintaining air conditioning units and increasing circulation of outdoor air as much as possible where air conditioning is not available


  • J. Gouveia (Vice President for Administration)

Working Group Members

  • Jan Gouveia (Lead, Vice President for Administration)
  • Blake Araki (Director of Campus Operations and Facilities)
  • Nelson Lee (Director, Office of Project Delivery)
  • Aedward LosBanos (Associate Vice President of Administration)
  • L. Ideta (Interim Vice Chancellor for Students)
  • Jimmy Lagunero (Emergency Management Coordinator)
  • Emma Kennedy (Director, Environmental Health & Safety Office, UH Mānoa)
  • Jaret Leong (Chair, UH Mānoa Staff Senate, and Program Manager, Public Administration)
  • Markus Wessendorf (Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance)

Scope of Work

The group will evaluate the current inventory of spaces and develop policies and strategies that the campus can implement to maintain healthy classroom and work environments. It will focus on modified classroom and office layouts to support 6 feet distancing when feasible, the use of sneeze guards/partitions in areas where it is difficult to operate at least 6 feet apart, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols.


June 8, 2020

The committee is relying heavily on the:

The group has not reviewed specialty-facilities (i.e., instructional and research laboratories, food service areas, residential halls, and facilities for the purpose of supporting large public events). The following are guidelines to manage the average or typical space type. However, the committee recognizes that there will be unique situations or needs that must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. In that case, such situations should be brought to the attention of the respective Dean or Director for assistance.

Standard Classrooms (Small – Large), Amphitheaters & Theaters

  • Where appropriate, 6 feet physical distancing locations for desks/chairs will be indicated on the floor
  • For lecture halls or rooms with fixed furniture, seats and rows will be taped off to ensure 6 feet distancing between seats
  • Regular cleaning and disinfection protocol will be followed by Facilities (cleaning 1 time per day, including trash pickup); for large classrooms and theaters, a misting or electromagnetic “spray” may be utilized to improve the efficiency of cleaning
  • Cleaning/sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer will be provided by Facilities in each classroom for occupants to use

Entry/Exit Points for Classroom Buildings (General Rule)

  • Wherever practical, have one dedicated entry point and one dedicated exit point identified for every classroom building
  • Wherever practical, direct flow of movement in common areas
  • Facilities will provide hand-sanitizing dispensers at classroom building entryways
  • During normal business hours, and where feasible, keep dedicated “entry” doors open
  • Facilities will work with the units to post signs in every classroom, building entrance, and restrooms that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs (such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face covering)
  • High touch areas in classrooms, common areas and restrooms (e.g., elevator buttons, door handles, restroom counters & faucets, etc.) will be cleaned by custodial staff 3 times per day including general office buildings

Office Spaces (General Rule)

Ultimately, it is the Dean/Director/EM who is responsible for maintaining a safe working environment. However, given our organizational structure, each supervisor is expected to make decisions and/or recommendations to their Dean/Director for approval on a case-by-case basis that takes into consideration all of the operational needs and requirements for the particular office.

  • Wherever possible, employees should work at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people. To achieve this, furniture and other office equipment should be reconfigured by each unit to maximize use of space.
  • If 6 feet distancing cannot be accomplished within the existing space, then supervisors are encouraged to alternate the work force between working from campus and working from home.
  • If employees engage in transactions directly with students or members of the public where 6 feet distancing cannot be maintained (e.g., cashiers, ticket sales, customer service counters, advising), physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, should be installed by the unit.
  • High touch areas in restrooms and common areas of an office building (e.g., elevator buttons, handrails, door handles, restroom counters & faucets, etc.) will be cleaned by custodial staff 3 times per day.
  • General cleaning protocols for general office spaces and private offices are being evaluated at this time. Due to the additional wiping down of high touch areas and increase in monitoring of restroom and classroom supplies, general cleaning of departmental offices by custodial staff will be impacted. However, occupants are responsible for regular cleaning and disinfecting of their own personal spaces
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