By Theresa Walsh Giarrusso
On June 15, APPA released the results of its 2021 Fall Reopening Strategies Survey revealing what COVID-era practices FMs will be keeping and challenges they are facing.
Many campus managers report they do not have adequate staffing to reopen in the fall. The survey found “Huge gaps exist in some critical O&M areas like custodial and maintenance.” The FMs report they are frustrated by lack of adequate funding and clear guidance from local, state, and federal government officials and the Centers for Disease Control. They are still concerned about HVAC requirements and variants creating another wave of infection this fall.
These campus FMs report there are COVID-era practices they will keep in place, such as employing more frequent cleaning specifically for high-touch surfaces and increasing the number of touchless fixtures. They also will keep more hand sanitizing and/or disinfecting wipes stations throughout campus and will deploy electrostatic sprayers for deeper cleaning in public spaces.
Water fountains will become relics of the past replaced with water bottle refilling stations. Plexiglass will continue to be used at front desks, service desks and transaction areas.
HVAC protocols will continue to be enhanced using MERV 13+ filters, more duct cleaning, increased air exchanges, HEPA room filtration units and UV treatments.
Campus FMs also report there are some COVID-era practices they will keep because they simply work better than the post ones. For example, many will continue to utilize telework and flexible hybrid work options. They will keep DocuSign and transition to centralized shipping/receiving in order to reduce in-building mail/parcel deliveries.
Other campus FMs reported they will adopt a more comprehensive interior building health focus and implement or expand a Healthy Smart Building Team.
You can read full survey answers here.