Arkansas State University - Newport

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Guidance for Specific On-Campus Spaces

Open Office Environments

Individuals in open office environments must practice social distancing and wear face coverings except when eating and drinking. This applies to all shared spaces, even when office areas are separated by partitions. While each campus has dedicated space with plexiglass dividers for employees and students to conduct business in person, face masks should still be worn.

For single occupancy offices, if more than one person is in the office, masks should be worn at all times and social distancing should be practiced. A mask or face covering is not required if you are working alone in a confined office space unless someone else enters the room.

Close Proximity Work, Group Meetings and Individual Meetings

With current technology and careful planning, there should be no reason for a task to be performed that puts two or more individuals in close proximity of each other (e.g. within a couple of feet) for more than 15 minutes. If in extreme circumstances this is unavoidable, employees, supervisors, students, faculty and Human Resources should work together to assess the exposure risks involved and determine the appropriate measures.

Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. Meetings (other than designated in-person classroom teaching) should continue to be held using the extensive range of available collaboration online tools (e.g., Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, Zoom, etc.). Conference calls by telephone are also a good option. When absolutely necessary, in-person meetings must be limited to the approved occupancy for that space.

Employees and students should communicate with colleagues, supervisors and faculty as much as possible by email, instant message, telephone, or other available technology rather than face-to-face. In-person meetings should only take place if (1) individuals can maintain six feet of separation and (2) all participants in the meeting are wearing a mask. All employees and students will adhere to the setup of tables and chairs in community spaces as well as signage and visual cue marks to support physical distancing practices between attendees. These meetings should be kept to a minimum.

Laboratory Work

When working in a laboratory, the normal safety standards still apply, in addition to current COVID-19 standards of physical distancing, enhanced personal hygiene and regular disinfection.

Employee Travel

Travel between campuses and off campus for business-related reasons should be minimized until further notice. When traveling off campus for business-related reasons, employees should practice proper social distancing and wear a face mask.

Campus Dining

Recognizing the need to eat on campus, ASUN has established the following guidelines and best practices.

  • The HUB and Delta Grill will serve boxed lunches. Call in orders are appreciated. There is no access to ice or soda machines.
  • Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.
  • If dining on campus, you should wear your mask or face covering until you are ready to eat and then replace it afterward.
  • Eating establishments must meet requirements to allow at least six feet of distance between each customer, including lines and seating arrangements.
  • Individuals should not sit directly facing one another.
  • Employees and students are required to practice social distancing in the Hub or Delta Grill seating areas. Employees are encouraged to take food back to their office area. Employees and students are encouraged to eat outside when practical.
  • Zoom lunches are a great way to relax and enjoy your peers while practicing social distancing and safety.

SAFE: Six Feet Away From Everyone.  Keep 6 feet between you and others to help prevent the spread.

Employee Break Rooms and Kitchens

Some areas have break rooms that serve small to large numbers of employees. The following guidelines have been established as a way to keep these spaces available.

  • The use of shared break rooms and kitchens should be minimized.
  • The use of a break room or kitchen for the preparation of food or drink is permitted for one person at a time.
  • Food containers in the refrigerator must be sealed
  • Food containers must be labeled with the person’s name

Gym and Workout Facilities

The gym and workout facilities will be closed for now. In the interim, employees may use their wellness benefit at a local gym or workout facility with approval from their supervisor.


The number of individuals per restroom is limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. Please take turns at the hand washing stations as it is almost impossible to social distance in that area. Wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching door handles afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.