General Safeguarding

Certain protocols form the foundation of Caldwell’s Restart Plan.  First and foremost, all individuals must follow any state related executive orders in place at the time of opening. Additionally, individuals must follow all University policies derived from CDC guidance including  social distancing, wearing of face masks, and practicing good personal hygiene such as washing hands frequently for at least twenty seconds and sneezing into elbows. Employees, students and guests will be required to perform a daily personal health assessment prior to coming to campus.  Employee and student communications contain links to CDC guidance for personal hygiene, and for wearing, removing and washing face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic. The University reserves the right to conduct random temperature checks of students and employees. In some areas such as Athletics and Nursing, regular temperature checks will be conducted. Other critical components of the plan include thorough cleaning and disinfecting regimens for facilities and high touch areas, as well as restrictions on gatherings as detailed in  the Governor’s Executive Order powers.  Finally, comprehensive training for faculty, staff and visitors will be delivered in multiple formats and reinforced through enforcement and signage. In an effort to embed the commitment to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the campus culture, all faculty, staff, and students will be asked to take a pledge to do their part in keeping CU safe. Caldwell will post updates to these regulations and policies as required by changes to the federal and state policies and best practices, as well as Caldwell University related policies. 

How will the institution implement general safeguarding measures during each stage? These safeguards include but are not limited to: 


  • Cleaning and sanitization
  • Requiring face coverings
  • Maintaining adequate supplies, such as personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies
  • Requiring individuals to engage in social distancing practices at all times
  • Training students, staff, and faculty regarding COVID-19 sanitization and social distancing practices and protocols


Stage 3:

  • Cleaning and sanitization:  

The development of Caldwell’s plan began with a risk assessment of campus spaces to identify high touch surfaces and high traffic areas.  In partnership with our facilities services provider, SSC, Compass Group, the University has developed enhanced protocols that follow  the CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting.  

All SSC staff will be trained in CDC cleaning and disinfecting protocols through required corporate online modules followed by individual training by the site manager. Our plan includes the installation of wall mounts for disinfecting wipes and/or antimicrobial spray cleaners in classrooms and labs and hand sanitizer in hallways, entryways and offices. Instructions and training in the use of cleaning supplies will be provided and posted.  Daily custodial protocol will include checking and refilling these stations.  Classrooms will be cleaned once daily, either with an electrostatic fogger or with a thorough wipedown process using an antiviral solution.  Classrooms with a higher number of sections will be cleaned twice daily. To accomplish this expanded regimen, the University plans to increase the custodial workforce. Facilities will keep daily records of cleaning and disinfecting activity.  Individuals will use wipes between cleanings to ensure high touch surfaces such as keyboards are disinfected. In classrooms, students will be asked to sit in designated seats, six feet apart, over color-coded floor decals ensuring that the same seats are only used for every other class. 

Community restrooms will be cleaned two times per day.  Hand dryers in restrooms have been replaced with paper towel dispensers. To ensure proper distancing in multiple use restrooms, people will be instructed to use every other sink.  Additional supplies for individual use between cleanings will be available. 

Water bottle refill stations have been installed across campus to avoid the use of water fountains.  Fountains will be disabled.

HVAC is being prepared for the opening of buildings on campus. Air filters have been replaced. The plan is to run systems with outdoor dampers opened to 100% to reduce or eliminate recirculation.  Wherever possible within fire code requirements, ventilation through windows and doors will improve airflow.  In areas such as Health Services where a student may have to remove a mask to be examined, a new window is being installed, while we investigate the feasibility of a new air flow system to improve ventilation.

High touch surfaces in common spaces such as light switches, banisters, elevator buttons and door knobs will be cleaned daily.  Within offices, occupants will be expected to wipe personal spaces and shared surfaces before and after use with wipes or sprays provided by the University in between routine cleaning.

  • Requiring face coverings:  

Face coverings fully covering the mouth and nose and secured with ties or ear loops will be required of all faculty, staff, students and visitors to the campus.  All members of the campus community will be given a washable mask.  The University mascot, Coop the Cougar, is featured in signage across campus wearing his CU mask. Senior management will model the behaviors expected of all members of the campus community. Signs will be posted indicating where people can go to obtain a disposable mask should they forget to bring one.  Face coverings must be worn indoors with the exception of private offices when individuals are alone.  Wearing a face covering outdoors as currently mandated by the Governor’s order will be required when social distancing is not possible, and will be encouraged at all times.  Clear masks have been obtained for the benefit of the hearing impaired and the learners in our Center for Behavior Analysis and Autism.  All faculty will be provided with face shields in addition to face masks. In lab, clinical, and other interactive classes, goggles or face shields will be supplied for students as needed.

Caldwell will encourage all members of the community to feel empowered to remind individuals who are not wearing masks of the requirement to do so.  Disposable masks will be available in the campus mailroom and other offices for anyone who forgets to bring one. Concerns about non-compliance should be reported to Human Resources for employees or Student Life for students.  An anonymous call line will be set up for individuals to use if they witness concerning behavior.  If employees or students have a health-related reason not to wear a mask, they should contact Human Resources or Health Services respectively to request a reasonable accommodation. Faculty, staff and students will be subject to discipline for refusing to wear a face mask without an authorized accommodation.  

  • Maintaining adequate supplies, such as personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies: 

The Return to Campus Task Force (RTC) has secured face masks, face shields, disposable masks, cleaning supplies, wipes, electrostatic foggers, nitrile gloves, disposable gowns and barriers. The RTC is responsible not only for preparing for a safe return, but also for the continuous maintenance of supply levels, and ensuring compliance with safety and cleaning protocols.  This group conducted the needs assessment for cleaning supplies and protective equipment, coordinated the procurement, and will monitor the usage and ongoing needs of the campus. The Operations and Facilities team is responsible for the central procurement, apportionment and storage of supplies. Our facilities provider, SSC has been instrumental in procuring supplies, and colleagues at other universities in the state have shared resources.  The University is identifying additional supply chain options and is also working through the Association of Colleges and Universities in New Jersey (AICUNJ) to avail ourselves of any consortium based procurement opportunities.

  • Requiring individuals to engage in social distancing practices at all times: 

Every department on campus was required to develop a plan for social distancing and was given an opportunity to request any materials or assistance needed to ensure that a six foot separation could be maintained.  In areas where it is not possible, policies and protocols were developed to provide remote services and/or to allow remote work and staggered schedules.  Where possible, creative solutions such as designating a “zoom room” within  office suites for use by students who arrive in person to converse with a staff member will be employed. Outdoor “walk & talk” options will be available to allow students to have more personal interaction with counselors, advisors and other staff or faculty. Social distancing requirements are clearly outlined in written policies for employees and students. A “no contact culture”  is being created to reduce handshakes, fist bumps, high fives, hugs or other greetings involving physical contact.

Classrooms are being set up with fewer chairs and students must keep the chair over the decal that will be placed on the floor below it. Branded with the Cougar paw print, the sign reads, “Keep the Chair on the Square”.  Faculty will be responsible for enforcing this requirement. Some offices, the TV and radio studios, labs and classrooms have been outfitted with plexiglass shields to ensure safety when social distancing may not be possible. Microphones will be covered with plastic twist-tie bags for single use. Offices and all common spaces will be marked with floor decals and signage. Signs have been designed and will be prominently displayed across campus to remind everyone to practice social distancing. The requirement of members of the campus community to be socially distanced will be strongly communicated in training materials as well.

To further reduce the risk of a bottleneck, inappropriate gathering, or slow moving pedestrian traffic in some areas, one way entrances and exits to buildings will be designated with signage in buildings to eliminate congestion.  Similarly, foot traffic patterns will be altered in certain hallways within buildings that will be designated as one way with floor arrows and signage.

  • Training students, staff, and faculty regarding COVID-19 sanitization and social distancing practices and protocols: 

At the heart of our training will be an emphasis on individual responsibility for following University policy, guidance from the CDC and mandates from the state.  Multiple methods of training will be provided to faculty, staff, and students. Employees will receive a document entitled Caldwell University Employee Return to Campus Policies and Guidance with a requirement to sign-off that policies have been read, understood, and will be followed. Included in the document are policies related to preventing the spread of infection in the workplace such as personal hygiene, face coverings, physical barriers and signage, social distancing, self-monitoring, and testing. Also included are policies limiting travel and visitors to the campus, telecommuting, staying home when exhibiting symptoms, or with exposure or potential exposure to someone with COVID-19 and more.  The document contains links to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to assist employees with the stress and fear associated with life in a pandemic; it also provides helpful links to the CDC website for additional information. Follow-up training via video conferencing will be provided by HR to explain the policies and to answer questions.

Caldwell’s website and/or portal will feature all training materials and helpful videos created by our Health Services staff and Nursing faculty.  Here again, links to CDC and other sources will be included. Human Resources will utilize a video training module through United Educators EduRisk platform entitled Your Campus and COVID-19: The Road Back to provide mandatory training for faculty and staff.  Student Life will provide this same training to students. New information and guidance about the COVID-19 virus from the CDC or other agencies will be made available to the campus community through Human Resources and Health Services. Caldwell’s training and communication efforts will be aligned with the pledge, highlighting the importance of taking responsibility for the  care and well-being of self and others.  

Faculty will be trained in safety policies and protocols in the classrooms and labs, and will be responsible for reviewing  and reinforcing them with students. Stage 3 Classroom Protocols is a document that outlines classroom rules.  It will be posted in every classroom and faculty will be required to review it with students and to model and enforce the behaviors set forth.   

During new student orientation, students watched a video on the Go2Orientation platform on COVID-19 safety and prevention practices.  This video will be used again at intervals to reinforce the message.  Resident assistants and graduate resident assistants, and all resident students will receive training from Residence Life staff when they return to campus related to room cleaning, distancing, use of laundry facilities and common bathrooms, reporting symptoms, and quarantine and isolation protocol.  The student manual has been updated with all COVID-19 related policies.  All students will receive  an electronic sign off on the COVID-19 student policy terms and conditions for returning to campus.  The policy describes changes, reporting protocol, expectations for cleaning and resources available.  Additionally, in order to reach all student populations, the University will send letters to all incoming and returning students that include tips, practices, and a link to the COVID-19 cleaning video for students to watch before returning to campus.  

A networked system of display boards across campus will be used to reinforce messages about limiting the spread of the virus.  The only thing Caldwell wants to spread is Cougar Pride!

Stage 2:

  • Cleaning and sanitization:

Protocols for cleaning and sanitizing occupied spaces on campus will be at the same level as in Stage 3.  Unoccupied spaces will be cleaned and remain secured.

  • Requiring face coverings:

 Face coverings for those permitted on campus are required.

  • Maintaining adequate supplies, such as personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies:

Supplies have been procured in advance of the fall semester. In Stage 2, excess supplies will be stored. We continue to develop additional supply chain relationships.

  • Requiring individuals to engage in social distancing practices at all times:

For those permitted to be on campus, social distancing requirements will be in place.

  • Training students, staff and faculty regarding COVID-19 sanitization and social distancing practices and protocols:

Training has already begun for new students in virtual orientation sessions.  Training for all students, faculty and staff will begin in August regardless of which stage the state is in at the time.   Preparations for an eventual move to Stage 3, and training for anyone who will remain on campus in Stage 2 are underway.