Personal Health and Safety

To provide a safe environment and to help prevent community spread, Dallas College has utilized guidance from local health officials and the CDC to create personal safety strategies. All Dallas College students, employees and visitors are asked to adhere to these practices, which include:

  • Wearing a cloth face covering, covering the individual's mouth and nose, while onsite
  • Practicing good and frequent hand washing
  • Maintaining a social distance by staying at least six feet away from others 


 

Face Coverings

To protect the health of the Dallas College community, all employees, students, visitors and vendors providing onsite services must wear a disposable or cloth face covering, such as a face mask, that covers the wearer's mouth and nose while in any public setting at a Dallas College location.

Students and employees must provide their own face covering. Cloth face coverings should be made of washable materials so they can be kept clean and reused, as recommended by the CDC and other public health agencies. If necessary, a limited supply of disposable face c​overings will be available, and they can be requested by contacting a welcome assistant.

Face coverings reduce the risk of an asymptomatic COVID-19 carrier passing the virus to someone else. However, they are not a substitute for social distancing. The following exceptions may be made to the face covering requirement.

  • Individuals performing jobs or instructional tasks for which a face covering poses a health or safety risk may qualify for an exception to the policy. These individuals should contact the Back to Campus Coordinator for additional guidance.
  • Individuals who cannot wear a face covering for medical or religious reasons should contact Human Resources if they are an employee or Disability Services if they are a student.
  • Individuals working alone in a private office or other isolated space may temporarily remove their face covering, but it must be worn if another person enters the space.
  • Faculty members delivering face-to-face instruction may remove their face covering to teach if they are at least 10 feet away from any other individuals. 

Good Hand Washing Practices

Consistent hand washing can help individuals can protect themselves and their families from getting sick, and increased hand washing has additional positive health benefits for the community. The CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be substituted.

Wash your
hands often

Use alcohol-based
hand sanitizer

Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands


Individuals should wash their hands in the following scenarios.

  • Before and after preparing or eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the restroom
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage
  • After touching an item or surface frequently touched by other individuals, such as door handles, gas pumps, shopping carts, etc.
  • Before touching their eyes, nose or mouth

Social Distancing Strategies

 

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing," is defined as individuals keeping a safe space between themselves and other people not in their household. Social distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and it is maintained by doing the following practices.

  • Staying at least six feet from other people in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Avoiding physical contact with others, including handshakes and hugs.
  • Avoiding touching surfaces that have been touched by others and limiting or preventing the sharing of equipment and other items.
  • Not gathering in groups and avoiding crowded places and mass gatherings.

Social Distancing at Dallas College

Dallas College has taken many steps to provide a safe environment for students, employees and visitors.

Workspaces

  • Allowable maximum capacities have been assessed, and spaces have been rearranged to maintain social distancing, with at least six feet of spacing between individuals.
  • Social distancing boundaries and spacing have been defined by floor markers and increased signage with guidelines.
  • Entry and exit points have been identified and staffed with welcome assistants to help students and employees follow safety protocols and to control the flow of individuals visiting Dallas College facilities.
  • Where feasible, plexiglass barriers have been installed to reduce face-to-face contact.
  • Workstations should be arranged to avoid face-to-face contact when feasible, and office areas should be organized to maintain a social distance of at least six feet of spacing between desk layouts.
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times, unless an individual's workspace is in a confined area, such as an office with a door. 

In some instances, designated classrooms and workspaces may be restricted in meeting recommended spacing guidelines. In these instances, spaces should be arranged in a way to avoid face-to-face contact and to maintain social distancing. Other options for these spaces include installing physical barriers where practical, utilizing a plexiglass shield or barrier or indicating spacing boundaries by marking floors.

Classrooms

  • Classrooms utilized for limited face-to-face components have been assessed for maximum allowable capacities, and furniture has been rearranged to allow for at least six feet of separation per social distancing guidelines, as feasible.
  • Students and instructors are encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol before entering and upon leaving the classroom.
  • Students and instructors should avoid physical contact with others and avoid touching their face to reduce the risk of person-to-person transmission.
  • Students and instructors should avoid the frequent sharing of equipment, tools or other commonly accessed materials as much as possible.
  • Frequently touched surfaces and shared equipment should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.

In some instances, designated classrooms and workspaces may be restricted in meeting recommended spacing guidelines. In these instances, spaces should be arranged in a way to avoid face-to-face contact and to maintain social distancing. Other options for these spaces include installing physical barriers where practical, utilizing a plexiglass shield or barrier or indicating spacing boundaries by marking floors.

Common Areas

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of Dallas College students, employees and visitors, people are prohibited from congregating in any common areas, including but not limited to student lounges, galleries and breakrooms. Some facilities on campuses will remain closed or inaccessible until further notice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 through close contact.

While non-essential visits to common areas are discouraged, furniture should still be rearranged to reflect social distancing guidelines of at least six feet between individuals.

Restroom capacity is limited to two people at any given time. If necessary, individuals are asked to wait outside the facility to respect the maximum capacity.

Meals and Breaks

Breaks should be staggered to avoid overcrowding common areas. Employees are encouraged to eat meals at their workstations when possible, and food deliveries are not allowed. Employees who choose to go off property for their meals will be required to resubmit the Appian self-health questionnaire upon returning to work.

Meetings

Face-to-face meetings are discouraged; instead, employees should meet using Microsoft Teams or WebEx. If a face-to-face meeting is deemed necessary, the space should be large enough so social distancing can be practiced, and individuals present must wear a face covering at all times. Meeting participants must also be aware of local guidelines that limit the number of allowable individuals in a group or meeting.

Commuting and Public or Shared Transportation

Personal transportation to and from work and class is ideal and preferred. However, individuals who rely on public or shared transportation to get to work or class should wear a face covering, practice social distancing, avoid touching frequently touched surfaces and wash their hands before and after leaving home and arriving at a Dallas College location.

It is recommended that public or shared transportation users carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol with them. Individuals who are sick or have recently been in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 should not take public or shared transportation unless they are seeking medical care.

At Home

Individuals are encouraged to continue mitigation strategies to keep themselves and others safe, even at home, using cleaning and disinfecting guidelines from the CDC in their homes and other shared spaces. If someone in the household becomes sick, the CDC provides guidelines on caring for sick individuals at home.

Managing Stress and Anxiety

Dallas College offers resources for individuals who are struggling with mental health and wellbeing during this challenging time. Full-time Dallas College can take advantage of the Employee Assistance Program. For students, Dallas College offers counseling and health services. 

There are also additional ways to manage stress and anxiety.

  • Taking proper safety precautions and learning about Dallas College health and safety guidelines
  • Getting reliable medical information from trusted sources, such as the CDC or healthcare providers
  • Limiting news consumption and social media use
  • Turning off notifications from email and other work-related technology when not on the clock
  • Relaxing by reading a book, listening to music or a podcast
  • Learning new skills or creating something artistic
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Stretching and meditating
  • Eating healthy, well-balanced meals
  • Taking regular work breaks
  • Exercising regularly
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Connecting with others by reaching out to friends and family members
  • Expressing gratitude and helping others when possible
  • Sharing well-being tips with coworkers and encouraging them to do the same