Facilities Planning Guide

Reopening the University of San Francisco (USF) in a safe manner for the Fall 2020 semester is USF’s top priority. To do this, USF will need to ensure we are compliant with all federal, state, and local health directives. Below are steps that the USF’s Facilities Department has identified and intends to take to prepare the residence halls, offices, classrooms, dining facilities, and other spaces to be reoccupied on the Hilltop and 101 Howard campuses once shelter-in-place orders are rescinded or modified to permit residential activities and on-site instruction. These steps may be used as a guide by other regional campuses. 

Questions and requests should be directed to the Facilities Help Desk at (415) 422-6464.

If you would like to view the complete Facilities COVID-19 Planning Guide (PDF file), contact the Facilities Management team.

All Buildings

  • Provide hand sanitizers at each entrance.
  • Ensure proper signage is posted at each usable entrance.
  • Post elevator capacity near / in each elevator.
  • Post maximum capacity signage for each room altered for physical distancing.
  • Provide spacing indicators for furniture and on floors in common areas to promote physical distancing.
  • Provide movement flow directional signage.
  • Provide guidance and make recommendations for the safe occupancy and physical movement through buildings.
  • On instructional days, provide sanitizing supplies in each classroom for the use of occupants throughout the work day.
  • Clean and restock all common area restrooms, disinfect surfaces prior to the start of the workday, and refresh at least once during the day.
  • All sanitizing and disinfectant supplies shall be OSHA approved products and shall be generally acceptable as industry standard for sanitizing and disinfecting of facilities and the high touch surfaces within the facility.

Residence Halls

  • Place hand sanitizing stations at the front door of residence halls.
  • Work with SHaRE to place appropriate signage in residence halls.
  • Work with SHaRE to reorganize safe movement flows within common areas to reduce density and promote physical distancing. Provide movement flow directional signage.
  • Adjust residence halls sleeping room furniture in order to reduce residential density to no more than two people per dorm room (or less if required by local Health Order).
  • To the extent necessary, repurpose lounge furniture to allow for increased academic teaching spaces. Indicate appropriate physical distancing on remaining student lounge furniture.
  • Work with SHaRE to establish “Maximum Occupancy” in public restrooms and post signage at all restroom entrances.
  • On a daily basis, clean and disinfect operating public spaces (kitchens and restrooms) and other high touch areas.
  • The Facilities Department encourages more frequent health and welfare inspections of individual rooms to promote good hygiene and health practices; however, Facilities is not responsible for cleaning inside individual rooms.

Classrooms and Labs

  • Provide disinfecting supplies in each classroom for faculty and students to use between classes. Dry and wet lab managers will provide their own cleaning materials.
  • Disinfecting guidelines may be provided by other working groups.
  • Place signage in classrooms to indicate proper distancing protocols for safe seating.
  • Inventory each classroom to determine the maximum occupancy that provides for a distance of at least six feet between individuals. Include “Maximum Capacity” signage in each classroom.
  • Rearrange, replace, or if necessary remove furniture to meet maximum occupancy that provides for six feet of separation.
  • Identify and repurpose other auxiliary spaces to serve as additional classroom spaces.
  • Individual lab managers shall implement distancing and sanitizing measures that will allow safe utilization of lab space. 
  • Plexiglass barriers will not be provided in individual classrooms.
  • On a daily basis, clean and disinfect classroom high touch areas.

Office Spaces

  • Individual office operational considerations are left to the occupants of each unit.
  • Facilities will adjust moveable furniture to accommodate appropriate physical distancing when reasonably possible.
  • Clean and disinfect common areas on a daily basis overnight, paying particular attention to high touch surfaces (door handles, light switches, etc.). Office kitchenettes will close by July 31st, 2020 to comply with SF Department of Public Health directives and will remain closed until SFDPH approves their reopening. They will be cleaned one final time by that date.
  • Facilities will provide plexiglass barriers for use at a limited number of transaction points. These are to be deployed only when there are no other reasonable alternatives, such as using email or telephone consultations. Please recognize that business cannot be conducted as it was in the pre-COVID-19 world. Practices must be altered to accommodate limited resources such as plexiglass barriers. Please, only use face-to-face engagements as a last resort.

Dining Facilities

  • Bon Appetit, the University’s food service provider, will be determining an operational model for reopening.
  • Facilities will ensure signage is placed at the entrances to inform patrons of the current Health Order and the patron’s responsibility to comply with directives (the wearing of a mask, physical distancing, etc.).
  • With the advice of Facilities, Bon Appetit will place signage on the floor to help maintain six feet of separation while in line.
  • Provide guidance and recommendations for safe occupancy of space and physical movement flow through common dining spaces.
  • With the advice of Bon Appetit, Facilities will inventory the seating area within the dining facility to determine the most efficient seating arrangement that complies with physical distancing requirements.
  • Rearrange and consolidate excess seating, or place signage at individual seating locations to promote proper physical distancing and separation. 
  • On a daily basis, clean and disinfect seating and high touch areas.
  • Establish distanced seating on Privett Plaza.


  • Facilities shall provide a total of three plexiglass barriers for use at work stations deemed essential for face-to-face customer service / circulation desks.
  • Restrooms in Library buildings will be cleaned and disinfected overnight by Facilities custodians and are refreshed at least once during the day.
  • Place signage and distance markers on the floor to help maintain six feet of separation in common study areas.
  • Place “Maximum Capacity” signage inside study rooms and classrooms.
  • Refresh includes restocking products, wiping down and disinfecting high touch areas such as faucets, countertops, door handles, etc.

Restrooms (Non-Residential)

  • Place “Maximum Capacity” signage in public restrooms.
  • Restrooms in office buildings and classroom buildings are cleaned and disinfected overnight by Facilities custodians and are refreshed at least once during the day.
  • Refresh includes restocking products, wiping down and disinfecting high touch areas (faucets, countertops, door handles, etc.).
  • Patrons are reminded not to enter a restroom while it is being cleaned, both for their own safety and to allow the custodian to do their job.


  • Unless otherwise directed, elevator capacity will be restricted to no more than two riders. Each rider must position themselves to be in one of the corners of the elevator car to promote physical distancing to the greatest extent possible.
  • Patrons who cannot physically use the stairs because of a disability or medical condition shall have priority for using elevators.
  • Facilities will place marks in the corners on the elevator floor to promote physical distancing. Riders should consider using a stylus, key, pencil, or other apparatus to enable touch-free selection of control buttons.
  • Masks will be worn at all times while in the elevator.
  • Facilities shall provide signage outside each elevator on each floor. These signs shall also include the following information:
  • Priority shall be given to patrons who cannot physically use the stairs because of disability or medical condition.
  • Encourage patrons to choose the stairs rather than the elevator.
  • Elevators are limited to a maximum of two occupants.
  • All riders shall wear face covering.
  • Riders need to distance as much as possible by riding in the corners of the elevator.
  • Hand sanitizer shall be provided inside each elevator.
  • Elevator buttons, handrails, and other high touch surfaces shall be wiped down and
  • disinfected twice daily.

Customer Service Help Desks

  • Individual departments must determine what their customer service experience should look like. They should carefully weigh the health and safety of their staff and patrons as part of the overall experience. In most cases, customers should be assisted virtually – via email, the phone, or teleconference. This practice will allow Facilities to distribute limited resources to those with the highest degree of need.
  • Customer service help desks must adhere to the six feet of separation rule. This distance applies both to the seating of the help desk employees as well as the queue lines for customers.
  • Requests for customer service help desk modifications must be endorsed by the appropriate Dean or Associate Vice President. Those requests shall be forwarded to Facilities for final approval.
  • Facilities shall provide physical distancing markers for the floor and if necessary provide a plexiglass guard (See Appendix D) to be placed between the customer and the customer service provider.
  • Appropriate signage directing the customer to initiate their request via email, phone, or teleconference shall be provided and posted by the individual department.

Intercollegiate Athletic Spaces

  • Facilities shall provide hand sanitizing stations in each operating locker room that is available and open for use.
  • Facilities shall clean the courts, locker rooms, weight rooms, and other training and sports medicine facilities prior to the start of each day.
  • Facilities custodians are not responsible for cleaning up clothing and gear left on the floor or otherwise not properly put away.
  • Operating Memorial Gym locker rooms shall be refreshed at least once each day.
  • Refresh will include disinfecting high touch items such as door handles, light switches, faucet knobs, sink countertops, etc.
  • When fan attendance is permitted again at sporting events, Facilities will work with the Athletic Director to properly mark seats to ensure physical distancing is maintained.

Koret Health and Recreation Center

  • Hand sanitizers shall be placed at the entrance to each hallway or room where there are exercise machines or exercise classrooms. Koret will provide the refills or reimburse Facilities via FOAP.
  • Sanitary wipes will be provided by Koret in each exercise area for patrons to wipe down the equipment prior to use. Koret staff will provide additional cleaning through the day and between uses, but it is ultimately the individual’s responsibility to ensure their equipment is disinfected prior to using it.
  • Facilities shall provide signage to help maintain physical distancing.
  • Once physical distancing requirements are finalized, Facilities can assist Koret Recreation Center staff with moving, or designation for use or non-use stationary equipment (weight machines, treadmills, ergs, stair climbers, etc.) such that they are properly spaced to afford safe distancing between users. Excess equipment will be marked as “Out of Service.”
  • Facilities shall review pool chemical recommendations (if any) from the pool industry and make approved adjustments that help reduce COVID viability. Recommend maintaining a chlorine level close to 2.0 ppm.
  • During Fall Semester, shower facilities, lockers for storage, and areas for changing will not be provided. These areas will be cordoned off to prevent their use, while still allowing use of the sinks and toilets.
  • It is not anticipated that locker or shower facilities will be available at least until 2021. When shower facilities do become available, Facilities will turn off or disconnect some of the showers to ensure six feet of separation can be maintained.
  • Facilities will provide one plexiglass barrier for use at the Front Desk and Entrance turnstile (for a total of two). Once the Equipment Checkout Desk reopens, a barrier will be provided there if it is still required.
  • Restroom facilities will be cleaned and disinfected once per day.


In the absence of regionally specific guidance by the State of California and the City of San Francisco, this guide was prepared using the following resources as references until such time more precise direction and guidance is provided:

  • OSHA Document 3990-03-2020 - Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Guidance on Preparing Workplace for COVID-19
  • The American Institute of Architects - Re-occupancy Assessment Tool V1.0
  • The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York - Creating Safe and Resilient Campuses: Suggestions for Reopening and Reimagining Colleges and Universities in New York
  • New York State Department of Health - Interim Guidance for Commercial Building Management During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
  • Duke University - Guide for Returning to the Workplace
  • BOMA International - Getting Back to Work - Preparing Buildings for Re-Entry Amid COVID-19
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health - Order C-19-07 series - Shelter in Place
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health - Order C-19-12 series - Order to Wear Face Coverings
  • SF Gov - Outreach Toolkit for Corona Virus
  • The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities – AICCU Restart
  • Higher Education Task Force - Recommendations for a Fall Return to Independent Higher Education in California