Mega Doctor NEWS
By Amanda L. Alaniz
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV has taken measures to ensure the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recommendation of social distancing is being practiced at the university to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The ways UTRGV is practicing social distancing:
- UTRGV Classes are now online.
- Resources for faculty, staff, and students are available online.
- The university has extended campus Wi-Fi hotspots in parking lots.
- Departments remaining open on campus have created boundaries for visitors to follow.
- Offices have placed signs to create distance between individuals, such as tape lines stating, “Please Wait Here.”
- Many non-essential employees are working remotely.
UTRGV LIBRARY RESOURCES The UTRGV Library has made adjustments to create a safe environment for anyone coming into the building. They’ve eliminated seating by placing caution tape around the areas and closed off study rooms.
They still have computers available but have made sure every other computer was removed to create a safe distance between workstations. Paul Sharpe, dean of libraries, said they have put the recommendations into practice to help make sure everyone is safe. In addition, they have adjusted staff schedules so there aren’t too many people in the library and have given staff the opportunity to work remotely.
What is Social Distancing?
Social distancing, or physical distancing, is an effort to maintain distance between yourself and others.
How do you practice social distancing?
- Avoid large gatherings.
- Stay at least 6 feet from other persons.
- Avoid contact with people who are ill.
“The staff is nervous and concerned, but we’re doing all we can in terms of cleaning, and our own social distancing,” Sharpe said. “We’re working alternating schedules to give staff some level of comfort. They might come in one day to work, and have the next day off or work from home. We’ve employed a lot of strategies. Some employees have taken projects home to work on or are participating in webinars.”
Sharpe said current distancing practices are not the social climate libraries usually encourage, which is group collaboration. But during this time, it is critical to keeping people safe. Books are still available to be checked out, and once they’re returned, Sharpe said, they are properly sanitized. They also take care of any equipment that is borrowed and returned.
Even though resources continue to be available to students, Sharpe said foot traffic has been very limited and he already has spoken with his staff about being ready to make any changes, if needed. “We’re trying to be very nimble and assess the needs of students as we go along,” he said. “We’ve told our staff to make sure they’re able to shift and change things from day-to-day, as we watch the Cameron and Hidalgo counties take their actions, in terms of Shelter-in-Place or quarantine, because we need to be prepared to make changes to our schedule.”
The library in Edinburg is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and in Brownsville from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you have questions, call (956) 665-2005 (Edinburg) and (956) 882-8221 (Brownsville).