Keeping Our Campus Community Healthy and Safe
Here are the steps we have taken so far in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They all aim at minimizing contact with anyone who may have been exposed to the virus and preventing the introduction of COVID-19 into our community.
We are constantly monitoring the situation and will relax these policies when it is safe to do so.
- Travel restriction – We have implemented a campus-wide travel ban outside of Jefferson County for all students and employees.
- Testing – Employees in sensitive areas are having their temperatures taken every day before they start work. Anyone with a fever or other symptoms of illness is sent home immediately. All who test positive for COVD-19 are immediately isolated and follow all CDC guidelines. No one can return to work without 14 days in isolation followed by a negative COVID test result.
Information for employees using respirators
MIU does not mandate the use of specific masks. However, if you voluntarily use N95 masks or other respirators at work, please read the following OSHA Standard Sec. 29 CFR 1910.134, Appendix D:
Respirators are an effective method of protection against designated hazards when properly selected and worn. Respirator use is encouraged, even when exposures are below the exposure limit, to provide an additional level of comfort and protection for workers. However, if a respirator is used improperly or not kept clean, the respirator itself can become a hazard to the worker.
Sometimes, workers may wear respirators to avoid exposure to hazards, even if the amount of hazardous substance does not exceed the limits set by OSHA standards. If your employer provides respirators for your voluntary use, or if you provide your own respirator, you need to take certain precautions to be sure that the respirator itself does not present a hazard.
You should do the following:
- Read and heed all instructions provided by the manufacturer on use, maintenance, cleaning and care, and warnings regarding the respirator’s limitations.
- Choose respirators certified for use to protect against the contaminant of concern. NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, certifies respirators. A label or statement of certification should appear on the respirator or respirator packaging. It will tell you what the respirator is designed for and how much it will protect you.
- Do not wear your respirator into atmospheres containing contaminants for which your respirator is not designed to protect against. For example, a respirator designed to filter dust particles will not protect you against gases, vapors, or very small solid particles of fumes or smoke.
- Keep track of your respirator so that you do not mistakenly use someone else’s respirator.
- Testing – Students are tested upon arrival and approximately one week afterward and remain in isolation until a second negative test result is returned.
- Online teaching – All campus classes are offered on a hybrid basis. We recommend students attend at least two classes per week in class, the balance in dormitory rooms through live, 2-way video interaction.
- On-campus dining – We have taken a number of steps to keep diners safe:
- restricted access to our dining hall to MIU students, faculty, and staff only (no outside guests)
- installed a battery of sinks outside the entrance to the dining building and engaged a security guard, requiring all to scrub their hands before entering the building
- required all diners to sanitize their hands using hand sanitizers stationed outside the dining hall entrance
- added professional food servers (all of whom wear masks) so that diners do not touch serving utensils
- screened off the food in the serving lines so that only the servers have access to it
- opened up additional dining rooms to allow — and enforce — appropriate social distancing
- staggered our lunch shifts for the same reason
- spaced table seats at appropriate distances
- added an outside dining option under shade tents and at the Olsen Amphitheater
- Food shopping – To help people stay on campus, we have created a system in which students can itemize snacks and other food items they need from Walmart, and we pick up those items and sell them in the Café in the Argiro Student Center.
- Library access – The library is closed for studying and browsing but MIU students, faculty, and staff can check out books by ordering them via email and then pick them up at the window inside the east entrance between 1:00 pm and 4:30 pm Monday – Friday. For more information, please see library.miu.edu.
- Recreation Center closed — To help compensate for this loss, a “Virtual Rec Center” has been developed with online fitness sessions, dance classes, yoga, and more, encouraging everyone to stay fit.
- Campus events — We have canceled all on-campus gatherings and events.
- Online student activities — Our Student Activities team has created an array of online activities for students, including exercise classes and a virtual art competition.
- Doing business remotely — We have encouraged students and everyone else to conduct business remotely wherever possible by phone or email, including communications with Financial Aid, the Enrollment Center, Student Life, local banks, etc.
- Social distance — We are continuously reminding everyone to follow the recommended social distance guidelines of at least six feet from others both indoors and out, both on-campus and off-campus, and to avoid mingling in groups.
- Self-care education — We are educating the community in common-sense measures of self-care. These include getting plenty of sleep and meditating regularly to keep the immune system strong, washing hands often with soap and water, no handshaking or hugs, etc.
- Staying home if unwell — We are requiring people to stay home if they are not feeling well and to remain there for at least three days after all symptoms are gone.
- Food delivery — We have created a system for delivering food to people who are not feeling well.
- Isolation and quarantine facilities — We have set up and equipped four residential facilities to serve as quarantine stations for those who are sick or who might possibly have been exposed to the coronavirus.
- Auxiliary facilities — We are prepared to serve the community if necessary by creating auxiliary hospital facilities and beds for any citizens of Jefferson County in case the Jefferson County Health Center becomes overwhelmed.
- Visiting Fairfield — We have communicated with friends of the university around the country and asked them not to visit Fairfield at this time. We are also asking Fairfield residents to avoid coming onto campus.
- Maharishi School is upholding similar policies and has implemented Remote Learning for all students.
We are updating our policies as appropriate and/or as required by the authorities. If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am proud of the tireless, dedicated work of our faculty and administrators and community leaders over these past few months, and the spirit of concern and cooperation displayed by everyone in our campus community.
John Hagelin, President
Maharishi International University