EHS COVID-19 Resources

Facilities/Operations Preparation for Fall

As we continue to plan for student, faculty, and staff return to campus in August, Facilities has provided information on the measures being taken to prepare for a safe return, while providing some departmental guidance to ensure our transition back to in-person learning and working goes smoothly. For more details, click here.

Contacting Your UConn EHS Team

As the University of Connecticut continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, Environmental Health and Safety plans to maintain essential services to support the UConn community. Email is currently the best way to reach our staff.

COVID-19 Training - NEW Version for Fall 2021

This training is encouraged for all UConn employees, even if you completed a 2020 COVID-19 training. This 2021 version highlights important updates for fall 2021 relevant to all employees, including student employees and affiliates. If you have any questions about these lessons, contact Dr. Shawna Lesseur, EHS Training and Outreach Program Manager.

Returning to Campus

Returning to Campus Button


The resources in this section have been created/adapted by and for the University of Connecticut community. Additional and updated resources will be included as they become available. Follow us on Twitter @UConnEHS for resource update notifications. Please note that as new information becomes available UConn will be in contact again and will update the reopening website.

Signage and Supplies

Home Office Ergonomics

Online Resources and Remote Consultations

Visit our office ergonomics program Web page for more resources and to request a remote ergonomic consultation.

Home Office Ergonomics - Basics in 5 Minutes

We're Listening - Request a Video/Webinar Topic

Home Office Ergonomics Topics Request

External Resources

University Resources

UConn gateway sign with students walking

Frequently Asked Questions

We have a bottled water cooler that has not been used for a while.  Is it safe to drink from?

You should clean your bottled water cooler before resuming use.

  • Unplug or turn off the dispenser.
  • Drain the dispenser through the taps, dispose of the water, and remove the bottle.
  • Put in a new bottle, flush some water through both taps and dispose of the water.
  • Clean the taps and dispensing area with food-safe sanitizer spray or wipes.
  • Wash drip tray with hot water and dish soap.
  • Plug in/turn on your dispenser
  • If your cooler has had a bottle removed for an extended period, please contact your vendor for additional cleaning recommendations.

    Is it safe to use water fountains and bottle fillers?

    Water fountains and bottle fillers are safe to use during the COVID-19 pandemic. The risk of getting COVID-19 from touching a solid surface (like a water fountain button) is low, and COVID-19 has not been found in drinking water.

    Does my space need an air filtration unit?

    Air filtration units are not necessary in our occupied spaces, especially in buildings serviced by mechanical ventilation systems. Facilities Operations has continued to perform preventative maintenance (PM) on the University’s HVAC systems, including changing filters on a regular basis. Where feasible, filters with higher efficiency (MERV ratings) have been installed. Outside air settings are being leveraged to maximize outdoor air per person. HVAC systems have continued to operate regardless of the occupancy status of the buildings. However, if your department chooses to purchase stand-alone units for comfort purposes, keep these requirements in mind:
    • They must only utilize HEPA filters (or combination HEPA and carbon filters – many units on the market incorporate both HEPA filters for particulates and carbon filters for odors.)
    • No ionizers or photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) technologies – these are marketed as able to remove odors, smoke, and other contaminants, but they can produce ozone, a harmful respirator irritant and/or other hazardous by-products.
    • No UV – these units can produce ozone and also has the potential for harmful UV exposure to eyes and skin.
    • Portable units may also contribute to overload of electrical circuits in some locations.
    • Nuisance noise can be generated from the units, especially when operated at higher levels. Operating at low levels, however, reduces the effectiveness of the unit.
    • Departments interested in purchasing stand-alone units should contact Amy Allen, Associate Director Supply Chain Management, at, to discuss options.
    Please see Ventilation and COVID-19 for additional information.

    I drive a vehicle in my work.  Are there any COVID-19 safety protocols I need to follow?

    As with UConn’s guidance about indoor masking, and in keeping with CDC and State guidance on transportation, masks must be worn in state or other vehicles used for work when traveling with others. In addition, unvaccinated personnel should distance themselves from others, such as sitting in back seats. When possible, leave the vehicle’s windows at least partially open during travel, and don’t put the cabin’s settings on recycled air.  At a minimum, clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces between users. Touchpoints in assigned vehicles used by the same individual throughout a work shift should be cleaned and disinfected at least once per day. Be sure to wash hands after vehicle use or use hand sanitizer if water isn’t available.

    Can we use Breakrooms and Kitchenettes safely?

    To use kitchenettes and breakrooms safely we recommend following these guidelines:
      • Wear a face covering while in the kitchen or the breakroom.
      • Wash hands after touching surfaces and before eating or drinking.
      • Use the kitchenette/breakroom only for essential functions, like heating food or getting water.
      • To avoid overcrowding, stagger break/lunch schedules when practical.
      • Maintain 6-foot distance from others when eating or drinking. Avoid eating in shared breakrooms if unable to maintain physical distancing. Instead, take breaks outside or in your private office, if possible.
      • If you are eating in the breakroom, keep eating/drinking time to a minimum and try not to hang around for longer than necessary.
      • Wash used, non-disposable food service utensils with dish soap and hot water.
      • Clean kitchenette and breakroom tables, counters, appliances, sinks and other surfaces regularly.
      • Signage on safe protocols is available for downloading and posting here.