Workplace Distancing Guidance and Protocols

Wherever possible, leave 6 feet of distance between yourself and another individual. If you must be closer than 6 feet due to environmental constraints, always wear a mask or face covering.

Departments should also consider changes to work practices and procedures to maintain adequate distance.

  • Choose phone, email or videoconference interactions instead of face-to-face interactions whenever possible.
  • Limit the presence of non-essential visitors, require all visitors to your area to wear a face mask or covering, and make hand sanitizer available. Note that any individual accessing our campus, including visitors and contractors, is expected to abide by the same health and safety guidance as faculty and staff.
  • Develop self-service alternatives to face-to-face interactions whenever possible.
  • In open environments where workspaces do not allow 6 feet of distance between faculty or staff members, departments should consider alternating cubicle arrangements or staggering work schedules to ensure adequate social distance.
  • Avoid congregating in break rooms, kitchen areas or conference rooms. In these shared spaces, continue to allow 6 feet of distance, wear a face mask or covering, and clean and disinfect surfaces/equipment after use.
Laboratory Guidance | Event Guidance
Entryways and ExitsElevators and Stairwells | Kitchen and Break Areas
Conference Rooms and MeetingsRecreation Center Guidance
Shared Transportation

Laboratory Guidance

For those working in research laboratories, specific measures must be taken. Information and recommended practices to assist researchers in restarting laboratory operations once approved to return to campus can be found on the Syracuse University Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Researchers page of the Office of Research. In addition to these practices, Syracuse University’s general policies, protocols and recommendations for faculty and staff returning to campus must also be followed.

Event Guidance

To protect our campus community, we ask that you do not plan any in-person events, seminars, workshops or celebrations at this time. Continue to use virtual collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams) to conduct these activities.

Entryways and Exits

Departments are encouraged to use staggered work schedules to limit congestion in entryways, exits, stairwells and elevators. Additionally, we ask that you:

  • Use automatic door openers when available.
  • When automatic door openers are not available, wash or sanitize your hands immediately after touching a shared door handle.
  • Always wear a mask or face covering while entering or exiting a building.
  • Although courtesy is important, don’t hold open the door for others to help increase spacing between individuals.
  • Allow 6 feet of distance while in entryways and exits whenever possible.
  • Avoid gathering at time clock locations.

Elevators and Stairwells

To avoid overcrowding, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to use the stairs whenever possible. When using elevators on campus:

  • Don’t get on a crowded elevator.
  • Be mindful of other passengers’ personal space.
  • Wear a mask or face covering.
  • Consider waiting for the next elevator.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands immediately after touching shared surfaces (e.g., elevator buttons).

When using stairwells, allow 6 feet of space between you and others and wear a mask or face covering.

Kitchen and Break Areas

Communal food and beverage consumption, as well as gathering in kitchen or break areas in any number, is not allowed. Use kitchen areas only to prepare food, and eat at your desk or outdoors, if feasible.

If you need to dine in a shared area, maintain 6 feet of distance, and wear a mask or face covering before and after eating. Always wash your hands before and after eating. Sanitize all surfaces, including tables, refrigerator handles and coffee makers, before and after using a shared kitchen area.

Conference Rooms and Meetings

Because gathering in groups increases the risk of viral transmission, in-person meetings of any size are discouraged. Use online collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams) to conduct meetings. When working with a colleague one-on-one, use email, chat or the telephone to communicate rather than face-to-face interaction.

If you must conduct a face-to-face meeting or use a conference room, abide by the following guidance:

  • No meeting or conference space should exceed 50 percent capacity.
  • Allow 6 feet of distance between participants.
  • Wear a mask or face covering.
  • Don’t shake hands.
  • Disinfect all surfaces and touched items (e.g., touchpads, door handles) when you are finished.

Recreation Center Guidance

To enhance the safety and well-being of our community, numerous changes have been implemented at the Barnes Center at The Arch. Read more on

Shared Transportation

To promote social distancing, the number of riders per route on Centro buses and ’Cuse Trolleys will be reduced. If you use public buses, campus shuttles or trolleys for transportation to, from and during work, wear a mask or face covering and avoid touching shared surfaces. Parking and Transit Services will work closely with our transportation partners to monitor ridership and make adjustments as necessary to keep riders safe.

Wash or sanitize your hands immediately after using public transportation. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting protocols, including for floors, seats, handrails, pull cords, and the driver’s area, have been implemented for all University vehicles to reduce risk for those who use them.

Additionally, we strongly encourage you to avoid carpooling with anyone who doesn’t reside in your household.

View FAQs about Office Space and Work Arrangements

This information was first published on May 29, 2020 and last updated on August 21, 2020.