Fall Semester campus safety measures

This is how the campus has physically changed and how each individual can contribute to a safer environment.

Recognizing the many questions and concerns regarding the implementation of MTSO Campus Extend, this page regarding Fall Semester safety measures is part of MTSO’s package of COVID-19 information. It includes information about measures the school has taken, measures expected of all individuals and the science guiding us.

Please keep in mind that no single measure listed below is sufficient. The intent is that all of these things together will provide the best defense against the spread of the virus.

Safety measures MTSO has taken


Signs have been posted to encourage physical distancing, face coverings and other best individual practices.

Rearranged spaces

Furniture has been rearranged and reduced in classrooms and many common spaces to ensure physical distancing. It is important that classroom desks, tables and chairs remain where they have been placed.

Increased disinfecting protocols

MTSO’s maintenance department has put in place increased cleaning protocols for Fall Semester. In addition to these, baskets of EPA-approved cleaning products have been placed in classrooms and common spaces, available to everyone.

Restrictions on individual food and drink preparation

Kitchen spaces have been modified to encourage safe practices. Community coffee makers have been removed, and the ice machine has been turned off. Community utensils, plates, cups etc. have been removed. Microwaves are available, with required cleaning before and after use. Refrigerators remain available.

Additionally, campus water fountains have been partially disabled, but the bottle-filling feature is still operational.

Air filtration

The heating and cooling system serving our classrooms is designed to move and filter air. We also recommend improving natural ventilation with an open window or door when feasible as proper ventilation can help to reduce airborne contaminants including COVID-19. Here is more information from the EPA.

Safety measures required of individuals

Approved face coverings

In accordance with CDC recommendations, all campus residents, students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings in campus buildings and when near others outdoors. For additional information on MTSO’s face covering guidelines, please refer to COVID-19 Protocols for employees and students.

For use on campus, we recommend a mask made of tightly woven fabric of at least two layers that provides a good seal along the edges. Surgical facemasks (non-N95 grade) are another effective option. N95 masks need to be properly fitted and should be reserved medical professionals or in extreme cases for those who need them for specific medical reasons. Here is additional information.

Research has shown that masks with one-way valves or vents are substantially less effective. These face coverings, which allow exhaled air to be expelled from the vent or valve, also allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, masks with one-way valves or vents are prohibited on the MTSO campus. Here is additional information from the CDC.

MTSO also recognizes the CDC current recommendation against the use of face shields as a substitute for masks. However, wearing a mask may not be feasible in every situation for some people. For those individuals, we recommend face shields that wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend below the chin. Additionally, face shields should have a hood that extends past the wearer’s neck.

Physical distancing

COVID-19 spreads most effectively among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from others when possible. Here is more information on physical distancing.

Common spaces and classrooms have been measured to help guide us in keeping appropriately physically distanced. Please, do not remove signage or move furniture. Hallways less than 6 feet wide have been made one-way. Please follow one-way guidance as much as possible.