COVID-19 Update from the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT)

Creighton’s Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) continues to closely monitor national, state and local guidelines related to COVID-19 restrictions. Nebraska’s governor announced last week that COVID-19 directives would be loosened beginning June 1.

Starting June 1, only individuals returning from international travel will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon coming back to Nebraska, and for most of the state, including Omaha, the limit on public gatherings will increase from 10 to 25.

For large event conference rooms, meeting halls, libraries, indoor and outdoor arenas, stadiums and other large venues, gatherings will be limited to the greater of 25 people or 25% of rated occupancy (not to exceed 3,000). Wedding and funeral reception venues will be limited to the greater of 25 people or 50% of rated occupancy. In both cases, six feet of separation between groups must be maintained, and groups can have no more than six individuals.

The Creighton University campus remains closed to all nonapproved students, faculty, staff and visitors, while CIRT continues to review processes and protocols for gradually and safely reopening campus as part of a phased approach.

In support of CDC guidance, Creighton expects all individuals on campus to wear cloth face coverings when in public spaces on campus. Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Students, faculty and staff in health care settings may be required to wear additional personal protective equipment. CHI Health Creighton physician and School of Medicine associate professor Renuga Vivekanandan, MD, shows how to properly wear a face covering in this video. Individuals reporting to campus also are expected to follow social distancing guidelines and practice good hand hygiene.

Presidential Town Hall

Just a reminder, Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, will host two virtual Town Hall sessions for all faculty and staff on Wednesday, May 27, at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Register here. The Town Hall will focus on the University’s response to COVID-19. Employees placed on furlough are welcome to attend, if they wish. Participation in the Town Hall is voluntary.

 PPE Order and Delivery Process

Departmental requests for personal protective equipment (PPE) should be directed to Eric Gilmore, senior director of procurement in Creighton Strategic Sourcing, at Requests should include department name, departmental contact, a listing of items and quantities needed for the next eight to 12 weeks.

The lead times for PPE so far are in the two- to three-week range before partial shipments begin arriving. However, since a portion of Creighton’s PPE demand is being manufactured to order, it is suggested that departments order enough PPE to last eight to 12 weeks. The on-campus storage and distribution of PPE to the departments is being managed by Derek Scott, associate vice president of Facilities Management, and his team.

The lead time for disinfectant wipes is 30 days and more; N95 mask availability is fluid; and surgical masks are not difficult to source at this time.

Workgroup Continues to Meet
The Campus Safety and Innovative Operations Workgroup met virtually on Friday, May 22, and heard reports from these seven subgroups focusing on key areas related to COVID-19 and campus reopening: 1) screenings, 2) protective clothing and supplies, 3) social distancing and transportation, 4) cleaning, 5) disability services, 6) campus events and 7) communications. The workgroup is receiving plans from each of the seven subgroups and reviewing these recommendations before sending them to CIRT for its review and approval.

Classroom Spaces

Facilities Management has analyzed classroom, laboratory and venue spaces on campus to determine the maximum capacity of each room given social distancing requirements and public health directives around the size of group gatherings. Creighton is considering a hybrid model of in-person and online course instruction for the fall semester that conforms with national, state and local COVID-19 public health directives and guidelines.