University of Alaska Fairbanks building closed for coronavirus cleaning

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The O’Neill Building on University of Alaska Fairbanks campus is closed to employees and students after an announcement from Chancellor Dan White that one of the COVID-19 positive individuals in Fairbanks holds an office there.

The O’Neill building will be closed for two weeks for sanitation. (Alex Bengel/KTVF)

According to White, the employee reported his positive testing to his supervisor, who confirmed the case to the university.

The chancellor asks that students and staff remain clear of the building for the next 14 days to be safe, but expects that the building will be effectively sanitized before then.

“The CDC has recommended cleaning procedures and we use those procedures already,” White said. He also described a cleaning process involving chemically “fogging” only the parts of the building visited by the isolated individual.

During the closure, building employees who are able to work from home are being encouraged to do so, while those whose work precludes such measures are being placed on administrative leave, which White said is essentially paid time off.

He also gave an update on the resident hall closures on campus. Of the 734 residents in the halls, White estimates that between 100 and 130 will remain as exceptions.

Meanwhile, the chancellor said that the university is working to make its educational programs available remotely. “Faculty are working super hard to get everything online or remote by Monday,” he said.

White went on to say, “Many of the things the university was doing are now online or remote. And so as people think ‘Well, there’s an event coming up. I’m assuming it’s cancelled.’ Check first cause it might not be. It might be going on, just virtually, and we want people to continue to be engaged with the university.”

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