Physical Distancing

Slow the Spread. Do the Five. Radford University

Over the summer months, Radford University has been working diligently to make modifications to campus in order to both enable and promote physical distancing. As students, faculty, and staff begin to return for the Fall 2020 semester, a number of changes will be evident. All Highlanders are encouraged to be mindful of spacing and maintain physical distancing as necessary and appropriate.

“Large” classes, defined as those with maximum capacities of 50 and above, will be moved to an online format. A small number of classes larger than 50 may need to move forward with face-to-face instruction as planned due to faculty resources and/or accreditation requirements. Those will be permitted on a case-by-case basis with a request from the College Dean and confirmation by the Office of the Registrar.

Classrooms and laboratories, as well as workspaces, are being reconfigured for physical distancing (i.e. placement of desks/tables/chairs six feet apart). Facilities Management and the Office of the Registrar collaboratively worked with academic leaders regarding the revised occupancy for academic spaces and confirmed capacity for individual courses. For example, a lecture hall that previously accommodated 100 students may now be able to seat 42 students, while practicing physical distancing with a revised configuration. As such, a number of classes will be reassigned to new locations in order to accommodate the number of registered students.

In every situation possible, the previously announced days of the week and times will be maintained, especially if students have already registered for such courses. Courses with no registered students may be moved to days of the week and times in which a greater number of classrooms are available. That will occur through the Office of the Registrar based on collaboration and discussion with colleges, departments/schools, and individual faculty/instructors. The fully updated class schedule for the Fall 2020 semester is posted on the Office of the Registrar’s webpage. Necessary adjustments will continue to be made and reflected on the Fall 2020 schedule on the Registrar’s webpage.

Updated signage for classrooms and laboratories will indicate the new occupancy limit. Revised configurations and occupancies for all classrooms and laboratories have been created and are on file with Facilities Management. Campus signage, including revised capacity numbers for every classroom, laboratory, conference room, meeting space, etc., as well as a two-person limit on all elevators and dedicated entrances and exits for all buildings, has been produced and installed throughout campus.

Other work to ensure physical distancing has occurred in offices, common areas, and other locations across campus. To submit COVID-19 related requests for physical distancing, as well as housekeeping and personal protective equipment, visit To date, Facilities Management has conducted a thorough analysis of all spaces and configurations to ensure physical distancing in every situation possible. Furniture has been moved into storage and/or reconfigured, and plexiglass has been installed for walk-up service functions, as well as in areas where faculty members stand to lecture.

Without question, campus will look different this fall. The University has been actively putting measures in place to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the campus and the community. That work is critical and will require the collaboration and partnership of all Highlanders!