FACILITIES BATTLES COVID-19
From MERV 13 filters to an Oxivir disinfectant station, Facilities Management has made significant changes to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
As students return to the University of Arizona Health Sciences campuses in the midst of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, a group that largely works behind the scenes is carefully watching to make sure the buildings are as healthy and safe as possible.
The UArizona Facilities Management team of more than 600 people, led by Chris Kopach, associate vice president and incident command system (ICS) commander, provide maintenance, operational services and utilities services that support the campuses. Even in “normal” years, the team charged with keeping the campuses running is kept busy. But preparing for the infrastructure mitigation measures needed for COVID-19 added an additional layer of effort.
Kopach said the key to staying ahead of the game was “Communication, communication, communication. Our entire team worked to create a safe environment throughout our campuses. How did we measure that? We didn’t see huge spreads of COVID. Yes, we had some cases, but they were predominantly coming from outside back onto campus, so we addressed that by going ahead and cleaning.”