COVID-19: Limitations on IT Support

Remote Support required, except where absolutely necessary

IT staff will provide continuing support to the fullest extent possible for Sciences faculty, staff, administration and students. Under the current circumstances, we must put the safety of our clients and staff first.

  • IT staff will not visit your home under any circumstances for pickup or drop-off of equipment or to provide any form of technical support.
  • IT staff will provide technical support remotely via Zoom, LogMeIn, email, chat, or telephone. You should send a support request as usual to help@sciences.ncsu.edu or to your department’s IT support address.
  • You are responsible for disinfecting any equipment you pick up from campus before taking it into your possession or into your vehicle or home. We do not have the ability to do this for you. See CDC recommendations on disinfection.

Face-to-Face Support is extremely limited and is by appointment only

Sciences IT staff have been instructed to conduct support via remote methods where possible. In the event that an issue arises that requires a support be conducted face-to-face, staff must comply with the current recommendations on interpersonal contact and will follow these guidelines:

  • Staff will wear a mask at all times.
  • Staff will maintain minimum social distance of six feet from all other persons.
  • In spaces where six feet of social distance is not possible or where adequate ventilation is not guaranteed, staff may ask to others to step outside of the workspace until the service is completed or may remove equipment to isolated workspaces.
  • Staff may ask you to disinfect equipment before transferring it into their care.
  • Staff may bring personal keyboards/mice to reduce unnecessary handling.

Further, staff have been instructed to require compliance with the above measures or to reschedule the support call.

Accident prevention is critical at this time

This is a time to be extremely careful with your equipment. Due to supply chain disruptions there may be substantial delays in acquiring replacements. We are routinely seeing computers ship a month or two after an order is placed.

The most common problem we hear about is liquid spills into a keyboard or laptop computer. Keep your drinks away from your computer or use tight fitting lids. Taking breaks from sitting is a good idea, so keep your drinks somewhere else, take a short break and have your beverage away from your computer. You should seriously consider purchasing a waterproof keyboard cover.

The second most common is damage to laptop screens from dropping or being knocked off a surface by children, pets or a moment of enthusiasm. Consider the location of your laptop at all times. You may wish to invest in a rugged laptop case if you feel your laptop is at risk.

Please note that you should follow your department’s purchasing procedures. We will not be able to receive your purchases or ship them to you. You cannot have items shipped from Marketplace to your home.

My university-owned computer or other equipment is damaged. What should I do?

There are a few options:

  • If the computer is still reasonably usable, we will not recommend repair at this time. 
  • If it cannot be used, check with us to see if it is under warranty.
  • If it is not under warranty, contact us for recommendations about repair.
  • In general, you will need to call for an appointment. Do not expect immediate service. We are aware that TenPlus is currently (as of 4/6/20) still open and accepting appointments. You can use a PCard for repairs to university-owned equipment.
  • For other equipment, such as external monitors, keyboards, mice, etc. you will need to find another source. Contact us for recommendations.
  • It will be necessary for you to arrange for the purchase and receiving of this equipment following your department’s guidelines.

Faculty and student options

Can I use the computers and equipment from my department’s computer labs and classrooms at home?

  • No. We are expecting to return to campus at some point and need to ensure that all equipment is present and in working order, especially given supply chain disruptions and difficulty in acquiring replacements.
  • Exceptions require the approval of the department head and IT director.

I think my department has “spares”. Can I get one?

  • At this time, as a rule, no. We will recommend repair of existing equipment. We will revisit this as conditions change.
  • Exceptions are limited to circumstances where there is absolutely no other option for the employee to have the ability to work remotely, and they will require the approval of the department head and IT director.