Cleaning, Safety, and Upgrades

RIT is making changes and enhancements to the campus’s infrastructure, cleaning, and safety procedures. Our goal is to create an environment that is as safe and clean as possible so that our students, faculty, and staff can study and work confidently and comfortably.

We are following and, in many cases, exceeding the most recent guiding principles from Monroe County Department of Public Health, the state’s “New York Forward” guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.

Cleaning Protocols

Deep Cleaning: Facilities Management Services (FMS) has increased the frequency of cleaning for RIT’s public areas, including classrooms, lobbies, elevators, door handles, restrooms, and more. Workers perform deep cleaning using EPA-compliant disinfectant.

Academic buildings will receive deep cleaning on class days. Classrooms are cleaned and sanitized once per day and academic building restrooms plus common areas and touch points are cleaned and disinfected twice per day.

Offices will not be entered by FMS custodians to ensure that potential contaminants are not spread between offices.

Residence halls will receive deep cleaning seven days per week, while residence hall restrooms plus common areas and high touch points are cleaned and disinfected twice per day.

Disinfectant in Classrooms: In addition to the daily deep cleaning performed by FMS workers, spray bottles filled with EPA-compliant disinfectant will be placed in each learning space to allow students and faculty to disinfect their areas before and after each class.

Infrastructure Upgrades

Air purification: RIT is installing bipolar ionization systems in its residence halls, apartments, and academic buildings to help neutralize viruses, bacteria, allergens, mold, and other airborne contaminants. Unlike many air purification systems on a standard air filter, the ions interact with biological contaminants to make them inert. RIT’s limited testing of this technology in our own labs shows that it is effective against many airborne contaminants. Preliminary testing of the technology by the manufacturers shows that it is effective against COVID-19. RIT will also reprogram its air handling units to provide the freshest air possible to learning spaces to provide dilution, as recommended by the CDC.

Transparent barriers: Each teaching space will have a transparent barrier installed at the front of the classroom to serve as a barrier between instructors and students to help block the direct transmission of large respiratory droplets. Similar barriers are also being installed at appropriate service desks and reception areas across campus.

Coated exterior door pulls: Main entrance door pulls are being outfitted or enhanced with copper-containing materials, which are known to reduce the time that viruses and bacteria can survive on surfaces. More than 600 door pulls on campus will have 3D-printed copper plating, copper polish, or copper electroplating to help reduce the spread of viruses on these frequently touched surfaces.

Reducing touchpoints in restrooms: RIT is replacing air dryers with hands-free paper towel dispensers in public restrooms on campus to reduce the spread of germs. Foot pedals also will be installed on bathroom doors to eliminate the need for many individuals to touch door handles. Touchless soap dispensers will replace the current dispensers during the fall semester and will be installed as they arrive. Automatic door openers will be placed in select bathrooms across campus.

Hand sanitizer stations: RIT is placing approximately 1,000 hand- or foot-operated hand sanitizer stations across campus. They will be placed predominantly near building-entry points and classroom areas.

Enhanced elevator maintenance: Because RIT is reducing the maximum occupancy of elevators, we will have additional technicians on campus to repair the elevators as issues arise and keep them running as smoothly as possible.


New signs are being added across campus to inform people about reduced room capacities, indicate how to stay an adequate distance from others, alert people to different traffic patterns, and remind people about important health and safety practices.

Learn more about signage on campus

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July 14, 2020
RIT strategically upgrades campus to prevent the spread of coronavirus
Professor André Hudson has been spending hours this summer testing products to see whether they are effective at killing and filtering microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The effort is part of RIT’s Infrastructure and Health Technologies task force, which is putting changes in place to make RIT’s campus as safe and clean as possible for the fall.

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Frequently Asked Questions

RIT’s infrastructure and health technologies task force, led by the Division of Finance and Administration, conducted a comprehensive analysis of precautions that should be taken to ensure the campus is as safe as possible. RIT is carefully adhering to guiding principles from Monroe County Department of Public Health, the state’s “New York Forward” guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization, and in many cases the university is going above and beyond those recommendations.

RIT also sought advice from its in-house experts, including scientists and health professionals from the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences, the Department of Civil Engineering Technology, Environmental Management and Safety, the Student Health Center, and other areas. RIT conducted independent tests on products such as air ionizers to ensure their effectiveness at killing viruses before making purchases.

More information on how to use the disinfectant and more detailed questions and answers on custodial cleaning are available in downloaded PDFs.

Bipolar ion generating devices are being installed in the air handling units of the following buildings: George Eastman Hall, Campus Center, George H. Clark Gymnasium, Student Alumni Union, Wallace Library, Liberal Arts Hall, James E. Booth Hall, Frank E. Gannett Hall, Thomas Gosnell Hall, James E. Gleason Hall, Max Lowenthal Hall, August Center, Hale Andrews Student Life Center, Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall, and Golisano Hall. These buildings were chosen for the first round based on the number of classrooms and expected populations. The devices are to be installed as soon as they begin to arrive, scheduled for August 15-22. Further applications are being pursued in the remaining academic buildings.

Many of the changes RIT is implementing in preparation for the fall will have strategic, long-term benefits for the university. For example, the air ionization systems will help provide cleaner, fresher air for years to come. Other measures taken, such as health monitoring protocols, will cease once the pandemic has ended.

Remember to engage in healthy habits including, but not limited to:

  • Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer
  • Keeping your hands away from your face
  • Maintaining 6 feet of physical distance
  • Wearing your face mask
  • Staying home if ill