Cleaning, Safety, and Upgrades

RIT has made 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

Positive Cases: As soon as a positive case in a space is discovered, the space is closed and Facilities Management Services begins the Clorox 360 cleaning process. All of the spaces where the individual was, except for transient spaces such as hallways, are cleaned using Clorox 360.

Deep Cleaning: RIT Facilities Management Services will continue to provide heightened cleaning services in academic buildings and residence halls this spring semester to help combat the spread of coronavirus. Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily and common areas and touchpoints will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day. Offices will not be entered by FMS custodians to ensure that potential contaminants are not spread between offices.

Disinfectant in Classrooms: In addition to the cleaning performed by FMS workers, spray bottles filled with EPA-compliant disinfectant are 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 also reprogrammed its air handling units to provide the freshest air possible to learning spaces to provide dilution, as recommended by the CDC.

Transparent barriers: Teaching spaces 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 have been installed at appropriate service desks and reception areas across campus.

Coated exterior door pulls: Main entrance door pulls are 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 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 replaced air dryers with hands-free paper towel dispensers in public restrooms on campus to reduce the spread of germs. Foot pedals were also installed on bathroom doors to eliminate the need for many individuals to touch door handles. Touchless soap dispensers will replace the hand-pump dispensers during the fall semester and will be installed as they arrive. Additional automatic door openers have been placed in select bathrooms across campus.

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

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


New signs have been 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, remind people about important health and safety practices, and provide QR codes to allow for contact tracing.

Learn more about signage on campus

Related Stories

  • August 31, 2020

    two custodians cleaning railing of stairway.

    Dedicated FMS workers keep RIT campus clean

    Students, faculty, and staff who have returned to the RIT campus can’t help notice the numerous changes in place to help people keep safer during the COVID-19 pandemic. But they may not know how much thought went in to make those changes, and the work that occurred—and continues to occur—in classrooms, residential areas, offices, dining facilities, bathrooms, and common spaces.

  • July 14, 2020

    reseacher testing air ionization systems.

    RIT strategically upgrades campus to prevent the spread of coronavirus

    In a biology lab in Gosnell Hall, 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 in the fall.

Safety by the Numbers

RIT is working to create an environment that is as safe and clean as possible. Here is a look at a number of improvements added across campus as well as supplies RIT is handing out to students, faculty, and staff. Numbers are approximate.


Masks: 25,000 clear; 45,000 cloth




Air purification units


Hand sanitizer pedal dispensers


Touch-free paper towel dispensers


Microwave/fridge units


4'x8' sheets of polycarbonate used for transparent barriers in classrooms


Disinfectant spray bottles for classrooms

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. Further applications are being pursued in the remaining academic buildings.

Based on information from the manufacturer and our research, the ionic air purifier units placed in some RIT residential housing and classrooms are considered safe. RIT sought out and installed ionic air purifier units that had been independently tested for safety and had safety documentation, including EU and US safety testing certifications.

Many of the changes RIT implemented 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