Community Expectations

The health and safety of the RIT community is a priority. All measures put into place are designed to protect our students, faculty, staff, and the greater community.

Vaccine Requirements

All students, faculty, and staff on the Henrietta campus are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the Fall Semester. More information will be provided later this summer.

There are additional vaccination requirements for large-scale indoor public events.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine requirements

Event Safety Guidelines

To better protect the RIT community, large-scale indoor public events will have additional safety requirements. These guidelines will be revisited periodically and revised, depending on public health concerns and warnings.

Learn more about the event safety guidelines

Mask Guidelines

Members of the RIT community who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear face masks while indoors. Those members of the RIT community who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear face masks (minimum of two-ply cloth) while indoors in the presence of others, indoors moving through space occupied by others, or outdoors in crowded outdoor settings.

Face masks and physical distancing are still required, regardless of vaccination status, in the Student Health Center and the NTID Audiology Clinic. In addition, face masks are required while on public transportation.

Wearing a mask is a great way to protect yourself and others from the spread of disease. Be respectful of other people’s choice to wear a mask – they may be trying to protect themselves or you.

Learn more about acceptable face masks

Mask Guidelines

Effective immediately, RIT will be mask optional indoors, with some notable exceptions. Masks will be required as follows:

  • In academic classrooms, laboratories, and studios while classes are in session, whether the class is for credit or zero credit.
    • Masks must be worn upon entering the instructional space, even if the instructor is not yet present and must remain on while in the instructional space, even if the time extends beyond the scheduled end of the session.
    • Faculty have the option of being unmasked while standing behind plexiglass shields.
  • On contracted RIT transportation, including RIT shuttles, buses, and vans
  • In healthcare facilities, including the Student Health Center, Rochester Regional Health Family Clinic, and the NTID Audiology Center

Unvaccinated individuals, including those with exemptions, are strongly encouraged to continue to wear a mask indoors when in the presence of others.

The choice to continue masking is now a personal one. Some members in our community will continue to wear a mask for any number of reasons. Some may live with a vulnerable individual, others may be immunocompromised, and still others may simply feel more comfortable wearing a mask. We will have members of our community who feel more comfortable if others wear a mask in their direct presence. In the spirit of “Tigers Care,” we ask all members of the RIT community to keep a spare mask handy.

Effective March 17, 2022, RIT will be mask optional indoors, with notable exceptions. Masks will be required:

  • In academic classrooms, laboratories, and studios while classes are in session, whether the class is for credit or zero credit.
    • Masks must be worn upon entering the instructional space, even if the instructor is not yet present and must remain on while in the instructional space, even if the time extends beyond the scheduled end of the session.
    • Beginning Monday, March 21, faculty will have the option of being unmasked while standing behind plexiglass shields.
  • On contracted RIT transportation, including RIT shuttles, buses, and vans.
  • In healthcare facilities, such as the Student Health Center, Rochester Regional Health Family Clinic, and the NTID Audiology Center.

Campus and community COVID-19 rates have declined in recent weeks along with campus wastewater signals. We are a highly vaccinated university community in a region where hospitalizations have dropped considerably.

The mask requirement remains for classes, labs, and studios while classes are in session. Classrooms tend to be more densely populated spaces. The university wants to ensure that students can safely and comfortably attend their in-person classes. Therefore, individual faculty and classes cannot decide on their own to waive wearing masks.

We respect everyone’s individual choice to wear a mask and have made masks widely available across campus. This allows individuals who need to or choose to mask to protect themselves. If you still prefer that someone wears a mask in your presence and the individual does not accommodate your request, other options include:

  • sitting further apart
  • holding your meeting or activity outdoors or in a larger space
  • having your discussion on Zoom

We urge you to work with each other to accommodate reasonable requests. We recommend that you carry a mask with you for this purpose.

Individuals are expected to comply with all RIT policies. If an individual doesn’t wear a mask in a setting where masks are required, a simple respectful reminder may be all that is needed. If that doesn’t remedy the situation, speak with your supervisor or a person of authority in that space.

Starting Monday, March 21, faculty will be able to remove their masks while teaching if they remain behind a plexiglass barrier. The requirement to stay behind a plexiglass barrier will help ensure that the faculty member stays in one place while teaching. We have repeatedly heard that students can hear and understand faculty better when they are not wearing a mask. Faculty will be required to wear masks at all other times while in class.

There are several options to try to work out an acceptable solution.

  • Faculty members, please talk with the interpreters in your class to see if they are comfortable with you removing your mask to lecture. If they are not comfortable, and it is pedagogically sound for you to continue to lecture masked, please do so.
  • Interpreters, if the faculty member is unable to accommodate your request to remain masked, consider whether additional space away from the instructor will resolve the issue. If physically distancing does not resolve the issue, please work with your manager to explore other options for resolving the issue. Options may include re-assignment or providing services remotely.

Individuals with symptoms (vaccinated or not):

  • Get tested and wear a mask until you feel well
  • If you test positive, follow the guidance of the Student Health Center (students) or your medical provider (employees).

Individuals who are unvaccinated and exposed to COVID-19:

  • Start wearing a mask as soon as you learn of the exposure 
  • Get tested any time symptoms develop 
  • Get tested on days 4-6 if there are no symptoms
  • Continue wearing a mask for 10 days after the last date of exposure

You can ask students to wear masks. You can also offer other meeting alternatives, such as a Zoom, meeting in a larger room or outside.

Wash your Hands

1

Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

2

Use hand sanitizer when you cannot use soap and water

3

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

Stay Home if Sick

Stay home if you are sick, and do not come to campus. An online form to assist with symptom monitoring is available. COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

In addition, RIT community members shall not be on campus if they have been:

  • Diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not fulfilled the mandatory isolation period required by public health officials, or
  • Advised to stay home by a medical professional due to COVID-19 concerns pursuant to CDC or local health department COVID guidance, or
  • In close contact with a confirmed case within the timeframe determined by state and county health officials based on vaccination and booster status.

Contact Tracing

A positive test for COVID-19 will trigger contact tracing, which is coordinated through the Monroe County Department of Public Health. All members of the RIT community are expected to comply with contact tracing efforts.

Learn more about contact tracing

Report a COVID-19 Violation

Your concern for the health and safety of the RIT community is appreciated. If you encounter an individual not adhering to current COVID-19 protocols, try communicating directly with the individual or connect with a responsible party, such as a supervisor or lab manager for assistance.

If you observe ongoing violations related to COVID-19 protocols, please complete a COVID-19 report.