RIT Safety Plan in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
RIT Safety Plan In response to the COVID-19 pandemic
RIT’s guiding principles for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are rooted in concern for the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, visitors, and other invited guests. Our plans are aligned and consistent with applicable local, state, and federal laws, as well as the guidelines published as part of New York Forward: A Guide to Re-opening New York and Building Back Better (“New York Forward”). Our plans recognize our shared responsibility for keeping the RIT community healthy and safe, and include symptom monitoring, physical distancing, reducing the density of individuals on the RIT campus, personal safety practices, regular cleaning and disinfection, restricting nonessential travel, contact tracing, and communication. As our knowledge and understanding of the pandemic continues to evolve, and additional guidelines are promulgated for colleges and universities, so too will this RIT Safety Plan (“Safety Plan”).
Faculty, staff, students, visitors, and other invited guests (the “RIT community”) are expected to fully comply with the provisions of this Safety Plan and other policies, procedures, and guidelines designed to protect the health and safety of all individuals on the RIT campus. RIT seeks to maximize opportunities for RIT students to have a vibrant student experience while staying healthy and safe on campus. Accordingly, some areas and activities will need to be restricted and/or modified in accordance with government mandates and to support the health and safety of the RIT community. Failure to do so may result in corrective action including, but not limited to, termination of employment for employees, dismissal from the university for students, or removal from campus for visitors and invited guests. The expectation is that every individual will take the steps necessary to protect themselves and the community at large.
RIT is open for on-campus instruction, research, campus programs, and services. All faculty and staff not currently working on campus this spring are encouraged to return to campus. In accordance with the requirements of NY Forward, RIT will continue to limit the total number of occupants for a particular area based on New York State regulations. As a result, all employees working remotely must consult with their supervisors before commencing work back on campus. In order to accomplish this goal, flexible work schedules can be implemented. The flexible work schedule arrangements shall continue as needed until COVID-19 maximum occupancy mandates are eliminated, or business necessity requires a change in the flexible work schedule arrangements. It shall be the responsibility of the divisional vice president to ensure that the maximum occupancy for a particular area is maintained.
Faculty and staff who have concerns about returning to work on campus due to a medical condition that places them in a higher risk group, or those who wish to seek a COVID-19-related accommodation in order to perform the essential functions of their job, should visit the COVID-19 Related Accommodation Request form.
Divisional vice presidents shall designate Site Safety Monitor(s) (login required to access list). A Site Safety Monitor shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with all aspects of this Safety Plan for their assigned areas. The number and areas of responsibility for Site Safety Monitors shall be determined by the appropriate divisional vice president. Once designated, the divisional vice presidents shall provide a list of their Site Safety Monitor(s) to the Office of Legal Affairs. The duties of a Site Safety Monitor include, but are not limited to, verifying that:
In-person meetings shall comply with the physical distancing requirements of this Safety Plan and the COVID-19 Maximum Occupancy requirements for the particular area. Physical distancing markers, directional indicators, and designated areas for pickups and deliveries shall be observed at all times. Tele- or video-conferencing can be used for administrative functions and/or meetings.
Meetings and events must not exceed the maximum occupancy limits for the particular area. Classes are not required to meet this maximum occupancy limit. Private individual offices, with doors, are not required to meet this maximum occupancy limit, provided that occupancy by more than one individual shall be with appropriate physical distancing, masking, and in accordance with all other requirements of this Safety Plan. Outdoor events shall be held with appropriate physical distancing among participants and shall not exceed thirty three percent (33%) occupancy for outdoor spaces where maximum occupancy has been established.
The scheduling of events shall utilize the existing Event Management System process. Events shall be required to have an event plan that includes the following: (1) Identification of how the physical distancing requirements of this Safety Plan will be met; (2) Identification of how the hygiene and cleaning requirements of this Safety Plan will be met; (3) Notification to the Site Safety Monitor for the area where the event will be held, and (4) working with event hosts to ensure compliance with all aspects of this Safety Plan and applicable New York State and CDC guidelines.
Each day, prior to coming to campus, all members of the RIT community must be free of any symptoms related to COVID-19. These symptoms are based on CDC guidance and currently include:
Loss of taste, smell or appetite
Chills or fever higher than 100⁰ F (37.8⁰ C)
Unusual headache or eye pain
New cough or change in cough
Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
In addition, all members of the RIT community will be asked if they have:
Diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last ten (10) days
Advised to stay home by a medical professional due to COVID-19 concerns, or
Learned that they were a close contact of a confirmed case in the last week.
To assist with symptom monitoring, faculty and staff must personally complete the RIT Daily Health Screen every day, seven days a week, whether or not they are coming to campus, without the use of any automated tool, unless granted a specific exception. Faculty and staff providing an attestation confirming that they will not be physically present on campus during the summer (May 17, 2021, through August 15, 2021) shall not be required to complete the Daily Health Screen for those days that they will not be on campus.
Students who will not be physically present on campus during the summer (May 17, 2021, through August 15, 2021) shall not be required to complete the Daily Health Screen for those days that they will not be on campus. Students who are enrolled in courses with an in-person option, on a summer housing contract, working in-person on campus, or having other significant campus activity (e.g., research) are required to complete the Daily Health Screen during the summer (May 17, 2021, through August 15, 2021).
The webpage will provide users with instructions on how to proceed if they are experiencing symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. They will also receive reminder emails every day to complete the Daily Health Screen. Based upon the answers provided, users will receive one of two messages: (1) Cleared to circulate on RIT campus, or (2) Stop: Do not report to RIT.
If faculty and/or staff receive a "Do not report to RIT" message, they will be directed to call the symptom check hotline for evaluation of their symptoms by a medical professional and will either be cleared to work on campus, told to stay home and monitor symptoms, or directed to contact their health care provider. If students receive a "Do not report to RIT" message, they will be directed to contact the Student Health Center for further assessment to determine whether or not they can be on campus.
If at any point in time during the day an individual begins showing signs of COVID-19 (or any illness), they should go to their home or residence immediately and contact the Student Health Center (students) or their personal physician (faculty/staff).
RIT is taking a multifaceted approach to testing at the start of the semester and throughout the year. All faculty, staff, and students are responsible for getting a COVID-19 test prior to coming to campus and must provide evidence of a negative result in order to return. In lieu of a negative COVID-19 test, faculty and staff can provide an attestation confirming that they have received all doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Students will be able to provide COVID-19 vaccination information by late May in order meet vaccination requirements for the fall term. Students planning to circulate on campus during the summer (May 17, 2021 through August 15, 2021) are not required to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test in order to circulate on campus. Based on risk assessment, selected additional testing will be done of students in the first few weeks of students arrival on campus.
Employees (not including student employees) seeking an accommodation to this testing requirement, or any other requirement of this Safety Plan, based on religious beliefs may request an accommodation by completing the RIT Employee Request for Religious Accommodation Form. Students (including student employees) seeking an accommodation to this testing requirement, or any other requirement of this Safety Plan, based on religious beliefs may request an accommodation from the Associate Director of Spirituality and Religious Life. If an individual tests positive, they will be required to follow quarantine procedures. Employees with positive tests or symptoms shall report this information using the RIT Employee Self-Serve portal. Positive test information will be automatically reported to the Director of Environmental, Health and Safety.
Students exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been in close contact (as defined by the Monroe County Department of Health) with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be tested. In instances where wastewater samples or other surveillance methods indicate an increased risk of exposure, RIT will conduct follow up testing. Focused and surveillance testing for students will be overseen by the Student Health Center. Generally, sample collection will occur on campus. In those circumstances, sample collection may also be done off campus in accordance with protocols established by the Student Health Center. Faculty and staff will be directed to their personal physician to arrange for testing or to a NYS Department of Health testing site.
All employees should follow RIT’s normal process for reporting absences due to illness and RIT’s Short-term Disability process based on their employment category:
Employees (not including student employees) testing positive, or residing with, or having been designated as a close contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19 shall report this information using the RIT Employee Self-Serve. Positive test information will be automatically reported to the Director of Environmental, Health and Safety.
In addition to obtaining a seasonal influenza vaccine prior to returning to campus for the start of the spring semester, employees working on campus in spring 2021 are also required to obtain a new recent COVID-19 test prior to coming to campus for the spring semester and must provide evidence of a negative result in order to return. The new COVID-19 test must be done after January 7, 2021 and must be uploaded to Oracle on or before January 25, 2021.
The COVID-19 negative test result and seasonal influenza vaccine are not required if employees will be on campus for a brief visit, no more than once a month (e.g., to pick up mail), or if they are visiting campus and remaining outdoors. For any adjunct working 100% remotely or any regular faculty or employee working 100% remotely outside of the State of New York, a new remote work attestation for the spring semester is required to be entered in Oracle.
Individuals of any age with certain conditions are at an increased risk for severe illness. The CDC has compiled a list that identifies these conditions. Currently, they are:
Chronic kidney disease
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
Obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher)
Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
Sickle cell disease
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
As more is known about COVID-19, and as new information becomes available, the CDC will update this list and so will RIT. Faculty and staff who are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 infection may request an accommodation in order to perform the essential functions of their job, by completing the COVID-19 Related Accommodation Request form. Students with conditions that may place them at a higher risk for COVID-19 infection are encouraged to contact RIT’s Disability Services Office for appropriate accommodations if needed.
Physical distancing requires the RIT community to ensure that they maintain at least six (6) feet of distance between themselves, unless safety or core function of the work activity requires a shorter distance. Any time members of the RIT community are indoors in the presence of others or moving through space occupied by others they must wear acceptable face masks regardless of the distance between themselves and others. RIT is requiring face masks with a minimum of two-ply cloth. RIT delivered two-ply masks to each community member in the fall and a new one with the RIT tiger and logo is on its way for students, faculty, and staff. Clear masks, those used for communication with our deaf and hard-of-hearing population, are acceptable. Bandanas, one-layer gaiters, and scarves do not provide enough protection and are not acceptable. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mask guidelines can be reviewed online. Acceptable face masks include:
Cloth face mask – Homemade or commercially manufactured face masks that are washable. They must be washed or replaced on a daily basis. Unless the responsibilities of the member of the RIT community require use of a specific face mask, use of personal face masks is allowed, provided they permit for proper covering of the nose and mouth, and are in compliance with all applicable RIT policies, including but not limited to RIT’s Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (C6.0) and the RIT Student Conduct Process (D18.0). Members of the RIT community shall be responsible for procuring, washing, and/or replacing personal cloth face masks.
Disposable mask – Commercially manufactured and disposed of on a daily basis.
Medical grade surgical mask – FDA approved for use in health care settings. To be replaced in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
N95 Respirator – NIOSH approved for use in health care settings or other approved areas with known respiratory hazards. To be replaced in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
Accessible mask – Masks provided to individuals based on requests for accommodations due to a disability as defined under applicable state and/or federal law. Requests for accessible masks will be considered on an individualized basis and in accordance with RIT’s Workplace Accommodations process for employees, and RIT’s Disability Services Office for students.
Face masks must: (1) be a minimum of two-ply cloth, (2) cover the nose and mouth, (3) be cleaned or replaced after use or when damaged or soiled, (4) not be shared, and (5) be properly stored or discarded. Face masks are not required if outdoors and at least 6 ft. of distance can be maintained from others, or if working alone in an office or private room, except as required by another policy or procedure. Faculty shall wear a face mask in classrooms, but may wear a face shield that covers all sides of their face in lieu of a face mask, when behind a Plexiglas barrier in teaching settings. Face shields are not a replacement for face masks. Unless otherwise provided as an accommodation to a disability, the only time a face shield may be worn without a face mask is when a faculty member is behind a Plexiglas barrier in teaching settings and is wearing a face shield that covers all sides of their face. Tightly confined spaces (e.g., elevators, kitchenettes, restrooms, small conference rooms, cubicles) shall be occupied by only one (1) individual at a time, unless all occupants are wearing face masks and all other physical distancing rules can be followed. If occupied by more than one person, the occupancy of these tightly confined areas shall be to meet or exceed local mandates. At this time, this requires, that it be kept under 50% of normal maximum capacity. Compliance with COVID-19 Maximum Occupancy signs shall be required.
Students shall be required to wear face masks in classrooms. If a student does not wear a face mask, they will be asked to leave the classroom by the faculty member. If a student fails to leave the classroom when instructed to do so by the faculty member, that student shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including, proceedings under RIT’s Student Conduct Process (D18.0).
If an individual has concerns about wearing a face mask (whether opaque or clear), they can request accommodations as detailed above. RIT will discuss and explore alternative options such as, (1) Safety hood (e.g. ‘Bullard’ type hood), or (2) Voluntary use of N95 respirator without exhalation valve (NIOSH approved).
While on campus the RIT community shall limit the sharing of objects, including desks, supplies, and workstations. The touching of shared surfaces is discouraged. If shared surfaces must be touched, the RIT community shall either wear gloves or sanitize or wash hands before and after contact. Hygiene and sanitation requirements from the CDC and the DOH shall be adhered to. These requirements include:
Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Use hand sanitizer when you cannot use soap and water
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Cover your coughs and sneezes, and immediately wash or sanitize your hands
Avoid sharing of personal items
University-sanctioned disinfectant will be provided to university departments to allow for additional cleaning of areas as required. Training on the use of disinfectant will be mandatory for all faculty, staff, and students. Cleaning protocols for desks, tabletops, lecterns, and other common high-touch surfaces shall be created and observed. Protocols shall include having faculty and students clean their own space in classrooms and other academic spaces before and after use.
RIT Facilities Management Services shall conduct deep cleanings that will include disinfection of restrooms, including residence hall restrooms, and common touch points on campus (e.g., elevator cars, door handles, hand rails) at least once per day, with daily cleaning of common areas and restrooms for those buildings and areas in use. During non-teaching periods, ventilation systems will be placed in their normal operating modes. During university shutdowns, such as the winter break period, ventilation systems will be placed in unoccupied mode. Cleaning includes the use of disinfectants compliant with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency. Areas where positive cases were known to have been present shall be cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines. RIT will use 3D coating and electro-plating on more than six hundred (600) door pulls around campus.
Posted signage throughout campus is intended to remind the RIT community to adhere to proper hygiene, physical distancing rules, appropriate use of face masks, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Posted signage, including any markings on floors and hard surfaces, shall be complied with at all times.
The RIT community is expected to support and comply with contact tracing efforts by providing information relating to individuals with whom they may have had close contact while on campus for purposes of contact tracing. This may include utilizing personal electronic devices, RIT information systems to allow location tracking, and using specific web-based applications.
Dining halls and other on-campus food establishments shall be limited to no more than 50% of maximum occupancy, exclusive of employees. All indoor and outdoor tables and other seating shall be arranged or eliminated to ensure they are separated by a minimum of six (6) feet in all directions, and additional seating may be provided in other neighboring areas. Wherever distancing is not feasible between tables, physical barriers of no less than five (5) feet in height shall be installed between such tables. Physical distancing markers will identify six (6) foot spacing in any lines for customers waiting to order, pick up food, be seated, or use the restroom, as well as in any pickup or payment location.
Individuals choosing to eat and drink in the dining facility must follow all posted rules regarding in-person dining, including seating capacity and placement of tables/chairs. While in dining facilities, individuals must wear face masks when not eating or drinking. Individuals may remove face masks to eat and drink while seated at their table regardless of the customary six (6) foot physical distancing limitation.
Individuals may choose to eat and drink outside of dining facilities in the following areas, provided that occupancy and physical distancing requirements can be maintained:
Designated dining areas other than dining facilities;
James E. Booth Hall (07A) – Room 2950
James E. Booth Hall (07A) – Room 3601
James E. Booth Hall (07A) – Room 4640
Frank E. Gannett Hall (07B) – Room 3100
Thomas Gosnell Hall (08) – Gosnell Atrium
James E. Gleason Hall (09) – Erdle Commons
Individual workstations (e.g., cubicles);
Outdoor spaces; or
Indoor public spaces (e.g., Fireside lounge).
Eating or drinking is not permitted in classrooms* (when in use), laboratory areas, waiting rooms, pedestrian corridors within buildings, which may include lobbies (e.g., SAU lobby) that people cut through, hallways, stairwells or while walking on campus.
Dining Services will reconfigure dining areas to provide additional options for mobile ordering and food pickup to ensure RIT can meet the demands of the RIT community while maintaining appropriate physical distancing. Dining Services will also provide meal support for students who reside in on-campus housing and are in isolation or quarantine
* Faculty members can choose to allow students to have drinks in class; students should use a straw that goes under the face mask.
Ridership of campus shuttles and buses will be limited to 50% of maximum capacity. No standing will be allowed. Once a bus is full, it will not stop for additional passengers. The frequency of service will be increased to make up for the reduced capacity allowed on the shuttles. All riders will be required to wear an acceptable face mask while on RIT shuttles and buses. Plexiglas shields have been installed by the driver’s seat and drivers will be required to wear PPE. Boarding and exiting of the bus will occur through the rear doors (except where accessibility issues require otherwise). Signage will be posted on the shuttles reminding riders of proper safety procedures including maximum physical distancing. Buses will be disinfected nightly.
RIT vehicles will be disinfected before and after each use. If there is more than one person in the vehicle, acceptable face masks must be worn, and it is recommended that windows not be tightly closed. For multi-passenger vans, a passenger list must be provided when the vehicle is returned.
COVID-19 has altered many facets of life for members of the RIT community. These changes can take a toll on our emotional well-being and may result in stress, fear, and/or anxiety. Please be aware that the following resources and services are available to support you.
All students, whether residing on or off campus, must comply with RIT’s symptom monitoring requirements starting two (2) weeks prior to arriving on RIT’s campus and continuing until RIT advises them that this requirement is no longer in effect. Visitors, including parents, arriving with students must ensure they are in compliance with the visitor requirements of this Safety Plan. Students shall complete any pre-arrival trainings and/or screenings required by RIT. Students arriving on campus from areas with widespread community transmission of the virus may need to complete additional pre-arrival monitoring, screening, or quarantine directives.
Posted signage throughout campus is intended to remind students to adhere to proper hygiene, physical distancing rules, appropriate use of face masks, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Posted signage, including any markings on floors and hard surfaces, shall be complied with at all times. All students shall also comply with RIT’s Movement on Campus and Contact Tracing requirements, including but not limited to reasonable requests for information relating to individuals with whom they may have had close contact while on campus, for purposes of contact tracing.
All multiple-person rooms in the residence halls and apartments will be assigned as no more than double rooms. Nonresident restrictions in on-campus housing and common areas do not apply to personal aides, nurses, care givers, or any other reasonable accommodations provided to students with disabilities. Individuals assisting a student must comply with all RIT requirements for visitors including face mask, physical distancing, and health screening.
Students who may require housing accommodations based on a disability or who have a health condition that places them at higher risk for COVID 19 shall utilize RIT’s Disability Services Office to request accommodations.
When in indoor common areas, all occupants shall wear face masks and comply with all other physical distancing rules. Lounges (residence halls and campus buildings) will be open, but shall meet or exceed local mandates. At this time, this requires that it be occupied by no more than 50% of normal maximum capacity and occupants shall conform to the physical distancing and face mask requirements of this Safety Plan. In order to ensure proper physical distancing, furniture may be re-arranged, removed, or marked-off. Students in their residence hall or apartments do not need to comply with the physical distancing requirements or wear face masks when alone, or when in the presence of their room/suitemates. Whenever anyone, other than room/suitemates, is present in the dorm room or apartment, everyone in attendance must comply with the physical distancing and face mask requirements of this Safety Plan.
In areas with facilities spaced less than six (6) feet apart (e.g., restroom sinks, urinals, showers), individual facilities shall be cordoned off or users shall, whenever possible, wear face masks where not separated by a physical barrier (e.g., when inside a bathroom stall). Where possible, and consistent with accessibility requirements, entry doors to restrooms will be propped open or will have foot pedals to assist with touchless opening. Touch-free soap dispensers will be installed when available. Air hand dryers will be disabled and replaced with paper towel dispensers.
Guests are not permitted in on-campus housing prior to confirmation from RIT that a housing complex may be opened to guests. Once permitted, guests are limited to only RIT students and must abide by the requirements of this Plan in order to allow for appropriate and responsible social interaction.
No more than one guest per resident at any time;
Physical distancing and maximum occupancy requirements shall be maintained throughout the guest visit. In the event that physical distancing and maximum occupancy requirements are not maintained, the guest shall leave;
Any guests in the room/apartment must be agreed upon by room/suitemates or the visit must happen in a common area (e.g., lounge) of the residence hall, or in a private bedroom (one-person bedroom);
RIT will monitor building capacities. If guest numbers exceed what is allowable, RIT will follow up with residents and provide additional education. If the issue persists, those responsible may lose guest privileges;
Personal aides, nurses, care givers, or any other reasonable accommodations provided to students with disabilities shall not be considered guests for purposes of this section.
NCAA, state, and local governance guidelines will influence our ability to conduct fall athletic competitions. We are working with our athletic conferences—Liberty, the Atlantic Hockey Association, College Hockey America, and the Empire Collegiate Wrestling—to identify schedules and safety protocols to safely resume competitive sports. As part of RIT’s return to competition, in addition to satisfying campus plans, we will abide by the NCAA Core principles of resocialization of collegiate sport.
Student athletes will be required to complete a medical history, undergo a pre-participation screening process and an educational unit relative to COVID-19 prior to returning to campus. In addition, student athletes will be required to comply with any requirements set by the league or conference, including requirements of the NCAA and state and local laws. Mandatory daily health screens, and the wearing of acceptable face masks in accordance with the provisions of this Plan will also be required. Student athletes shall not share personal items, including but not limited to, water bottles.
Site safety monitors designated by Office of Intercollegiate Athletics are responsible for ensuring compliance with plans, receiving and attesting to having reviewed all screening questionnaires and documenting and adherence to daily symptom checking. In-person gatherings (e.g., team meetings, coaching de-briefs) will be limited as much as possible and encouraged to be done via remote means. Individual workouts will be permitted at facilities for out of season athletes. Athletic training services and supervised strength and conditioning is permissible for intercollegiate athletics. These services are by appointment only and must adhere to the requirements of this Safety Plan, including but not limited to, established masking and distance protocols. Group practices (e.g., scrimmages, pick-up games) are prohibited.
Athletics facilities will be cleaned no fewer than two (2) times daily. Sanitization after use of equipment and after group or team use will be required before the room is turned over. Athletics schedules will be reduced in number and restricted primarily to day trips (limited overnight hotel stays). Spectators at athletic events will be limited by state, University, and league requirements. If allowed, spectators will be limited to parents and students.
Indoor and outdoor recreational activities are permitted, provided they meet the requirements of this Safety Plan and applicable New York state guidelines. This section does not apply to intercollegiate sports unless otherwise noted in this Plan.
Individual sports and activities are separated into low-, medium-, and high-risk categories by the state of New York and may take place if they meet the requirements of this Safety Plan and applicable New York Guidelines. Club sport and intramural competitive tournaments requiring travel are prohibited until further notice.
Participants must ensure that a minimum physical distance of six (6) feet is maintained for activities occurring outdoors. If the core activity is outdoors and a physical distance of six (6) feet cannot be maintained, face masks must be worn.
Activities should be modified to allow for maximum physical distancing, particularly for field exercises, drills, and other practice activities. Equipment may not be shared unless it is cleaned and disinfected between uses. Physical contact (e.g., handshakes, high fives, fist bumps) is strongly discouraged.
Use of tele- or video-conferencing is encouraged, but not required for all student meetings and/or events so long as attendees can abide by the room occupancy limitations, physical distancing, and face mask requirements of this Safety Plan.
When there is an on-campus event, students shall utilize the existing Event Management System process. Student Affairs and the EMS planning team will establish formal plans for groups to use in order to provide a consistent application across campus for student events. Events shall be required to have an event plan that includes the following: (1) Identification of how the physical distancing requirements of this Safety Plan will be met; (2) Identification of how the hygiene and cleaning requirements of this Safety Plan will be met; and (3) Notification to the Site Safety Monitor (login required to access list) for the area where the event will be held, whose responsibilities will include compliance with all aspects of this Safety Plan. An event plan template is available via CampusGroups. Outdoor events shall be held with appropriate physical distancing among participants and shall not exceed thirty three percent (33%) occupancy for outdoor spaces where maximum occupancy has been established. However, in cases where an event plan requires an exception, it must be approved by the appropriate divisional vice president or their designee.
Students who require an accommodation to any of the requirements of this Safety Plan based on religious beliefs shall use the COVID-19 Student Religious Accommodation Form and utilize the process established by the Associate Director for Spirituality and Religious Life.
Student employees shall follow the RIT Safety Plan as it relates to the student’s RIT job. If a student leader will be returning to in-person work, that student’s staff advisor may create an on-campus work plan for the student leader, which may utilize the same or substantially similar provisions as any applicable safety plan for the area in which the student will be performing the leadership work. In addition, student leaders must comply with the requirements of this Safety Plan.
Students are required to follow all applicable CDC and/or state travel guidelines when traveling for personal reasons. All students are prohibited from nonessential travel for RIT sponsored activities until further notice. This prohibition does not apply to personal travel, or travel for activities not sponsored by RIT. Only essential RIT sponsored travel will be permitted and must be approved by the appropriate dean, vice president, or vice provost. Study abroad programs are suspended until further notice. RIT is developing a number of virtual international experiences and virtual exchange opportunities for students who want to continue to develop global leadership and cultural competencies.
Telehealth is the preferred mode for office visits at the Student Health Center where a hands-on exam is not needed. In the Student Health Center, safety glass barriers will be installed in reception areas; waiting rooms will be configured to allow physical distancing; and appointment times staggered to reduce overall occupancy. Patients and staff will be required to wear face masks for in-person treatment. Nurses are available by phone to help students determine if an in-person appointment is needed if otherwise unclear.
Any student reporting symptoms via the Daily Health Screen will be directed to contact the Student Health Center to be assessed. Assessment will include a review of symptoms and their health history. If students do not reach out directly, a staff member in the Student Health Center will contact students. If testing is recommended and/or symptoms are of sufficient concern, students will be placed in precautionary quarantine. Testing will be available on campus at the Student Health Center.
In the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, whether ordered by the Student Health Center or outside provider, RIT contact tracers, in collaboration with the Student Health Center and local health department, will interview the student and determine if there are additional individuals who need to be placed in quarantine.
Students with any health concerns, even those not listed on the Daily Health Screen, are always encouraged to contact the Student Health Center. Telephone, secure messaging or PyraMED chat are contact options.
Any student who has been informed by a contact tracer that they have been in close contact, less than six (6) feet, with anyone for more than ten (10) minutes who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19, shall notify the Student Health Center immediately. Students should also monitor their health and call their health care provider if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
If directed to quarantine or isolate, students shall not be allowed to leave their quarantine or isolation space for ten (10) days from last exposure unless released earlier by the local public health department or designee. During this period, students will undergo active monitoring by the Student Health Center and self-monitor for symptom development. Additional requirements and procedures may be implemented at the discretion of the Student Health Center. Any student testing positive for COVID-19 shall be placed in isolation by the local public health department or designee for a minimum of ten (10) days after onset of symptoms. While in isolation, students shall comply with all requirements issued by the local health department and/or Student Health Center.
For students who reside in campus housing who test positive or have a suspected case of COVID-19 as determined by the Student Health Center or local public health department, in addition to the requirements above, RIT shall implement procedures to ensure adequate separation from the community for the duration of any isolation or quarantine period. Students requiring isolation will be moved to alternative housing such that the students have their own sleeping room and bathroom. Students who do not reside on campus are expected to isolate or quarantine at their off-campus residence and comply with all instructions from the local health department.
Students who are required to isolate or quarantine will be supported by the university in multiple ways. All students will continue to have access to telehealth and student health services. Faculty will work with isolated or quarantined students to ensure they can continue their academic work. Students residing on campus will also be supported by meal delivery for their applicable on-campus meal plans, trash pickup, and laundry support.
COVID-19 has altered many facets of life for students. These changes can take a toll on our emotional well-being and may result in stress, fear, and/or anxiety. Please be aware that the following resources and services are available to support you:
RIT’s approach to classroom procedures is designed with three primary priorities in mind:
Health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is the highest priority;
RIT seeks to maximize opportunities for students to have “normal” class and lab interaction with faculty while maintaining physical distancing protocols; and
Faculty and staff will have the resources and tools necessary to achieve a safe and high-quality instructional outcome, as well as a clear understanding of necessary classroom protocols.
In the event it becomes necessary for RIT to close physical facilities, all courses and other academic activities will transition to a remote-only format. In addition, faculty will work with students who are unable to attend class in person due to illness, an order of isolation or quarantine, or an accommodation documented by the Disability Services Office.
Classes will begin on Monday, January 25, 2021, and will end on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. Final exams will be held May 7, 10, 11, 12, and 13. There will be three (3) recharge days with no classes held on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, Wednesday, March 24, 2021, and Thursday, April 22, 2021.
2021 Spring Semester Calendar
First day of classes
Last day of classes
Convocation and Commencement Ceremonies
Break between Spring Semester and Summer Term
This schedule is dependent upon the latest guidance and direction of local and state health officials, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, DOH, CDC, and OSHA.
All courses with an in-person component shall meet or exceed local mandates. To support safety, RIT instruction combines classroom social distancing with flexible instructional models and personal protective equipment to ensure a safe classroom environment. For laboratory, studio, and capstone courses, additional sections and/or specialized scheduling solutions are added to support physical distancing and allow students to access facilities needed to fulfill their course learning outcomes. Many lecture-based classes will meet in person while some will move to a blended format where students will meet weekly in small in-person groups and complete some course material online. Where appropriate and where course materials lend themselves to the format, selected courses will move fully online. The in-person class schedule has been adjusted to permit adequate time in between each class so the area may be cleaned by students using an antimicrobial cleaning solution for this purpose. Students shall be required to wear face masks in classrooms. If a student does not wear a face mask, they will be asked to leave the classroom by the faculty member. If a student fails to leave the classroom when instructed to do so by the faculty member, that student shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including proceedings under RIT’s Student Conduct Process (D18.0).
All academic and office spaces shall meet or exceed local mandates. At this time, this requires that occupancy be limited to no more than 50% of maximum. All meetings (e.g., academic advising, faculty office hours, etc.) must conform to the physical distancing and face mask guidelines of this Safety Plan.
Appropriate face masks must be worn by individuals at all times when in classrooms, labs, and lecture halls where others may be present, regardless of whether physical distancing can be maintained. Situations in which respiratory output is greater than normal (e.g., performing arts, athletic activities) but where a face mask impedes the activity, a minimum physical distance of ten (10) to twelve (12) feet shall be implemented. Food and drink are not permitted in classrooms, labs, and lecture halls. Under certain circumstances, and at the sole discretion of a faculty member, drinks may be allowed in classrooms, labs, and lecture halls provided that straws are used and face masks are continuously worn.
RIT will install shields at the front of classrooms to provide a physical barrier between instructors and students. All student-serving offices will be open with staff present during normal business hours. Services will be provided using a mix of in-person and remote modalities. Faculty office hours will take place remotely unless the faculty member indicates otherwise. In-person meetings will be provided upon request if physical distancing can be maintained and meetings are consistent with this Safety Plan. Staff and faculty with documented accommodations involving telework are not required to hold in-person meetings.
Requirements for Visitors
All visitors, contractors, and temporary employees (those hired through a temporary employment agency) are expected to comply with applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. For those businesses providing ongoing goods and/or services to RIT, the businesses must comply with industry-specific guidelines, symptom monitoring, contact tracing, health screenings, and compliance, where applicable, with this Safety Plan. Prior to providing goods and services to RIT, businesses shall be required to present proof that they and their employees have read and understood their obligations to operate in accordance with their industry specific DOH Interim Guidance During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, RIT specific guidelines, and this Safety Plan. Download the Safety Plan Acknowledgement Form and Waiver for visitors, invited guests, contractors, and/or licensees and vendors.
The business providing goods and services to RIT shall be responsible for ensuring that any employee, contractor, or agent it engages to provide those goods and services to RIT has completed a mandatory health screening prior to coming onto campus. Any employee, contractor, or agent who has failed to complete a mandatory health screening shall not be allowed on campus. In addition, the business shall be required to sign a waiver and maintain a record of the locations visited by its employee, contractor, or agent while on the RIT campus, with enough specificity to aid RIT in its contact tracing obligations to the Monroe County Department of Health. The waiver executed by the business shall be provided to the department engaging the business for services. That department shall maintain this information in accordance with RIT’s Record Management Policy (C22.0). The information relating to health screening and locations on the RIT campus visited shall be maintained by the business providing goods and services to RIT and provided to RIT upon request.
All external mail delivery service providers (e.g., U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx) making deliveries to RIT shall make deliveries only to Facilities Management Services at Building 99 on Wiltsie Drive. No external mail delivery service providers, making deliveries to RIT, shall be allowed to make deliveries on campus. All other deliveries (except for external mail delivery service providers making deliveries to RIT) may occur on campus by approved vendors, provided that the individuals making the deliveries agree to comply with the provisions of this Safety Plan, including but not limited to, wearing appropriate face coverings whenever indoors, and whenever outdoors and 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained between individuals, completing a daily health screen by calling 585-438-5254, and participating in contact tracing efforts if necessary by maintaining a log of the RIT locations visited.
All individuals on campus to visit the Division of Enrollment Management’s Office of Admissions shall proceed directly to the Bausch and Lomb Center for symptom monitoring and temperature checking. All other visitors to campus must stop at the RIT Welcome Center before circulating on campus. Those visitors engaging in activities that require extended time on campus (more than ½ day or more than once a month) or whose activities require meeting with groups, multiple people, or multiple departments (e.g., guest lecturer, visiting researcher, outside contractors) will be required to obtain a COVID-19 test within 14 days prior to their first visit to campus and must provide evidence of a negative result. In lieu of a negative COVID-19 test, visitors can provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, in order to circulate on campus. The RIT individual sponsoring the visit shall be responsible for informing their visitor, contractor, and/or temporary employee of the provisions of this Safety Plan, for ensuring compliance with the requirements of this Safety Plan, and retaining evidence of negative testing and/or vaccination in accordance with the provisions of the RIT Records Management Policy (C22.0). Visitors, contractors, and temporary employees failing to comply with applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and/or this Safety Plan shall result in the removal of visitors, contractors, and temporary employees until such time as assurances can be provided that compliance has been achieved.
For further questions, RIT has established a Call Center: 585-475-3500 or 1-833-323-0002.
A weekly RIT Ready e-newsletter will be sent out every Monday that will focus on all-things related to fall semester planning and the pandemic, including information related to known prevalence of confirmed cases on campus. There will be regular communication and collaboration with county health officials, a public health education campaign including videos and signage, and communications relating to changes in the campus alert level with details outlining the steps that will be taken. RIT social media accounts will also be used to disseminate information.
For additional information regarding these policies and procedures, please refer to the following: