Testing

RIT is conducting randomized, self-administered surveillance testing throughout the fall semester.

All students, faculty, and staff are responsible for getting a COVID-19 test prior to coming to campus and must provide evidence of a negative result before circulating on campus for any reason.

Surveillance Testing

RIT is implementing a comprehensive surveillance testing program that includes wastewater testing from RIT-owned residence halls and apartment complexes, testing for cause, and randomized testing.

Wastewater testing: Due to the fact that the virus is shed in feces within three days of infection and symptoms can take much longer to present, wastewater testing is an important early detection tool. While a sample of wastewater cannot determine an exact number of people with COVID-19, it indicates whether incidence of the disease is increasing, decreasing, or unchanged. If a spike is detected in one of the sampling areas, targeted testing will be conducted to identify and isolate infected individuals.

Randomized testing: In order to ensure the safety of our campus, RIT will be conducting randomized, self-administered surveillance testing throughout the fall semester. It is expected that students randomly chosen for testing will comply in order to maintain a safe and healthy campus. If you are selected for surveillance testing, you will receive an email notification to your RIT email address with instructions for completing a self-administered COVID-19 test. RIT will cover the cost of the test. Instructions for completing a self-administered COVID-19 test are available from the Broad Institute. This testing is not intended for those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Students experiencing symptoms should contact the Student Health Center at 585-475-2255 or log into the RIT Wellness Portal to access the patient chat.

Isolation and Quarantine if Ill or Exposed

Isolation will be mandated for anyone who tests positive and anyone deemed to have been in close contact with a confirmed case. If directed to quarantine or isolate, students will not be allowed to leave their quarantine or isolation space for 14 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 potential symptom development.

Students in quarantine and isolation are being supported with meal delivery, and trash pick-up and laundry services are available upon request. RIT has designated its property at 175 Jefferson Road, the former Radisson hotel, for students in quarantine or isolation.

Daily Health Screen

To assist with symptom monitoring, faculty, staff, and students must complete the RIT Daily Health Screen every day, seven days a week, whether or not they are coming to campus. The screen 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. If someone experiences symptoms after completing the Daily Health Screen, they must complete it again that same day.

Access the screen online

Learn more about the Daily Health Screen

Contact Tracing

Location Check-In: Location Check-In posters are being installed across campus for contact tracing. The posters are printed with QR codes embedded with a URL and location-specific information. Scanning the QR code with a smartphone (by opening the device’s camera app and pointing the camera at the code) opens the check-in website and automatically populates the “area” (room, bus, etc.) and “location” fields. The large-scale QR codes are meant to be scanned from a distance to encourage physical distancing. Area and location information printed on the bottom of the poster can be entered manually on the website using a browser on the smartphone or computer. The secured data is restricted for contact tracing by authorized personnel.

Sample poster and ordering instructions

Wireless Access Data: As a matter of course, RIT does not generally capture or retain wireless access point data except to the extent required to provide such access to the RIT network. This data shows roughly where a person may be on campus as a result of their device(s) connecting to wireless access points on the RIT network. The wireless access data retained by RIT is securely stored in the University’s secure and FERPA-compliant on-campus data center. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of contact tracing requirements, this data may be used by the Monroe County Department of Health contact tracers for contact tracing efforts to help identify members of the RIT community who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms as a result of being in proximity to that person during potential exposure periods.

Learn more about data privacy

Individual COVID-19 Testing

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 circulate on campus for any reason. Employees with positive tests should report this information using the RIT Employee Self Serve portal. Students with positive tests must stay home until cleared by their local Department of Health. If students test positive after returning to campus, they will be followed by the Monroe County Department of Health and Student Health Center.

RIT COVID-19 Dashboard

Using data from multiple sources to illustrate and track various metrics, the RIT COVID-19 Dashboard will inform RIT’s decision-making related to campus operations and the RIT COVID-19 Alert Levels. The dashboard includes information on the number of positive cases, number of students in quarantine and isolation, and quarantine/isolation bed availability on campus.

Learn more about the dashboard

Quarantine, Isolation, and Contact Tracing

Information on quarantine and isolation due to illness or exposure, as well as the New York State Travel Advisory, is available on the Quarantine and Isolation page. Information on RIT's contact tracing efforts is available on the Contact Tracing page.

Related Stories

  • September 15, 2020

    RIT Ready logo.

    COVID Testing Continues: Campus Alert Level Remains Green

    The latest round of testing highlights that RIT students, faculty, and staff have responded to the need to protect our community by not only getting tested, but more importantly by wearing a mask when in the vicinity of others, washing our hands, and watching our distance.

  • August 31, 2020

    a researcher putting test tubes into a machine.

    RIT’s COVID-19 surveillance testing program uses MIT and Harvard laboratory

    RIT has started randomized testing to monitor the spread of COVID-19 among students and to facilitate a quick response to potential outbreaks on cam​pus. A randomly selected group of 183 students were tested on Aug. 25, and additional students were tested on Aug. 26 and 27. All results were negative.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a chance that you may be selected for surveillance testing more than once.

A medical professional will be onsite to administer the test to any student under the age of 18.

If you have been randomly selected for testing, you must schedule your test within 24 hours even if you are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

All students must complete the surveillance testing if selected, even if you are living off-campus.

Students who test positive during surveillance testing will be contacted by the Student Health Center and the Monroe County Health Department. We will work collaboratively to make sure you are in a safe housing situation with appropriate services.

The RIT COVID-19 Alert Level system will enable RIT to respond quickly to rapidly evolving health conditions. COVID-19 alert levels will be posted daily on the RIT homepage and RIT Ready homepage. An email will be sent to RIT students, faculty, and staff through the Important Institute Announcements category of Message Center if the campus status elevates. All messages that are sent through Message Center will also be posted to the RIT Ready Communications page. RIT social media accounts will also be used to disseminate information, including daily on Twitter.

We created a public dashboard populated with metrics to inform decisions that will be made regarding the COVID-19 alert levels. This will help us better assess how to modify current practices and protocols to support the health and safety of the RIT community.

A PCR or molecular test is preferred as these tests are the most reliable confirmation of no current infection. An antigen test is acceptable if you cannot obtain a PCR test.

RIT employees can find information about COVID-19 testing, testing options in Rochester, and other information on the Information for Employees webpage.

Yes, once testing data has been reconciled, faculty will be notified of students enrolled in their classes who have not complied with university requirements.

If you do not plan to come to the RIT campus during the fall semester, you do not have to upload test results; however, you are still required to complete the form to attest that you will not be circulating on campus.

We recommend contacting your local county or state health department for a list of testing resources in your area. Many primary care physicians are aware of testing availability as well. You can also search your current location to find a COVID-19 test location anywhere in the United States on the New York State Find a Test webpage.

Testing at the Student Health Center is only for students with symptoms of COVID-19 illness. Testing at the Student Health Center requires an appointment with one of our providers.

Tests prior to arrival are covered by the individual. Surveillance testing of students throughout the semester will be covered by the university. We recommend checking with your local testing locations and insurance company regarding payment options. If you are unable to pay for a COVID-19 test out-of-pocket and it is prohibiting your return to campus, contact our Case Management team at casemanagement@rit.edu.

If students receive a positive COVID-19 test result, the health department in the state in which you tested in will reach out to you regarding the need for isolation until the infection clears. This may mean your arrival to RIT is delayed. RIT is prepared to support your educational efforts if this must occur.

Students who live in on-campus housing requiring isolation will be moved to alternative housing. Students in isolation will 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. If off-campus students do not have the ability to isolate in place, the Monroe County Department of Health may be able to assist.

Employees with positive tests will be required to follow isolation procedures as dictated by the Monroe County Department of Health. They should also report this information through Oracle’s MyInfo application.

Individuals exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been in close contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 should speak with their personal health care provider (employees) or the Student Health Center (students). Need for testing, quarantine, and isolation will be determined based upon each individual’s situation and risk assessment. 

Testing for cause (having symptoms or significant exposure) and randomized surveillance testing for students will be overseen by the Student Health Center, in an on-campus testing area dedicated to COVID-19 testing. Faculty and staff will be directed to their personal provider for testing or a New York State Department of Health testing site. Most insurance covers testing for cause.

Any student reporting symptoms via the Daily Health Screening will be directed to contact the Student Health Center to be assessed. Assessment will include a review of symptoms and their health history. If a symptomatic student does not reach out directly, a staff member from the Student Health Center will make contact with the student. If testing is recommended and/or symptoms are of sufficient concern, students will be placed in precautionary quarantine or isolation, depending upon the circumstances. Testing for cause (having symptoms or significant exposure) will be available on campus at the Student Health Center. In the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, contact tracers will interview the student and determine whether there are additional individuals who need to be placed in quarantine or isolation. RIT will have trained contact tracers to assist the Monroe County Department of Health.

There is no test required for students exiting travel quarantine before they resume campus activities. However, students who have completed travel quarantine are being randomly selected as part of surveillance testing to have a COVID test. When a student is selected for testing, their participation is considered mandatory.