Testing

All faculty, staff, and students are required to get a COVID-19 test on or after January 7, 2021, and must provide evidence of a negative result before circulating on campus for any reason.

COVID-19 Test Requirements for Spring Semester

All faculty, staff, and students are required to get a COVID-19 test on or after January 7, 2021, and must provide evidence of a negative result before circulating on campus for any reason. Students in University Coordinated Quarantine will be contacted by the Tiger Test team regarding the exact date and time of their test.

Acceptable COVID-19 tests include PCR tests on saliva, nasal swabs or nasopharyngeal swabs and Antigen tests on saliva, nasal swabs or nasopharyngeal swabs. Antibody tests are not accepted.

In addition to adhering to RIT COVID-19 test protocols, you must review and adhere to the New York State Travel Advisory Guidelines.

Students: Upload an image of your test results to the Student Health Center using the COVID-19 Test Spring Semester 2021 form available through the Wellness Portal. The image must include your full name, date of birth, and date and type of test. All test results must be uploaded to the portal, whether they are positive or negative.

If you have tested positive within 12 weeks prior to the start of classes (on or after November 2, 2020), you are not required to complete a COVID-19 test. Instead, you are required to upload proof of prior infection and/or your release from isolation letter in lieu of a COVID-19 test.

Employees: Test results should be uploaded to Oracle on or before January 25, 2021. A new, negative COVID-19 test is required even if you work during the holiday break period and/or do not travel outside the Finger Lakes region during the holiday. Employees may report to work without a new negative COVID test or with results-pending through January 24, 2021. Employees should contact their manager with any questions specific to their personal situation. All test results must be uploaded to Oracle, whether they are positive or negative.

If you have tested positive and have uploaded the positive results information into Oracle within 12 weeks prior to the start of classes (on or after November 2, 2020), you are not required to complete a COVID-19 test. You do not need to provide additional documentation. Communication on the release from isolation or quarantine is provided to both you and your supervisor from Rochester Regional Health (RRH).

Scheduling your test: New York state has set up a free testing site at Monroe Community College. Details and registration are available online, or call 888-364-3065 to schedule an appointment. You can also contact your personal health care provider or find other testing locations.

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.

Surveillance testing: RIT is conducting surveillance testing to ensure the safety of our campus. Students may be chosen more than once due to random selection or specific activities you are involved with on campus. It is expected that all students will comply each time selected for testing. You will receive an email notification to your RIT email address with instructions to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test. In your appointment, you will conduct the painless, self-administered nasal swab test in front of a trained specialist. Watch this brief video for a step-by-step guide to surveillance testing at RIT to so you know what to expect during your appointment. RIT covers the cost of the test.

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

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

  • December 7, 2020

    volunteer wearing PPE putting a swab into a vial that a student is holding.

    Tiger Testing Team helped administer thousands of COVID-19 tests at RIT

    Thousands of COVID-19 tests were completed on campus for RIT students this semester. And more than 65 RIT staff members volunteered—often with little advance notice—with the Tiger Testing Team to set up testing stations and walk students through the process of sample collection.

  • December 4, 2020

    researcher looking at petri dishes.

    RIT begins development of saliva testing for spring semester

    RIT is developing saliva testing protocols for campus as part of its plan to monitor the prevalence of the SARS-CoV2 virus, the causative agent of COVID-19. Development of the testing process will be done by André Hudson and Julie Thomas, both faculty-researchers in the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, if you have received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, you still need to submit a negative COVID test.

You will not be permitted to circulate on campus or move into a university-owned residence until a test is taken and negative results are submitted to the Student Health Center.

If you are coming from an area where you cannot get a test, you can search your current location to find a COVID-19 test location near you. Students waiting for test results will need to quarantine off-campus until results are available.

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 near you.

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

Yes. The Student Health Center will review and approve your negative COVID-19 test result or release from isolation letter and/or proof of prior infection (if you have tested positive on or after November 2, 2020). Please allow up to three business days for this process.

Your updated status will appear in the RIT Wellness Portal and on your customized Spring Circulation Checklist available on the MyLife Portal.

Students planning to come to the RIT campus during the spring semester must take a COVID-19 test. This includes coming to campus for classes, laboratory work, meetings, dining, socializing, etc. If you do not plan to come to campus AT ALL during the spring semester, you must sign the Attestation Statement as part of your Spring Circulation Plan, available on the MyLife Portal. By signing this form, RIT reserves the right to deny your access to campus.

If your plans change and you need to come to campus, please cancel your attestation via the MyLife Portal. You will receive a prompt to submit a new Spring Circulation Plan indicating that you plan to be on campus.

If you 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. We are prepared to support your educational efforts if this must occur.

In order to ensure the safety of our campus, RIT will be conducting surveillance testing throughout the spring semester. It is expected that students chosen for testing will comply in order to maintain a safe and healthy campus.

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

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.

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. This does not include students who have signed the Attestation through the Spring Circulation Plan process, indicating that they will not be on campus for any reason during the spring semester.

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.

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

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.