COVID Safety – Cleaning, Sanitizing and PPE

Below is an overview of what the University is doing from an environmental standpoint—and what we are asking of you—to keep our faculty and staff safe upon returning to campus. For more detailed information about returning to on-campus work, visit

Building Cleaning and Sanitation

The University follows standard protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for cleaning and disinfecting all University buildings. Additionally, our Facilities Services team has increased the frequency of cleaning surfaces in high-traffic areas.

Our custodial staff are equipped with all necessary protective personal equipment (PPE) required to do their jobs safely and have been instructed not to touch any desktops or papers or personal belongings on faculty or staff members’ desks.

Department heads or their designee may request cleaning supplies for their departmental work areas by completing and submitting EHSS’ request for cleaning supplies form.

Hand Sanitizer Stations

Hand sanitizer stations are available for everyone’s use at building entrances, by elevators on each floor and at classrooms.   Facilities Services will replenish the hand sanitizer in the hand sanitizer stations frequently.  If you encounter a hand sanitizer station that is not working or needs replenishment, please contact Facilities Services at 315.443.1234.

Wipe Stands

Wipe stands have been placed outside of most classrooms for students and instructors to have wipes available to sanitize their seats and teaching areas. Facilities Services will replenish the wipe stands frequently.  If you encounter a wipe stand that needs replenishment, please contact Facilities Services at 315.443.1234.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Personal Workspace

Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces helps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on campus. Facilities Services works diligently to clean and disinfect each building throughout the University daily and have increased the frequency of cleaning surfaces in high-traffic areas. To supplement their efforts, we ask for your assistance by routinely cleaning and disinfecting your personal work areas and commonly touched surfaces within departments.

  • Personal work areas, including desks, chairs, keyboards and mice, and telephones, should be cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • Frequently touched surfaces in an office environment, including coffee makers, door handles, light switches and faucets, should also be cleaned and disinfected daily or more frequently depending on shared use.
  • Conference room tables and chairs and other shared work surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Shared office equipment, including touch pads on copiers, phones, and supplies such as staplers and hole punches, should also be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use.
  • Sharing of phones, desks and other office equipment should be avoided whenever possible.

How to clean and disinfect:

  • Select a surface disinfecting product approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in combatting the COVID-19 virus. Disinfectants received from the University’s central COVID-19 supplies have been reviewed and approved for use.
  • Read and follow the use directions and precautionary statements on the disinfectant’s label. Use gloves and eye protection when recommended on the product label.
  • If surfaces are visually dirty, clean with soap and water prior to disinfectant application.
  • Spray or wipe the area with an approved disinfecting product.
  • Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended contact time for the disinfectant to know how long the surface should remain wet for the disinfectant to be effective.
  • Throw away wipes and cleaning towels after each use.
  • Wash hands after cleaning and disinfecting.
  • For sensitive electronic equipment, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting.  If instructions are not available, use 70% isopropyl alcohol based sprays or wipes.

Cleaning Following a Confirmed COVID-19 Case

Upon notification of a positive test of a student, faculty or staff member, Facilities Services will initiate their comprehensive COVID-19 cleaning protocol.  On campus locations where the COVID-19 infected individual recently frequented for an extended period of time will be thoroughly disinfected prior to re-occupancy.

Installation of Physical Barriers

Proper use of masks or other face coverings and social distancing are your first lines of defense against COVID-19. Departments should use administrative controls, such as changes to work practices, policies or procedures, to keep faculty and staff and visitors/customers separated. When possible:

  • Encourage phone, email or online interactions where feasible instead of in-person interactions.
  • Limit the number of customers/visitors allowed to enter the reception or service area at any one time.
  • Limit the presence of non-essential visitors.
  • Develop self-service alternatives, where feasible.
  • Ensure adequate signage encouraging social distancing.

The installation of plexiglass or other physical barriers is primarily recommended for retail and food service environments. In some instances, it may be approved for reception, intake and service areas where close face-to-face interactions are required. For further information, visit

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidance

Face Masks and Coverings  (updated 8/26/20)

Syracuse University requires face masks or face coverings for all students, faculty, staff and visitors while on campus and in public settings—indoors and outdoors.  If you have an underlying health condition that precludes you from wearing a mask, you may request a reasonable accommodation through the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services.

You can wear your own cloth face covering as long as it meets the CDC’s face mask recommendations and does not contain symbols, words or objects that violate any University policies. Cloth face coverings should be washed between each use.

View guidance from the CDC on proper use of masks and cloth face coverings.


Vinyl or nitrile gloves will be provided to faculty and staff in health care settings, research labs, Food Services, and Facilities Services as appropriate to help staff safely perform their duties. Per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gloves are not required or recommended for general use to protect against COVID-19. Instead, practice frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer.

View guidance from the CDC on how to properly remove gloves after use.