Enhanced Building Cleaning and Disinfection
Updated: September 1
NYU developed its cleaning and disinfection protocols in accordance with guidance from New York State and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which offers general reminders about how to reduce the risk of exposure to coronaviruses, and more detailed instructions for preparing and implementing a rigorous cleaning and disinfection plan.
The CDC’s guidance reminds us that coronaviruses can survive on objects and surfaces for hours or, in some cases, days. Fortunately, routine cleaning removes germs from surfaces and, for that reason, reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19. And disinfection kills germs on objects and surfaces, further reducing risk.
Cleaning staff will not only conduct regularly cleaning and disinfection in all NYU NY facilities, but also perform more frequent cleaning and disinfection on high-risk, high-traffic objects and surfaces, such as public desks and chairs, counters, tables, door handles, door push plates, handrails, appliance surfaces, drinking fountain buttons, shared computers and keyboards, shared phones, and light switches.
Cleaning and disinfection will take place at least daily, and more frequently in high-traffic areas. To direct more resources to the areas, objects, and surfaces that present the greatest potential risk, the University conducted a campus-wide survey and placed all NYU NY facilities into one of three categories:
- Category 1 (High Traffic): These facilities have multiple students, approved outside visitors, and occupants. This category also includes locations deemed to be at higher risk (e.g., a location housing health services). Most student dorms fall in this category.
- Category 2 (Medium Traffic): These facilities have reduced student and approved outside visitor traffic.
- Category 3 (Low Traffic): These facilities have few occupants and limited outside visitors.
As per CDC guidance, staff will use EPA-approved disinfectant multiple times daily on high-touch objects and surfaces according to the following schedule:
- High Traffic Objects and Surfaces: Disinfect five (5) times per day.
- Medium Traffic Objects and Surfaces: Disinfect three (3) times per day.
- Low Traffic Objects and Surfaces: Disinfect two (2) times per day.
Staff will clean and wipe down communal area surfaces (e.g., conference room tables and chairs; pantry room counters, tables, chairs, appliances; and copy machines) with an EPA-approved disinfectant according to a similar schedule:
- High-Traffic: Disinfect three (3) times per day.
- Medium-Traffic: Disinfect two (2) times per day.
- Low-Traffic: Disinfect one (1) time per day. Disinfect conference room tables and chairs, copy machines, and pantries during the general cleaning at the end of the day.
The University’s restroom cleaning strategy consists of two types of cleaning and monitoring, namely full restroom cleaning and restroom monitoring. Full restroom cleaning entails, among other things, closing the restroom; cleaning and disinfecting sinks, countertops, and toilet bowl and urinal handles; and cleaning mirrors, dispensers, wall partitions, and walls, and is performed at the end of the day. Restroom monitoring, which takes place throughout the day, involves cleaning high-touch objects and surfaces, removing standing water from sinks, countertops, and floors, and conducting a general inspection.
Though the University requires much lower density in classrooms this fall, as per the New York State Department of Health’s higher education guidance, faculty and students will use classrooms and other instructional spaces on campus. In addition to the cleaning and disinfection protocols for high-traffic areas (described above), NYU will also provide faculty and students who wish to do so products that enable them to clean and disinfect their individual spaces (chairs, tables, etc.). To facilitate that, the University is taking the following steps:
- Providing disinfectant wipes in classrooms with higher attendance
- Providing disinfectant spray and paper towels for classes with lower attendance
- Providing hand sanitizer for classrooms
- Providing additional trash receptacles both inside and outside classrooms
The University will maintain daily records of cleaning and disinfection, with each NYU NY facility assigned a unique QR code. As workers complete specific cleaning and disinfecting tasks, they will record those tasks in a database, made available to anyone who scans the unique building QR code.