Personal Hygiene and Protection

The SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads easily and sustainably among people. Therefore, in addition to practicing physical distancing, the college expects members of the college community to engage in excellent hand hygiene and sanitary practices, and protect themselves and others through the use of face coverings and other appropriate personal protective equipment when needed. 

Hand Hygiene and Sanitary Practices

Ithaca College expects members of the college community to practice excellent hand hygiene and sanitary practices to protect each other and help minimize the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This includes: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing (please cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throwing used tissues in the trash, and, when a tissue is not available, covering with the elbow, not hands). 
  • It’s especially important to wash:
    • Before eating or preparing food
    • Before touching your face
    • After using the restroom
    • After leaving a public place
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After handling your mask
    • After changing a diaper
    • After caring for someone sick
    • After touching animals or pets
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Availability of Hand Sanitizer

Wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol are located in strategic locations throughout campus (typically near building entrances). 

Please be advised that hand washing is generally considered more effective than hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should only be used when hand washing is not possible or practical. We recommend that individuals obtain and carry with them their own supply of hand sanitizer for personal use.

Face Coverings

Face coverings are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings are effective at capturing respiratory droplets from individuals reducing the likelihood of person-to-person transmission. Replacement face coverings are available for purchase at the Campus Store. 

Personal face coverings can be used as well, but must comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelinesAcceptable face coverings may include, but are not limited to, cloth-based face coverings or surgical masks. Please note that face coverings with exhalation vents or valves are not permitted. Also, face shields cannot substitute for a face covering; they can be worn in addition to an acceptable face covering.    

Proper Use of Face Coverings

Face coverings must be worn to cover both your nose and your mouth and should be tied and secured behind your head or both elastic bands should be secured behind your ears. Please familiarize yourself with the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to properly wear and take off your face covering.

Face Coverings in Classrooms

Vaccinated faculty members and students are not required to wear a face covering in the classroom. Please note that classrooms will continue to use six foot of physical distancing due to New York State Higher Education COVID-19 guidelines and this will not be altered during the summer session.  

Faculty may require that students use heightened personal protective equipment (e.g., face shields or gloves), regardless of vaccination status, due to the nature of the coursework.

Face Coverings on Campus and in the Community

The use of face coverings depends upon your vaccination status. Effective June 14, members of the IC Community (students, faculty, staff) who are fully immunized with a COVID-19 vaccine (14+ days following final dose in vaccine series) and have documented their vaccine record with Ithaca College WILL NOT be required to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors while on campus.  

  • Please note that while this provision will be made for the majority of spaces on campus, certain designated locations may still require the use of a face covering even if vaccinated. These select spaces will have clearly marked signage to indicate the face covering policy being used in that area. Please continue to carry a face covering with you to wear if needed should you have to enter one of these spaces.
  • Individuals who are vaccinated, but who wish to continue to wear a face covering may do so at their own comfort level.
  • Individuals who are vaccinated are asked to continue following public health procedures including practicing good hand hygiene.
  • Individuals who are vaccinated must still complete the Daily Health Screening form. 

Unvaccinated members of the IC Community (students, faculty, staff) who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine, are not fully immunized (less than 14 days following final dose in vaccine series) and/or who have not submitted an updated vaccine record with Ithaca College WILL BE required to continue wearing face coverings indoors at all times and outdoors when an individual cannot maintain six feet of social distancing. 

  • Members of this group must continue to practice all public health procedures including maintaining at least six feet of physical distance when possible and practice good hand hygiene.
  • Individuals may remove their face coverings whenever they are in a private office setting and with the door closed; a private workspace; in a residence hall room with a roommate; or when seated at a designated dining area while eating.
  • Unvaccinated individuals MUST STILL surveillance test and complete the Daily Health Screening form. 

The rules for face coverings vary throughout Tompkins County and may be required in indoor or outdoor locations off-campus, even if vaccinated. Members of our campus community are expected to abide by these requirements.  

Other Types of Personal Protective Equipment

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is identifying situations where more significant personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required for students or employees. For example:

Gloves: Gloves are not required for disinfecting work stations. Gloves are mainly recommended for individuals working with chemicals (i.e., facilities personnel) or where close physical contact between individuals is required/exposure to bodily fluids may occur (i.e., athletic trainers, dining, Hammond Health Center, or clinic spaces such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and likely some other disciplines). In such instances, the College will provide gloves as needed.

Plexiglass: Plexiglass barriers are installed in high transaction, forward-facing environments such as the IT Help Desk, Student Financial Services, Department front offices, and dining services.

Face Shields and Gowns: We also do not anticipate that face shields or gowns will be required in most circumstances. However, there are some instances where close physical contact between individuals is required (i.e. athletic trainers, Hammond Health Center, clinic spaces, art, theatre, or other disciplines). In such instances, the College will provide face shields or gowns as needed.

Individuals who require additional PPE will receive the appropriate equipment and receive training to use it properly.

Enforcement of Personal Hygiene and Protection Requirements

Non-compliance with personal hygiene and protective practices (i.e., use of face coverings and other personal protective equipment) is a violation of the community agreement and can be reported here. Violations by faculty or staff will be subject to disciplinary processes in accordance with the respective policies in the Ithaca College Policy Manual or collective bargaining agreement covering the individual. Violations by students, both residential and off-campus, will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Conduct Code.