UB has put the following protocols in place to protect your safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on UB’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, please visit the COVID-19: UB Planning and Response page.
This guidance is reviewed periodically and subject to change. For specific concerns please call (24 hours a day):
UB University Facilities Customer Services
Learn about UB's latest COVID-19 protocols:
Cleaning and disinfecting of most public spaces at UB is the responsibility of University Facilities’ custodial team. This team works hard to routinely clean and disinfect all UB public spaces in accordance with CDC and Department of Health guidelines. But we all need to do our part and wipe down personal work spaces, private offices and commonly touched areas to stop the spread of illness.
Below are some of the cleaning and disinfecting protocols currently in place at UB.
1. UB custodial staff conduct regular cleaning and disinfection of facilities and more frequent disinfection for high-traffic public areas for frequently touched surfaces.
2. UB custodial staff have been trained in specialized CDC-recommended sanitization and bio-safety procedures.
3. Cleaning products used at UB are certified by the EPA and CDC for the destruction of COVID-19.
4. Handwashing stations (restrooms) with warm water and hand soap, are provided throughout campus, as well as alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
5. Cleaning supplies (limited by availability) will be provided in centrally scheduled classrooms to enable faculty, staff and students to wipe down commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, remote controls, desks).
Everyone at UB is asked to do their part to keep UB COVID-free by cleaning their own, personal work or living spaces.
Some units with unique requirements (e.g., housing, dining, labs), have developed their own cleaning protocols. Additionally, units with locked or inaccessible spaces are responsible for cleaning those spaces or for requesting cleaning from University Facilities and providing them with access.
Training in CDC Cleaning Protocols
University Facilities staff has undergone specialized CDC-recommended training in sanitization and bio-safety procedures to implement UB’s enhanced cleaning protocols. We use disinfecting cleansers certified by the EPA and CDC for the destruction of ARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
UB’s University Facilities office is responsible for cleaning most public spaces at UB, and provides 24-hour service to the campus, operating in three shifts. Most cleaning will continue to be conducted when campus activity is low (late evening to early morning) to reduce instances of person-to-person interaction and disruption to campus operations.
UB University Facilities’ custodial team uses a broad range of disinfecting products, all of which are EPA-certified for eradicating COVID-19. All disinfectant products are used according to the manufacturers’ recommendations. To ensure a steady, uninterrupted supply, the UB Custodial team uses three different EPA-certified products.
UB provided a limited supply of cleaning products to all UB units. Individual departments are responsible for procuring additional cleaning supplies for their areas. Due to the high global demand for cleaning supplies, we ask all units to conserve and use supplies responsibly.
To facilitate cleaning of classrooms, University Facilities installed wall-mounted dispensers that contain sanitizing wipes outside centrally scheduled classrooms to enable faculty, staff and students to wipe down commonly used surfaces (e.g. keyboards, desks, remote controls) before and after use. These Benzalkonium Chloride sanitizing wipes are FDA and EPA approved for use on hands and are effective at destroying the coronavirus.
Classrooms will continue to be cleaned and sanitized overnight.
Libraries will continue to be cleaned and sanitized overnight.
Learning landscapes are high-priorities. They will be cleaned throughout the day and overnight.
Learning landscapes are areas throughout our three campuses that are designed to be used by students for studying or collaborating. Cleaning of departmental learning landscapes, and procurement of cleaning supplies for those spaces, are the responsibility of individual departments.
Cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic public areas, such as hallways, lobbies, entrances and elevators is a priority for University Facilities. These areas are thoroughly cleaned after normal business hours. Due to the heightened risk of contamination in these public places, UB’s custodial teams sanitize commonly touched surfaces in public areas several times each day.
Most public restrooms are cleaned several times daily during the work week.
Kitchens and breakrooms will continue to be cleaned overnight.
In accordance with UB’s social distancing guidelines, UB custodial teams have suspended the cleaning of personal office spaces. We ask the campus community to recognize the risks we avoid by limiting access to your personal spaces.
Every member of the UB community is asked to:
Meeting rooms will continue to be cleaned overnight.
Until further notice, UB recommends that all units continue to replace in-person meetings and gatherings with digital alternatives such as Zoom, whenever possible.
Cleaning of local gathering areas (e.g., conference rooms) will continue to be conducted by the UB Custodial team at the standard frequency and level of service.
Cleaning of meeting rooms, beyond routine cleaning, as well as requests for control of entry to conference/meeting rooms will be the responsibility of the department.
While UB’s Custodial staff focuses their cleaning efforts on public and high traffic areas, each member of the university community should pitch in to keep their personal work and living spaces clean. Every member of the UB community is asked to:
Everyone at UB is asked to do their part to keep UB COVID-free by cleaning their own, personal work or living spaces.
University Facilities is responsible for cleaning most public spaces at UB. Units with unique requirements (e.g., housing, dining, labs, buses, shuttles), have developed their own cleaning protocols. All campus cleaning protocols have been reviewed and approved by UB’s COVID planning committees or UB leadership.
In addition, University Facilities is not able to clean areas to which they do not have access. If your unit has spaces that are locked or private, those areas will not be cleaned by University Facilities unless special requests are made and access is granted to the cleaning staff. Please contact University Facilities Customer Service to arrange for cleaning in these areas.
Find out more about cleaning and disinfecting protocols in other campus spaces:
Research Facilities and Laboratories
Lab spaces and research facilities will be cleared of trash and floors will be cleaned daily during the work week.
More extensive general cleaning and sanitizing will continue to be the responsibility of laboratory personnel. Lab equipment should be sanitized according to manufacturers’ recommendations.
For more information, visit the Research & Economic Development COVID-19 page.
Clinical, Counseling areas
Clinical or counseling spaces will continue to be cleaned and sanitized overnight.
UB’s University Facilities team continues to carefully monitor HVAC equipment and ventilation in all university buildings to comply with CDC and ASHRAE recommendations, which advise “using the highest efficiency ventilation filters possible, without having detrimental effects on overall HVAC system performance.” The university has performed preventative maintenance and review of all HVAC equipment across UB's three campuses and we are unaware of any UB building with an inadequate ventilation system. As concerns are reported, we will take steps to remediate any issues, based on the activity being conducted in those areas. Remediation steps may include repairing or replacing equipment and filters, adjusting airflow rates to increase the amount of supplied outside air, extending the run times of occupied building settings, and further reducing the occupancy density for that area.
UB utilizes MERV13 as well as other filters in buildings on all three of our campuses. Air filters are chosen based on CDC/ASHRAE recommendations and compatibility with our HVAC systems, to ensure they do not detrimentally affect air handling equipment, airflow rates, temperature, humidity levels and energy consumption.
In all of its facilities – including in residence halls, dining halls and on university buses/shuttles -- the university will adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health and document scope of cleaning and disinfection. UB’s cleaning and disinfecting protocols are listed on the University Facilities’ COVID-19 website.
Cleaning protocols are reviewed and adapted as the COVID-19 situation evolves and new recommendations are released.
Cleaning refers to the standard custodial practices that target the removal of dirt and impurities from surfaces.
Disinfecting refers to the use of specialized sanitizing products to kill microorganism such as the Covid-19 virus. The products used by UB are EPA-certified to destroy COVID-19.
An area or surface is no longer considered disinfected once a person touches it. This is why frequent handwashing, wearing face masks, social distancing and avoiding touching one’s face are still the best ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19. UB custodial staff will sanitize frequently touched surfaces throughout the day, but frequent handwashing will go far to keeping campus surfaces clean.
Areas of high traffic will continue to be the greatest priority. Some changes may be expected, based on the time of year. Areas that have controlled access and limited traffic will be cleaned on their routine schedule as they were in the past.
The Student Union is visited by more people than any single building on the North Campus. As such, the Student Union receives regularly scheduled custodial cleaning during our three staff shifts throughout the day and night. UB Custodial teams will continue to prioritize high touch surfaces and restrooms in the Student Union.
To properly disinfect against Covid-19, follow the instructions on the label of disinfectant sprays and products. Disinfectants must be left wet on the surface for recommended durations to be effective. In many cases, the disinfectant can be left to air dry, so areas can be sprayed before staff leave and left until the next work day. Many spray chemical products recommend the use of gloves and/or safety glasses during application.
Electronics such as computers, tablets, touch screens, keyboards and cell phones should be disinfected based on the individual manufacture’s recommendations for each specific product.
University Facilities is following NYS and Department of Health guidelines for ensuring the safety of potable water lines. In July 2020, flushing all of the main potable water lines in campus buildings was completed to ensure a fresh supply of water with adequate residual chlorine concentration to kill pathogenic organisms. Building occupants are advised that when they return to campus for the first time and use a fixture, to allow the water to run for 20-30 seconds before using water for drinking.
This precautionary extra flushing will ensure that any stagnant water which may remain in the terminal lines to fixtures are also flushed and replaced with fresh water supplies. Once any stagnant water has been flushed, the water system can return to normal operation.
University Facilities team has been hard at work ensuring that all of UB’s HVAC units are running at optimal levels. To date we have performed preventative maintenance that includes replacement of all air filters as well as reviewing specifications of HVAC equipment across our three campuses. We are now focusing on areas of concern and identifying the types of activity being conducted in those areas to determine if remediation steps are required. Remediation steps may include upgrading filters within HVAC units, increasing the amount of supplied outside air, extending the run times of occupied building settings, and further reducing the occupancy density for that area. With more than 11 million square feet of building spaces, the completion of these activities does take some time.
As a reminder, although there are many unknowns right now, we do know that consistent use of face coverings, physical distancing, and hand washing, decreases the risk of transmission of COVID-19. These precautionary methods are central to our campuses’ health guidelines and we continue to communicate them as the most effective actions we can take to protect individuals’ health.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university distributed a limited amount of cleaning supplies to all UB units. Units wishing to purchase additional cleaning supplies should work directly with Procurement.
The university has temporarily paused individual unit purchases of COVID-19-related cleaning and sanitizing products, in order to:
1. Ensure that the local supply of sanitizing products remains available to others with greater need, such as healthcare professionals, hospitals, COVID-19 testing centers, and first responders
2. Ensure that we do not engage in panic buying, over-buying or hoarding of these products, many of which are in short supply.
This purchase pause does NOT affect units that need to procure sanitizing products as part of their normal operation (i.e., not related to COVID-19).
Units that wish to procure additional COVID-19-related sanitizing products, beyond what will be provided by University Facilities are asked to have their request approved by Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S). To request approval:
1. Ensure you have funding and approval from your senior leadership
2. Send an email to Joe Raab, Director, EH&S (email@example.com) that includes:
• Reason for your request
• Types of sanitizing products you wish to purchase
• Quantity (based on expected use rate)
If your request is approved:
3. EH&S will inform you and UB Purchasing
4. Purchasing will work with you to complete your purchase, based on your funding source
NOTE: Purchases of sanitizing products for regular operations (i.e., not related to COVID-19 protection) are not affected by this purchase pause and do not require EH&S approval.
In these instances, units may contact Purchasing as they normally would; Purchasing will apply its standard review and approval process. Please be aware that we are still facing a supply shortage for sanitizing products, and that there may be a significant delay in receiving the products, along with increases in cost.
Classrooms continue to be cleaned and sanitized overnight.