Human Resources Service Center

Highlighted Guidance from CDC on Maintaining Healthy Institutions for Higher Education Environments - Appendix A

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Clean and disinfect(opens in new window) frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, grab bars, hand railings, bathroom stalls, dining hall tables) within IHE facilities at least daily or between use as much as possible. Use of shared objects (e.g., lab equipment, computer equipment,  desks) should be limited when possible, or cleaned between use.
  • If transport vehicles (e.g., buses) are used by the IHE, drivers should practice all safety actions and protocols as indicated for other staff (e.g., hand hygiene, cloth face coverings). To clean and disinfect IHE buses, vans, or other vehicles, see guidance for bus transit operators(opens in new window).
  • Develop a schedule for increased, routine cleaning and disinfection.
  • Ensure safe and correct(opens in new window) use and storage of cleaners and disinfectants(opens in new window), including storing products securely. Use products that meet EPA disinfection criteria(opens in new window).
  • Encourage students, faculty, and staff to keep their personal items (e.g., cell phones, other electronics) and personal work and living spaces clean. Encourage students, faculty, and staff to use disinfectant wipes to wipe down shared desks, lab equipment, and other shared objects and surfaces before use.
  • Ensure there is adequate ventilation when using cleaning products to prevent students or staff from inhaling toxic fumes.

Shared Objects

  • Discourage sharing of items that are difficult to clean or disinfect(opens in new window).
  • Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible (e.g., assigning each student their own art supplies, lab equipment, computers) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of students at a time and clean and disinfect(opens in new window) between use.
  • Avoid sharing electronic devices, books, pens, and other learning aids.

Modified Layouts

  • Space seating/desks at least 6 feet apart when feasible. For lecture halls, consider taping off seats and rows to ensure six-foot distance between seats.
  • Host smaller classes in larger rooms.
  • Offer distance learning in addition to in-person classes to help reduce the number of in-person attendees.
  • Provide adequate distance between individuals engaged in experiential learning opportunities  (e.g.,labs, vocational skill building activities).
  • Create distance(opens in new window) between students in IHE vehicles (e.g., skipping rows) when possible.


  • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible,for example by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk (e.g., risk of falling, triggering asthma symptoms) to students, faculty, or staff using the facility.

Physical Barriers and Guides

  • Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, particularly in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart (e.g., cash registers).
  • Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls to ensure that individuals remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times.

Communal Spaces

  • Close shared spaces such as dining halls, game rooms, exercise rooms, and lounges if possible; otherwise, stagger use and restrict the number of people allowed in at one time to ensure everyone can stay at least 6 feet apart, and clean and disinfect(opens in new window) between use.
  • Add physical barriers, such as plastic flexible screens, between bathroom sinks and between beds especially when they cannot be at least 6 feet apart.
  • For more information on communal spaces in student or faculty housing (e.g., laundry rooms, shared bathrooms and recreation areas) follow CDC’s guidance for Shared or Congregate Housing(opens in new window).

Food Service

  • Provide grab-and-go options for meals. If a cafeteria or group dining room is typically used, if possible, serve individually plated meals (versus buffet or any self-serve stations).
  • Use disposable food service items (e.g., utensils, dishes). If disposable items are not feasible or desirable, ensure that all non-disposable food service items are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher. Individuals should wash their hands(opens in new window) after removing their gloves or after directly handling used food service items.
  • If food is offered at any event, have pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee instead of a buffet or family-style meal. Avoid sharing food and utensils and consider the safety of individuals with food allergies (PDF).