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Is the University taking any steps to increase or change cleaning protocols in light of COVID-19?

The University has proactively instituted enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures in response to emerging viral pathogens; these include the application of EPA-approved disinfectants on communal, high-use surfaces. We stand ready to alter these practices as CDC guidance and/or the situation at Tufts changes. In the event that deeper environmental cleaning becomes necessary, the University is working with an outside vendor to ensure that this can be done swiftly and thoroughly.

Dispensers throughout campus are being restocked with CDC-recommended hand sanitizer, and we will install additional dispensers as needed. We continue to monitor our inventory of hand soap, disinfectant, sanitizer and paper products to ensure uninterrupted availability of these products throughout campuses.

Additional information about lab and clinic safety will be shared when available.

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

How do I request cleaning or sanitation services for my area?

Facilities Services such as custodial services, trash, and building services for all Tufts campuses may continue to be requested using the online form at

Time-sensitive or emergency requests should be reported via telephone:

  • Medford/Somerville: 617-627-3496
  • Boston: 617-636-3535
  • Grafton: 508-839-7921
How are the custodians cleaning University spaces to deter the spread of viruses and prevent the spread of illness?

Custodial staff performing both routine cleaning and additional disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with an EPA-registered disinfectant that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.

What products are being used to treat high touch points and why?
  • C&W Services is using Oxivir TB, and Virex disinfectants.
  • Per the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the products listed are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses (
How often are high-touch points being disinfected?

C&W Services will be disinfecting high touch points a minimum of twice a day, until such time as the University in collaboration with state and federal health officials determine that the risk of infection returns to normal conditions. 

What are considered high touch points?

  • Restrooms – handles, partitions, urinals, toilets, sinks, urinal push buttons, ADA railing, etc.
  • Door push plates
  • Elevator buttons
  • Sinks and faucets
  • Doorknobs
  • Water fountains
  • Common areas
  • Handrails
Are there any reductions in day-to-day operational cleaning around campus?

To increase campus-wide disinfecting efforts, day-to-day operational cleaning frequencies relating to vacuuming, sweeping, spot cleaning, dusting, and glass cleaning may be adjusted.  Every effort is being taken not to disrupt custodial service levels.

Will custodial staff receive additional training?

C&W Services’ custodial staff are currently being trained to reinforce the standards that are to be put in place per CDC’s guidelines for infection control to address any specific concerns around COVID-19.

Will delivery of cleaning products be impacted?

Based on information from C&W Services, Tufts custodial service contractor, has not reported any supply chain problems and major delays.  The University started to increase standing par levels of cleaning products, hand sanitizer, and paper products weeks ago, when the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the state.