Reopening Information - Public Safety Measures

Part of the Fall 2020 Plan includes public safety measures that are in place to reduce the spread of illness. These measures include the ability to maintain social distancing in public spaces and residence halls, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) availability, and the availability of screening and testing for COVID-19. We will continue to update this page with the best available information.Note that these guidelines are subject to change based upon future guidance or mandates from SUNY or New York State.

Fall 2020 Pre-arrival testing requirements

Albany Campus Students: As a result of our partnership with the University at Albany, ALL students at SUNY Poly’s Albany campus during the fall 2020 semester must follow the University at Albany’s testing requirement and provide proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) PCR test result from July 26 or later. Meaning, the test results were normal and showed the virus was not detected. The test must be a PCR molecular test or an antigen test; antibody tests will not be accepted. This requirement is due prior to arrival to campus.

Given reported delays for COVID-19 test results and lack of testing availability in some areas, all students should be tested as soon as possible in order to have results prior to the beginning of fall classes. Information about how to securely upload your negative test result is included in the Return to Campus Guide (pdf)

Students who have been on the Albany campus throughout the summer:
All SUNY Poly Albany campus students must follow UAlbany’s COVID-19 testing requirement as previously outlined. For those students who have been previously approved to be and were regularly on the Albany campus throughout the summer—and continue to be—the precautionary 7-day quarantine would not be required; it applies to students who are arriving to campus after a more prolonged time period away. Please note that after travel to other states or territories, the New York State travel advisory and quarantine guidelines would still be required to be followed.  Additionally, travel to any restricted states requires completion of the NYS Travel Form, quarantine and forwarding a screen shot of the completed for to

Students returning to the Utica campus will be required to take part in a new SUNY initiative enabling efficient “pooled testing” for COVID-19. As students arrive, they will provide a testing sample; any student found to be part of a positive testing pool will follow detailed procedures and be individually tested in order to ensure all students who return to campus are COVID-19 negative. 

More information can be found at:
SUNY Poly Announces Participation in SUNY’s Efficient
COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program for Arriving Utica Campus Students
 (pdf) (August 14, 2020)
Search: "Questions regarding Pooled Testing and Surveillance Testing: What is the pooled testing process? How do I take part in pooled testing?, etc." in the Fall 2020 FAQs

Last Updated: Tue, January 19 2021 at 08:48 PM

Health and Safety Guidance


Face coverings must be worn by all employees working on campus when within 6 feet of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common work spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, vehicles, dormitory buildings, etc.). Even if you previously tested positive for COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, you must still wear a face covering. Appropriate use of face coverings is critical in minimizing the risk to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. A mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.

Anyone in a SUNY Poly (or affiliated) space is expected to wear a face covering that covers both nose and mouth at all times when social distancing is not possible (including areas such as buildings, grounds, shared laboratory areas, conference rooms, restrooms, elevators, hallways, corridors, entrances, common areas, lobbies, classrooms, etc.), except when alone in a private room, private office, private vehicle, or cubicle space when appropriate social distancing can be maintained, or when walking in a more isolated area with no other people in proximity, or when exercising outside when appropriate social distancing can be maintained.


Persons who are alone in an office space, are not required to wear a face covering. However, as soon as the person enters a common area where others may be present, a face covering is required.

If an employee sits in a cubicle environment and there are others within 6 feet of the employee, a face covering must be worn. However, if there are no co-workers in cubicles within 6 feet of an employee, this can be treated as if in a private office and not wear a face covering. Again, once the employee leaves the cubicle and enters a common hallway, walkway, or corridor where others may be present, a face covering must be worn.

Employees may wear their own cloth face covering, which will help SUNY Poly reduce the need to purchase additional face coverings, which are in short supply. Cloth face coverings must only be worn for one day at a time and must be properly laundered before use. Having a week’s supply of cloth face coverings can help reduce the need for daily laundering.
Upon request, cloth face coverings will be provided by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety. In Utica, please email your request to In Albany, please email



Tips on the use and care of face coverings:

How to wear and safely take off a cloth face covering:

Putting on the face covering/disposable face covering:

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering/disposable face covering.
  • Ensure the face-covering/disposable face covering fits over the nose and under the chin.
  • Situate the face-covering/disposable face covering properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
  • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
  • Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face covering/disposable face covering.

Taking off the face covering/disposable face covering:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face covering/disposable face covering.
  • When taking off the face covering/disposable face covering, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
  • Wash hands immediately after removing.
  • For washable face coverings, place into a plastic or paper bag until laundered.

Care, storage, and laundering:

  • Keep face coverings/disposable face covering stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Cloth face coverings may not be used more than one day at a time and must be washed after use. Cloth face coverings should be properly laundered with regular clothing detergent when soiled and after each shift. Cloth face coverings should be replaced immediately if damaged (e.g. ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated.
  • Disposable face coverings must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash after your shift or if it is soiled, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material) or visibly contaminated.


Keeping space between you and others is one of the best means of avoiding exposure to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you (or they) appear to have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Employees at work on-site should follow these social distancing practices:

  • Stay at least six feet (about two arm lengths) from other people whenever possible.
  • Do not gather in groups.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.


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, sneezing, or touching your face. 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, and wash your hands after touching your face.


If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Then throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.


Healthcare workers and a limited number of others in high-risk areas should use gloves as part of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). But according to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often is considered the best practice for common, everyday tasks.


Employees do not need to wear goggles or face shields as part of their general activity on campus. Good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient for non-healthcare environments.


Custodial crews will continue to clean and disinfect high use common public areas and certain work spaces based on CDC guidelines for disinfection. Classroom spaces will also receive regular cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces (e.g. desks, table tops, chair arm rests).

The Facilities Department will maintain public hand sanitizer stations at primary building entrances and high-traffic areas. Additional hand sanitizer liquid is available in major office locations and in personal sized containers. These are available from the EHS office upon request.

Prior to reopening of buildings mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and monitoring systems will be assessed and readied by the Facilities Department staff.

Room occupants should wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.).

At periodic times, additional care should be taken by room occupants to wipe down and disinfect commonly used, public-facing surfaces used by multiple people (e.g. computer labs). Accordingly, those offices or functions with high traffic service counter areas will be provided with cleaning products for wiping down surfaces throughout the day by employees.
Common use equipment or locations (e.g. break rooms, time and activity entry work stations) must be cleaned and disinfected prior to and after each use. Users should always wash hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after using community equipment.


Most buildings on campus will be open during normal business hours. At this time, entry to buildings will continue to be regulated. Your SUNY Poly ID Card is required for entry to all buildings, and you may not hold or prop open exterior doors for any other person.

Departments could stagger arrival, departure, and lunch times, which will reduce personal interactions at locations such as hallways, stairs, elevators, time clocks, etc. Employees are also encouraged to use alternate doorways to enter or exit buildings to reduce interactions.

In general, visitors and guests are not allowed on campus during this time. Any visitors, vendors, contractors, consultants, or others who are not part of the SUNY Poly campus community will be required to make appointments with the appropriate department contact, complete a COVID-19 related health screening and attest that they do not meet the criteria for restriction from campus. They are also required to sign in and out using the:

“Coronavirus (COVID-19) questionnaire and attestation
(SUNY Poly – Utica)” form:
The online form: or by using an appropriate other department/office specific form.




Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 01:12 PM

What protocols are in place for the research labs on the Albany campus?

In coordination with NY CREATES, SUNY Poly will continue the same access protocol as the fall semester:

  • All personnel will be required to enter through the NFE building for daily temperature checks.
  • All personnel will be required to complete the EHS COVID-19 Training (pdf) and Self-Certification (pdf).
  • Faculty will continue to maintain staggered schedules for lab personnel that complies with required social distancing in labs.
  • All SUNY Poly personnel accessing the campus are required to complete the COVID-19 health questionnaire every time they access the campus.
  • All students and faculty accessing the campus are required to participate in regular COVID-19 pooled testing.
Last Updated: Fri, January 08 2021 at 03:04 PM

Utica Residential Life Social Distancing Measures

Social distancing efforts for residential living include:

  • No guests (including other residential students).
  • No open kitchens.
  • No open lounges. Lounges will be used only for appropriately socially distanced activities planned and hosted by SUNY Poly and, where required, PPE will be provided by SUNY Poly staff (all lounges will be secured).
  • Students residing in Mohawk and Adirondack will be housed in suites creating family units.
  • Staggered and scheduled residential move-in will begin up to 3 weeks before the semester begins to ensure social distancing at arrival (early move-ins will allow for personal items to be dropped off before departure until classes begin).
  • The Student Code of Conduct has been updated to accommodate Executive Orders.
  • Expectations (face coverings, physical distancing, screening, etc.) will be clearly noted and communicated regularly to students.
Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:49 PM

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


  • The ordering of PPE and related materials in response to COVID-19 will be a coordinated effort between the Procurement Office, EHS, Facilities, Wellness, Nursing, and Athletics.
  • Existing supply chains/distributors vendors under contract or currently using product lines that meet specific needs will be prioritized if in-house purchasing is used. SUNY Poly plans to participate, when possible, with group or SUNY system-wide bulk purchasing.
  • Participation will be evaluated based on products offered and comparable costs to existing suppliers.  
  • Requests will be submitted to NYS for additional items when needed (e.g. NYS Clean Hand Sanitizer).
  • A Master Inventory List is maintained by EHS and Facilities with specific offices maintaining additional inventory (Wellness Center, the College of Nursing, Athletics, etc.)


  • Distribution is based on risk and participation in specific activities (e.g. handling contaminated materials, disinfecting surfaces, using specialized equipment).
  • General distribution of hand sanitizer is expected for employees and students by EHS and Facilities, which will be notified when the supply is depleted or dispensers require replenishment.
  • Distribution of face coverings will be prioritized for employees and available to students.  

Employees, Students and Vendors/Visitors/Tenants

  • All employees, students, and vendors/visitors/tenants are expected to follow NYS guidelines and requirements, as well as SUNY Poly policies regarding face coverings, use of PPE, social distancing, and screening.
  • Plans are underway to obtain face coverings for all employees on campus.  
  • Specific activity-based PPE or related materials will be provided as needed.
  • SUNY Poly is evaluating the feasibility of providing each student with up to two reusable masks upon the start of the fall semester.
  • Provisions will be in place to ensure all employees and students have required PPE to be present on campus (e.g. classrooms, labs), or alternative arrangements will be provided.
  • Host departments must ensure vendors/visitors/tenants are provided with the applicable guidelines, policies, procedures, and any other required materials to ensure a safe environment.
  • Efforts are underway to develop an electronic screening tool that all employees, students, and vendors/visitors/tenants will complete prior to/upon arrival to campus.
Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:45 PM

Custodial Services

Daily Cleaning
Regular cleaning and disinfection are critical to reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The Facilities Department is utilizing current public health guidance to develop best practices for cleaning and disinfection in coordination with EHS. Custodial staff will be assigned to increase frequency of cleaning in high-traffic locations, such as classrooms, hallways, restrooms, public reception areas (to include common areas in residence halls), and elevators. Custodial staff will disinfect frequently touched surfaces at a minimum of twice per day, typically in the early morning and mid-day, including:

  • Bathroom faucets, fixtures, and towel dispensers;
  • Classroom tables and lecterns;
  • Public reception area countertops;
  • Door handles and push plates;
  • Elevator touchpads;
  • Water fountains;
  • Stair railings;
  • Light switches;
  • Vending machine buttons; and
  • Laundry rooms  

Products used for disinfection routines must be EPA/NYSDEC-approved to be effective against COVID-19. Custodial staff will be trained on the appropriate use of cleaning and disinfection chemicals, wear appropriate PPE, and practice appropriate social distancing guidelines.  

Cleaning after Suspected or Confirmed COVID Cases
If an individual with a suspected or confirmed COVID case is found to be on campus, the campus will collaborate closely with the Local County Health Department (LCHD) before proceeding with cleaning and disinfection of the area. Procedures for cleaning and disinfection of the visited area include:

  • Closing off the areas used by the individual with a suspected or confirmed COVID case.
  • Opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
  • Waiting 24 hours before cleaning or disinfecting the closed-off area. When possible, a wait period of 7-days or more will be applied.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting all areas and equipment used by the individual.
  • Once the area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use.
  • If more than 7 days have passed since the individual visited or used an area, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary. Normal cleaning and disinfecting will be performed.
  • PPE such as gloves, gowns, and masks will be used in accordance with the local and NYSDOH recommendations.
  • All potentially contaminated trash will be placed in a plastic bag that can be tied closed before disposing with other waste.


Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:57 PM


  • Students and employees returning to campus must complete an electronic screening form on a daily basis ( The screening includes questions about whether a person:
    • has come into close contact with anyone who, in the past 14 days, may have COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19;
    • has been tested or is awaiting testing results within the past 14 days;
    • is currently experiencing or has within the past 14 days exhibited COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Students who are not approved through the screening process will be notified to remain in their residence hall room and/or not come to campus until contacted by the Wellness Center for follow-up.
  • At the Albany campus, temperature checks are conducted for everyone onsite by NY CREATES. At the Utica location, the campus does not anticipate performing temperature checks of employees arriving on campus, but self- temperature monitoring may be requested of employees.
  • On-going health promotion, such as social media campaigns, text messages, etc., will be utilized to prompt students and staff to self-assess for COVID-19.
Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:50 PM

Surveillance Testing

  • To help avoid symptomatic confusion between flu and COVID-19, all students and employees will be strongly encouraged to have flu vaccines.  
  • All residential and non-residential students as well as SUNY Poly employees may be asked to conduct a 5-7 days precautionary quarantine at home prior to returning to campus. If COVID-19 symptoms develop, refer to below procedures for testing, contact tracing and quarantine. If asymptomatic, the individuals can return to campus following the guidance below.
  • If resources permit, pooled testing will be provided to students and employees as groups, with about 25 people in each group (the group size may vary based on local infection rate at the time of campus re-opening).
  • Residential students can be grouped based on living arrangements such as living in the same suite or on the same floor. Non-residential students can be grouped based on both living arrangements and class arrangements such as living in the same apartment or being in the same study groups. Employees can be grouped based on office locations, work duties, and schedules.
  • If a group has tested negative, the entire group can return to campus. If a group tests positive, each member in the group should be tested individually.


Last Updated: Wed, August 19 2020 at 11:44 AM

COVID-19 Testing for Students

  • At the Utica location, a discrete testing site is in the process of being identified.
  • Wellness Center staff will assess, test, and provide medical guidance for students who report COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Initial assessment will occur through a phone triage process. All students who call the Wellness Center for an illness will be asked specific COVID-19-related questions. Pre-appointment information, including medical insurance, will be obtained from the student.
  • Students that report COVID-19 like symptoms are referred to the medical clinical staff to determine the need for testing. When needed, students will be provided an appointment for testing and/or informed of off-campus testing sites.
  • Any test by medical staff will follow CDC/LCHD COVID-19 Policies and Procedures for:
    • Viral testing to diagnose active disease (PCR test)
    • Antibody testing to confirm previous infection (blood sample)  
  • In full personal protective equipment (PPE), the medical staff will obtain the specimen and make arrangements for processing, including transportation.
  • Specimens may be sent to LabCorp, a NYSDOH-approved laboratory, or done via a CLIA waived rapid test under the auspices of the Limited Laboratory Services of Wadsworth Center.
  • For tests submitted to LabCorp, students will complete and sign LabCorp's specimen submission form, including health insurance, which will be billed by LabCorp.
  • All county laboratories, including LabCorp, are mandated to report positive COVID-19 test results to LCHD.
  • Students will be encouraged to utilize their campus address for testing. This will allow the LCHD to be notified with results and subsequently shared with the Wellness Center.
  • Utilizing electronic screening forms and testing results, the campus will provide consistent data to the LCHD, allowing for early detection of potential spikes in positive cases. Mohawk Valley area campuses are also working closely and cooperatively with the area hospitals and LCHD to monitor for increases across the region.


Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:46 PM

Contact Tracing

  • Contact tracing will be initiated, implemented, and managed by the LCHD with support from SUNY Poly. The Wellness Center Director is serving as the liaison with the LCHD. Wellness Center staff (and others if necessary) will have completed certification training prior to campus re-opening.
  • To effectively mitigate the risk of spreading the virus on campus, contact tracing must be done rapidly.




Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:50 PM

Quarantine/Isolation (Oriskany Hall)

  • For all symptomatic and suspected cases, until test results are confirmed, the individuals should start precautionary quarantine immediately.
  • All known close contacts of the symptomatic individual will be in precautionary quarantine immediately pending results; if the test result is negative, the symptomatic individual and close contacts will be released from precautionary quarantine.
    • Following SUNY guidance, if a test result is positive, students will be advised to return home unless unable (i.e., international students or those with extenuating circumstances that prohibit a safe return home).  The Wellness Center staff will assist in making arrangements where appropriate.
    • Students unable to return home will be isolated immediately on-campus in Oriskany Hall and remain isolated for 14 days or until released by authorities.  
  • The student and Wellness Center staff will work collaboratively with the LCHD and other health care authorities to follow all guidelines and procedures.
  • Utilizing the SUNY Poly Influenza Follow-up Procedure and in collaboration with Residential Life, dining services, academic support, and other services will be provided to students in quarantine or isolation on campus.
Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:47 PM

Student Health Services

Medical and psychological services for SUNY Poly Albany students are provided through a contract with UAlbany. The SUNY Poly Wellness Center in Utica provides medical, counseling, and health promotion services to students. The Wellness Center will work collaboratively with the Oneida County Health Department (OCHD), New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and other authorities on the following.

Decreasing the Risk of Exposure

  • Counseling and Health Promotion Services has been moved to an alternative location and will continue for Fall 2020 to reduce the risk of exposure by co-locating with the Student Health Services Center.
  • Work spaces will follow 6ft social distancing guidelines, as will waiting room seats. Plexi-glass will be installed at all service counters.
  • Appointments are required and must be scheduled by phone. The phone triage process includes COVID-19-related questions. Students without an appointment will be directed to the triage room to decrease office/waiting room exposure.
  • Students will be instructed to arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before their scheduled appointments.
  • For appointments related to respiratory symptoms, appropriate PPE by medical personnel is required and specific guidance to disinfect the room after the appointment must be adhered to.

Medical, Psychological Support and Health Promotion

  • Health Promotions will provide continuous health education utilizing phone, tele-medicine, tele-counseling, and email options.
  • Clinical Staff will determine/provide students with appropriate follow-up, including medical/psychological evaluation, treatment, and support on an individual basis.
  • Students exhibiting unstable or severe clinical symptoms will be transported to the hospital for treatment.
Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:50 PM

Campus and Local Communities

Efforts are underway to establish communication protocols with Oneida and Albany County Health Departments (LCHD) regarding planning efforts and response to any COVID+ employees, students, and tenants. These communications will ensure the proper and quick handling of suspected and positive COVID cases that may impact our communities. SUNY Poly Wellness Center, EHS, and HR will all work with the LCHD as needed.

Communications with the campus community regarding proper behaviors (e.g. masks, social distancing, hygiene, etc.) when in public (Town) will be part of continuous education. SUNY Poly will reach out to the entire SUNY Poly community including faculty, staff, residential students, as well as non-residential/commuter students living in the surrounding area.

As a service to the community, should the LCHD desire to provide testing or vaccination activities, the campus will work closely with associated agencies (e.g. Red Cross, National Guard) to assist as needed.

Key contacts include:

  • Albany County/Oneida County Health Department
  • New York State Department of Health – COVID Hotline
  • Mohawk Valley Regional Control Room/Capital Region Regional Control Room


Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:47 PM


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