Reopening Information: Students + Parents

As we begin to welcome students back to campus for the fall 2020 semester, SUNY Poly would like to ensure that our campus community has the information necessary for a safe return to classes and campus activities. We will continue to update this page with the best available information so that students and parents can refer to it throughout the semester. 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

SUNY-wide Fall 2020 Plans

SUNY and all 64 campuses have developed plans to resume on-campus activities and in-person instruction for the Fall 2020 semester. With guidance from Governor Cuomo, the New York State Department of Health, NY Forward Re-Opening Advisory Board, and NY Reimagine Education Advisory Council, and pursuant to the Phase 4 Industry Guidelines for Higher Education, the SUNY system has carefully prepared these plans over the course of several months.

For more information visit the SUNY Fall 2020 Reopening Plans website

Watch the SUNY Campuses Are Ready to Reopen video



Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:53 PM

Will Utica classes be held virtually or in person?

Faculty have identified approximately 160 course sessions that require campus-based instruction for experiential and/or pedagogical reasons. For classes that are offered entirely remotely, the “Building” column in Banner Web says “Online.” Classes that are synchronous, requiring student attendance at a specific time, have a time indicated in Banner Web; classes that are asynchronous, not requiring student attendance at a specific time, have no time indicated in Banner Web. Classes that meet on campus have a building and room number listed on Banner Web.

Last Updated: Fri, January 08 2021 at 02:46 PM

Albany On Campus Instruction and Remote Learning

Graduate level courses will follow guidance through the research laboratory protocols. Graduate seminars will be taught either online synchronously or through campus/classroom-based instruction, depending on density and campus accessibility. For the undergraduate courses, faculty anticipate offering courses through a blend of three modalities (online, in-classroom or hybrid). Students will be scheduled for campus/classroom-based instruction to the greatest extent possible, with an emphasis on first-year students having not more than one class online.

Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:41 PM

Fall 2020 Academic Calendar

The abbreviated fall 2020 academic calendar can be found on the main page of

View the full academic calendar

Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:41 PM

Accommodations for Vulnerable Populations

The Office of Disability Services will proactively and collaboratively work with other University departments as appropriate to ensure individuals with compromised immune systems or other health-related needs return to campus and/or are able to complete their academic coursework (e.g., on-campus or via distance learning) safely and comfortably. Other departments may include, but will not be limited to, the Wellness Center, Residential Life and Housing, and varying areas of Academic Affairs. In many cases, students will be issued an individualized adjustment plan to address their specialized needs related to COVID-19.

Virtual programming will allow vulnerable populations to participate safely in extracurricular and educational activities.

Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:48 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

Classroom and Instructional Space

Small classrooms that are unable to meet the distancing requirements will not be used. Some multi-purpose spaces will be converted into classroom spaces to increase capacity. Signage will serve to reinforce social distancing and plastic shielding will be installed in spaces (e.g., in highly used laboratories) where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:42 PM

How is Utica on-campus residence being handled for the spring 2021 semester? What is the residential capacity for each residence hall?

Oriskany Hall: 72 residential rooms and bathrooms; space will be reserved for isolation and quarantine of residential students.

Adirondack Complex: 288 singles; 54 doubles in 4 person suites with bathroom (max. 4 people/bathroom). Default assignment for new spring 2021 residents will be single room occupancy.  

Mohawk Complex: 184 singles in four person suites with bathroom (max. 4 people/bathroom). Use for single occupancy.

Hilltop Hall: 21 Singles; 118 doubles with private bathroom by room (max. 2 people/bathroom). Use for single or double occupancy. Hilltop is available for new spring 2021 first year students, only.

The Office of Residential Life and Housing will determine the appropriate number of students per residential suite in Mohawk and Adirondack and reserves the right to decline to fill a suite to full occupancy (four residents) without the consent of the entire suite. Double room occupancy will only be granted to new residential students if two students request and agree to the double room occupancy. Default assignment in Adirondack in Mohawk for spring 2021 is single room occupancy to reduce bathroom and common room sharing. 

All residential bathrooms on campus will be private to the students in the unit and will not require entry by facilities staff for cleaning.



Last Updated: Tue, January 19 2021 at 05:08 PM

Utica Residential Students - Fall 2020 Move-In

  • Prior to arrival, residential students will receive information regarding pre-screening, including the electronic screening form to be utilized for an appointment-based move-in process.
  • Each student will be allowed to bring a maximum of two move-in assistants. Within 24 hours of arrival, students and their move-in assistant(s) will complete the electronic screening form (
  • The Wellness Center team will review and follow up where appropriate. The student and their move-in assistant(s) must pass the screening process to be allowed to continue the move-in process.
  • If the COVID-19 screening criteria are not met, the student will not be allowed to move-in on that day to their assigned housing, and will be asked to either return home or stay in precautionary quarantine housing on campus.
  • The Wellness Center team will provide follow-up with any affected student.
Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:50 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

Albany Campus Housing

Residential students will continue to be housed at Freedom Apartments through the University at Albany (UAlbany) and will follow UAlbany’s residential protocol. Additional services provided through UAlbany include: dining, health and wellness services (including counseling), recreation, and on-campus transportation (residential students only). UAlbany/Poly will remain in close communication to educate/reinforce protocols.

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

Dining Services on the Utica Campus

Dining services at SUNY Poly’s Utica location are offered by Sodexo which has a 3-step approach to a safe return to campus.

Health and Safety Focus

  • Accelerated depth of cleaning & disinfection
  • Utilize best sanitation practices
  • Increase service protocols including PPE, masks, and gloves
  • Staff training with a new culture of service and strong focus on handwashing
  • Staff health monitoring

Environmental Focus

  • Install social distancing measures, such as floor markers & signage, in all food units
  • Control high-traffic flow
  • Promote contactless transactions & cashless payments
  • Utilize safety glass at register stations
  • Implement distance seating in dining halls, with a new configuration for safety

New Menu Design

  • Eliminate self-service practices
  • Food pick-up as new normal
  • Maintain quality of products and menu
  • Implement online ordering for retail items and expanded carry-out options
  • Increase food service technology and student communication
  • Flexibility in student feeding to include an option for delivery in isolated areas
Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:51 PM


SUNY Poly will not host in-person events that are open to the public during the fall 2020 semester. Large event spaces typically used for large gatherings and activities will be used to support core academic activities. Co-curricular gatherings and student organization meetings require participants to wear face coverings. All departments and programs are encouraged to host virtual events. Campus events that cannot be done virtually or within applicable federal, state and local social distancing guidelines will be postponed to a time when guidance permits these types of events.

Student Affairs is establishing a working group involving Residential Life/Student Involvement, Facilities, Athletics, and the Student Government (SGU, USGA, GSGA) to develop virtual student life events, student club meetings, and activities. Some small gatherings of clubs and their members will be scheduled during the fall semester to augment the largely virtual club meetings and events.


Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:49 PM

Visitor Policy

SUNY Poly discourages non-essential visitors from accessing campus to enter buildings and meet with or interact with students, faculty, and staff. Virtual visits and appointments should be used to transact business whenever possible. Visitors will not be allowed in the residence halls. Those who must make in-person visits (deliveries, inspections, contractors, etc.) will be required to be pre-screened, wear masks, and practice social distancing.

Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:45 PM

Intercollegiate Athletics

The fall semester athletics schedule is still to be determined based upon NCAA, state and local governance guidelines. The SUNY Poly Athletics Department is working with the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) to identify various scheduling models and safety protocols to safely resume competitive sports. At this time, attendance at athletics events will be limited to participants, game management and institutional personnel.

Last Updated: Fri, August 14 2020 at 12:45 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

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

What will happen if there is a future pandemic outbreak and the campus is required to ramp down or close operations?

Operational Activity

  • Academic operations will be moved to a remote (online) environment.
  • All personnel will be moved to work from home (WFH) model with the exception of:
    • Essential personnel (Facilities, University Police, Information Technology Services, etc.).
    • Non-Essential Personnel needing to access campus sporadically to fulfill an essential function (Payroll, EHS, etc.).
    • Where possible, essential personnel will be divided into cohorts to reduce on-campus density and limit human interaction.
    • Any personnel on campus will be required to follow all NYS DOH and CDC essential personnel guidelines including PPE, social distancing, and access to testing as available.
  • Facilities will be closed wherever possible, maintained at base operational levels, and only accessible to essential personnel.

Shutdown of Residential Life Operation
Students will be notified prior to their arrival to campus that an emergency shutdown of Residential Life Operations may require them to make a complete residential move out, and that they should pack for the fall semester by taking that into consideration.

Move-Out Process

  • The campus will consult and follow the guidance of local health departments in order to stop the spread
  • Students will be notified of the necessity to check out via SUNY Poly email and “call them all” text/phone notification.
  • Checkout will be handled using a socially distanced structure, appropriate distancing and masks will be required.
  • All students must vacate the residential complex within 48 hours of notification that there is an emergency shutdown of Residential Life Operations.
  • Students will utilize a form to confirm their knowledge of the shutdown and to indicate their departure time. The same form will be used for students who are unable to depart to request an extended stay.
  • Students requiring move out assistance will be limited to two assistants; assistants will complete the SUNY Poly screening prior to being allowed to participate in move-out.  
  • Students are expected to depart campus immediately upon completion of the move-out process.
  • Accommodations will be made for international students or those with special needs to remain on-campus.
  • Within 48 hours of move-out process completion, Residence Life staff will conduct a visual inspection for confirmation.
  • After 72 hours, facilities staff can begin the full disinfection process.

Medically Isolated or Quarantined Students

  • Students isolated or quarantined at the time of shutdown will remain in their assigned quarantine or isolation location until the Wellness Center and/or Oneida County DOH determine it to be safe for them to move out.
  • All services will remain in place for isolated or quarantined students during shut down.
Last Updated: Wed, September 16 2020 at 10:31 AM


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