Return to Campus FAQs

This page is designed to provide the SUNY Poly community with up-to-date answers to frequently asked questions as we reopen our campuses to students, faculty, and staff. To submit a question that may not be included on this webpage, please email Note that these guidelines are subject to change based upon future guidance or mandates from SUNY or New York State.

Will I need to quarantine if I am traveling to or from out of state/internationally?

It depends. New York State restrictions and guidance is changing at a rapid pace as a result of improvements in positivity rates and vaccination distribution in New York and around the country. Due to the recent and expected changes to New York State policy on domestic and international travel, we encourage you to visit the New York State COVID-19 Travel Advisory webpage for the most current information.

All individuals coming into New York from either a non-contiguous state or US territory, or any other country, whether or not such person is a New York resident, are required to complete the Traveler Health Form upon entering New York unless the traveler had left NYS for less than 24 hours.

As of April 10, 2021, for individuals who are asymptomatic, there are generally no quarantine, work furlough, or testing requirements, with the exceptions listed by the New York State Department of Health.

Please note, monitoring of symptoms upon arrival for 14-days, and responding to exposure to COVID-19 or development of symptoms is described in the link above, along with additional information about precautions for all travelers and how to quarantine.

International Travel is expected to remain limited with quarantines and/or testing required according to the NYSDOH Travel Advisory restrictions.  See the NYSDOH Interim Guidelines for more information.

Requesting Related Academic Accommodations

When required students unable to quarantine off campus are encouraged to reach out for assistance with altering their academic schedule to an online format and to discuss options for returning to campus in the spring term, by emailing

Last Updated: Tue, April 13 2021 at 10:23 AM

How is indoor air quality being addressed on the Utica and Albany campuses?

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Epidemic Task Force has continued to assess and shared the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 within buildings.

To that end, SUNY Poly continues to follow the current and emerging guidelines regarding mechanical and ventilation systems. SUNY Poly is using a combination of increased outside air, which reduces the volume of potentially impacted air being recirculated, in addition to running the ventilation systems longer and increasing particulate filtration.
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, commonly known as MERV, is a measurement scale designed by the ASHRAE to indicate air filter effectiveness. For reference, most existing commercial buildings typically have installed filters with MERV-8 to MERV-11 ratings that remove dust, pollen, mold spores, and smog. Please note that any air system by itself is not intended to address infection control. However, based on current guidance, proper ventilation, when deployed with strong community efforts related to social distancing, the use of face coverings, and proper hand washing, will help foster an indoor environment that can lower risks for the potential spread of COVID-19.
Because the air handlers in the Cayan Library, Student Center, Field House, and Campus Center were designed for and currently use MERV-13 or 14 filters, those buildings will utilize the Building Management Systems to increase the ventilation rates, further mitigating risk. Similarly, SUNY Poly is increasing ventilation rates and is replacing the existing MERV-8 filters with MERV-13 filters in Kunsela and Donovan Halls. ASHRAE recommends schools and universities install filters with a minimum rating of MERV-13 (or the maximum MERV the system can handle) to improve air filtration and slow the transmission of viruses in HVAC systems, and SUNY Poly is meeting or exceeding this recommendation.
Air Exchanges (state buildings):
We normally (i.e., pre-COVID-19) ventilate with a minimum of 15% outdoor air. The current recommendation from the SUNY HVAC Task Force is to double the minimum outdoor air to 30%. These are the recommended minimums and we will normally provide more outside air, unless weather conditions require it to be lowered in order to maintain comfort in the building.
Residence Halls:
Adirondack and Mohawk residence halls are not designed with air handler systems (systems that operate to heat, cool, and ventilate building space). Instead, the buildings have baseboard radiant heat and natural ventilation through doors and windows. Mohawk residence hall does have air conditioning units that provide cooling and mechanically ventilate the room when turned on by the occupant.

The new Hilltop Hall residence hall has a robust, energy efficient heating and cooling system using ground-source geothermal heat pumps. For ventilation, the building has an energy recovery unit that is controlled to increase outdoor air use and increase fresh air exchanges in the building. The final filter for these units is a MERV-13 filter.

The Oriskany Hall energy recovery units are fitted with a minimum of MERV-13 main filters.  For ventilation, the building has energy recovery units that are controlled to increase outside airflow rates and fresh air exchanges.

Classrooms and Laboratories:
The campus is maximizing outdoor air with the building's air handling and control systems. In order to manage building conditions, occupant comfort, and air exchanges, windows should not be opened in buildings. Fume hoods are expected to be operated as designed and are typically operated 24/7 especially if chemicals are maintained within the hood. Changes to Fume Hood operation should be reviewed with the Facilities Department to ensure proper air flows for occupant protection. Snorkel or localized fume removal systems (e.g. Additive manufacturing) must be operated any time equipment is being used where fumes or vapors may be released (e.g. 3D printing). Laboratories with exhaust hoods will exhaust air directly outside (i.e., air is not recirculated), and these labs are connected to a Make-up Air Unit (MAU) that takes outside (exterior) air in, heats or cools it if needed, and discharges it to the lab to replace the exhausted air.

Albany Campus

To contribute to a safer and clean environment, air handlers are regularly inspected, including visual assessment of interior cleanliness and filter status. Units are continuously monitored through the site automation system with a special emphasis on pressure drops across the filters. This is used to continuously verify filter effectiveness. Prior to COVID-19, many units already had a strategy in place to minimize outside air based on CO2 levels in the space for energy savings – this feature has since been turned off to provide maximum outside air. Where possible, these maximum limits were increased to contribute to more fresh air into the spaces. Additionally, where possible, unit filters have been upgraded to the highest achievable filtration efficiency. To contribute to continuous introduction of fresh air into spaces, the air handling systems on the site operate 24/7 with no setback or reduction at off hours.

Please see below for filter type based on each Albany building:

  • NFE: MERV-11
  • NFS: MERV-11
  • CESTM: MERV-11 and MERV-13
  • NFX: MERV-11
  • ZEN: MERV-11 and MERV-15
Last Updated: Fri, April 09 2021 at 02:53 PM

Am I eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination?

For information on vaccine eligibility you are encourage to visit our vaccinations webpage and the NYS Department of Health website.

Last Updated: Fri, March 26 2021 at 01:39 PM

What are the library hours for the spring semester?

Spring semester library hours are:

  • 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday
  • 1 to 8 p.m. on Sundays
Last Updated: Tue, March 09 2021 at 12:46 PM

Who should I reach out to if I receive a positive COVID-19 test result?

For all COVID-19 related illness, positive test result, isolation, or quarantine issues, please direct all communications to the following:

Last Updated: Thu, February 04 2021 at 10:07 AM

Will the Poly Pantry be open during the spring semester?

Poly Pantry will be open beginning Monday, February 8. Please complete this Poly Pantry form and an order will be filled for you.

Last Updated: Wed, February 03 2021 at 08:06 PM

Will the fitness center be open during the spring semester?

While the Field House is being used as a New York State Department of Health vaccination site, all of your favorite fitness equipment is now located in the Campus Center Gym. Once we have been approved to open by the Department of Health, we will update this page with more information.

Last Updated: Wed, February 03 2021 at 08:05 PM

Where can I get an ID card on the Utica campus?

Beginning February 8, stop by the Auxiliary Services Office (A217 Kunsela Hall) to get your ID card if you don’t already have one, or if you need a replacement (fee applies for replacement).

Reminder: All of the buildings on the Utica campus are now set for swipe card access. Don’t leave home (or your residence hall room) without your ID card! Swipe into each and every building and don’t tailgate. Even if the door is already open, you must swipe in.

Last Updated: Wed, February 03 2021 at 07:56 PM

What are the Utica campus bookstore hours?

The SUNY Poly Bookstore is closed to in-store traffic Feb. 1 through Feb. 6, but curbside pickup for online orders is available through Friday, February 6. Students are encouraged to place orders online

Starting Monday, February 8 store hours will be:

  • Monday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Last Updated: Wed, February 03 2021 at 07:54 PM

How will SUNY Poly ensure that students who are part of the vulnerable populations related to COVID-19 are safe?

The Disability Services office 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 people at increased risk to participate safely in extracurricular and educational activities.

Last Updated: Thu, January 28 2021 at 04:22 PM


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