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.

Are there travel restrictions when traveling to or from out of state/internationally?

The New York State Department of Health refers travelers to the CDC for any requirements, restrictions, or recommendations on domestic and international travel.

For domestic travelers, the individual should research the requirements of the state / locality they are traveling to and follow all applicable requirements.
For international travelers, the CDC website provides country-by-country breakdowns and expectations for travelers. The website also includes a listing of prohibited travel from certain countries.

Last Updated: Thu, July 15 2021 at 10:18 AM

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: Tue, July 06 2021 at 05:10 PM

Where on campus are face coverings required and when can they be removed?

If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning that a minimum of two weeks have passed since receiving the last dose of the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, you are not required to wear a face covering or be socially distant from others while on campus.

Please note that this updated guidance is only being implemented for the summer period; it will be reevaluated for the fall. Additionally, certain events or activities may increase risks or involve many unvaccinated/unknown vaccination status individuals, so face coverings may be required for all participants.

Unvaccinated individuals and those who have chosen not to share proof of vaccination with HR must still wear face coverings at all times. Exceptions for unvaccinated individuals include the following: they may remove their face coverings indoors or outdoors only when alone, while working at their workstation socially distanced from others or with a physical barrier in place, or while socially distanced, seated, and eating/drinking.

***Please note, these guidelines may change due to a variety of factors including local community conditions, guidance or regulations issued by health authorities, or specific campus need.*** 

The list below indicates if a face covering needs to be worn ("yes") or if it does not need to be worn ("no") in specific spaces by UNVACCINATED individuals. Please be aware that if "no" is indicated for a specific campus space, the unvaccinated person should always be prepared to quickly put on a face covering while on campus.

The CDC has provided a guide for Vaccinated and Unvaccinated individuals as they choose to participate or avoid low- and high-risk activities.

Campus Space Yes No
Classroom Yes  
Common Areas Yes  
Common Study Area Yes  
Computer Room Yes  
Conference Room Yes  
Corridor Yes  
Cubicle Workstation Yes  
Cubicle Workstation - at least 6 feet away from another person Yes  
Cubicle Workstation at least 6-feet away from another person and provided with barriers   No
Dining Spaces - walkways, in line for food, when seated and not eating or drinking Yes  
Dining Spaces - while eating, seated, and at least 6 feet away from another person.   No
Elevator Yes  
Entrances Yes  
Hallways Yes  
Labs Yes  
Laundry Room Yes  
Lobbies Yes  
Office Workstation (with closable door) - alone   No
Office Workstation - shared with another person and no physical barriers (should not be used as a location for eating or drinking) Yes  
Outdoors Alone Yes** No**
Outdoors with others Yes  
Outdoors in a crowd or large gathering Yes  
Outdoors seated, socially distanced, and actively eating and drinking   No**
Residence Hall Yes  
Residence Hall - in assigned room   No
Restroom Yes  
Stairways Yes  
Vehicle - alone   No
Vehicle - with another person Yes  
Work areas (irregular locations - not normal office) Yes  

* Some events or activities on campus may require masking of all individuals regardless of vaccination status.

** If alone outdoors and greater than 6 feet away from another person no face covering is required, however, a face covering should be readily available to don when others approach.  Large crowds and gatherings require masking by unvaccinated individuals. 

Last Updated: Wed, June 30 2021 at 04:31 PM

What if I received a COVID-19 vaccine other than the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines?

Guidance is still be created around this issue. When possible, we strongly encourage faculty, staff, and students to get vaccinated with one of the following: the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Last Updated: Wed, June 30 2021 at 04:22 PM

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


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