Return to Campus FAQs

As federal, state, local, and SUNY health guidance changes due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, SUNY Poly’s rules will also evolve as the institution receives new guidance and/or regulations are promulgated. SUNY Poly reserves the right to change its policy in regards to these matters and will provide updates as needed on the SUNY Poly website. To submit a question that may not be included on this webpage, please email COVID19-FAQ@sunypoly.edu.

What are the pre-arrival testing requirements for students?

All students planning to be on campus, including those with an approved COVID-19 vaccine exemption, must provide negative COVID-19 test results from within 72 hours prior to arrival to campus at the start of the semester.

Please note a negative diagnostic test, such as a molecular (RT-PCR), Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) or TMA (Rapid PCR), is the preferred method of testing.

If you are unable to receive a molecular (RT-PCR), Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) or TMA (Rapid PCR) within the 72-hour time frame, you may provide a negative result from a rapid antigen (ag) test that was taken within 6 hours of your arrival to campus. A lab or pharmacy collected antigen test is preferred, but an at-home rapid antigen test will be accepted when other methods are unavailable.

The at-home test result submissions must be time/date stamped and include a photo of both the student's SUNY Poly ID or Driver's License and the completed test kit with visible result.

All residential students are required to test upon arrival to campus between Jan. 16 and 18, with regular testing starting on Jan. 18 or 19.

Commuter students should expect to start testing Jan. 25/26 and again the next week, after which they will follow the weekly/biweekly testing schedule

To upload your COVID-19 pre-arrival test submission:

Log into Banner, select Student and Financial Aid, Select Housing and Dining. Once in the housing portal, select applications on the left and select 2022 Spring Return Date Application.

As you fill out your pre-arrival testing and booster application, you’ll see the link to upload up to five attachments at the conclusion of the form. This is where you will upload an image of your test and an image of your booster vaccine (if you’ve received one).  If you have any difficulties with uploading your attachment, let the staff in Residential Life know at reslife@sunypoly.edu and they will assist you. If you have any questions regarding the booster or pre-arrival testing requirement, please contact covidcompliance@sunypoly.edu or wellnesscenter@sunypoly.edu.

Last Updated: Sat, January 15 2022 at 04:21 PM

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What is the definition of fully vaccinated?

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated: (1) two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two dose COVID-19 vaccine series or (2) two weeks after receiving a single dose COVID-19 vaccine.

As a result of the Governor’s December 2021 announcement, COVID-19 booster shots are now also required for students in order to be considered fully vaccinated and take part in any on campus activities.

This means that all students who plan to be on campus must submit proof of their COVID-19 booster. Information about how to submit a picture or photocopy of the front of the vaccination card (or a screenshot of an Excelsior Pass) will be forthcoming.

Please note this definition may be updated based on CDC/NYS or other guidance related to booster shots, etc.

Last Updated: Thu, January 06 2022 at 08:28 PM

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What if I have not yet received the COVID vaccine, but will get vaccinated given the SUNY mandate?

Effective August 23, 2021, all SUNY Poly students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This mandate is in effect for any SUNY Poly student coming to any SUNY Poly campus or facility for any reason during the 2021-22 academic year, and went into effect upon the FDA granting final approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on August 22, 2021. Once a student receives their full COVID-19 vaccination, they must submit proof to wellnesscenter@sunypoly.edu if they have not done so already.

  • Students choosing to receive the one-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine must provide proof of this vaccination by January 1, 2022, to wellnesscenter@sunypoly.edu.
  • Students choosing to receive the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines must provide proof of their vaccination by January 1, 2022, to wellnesscenter@sunypoly.edu.

Acceptable proof of vaccination includes: a picture or photocopy of the front of the vaccination card or a screenshot of an Excelsior Pass.

As a result of the Governor’s recent announcement, COVID-19 booster shots are now required for students in order to be considered fully vaccinated and take part in any on campus activities. This means that all students who plan to be on campus must submit proof of their COVID-19 booster. Information about how to submit a picture or photocopy of the front of the vaccination card (or a screenshot of an Excelsior Pass) will be forthcoming.

Information about vaccinations can be found at the links below:  

Last Updated: Thu, January 06 2022 at 08:25 PM

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

Pursuant to the September 3, 2021 Memorandum, “Updated Guidance for State Agency Telecommuting, COVID-19 Health Precautions, and Vaccination,” and additional guidance provided by the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations on December 14, 2021 in response to the Governor’s Mask Mandate, the following applies to all SUNY Poly campus facilities (this includes vehicles used for work activities with more than one individual present):

Use of Masks in State Offices and Facilities
Given changes in the CDC guidance and the resurgence in COVID-19 cases, State agencies occupying offices and facilities – including both State-owned and -leased properties – that are either (1) located in a county with high or substantial transmission of COVID-19 as determined by the CDC or (2) located in a jurisdiction that is subject to a local government issued mask mandate(s) or order(s) shall require individuals who are indoors to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. This requirement shall apply to employees, contractors, vendors, visitors, clients, and all other individuals who enter the indoor premises of such properties.

Effective immediately for State agencies with workplaces in areas that are subject to indoor masking due to CDC transmission risk or local government order(s), all individuals must wear masks when indoors, regardless of vaccination status, except when:

  • Alone in an office or room*
  • Actively eating or drinking

* Note – face coverings need to be worn when another individual enters the office or room.

This mask provision applies to state agency workplaces that do not already have a superseding mask requirement in place (e.g., health care facilities, nursing homes, public transit, correctional facilities, etc.).

Additional information on the applicable CDC guidance and links to access the latest county-level CDC transmission levels are available at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view

Am I allowed a “face covering break” while in class?
In general, face coverings should be worn through the class period. We ask students and faculty to refrain from eating and drinking in classrooms. Straws may be used under masks to reduce the need for mask adjustment.

How can a bandana be used as a face covering?
In general, a single layer face covering is not acceptable. Review this document on how to use a bandana as a face covering (pdf) for guidance. Please note, “neck gaiters” or similar style single layer face coverings do not provide adequate protection and should be double or triple layered if possible. If that cannot be done, an alternate approved face covering should be used.

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. Please be aware that if "no" is indicated for a specific campus space, you should always be prepared to quickly put on a face covering while on campus.

Campus Space Yes No
Classroom Yes  
Common Areas Yes  
Common Study Areas Yes  
Computer Room Yes  
Conference Room Yes  
Corridor Yes  
Cubicle / work station  Yes  
Cubicle / work station - at least 6 feet away from another person but sharing the same space Yes  
Dining Spaces Yes  

Dining Spaces - while eating, seated, preferably at least 6 feet away from another person. When not actively eating or drinking, or walking in the dining space, face coverings must be in place.

  No
Elevator Yes  
Entrances Yes  
Hallways Yes  
Labs Yes  
Laundry Room Yes  
Lobbies Yes  
Office - alone   No
Office - with another person Yes  
Outdoors Yes** No**
Residence Hall Yes  
Residence Hall - in assigned room   No
Restroom Yes  
Stairways Yes  
Vehicle - alone   No
Vehicle - with another person Yes  
Walkway Yes  
Work areas - with others in the room Yes  
Work area - alone   No

** If alone outdoors and at least 6 feet away from others no face covering is required, however, a face covering should be readily available to don when in crowded settings or in settings or events where face coverings are specifically required. Face coverings are recommended outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

Last Updated: Wed, December 15 2021 at 05:18 PM

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What guidelines need to be followed for on-campus events?

Anyone holding events on the Utica campus should follow the guidelines in the Event Guidance for Student Activities and Other Event Coordinators - COVID-19 Considerations document (pdf).

Last Updated: Wed, December 15 2021 at 04:58 PM

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Where can employees turn for emotional, mental and social help?

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all employees with the goal of offering support and promoting a healthy state of mind and wellbeing, both in and out of the workplace, with the goal of offering emotional support during this stressful time. Telephonic or video consultation via Zoom is available, and employees can access this service using most smartphones, tablets, and computers with a camera. Employees may contact EAP and other resources as follows:

New York State Employee Assistance Program Office
1-800-822-0244
goer.ny.gov/employee-assistance-program

NYS Office of Mental Health COVID-19 Emotional Support Line
1-844-863-9314
omh.ny.gov/omhweb/covid-19-resources

Last Updated: Wed, December 15 2021 at 04:57 PM

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What happens if an employee violates the health and safety measures in place at SUNY Poly?

Violation of these guidelines may result in the immediate revocation of building access privileges, as well as corrective action. Please contact Human Resources if you have any questions or to report activities that are not in compliance with these guidelines.

Last Updated: Wed, December 15 2021 at 04:56 PM

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Will there be hand sanitizer in the classroom to minimize cross-contamination?

Utica Campus

Classrooms are provided with disinfectant materials (e.g., wipes/spray) and hand sanitizer. General disinfection of high touch areas of classrooms is conducted by the Facilities Department at least once per day. Individual hand sanitizer sprays are made available at different times during the semester. These can also be used as surface sanitizers if necessary. 

Albany Campus

Classrooms and/or faculty will be provided with disinfectant materials (e.g., wipes/spray) to ensure any materials they were in contact with are disinfected after use. We also provide employees, faculty and/or students with hand sanitizer, available at the temperature screening process area in the NFE Rotunda, that can also be used as a surface disinfectant so they can disinfect the desk/table/chair armrests that they use.

Last Updated: Wed, December 15 2021 at 04:55 PM

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I am a student who works at a hospital. Should I consider myself as having been exposed due to close contact to patients who may have COVID-19?

If a hospital worker is wearing the appropriate PPE, then they are not considered to have been in direct contact.

Last Updated: Wed, December 15 2021 at 04:54 PM

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What is the spring 2022 academic calendar?

The full spring 2022 academic calendar can be found on Registrar’s academic calendars webpage.

Last Updated: Wed, December 15 2021 at 04:52 PM

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