What Students Should Know: COVID-19 and Returning to Campus for Spring 2022

As we return to campus in spring 2022, SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s first priority is the health and safety of our campus community, including its students, faculty, and staff. The best way to maintain the safest environment possible throughout 2022 is for each of us to take steps to minimize the risks, not only for ourselves, but also for all members of the SUNY community. This includes:

  • Getting fully vaccinated
  • Hand washing for more than 20 seconds, along with the use of hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol)
  • Being mindful of our surroundings and the impact we have

And, as required:

  • Completing daily screenings
  • Properly and consistently wearing face coverings (masks)
  • Social distancing where required and appropriate
  • Participating in testing and tracing

Any of us alone can spread this disease and cause harm to others. But all of us together can build a community that is safe and healthy, where educational success is possible.

An important note: 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.

Here’s what you need to know and do as SUNY Poly welcomes you to campus in spring 2022:

Stay Informed

We will keep our campus community updated about the latest COVID-19 information and impact in a number of ways:

  • Please monitor your SUNY Poly email daily for important updates. The most important information will be sent to you via e-mail, in addition to social media posts via SUNY Poly’s official accounts.
  • SUNY Poly’s COVID-19 resource webpage includes resources, communications, and safety information.
  • Spring 2022 information and FAQs will be found on the Spring 2022 plan webpage.
  • Please follow SUNY Poly’s social media channels which will share important information, updated procedures, and health/wellness guidelines:

Return to Campus Safely – Vaccination, Testing and Isolation Requirements

Vaccination:

  • All students are required to share proof of full vaccination with the Wellness Center at wellnesscenter@sunypoly.edu. Please see the FAQ regarding full vaccination for the latest definition. Failure to submit proof of full vaccination or receipt of an approved exemption will result in being un-enrolled from on-campus coursework.
  • 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.
    • See the "Vaccination Mandate" section below for further information.

Utica Students - Before Coming to Campus

  • All residential, commuter, and those students needing access to campus must fill out the daily Utica campus screening before arriving to campus.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Utica Students - Arrival to Campus

Albany Students - Before Coming to Campus

  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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, commuter, and those students needing access to campus must fill out the daily Albany campus screening before arriving to campus.
    • Please note: Students previously approved to be on campus who have participated in weekly pooled testing and remain in compliance with all COVID-19 measures are not required to complete the pre-arrival requirements and should continue to engage in testing as required.
  • 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.

Please note that as a result of the SUNY Poly-University at Albany Partnership, SUNY Poly Albany campus residential students residing at Freedom Apartments will also be required to follow the University at Albany pre-arrival requirements and testing protocol. Please find more information here: https://www.albany.edu/covid-19, with links to upload student documentation, the UAlbany student health screening, and to register a pooled test kit here: https://www.albany.edu/covid-19.

Albany Students – Arrival to Campus Testing: Tuesday or Wednesday, January 18/19

  • 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. Information about how to submit your negative test will be forthcoming.
  • 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.
  • Please see the dates above as well as the student testing webpage.
  • On-campus testing submission begins Tuesday or Wednesday, January 18/19 for all students, faculty, and staff regardless of vaccination status; commuter students begin testing the following week.
    • Residential students must also fulfill all UAlbany testing obligations. See more on UAlbany's COVID-19 webpage regarding residential student testing.

Get Screened Daily

Everyone, including students, coming to or on-campus (residential students), regardless of vaccination status, must complete a daily health screening:

Get Tested Regularly

Utica Campus - Spring 2022 Regular Student Testing:

Any Residential/Commuter/Online Needing Access students who have an approved medical or religious COVID-19 vaccination exemption must take part in pooled surveillance testing once every week (effective August 23, 2021, all SUNY Poly students are required to be fully vaccinated).

Those who have submitted proof of full vaccination are required to take part in biweekly surveillance testing. Please see the FAQ regarding full vaccination for the latest definition.

Please note that additional testing may be required at any time to support the health of the campus community; please monitor your email for updates.

Please review all testing procedures/schedules and additional information on the student testing webpage.

Albany Campus -

Spring 2022 Regular Student Testing:

Any students who have an approved medical or religious COVID-19 vaccination exemption must take part in pooled surveillance testing once every week.

Those who have submitted proof of full vaccination are required to take part in biweekly surveillance testing. Please see the FAQ regarding full vaccination for the latest definition.

Please note that additional testing may be required at any time to support the health of the campus community; please monitor your email for updates.

Please review all testing procedures/schedules and additional information on the student testing webpage.

Check the COVID-19 Dashboard

Be Responsible – It’s Easy to Do Your Part

Each of us can take small steps to protect ourselves and the campus community. Because COVID-19 is highly contagious, these simple measures apply both on and off-campus:

Wear face coverings:
SUNY Poly faculty, staff, and students must wear a face covering at all times while indoors on campus, except in those locations which are usually exempted such as in a student’s dorm room, in an employee’s enclosed office, when alone in a private space, or when seated and actively eating and drinking. This requirement will be reassessed and the community will be updated about any changes.

Please find the latest guidance and details about face coverings on the FAQ webpage.

For any events, gatherings, activities, and other engagements that include people from outside the SUNY Poly community, all attendees and participants will be expected to wear a face covering as a precaution, regardless of vaccination status. Some limited exceptions may be allowed.

More Information:

  • Special consideration. Pursuant to the CDC, “A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.)” may submit a request to Disability Services at ds@sunypoly.edu for consideration of an exemption from mask wearing based on a medical accommodation, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Community transmission. Additional requirements may be imposed by the campus or System Administration based upon the increasing COVID-19 transmission rates on campus.

In addition:

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer where soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home when you are sick or have potentially been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Practice social distancing when required (see above) to reduce transmission.

Vaccination Mandate

More Information: Please see the FAQ regarding full vaccination status for the latest definition.

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 (two weeks past final dose), they must submit proof to the Wellness Center, Suite 217 Campus Center, by fax: (315) 792-7371, or by emailing: wellnesscenter@sunypoly.edu if they have not done so already.

  • If you are currently in the process of vaccination and chose to receive the one-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or other authorized vaccine series, you must provide proof of your full vaccination immediately upon completion and this must be prior to the start of academic classes (January 18, 2022), or earlier if engaging in early return campus activities (orientation/intercollegiate athletics) or moving into the Residence Halls. If vaccination series is complete, please provide documentation to the Wellness Center by January 1, 2022.
  • 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.

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

Vaccinations for the SUNY Poly campus community will help us to experience full and active participation in the life of the campus community. High vaccination rates can reduce the risk of exposures to COVID-19 on campus and provide for a healthier and safer living and learning experience.

Students who choose not to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are permitted to enroll in online courses only (no in-person classes) and are not permitted to access any in-person campus activities or services. No remote learning options are available for students who do not want to receive a full COVID-19 vaccination, outside of any courses already offered remotely. Students may not request a change in course modality to avoid receiving a full COVID-19 vaccination, and faculty cannot accommodate such requests received. In addition, students should be aware that the SUNY tuition and fee refund policy remains in effect for any student who refuses to receive a full vaccination and is not approved for an exemption.

If you are 100% online and will not be physically present on campus during the Spring 2022 semester for any reason (which includes office hours, athletics, working on campus, or to utilize services such as the library, fitness center, gym, or dining), you are required to complete the Fully Remote Attestation.

In very limited circumstances students may request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. Any SUNY Poly student with a legitimate and documentable medical or other reason why they cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine had until December 6, 2021, to submit an exemption request by utilizing the medical (available from wellnesscenter@sunypoly.edu) or religious exemption (available from studentaffairs@sunypoly.edu) request forms. Detailed information was required to be provided. New students or those with extenuating circumstances prohibiting them from submitting an exemption request by the deadline must notify the Wellness Center (medical) or Student Affairs (religious) immediately.

Students who fail to comply with the vaccination mandate or did not receive an approved exemption will be unenrolled from on-campus coursework.

Please note, any individuals (to include students who are approved as exempt) who are not fully vaccinated are expected to continue to follow all COVID-19 safety requirements (e.g., masks) AND when possible in dining halls, events, or classrooms settings, provide at least 6-feet social distance from others.

If Exposed, Complete Mandatory Quarantine and Isolation

Students who test positive for COVID-19, are unvaccinated and have been exposed to individuals who tested positive for COVID-19, or are informed by a state or local health department, or a medical or campus official, that they are “at risk” for having COVID-19 will be required to quarantine or isolate. This includes taking classes remotely and not going to dining halls and other campus facilities. Please note that SUNY Poly will follow all New York State and local county health guidelines, which may be updated.

  • The campus has specific information about restrictions.
  • Residential students identified for quarantine and isolation will have access to assistance such as delivery of meals and medication. All students under quarantine and isolation will receive mental health, academic, and/or other supports, as needed. These quarantine and isolation expectations are detailed here.
  • Symptomatic students are expected to isolate until their test results are known, at which time they will be instructed on next steps. Students living on campus who test positive are required to isolate either at home or in designated spaces on campus, following all instructions and guidelines issued by the University and the county health department until they are cleared to resume usual activities. COVID-19 positive individuals will be required to isolate for 10 days.
  • Off-campus students testing positive will isolate either at home or in their off-campus residence for the 10-day period.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals exposed to COVID-19 positive individuals do not need to quarantine as long as they remain asymptomatic. These individuals should self-monitor for symptoms and wear a face covering in public places during the next 14 days, with appropriate follow up should symptoms develop. CDC guidance also indicates the exposed person should test for COVID-19 5-7 days after the exposure.  
  • Unvaccinated individuals with recent COVID-19 exposure must quarantine for at least 10 days with Health Department approval without testing and no symptoms.
  • These individuals should self-monitor for symptoms over the 14 days following the exposure. If symptoms develop, self-isolation should occur with prompt follow-up with the local public health authority or a healthcare provider (e.g., Wellness  Center). Individuals who find themselves in this circumstance should wear a face covering and remain socially distanced until medical evaluation and follow-up instruction has been provided.

Take Care of Yourself – Physically and Mentally

We understand that this is an exceptionally challenging time. SUNY and SUNY Poly have resources to help you get the support you need. You can start here:

Understand What’s Being Offered On-Campus and Online

As of December 14, 2021, SUNY Poly has approximately 640 classes scheduled for the spring semester. About 65% of the classes will include on-campus instruction, 8% will be remote synchronous instruction, and 27% will be asynchronously remote. Classes will start in a virtual modality for the first week (Jan. 18-21, 2022).

Get Instructional and Technology Help

ITS has provided a means to request software necessary for class work to meet the spring 2022 academic technology requirements.

Request Accommodations for Disabilities

Students who wish to disclose documented disabilities and be considered for reasonable accommodation(s) should contact the Office of Disability Services at SUNY Poly:

Follow Housing and Dining Updates

SUNY Poly—Utica Campus

  • Health-focused efforts for residential living are detailed below.
  • Residential students will move in:
    • Friday, January 14, 2022 (new transfer students only, by scheduled appointment)
    • Sunday, January 16, 2022 (returning students)
    • Resident Advisors and spring student athletes may have earlier arrival dates scheduled by their supervisor or coach. Early arrivals will also receive instructions for early arrival testing from their supervisor or coach.
  • All students must take part in required testing/screening (see above).
  • There is a strict no guest/visitor policy (except for other residential students).

SUNY Poly—Albany Campus

If We Must PAUSE, Follow These Rules

If SUNY Poly must switch to a PAUSE, the following rules may apply:

  • Based on the risks associated with potential COVID-19 community spread, in-person activities may move online or be cancelled as necessary, and updates with protocols for faculty, staff, and students would be provided by email.

If We Pivot to Remote Instruction, Follow This Plan

If SUNY Poly must switch to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester, the following rules may apply:

Academic operations in a remote (online) environment

  • Faculty, staff, and students would receive additional information about any shift from campus to a remote (online) environment via e-mail.
  • Blackboard will remain as the primary online learning environment. All learning materials and links to remote (online) class sessions will be made available to students via Blackboard.
  • Facilities will be closed wherever needed, maintained at base operational levels, and only accessible to essential personnel.

Move-Out Process

  • An emergency shutdown of Residential Life Operations may require students to make a complete residential move out. Please consider this as you pack for the spring semester. Albany campus residential students will follow the UAlbany move out protocol.
  • The campus will consult and follow the guidance of local health departments in order to stop the potential spread of COVID-19.
  • Students will be notified of the necessity to check out via SUNY Poly email.
  • Students will also be notified via email and web postings about COVID-19 testing requirements.
  • Checkout will be handled using a socially distanced structure, appropriate distancing and face coverings will be required.
  • All students must vacate the residential complex within 48 hours of a presumed negative test result in the event of an emergency shutdown of Residential Life Operations.
  • Residential students will utilize the housing portal to confirm their knowledge of the shutdown and to schedule a departure time. Students who are unable to depart campus immediately will be able to request an extended stay.
  • In the event of an emergency shutdown, move-out assistance will not be permitted. 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.
  • Following move out, Residential Life and Facilities staff will complete room inspections and end of semester cleaning.

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 County DOH determine it to be safe for them to move out.
  • All services will remain in place for isolated or quarantined students during shutdown.

Refunds of Housing Payments and Fees

  • If the campus closes early in the event of a shutdown, students may receive a credit to their account or a refund for the days reduced.
  • Students who choose to leave campus on their own, outside of an emergency shutdown, will not be eligible for a refund of housing costs and will follow the refund policy in place for housing.
  • Broad Based fees will only be reduced if services or benefits cannot be provided. The Health Service and Technology fees will not be adjusted as these services can be provided either remotely or through an on-campus setting through the entire semester.

Changes and Updates

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.

Thank you in advance for everything you are doing—and will do—to make the spring 2022 semester safe for you, your fellow students, and the campus community and beyond.

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