Health & Safety

Students: Submit Proof of Vaccination Students: Submit Test Results Employees: Submit Proof of Vaccination

What’s on this page? 

Click a link to jump to that section of the page. 

Please visit the Vaccinate UAlbany, Surveillance TestingWorkplace Protocols and Instructor Guidance pages for additional health and safety information. 

 

Daily Health Monitoring

All students and employees coming to a UAlbany campus for any reason must monitor their symptoms and stay home if they are sick.

Review a list of possible COVID-19 symptoms on the CDC website.

If you develop symptoms at any time, get tested and stay home or in your residence hall/apartment. Notify the University if you test positive.

 

Symptoms

Surveillance & Diagnostic Testing 

The University has implemented an ongoing surveillance testing program. Anyone who receives a presumptive positive surveillance test result will be promptly referred for recommended diagnostic testing and given instructions to isolate pending results. Register a surveillance test kit now.

Students with symptoms have access to rapid, on-campus diagnostic testing. Please visit the Student Health Services website to make an appointment. 

Diagnostic testing is also available through the New York State Department of Health

 

testing

Contact Tracing 

Contact tracing is completed for every individual who receives a positive diagnostic test result, regardless of where or how the person became infected. The appropriate county Health Department receives a notification and officials immediately begin contact tracing for that case.  

UAlbany assists counties with contact tracing as needed. Our team of fully trained contact tracers is prepared to complete the full contact tracing process if the county contact tracing staff is at full capacity and/or if the University has a surge in cases. Please look for the caller ID "UNIV Albany" or an email from [email protected].

For each positive case, contact tracers determine whether there were any potential exposures and whether those exposures warrant further action(s), such as directing someone to get tested or enter quarantine. You are required to be compliant with contact tracing efforts and responsive to University and public health officials.

If further action is needed, the appropriate county Health Department or a University official will contact the affected individuals. If you are not contacted after a potential exposure, you do not need to take any further action.

Instructors who remain at least six feet away from students in the classroom would not be at any identifiable risk from a positive case, per CDC guidance. Review the Instructor Guidance page for more information. 

 

tracing

Reporting Positive Test Results 

If you receive a positive diagnostic test result, you must inform the University. 
 

results
Reporting Instructions for Students
  1. Upload your test result and county health documentation (such as health orders or health releases) into the Student COVID Documentation Portal
     

  2. Email [email protected] to notify the University.
     

  3. Read the quarantine and isolation rules below.

Reporting Instructions for Employees
  1. Any employee who receives a positive test result or is quarantined by the public health officials must call HR's Medical Reporting Hotline at 518-442-1501. Please leave your name and contact information, and an HR staff member will be in contact with instructions. 
     

  2. Follow HR's instructions for submitting your test result and county health documentation (such as health orders or health releases). 
     

  3. Read the quarantine and isolation rules below. 
     

If a student tells you they have received a positive diagnostic test result, please ask them to complete the "Instructions for Students" listed above. If the conversation is happening via email, do not forward or include anyone else in your messages, as this is sensitive information. 

Quarantine & Isolation 

When someone has been exposed, develops symptoms or tests positive, they are provided instructions by University and/or county health officials for quarantine or isolation.

If you develop symptoms at any time, get tested and stay home or in your residence hall/apartment. 
 

quarantine-isolation
Quarantine Instructions

Quarantine is a way of restricting the movement of people who may have been exposed to an infectious disease until it can be determined whether they are at risk or potentially infected. 

Under current New York State Department of Health requirements, quarantine instructions depend on your vaccination status. Please review the information below so you know what to expect. 

If you develop symptoms at any time, get tested and stay home or in your residence hall/apartment. Notify the University if you test positive.


Scenario No. 1: You must quarantine for five days, and you should get tested on Day 5. (Notify the University if you test positive.) Once you are released from quarantine, you must wear a tightly fitting mask, or double mask, anytime you are in a room with other people, including roommates and coworkers, for an additional five days. 

The following guidance would apply to: 

  • Anyone who has any symptoms of COVID-19 

  • Anyone who is unvaccinated or partially vaccinated 

  • Anyone who received both mRNA shots (Pfizer, Moderna) more than six months ago and who has not yet received their booster shot 

  • Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson shot more than two months ago and who has not yet received their booster shot 


Scenario No. 2: You do not need to quarantine. However, you must wear a tightly fitting mask, or double mask, anytime you are in a room with other people (including roommates and coworkers) for 10 days and you must get tested for COVID-19 on Day 5. (Notify the University if you test positive.)

The following guidance would apply to anyone who is asymptomatic (meaning they have no symptoms of COVID-19) and has: 

  • received a booster shot 

  • received both mRNA shots (Pfizer, Moderna) less than six months ago 

  • received the Johnson & Johnson shot less than two months ago 

  • had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days


Regardless of which scenario you fall under, you may not return to any UAlbany campus or University-operated space until you have received approval, which will be sent to your UAlbany email account. 

  • Students who live on campus should visit the Quarantine & Isolation Instructions for Residential Students page for detailed instructions.  

  • Students who live off campus must follow the instructions of their local health officials and/or the University. Request approval to return to campus by uploading the county health or University order releasing you from quarantine into the Student COVID Documentation Portal. Email [email protected] once your documentation is uploaded. 

  • Employees must follow the instructions of their local health officials and/or University officials, and follow the University's instructions for submitting their county health or University order releasing them from quarantine.

If you have not been contacted by a county or if you cannot acquire a release order from your county health department, please notify the University by emailing [email protected]

Isolation Instructions

Isolation is a way of separating a person known or suspected to be infected with an infectious disease from the community to stop the spread.  

If you test positive for COVID-19 (through diagnostic testing or UAlbany surveillance testing), you will be ordered to isolate. Note: Diagnostic testing is recommended after a presumptive positive surveillance test. Notify the University if you test positive.

A Person Under Investigation (PUI) is someone presenting possible COVID-19 symptoms who may be waiting for diagnostic test results. You will be ordered to isolate for at least five days, unless you receive a negative diagnostic test result.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for at least five days. Under current New York State Department of Health requirements:

  • If you are asymptomatic (meaning you never experienced COVID-19 symptoms), you may leave isolation after five days. You must wear a tightly fitting mask, or double mask, anytime you are in a room with other people, including roommates or coworkers, for an additional five days. 

  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you must remain in isolation for at least five days and until symptoms resolve and fever reduces. Then, you must wear a tightly fitting mask, or double mask, anytime you are in a room with other people, including roommates or coworkers, for an additional five days once released from isolation.

You may not return to any UAlbany campus or University-operated space until you have received approval, which will be sent to your UAlbany email account. 

  • Students who live on campus should visit the Quarantine & Isolation Instructions for Residential Students page for detailed instructions.  

  • Students who live off campus must notify the University and follow the instructions of their local health officials and/or the University. Request approval to return to campus by uploading the county health or University order releasing you from isolation into the Student COVID Documentation Portal. Email [email protected] once your documentation is uploaded. 

  • Employees must notify the University and follow the instructions of their local health officials. Follow University officials' instructions for submitting your county health or University order releasing you from isolation. 

If you have not been contacted by a county or if you cannot acquire a release order from your county health department, please notify the University by emailing [email protected]

Failure to notify, respond to or follow the directions of public health officials may result in severe fines or prosecution, in addition to University sanctions. 

 

Enhanced Facilities Services 

The Office of Facilities Management is also providing enhanced services to keep our community safe. 
 

facilities
Cleaning & Disinfection

Facilities staff clean and disinfect classrooms and other instructional spaces each night, and routinely disinfect high-touch or high-use public spaces — such as doorknobs, light switches, desktops, railings, sink handles and countertops — throughout the day.   

Large gathering spaces are cleaned and disinfected nightly.  

Disinfectant is also available in classrooms and public dining spaces, so students and employees can wipe down surfaces before and after each use.  

Offices are responsible for disinfecting their own high-use public areas and individual workstations. Lab staff are required to clean labs daily.  

Employees can request supplies by submitting an Office of Facilities Management Work Order. For specialty items, please contact the Office of Emergency Management at [email protected].

Building Ventilation

While the state has removed all requirements regarding additional air ventilation in buildings, all University buildings with mechanical ventilation systems will continue to operate longer hours with adequate outside air and improved filtration. 

In buildings without mechanical ventilation, some spaces have been supplemented with air filtration units.

Hand Sanitizer

Facilities will continue to stock and refill hand sanitizer stations in all the public spaces on campus.  

Students and employees are also encouraged to carry their own sanitizer for use throughout the day.  

Employees can request hand sanitizer for themselves, and offices can request hand sanitizer for their shared areas or customer service counters, by submitting an Office of Facilities Management Work Order.

Basic Safety Protocols

Anyone visiting a UAlbany campus is expected to follow these rules.
 

safety
Face Masks

Mask Mandate

Masks are strongly encouraged in all places on UAlbany’s campuses, including the Campus Center, instructional spaces (classrooms, studios, labs, etc.) and most other common meeting areas, except where required below:

  • Student Health Services 

  • Counseling & Psychological Services 

  • All areas of Alumni Quad

  • Mass transit, including CDTA and UAlbany buses, per state requirement

All students and employees must also wear a mask when required due to close contact with a person with COVID-19 or by campus isolation and quarantine requirements, including in all areas on Alumni Quad. 

Note: These protocols are subject to change as COVID-19 conditions change, so please check back with this website often.

We strongly recommend unvaccinated individuals, as well as vaccinated individuals who have not yet received a COVID-19 booster, to continue wearing a mask. 

Accessibility: Alternatives are available for individuals who may need to see others’ faces or mouths to communicate. Please contact Disability Access and Inclusion Student Services (DAISS) or your Human Resources office for assistance. 
 

Mask Guidance 

Please refer to the latest CDC guidance on how to select and properly use masks. The following CDC websites are regularly updated with the most up-to-date information:  

Procedure Masks (Surgical Masks) 

Procedure masks are loose-fitting disposable masks, sometimes referred to as surgical masks or medical procedure masks. These masks have a metal nose clip and can be worn underneath a cloth mask if desired. 

Disposable procedure masks are widely available. Departments can purchase them on Grainger.  

Disposable masks should be thrown away in the regular trash after being worn once. 

KN95 Masks 

KN95 masks meet certain international standards but are not NIOSH-approved respirators.  

The University at Albany recommends KN95s if employees wish to use a potentially more protective device than a procedure mask or cloth face covering.  

KN95s should have a good fit and a firm seal around the nose and mouth since the level of filtration cannot be verified. 

N95 Respirators 

An N95 respirator is a type of respirator that meets U.S. quality standards. The University at Albany does not recommend NIOSH-approved N95 respirators to employees beyond those that require an N95 to carry out their job duties and are certified to use it.  

If an employee chooses to use their own N95 respirator on a voluntary basis, they must first read and understand the information found in Appendix D of the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134. 

Physical Distancing

Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible — even if everyone appears healthy.

Please stay at least 6 feet — or about 2 arm lengths — from other people when possible.

Classrooms

Masks are now optional in all instructional spaces, including classrooms, studios and labs. Please see the "Face Mask" section above for detailed information and exceptions.

Facilities staff clean and disinfect classrooms and other instructional spaces each night, and routinely disinfect high-touch or high-use public spaces throughout the day.  

Disinfectants and sanitizer are also available at central locations adjacent to classrooms for instructors and students to wipe down surfaces as they enter the room. The risk of spreading COVID-19 through surfaces or objects is generally considered to be low, according to the CDC. 

Please review our Instructors Guidance page for additional information.

Research & Scholarly Activities

All laboratory work should comply with the usual safety guidelines set forth by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety. Normal procedures and approvals are required for research involving human and animal subjects. 

Please visit our Workplace Protocols page for additional guidance.

You can also email [email protected] with any questions. 

Offices

Please visit our Workplace Protocols page for detailed guidance.

Hand Hygiene

Hand Washing & Sanitizing

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds — especially after visiting a public place, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.  

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.   

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face. 
 

Coughing & Sneezing 

If you are in a private setting and are not wearing a face mask or covering, be sure to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.  

Immediately throw any used tissues in the trash and then wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 

Public Transportation & Ride Shares

CDTA and UAlbany buses continue to transport students and employees between campuses and within the community. UAlbany buses are cleaned daily.  

All riders, regardless of vaccination status, must put on a mask before entering the bus or vehicle, per state requirement. Please avoid touching unnecessary surfaces when selecting a seat.  

When you disembark, wash your hands (or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol) as soon as possible.