UAlbany to go on full PAUSE effective Tuesday, November 10

UAlbany to go on full PAUSE effective Tuesday, November 10

November 9, 2020

Dear UAlbany Community:

As a result of a very concerning increase in the number of presumptive COVID-19 cases among University at Albany students, on Friday, November 6, we decided to conduct surge testing. Approximately 3,400 samples were submitted from on-campus students, which resulted in a presumed positivity rate of 3.3%. As per our COVID plan, we have identified the corresponding students and they have been placed in quarantine, aside from students who opted to quarantine in their homes.

Given the significant spike in COVID-19 cases, and in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our campus community, we have decided that, effective tomorrow, Tuesday, November 10, we will go into full PAUSE, as per NYS guidance.

Consequently, UAlbany will shift to fully remote learning for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester. In keeping with our academic calendar, the last day of classes is Tuesday, November 24, followed by final exams from Monday, November 30 through Monday, December 7, which were already scheduled to be conducted remotely. The spring semester will begin on February 1, 2021.

Given our full PAUSE, all classes will be converted to remote modality, effective Tuesday, November 10. Campus housing will remain open and operational. Students will be expected to remain on campus and in their rooms to the extent possible. If residential students decide to leave campus housing to go home during the PAUSE, they must remain home for the remainder of the fall semester. All students who are required to quarantine or isolate must continue to do so to minimize community spread of COVID-19. 

In addition, there will be a number of steps being taken as part of PAUSE to help ensure the health and safety of our entire campus community. These include:

  • Moving to take-out dining only

  • No seating in the Campus Center or other common spaces on campus

  • Remote-only use of the libraries

  • No campus events or gathering of any size

  • Suspension of all athletics and recreation activities 

These changes will be effective immediately. Please see our PAUSE webpage for more details.

It is also critical that we continue to monitor the infectivity rate among our students and employees through the University’s surveillance testing program. If you are on campus, please continue to submit your individual saliva tests weekly on the day designated, or more often if directed. For regular updates, please monitor your email and our COVID-19 website.

While we had hoped to finish the fall semester as we started, we were also prepared to move to fully remote learning, and the time has come. We are taking this step in an abundance of caution to further protect the health and safety of our campus community.

Given the unprecedented spread of COVID-19 across the country, and at UAlbany, it is now more critical than ever that students, faculty, and staff heed public health guidance: wear your mask, wash your hands, maintain physical distancing, and avoid all large gatherings.

We are very proud of the collective efforts and incredibly hard work of our campus community over the past months focusing on this unprecedented challenge.

Please stay safe, stay healthy, and stay engaged.

Sincerely,

Havidán Rodríguez

President