An Update on Spring 2022 COVID-19 Protocols

December 23, 2021

Dear Great Danes,

As you are probably aware, COVID-19 positivity rates continue to rise across the world, including across New York. Early evidence suggests the omicron variant of the virus spreads much more easily than previous variants, but also suggests it may cause less severe illness among individuals who are fully vaccinated and especially among those who have received a COVID-19 booster shot.

At some point either before the start of the Spring 2022 semester, or shortly thereafter, a COVID-19 booster shot will likely become mandatory for all UAlbany students. As a result, we strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to get your COVID-19 booster shot as soon as you are medically eligible – and to submit proof to the University via the Vaccinate UAlbany webpage. The New York State Department of Health website provides complete details about when you should get a booster dose. For most people, it is six months past your last dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months past your only dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If you are eligible, please get your booster before returning to campus for the spring semester.

All students other than those with a fully remote waiver for the Spring 2022 semester who are eligible to receive their COVID-19 booster but have not done so will be required to resume surveillance testing to remain enrolled at UAlbany, as will all students with a University-approved religious or medical vaccination exemption. Students with a vaccination exemption will be required to test weekly. Details on the frequency of testing for students without a COVID-19 booster will be forthcoming.

In addition, all students will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than five (5) days prior to their return to campus in January. This test must be a PCR, antigen or at-home COVID-19 test. Antibody tests will not be accepted. Students must upload their negative test result through the Student COVID Documentation Portal before they will be permitted to return to campus, including moving into on-campus housing. Any student who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the 90 days prior to arriving on campus does not need to provide a negative test result but must provide the University their positive COVID-19 test result as soon as it is received and prior to arriving on campus.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 trends. Additional changes to our Spring 2022 COVID-19 protocols may be forthcoming, so please watch your email closely between now and the start of the spring semester.

Your diligence and cooperation to date have been essential to our ability to successfully control the spread of COVID-19, and I implore you to take steps today to prepare for your return to campus so we have the best chance possible for a safe and healthy semester.

Wishing you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and winter break.

Sincerely,

Kevin C. Wilcox
Associate Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance
Campus COVID-19 Safety Officer